About the Author:
Mr. Charles Bartlett lives in northern California with his six children and wife. He is a certificated high school instructor and a low-church Anglican. More can be read at Bunny Trails & Penitent Presbyterian.
About Anglican Rose:
Anglican Rose can be a reference to Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent, when fasting is temporarily relaxed, joy shining forth midst penance. Mid-Lent was a time men returned to their ‘mother church’ or cathedral, giving chance to visit parents, siblings, cousins, and neighbors. Sons gave roses to their mothers. People crossed themselves at the baptismal font of their infancy. The Epistle Reading for Mothering Sunday is Gal. 4:24, “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all”.
The Rose Tree is the Glastonbury Thorn, the staff which Joseph of Arimathea planted, blooming upon English soil. The Rose Tree symbolizes our Mother, who, strengthens us with nursing milk from Bethlehem so we might grow, bloom, and ripen in alms and faith, “I will not cease from Mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land” (Blake). In England both Crown and Bishops nurtured a baptized folk, watering a budding vine from Christ’s root. The Rose symbolizes such, reminding men not only of their natural affections but spiritual life fed through the paps of Word and Sacrament.
Anglican Rose is a quest for magisterial Protestantism within the context of primitive purity & catholic past. It is an exploration of our roots, particularly among Protestant & Erastian churches, where early Anglicans aimed for something older than Papacy– a Christendom where the national is fostered within the catholic. Here, English Protestants negotiated a balance with Continental, even Eastern, churches by way of secular monarchs, convocations, and confessions. They did not wish to overthrow Doctors or Fathers but restore ancient religion. Much of this blog is a consideration of these intentions, and how our Long religious Settlement– starting with that “Occidental Star”– might restore the walls of our Jerusalem by reclaiming her many sprigs. Let us revisit our mother’s baptismal font, recalling once again (as in our rite of confirmation) these spiritual birth-waters and humble parentage.
“I know a Rose Tree springing Forth from an ancient root, As men of old we singing, From Jesse came the shoot that bore a blossom bright Amid the cold of winter When half spent the night.
Where of Isaiah spake Is Mary, spotless maiden Who mothered, for our sake, The little Child, newborn By God’s eternal counsel On that first Christmas morn ~ Rosa Mystica, Hymn 17 (1940 Hymnal)”
Below are varied testimonies from those divines who sung their affection for the national church while magnifying Apostolik and catholik faith:
Bishop of Fund du Lac, the Rt. Rev’d Charles C. Grafton, believed the restoration of Christendom depended upon mutual recognition between national churches; in particular, the English to the Russian and Greek:
“If a reunion of Christendom is to be attained, it will come through the union of Anglican and Eastern Churches. It is in this direction the safe guiding providence of God directs His people. It requires largeness of vision and generous toleration of unessential differences, and much of the charity that hopeth all things, believeth all things, and of the faith that believes that with God all things are possible. For so glorious a consummation Anglicans must be willing to recognize the devotion, the missionary zeal, and the orthodoxy of the Russian and Greek Churches.” (Chp. XX, Works)
Given the context of catholic doctrine, the Rt. Rev’d Walter H. Frere reasoned the binding quality of provincial ceremonial upon English-men, being no less than loyalty to the local and national:
“On the other hand, while laying all due stress on catholicity, it is right also to recognize the privilege of local Churches to have their own ways in such matters of ceremonial wherever diversity seems justifiable and desirable. It is right also to recognize concurrently the obligation of loyalty in the individual to the local and national Church, in whose rites he takes a part, and to whose ordinances he is bound.” (Principles of Religious Ceremonial, p. 138)
In Loyalty to the Prayer Book (1904), the Rev’d Percy Dearmer begged the keeping of national ceremonial as the most effective way to reawaken the catholic soul of England as well as all Christendom:
“If English Priests had stuck to their formularies as Romans and Easterns have to theirs, then the English Church would to-day be as marked as the Roman or the Eastern Churches are by such practices as frequent Services, fasting, the supremacy of the Eucharist, and the use of distinctive vestments for the Sacraments. Those who still fancy that obedience is insular would do well to consider seriously what alternative they have to propose. They will find that the only alternative is anarchy, under which each parson may set up his own ideas of Church order and worship; and these ideas have persistently differed, not in details only, but in essentials, from the principles of the Church Catholic. By this system; or want of system, you may have a pseudo-Romanism in one parish, a pseudo-Puritanism in another, and a decorated worldliness in another, but in few will you have Catholic worship and order. Nor will you gain the respect or trust of the rest of the Church or of the world at large… But loyalty to the Prayer Book disarms the enemies of the Church, at the same time as it restores the effectiveness of her friends. And if we set–as we should–the fortunes of the Church Universal above those of our own communion, we shall still do well to remember that the weakening of Anglicanism would remove the greatest agency which God in His providence has left in the world for the reunion of Christendom.”
In The Destiny of Anglican Churches (1931), the Rev. Edwin J. Palmer, while elaborating on the Lambeth Report of 1930, describes the prayer book as England’s Christianity filtered through a national temperament:
“In the view of the Church of England there meet in every land two living forces, the life of Christ and the life of the nation. The life of Christ presents itself as a life flowing through His Body the Church. There follows the apprehension of that life not only by men as individuals, but by nations as nations. Just as when Christ’s life is apprehended by a person, the product of this process is his personal Christianity, so when Christ’s life is apprehended by a nation, the product of that process is its national Christianity. What is called Anglicanism is the result of this meeting of the English character with Christ’s life offered to it through His Church…Anglicanism is the Christianity of the early undivided Church taken to English hearts, practised by English wills, and stated by English brains. There is no alteration of the content of that Christianity. But there is something specially English in the proportion and balance of the doctrine and practice of the English Church, according as things seem to the English mind important or convincing or helpful. The Book of Common Prayer is the fruit and record and the expression of Anglicanism.”
