II of III: A Comparison of Formularies
In part one of my essay I argued that the Church Fathers and the “Jewel School” of Anglican theologians teach a different thing with regard to the Holy Eucharist. I also asserted (without argument) that there is a real difference between the teaching of the Jewel school and “doctrine that the formularies are patient of.” I shall now try and show that our Anglican formularies are in fact patient of patristic teaching. This argument is based on the identification of patristic teaching with early Lutheran teaching, which is substantially synonymous with patristic teaching in its realism. In order to make it, a number of things so often muddled together need to be defined, disentangled and made clear.
CLARIFICATION #1: Early Lutheran (1529-1559) eucharistology asserted the Real Objective Presence of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist, using specifically patristic and realist terminology.
This is manifest in Luther’s own teaching embodied in the German Augsburg Confession of 1530, “Article 10: Of the Supper of the Lord is thus taught, that the true Body and Blood of Christ are truly present under the form of bread and wine  in the Lord’s supper, and are there distributed and received. Wherefore also the opposed doctrine is rejected.” The Latin form of the Confession, which was a secondary document lacked the key phrase “under the form of” but was nevertheless understood in the same way, as evidenced by Melancthon’s Apology for the Augsburg Confession (1531), “The Tenth Article has been approved, in which we confess that we believe, that in the Lord’s Supper the body and blood of Christ are truly and substantially present, and are truly tendered, with those things which are seen, bread and wine, to those who receive the Sacrament….the Greek Church also both now believes, and formerly believed, the same. For the canon of the Mass among them testifies to this, in which the priest clearly prays that the bread may be changed and become the very body of Christ….And we speak of the presence of the living Christ.”  A realism which was driven home by the Smalcald Articles (1537), “Part III, Article VI: Of the Sacrament of the Altar we hold that bread and wine in the Supper are the true body and blood of Christ, and are given and received not only by the godly, but also by wicked Christians…. As regards transubstantiation, we care nothing about the sophistical subtlety by which they teach that bread and wine leave or lose their own natural substance, and that there remain only the appearance and color of bread, and not true bread. For it is in perfect agreement with Holy Scriptures that there is, and remains, bread.”  This realist view of the Eucharist is not rightly called ‘consubstantiation’, it is merely the self same doctrine of the Real Objective Presence. 
CLARIFICATION #2: Early Lutheran eucharistology needs to be distinguished from Later Lutheran eucharistology
As the Reformation progressed, and the school of Calvin emerged, and Luther was aging, Melancthon was willing to compromise “down” away from early-Lutheran/patristic-realism in an eirenic spirit toward the Reformed. E.g. the Variata Latin Augsburg Confession of 1540 which substituted in the favorite Reformed term of “exhibited” — Christ’s Body and Blood are exhibited in the Sacrament. A term which was vague and therefore utilizable by both the Philippists and the Reformed.
Nevertheless, the early Lutheran doctrine makes its way into subsequent Lutheran confessions circa 1540-1560 which were considered to be “repetition” of Augsburg. Most significant of these was the Confessio Würtembergica (sometimes Virtembergica)  which was penned in 1551 by Brenz  and became the official confession of the Church of Würtemberg in 1559. This confession was used as a source for some of the language in the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563. The Roman Catholic (!) Bossuet (1627-1704) praises the Confessio Würtembergica as “It says That the true body and true blood are distributed in the Eucharist, and rejects those who say the bread and wine are signs of the body and blood of Jesus Christ absent. It adds, that it is in the power of God to annihilate the substance of bread, or to change it into his body, but that God uses not this power in the Supper, and true bread remains with the true presence of the body.” 
As long as Melancthon was alive (d. 1560), the occasionally suggested theories of Ubiquitism (the idea that Christ’s Body is everywhere, because Christ is God, and God is everywhere — a misapplication of the true doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum) were never a defined aspect of Lutheran eucharistology. But after 1560, Johannes Brenz (1499-1570) began to push the theory heavily and it then was enshrined in the Book of Concord in 1580.
CLARIFICATION #3: The key language that the Body and Blood of Christ is “under the form” of bread and wine is synonymous with “true and substantial presence”, per the Lutheran Formularies, but does not in itself con-commit one to the the Romish doctrine of Transubstantiation
This technical language of “under the form of bread and wine” predates the installation of the doctrine of Transubstantiation in the western Church (Lateran IV, AD 1215)  and stands independent of it. However, the two ideas were frequently presented side-by-side, and all of the Roman dogmatic definitions beginning with Lateran IV utilize both the language of “under the form of” (sub speciebus panis et vini) and transsubstantiatis. Therefore do the Lutheran confessions explicitly assert the continuation of the substance of bread and wine after consecration. Despite Lutheran re-packaging of the phrase, nevertheless the Council of Trent in 1551 uses it in chapter 3 of its definition of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, but needs to add an additional chapter 4 “On Transubstantiation” to make their dogmatic definition clear and distinguished from the Dogma of the German Augsburg Confession.
