I believe that I have proved that the Ritualist School, in so far as they depreciate the Reformation, show tenderness to Rome, condone her false doctrines, hold the tenet of the Objective Presence in the elements, perform the rites and ceremonies thence flowing, and inculcate the practice of auricular confession as part of the normal religious life, find no justification in the teaching and acts of our seventeenth-century divines. The old historical High Church party in the Church of England is in direct conflict with the Neo-Anglicanism known as Ritualism.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, Indulgences, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, The Papacy
I make not the least doubt in the world but that the Church of England before the Reformation and the Church of England after the Reformation are as much the same Church as a garden before it is weeded and after it is weeded is the same garden.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, Indulgences, James Ussher, John Bramhall, John Pearson, Joseph Hall, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, The Papacy, William Beveridge
Let us bless God that we live in a Church wherein no other name is invocated but the Name of God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, nor divine worship given to any but to the one true God through Jesus Christ the only Mediator. O happy we, if we knew and valued our own happiness!
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • Church of England, Communion, Faith, George Bull, Images, Indulgences, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Relics, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, The Papacy
If we inquire upon what grounds the primitive Church did rely for their whole religion, we shall find they knew none else but the Scriptures. Ubi Scriptum? was their first inquiry. “Do the prophets and the Apostles, the Evangelists or the Epistles, say so ?” Read it there, and then teach it, else reject it.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, Indulgences, Jeremy Taylor, Oaths, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, Scripture, The Papacy
We have no unwritten faith, as Rome has, and admit no innovations of any sort in religion, for we have put aside the vain traditions of men and new-born dogmas, unsupported by Holy Scripture and by antiquity, and we rest in the one Catholic truth, faith and religion, as handed down to us from the first ages.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, John Cosin, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, The Papacy
Is there no superstition in adoration of images? None in invocation of saints? None in the adoration of the sacrament? Is there no error in breaking Christ’s own institution of the sacrament, by giving it but in one kind? None about purgatory? About common prayer in an unknown tongue, none? These and many more are in the Roman religion. And it is no hard work to prove every one of them to be error or superstition or both.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Purgatory, Sacraments, Saint and Angel Worship, The Papacy, William Laud
Bishop Andrewes and Archbishop Laud are the two divines of the seventeenth century generally selected by medievalists of the present day as their patrons and protectors. They justify their own extravagances by claiming the authority of these learned theologians for them.
Hooker belongs more to the sixteenth than to the seventeenth century ; but the seventeenth-century divines, without exception, take their inspiration from him, and, indeed, after Cranmer, Ridley, and Jewell, he is the father of Anglican theology.
Frederick Meyrick • 19th Century • From Old Anglicanism and Modern Ritualism • Church of England, Communion, Faith, Images, Mary, Oxford Movement, Protestantism, Richard Hooker, Sacraments, The Papacy
Have such sentiments as these ever prevailed in the reformed Church of England before? Not in the sixteenth century when Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley died to resist them and the Elizabethan divines, represented by Jewell, firmly repudiated them. Not in the eighteenth century when the Church and nation had settled down to an unimpassioned Protestantism. Not in the seventeenth century, as, I believe, is proved to demonstration by the following pages.
The king’s majesty is so brought up in knowledge, virtue, and godliness, that it is not to be mistrusted but that we shall have all things well, and that the glory of God shall be spread abroad throughout all parts of the realm, if the prelates will diligently apply their plough, and be preachers rather than lords.
I shall presently produce evidence that even those Councils, to whose decisions we cordially assent, were composed of frail and fallible men that the proceedings of some of them were conducted in a way that does not command our respect, and that the ultimate triumph of orthodoxy was due to other causes besides the decisions of these Councils.
Roman Catholic controversialists have called the Bible a nose of wax, which any man can twist as he pleases. This is true if you adopt the allegorical method of interpretation, or rather then, if it had been a nose of iron, it would make no difference, so powerful is the wrenching instrument employed.
Without doubt it is a most manifest fall from faith, and a most certain sign of pride, to introduce anything that is not written in the Scriptures, our blessed Saviour having said, “My sheep hear My voice, and the voice of strangers they will not hear” and to detract from Scripture, or to add anything to the faith that is not there, is most manifestly forbidden by the Apostle saying, “If it be but a man’s testament, no man addeth thereto.”
The simple answer, then, to the question, why we do not use traditions as well as Scripture in the proof of Christian doctrine, is that we do not know of any trustworthy enough and what we have seen of the failure of tradition proves to us that there were good reasons why God should have granted us in Scripture a more secure channel for conveying Christian truth. But if it is alleged that it can be established by uninspired testimony that any doctrine not contained in Scripture is part of the Christian scheme, let the evidence be produced, and we are willing to consider it.
It is, therefore, the duty of all loyal churchmen to insist on the observance of a rule which has its foundations not merely in the distinctive traditions of the English Reformation, but in the fundamental distinction between Godʼs sacramental gift to man, and manʼs self-devised offering to God; between the function of an ambassador for Christ,” and that of a pretended mediator and ambassador to Christ.
It is not that the substance of the elements is changed, but that their significance is altered. As Hugh Latimer expressed it during his last trial at Oxford, “the change is not in the nature, but in the dignity”. This setting apart of the elements is, therefore, a simple act, and should not be shrouded in mystery. Indeed, it is not an accident that “the breaking of bread” was an early name for the Lord’s Supper.
A uniformity, which inevitably suggests a unity, would only succeed in blurring vital distinctions, in suggesting that those who look alike are in fact alike, in making the unity of the Church an organizational and liturgical matter, and in demoting doctrine to a subordinate place things which evangelicals should be the first to resist.
When His people are gathered together in His Name, Christ’s promise is to be in the midst of them; and that surely is where His Table should be placed, with His people gathered around it to meet Him, and to receive the pledges of His love; and not needing to walk half-way up the church when the time comes to partake.
It is to be hoped that these three short papers will be read by many who find the Northside position unfamiliar, or who have thought of it as an extraordinary whim of Cranmer’s which the Church was right to forget and to ignore when alternatives became available. The theme of these papers is entirely to the contrary. They seek to indicate not only the origins and meaning of the position, its essentially English character, and its proud position in the history of our Church, but also the weakness of suggested alternatives.
Now I think good to speak of the Sacraments of the Church, that all you may know what they are, because you are all partakers of the holy Sacraments. Christ hath ordained them, that by them he might set before our eyes the mysteries of our salvation, and might more strongly confirm the faith, which we have in his blood, and might seal his grace in our hearts.
Wherefore, O Christian and godly reader, forasmuch as thou seest the reasons and causes, both why we have restored religion, and why we have forsaken these men, thou oughtest not to marvel, though we have chosen to obey our Master Christ, rather than men.
Peter verily, whom the Pope hath oftener in his mouth, and more reverently useth to speak of than he doth of Jesus Christ, did boldly stand against the holy council, saying, “It is better to obey God than men.” And after Paul had once entirely embraced the Gospel, and had received it, “not from men, nor by man, but by the only will of God, he did not take advice therein of flesh and blood,” nor brought the case before his kinsmen and brethren, but went forthwith into Arabia, to preach God’s Divine mysteries by God’s only authority.
Questionless, there can nothing be more spitefully spoken against the religion of God than to accuse it of novelty, as a new come up matter. For as there can be no change in God Himself, so ought there to be no change in His religion.
You must pardon us, good reader, though we seem to utter these things more bitterly and bitingly than it becometh divines to do. For both the shamefulness of the matter, and the desire of rule in the Bishop of Rome is so exceeding and outrageous, that it could not well be uttered with other words, or more mildly.