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therefore since the form of a table was more like to turn the people from the superstition of the popish mass, and to the right use of the Lord's Supper, he exhorted the curates and church wardens to have it in the fashion of a table, decently covered, and to place it in such part of the quire or chancel as should be most meet, so that the ministers and communicants should be separated from the rest of the people; and that they should put down all by altars."
In the year 1551, several alterations were made in the liturgy, many more of the rites and ceremonies hitherto in use were abolished, namely, the use of oil in baptism, the unction of the sick, prayers for souls departed, both in the communion office, and in that for the burial of dead, the invocation of the Holy Ghost, in the consecration of the Eucharist, and the prayer of oblation: the rubric that ordered water to be mixed with wine, was omitted, with several other less material variations. The book in which these alterations appeared, was called, the second book of Edward VIth, and is very nearly the same as that which we now use.
it) of the body and blood of Christ, been ever promiscuously and indifferently called in the church."-Mede on the name of altar, sect. i.
* See Mants. Comm. Pr. p. iii.
In the year 1552 the most important point was the drawing up of the articles of the church, agreed upon by the bishops and other learned men, in a convocation held in London Of these articles, which were in number forty-two, the twenty-ninth, and thirtieth are as follow:
*Overthroweth the na
The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have amongst themselves one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ's death, insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break, is a partaking of the body of Christ, and likewise the cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ. Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy writ, but it is repugnant to the plain words of scrip· ture,* and hath given occasion to many
ture of a sa- superstitions.
The body of
Since the very being of human naChrist is giv- ture doth require that the body of one eaten in the and the same man cannot be at one and Supper, only the same time in many places, but of
en, taken, and
after an hea
ner, and the mean whereby
the body of and ceived and
Christ is re
eaten in the
necessity must be in some certain and venly and spideterminate place; therefore, the body of Christ cannot be present in many different places at the same time ; since (as the holy scriptures testify) Supper Christ hath been taken up into heaven, and there is to abide till the end of the world, it becometh not any of the faithful to believe or profess that there is a real or corporeal presence (as they phrase it) of the body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.*
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.
The offering of Christ once made is a perfect redemption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual, and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone; wherefore the sacrifices of masses, in which it was commonly said that the priests did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt, were fables and dangerous deceits.
* The passages in italics are the omissions in the Articles of 1562. The passages in the margin are the additions made in the Articles of 1562
Also, in the same year, many additions were made to the book of Common Prayer, and among them a rubric was added in the office of the communion, explaining the reason of kneeling at the reception of the Eucharist. It was thereby declared, that "that gesture was kept up as a most reverent and humble way of expressing our great sense of the mercies of God in the death of Christ then communicated to us, but that thereby there was no adoration intended to the bread and wine, which would be gross idolatry; nor did they think the very flesh and blood of Christ was present, since his body, according to the nature of all other bodies, could be only in one place at once, and so he being now in heaven, could not be corporeally present in the sacrament."
Thus far, and thus gradually, had the great reformation advanced, and more particularly those important doctrines which depend upon a right understanding of the Eucharist, when the reign of Edward was prematurely closed. Never had a nation such cause for regret as in the death of this youthful prince. Never had religious truth so many misfortunes to lament as in the succeeding reign of Mary. This princess, bigoted by education and by habit, to the superstitions of popery, lost no opportunity of forcing back the nation to its former dependance on the church of Rome; and to
effect this purpose, no means were left unused. During her reign, the reformation not only made no progress, but having to contend against the secular power which was exerted against it with no sparing hand, it was daily growing weaker. Death and martyrdom were the sure rewards of him who dared either to speak or to act against the doctrines of the new queen. Still, however, the public opinion, and men's affections, though incapable of open expression, were secretly fomented and cherished in favour of the more enlightened doctrines which they had just begun to understand; and perhaps, as in the case of primitive times in the heathen persecutions, the blood of the martyrs was said to be the seed of the church ; so the violent and cruel proceedings of this reign tended, under the direction of God's grace, ultimately to advance those great blessings which we now inherit. Such men as Bonner and Gardiner may, perhaps, be called as great promoters of the reformation as Cranmer and Ridley. "All things work together for good to them that love God."
The reign of Mary was but short. In 1558, the great Queen Elizabeth succeeded, whose first business it was to undo everything which had been done by her sister, and to restore the nation to its previous state under Edward. All the doctrines and reforms which had then been commenced, were now resumed, and those