Wading deeper into the national principle, Palmer explains the indissoluble nature of it:
“Co-operation is of the essence of human life. When co-operation among a group of men becomes customary, a society comes into existence which has a life of its own. That life takes up into itself the individual lives of the members, and it enters into each, greatly enriching it. We know that God wills to take each of our individual lives into His own through the Church, and by so doing gives it new life. Is it not probable that similarly He wills to take the corporate life of each natural human society into His own through the Church, and by so doing to give it new life? And what are more natural than the societies which are founded on unity of place? On this view it is God’s design to pour His own life through the parish into the life of the village; through the diocese into the life of the city or district; and through the National Church into the life of the nation. In so doing He will take up these existing corporate lives into His own life, and transform them.
We will not listen to those who urge that the Church has no call to attempt the redemption and sanctification of these lesser unities because its task is to bind together the world in a unity which would transcend and annihilate them. The lesser unities are providential and cannot be dissolved, but it is only when brought under the power of the divine life that they can be fitted into the unity of the world which has hardly, as yet, been born.
The value of these lesser unities may also be seen from their contributions to the life of the whole Church. How much, for instance, the whole Church owes to the Churches of countries such as North Africa or Spain, or of cities such as Alexandria or Rome. But in order that such contributions should be made, it is necessary for the genius of a nation or of a place to come to its own in one Church, full of harmonious activity. [* Lambeth Conference, 1930, Report, pp. 161-2 (National Churches), p. 56 (Res. 52), and p. 29.]”
In the lecture, Christianity and Politics (1889), the Rev’d W. J. H. Campion likewise recognizes the national and catholic principle as two-sides of the same coin:
“But the truth remains that religion is an element in the highest national life. ‘A national church alone can consecrate the whole life of a people’. And a national church can only mean an established Church, and a Church which either has great inherited wealth of its own, or is supported in part by national funds…The Christian religion has been acting on the group of States which we call Christendom from the first days when stable organization formed themselves after the entrance of the new life of the Germanic race into the remains of the dying Roman Empire. It has been the strongest of all the influences that have moulded them throughout their history. It has pierced and penetrated the life of individuals, the life of families, the life of guilds, as well as the laws and institutions, the writings and works of art in which they have embodied their thoughts and hopes. They are in a sense its children. It is impossible to regard them as S. Augustine regarded pagan Rome. But deep and penetrating as has been her influence and manifold her consequent implications with the existing national and social life of mankind, the Church is essentially Catholic, and only incidentally national. It is their Catholic character so far as it remains, at least their Catholic ideal, which gives to the different fragments of the Church their strength and power. The ‘Church of England’ is a peculiarly misleading term. The Church of Christ in England is, as Coleridge pointed out, the safer and truer phrase. And this fundamental Catholicism, this correspondence not to one or another nation, but to humanity, rests on the appeal to deeper and more permanent needs than those one which the State rests. It is thus that the true type of the Church is rather in the family than in the State, because the family is the primitive unit of organized social life. Not in the order of time, but in the order of reason, the Church is prior to the State, for man is at once inherently social and inherently religious. And therefore it is only in the Church [viz. national and catholic] that he can be all that it is his true nature to be”
An 1839 public address by the Rev. Hugh M’Niele to the English Protestant Association insists the national principle can no more suffer than the universal one. Consequently, he implores:
“The principle then, upon which our Associations are formed, may, with propriety, be briefly called NATIONALISM IN RELIGION. We do not indeed object to the designs and operations of those religious institutions already alluded to by preceding speakers, whose principle is more exclusive and separating. On the contrary, we take a deep and lively interest in the progress of the spiritual labours of our Missionary Societies, both to Jews and Gentiles, and with our valued brethren who conduct them we cordially co–operate. I will not yield even to my beloved brother from Birmingham (the Rev. W. Marsh) in attachment to the Jewish cause. Still, however valuable those institutions are, and however we would sincerely deprecate any act, and grieve over any event which would diminish their efficiency, we must confess that they are not patriotic enough for us; they are not national enough to meet our whole heart’s desire and prayers. We cannot agree in that cosmopolitan view of religion which undermines the particularities of our national establishment, any more than we could agree in such a cosmopolitan view of philanthropy as would extinguish domestic affections, in all their vivid and constraining peculiarity of influence.”
