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shew, that the refusal of the cup to the laity is not at all unreasonable, but on the contrary, strictly in accordance with the command of Christ and his apostles.
In the year 1547, Henry VIII. died, and under his successor, Edward, the reformation, in spite of the untoward oppositions just detailed, made onwards her sure and certain steps. The ancient error, alluded to in the king's letter, met with a signal refutation in the very first year of the young king's reign. An act was passed by which “the value of the holy sacrament, commonly called the sacrament of the altar, and in scripture the Supper of the Lord, was set forth, together with its first institution :” and after various other recitals, it was said: “It being more agreeable to Christ's first institution, and the practice of the church for five hundred years after Christ, that the sacrament should be given in both the kinds of bread and wine, rather than in one kind only, — therefore, it was enacted, that it should be commonly given in both kinds, except necessity did otherwise require it, and it being also more agreeable to the first institution, and the primitive practice, that the people should receive with the priest, than that the priest should receive alone ; therefore, the day before every sacrament, an exhortation was to be made to the people to prepare themselves for it, in which the benefits
and danger of worthy and unworthy receiving, were to be expressed, and the priests were not, without a lawful cause, to deny it to any who humbly asked it.”* The next year (1548), the whole of the offices in the church were examined and amended by a committee of nineteen bishops and six doctors. The office of the sacrament of the Eucharist held the prominent place in this examination. “ But they did not at once mend every thing that required it, but left the office of the mass as it was, only adding to it that which made it a communion. It began first with an exhortation to be used the day before, which differs not much from that now used, only after the advice given concerning confession, it is added, that such as desire to make auricular † confession should not censure those
* Burnet, part ii. book iii. See also Mants. Com. Pray. p. ii.
+ The doctrine of auricular confession, and absolution, consequent upon it, is evidently one of the most politic, as it is one of the most tyrannical of the doctrines of the Roman church. The church of England leaves the confession of one man to another, his spiritual adviser, to the good pleasure of each individual (see the rubric, at the service for the sick), desiring the priest to move the sick man to confess, but going no further; whereas the church of Rome makes it compulsory.
This notion was first originated by Hugo, A.D. 1130: “I boldly say, that if any one approach the communion of the body and blood of the Lord before the absolution of the priest, he certainly eats and drinks damnation to himself.” The fourth Lateran Council, A.D. 1215, implicitly enjoins auricular con
who were satisfied with a general confession to God, and that those who used only confession to God and to the church, should not be offended with those who used auricular confession to a priest - but that all should keep the rule of charity, every man being satisfied to follow his own conscience, and not judging another man in things not appointed by God. After the confession, absolution, and the prayer beginning,
fession: “ Let
every faithful person, of both sexes, after he has come to years of discretion, make solitary confession of all his sins, at least once in the year, to his own priest, and study to the utmost to fulfil the penance enjoined him ... otherwise, let him while living be denied entrance into the church, and at death be deprived of Christian burial.” It will be sufficient to add the canon of the council of Trent, following up the same doctrine : “ If any shall deny that sacramental confession was instituted, and is necessary, for salvation, by divine right; or shall say that the custom of confessing secretly to the priest alone, which the Catholic church has always observed from the beginning, and now observes, is repugnant to the institution and command of Christ, and is only of human invention-let him be accursed.”—Council of Trent, Sacrament of Repentance, canon 6; and the 7th and 9th canons are equally strong.
The evils which must of necessity arise from this forced auricular confession, and particularly in the manner of the examination by which the priest is directed to inquire even into the secret thoughts of the sinner, are in every sense most revolting. Let the reader only consult “ Dens' Theology" - a book which has latterly, since popery has assumed a more open attempt once more to deceive the people of England with her ancient errors, attracted considerable notice. May God avert the evil devices of this enemy of true religion, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We do not presume, the sacrament was to be given in both kinds, first to the ministers then present, and then to all the people, with these words : “ The body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee, preserve thy body unto everlasting life; and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was shed for thee, preserve thy soul unto everlasting life.” The bread was to be such as had been formerly used, and every one of the breads so consecrated was to be broken into two or more pieces, and the people were to be taught that there was no difference in the quantity they received, whether it was small or great, but that in each of them they received the whole body of Christ. If the wine that was at first consecrated did not serve, the priest was to consecrate more, but all to be without any elevation. This office being thus finished, there was set forth a proclamation, reciting, that whereas the parliament had enacted that the communion should be given in both kinds to all the king's subjects, it was now ordered to be given in the form here set forth, and all were required to receive it with due reverence and Christian behaviour.”*
In this form one thing is observable: the words on giving the bread are,
preserve thy body," on giving the chalice, preserve thy
* Burnet, Hist. Ref. part ii. book i.
soul.” But Cranmer, being ready to change any thing for which he saw reason, subsequently made an alteration, so that in both it might be said,
preserve thy body and soul.” The offertory was to be made by bread and wine mixed with water. In the consecration prayer, the following words were used :
“ With thy holy Spirit vouchsafe to bless and sanctify these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that they may be unto us the body and blood of thy most dearly beloved Son.” · All elevation was forbidden; the bread was to be unleavened, round, having no print upon it, and somewhat thicker than it was formerly. A litany was also used, consisting of many suffrages, much the same as those at present in use, with one remarkable addition, considering the close approximation of the contending parties — namely, “ to be delivered from the tyranny of the bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities.”
And yet, with all these changes and improvements, the doctrine of the real presence remained untouched. The only points gained were the communion in both kinds, and the cessation of private masses; but in the year 1549, public discussions arose on this point also. There was no opinion for which the priests contended more ignorantly and eagerly, and that the people generally believed more blindly and firmly, than the doctrine of the