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considered as the real and not ostensible author of the production; although collecting the sentiments of others, yet in all cases exercising the privilege of accepting or rejecting what may have been offered to him at pleasure, and regulating his decisions by a judgment, to which all with submission bowed; which, matured by the most extensive reading, and formed upon, the purest principles, his adversaries respected and his friends revered."
Such is the masterly vindication of Cranmer's claim to the composition of our Articles. In another part of his work, the same eloquent writer has observed, that (h)" upon the general question of Ridley's aid in the composition of our Articles, it is curious to mark the progress of conjectural assertion. Strype conceives that the archbishop was the penner, or at least the great director, of them, with the assistance, as is very probable, of bishop Ridley. Mem. of Cranmer, p. 272. Burnet makes a similar remark. When this gets into the hands of Neal, we find that it was resolved in council to reform the doctrine of the Church, and that archbishop Cranmer and
(h) Dr. Laurence, Serm. p. 219.
bishop Ridley were appointed to this work.' Hist. of the Puritans, vol. i. p. 49." It would not then have diminished the value of his instructive pages, if a liberal papist of our own days had omitted, what in his work is stated without proof, that archbishop Cranmer (i) and bishop Ridley framed the forty-two Articles of Edward the sixth,
In May 1552, these Articles were laid before the Privy Council; and in the following September returned to Cranmer, by whom they were reconsidered and augmented, and at length delivered to the king. In November they were again sent to the primate for his final revision, which was made without delay, and dispatched with an earnest letter to the Lords of the Council; (k) "besechynge them to be means unto the kyngs majestie, that al the bishops may have authority from hym to cause all their prechers, archdeçons, deans, prebendaries, parsons, vicars, curates, with al their clergie, to subscribe to the said Articles. And then, I trust,
(i) Butler, Hist. et Lit. Acc. of the Formularies, ut supr. P. 72.
(k) Strype, Mem. of Archbp. Cranmer, App. No. LXIV,
that such a concorde and quyetness in religion shal shortely follow thereof, as ells is not to be loked for many years. God shal therby be glorified, his truth shal be avaunced, and your lordeships shal be rewarded of hym, as the setters forward of his true word and gospel."
These Articles, having been approved in council, accordingly obtained the royal sanction; and -were published, in 1553, both by John Day and Richard Grafton, not without some verbal variation. Other variations there are in the copy of these Articles, printed by bishop Burnet, which I have minutely noted; not omitting to shew, how not only a word, but sometimes part of a sentence, differs in our present Articles from those of Edward the sixth, and those printed before the year 1571; and also how, in several readings, these last agree.
The Articles being thus allowed, and published; there followed almost immediately the publication of Catechismus Brevis Christianæ Discipline Summam continens, omnibus ludimagistris authoritate regiâ commendatus; to which the Articles of Religion were subjoined. The king's letter of recommendation, prefixed to it, is dated at Greenwich, May 20, 1553, not many
days before his death. It was printed also in English, as well as Latin; though Strype merely says, that (7) "the king by his letters patent commanded a Latin Catechism to be taught.' And archbishop Wake, considering the complete model of our Church Catechism to have been here first laid, (m) speaks also of it only as in Latin. But it was certainly printed in English, in the same year. It has been commonly called Edward the sixth's Catechism. I have made my selections from the Latin copy for the purpose of affording, in these passages, the easy means of comparison with the Catechism published in 1570, which beyond dispute is the production of Nowell, to whom also this of 1553 has been (n) ascribed. But another author has found a learned assertor of his right to the composition of this Catechism in archdeacon Churton. (0) Among the works, which are not very numerous, of Poinet, bishop of Winchester, Bale reckons A Catechism
(1) Mem, of Archbp. Cranmer, B. II. c. 34.
(m) Brief Comm. upon the Church Catechism, 3d edit. Dedication.
(n) See Strype's Mem, of Archbp, Cranmer, B. II. c. 34. (0) Life of Alexander Nowell, Dean of St. Paul's. Ox. 1809. p. 161.
to the King; and, to identify the book, he quotes, as his manner is, the first words of Edward the sixth's letter, prefixed to what is called his Catechism. The industrious author, in his learned and extensive work De Scriptoribus Britannicis, is not without mistakes; nor is this very accurately styled Catechismus ad Regem; but as it is plain what book was intended, and as there is nothing of real weight to throw into the opposite scale, this, so far as I know, single contemporary evidence for ascertaining who was the writer of the book, must, I presume, be admitted as decisive," Heylin, in his Quinquarticular History, considers also Poynet as the author. And Strype notices the same belief.
On the other hand, Nowell's claim has thus been vindicated. (p) "It is certain that this Catechism, as well as the Articles which accompany it, was formed and digested under the eye of Cranmer; for this was publicly owned by him in his answers to certain interrogations, which were put to him by queen Mary's commissioners, and that they were submitted to the king for his
(p) Anecdotes of Literature, &c. by the Rev. W. Beloe, 1808. vol. iii. p. 23.