A 1902 sermon, preached by the Rev’d John de Soyres, explains the bidding prayers as exemplifying both national and catholic principles working together:
“So, although in our creed we profess allegiance only to the Universal Church, our hearts are not debarred from including our own Communion also. In the English Cathedrals and Universities the Bidding Prayer before sermon begins: “Let us pray for Christ’s Holy Catholic Church that is, for the whole congregation of Christian people dispersed throughout the whole world;” but then it adds: “especially for that pure and reformed part of it established within these realms.” So we, believing in the Catholic Church, longing for her realization, praying for that unity that shall fulfil the prayer of Jesus Christ, yet we also pray for our National Church: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” We do not depend upon memories of the past only. We can recall events in these latter days testifying that the power of the Church of England…”
Likewise, the Rev’d F. D. Maurice believed England’s old spirit of nationality secured the Christian faith, partly due to the interwoven nature of secular and ecclesiastical law:
“But I apprehend, a national felling may be a very noble and a very godly one. It seems to me that the godliness of England has always depended, and must always depend greatly, on the preservation of its nationality; that the moment we lose it, we shall become the most immoral and godless people on the face of the earth. Nor I think can this national godliness be separated from the assertion of the Sovereign’s Supremacy. In so far as that supremacy has been the protest of the nation against foreign jurisdiction and a mortal ruler, in so far has it been the witness that God is the real ruler of the land, and that the Sovereign has an actual, not a nominal, a direct, not an indirect, responsibility to him.” (The Church a Family. 1850. p.viii)
In 1844 Alexei Khomiakov‘s letters to the Rev. William Palmer poetically expressed the cultural heart of England’s churchman– that national affection may sing with the eternal:
“… In reality every Englishman is a Tory at heart. There may be differences in the strength of convictions, in tendency of mind; but the inner feeling is the same in all. Exceptions are rare, and are as a rule found only in people who either are altogether carried away by some system of thought or beaten down with poverty or corrupted by the life of the large towns. The history of England is not a mere thing of the past to the Englishman; it lives in all his life, in all his customs, in almost all the details of his existence. And this historical element is Toryism. The Englishman loves to see the beafeaters guarding the Tower in their strange mediaeval costume … he likes the boys in Christ’s Hospital still to wear the blue coats which they wore in the time of Edward VI. He walks through the long aisles of Westminster Abbey, not with the conceited vanity of the Frenchman, nor with the antiquarian delectation of the German, but with a deep, sincere, and ennobling affection. These graves belong to his family, and a great family it is; and I am not speaking now merely of the peer or the professor, but about mechanics and cab-drivers; for there is just as much Toryism in the common people as there is in the upper ranks of society… Whiggism may be his daily bread; but Toryism is all his joy in life . . . his sports and games, his Christmas decorations and festivities, the calm and sacred peace of his family circle, all the poetry, all the sweetness of his daily existence. In England every old oak with its spreading branches is a Tory, and so is every ancient church-spire which shoots up into the sky. Under this oak many have enjoyed themselves, and in that ancient church many generations have prayed.”
A love for the national church was likewise felt by the catholic evangelical, the Rev’d John Wesley, pleaded English Methodists keep their first [national] love despite poor watchmen in the established church:
“We look upon England as that part of the world, and the Church as that part of England, to which all we who are born and have been brought up therein, owe our first and chief regard. We feel in ourselves a strong storgh, a kind of natural affection for our country, which we apprehend Christianity was never designed either to root out or to impair. We have a more peculiar concern for our brethren, for that part of our countrymen, to whom we have been joined from our youth up, by ties of a religious as well as a civil nature…We look upon the Clergy, not only as a part of these our Brethren, but as that part whom GOD by his adorable Providence, has called to be watchmen over the rest, for whom therefore they are to give a strict account. If these then neglect their important charge, if they do not watch over them with all their power, they will be of all men most miserable, and so are entitled to our deepest compassion. So that to feel, and much more to express either contempt or bitterness towards them, betrays an utter ignorance of ourselves and of the spirit which we especially should be of (Reasons Against Separation, 1758).”
By the end of the 19th-century, at perhaps the height of British Empire, there emerged a fraternal love by Americans to their English counterparts, felt not only among Anglicans but with a broad swath of enthusiastic Protestants. The Christian Science Journal reported this sentiment, regarding the importance of a common Anglo-Saxon civilization and its Christian mission:
“When the Anglo-Saxon alliance shall come it will be pillared on more substantial ground than that of mere commercialism. The two flags will float side by side in a deeper unity than that of fleshly ties. They will float as the unified emblem of a brotherly love as broad as the teaching of the great Nazarene. They will stand as the signal for the restoration of Israel. They will herald the dawning of the millennium. They will speak in mute eloquence of the forthcoming redemption of the race. They will, in the fulness of time, blaze forth the story of the building up of the waste places. They will wave over a people who have made the desert-valleys to bloom with resurrection flowers, — the roses of Sharon. They will float over a people whose God is one God, and whose mission it shall be to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons throughout the world. . . ” (A Significant Prophecy, Christian Science Journal, December 1898)
An architect of American Episcopalians, bridging the colonial to post-Revolutionary era is the Rev. William Smith who in 1760 noted the familial relation between the American and its “Mother Church” of England. The latter has most ancient roots, according to Smith, arising alongside the Christian Church in Jerusalem.
“IN the primitive ages of Simplicity, the first indications of Divine Will were given to the Patriarchs of mankind in the Eastern parts of the world, by God himself, conversing with them face to face, as they tended their flocks, or journeyed on from pasture to pasture. This was the Dawn of things. Soon afterwards followed the Law, and then the Prophets, advancing nearer and nearer to a full and perfect Revelation, till at last it broke forth in its Meridian glory, by the coming of the son of God, at that period already referred to, when the situation of the world had prepared the way for its more effectual reception. The Wisdom of God was visible in all this; and soon did the Christian Religion spread itself Westward, till it reached the vast Atlantic ocean, and the Isles of the Gentiles, where the posterity of Japhet dwelt.
NOW among these Isles, or places on the Ocean, or Western parts, as they are indifferently phrased, GREAT-BRITAIN, our Mother-country, that ultima Thule of the ancients, bore a principal figure. Early was the Gospel preached in her, if not by the Apostles themselves, yet certainly by some of their followers, in their days, and before the destruction of Jerusalem.
