Full Text for Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist (Text)

CONCORDIA THEOLOGICAL QUARTERL Y Volume 72:2 April 2008 Table of Contents Editorial ................................................................................................... 98 The Third Use of the Law: The Author Responds to His Critics Scott R. Murray ........................................................................... 99 The Lord's Supper as Symposium in the Gospel of Mark Peter J. SCaer .............................................................................. 119 Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist Korey D. Maas .......................................................................... 135 Step Up to the Altar: Thinking about the Theology and Practice of the Lord's Supper Joel D. Biermann ..................................................................... 151 The Gift We Cannot Give Ourselves: The Eucharist in the Theology of Pope Benedict XVI James Massa .............................................................................. 163 Theological Observer .......................................................................... 180 Jaroslav Pelikan (1923-2006) Musings on the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) Is Christianity Today Looking for Liturgy? Season of Creation Book Reviews ....................................................................................... 187 crQ 72 (2008): 135-149 Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist Korey D. Maas Only slightly less significant than the doctrine of justification, yet often even more contentious than that fundamental article, the doctrine of the Eucharist was central to the controversies of the sixteenth-century reformations. As such, eucharistic theology has come to be considered one of the identifying marks of Europe's diverse reformations as well as its various reformers. This was certainly the case in England, where Peter Marshall rightly notes that, by the end of the reign of Henry VIII, eucharistic theology "had become, on all sides, the single most important marker of religious difference."1 This fact was also noted more than a generation ago by Basil Hall, whose survey of "the early rise and gradual decline of Lutheranism in England" put forth the suggestion that sacramental doctrine was "the chief hindrance to the advance of Lutheranism in England."2 Though perhaps there is some truth to Hall's claim within the parameters of England's "long reformation,"3 more recent scholarship has demonstrated that those individuals most influential in inaugurating and establishing the reformation under Henry VIII­Vicegerent in Spirituals Thomas Cromwell and Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer-held in the 1530s what might confidently be labeled "Lutheran" views of the Sacrament.4 It is therefore somewhat ironic that the eucharistic theology of the less prominent reformer Robert Barnes 1 Peter Marshall, "Identifying Religion in Henry VIII's England," in Religious Identities in Henry VIII's Ellgland, ed. Peter Marshall (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2006), 9. 2 Basil Hall, "The Early Rise and Gradual Decline of Lutheranism in England" in Refoml and Refonnation: Ellgland arid the COlltinent, c. 1500-1750, ed. D. Baker (Oxford: Blackwell, 1979), 109. 3 See, e.g., Alec Ryrie, "The Strange Death of Lutheran England," Joumal of Ecclesiastical History 53 (2002): 64-92. ~ See, e.g., Peter N. Brooks, Thomas Cranmer's Doctrine of the Eucharist, 2nd ed. (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1992), 3-37; Rory McEntegert, "England and the League of Schmalkalden, 1531-1547: Faction, Foreign Policy and the English Reformation" (PhD diss., London School of Economics, 1992),293-297,348; and Ryrie, "Strange Death," 69-73. Korey D. Maas is Assistant Professor of Theology and Church History at Concordia University Irvine, Irvine, California. He wrote his Oxford D.Plzil. TIJesis on tile place of Robert Barnes in the English and Continental Refonnations. 136 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) (1495-1540), the man so often championed as a rare sixteenth-century "English Lutheran,"s remains less clearly understood. I. The Currentpebate on Barnes To be sure, even if there were no evidence to illuminate Barnes' eucharistic theology, there would remain good reason to associate him with broadly Lutheran views. As an Augustinian friar in Cambridge, Barnes was a known associate of more than one distributor of illicit "Lutheran" literature. He was himself arrested in February 1526 for an offensive sermon preached late in the previous year, a sermon later determined to be, at least in part, cribbed from one of Luther's printed homilies.6 When he escaped captivity in 1528 he fled immediately to the continent, and by the summer