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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

So they now reverted to the settlement under Edward


The

committee of revision consisted of men, who had then saved themselves by flight or by the obscurity of a secluded life. As under Edward men came back to the original tendencies prevalent under Henry VIII, so they now reverted to the settlement under Edward; yet they allowed themselves some alterations, chiefly with the view of making the book acceptable to the Catholics as well. Prayers in which the hostility of decided Protestantism came forward with especial sharpness, for instance that 'against the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome,' were left out. The chief alteration was in the formula of the Lord's Supper. Elizabeth and her divines were not inclined to let this stand as it was read in the second edition of Edward's time, since the mystical act there appeared almost as a mere commemorative repast.[188] They reverted to a form composed from the monuments of Latin antiquity, from Ambrose and Gregory, in which the real presence was maintained; this which already existed in the first edition they united with the view of the second. As formerly in the Augsburg confession in Germany, so in England at the last recension of the Common Prayer-book an attempt was made to keep as near as possible to the traditional system. For the Queen this had also a political value: when Philip II sent her a warning, she explained that she was only kept back from joining in the mass by a few points: she too believed in God's presence in the Sacrament.[189]

She was of

a similar mind in reference to other matters also. If at first, under pressure from zealous Protestants who saw in images an occasion for superstition, she ordered their removal, we perceive that in a short time she regretted it, especially as it made a bad impression in Wales and the Northern counties; in her chapel men again saw the cross and the lighted tapers, as before. The marriages entered into by priests had given much offence, and not unjustly, as they were often inferior unions, little honourable to them, and lowering the dignity of their order. Elizabeth would have gladly forbidden them altogether: she contented herself with setting limits to them by ordering that a previous permission should be requisite, but she always disliked them. She felt a natural pleasure in the splendour and order of the existing church service. For the future also the spiritualty were to be bound to appear--in the customary dress--in a manner worthy of God's service, with bent knees and with ceremonious devotion. When they proceeded to revise the confession drawn up by Cranmer, which two years afterwards was raised to a law in the shape of the 'Thirty-nine Articles,' they struck out the places that leant to Zwingli's special view; on the other hand they added some new propositions, which stated the right of the higher powers, and the authority of each kingdom to determine religious usages for itself.[190]

For in this consisted the essence of the alteration, that the Civil Authority, as it was then composed, decided the church-questions that arose, and raised its decision into law.


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