Full Text for Church History 2- Volume 44 - The Son of Henry VIII (Video)

File 44 >> Okay. Maybe this question now gets a bit beyond church history, but I am curious. Did Henry ever get the son that he was looking for? >> Well, Paul, your question really is pertinent to church history because Henry did get the son he was looking for, and that son became king, and while he was king, the Reformation moved sharply in a Protestant direction, Protestant from the theological standpoint. We don't need to go into all of Henry's marriages at this point. He ended up having six wives. It was by his third wife, Queen Jane, that he actually had a son. This son was named Edward. When Henry died in 1547, Edward succeeded his father, but he was only a boy of nine years old, and that meant that others really exercised power in his name. Initially the man who served as regent, and was the dominant politician was Edward's uncle, his father's brother. His name, too, was Edward, Edward Seymour. He had the title of Duke of Somerset, so sometimes in the history books he is just referred to as Somerset. At any rate, he was the protector of the realm, exercising power in the name of his nephew, King Edward. Also, still in place Henry died was the Archbishop of Canterbury. We talked about him briefly when we were discussing the reign of King Henry, but that man, Thomas Cranmer was really a Protestant sympathizer during the reign of Henry, and now during the reign of Edward under Protector Somerset, Cranmer was able to give a Protestant direction to the church in England. It helped also that Edward's education had been entrusted to intellectuals, teachers, humanists, types who actually were also sympathetic to the Protestant reformation, so that even the boy king, Edward, was sympathetic to Protestantism. In short, during the reign of Edward, which was from 1547 to 1553, England's religious settlement moved in a sharply Protestant direction. Right at the beginning of the reign, Henry's Six Articles Act which had insisted upon traditional medieval practices, that was cancelled, and religious publications were forthcoming that promoted Protestant ideas and beliefs. Cranmer took it upon himself to advance Protestants within the church establishment, and so we have in addition to Thomas Cranmer, we have men like Hugh Latimer, and Nicholas Ridley, and John Hooper, all of whom Edward's reign became bishops of the Church of England, and they were all Protestants, and eager to advance the Protestant cause within England. It's also true that Cranmer opened up England to Protestant refugees from the continent. You'll recall that we talked previous point about the Schmalkald War. That was being fought right here during Edward's reign, but on the continent and not in England. That meant that there were men on the continent looking for a safe place to practice and promote their religion. Among those who came to England and actually assisted in the Protestant reformation was Martin Butzer, the great reformer of Straussburg. He ended up his days in England helping Cranmer to effect a real doctrinal reformation in England. Another man who assisted in the reformation in England was John Knox from Scotland. He, too, was welcomed and put to work within the Church of England. So we have a number of strong Protestant leaders, some home-grown, others imported from the continent, who are working together to change religion in England. Now, among the many changes that they worked at, I think that the most important one had to do with worship, had to do with the way the people worshipped in their parish churches. Because under the leadership of Thomas Cranmer, the Church of England produced a worship book for use all over England that was for the very first time in the English language. This was known as the Book of Common Prayer. And it included all of the worship services that you would need in a parish, whether for morning prayer, evening prayer, an order for communion, marriages, baptisms, visitation of the sick, funerals. They were all there in one book. And they were in the English language. Now, Cranmer was the man principally responsible for this book. He had a real gift for the English language. So the words and the phrases that he chose for worship in the English language resonated through really the centuries, and in some parts of the Church of England, or in the broader kind of world Anglican community, Cranmer's language that first appeared in that first Book of Common Prayer is still in use. People are still worshipping using the prayers and the liturgical forms that Thomas Cranmer first prepared in 1549. Now, just the fact that it was in English shows you that we're dealing with a Protestant reformer. He departs from the Latin and puts the language of worship in English. And a lot of other respects you can see in that first prayer book that Cranmer is promoting a Protestant agenda. Very much reduces the references to the saints and invocation of saints, references to medieval doctrines, like the doctrine of purgatory, or auricular confession, and that is confession directly to a priest. Most of that medieval kind of sacramental or cult of the saints kind of language no longer appears in the prayer book. It is true, however, that from the perspective of later Protestants, this first prayer book was only a first step. If, for example, one would take a look at the communion service of the first prayer book, one would find that there still is some language that seems to reflect more medieval Catholicism than it would 16th Century Protestantism. Clergy are still referred to as priests. The service, well, it's described as communion, but they also use the term "Mass." The way that the communion service is conducted still seems medieval from the perspective of later services. So, for example, they still have an altar. They still have communion wafers. When you get to the consecration of the sacred elements, there's language that sounds Calvinistic, talks about a