The language of “under the form of bread and wine”, together with an insistence on the endurance of the substance of the bread and wine, a la the Lutherans, is of a piece with patristic language that readily speaks about the presence of Christ’s body simply as “under” or “in” the elements, e.g. St. Augustine “Receive ye that in the Bread, which hung on the Cross. Receive ye that in the Cup which flowed from his side” and again as quoted in the Sentences of Prosper of Aquitaine, “We drink His Blood under the form and flavor of wine.” Or St. Hilary of Poitiers, “We receive truly under the mystery (sacramentum) the flesh of His own Body.”
PROLEGOMENA TO A COMPARISON OF FORMULARIES
The Formularies of the Anglican Church are the Thirty-Nine Articles, the Homilies, the Prayerbook, and the Ordinal. In order to work as a body of formularies, all four must be read and interpreted in concert with one another, and so as to not be repugnant one to another (e.g. if an interpretation of an Article opposed the plain meaning of a phrase in the Prayerbook, it must be the case that the particular article-interpretation is un-Anglican). Nevertheless, the language of Articles (and Homilies, which Article 35 asserts to contain “a godly and wholesome Doctrine”) is bound to a greater level of dogmatic precision than the Liturgical Texts, and therefore, when it comes to careful distinction of doctrine, is to be relied upon with greater emphasis.
THESIS 1: The Formularies utilize a key Early Lutheran dogmatic formulation
The First Book of Homilies (1547) literally contains the phrase “the due receiving of his blessed Body and Blood, under the forme [sic] of bread and wine.”
It is in the authorized advertisement, penned by Cranmer himself, at the end of the volume, signaling the desire for a second volume, and the doctrines it should speak of. By 1547 Cranmer had fully disentangled himself from his earlier Henry-enforced allegiance to transsubstantiation, and yet he chose this phrase from the (German) Augsburg Confession as the titular way of referring to the true Anglican doctrine of the Eucharist. This advertisement was not removed in 1563 when the second book of homilies was written, and indeed it continued to be published in editions of the homilies down into the middle of the 19th century. This was not the first time Cranmer had utilized the phrasing — he deployed it earlier in the Thirteen Articles of 1538 which were an English adaptation of Augsburg, “Concerning the Eucharist we continue to believe and teach that in the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, the body and blood of Christ are truly, substantially and really present under the form of bread and wine. And that under these forms they are truly and really offered and administered to those who receive the sacrament, whether they are good or evil.” 
Why the absence of the Lutheran language in the Thirty-Nine Articles?
By 1553, Cranmer had departed from his early Lutheran sacramentology and had embraced Reformed Theology more comprehensively. The Forty-Two Articles of 1553 thus move away from the phraseology of Augsburg concerning the Eucharist and present a cautiously Reformed Eucharistology, similar in substance to the Gallican confession of 1559 or the Belgic Confession of 1561 (which represent the highest note of Calvinist thought) but cautiously in dialogue with the Consensus Tigurinus of 1549 in which Calvin set forth the “lowest” Reformed Eucharistology that can be tolerated in seeking to establish agreement with Zwingli’s successor Bullinger. As well as Cranmer’s own personal developments, by the time of the drafting of the Thirty-Nine Articles in 1563, the utility of a “Lutheran” phrase like “under the form” had been significantly reduced by (I) The re-enshrinement of the phrase as Roman Catholic dogma at the Eighth Session of the Council of Trent, thus associating the phrase with Romish teaching, and (II) The zeal with which the Lutheran Brenz at this time was propogating the heresy of Ubiquitism on the continent, thus associating the phrase with the later heretical Lutheran teaching.
The Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563 were expressly ordered at that time by Queen Elizabeth to comport with the Augsburg Confession, but the “starting place” was the Forty-Two articles given to the English Church in 1553, and thus the language of “under the form” was not on the table.
THESIS 2: When we compare the substance of the Thirty-Nine Articles (1563) with the Forty-Two Articles written a decade earlier, the modifications can be plainly seen to have a single object in view: Accommodation of Early Lutheran eucharistology qua the doctrine contained in the Augsburg Confession. 