HERE the matter rested. This was the first State of the Gospel-progress. To the Westward of Britain the ancients seem to have known nothing. They considered these islands as the ends of the world; and extensive as the Roman empire was at our Saviour’s coming, this American continent, more extensive than it all, lay entirely hid from their knowledge, and seems to have been reserved as the stage of a second remarkable period in the Gospel-progress. Not a vestige, therefore, of Christianity was propagated hither, till after it had kept possession of the Old World, in various forms and under various corruptions, for at least fifteen centuries. But, at the expiration of that period, it pleased God to open the way to the discovery of new countries, which likewise opened the way to the establishment of the Gospel in them. For it is obvious to remark, that the nations, which were raised up for this purpose, were those among whom Christianity was openly professed, and consequently they carried their religion along with them. Being likewise superior to all the rest of the world in the arts of Commerce and every improvement of civil life, they were the fittest to explore new settlements, conciliate the affections of the natives, and push their discoveries to the greatest extent. This they did with remarkable zeal and success; and, tho’ it must be confessed that they have made use of the advantages which they enjoyed, chiefly for the secular purposes of extending their Empire and Commerce, yet they have not been altogether negligent of the propagation of the sacred Religion which they profess“
In a 1922 book, Crisis of the Churches, the Rev. Leighton Parks (St Barnabas NY) explains a great gift of the Episcopal Church being a cultural bridge between Americans and English-peoples. This quality-in-itself tending to hinder sectarianism, pp. 111-113.
The first is that, as far as I know, the Episcopal Church is the only American religious organization that is consciously endeavoring to keep alive the spirit of unity among the English-speaking peoples of the world. And this it is seeking to do by reminding us of the fundamental glory of the English people. This is what the Episcopal Church tried to do in the beginning and is trying to do today…
[The founders, sic., Bishop White & Dr. Dusche] They were wise again in understanding that that ideal England was to be found not in its changing government of the day. But they knew that there was a difference between political organization and the great people which the government of the day may or may not represent. They believed that the heart of England was to be found in the English Church, which Mrs. Humphrey Ward has finely described as “England in its aspect of Faith”.
It is because the Episcopal Church is a potent force in keeping alive the remembrance of the ideal England and the ideal America which are essentially one, that the value of that church primarily consists. Most thoughtful men are agreed that in the crisis of the world today the future of civilization largely depends upon the faithful and earnest co-operation, the mutual understanding and reciprocal respect of these two great branches of the English-speaking peoples of the world.
Related to the emergent Anglo-American Alliance, the importance of Anglicanism taking root outside of England was Bp. Francis Fulford’s impassioned surety of Catholicity. In 1866, Fulford hints to the future good by disestablishment in countries like Scotland and the USA– each adding to the completeness of the Catholic one:
“The Church in England, whatever be its traditions of the past or its influence at the present day, can only claim to be numerically, and still more geographically, a very small branch of the existing Church Universal. We justly feel confidence in the purity of her doctrines and the Apostolic character of her ministry, but where are we to look for the tokens of her present Catholicity, unless it be in the increasing witness echoed back from her Colonies in every quarter of the world–from the Church in Scotland, and from the great and rapidly growing Church in the United States of America, all her own children in the faith? Had not the Church in England these living witnesses for her Catholicity beyond her territory at home, living witnesses and growing witnesses, free from all dependence on the support of a legal national establishment; were it not for these, we might well be apprehensive that we might see her powerless to contend against the growing Erastianism of the present day, and be coming, what she is so often reproached with being, a mere creature of the State. While, therefore, many are advocating what can often be only visionary and in the present circumstances dangerous schemes of comprehension between the Church of England and other Churches, against many of the errors of which we are still bound for the truth’s sake to protest; while many are disputing about ceremonies and details of ritual observances of more or less significance and value, let us hope that the time is approaching when, as a great witness for Christ and His truth, the Anglican Church in all its branches will make some more real and effectual advance towards manifesting her unity before men, and gathering up the scattered fragments of the great human family in one body in Christ, by bringing together witnesses from every land, for those children, whom the Lord has already given her, and who are now really and actually one with her in their faith and ministry. As a spiritual body, and apart from its privileges as an established national Church, what the United Church of England and Ireland is to England and Ireland, what the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States is to the United States, what the Church in Canada is to Canada, what any other branch of our communion is to the country in which it is planted, that the whole gathered together should be to the world.”
In our present day, the Rt. Reverend Paul Hewett also has preached for a renewed Alliance between UK and USA churchmen. His 2012 address implored a prophetic cooperation:
“It is of utmost importance that we should know whence we come, and whither we go. We need to know what our destiny is. The Anglo-American Alliance has existed in the past because of the Church of England and the Episcopal Church. Nearly all its leaders have been Anglicans and Episcopalians. This is but one reason why the devil is so interested in our community and wants to tear us apart. Today it is up to us to put everything we can back on the rails, in our relations with Anglicans abroad, especially in the Mother Country, and this is part of the high calling of Forward in Faith International. “
In a similar ecclesiastical spirit, the Rt. Rev’d Ray Sutton judged the special role Anglicans have yet to play with any reunion of Christendom. Sutton speaks in an ethos shared by most national catholics, especially Grafton, when he says:
“North America requires re-evangelizing. It will not happen without the union of Christendom, beginning with that branch of the Church that was so instrumental in the founding of this great part of the world. Orthodox Anglicanism has in its spiritual DNA the capacity to lead the way for Christ.”
Indeed, what character America possesses from the Church of England may prove vital for Christian revival in the States. The Most Rev’d Peter Robinson recently described some indelible marks or touchstones:
“However, orthodox Christianity, and especially orthodox Anglican Christianity is too important to be merely the hobby of the holy huddle. We need to reassert the need for God in the everyday world. This was something our Hanoverian forefathers intuitively understood, but we have lost. Until recently, there were a large number of common phrases in our language that were drawn from the BCP and from the King James Version of the Bible. These were perhaps the ultimate testimony to the impact of Anglican Christianity on our culture.” (3.14.10)
Yet Britain’s importance is not limited to America. There are also implications with the German Reformation. The Most Reverend Robinson ventured the scope of the English Church according to its ancient charge as a brilliant “orb” for the whole catholic north:
“However, as a counterbalance to this there is some evidence that in the case of the Gallican and English Churches there was a certain amount of local autonomy. Local councils were held – such as the English Council at Clovesho in the 10th century – to resolve local difficulties and make Canons. We also have that somewhat cryptic letter of St Gregory to St Augustine of Canterbury referring to the later as “‘Patriarch’ of the other orb.” Implying that the Archbishop of English Church had a certain degree of independence from Rome and was to make his own decisions in keeping with the Catholic and Apostolic faith. He was perhaps also expressing a hope that the Archbishop of Canterbury might one day become a Patriarch to the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe.”