spiritual kind of presence, a memorial meal, but nonetheless there is still language that sounds like real presence doctrine of the medieval church. The priest, for example, when he distributed the consecrated elements to the communicants would talk about the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, or the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of the opponents of the reformation in England, Steven Gardener, who had been a bishop under Henry VIII, when he read the first prayer book and communion service, he said that he could accept that service. So clearly from a purely Protestant perspective, the first prayer book was only a first step. No sooner had it come out than there were those after reviewing it were arguing that what England needed was an even more reform of worship. Martin Butzer, for example, did a very careful examination of the prayer book, and he argued that it needed to be changed in a much more Protestant direction. And that is, in fact, what Cranmer did. In 1552, a second edition of the book came out, the second Book of Common Prayer. Than one is much more clearly a Protestant book, and we can actually describe it as a reformed Protestant book in which the doctrine of the communion service, for example, is much more clearly in the Zwingli and Calvinist line than it would be in the Lutheran line at all. So, for example, when the priest is distributing the consecrated elements, he says, �Take and eat this, and feed in thy heart by faith with understanding.� So it's a spiritual kind of eating that is specified here in the second prayer book. This is the prayer book that eliminates all of the references to the invocation of saints. It's a prayer book in which the altar is replaced by a table, in which communion wafers are replaced by common ordinary bread. So the second prayer book is clearly a Protestant book of the reformed, rather than the Lutheran variety. Now, that's not to say that there weren't still a few medieval elements in the book. For example, when the communicants received the consecrated elements, they were told that they should kneel to receive those elements. Now, Lutherans are used to that. That's the typical way that Lutherans receive communion, that is, while kneeling. But in reform churches on the continent, kneeling was basically out. Memorial meal reminiscent of what Jesus did on the night of his betrayal, the disciples didn't kneel. They probably sat, or reclined, and so they practiced in reform churches was that kneeling should be abolished. Well, somehow in the second book, kneeling stayed in. And even after the book was approved by the king and by an act of parliament, kneeling was a part of that second prayer book. Well, one of the reformers, we mentioned before, John Knox was offended by kneeling for communion. For Knox, this smacked too much of medieval Catholicism, too much of the doctrine of adoring the host because it's the body of the blood of Jesus. So he preached kneeling in front of the king, who by 1552, would have been a teenager, and attuned to things theological. And Edward became upset by the kneeling also. So he referred the matter to Cranmer and the other bishops. Now, by this time it was very late in the game, and the book was already being printed ready for distribution. So what were they going to do? Well, what they decided to do was to add an additional rubric, that is an additional liturgical direction at the end of the communion service which would explain why they were kneeling. Now, that particular rubric was printed in black ink. Rubrics were usually printed in red ink, but because it had to be redone and the presses had black ink and so forth, it came to be printed in black ink, and so it comes to be known in history as the Black Rubric. Lutherans would probably consider it black for another reason, and that was its content because this particular rubric clearly specifies that when people in England knelt to receive communion, it was not because of the real presence of the body and blood of Jesus. In fact, it was quite the contrary. The body and blood of Jesus according to the prayer book now, the Black Rubric, were in heaven, and it was impossible for a human body to be in more than one place so certainly they couldn't be in the communion service of the Church of England. So, in spite of some medieval echoes or remains, that second prayer book clearly needs to be classified as reformed in its theology. Now, just shortly before Edward died, the reformers in England were able to produce a confession of faith. This was the document known as the 42 Articles. And these 42 Articles addressed all of the issues that had been raised by the Reformation. And they do so from a Protestant perspective. In other words, the 42 Articles, a confession of faith of the Church of England under King Edward, affirmed the authority of the scriptures, affirmed the doctrine by faith, reduced the number of sacraments to the two biblical ones, baptism and the Lord's Supper, and on other issues, take the Protestant side as opposed to the Catholic side. Well, now there are, of course, as we know, some issues that divide Lutherans from reformed. Some of those issues are addressed in the 42 Articles also. And I'm thinking here particularly about the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. And like the Black Rubric, the 42 Articles also make it clear that in the Church of England under Edward the VI, according to the doctrinal statement, the Church of England is reformed on the doctrine of the Lord's Supper. The body of Christ, again, isn't on the altar, and communicants receive Christ spiritually, not really not physically as we teach in the Lutheran church. So the point is that the reformation, and that really kind of restricted period of time, the reign of Edward, just about six years, moves sharply away from the reformation of Henry the VIII, and we get a full-load doctrinal, practical, Protestant reformation during the reign of Edward the VI.