of 1530 was lodging with the Wittenberg pastor Johann Bugenhagen. For the next several years Barnes was frequently in and out of Wittenberg, even matriculating at the university in 1533. It was also in Wittenberg that Barnes wrote and published two extant Latin works-one including a preface by Bugenhagen, the other a preface by Luther himself. Such mutual indications of approval between Barnes and the Wittenbergers partially explain the now frequent descriptions of Barnes as "Luther's English connection" or, with allusions to the eventual manner of his death, a "Lutheran martyr."7 But beyond the biographical details there are clear doctrinal affinities as well, and arguments for Barnes' status as a Lutheran frequently -and relatively safely -revolve especially around his doctrine of justification. With regard to his eucharistic theology, however, twentieth-century scholars frequently described him in mutually exclusive terms: as a Zwinglian,B as "the orthodox Lutheran,fl9 and even as one whose theology reveals "an unblushing avowal of belief in 5 Hence, for example, the recent inclusion of his name among the "saints" commemorated in the Lutheran Seroice Book (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), xiii. 6 John Foxe, The Acts and Monuments of John Foxe [hereafter A£1M], 8 vols., ed. J. Pratt (London: Religious Tract Society, 1877), 5:415. 7 See, most obviously, James Edward McGoldrick, Luther's English Connection: The Reformation TIlOught of Robert Barnes and William Tyndale (Milwaukee: Northwestern, 1979), and Neelak S. Tjernagel, Lutheran Martyr (Milwaukee: Northwestern, 1982). B James Gairdner, Lollardy and the Reformation in England, 3 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1908-1913),1:530 n. 1. 9 H. C. Porter, Reformation and Reaction in Tudor Cambridge (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1958), 6..'1. Porter introduces particular confusion by calling Barnes "the orthodox Lutheran," while on the same page stating that the sacramentarians John Frith and John Lambert "were of the school of Robert Barnes." Maas: Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist 137 transubstantiation."lo Such confusion among modern commentators is partially understandable, as it is evident that even Barnes' sixteenth­century contemporaries were less than consistent in describing his theology. Thomas More, for instance, early on charged him with being" of zwynglius secte agaynste the sacrament of the auter, bylevynge that it is nothynge but bare brede."]] The young Henrician martyr Richard Mekins claimed to believe on the basis of Barnes' teaching that the bread remained present in the Sacrament even with Christ's body. The martyrologist John Foxe, on whose Acts and Monuments depends much of the information pertaining to Barnes' life, perhaps indicates that Barnes never ceased to confess transubstantiation.12 In the context of this confusion, and especially in response to William Clebsch's assertion that such inconsistent interpretations were largely the result of an inconsistency on the part of Barnes himself,13 Carl Trueman attempted in a 1995 essay to demonstrate that Robert Barnes remained throughout his career a proponent of a distinctly Lutheran doctrine of the Sacrament.14 While that essay succeeded in casting serious doubt on the methodology by which Clebsch concluded Barnes had eventually abandoned a confession of Christ's corporal presence, it in fact offered surprisingly little evidence to establish that the converse was true. Nor did it address the possibility to which Foxe seems to have alluded, and which Norman Fisher explicitly asserted: that Barnes maintained a belief in the corporal presence of Christ because he never ceased to confess the Roman doctrine of transubstantiation. In light of the above, it seems not wholly unreasonable to suggest that the question of Robert Barnes' doctrine of the Eucharist has not been decisively answered. The present essay is therefore intended to address this question anew, reviewing the evidence regularly adduced in earlier examinations of Barnes' thought, but also drawing on evidence previously ignored. An investigation not only of Barnes' own words, but also of important yet often overlooked circumstantial evidence, will, it is 10 N. H. Fisher, "The Contribution of Robert Barnes to the English Reformation" (master's thesis, University of Birmingham, 1950), 327. 11 Thomas More, The Complete Works of St. Thomas More [hereafter CWMj, ed. Clarence H. Miller, et al. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1%3-), 8/1:302. 12 On Foxe and Mekins, see nn. 63, 65, and 66 below. 13 William A. Clebsch, England's Earliest Protestants, 1520-1535 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1%4), 68-69. a Carl Trueman "'The Saxons be sore on the affirmative': Robert Barnes on the Lord's Supper," in TIre Bible, the Reformation and the Church, ed. W. P. Stephens (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. 