Perhaps national affections are the very way to restore a catholic peace whereby neither principle opposes or diminishes the other. I believe these eddies are incredibly important for conceiving Anglicanism as a beautiful yet delicate blossom, unique among Christian trees, having an old root that descends deeply into native soil yet having limbs that shade lesser trees, each growing along that living water. Bishop Giles de Bridport once spoke of England’s old liturgy in the same tone,
“The Church of Salisbury shines as the sun in its orb among the Churches of the whole world in its divine service and those who minister it, and by spreading its rays everywhere makes up for the defects of others.”
There is only one problem with this and that would be that rose vestments were not worn in the medieval English liturgy. Lent was kept in the Lenten Array, that is, vestments of toned white. The use of rose coloured vestments is part of the use of Pius V where the Roman colour sequence was taken as a sign of submission to the Roman See.
The Ornaments Rubric in the 1559 and 1662 Books of Common Prayer ordered what was used in England in the second year of Edward VI and that would have been according to the Sarum usage which had been imposed upon the whole kingdome in 1541 by the Convocations and Parliament.
When one argues from the pontificals as Dearmer did you must remember that the bishops were frequently attempting to gain points with the papacy. But what they did was almost unverisally rejected by the dioceses and especially the great cathedrals with the exception of Exeter. But the legislation of 1541 made Sarum usage both canon and parliamentry law.
Take another look at the wording of the Ornaments Rubric. It excludes the actions of the Royal Councils which did not have the authority of Parliament making what was legally allowed that which was in accordance with the act of Parliament at that specific date.
I really thank you for the comments. Your point about the 1541 legislation is incredibly important, and really simplifies the diversity of England’s pre-reformation rites. By royal councils determining the meaning or limits of the Ornament Rubric, I assume you are speaking of the latter Injunctions? I recently came across a footnote regarding the ornaments rubric as understood by the 1662 Uniformity Act. From the note, it seems to suggest the Injunctions were continued from the time of Elizabeth, giving boundaries for Ornaments of the church? Any thoughts?
I may have very well misunderstood this quote?
BTW. I updated the ‘about’ page.
No, you have not misunderstood the quote. You quite understand what was written, but it must be understood that the Puritan party from Elizabeth’s day forward has never let truth get in the way of their attempt to undermine the plain teaching of the Church as expressed in the Book of Common Prayer. I would point you to the works of Vernon Staley, Wickham Legg, Malcolm MacColl, St. John Hope, Cuthbert Atcheley and the Rt Rev’d Walter Howard Frere, C.R.. Now I realize that represents a lifetime and a shelf load of reading, but they understood that from the moment it was published there were those even among the bishops what Elizabeth had preferred who sought to undermine both the prayer book and the English Church.
First, there was no futher order taken by Elizabeth or with Elizabeth’s approval. And even if there had been, the act of Parliament approving the necessary changes at the beginning of the reign of James I would have negated and abolished those changes because they would have been done with a lesser authority than that of the Convocations and Parliament. And this would be even more true of what was done in 1662. The bishops at that time knew that they would be unable to restore everything required by the rubric and the act of Parliament, but they hoped for better days when it would be able to be done. And those days came. But the little fifth column of Puritan churchmen remains with us. They like the positions which they have achieved in the Church but they have no intentions of being loyal and obeying the book as it was intended. Their loyalty is to the radicals of the reformation period and later while the true churchman’s loyalty is intended to be to the faith and practice of the universal Church as expressed by Bishop Andrewes canon, i.e., “One Canon, two Testaments, three Creeds, four Councils and five centuries.”
Thank you Lee. As you might have seen in the comments page under 1559 injunctions, I agree with you. Regarding the authors, are there any particular titles you recommend amongst their many works?
And while I am at it, could you please get in touch with your friend Kevin of The Ohio Anglican and let him know that his propers for Morning and Evening Prayer are incorrect. We are in the middle of the Second Week before Advent and the propers are on page xl and xli of the 1928 prayer book.. It is one of those tricky little things which most seminary graduates miss.
I have been to the new group blog and it looks very nice and reads equally well. I wish all of you the greatest success with it.
A most interesting and readable publication, not least because despite the obvious differences between you and classical Anglican Evangelicals, you have linked to the Barnabas Project’s blog at http://canterburytrail.wordpress.com. We at Barnabas will reciprocate.
Your ‘quest for magisterial Protestantism within the context of antique orthodoxy and medieval catholicism’ filled me with nostalgia; thirty years ago I was on that same quest, but finally concluded that my goal was like El Dorado, a compelling legend about a place that did not actually exist. I wish you better fortune than I had.
My only caution to you at present is that your statement that ‘early Anglicans and Lutherans aimed for a patristic Conciliar West’ is only true if you add the word ‘some’ when speaking of Anglicans. I don’t believe there has ever been a time when any theology or ecclesiology could have been predicated of all Anglicans, or even all Anglican bishops. This is, I believe, the reason why all such quests lead to places other than the one originally sought.
‘Might be handy’–an understatement of epic proportions! All the different Anglican traditions have their own definitions, and always will. What would be ‘formative’ and ‘salient’ for one would be ‘popish’ or ‘fanatick’ for another.