Central Reformed Language is removed
The removal of Article 28 (of the 42) is the real smoking gun in this case. Article 28 read, “For as much as the truth of man’s nature requireth that the body of one and the self same man cannot be at one time in divers places, but must needs be in one certain place, therefore the body of Christ cannot be present at one time in many and divers places, and because (as Holy Scripture doth teach) Christ was taken up into heaven and there shall continue unto the end of the world a faithful man ought not either to believe or openly confess the real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ’s flesh and blood in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.”  This is the governing maxim of all Reformed theology. It lies at the heart of Calvin’s argument in his Institutes, it is Article 25 of the Consensus Tigurinus, it is contained in Article 36 of the Gallican Confession, and it was definitively struck by Convocation in 1563.
The motive for removing Article 28 (of the 42) is the same that prompted the excision of the black rubric that declared the self-same Reformed doctrine.
The explicit deprecation of the doctrine of ex opere operato (“the work wrought”) which was present in Article 26 (25 in the 39) is also removed. Not because the popularly received magical interpretation of the Romish teaching was accepted, but because in scholastic theology the work wrought is merely the consecration, not the efficacy of the reception of the sacrament. To deny the efficacy of the consecration ex opere operato would be to deny catholic (and Lutheran) truth.
Standard Reformed language about the Eucharist is palpably absent
Language which became well established among the Reformed in the middle decades of the 16th century is entirely omitted. For instance,
- The assertion that the Sacrament does no more than the Word in exhibiting Christ to us (e.g. Art. 7 of Tigurinus “For although they signify nothing else than is announced to us by the Word itself”)
- The deprecation of the sacrament in itself “apart from Christ” (as if such a thing could exist?) (e.g. Art. 11 of Tigurinus “seeing that the sacraments separated from Christ are but empty shows”)
- The assertion that what a believer receives in Communion is no more than what can be received from Christ any time, independent of the sacrament (e.g. Art. 19 of Tigurinus, “so without their [the sacraments] use believers receive the reality which is there figured.”)
- The explicit denial that Christ is received by the mouth (e.g. Article 35 of the Belgic Confession, “but the manner in which we eat it is not by the mouth”)
- The assertion that the real body of Christ is in fact far away from the local congregation, I.e. in heaven, which is a place far away (e.g. Article 25 of Tigurinus)
Moreover, the deprecation of the errors of Consensus-Tigurinus-type language is moved into prominence over the Romish errors. Article 25 (26 in the 42) originally began with what is now its last paragraph (“The sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon…”) The condemnation “Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession” is a direct jab at a standard Reformed formulation (e.g. Article 7 of Tigurinus, “The ends of the sacraments are to be marks and badges of Christian profession and fellowship or fraternity, to be incitements to gratitude and exercises of faith and a godly life.”) and this became the first thing we hear about the Sacraments in Article 25.
Language that comports with realist Lutheran doctrine is carried forward
For instance, Article 25 states that the sacraments are “effectual signs…by the which he doth work invisibly in us” which is language nowhere to be found in the then-extant Reformed confessions. On the contrary Art. 12 of Tigurinus is titled “Article 12. The Sacraments Effect Nothing by Themselves.” and the strongest language that the Gallican can muster is the parrallel operation of the Spirit “…with these signs.”
Article 28 states that “The Body of Christ is given, taken and eaten.” Whether the implied giver is Christ in heaven, or (as is more probable, especially in light of the Prayerbook’s Words of Distribution) the human priest, it remains the case that this language is absent from all Reformed confessions. Calvin himself tip-toes up to the idea in Institutes IV.17, but never fully asserts it. It conveys a distinctly realist/Lutheran notion, and it is central to the Article on the Eucharist.
Statements that might be odious to the Lutherans were phrased in the most careful of terms.
Article 29, which was famously excised in secret (at the Queen’s order?) before the publication of the Articles of 1563 (making them technically the Thirty-Eight Articles) is at issue here, omitted initially for political reasons, it was restored to print in the approved edition of 1571. Article 29 requires considerable attention, which I shall give it in the next essay.
In his role as Archbishop of Canterbury, and equipped as he was with an impressive facility in theology and a genius for taking pains, Matthew Parker (1504-1575) was the chief architect of the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563. Although a close analysis of his thought reveals him to be most closely associated with the Reformed school, he was nevertheless sympathetic to Early Lutheranism on the points at which it departs from Reformed thought. It is a vindication of the interpretation of the Articles above offered that Parker (their architect, as chair of the convocation of 1562) was often slandered as being variously a “Lutheran” or even “a papist”. His colleague Bishop Grindal (who would succeed Parker at Canterbury) even referred to the ministry of Parker as “Lutherano-papist”  — so sympathetic, or at least tolerant, was he of a realist view of the Eucharist (among other things) in the Church of England.