1995), 290-307. 138 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) suggested, satisfactorily demonstrate that Barnes is indeed best viewed as a consistent proponent of a Lutheran theology of the Sacrament. By way of introducing such an argument, some historical and theological context may prove helpful. II. The Influenceof Luther Not only inaugurating the eucharistic controversies of sixteenth­century England, but, arguably, the controversies of the English Reformation as a whole, was the 1520 publication of Martin Luther's Babylonian Captivity of the Church.15 Almost immediately after its publication on the continent, this treatise was being read across the channel in London's Steelyard and in the University of Cambridge. It was also, perhaps more surprisingly, being read in the King's court. More surprising still, it was Henry VIII whose name was attached to the first English refutation of Luther's treatise, aptly titled An Assertion of the Seven Sacraments.16 While both Luther's and Henry's tomes addressed each of the medieval sacraments in turn, by far the greatest number of pages in both works was given over to the Sacrament of the Altar. It was under this locus that Luther had outlined his condemnation of the Roman theology which, he claimed, held the Mass in a threefold captivity. Most significant for the investigation below is Luther's approach to what he described as the second captivity in which the Mass was held: that pertaining to the doctrine of transubstantiation. While fully aware of Rome's insistence on this doctrine, Luther judged error on this point "less grievous [than communion in one kind] as far as the conscience is concerned."17 Though he will complain that transubstantiation was only dogmatized after "the pseudo philosophy of Aristotle began to make its inroads into the church," and though he will profess a preference for Pierre D'Ailly's theory that the bread and wine can remain even with the presence of Christ's body and blood, he clearly states that he "will permit every man to hold either of these opinions, as he chooses."lB Unconcerned 15 Martin Luther, Luther's Works: American Edition [hereafter LVVl, 55 vols.} ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, (Philadelphia: Fortress; St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1955-1986), 36:11-126, and Martin Luther, D. Mnrfin [utTlers Werke, Kritische Gesamtausgabe, Schriftel1 [hereafter WAJ, 65 vols. (Weimar: H. Bohlau, 1883-1993),6:497-573. 16 Assertio Sf7Jtem Sacramel1torum (Rome, 1521; facsimile: Ridgewood, NJ, 1966). This 1521 Roman edition reprints the edit!o pri11Cf7JS (London, 1521), prefacing it with a papal letter to Henry. 17 LW36:28 (WA 6:508, 1-2). 18 LW 36:31,30 (WA 6:509, 29-30; 508, 27). Maas: Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist 139 with defining the mode of presence or the manner in which it occurs, Luther's confession is summed up with a rhetorical question: "Why do we not put aside such curiosity and cling simply to the words of Christ, willing to remain in ignorance of what takes place here and content that the real body of Christ is present by virtue of the wordS?"19 King Henry, who had read the Babylonian Captivity early in 1521, was not slow to respond to Luther's attack. His Assertio, an orderly presentation and rejection of Luther's own assertions, defended the received doctrine of transubstantiation as the only orthodox interpretation of Christ's sacramental presence; it was to be believed, he insisted, "because the church has believed this from the beginning."2o By simply but forcefully reiterating received dogma the King presented himself as both a capable and faithful defender of Roman theology.21 In return he was rewarded by the papacy with an honorary title that explicitly declared as much: "Defender of the Faith." Henry's defense of the Mass against Luther in the sixteenth century differed very little from the English defense mounted against the Lollards in the previous century. Heirs and proponents of the posthumously condemned Oxford theologian John Wyclif, the Lollards were deemed heretical especially for denying the bodily presence of Christ in the Sacrament. The Twelve Conclusions of 1395, a concise statement of the Lollard position, rejected any corporal presence of Christ as a "pretended miracle," which leads men into idolatry "because they think that the Body of Christ which is never away from heaven could by power of the priest's word be enclosed essentially in a little bread."ll It was this denial of the bodily presence, further promoted in popular works such as Wyclifs Wicket, that was to become "one of the most generally and strongly held convictions of the English Lollards."23 The focus of the Wicket is succinctly noted in the tract's subtitle: " A verye brefe diffinition of these wordes. Hoc 19 LW 36:33 (WA 6:510, 32-34). 