The problem is that ‘Anglicanism’ as a particular form of churchmanship really doesn’t come into existence till after the Toleration Act of 1689 that allowed Presbyterians and Congregationalists their separate existence. Prior to that even they were supposed to be part of the Church of England, and many of them (like the episcopalians and the conciliarists and the latitudinarians) even claimed to be the ‘true’ Church of England. The only definition that works all the way from the Reformation Parliament to today is that Anglicanism is whatever the Government of the day says it is. It is, I believe, fundamentally an Erastian Protestant church.
That’s what makes church life so confusing for some members of Anglican churches in countries where the government refuses to rule the church. In the US, the Episcopal Church is established by custom, not by law, but just as firmly established as the Church of England because of its DNA, and therefore just as bound to provide a place for contemporary moral and philosophical standards, however opposed they are to some of the Anglicanisms of the past.
So even an attempt to say what Anglicanism is not is an attempt to tell a government, or in the case of the US a society, what it may or may not believe and practise, and pretty much doomed to failure. I’m content to live in a church like the Episcopal Church because I’m content to live in a society like the US. And the Episcopal Church will continue to put up with me even though I’m a conservative Evangelical because it’s part of a culture that puts up with me.
I haven’t explained this very well, but it’s the best I can do in this many words.
I could not disagree more with Philip. In true Anglican terms, yes, the Church of England is “Protestant,” because after all these years it is yet a Latin Church and words go to the root of their Latin meanings. ‘Protestare’ means ‘to testify FOR’ and not against. And what, in Anglican terms, being Protestant meant was that you testified for the supremacy of Holy Scriptures and against the inventions of the Western Church in the middle ages which did not conform to that canon.
Beyond that, the real Anglican Rose is the Glastonbury Thorn which is referenced in the carol, “I saw a Rose Tree Springing.” This was the staff of Joseph of Arimathea which planted in English soil took root and bloomed again and refers to the very early planting of the British Church as evidenced by the earliest fathers.
When one looks at the Prayer Book propers for Mothering Sunday, the operative phrase is taken from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians, i.e., “But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” That Jerusalem is the Church and especially the church triumphant and mystical. And this is the reason that the English went back to the parish of their baptism and family on Mothering Sunday. And we as Anglicans need to remember that it was the Church which was the mother of the state. The Church of England was larger and covered more territory that the petty kingdoms that were finally united into the one country. It was the Church which gave England and the United States the pattern for our governments in the Convocations of Canterbury and Y9rk which each consisted of a house of bishops and a house of clergy*(representing the parishes) with an executive in the respective archbishops and metropolitians. And they were each founded by churchmen. Two thirds of those who signed the Decalartion of Independence were Anglicans and fifty percent plus one of the delegates to our Constitutional Convention were also Anglicans, most of whom got their first training in government in their parish vestries.
Thank you Bishop Lee. OK. I get an ‘F’. In heraldry I always considered the thorn and rose as representing two separate kingdoms united by Crown. I never saw it as interchangeable signs pointing to the same thing. The ‘oral tradition’ in both art and legenda is worth their meditative time. Thank you.
I had to clean up the ‘pax dei page’ because I neither like the revised common lectionary nor Pius V. I finally began to break from it by switching the Rose colour in favor of a Mothering Sunday theme. Your last comment on Gal 4:26 freed me from the earlier RC lection/Isaiah passage.
May I further pick your brain? If you have any time, Bishop Lee, please feel free to comment on the the 1943 lectionary vs. earlier ones. How continuous is it with the Sarum lections/Breviaries? How about the 1549 BCP? I have yet to find anything on this particular subject. ( Answer: the 1549 Lectionary comes from medieval Matins as translated by Cardinal Francis Quiñones but with saint days reduced. The lectionary revisions that followed in 1559, 1789, 1892, 1928, and 1943 used the body of the 1549 but gradually added days of saints, apocryphral readings, and vigils. This represents a kind of lifting of certain necessary disciplines as discussed in the Articles of Perth with such laudable customs of ‘crossing’, et al.) An interesting observation on the lectionary can be read, 1943 lectionary and well as here. Also, a brief discussion can be read about the 1943 vs. 1928 lection if you scroll down on this post by M’ Lord Peter.
Thank you for the link! At times like this perhaps a definition for Anglicanism might be handy. I believe it possible to gather all ‘formative’/classical documents– injunctions, salient works of divinity (Jewel, Hooker), homilies, prayer books, prefaces, parliamentary acts, cathedral and royal chapel practices, articles, etc.– and walk away with kind of working definition of classical Anglicanism. We do have plenty of documentation, and if treated in an interlocking manner, weighing sources of authority, I think a consistent orthodoxy emerges. Ranking authority in the Anglican system means starting with documents that are “appointed” for use in the churches, namely, those with royal seal and convocation approval. These include:
Book of Common Prayer 1662
Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion 1571
Anglican Ordinal 1550
Canons Ecclesiastical 1604
Two Books of Homilies 1547 & 1564
Bishop’s Bible Preface 1568
King James Bible Preface 1611
Nowell’s Catechism 1578
Jewel’s Apology 1562
Foxe’s Martyrologies 1562
Queen Elizabeth’s Primer 1578
This is quite a bit, but obviously there is no excuse to think Anglicanism undefinable. Some of the above might sound redundant as they are bound together with the ceremonies and rites of the BCP. However, explicit mentioning is required since the BCP proper does not officially include either Psalter, Ordinal, or Articles, using the phrase, “together with”, as found on the BCP title page.