Language in Article 28 that might seem to suggest against a realist/Lutheran view is explained by its author contrariwise.
It is agreed on all sides that a denial of “Transubstantiation” does not mean that the realist Lutheran view is also denied, since the Lutherans also deny transubstantiation in those words. 
Nevertheless, those who wish to see Anglican Formularies underwrite an exclusively Reformed dogmatics will sometimes point to the language that “The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner.”
The editor of Article 28 was Bishop Edmund Guest (Gheast), who wrote a letter on December 22nd 1566 to Queen Elizabeth’s chief adviser, Cecil (Lord Burghley 1520-1598) explaining the meaning of what he wrote. The letter is worth extended quotation,
“I suppose yow have hard how the Bisshop of Glocestre found him selue greeved with the placynge of this adverbe onely in this article , ‘The body of Christ is gyven, taken, and eaten in the supper,
after an heavenly and spirituall manner onely,’ by cause it did take awaye the presence of Christis bodye in the Sacrament, and prively noted [wrote] me to take his part therein, and yesterdaye in myn absence more playnely touched me for the same. Whereas betwene him and me, I told him playnely, that this word onelye in the foresaied article did not exclude the presence of Christis body fro the Sacrament, but onely thee grossenes and sensiblenes in the receavinge thereof. Ffor I saied vnto him, though he took Christis bodye in his hand, receaved it with his mouthe, and that corporally, naturally, reallye, substantially, and carnally, as the doctors doo write, yet did he not for all that see it, feale it, smelle it, nor taste it. And, therefore, I told him I wold speake against him herein, and the rather by cause the article was of myn owne pennynge. And yet I wold not, for all that, denye therebye any thing that I had spoken for the presence. And this was the some [sum] of our talke.” 
It is remarkable that, in the face of such a clear exposition from the very author of Article 28, anyone would try and force a reading that precluded a realist/Lutheran interpretation.
CONCLUSION: The Articles suggest Reformed doctrine (a la the Gallican Confession, not the Consensus Tigurinus), but allow Augsburgian (Early Lutheran) doctrine. In doing so, the realist teaching of the Fathers is permitted to Anglicans
Therefore, ex animo subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles does not preclude one from believing the teaching of the Church Fathers, even as it does not require said belief, as the existence of the Jewel-school illustrates.
As Kevin Sharp so memorably put it, “The Thirty-Nine Articles…left considerable room for catholic consciences to manoeuvre.”
Article 29 May still seem to be a stumbling block to this thesis, and so it shall be the focus of the third and final essay, in order to remove any remaining scruples. In addition, I intend to propose what Newman longed for but failed to deliver, “an authoritative interpretation” with the hopes of uniting “Classical Anglicans” of the Jewel School and modern day Tractarians against those who would ignore our formularies altogether.
- “under the form of bread and wine” (German: “unter gestalt des brods und weins”) does not occur in the latin form of the Augbsurg confession (neither in the invariata of 1530 nor the variata of 1540). The Latin form of 1530 has instead “…are truly present, and are distributed to communicants…” The variata of 1540 changes “distributed” to “exhibited”. As Dr. Pusey demonstrates in painstaking detail, it was always and everywhere the German form of the Confessio that the German princes and states united around. Moreover, it was never altered when the latin was changed in 1540. The German phrase “unter gestalt” is a standard rendering of the latin phrase “sub species,” which in English is can be “under the form of” or in many modern instances “under the species of.” ↑
- http://bookofconcord.org/defense_8_holysupper.php#para54 ↑
- http://bookofconcord.org/smalcald.php#part3.6.1 ↑
- The term ‘consubstantiation’ was originally given by the papists to the Lutherans who believed that the substance of bread and wine remained after consecration (as opposed to their own view of trans-substantiation) — an eminently patristic way of regarding the Holy Eucharist. But through controversy and the ill-fittedness of the term it came to mean the false doctrine that in the Eucharist Christ becomes consubstantial with bread in the same way that the second person of the Trinity became consubstantial with humanity. This is a teaching held in reality, formally by nobody, but is sometimes mistaken to be the Lutheran view. ↑
