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joined to be used for all divine offices from the feast of Whitsunday following, and was published by Grafton and Whitchurch in many different impressions before that festival.
But though this commission consisted entirely of English divines, and they had completed their task before the most eminent of the foreign reformers had even arrived
a It has been thought of some importance to shew that the foreign reformers had no share whatever in the composition of the first Liturgy; and Heylin (Hist. Ref. p. 65.) and Collier (Hist. vol. II. p. 253.) assert with much apparent satisfaction, that it was completed before Bucer and Martyr arrived in England. It cannot, I think, be proved that any foreign influence was exerted in this instance, and the presumption arising from the comparison of the actual liturgy with the general sentiments of the foreign reformers is strongly in the opposite direction. But foreigners had certainly arrived in England before the time when the convocation, which in the year 1548 met on the 24th of November (Wake, State of the Church, &c. p. 494.), entered upon the consideration of the new Liturgy. Strype (Mem. vol. I. part i. p. 123.) mentions several as settled at Canterbury in 1547. The three persons however of most importance, as being those who would have influence with Cranmer, are a Lasco, Martyr, and Bucer. Cranmer wrote to a Lasco on the 4th of July, 1548, (Works, vol. I. p. 329.) to remove a doubt still remaining in a Lasco's mind; and on the following 29th of October we find from a letter of Bur-. cher to Bullinger (Hess, Catal. vol. II. p. 4.), that a Lasco was in England. On the 27th of November 1548, John ab Ulmis says in a letter to Bullinger (Hess, Cat. vol. II. p. 7.), Cranmerus ab J. a Lasco ad saniorem de cœna sententiam est adductus. (Comp. Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 336.) Martyr arrived, as Simler and Sleidan state (Vit. Mart. p. 13. Sleid. de Sta. Rel. 1. 19. f. 280.), in November 1547; according to Wood (Ath. Ox. vol. I. col. 328,), in December 1547; from evidence given in the Archæologia (vol. 21. p. 471.) it appears that he arrived on the 20th of that month; and it is plain from a letter of his quoted by Strype (Mem. vol. II. part i. p. 123.), that in January 1548 he was residing with the primate at Lambeth. In the same year he became King's Professor of Theology at Oxford. Cranmer wrote to Bucer (Works, vol. I. p. 335.) October 2, 1548, to urge his coming; and on the 26th of April, 1549, Bucer wrote from Lambeth (Hess, Catal. vol. II. p. 8.) to his friends at Strasburg, to inform them of his cordial reception by the primate (Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 281.).
in England, the new Liturgy was greatly indebted, whereever it deviated from the ancient breviaries, to the progress already made on the continent in the reformation of religious worship. One of the most remarkable occurrences, recorded in the eventful history of the times, is the attempt made by "Herman, elector of Cologne, a Roman catholic archbishop, and a sovereign prince, to establish within his electorate a purer system of doctrine and discipline. His attempt was ultimately unsuccessful; but the zeal and energy of the venerable prelate, and the learning and prudence with which his measures were conducted, attracted the notice, and secured the respect and sympathy of all protestant churches. He resigned his see in the year 1547, but he had previously published a book, the composition of which had been entrusted to "Melancthon and Bucer, containing his views of a "Christian reformation founded on God's word." This book was translated into English, and published in the year 1547, and this first edition was speedily followed by another, bearing testimony, as we may reasonably assume, to the great interest that was felt in England on the
b Sleidan, de Statu Rel. 1. 15. f. 200. Seckendorf, Hist. Luth. 107. Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 410. Mem. vol. II. part i. pp. 41. and 479. Burnet, Hist. Ref. vol. I. p. 105.
c Melancthon to Camerarius, Ep. 304. an. 1543, Bucerus et ego librum absolvimus: to Caspar Cruciger, Ep. 84. an. 1543, from Bonn, Tantum inchoatum est scriptum de forma rituum et doctrinæ, et sequitur formam Norimbergensem. Legi quædam, et ipse articulum intertextui περὶ τριῶν ὑποστάσιων τῆς θεότητος : to Luther, lib. I. ep. 74, Episcopum velle, ut forma doctrinæ et rituum ad exemplum Norimbergensis Ecclesiæ conscriberetur. See also Laurence, Bampt. Lect. p. 443.
d With the title," A simple and religious consultation of us Herman, by the grace of God," &c. Imprinted by John Day, 1547 and 1548.
subject of it, and to the influence it exercised in favour of the new learning.