Further context might invite older versions of the same texts such as Elizabeth’s Eleven Articles 1559 or the 1549 BCP. I’ve found the Henrician standards to be very important in understanding Anglican doctrine, especially w/ the Homily on the Declining of God as well as Article 16, using with the Ten Articles 1536 as well as Henry’s longer catechism, called Necessary Doctrine and Erudition of Man 1547, to assist the interpretation. Good hermeneutics demands reference to earlier English texts (especially those approved by royal authority) before going to continental sources.
Nor is this list of Anglican sermons and other works exhaustive. For instance, Richard Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity 1597 is an Anglican “must” read. We might add many other works belonging to a sort of ‘common law’ of the church, like those belonging to John Wesley, Richard Fields, and Lancelot Andrewes, et. al.. Together these explain not only the ‘right use’ of ceremony but how the first five centuries of the undivided church is properly understood by Anglicans. And, while none of this is final, Anglicanism will do best by recognizing these same texts posses a dignity and order that single pet divines often lack.
While Anglicans certainly don’t need the present-day British Crown or parliament to cease control of the church, we do need present-day bishops to value the regal accomplishments of the Tudor and Stuart regimes in the church. It’s really a honorable memory of our royal nursing parents (1532-1716), and therefore the associated texts approved, that is missing. I suggest when we forget them, we forget ourselves.
Phillip, thanks for the link, and God Bless you. I know many good churchmen in the Episcopal church. I pray our flock is regathered soon by wise and loyal bishops.
Meanwhile, I believe this article is on the right track with the above method, though I feel it goes too far in dismissing theological ‘common law’ and legitimate organic development by imposition of arbitrary brackets for the ‘classical’ period. Nonetheless, it’s a fair jab: Tertiary Formularies
I know this is very late, but there are points worth comment.
Where a lot of us have problems with the Ornaments Rubric is that few of us have ever seen the Elizabethan Act of Supremacy or the Elizabethan and Carolean Acts of Uniformity. The two Acts of Uniformity aren’t printed in most editions of the1662 BCP; usually, only in the desk books (but not in the current Cambridge) or in Gee & Hardy.
To Brother Lee’s bibliography, I’d suggest Addleshaw,’High Church Tradition’, and Addleshaw & Etchell,”Architectural Setting of Anglican Worship’. These have to do with the whole period between the accession of Great Eliza and the accession of Victoria. We do need to recognise that things were done differently in this period before the revival and restorations during the later 19th c.
Yes, there are the schools of thought. Puritans did seem to take their lead from Calvin and/or his more extreme disciples. However, within Anglicanism, one could sensibly suggest four major schools of thought, as expressed by the various expositions of the 39 Articles: the Evangelical, the Rational, the Sacramental, the Sacerdotal. When one reads representative expositions from these four schools, and uses his mind to pull the thinking together, one does find oneself right smack in the middle of the tension among all four schools. It can be like being stretched on the rack.
We are indeed fortunate that Henry VIII did determine that Sarum would be the one Use. How this actually worked in practice was another story. I suspect that the other Uses continued until the BCP came in due to inertia. Priest would do what they’d always done, including the infamous rendering of the Gloria Patri:”Gloria Patria, et Filia, et Spirita Sancta”. This was so noted in Germany and I see no reason to think it wasn’t done elsewhere.
The mention of the Glastonbury Thorn reminds me that there was a shoot from the Thorn planted in the gardens at Washington Cathedral many years ago; it is now a full-grown tree. Some think that, so long as this thorn stands at Washington Cathedral, there is a glimmer of hope for the EC. I don’t know off hand of other shoots in the USA or Canada.
Now, I received a copy of the Anglican Digest a month or so past, and let out a great shout. +Robert Condit Harvey, sometime bishop in the Continuum, has finally published his long awaited book on the early British Church, “To The Isles Afar Off”. I have known +Harvey since the early ’70s. He’s worked on this book longer than I’ve known him. During the mid-’70s, I visited the Harveys at Bergenfield for a few days. I had the privilege of looking at some of his notes and research materiel during this visit. I’ve been waiting for a long time to see this book. Without having actually held it in my hands, I commend it to us all most heartily. After several readings, it will certainly join several other of my favourite books to be re-read over and over.
Another such book is Norman Taylor, “For Services Rendered”, which is a collection of literary extracts mentioning the BCP or its services. A wonderful read!
I said in my first post above that this was a most interesting blog, but I had no idea how interesting it was until I rechecked this page and saw that on December 6, 2009 I replied to something that wasn’t posted till February 9, 2011. What’s more, my reply was exactly right! I shall have to think very deeply about all this…
Hi Philip, My earlier reply was pretty much the same, but I did not indicate a ranking of documents by royal seal and convocation, i.e., appointed texts. I wanted to update it for that reason without adding a lot of verbage on this page.
I also see the cult of the King as being something both AC’s and evangelicals share. Evangelicals do this by embracing the 39 articles and 1701 act of settlement; these two documents proving England and her church Protestant. Anglo-catholics embrace the monarchy liturgically and prelatically, especially by the memory of Charles I and the divinizing of prelacy in general (both common to that era).
But none of this answers what to do with this ranking once its historical veracity is acknowledged? We still face the problem of bishops not acting in place of the king, namely, taking responsibility for the nursing/discipline of the church. There are perhaps only a couple bishops in America, mostly in small jurisdictions, that enforce and teach the Settlement as normative. Nonetheless, supporting their dioceses and the societies which they belong is very important. The other factor that’s needed are laity and priests trying to establish something on the parish level where orthodox bishops are absent.
‘I also see the cult of the King as being something both AC’s and evangelicals share’—I wouldn’t count on it, even if you mean the authority rather than ‘cult’ of the king. Evangelicals have usually put Parliament’s authority above that of the monarch, as almost all of them did in the 1640s and again in 1688, and many in England today are basically republican.