20 See, e.g., Assertio, sig. e3r-v. 21 For the debate about whether Henry himself in fact authored the Assertio, and for commentary on the work's international importance, see Richard Rex, 'The English Campaign Against Luther in the 1520s," Transactions of tlJe Royal Historical Society 5th ser. 39 (1989), 85-106. 21 Documents lllustrative of English Church History, ed. H. Gee and W. J. Hardy (London: Macmillan, 1896), 127. 23 David Loades, "Martin Luther and the Early Stages of the English Reformation," in Polihcs, Censorship alld the English Reformatioll, ed. David Loades (London: Pinter, 1991),155. 140 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) est corpus meum."24 The anonymous author rejects any belief that "that thynge that is not God to daye shalbe God to morowe,"25 and therefore concludes that the words of consecration cannot be understood literally; instead, "the breade is the fygure or mynde of Christes bodye in earth."26 , While English Lollardy survived past' the fifteenth century, the eucharistic views characteristic of the movement fell increasingly under the label of Sacramentarianism in the sixteenth century. Developed on the continent by Swiss theologians such as Ulrich Zwingli and Johannes Oecolampadius, this theology was also offered to an English speaking audience in the works of William Tyndale, George J oye, and others. A representative presentation of English Sacramentarian thought is found in the anonymous 1533 publication, The Supper of the Lord, variously attributed to both Tyndale and Joye.27 As had the Lollards, the author of The Supper concludes that any reference to Christ's corporal presence, whether in Scripture or in the Mass, can only be understood "in an allegorical sense."28 Therefore, when turning to the words of institution, he argues that "est is taken for significat."29 In stark contrast to a bodily presence, The Supper maintains a "bodily absence."3o The assertions, whether Roman or German, "that so great a body should be contained in so little a place, and that one body should be at once in so many places" are simply dismissed as absurdities.31 By December of 1525, when Robert Barnes first revealed publicly his reformist leanings in a Cambridge sermon, and even more so by the summer of 1530 when he published the initial outline of his own theology, each of the eucharistic theologies outlined above was well known in England. The long held and often violently defended position of England's church and King would certainly have been an alluring option for any Englishman who sought royal favor or ecclesiastical promotion -or perhaps even for any who sought to meet an end other than martyrdom. Alternatively, the Sacramentarian theology of the Swiss proved for many 24 Wycklyffes Wycket (Nuremberg, 1546; reprinted: Oxford, 1828), sig. A3r. 25 Wycklyffes Wycket, sig. Blr. 26 W1fcklyffes Wycket, sig. B5v. 27 For the authorship debate, see W. D. J. Cargill Thompson, "Who Wrote 'The Supper of the Lord'?" Haroard TIleological Review 53 (1960): 77-91, and J. F. Mozley, "The Supper of the Lord, 1533," Moreal1a 3/9 (1966): 11-16. 28 The Supper of the Lord, in Tyndale's Answer to Sir Thomas More's Dialogue, etc., ed. H. Walter (Cambridge: Parker Society, 1850),228. 29 The Supper, 248-249. 30 The Supper, 253. 31 TIle Supper, 261. Maas: Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist 141 to be an equally attractive option on account of its close resemblance to native Lollard opinions.32 Is there, then, any good evidence to support the assertion that Barnes eschewed both of these options and instead consistently held to a Lutheran "middle way" with regard to the Eucharist? III. The Eucharist in the Writings of Barnes In the early 1530s, when the English Reformation debates were well under way, Robert Barnes wrote to the conservative polemicist and lay­theologian Thomas More, promising that he would soon publish a treatise setting forth his own theology of the Eucharist.33 Unfortunately, this was a promise that went unfulfilled. The Sacrament is not, however, a subject which goes unmentioned in Barnes' extant works. The first of these, his Selltetlciae ex Doctoribus Col/ectae, was published in 1530 by the Wittenberg printer Joseph Klug.