- See the German here: https://www.google.com/books/edition/W%C3%BCrttembergisches_Glaubensbekenntnis_Co/u_2slj70rGwC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Confessio+Virtembergica&pg=PT1&printsec=frontcover ↑
- Prior to his baldly adopting ubiquitist theories https://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/creeds1.viii.viii.html ↑
- A standard reference in all Commentaries on the Articles since the Victorian period. Quantin gives credit to Richard Laurence (1820) for the discovery of the textual reliance. ↑
- https://books.google.com/books?id=vigRAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA329&lpg=PA329&dq=%22saxonic+confession%22&source=bl&ots=HO7Iv-opKs&sig=ACfU3U3DZ8CWMapE7ZGLGx1LlDPN8s5Atg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi13tLj8cvrAhUB2FkKHRnJDuwQ6AEwAHoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22saxonic%20confession%22&f=false ↑
- McCue, James F. “The Doctrine of Transubstantiation from Berengar through Trent: The Point at Issue.” The Harvard Theological Review 61, no. 3 (1968): 385-430. Accessed September 8, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1509156. ↑
- http://www.thecounciloftrent.com/ch13.htm ↑
- Citations in Pusey, E.B. The Doctrine of the Real Presence as Contained in the Fathers (London:1855), 132-133. ↑
- Whereas in modern books, an advertisement might be the work of the publisher and not the author, in the 16th century, printers were bound by solemn oath to the crown to print nothing other than what the author submitted for publication. ↑
- I wouldn’t have believed this without seeing it with my own eyes. Thank you, GoogleBooks: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Certaine_sermons_or_homilies_appoynted_t/ZMFPf8vP2ysC?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=blessed%20Body ↑
- https://churchsociety.org/docs/churchman/106/Cman_106_3_Bray.pdf ↑
- Horie, Hirofumi. “The Lutheran Influence on the Elizabethan Settlement, 1558-1563.” The Historical Journal 34, no. 3 (1991): 530. Accessed September 9, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2639561. ↑
- Horie, 525 ↑
- Most of the 42 Articles can be seen here: https://books.google.com/books?id=UGi6WWtzkJYC&pg=PA284#v=onepage&q&f=false ↑
- The revised version of the “black rubric” that got instated in 1662, made the crucial substitution of “corporal” for “real and essential”. The “real and essential presence” is not denied (as in 1552’s rubric), only the “corporal presence”, a distinction that even Bellarmine admits in such technical terms. ↑
- Horie, 537 ↑
- Dewey Wallace Jr.’s attempts to portray Parker as a fully committed Reformed thinker fail to reconcile some of the basic facts presented in Strype’s life, such as his later-life rejection of the Geneva Bible, his invested interest in the publication of saxon sermons, his love of traditional vested choirs, etc. ↑
- Grindal’s letters to Bullinger, quoted in E.B. Pusey’s The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Doctrine of the English Church (London: 1869), 186. Quantin tries to vitalize the idea of a “semi-lutheran” doctrine (as held by Guest), but when it comes to the presence of Christ under the form of Bread and wine, there is not in reality a “semi” position; it either is or it isn’t. It would seem that the phrase (used in this particular sense no earlier than Marshall’s 2012, Reformation England 1480-1642) is a mere foil to avoid recognizing that some of the Anglican divines held or were comfortable with a real objective presence, under the aegis of Early Lutheranism. ↑
- E.g. in the Smalcald Articles III.6, “As regards transubstantiation, we care nothing about the sophistical subtlety by which they teach that bread and wine leave or lose their own natural substance, and that there remain only the appearance and color of bread, and not true bread. For it is in perfect agreement with Holy Scriptures that there is, and remains, bread, as Paul himself calls it, The bread which we break. And Let him so eat of that bread.” ↑
- The letter can be found in many commentaries on the Articles, including Alexander Penrose Forbes’, 140. It is most interesting that Bishop Guest goes on to explain that his own view is identical to that of Dr. Harding’s, the catholic whom Jewel was so earnestly refuting at the time (!) ↑
- The remaining part of the Article, “And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is Faith.” is no anti-realist add on. The Homily calls faith the “necessary instrument” by which the spiritual reality is discerned. The eye sees the bread; faith discerns the Body of Christ. Just as St. Thomas Aquinas wrote centuries before in Adoro te devote, “taste and touch and vision / to discern thee fail; / faith that comes by hearing / pierces through the veil.” ↑
- Sharp, Kevin The Personal Rule of Charles I (New Haven, Yale: 1996), 276 ↑
- Tract 90 ↑