And I don’t think Evangelicals would accept the Thirty Nine Articles just because they were approved by Convocation and the Crown. They accept them for the same reason the Articles accept the creeds, because they are Biblical. Most of them, anyway; many Evangelicals have had difficulties with some of the Articles over the years, especially with the one about there being nothing superstitious in the Prayer Book.
But until the recent unpleasantness, Evangelicals never really thought ‘Anglicanism’ worth a second thought. They were Biblical Christians in the Church of England, or a descendant thereof, and it’s been a great sadness to me to see them go haring off after that will-o’-the-wisp. Although I am an Anglican, my only interest in Anglicanism is historical. Historically, I still say that Anglicanism is whatever the government of the day says it is, and since the government of the day no longer says it has to be anything in particular, it is nothing in particular. You distill from some of the things the government has said over the years a reasonable sort of church framework, as you are entitled to do, while others distill something different, using different criteria. Bless ’em all, or at least all that are content for me to differ from them…
Thank you Philip. Your replies actually cut to the heart of this blog. My only disagreements with your analysis are:
1. The problems affecting 19th century Anglicanism was not so much “the government of the day” but inroads made by advanced sectors of anglo-catholic revival that successfully delegitimized the Privy Council and then went about intellectually reordering the Settlement away from Whitgift’s Three Articles toward Gore’s liberal catholicism– namely, the minimalism of Creed and Eucharist. In 1871 the privy council was not asleep at the wheel. They attempted a crackdown on ritualism, but this failed, and perhaps it was a case of “too little, too late”. I can also agree with you in so far as the strength of the church did not lie with government per se, but the rise and fall of the Tory Party which represented the supremacy of the Crown in church and state.
2. There ought to be a real distinction made between sacred Christian monarchy and ‘government’ as identified with secular Parliamentary supremacy. The monarchy of the Tudor and Stuart periods was no mere ‘government’ but a nursing parent of the church, baptized and consecrated herself, responsible for the faith of the realm, and possessing a provincial cure. Whether Evangelicals or Catholics recognize this fact is somewhat irrelevant to Anglicanism as a body doctrine. As doctrine, Anglicanism says the Crown is head and governor of the church, ordering externals and intervening in disputes. In fact, if you take the litany as properly ranking the erastian order from Crown to people, the parliament would be ranked fairly low, immediately below the authority of church synod. In this sense, Keble’s appeal for orthodox bishops makes sense where Privy Council and Crown have already abducted from their duties in the church, and I am somewhat sympathetic given significance of religious emancipation at the time.
As far these points are totally irrelevant to Evangelicals goes to show how far evangelicals have alienated themselves from classical Anglicanism– reducing it to rather anemic categories like biblical method, liturgical style, political etiquette, or cultural emphasis. When, in fact, Settlement Anglicanism has specific dogmatic and theological articles which set real boundaries against Rome and Anabaptist– if not certain Reformed– modes of theology. This alienation, unfortunately, has generally occurred in both evangelical and catholic camps, and thus Settlement Anglicanism itself faces a rather uphill battle to reverse the massive impact of liberal catholicism which (whether evangelicals know it or not) has compromised the original Protestant position as much as the classical high church party in England which was identified with royalism. However, when we identify royalism with parliament, we degrade and loose touch with the inner life and force that Anglicanism originally conveyed, intensifying those centrifugal forces historically pressed from the outside. With respect to common authority, see articles 20 & 34 if not 37.
‘As doctrine, Anglicanism says the Crown is head and governor of the church, ordering externals and intervening in disputes’—it’s certainly true that Evangelicals once had a far more positive view of the state in general and the crown in particular than they do now. Even after all that Charles I did in what they could only see as an attempt to destroy the evangelical wing of the church, they still had such great hopes of Charles II, and thought that his Gracious Declaration of 1660 had given them a church they could live in. And it was Parliament that took that from them in 1662. Since 1689 Evangelicals have really only seen the state as something that would protect them from those who would expel them from the church rather than encourage and support them in their ministry.
And they did make a biblical case for the positive view when they had it. I must admit that despite the number of texts I’ve had to read in the last few years where that case was made or taken as made, it never once occurred to me to consider it something to be taken seriously today, at least by an Evangelical active in PECUSA, which deleted all references to the state from our version of the Articles of Religion. I shall give some thought to thinking again about that…
‘Evangelicals have alienated themselves from classical Anglicanism– reducing it to rather anemic categories like biblical method, liturgical style, political etiquette, or cultural emphasis’—I’d certainly agree that many Anglicans who have used the word ‘evangelical’ of themselves have not meant more by it than these things, and worse, especially in PECUSA, and increasingly so in the C of E. There’s a lot of work to be done…
Greetings! Just a quick note to say that the quotation – ‘I will not cease from Mental fight, Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand Till we have built Jerusalem In England’s green and pleasant land’ (invoked above) is actually from William Blake’s great illuminated book *entitled* Milton, rather than BY John Milton, as the text implies. Thanks – and nice website!
“One Member of this universal Kingdom of Christ is the Church of England; for no one will say, but that she is a National, yea the only National Church in this Realm; because she, and she alone, is the Church Establish’d here by the Laws of the Land. And herein she is not only a member of, but she bears the exact Image of, the Catholick Church: For as that, tho’ consisting of many National Churches, is but One in the World; so our Church, tho’ partitioned into sundry particular Diocesan and Parochial Churches, as members of the same Body, is but One Church in this Kingdom.” (The Question whether it be Right or No to Be a Methodist, 1745).
Thank You for your contributions.
I really feel inadequate when I see the complexity of what you write.
I believe I have my mission to revive Anglo Puritanism and Friends. It has to be possible.
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