}.l Under the pseudonym Antonius Anglus, Barnes collected and compiled patristic opinions on a variety of loci, with brief marginal annotations reflecting his own thoughts. In the following year, while the Wittenberg pastor Johann Bugenhagen saw two German editions of the Selltmciae through the press, A Supplicatyotl Made by Robert Barnes was published in Antwerp for an English reading audience.35 A significantly revised edition of this Supplicatyon was published three years later by the London printer John Bydell.36 It has largely been on account of the revisions made in 1534 that Barnes' eucharistic theology has become a matter of some contention. Questions are raised not only on the basis of 32 On this point, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, "Can the English Think for Themselves? The Roots of English Protestantism," Harvard Divinity Bulletin 30, no. 1 (2001): 17-20. 33 CV\llv17:255-256. }.! Robert Barnes [pseud., Antonius Anglus], Sentenicae ex doctoribus collectae (Wittenberg, 1530). 35 A Supplicatyon Made by Robert Barnes (n.p., n.d. [Antwerp, 1531]). Though the first edition of the Supplicatyon lacks any indication of where, when, or by whom it was printed, the date is certainly before November 1531, by which time Thomas Cromwell had received copies in England. See Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII [hereafter LP], ed. J. S. Brewer and J. Gairdner (London: Public Record Office, 1936), 5:533. Regarding location, I follow the majority opinion in favoring the Antwerp printer Simon Cock. See W. D. J. Cargill Thompson, "The Sixteenth-Century Editions of A Supplication unto King Henry the Eighth by Robert Barnes, D.O.," Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 3 (London, 1963), 134 and n. 5; J. F. Mozley, William Tyndale (London: Macmillan, 1937), 201 n.; and Charles S. Anderson, "The Person and Position of Dr. Robert Barnes, 1495-1540" (ThO diss., Union Theological Seminary, 1962), 146-147. 36 A SlIpplicacion !Into the Most Gracyous Prynce H. the VIII (London, 1534). 142 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) dissimilarities between the two editions of his English work, however, but also due to differences between this work and his earlier Sentenciae. In that 1530 work, Barnes had arranged his patristic citations under nineteen loci, three of which pertain to the EucharisL He addressed reception in both kinds, Christ's presence in the Sacrament,'''and the historical origins of the Roman Mass.37 The 1531 edition of the Supplicatyon includes only the first of these articles. The Supplicacion of 1534 omits even this. As previously noted, some have argued that these changes reflect a modification of Barnes' own views.38 Others contend that such alterations are more a matter of Barnes' cautious politics than an indication of fundamental changes in his theology.39 A fresh examination of the evidence is therefore in order. In Barnes' fullest treatment of the Eucharist, found in his Sentenciae, there can be little doubt that he holds to a belief in Christ's true, corporal presence in the Sacrament.40 This is made clear not only in the patristic citations he chose to include, but also in the brief commentary that accompanies them. Even while denouncing the Roman theology of the Mass, he does not hesitate to refer to the Sacrament of Christ's body, noting that lithe words by which the body is made were given by the Lord himself."41 Justifying such language are the catechetical questions and answers of Athanasius in the fourth century: What in fact is the bread? It is the body of Christ. What is given to those who partake? Without a doubt, the body of ChriSt.42 37 This last point is also addressed throughout Barnes' final publication, the Vitae Romanorum Pontificum (Wittenberg, 1536), where it becomes something of a leitmotif in his history of the papacy. 3B See especially Clebsch, England's Earliest Protestants, 68-69, and Hall, "Lutheranism in England," 110. 39 See Trueman, "Robert Barnes on the Lord's Supper," 296, 300-301. See also Rainer Pineas, Thomas More and Tudor Polemics (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1968),121. 40 The choice of the adjectival" true" is simply governed by Barnes' own use of the term in the title of article seventeen in his Sentenciae: "In Sacramento altaris est verum corpus ChristL" It should not, a priori, be construed as something other than what may be called a "real" presence. In an otherwise outstanding work, Peter Brooks misleadingly implies a clear sixteenth-century distinction between a real (corporal) presence and a true (spiritual) presence. See Brooks, Tlwmas Cranmer's Doctrine of the Eucharist, 38-71; for a corrective analysis, see Dainnaid MacCulioch, TIlOmlis Cranmer: A Life (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996), 181-183, 392. 