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upon earth. Her doctrines, not only regarding the eucharist, but also other leading and distinctive principles of belief, are in perfect unison with those traditions which were taught by all the earliest luminaries of our distant ancestry. The Reformers did little more than expel from her bosom the gradual accumulation of medieval novelties, and abolish various observances dependent upon ecclesiastical tradition, and convicted by long experience of inutility and danger. In other respects, the renovation of our religious system restored the ascendency of those doctrines which had been originally established in the land, and which had long been holden "whole and undefiled." Cranmer had attained the summit of professional eminence when he embarked in the work of Reformation. Nor were his fellow-labourers very far behind him. Rarely, therefore, have important changes been effected by individuals less likely to have acted from considerations merely personal and worldly. These eminent ministers of God's holy word and sacraments were, however, utterly unable to "find rest for their souls" in the doctrines which had gained possession of society. They diligently, therefore," asked for the old paths," among the Fathers of the Church. By this wary
course they happily reached "the good way" in which their own Christian ancestry had originally trodden. Succeeding times, following their direction, have been hence enabled to repel triumphantly the charge of innovation. They have indeed shaken off the trammels of pontifical and scholastic authority. They have even discarded many of those usages and ceremonies which their earlier forefathers undoubtedly admitted. In doctrinal profession they will be found, however, to display a gratifying conformity with the most ancient of their country's theological authorities.
PROOFS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
THE first four general councils, although not honoured with any express testimony of approbation in the Thirty-nine Articles, are thus treated in the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, a work which may be considered as a half-official declaration of the sentiments of our Reformers: "Nam quædam illorum (conciliorum sc.) qualia sunt præcipua illa quatuor, Nicenum, Constantinopolitanum primum, Ephesinum, et Calcedonense, magna cum reverentia amplectimur et suscipimus." De Summa Trinitate et Fide Catholica: cap. 14. Ref. Ll. Eccl. Lond. 1640. p. 6.
"To this narrative Harpsfield gives the title of Commentitia et insulsa fabula, and thinks it not writ by Sim. Dunelmensis, or Mat. Westminster, (he might have added Hoveden, the MS. History of Rochester,) but that it was anciently inserted into them. For answer to which he would be desired to produce any one old copy without it, not mangled, so as it doth prodere furtum by wanting it. I have seen divers of Hoveden MSS. some of Mat. West. but never did one wherein it was not
found, not in the margin, but in the text itself, and so it is Dunelmensis his MS. at Bennet Colledge in Cambridge. For my part, I do not know how any thing we mislike" in history may not after this manner be rejected, if a relation gathered from monuments of an elder date, which are perisht, yet cited by one who lived not so long after the time he speaks of, but they might well come to his hands, whom we find very sincere in such citations as yet remain out of more old authors than himself, ever esteemed of good credit in the Church of God, and in his narration followed ad verbum by those who writing of the same matter succeeded him, I confess, I say, if this may be cast away as a lying and foolish fable, I know not what shall gain credit." Sir Roger Twisden's Historical Vindication of the Church of England. Lond. 1675. p. 182.
3 The whole of this clause, which forms part of the twenty-ninth Article, in king Edward's fortytwo Articles, may be seen in Bishop Burnet's work. (art. 28.) The following is the general treatment of the question relating to transubstantiation, in the Reformatio Legum. After explaining the nature and uses of the Eucharist, the writer thus concludes: "Cum autem ad hæc omnia nec transubstantiatione opus sit,nec illa, quam fingere solebant, reali præsentia Christi; sed quidem potius hæc curiosa hominum inventa sint: Primum, contra naturam humanam a Filio Dei, nostra causa, sumptam; deinde, cum Scripturis divinis pugnent, et præterea cum universa sacramentorum ratione confligant, ista tanquam frivola somnia merito desecanda curavimus, et oblivione obruenda; præsertim cum
magnum ex iis et perniciosum agmen superstitionum in Ecclesiam Dei importatum fuerit." Ref. Ll. de Sacramentis. cap. 4. p. 30.
♦ "Edent pauperes. Ego autem quidem reddam vota, de quibus votis edent pauperes, id est, mundi contemptores: edent quidem realiter, si ad sacramenta referatur, et saturabuntur æternaliter, quia intelligent in pane et vino visibiliter sibi proposito, aliud invisibile, scilicet corpus verum et sanguinem verum Domini, quæ verus cibus, et verus potus sunt, quo non venter distenditur, sed mens saginatur." (Bedæ Presb. Comment. in Ps. 21. Opp. Bas. 1563. tom. VIII. col. 542.) Bede here, as usual, follows St. Austin, but that Father, although plainly enough intending to exclude from the feeding upon Christ's body all who are not truly imbued with the spirit of his holy religion, yet uses in this place language allowing some room for evasion.
cnihthad to ge
Lildhad zepit to cnihthade· J þunzenum pærem· se fulfɲemeda pærтm zebuhð to ÿlde. 7 seo ÿld bið mid deaþe zeendod. Witodlice ne stent uɲe ÿld on nanɲe staðolfæstnesse· ac rpa micclum rpa re lichama pexrt rpa micclum beo hir dazar zepandode. Lehpæn ir on urum life ateorunz· I perigner. 7 bɲornung þer lichaman þeah hрæpeɲe pilnas ze hpa he lange libbe. pat ir lange libban butan lange rpıncan. (Bibl. Bodl. MSS. Junii 24. p. 151. Hom. in Decoll. S. Joh. Bapt.) Childhood passes to youth, and youth to maturity, maturity declines to age, and age with death is ended. Our age truly continues in no steadfastness, but so much as the body