However this may be, it is certain that Cranmer corresponded with the German prelate, and interested the king's council in his behalf; and it cannot be doubted that his book was much employed by the commission assembled at Windsor in the compilation of their new form of Common Prayer. In the great body of their work indeed they derived their materials from the earlier services of their own church; but in the occasional offices, it is clear on examination that they were indebted to the labours of Melancthon and Bucer, and through them to the older Liturgy of Nuremberg, which those reformers were instructed to follow. It is a strong evidence of the prudence and discernment of the English divines, and especially of the primate who presided over them, that they drew up so temperate a form of public worship, when the great body of the people, for whom it was designed, were totally unfitted for any further alterations.
But though it was clearly shewn by the disturbances which soon followed, that the commissioners had gone to the utmost limits of prudence in the construction of the new Liturgy, it is equally clear that several of the tenets and ceremonies retained by them, did not meet with support from the foreign reformers, and awakened the hostility of many of the most active and resolute of their own countrymen. As early as in July 1549 the Liturgy was translated into Latin, and a copy was sent by Hills, a well known merchant, and devoted friend of the protestant cause, to the divines of Zurich; another translation
f This may have been of the translation made by Dryander (Hess, Catal. vol. II. p. 13.)
was soon made into the same language by Alexander Aless, a native of Scotland, then residing as a professor at Leipsic; and a third was undertaken, though it appears to have been left imperfect, by sir John Cheke. Calvini wrote to the protector Somerset, before the close of the same year, complaining of several parts of the service, on information which he appears to have obtained from Bucer; a Lascok addressed himself to Cranmer on the continuance of certain practices which he deemed superstitious; and 'Martyr and Bucer, then holding respectively the office of king's professor of theology in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, would naturally not continue silent respecting prayers and ceremonies, which they formally reported to be unsound and dangerous, when they were consulted afterwards by Cranmer.
8 Burnet (Hist. Ref. vol. II. p. 319.), as also Heylin (Hist. Ref. p. 79.), says, that this translation was made for the use of Bucer. It is clear that it was used by Bucer, but not probable that it was made expressly for that purpose. On the contrary, we may infer from its title that it was made for general use; 'Ad consolationem Ecclesia
rum Christi ubicunque locorum ac gentium." Compare Melancthon's Epistles published by Wegscheider, and his Epistle to Camerarius, No. 783. an. 1550. Strype makes a more extraordinary mistake with regard to this book in his life of Cranmer, vol. I. p. 579.
h Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 361. vol. II. p. 898. Both this Liturgy and the Liturgy of 1552, were translated, soon after they were published, into French, for the use of Calais, and the islands of Guernsey, and Jersey. Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 416.
i Epist. pp. 42 and 49. ed. Amst.
* Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 342. Burnet, Hist. Ref. vol. II. p. 319. Hess, Catal. vol. II. p. 24.
1 Martyr and Bucer spoke of the Liturgy in general terms of commendation. Scrip. Ang. p. 456. Strype, Cran. vol. I. p. 300. But they objected decidedly to several parts of it, and Martyr carried his opposition so far, that he refused, during the whole of his residence as a canon in Christ Church, to wear the customary surplice. Heylin, Hist. Ref. p. 92. Strype, Grindal, p. 44. Hess, Catal. vol. II. p. 126.
Great, however, as was the authority of these and other distinguished foreigners, it was neither proclaimed as boldly, nor calculated to make as much impression, as the earnest remonstrances of many of the English reformers, and the progress which their cause was constantly and manifestly making. There was already within the church a party, though probably not numerous, which espoused the peculiar sentiments of Calvin; there were others, and "Cranmer, it appears, had recently been one of them, adhering strictly to the opinions of Luther; there were many, and those among the most active and most learned, who adopted the views of Bullinger and the theologians of Zurich; there was a still larger body anxious to combine all classes of protestants under one general confession; and all these, though with distinct objects and different degrees of impatience, looked forward to a revision of the Liturgy, to bring it more completely into accordance with their own sentiments.
These expectations soon began to produce their natural effect. In the convocation of 1550 the question was entertained in each house whether certain rubrics and other passages should not be altered, and an especial reference was made to the form of words employed when the sacred elements were given to communicants. But the greatest impulse was derived from the known senti
m Utenhovius, writing to Calvin, in Nov. 1549, requests him, cui magnum est in Anglia nomen, ut litteras paræneticas Regi scribat ; and Traheron to Bullinger, in September 1552, says, Plurimi Angli Calvini sententiam amplectuntur. Hess, Catal. vol. II. pp. 20 and 62. Compare Burnet, Hist. Ref. vol. II. p. 234.
n The gradual change in Cranmer's opinions on this subject is ably stated by Jenkyns. Pref. to Cranm. Works, p. lxxiv.