41 Barnes, Sentenciae, sig. K5r. 42 Barnes, Sentenciac, sig. K4r. Maas: Revisiting Robert Barnes on the Eucharist 143 Against opinions that the bread merely represents the Lord's body, or that this is simply a "spiritual" body, the graphic language of the Byzantine father Theophylactus is brought forward: He certainly did not say, this is a figure, but this is my body. Although it seems to us bread, it is in fact transformed by an ineffable operation. Because we are weak and loathe to eat raw flesh, especially human flesh, it therefore appears to be bread; but it is flesh.43 By way of explanation, Christology is introduced with Augustine's opinion that just as "of the virgin the body of Christ was made true flesh by the Holy Spirit, so also by the same is the body of Christ mystically consecrated from the substance of bread and wine."44 Not only does Barnes thus compare Christ's incarnate body with that of the consecration; he goes on to equate them. He calls upon the testimony of Augustine and Ambrose in support of the contention that the body on the altar is that born of the virgin, which suffered, died, rose, and ascended.45 While Barnes' quotations and commentary point unequivocally to a belief in a corporal presence, they nowhere give any indication of his thoughts regarding the status of the bread after consecration. A belief in transubstantiation, therefore, cannot be excluded on the basis of the text alone. Circumstances related to the production of the Sentenciae, however, mitigate against associating it too closely with any position other than the Lutheran. Bugenhagen notes in his glowing preface to the Sentenciae that Barnes was at work on the book while living under his roof.46 That it was written in Wittenberg, published there, and promoted by the town pastor strongly suggests that the Lutherans understood it to be in harmony with their own position. Especially in 1530, only a few months after the presentation of the Augsburg Confession and only one year after the Marburg Colloquy, the Wittenbergers would not have been reading sacramental theology uncritically. Although Barnes did not take up Christ's sacramental presence under a separate heading in his Supplicatyon of the next year, his references to the Eucharist in other articles reveal no hints of a changed opinion. He constantly speaks of the "blessyd boddy" and "holy bloude" of Christ;47 when mentioning the cup, he variously refers to Christ's "blessyd bloud," 43 Barnes, Sentenciae, sig. 17r. 4-1 Barnes, Sentenciae, sig. I6r. 4S Bames, Sentenciae, sig. 18r. 46 Barnes, Senienciae, sig. A2v. 47 Barnes, Supplieatyon (1530), fo!' 128v. 144 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) "glorious bloud," and "swet bloude."48 He is willing to grant the logic of the scholastic argument that Christ's body contains within it his blood; yet he insists that Christ's mandate "is not to res eve the bloude in the boddy wonly / but to reseve the bloude (after his institucion) by it selfe out of the cuppe."49 In some respects, it seems that Barnes actually makes his position of 1530 more explicit. Whereas he had previously quoted Athanasius' opinion that all who partake of the bread receive Christ's body, he now even more specifically allows for a manducatio impiorum. Criticizing Rome's explanation that withholding the cup prevents Christ's blood from being spilled, he argues that there are far greater dangers in offering Christ's body to unbelievers.5o Such a position not only distances Barnes from those who hold a symbolic view of the elements; it also distinguishes him from those who argue that Christ is present spiritually and only on account of the communicant's faith. As noted above, the 1534 Supplicacion contains no article on eucharistic doctrine or practice. The suggestion that this omission indicates a revision of Barnes' theology has also been noted. Against this argument from silence, however, stands evidence found in the correspondence of his contemporaries. Letters related to the arrest and trial of John Frith shed light on Barnes' thought between 1531 and 1534. Thomas More, who had previously charged Barnes with sharing the Sacramentarian heresy of Frith, tentatively admits that he may have been mistaken. His comments on a letter received from Barnes in 1532 deserve to be quoted at length. And also frere Barns, albe it that as ye wote well he is in many other thinges a brother of thys yonge marrnes secte / yet in thys heresye he sore abhorreth hys heresye / or ellys he lyeth hym selfe. For at hys laste beynge here, he wrote a letter to me of hys own hand / wherin he wryteth that I lay that heresye wrongfully to his charge / and therin he taketh wytnesse of god and his conscyence / and sheweth hym self so sore greved therwyth, that any man shold so repute hym by my wrytyng, that he sayth he wyll in my reproche make a boke agaynst me, wherin he wyll professe and pro teste hys fayth concemyng thys blessed sacrament. By whych bake it shall he saith appere, that I have sayd untrewly of hym, and that he abhorreth thys abomynable heresy.51 48 Barnes, Supplicatyon (1530), fol. 130r. 49 Barnes, Supplicatyon (1530), fol. 127v. 50 Barnes, Supplicatyon (1530), fol. 132r; and see 1 Corinthians 11:27-30, which Barnes apparently has in mind. 51 CWM 7:255-256. Maas: Revisiting Robert Bames on the Eucharist 145 The divergence between Barnes and Frith on this point was also apparent to William Tyndale, who clearly understood how such differences could be exploited by polemicists such as More. He wrote to Frith: Of the presence of Christ's body in the Sacrament meddle as little as you can, that there appear no division among us. Bames will be hot against you. The Saxons be sore on the affirmative. 