Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Second Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect from the First Day of Lent is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hugh Latimer and Thomas Cranmer Against Anglo-Catholicism

First let's see what Hugh Latimer has to say about Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic doctrine:

What should it mean, that God would have us so diligent and earnest in prayer? Hath he such pleasure in our works? Many talk of prayer, and make it a lip-laboring. Praying is not babbling; nor praying is not mockery. It is, to miserable folk that are oppressed, a comfort, solace and a remedy. But what maketh our prayer to be acceptable to God? It lieth not in our power; we must have it by another mean. Remember what God said of his Son: Hic est Filius meus dilectus, in quo mihi bene complacui; "This is my dear Son, in whom I delight." He hath pleasure in nothing but in him. How cometh it to pass that our prayer pleaseth God? Our prayer pleaseth God, because Christ pleaseth God. When we pray, we come unto him in the confidence of Christ's merits, and thus offering up our prayers, they shall be heard for Christ's sake. Yea, Christ will offer them up for us, that offered up once his sacrifice to God, which was acceptable; and he that cometh with any other mean than this, God knoweth him not.

This is not the missal sacrifice, the popish sacrifice, to stand at the altar, and offer up Christ again. Out upon it that ever it was used! I will not say nay, but that ye shall find in the old doctors this word sacrificium; but there is one general solution for all the doctors that St Augustine sheweth us: "The sign of a thing hath oftentimes the name of the thing that it signifieth." As the supper of the Lord is the sacrament of another thing, it is a commemoration of his death, which suffered once for us; and because it is a sign of Christ's offering up, therefore he bears the name thereof. And this sacrifice a woman can offer as well as a man; yea, a poor woman in the belfry hath as good authority to offer up this sacrifice, as hath the bishop in his pontificalibus, with his mitre on his head, his rings on his fingers, and sandals on his feet. And whosoever cometh asking the Father remedy in his necessity for Christ's sake, he offereth up as acceptable a sacrifice as any bishop can do. [The Fourth Sermon Preached Before King Edward, 1549]

Latimer is a bit outspoken here. Latimer says straight up that anyone who comes to God on his own merits or any other means except the merits of Christ is lost. God does not know such a man. Latimer is saying that Roman Catholics are not known by God nor are they saved. By implication I would contend that means Anglo-Catholics are likewise unknown by God because they attempt to come to God on their own terms rather than solely on the merits of Christ.

Now, let us see what Cranmer has to say about baptism and the Lord's supper as means of grace:

The sum of Damascene his doctrine in this matter is this. That as Christ, being both God and man, that in him two natures; so that he two nativities, one eternal and the other temporal. And so likewise we, being as it were double men, or having every one of us two men in us, the new man and the old man, the spiritual man and the carnal man, have a double nativity: one of our carnal father, Adam, by whom, as by ancient inheritance, cometh unto us malediction and everlasting damnation; and the other of our heavenly Adam, that is to say, of Christ, by whom we be made heirs of celestial benediction and everlasting glory and immortality.

And because this Adam is spiritual, therefore our generation by him is plainly set forth in baptism, and our spiritual meat and food is set forth in the holy Communion and Supper of the Lord. And because our sights be so feeble that we cannot see the spiritual water wherewith we be washed in baptism, nor the spiritual meat wherewith we be fed at the Lord's table; therefore to help our infirmities, and to make us the better to see the same, as it were before our eyes, by sensible signs and tokens, which we be daily used and accustomed unto.

And because the common custom of men is to wash in water, therefore our spiritual regeneration in Christ, or spiritual washing in his blood, is declared unto us in baptism by water. Likewise our spiritual nourishment and feeding in Christ, is set before our eyes by bread and wine, because they be meats and drinks which chiefly and usually we be fed withal; that as they feed the body, so doth Christ with his flesh and blood spiritually feed the soul.

And therefore the bread and the wine be called examples of Christ's flesh and blood, and also they be called his very flesh and blood, and also they be called his very flesh and blood, to signify unto us, that as they feed us carnally, so do they admonish us that Christ with his flesh and blood doth feed us spiritually and most truly unto everlasting life.


For although he say, that Christ is the spiritual meat, yet as in baptism the Holy Ghost is not in the water, but in him that is unfeignedly baptized; so Damascene meant not, that Christ is in the bread, but in him that worthily eateth the bread.

And though he say, that the bread is Christ's body and the wine his blood, yet he meant not that the bread considered in itself, or the wine in itself being not received, is his flesh and blood; but to such as by unfeigned faith worthily receive the bread and wine, to such the bread and wine are called by Damascene the body and blood of Christ, because that such persons through the working of the Holy Ghost be so knit and united spiritually to Christ's flesh and blood, and to his Divinity also, that they be fed with them unto everlasting life.

Futhermore Damascene sayeth not, that the sacrament should be worshipped and adored, as the papists term it, which is plainly idolatry, but that we must worship Christ, God and man. And yet we may not worship him in bread and wine, but sitting in heaven with his Father, and being spiritually within ourselves. [The Work of Thomas Cranmer, "The Presence of Christ." The Courtney Library of Reformation Classics. Ed. G. E. Duffield. (Sutton Courtney Press: Berkshire, 1964). Pp. 189-191.]

So according to Cranmer, how is Christ present in the Lord's supper? Cranmer says that Christ is present in those who believe!

And with the selfsame body he forsook this world, and ascended into heaven, (the apostles seeing and beholding his body when it ascended,) and now sitteth at the right hand of his Father, and there shall remain until the last day, when he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

This is the true catholic faith which the Scripture teacheth, and the universal Church of Christ hath ever believed from the beginning, until these four or five hundred years last past, that the Bishop of Rome, with the assistance of his papists, hath set up a new faith and belief of their own devising, that the same body really, corporally, naturally, and sensibly is in this world still, and that in an hundred thousand places at one time, being enclosed in every pix and bread consecrated.

And although we do affirm according to God's word, that Christ is in all persons that truly believe in him, in such sort, that with his flesh and blood he doth spiritually nourish them and feed them, and giveth them everlasting life, and doth assure them thereof, as well by the promise of his word, as by the sacramental bread and wine in his holy Supper, which he did institute for the same purpose, yet we do not a little vary from the heinous errors of the papists.

For they teach, that Christ is in the bread and the wine: but we say, according to the truth, that he is in them that worthily eat and drink the bread and wine. (Cranmer, "The Presence of Christ." Pp. 123-124).

So anyone who can read with comprehension can see that Cranmer calls the papists, and by implication, the Anglo-Catholics, innovators of a new doctrine that is not the catholic or the Scriptural faith. Cranmer is solidly Protestant and says that communion takes place through the presence of Christ in believers through the Spirit.

I do not know how much more plain this could be. Anyone who takes the time to read Latimer and Cranmer will immediately know why they were burned at the stake. They dared to challenge Roman Catholic doctrine on the basis of Holy Scripture. Can we do anything less today regarding the challenge of papists and Anglican papists? I think not.


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