52 Tyndale's note of a doctrinal difference between Frith and Barnes is unquestionably enlightening. Equally illuminating is his explicit association of the latter with the theology of the Saxons. In the light of Bames' matriculation at the University of Wittenberg in 1533, he is undoubtedly correct in alluding to Barnes' Lutheranism. In addition to these comments on Barnes' thought in the years leading up to the 1534 Supplicacion, there are also important clues to be found in the events following its publication. In the following year Barnes was engaged as an English ambassador to the Germans, with the purpose of discussing a political and theological alliance between the two states. Of the documents emerging from the discussions of the next few years, Bames was involved in the drafting of three which clearly align him with a Lutheran position. The first of these, the Christmas Articles of 1535, does not deal specifically with individual doctrines. The articles do, however, simply ask for King Henry's acceptance and promotion of the Augsburg Confession and its Apology. Barnes' signature is included among those subscribing this request.53 While the Christmas Articles did not address specific doctrinal loci, these were soon taken up in the Wittenberg Articles of 1536. Although the debates leading up to their drafting resulted in no consensus on the subjects of utraquism or private Masses, Barnes and his English companions did confess with the Germans that: We firmly believe and teach that in the sacrament of the Lord's body and blood, Christ's body and blood are truly, substantially and really present under the species of bread and wine, and that under the same species they are truly and bodily presented and distributed to all those who receive the sacrament.'" 52 LP 6:403. 53 See Corpus Reformatorum, Philippi Melanthonis Opera, ed. C. G. Bretschneider (Halle: C. A. Schwetschke, 1836), 2:1032-1036. 54 Documents of the English Reformation, ed. G. Bray (Cambridge: James Oark and Co., 1994), 137. 146 Concordia Theological Quarterly 72 (2008) The same would be confessed again in the Thirteen Articles of 1538.55 Especially significant is that in this last round of discussions, which took place in England and included several traditionalist English bishops, Barnes was assigned by the King to argue on the German side of the debate. This implicit acknowledgement that Barnes' theology did not accord with Rome's is especially r~v~<:lling in the light of another royal decision of the same year, one which again makes plain that his theology did not differ from Rome's to the point of Sacramentarianism. In October 1538 Thomas Cranmer was appointed head of a commission for the suppression of English Sacramentarianism. Also appointed to the commission was Robert Barnes, who, before the next month had passed, would set in motion events leading to the condemnation and subsequent death of John lambert.56 lambert, who had previously spent time with Tyndale and Frith in Antwerp, returned to England as a proponent of their eucharistic theology. His views became the center of public controversy in 1538 when he challenged the sacramental preaching of John Taylor, rector of St. Peter's Cornhill. When Taylor turned to Barnes for support, he was encouraged to bring the matter before Cranmer. With Barnes' awareness of the King's intent and Cranmer's theology, it cannot be doubted that he was in disagreement with Lambert, who denied "the very body of God to be in the said Sacrament in corporal substance, but only to be there spiritually."s7 Much more likely, Barnes was of the same mind as Cranmer, to whom he referred the case. Some hint of Cranmer's position on the Sacrament at this time is evident in a letter of August 1538. He wrote to Thomas Cromwell, commenting on the trial of Adam DampIip, whose confession of the Eucharist had also been questioned. He reports that Damplip did not deny the bodily presence of Christ; he did, however, deny transubstantiation. Cranmer confesses that "therein I think he taught but the truth."s8 A generation later John Foxe drew what seems the logical conclusion in his 55 Documents of the English Reformation, 192: "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 forms of bread and wine. And that under these forms they are truly and really offered and administered to those who received the sacrament, whether they be good or evil." 5