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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Re: On the term Sacrament


Latimer's imprecision with the term "justification" does not dismiss out of hand the Reformed distinction between justification and sanctification as you imply. Furthermore, Latimer, contra Rome, says that sins in the mind are still sins! The confession says that we have sinned in thought, word and deed and in the things we have done and left undone. This is a Reformed definition of sin and opposes the semi-pelagian view that sins are only sins which are committed actually. Thus, the Reformed view is a higher view of sin.

Secondly, it is not necessarily true that Latimer would have had a Dortian understanding of predestination and election since the council of Dort did not take place until 1618-19. So it would not be surprising that Latimer's theology of election and reprobation as that relates to justification would not have been fully developed at that time. It could be that Latimer is following Melanchthon's views here.

Be that as it may, none of the points you have raised makes the high church or Anglo-Catholic views on private confession and the sacrament of penance legitimate. My problem with you is that you have said that private confession is to be generally practiced when the evidence is exactly opposite of that. There are only exceptions in the extreme circumstances of someone very sick or dying or in the case of someone who has an extremely serious lapse in their sanctification and therefore struggling with their assurance of salvation. Cranmer's catechism nor Latimer's sermon justify Anglo-Catholic views one whit. The short of it is that you, like Larry Wells and others, wish to equivocate, dissimulate and muddy the waters to legitimize what cannot be justified or legitimized--which is Anglo-Catholic views on 7 sacraments, semi-pelagian views on original sin and justification, etc.

I will acknowledge that the Anglican Reformers may not have been full-blown five point Calvinists, since that issue had not yet arisen. However, that does not entail that I give up the English Reformation to dissimulators who wish to distort the evidence in the Romeward direction. The fact that predestination is in Article 17, however, necessarily implies that the Reformers, including Latimer, understood that election cannot be lost. So that would also imply that Latimer's remarks in this sermon and the remarks in the Homilies on the same subject must be understood from the perspective of predestination and election according to the Bible. The Articles were firm by the time of 1552 I am sure. I don't have my copy of Bray's History and Documents of the English Reformation with me so I will defer on a more precise answer at this time.

Having said all of that, however, the real bottom line here is Scripture. The Holy Scriptures are THE final authority PERIOD. Even if you could prove that the English Reformers were full-blown Anglo-Catholics, which you cannot prove, by the way, it would not mean that I am obligated in any way whatsoever to accept your arguments UNLESS you can prove them from the Scriptures. The Thirty-Nine Articles are not a complete statement which covers all the issues of the Lambeth Articles of 1595 or the Canons of Dort of 1618-19 or the Formula Consensus Helvitica of 1675. (This does not mean that Arminianism or Amyraldianism are Scripturally defensible positions but merely that the Articles do not speak to those issues or bind Anglicans to those views. But the Scriptures DO speak to those issues and therefore I do not back off from those issues in public debate or private debate. Amyraldianism is no more defensible than Arminianism even if certain ones in the Sydney Diocese hold that view!) But the Articles are binding on the issues which they do speak to, namely the Roman Catholic errors of that day. The Articles do necessarily refute high church and Anglo-Catholic views on justification, sanctification, and the sacraments whether you like it or not.

Furthermore, there is nothing in the Articles, the 1662 BCP or the Homilies that would oppose a Dortian Calvinistic understanding of justification. The fact that the Lambeth Articles of 1595 precede the 1618 Council of Dort shows that. Also, the Irish Articles of 1615 and the Westminister Confession of 1647 are legitimate expansions on the theology of the 39 Articles of 1571. (See Canons of Dort).

However, the ultimate authority is Holy Scripture and this is affirmed in Article 6. My theology is unashamedly Dortian, Calvinist, and Reformed. I would not classify myself as a "Puritan" since I am also Anglican and favor the use of the Prayer Book of 1662 and the Reformed vestments of the cassock, surplice and black scarf. But my justification for everything I believe lies finally in Scripture and not in what Latimer said in his sermon or what Rome says. I do not venerate any tradition above measure whether it be the Reformer's traditions or Rome's traditions. It is well known that the Reformers continued to believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary and even a supernatural birth as opposed to a natural birth of Jesus. I reject this on both biblical grounds and on theological and philosophical grounds. Such a supernatural birth is theologically unnecessary to preserve Jesus from original sin. Secondly, Scripture seems to say that Mary had other children, meaning that she was not a virgin after the point in time at which Jesus was naturally born.

At any rate, you have succeeded in your goal of making me make more precise statements about my theological position and I will be investigating further the historical setting of the sermons and homilies and catechisms you have pointed out. Be that as it may, your quotations do not substantiate the theology of those posting AC articles at VirtueOnline.


----- Original Message -----
Cc: *****
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2009 8:44 PM
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament

Hello again Charlie--now that the discussion is going public--I guess I'll have to keep going at least for one more email.

I actually agree with much of what you're saying here. For example--I agree that Latimer defines what qualifies as a mortal sin and venial sin distinctly from what Rome teaches and that he teaches that good works done after Baptism merit absolutely nothing (because even the best works of a Christian are as filthy rags before the Awesome Holiness of God). Where Latimer does not differ though (with Rome or for that matter with Augustine) is that mortal or deadly sins causes one who is saved to lose the Holy Spirit and the remission of sins.

"But there be two manner of sins: there is a deadly sin, and a venial sin; that is, sins that be pardonable, and sins that be not pardonable. Now how shall we know which be venial sins, or which be not ? for it is good to know them, and so to keep us from them...

But I say there be two manner of men: some there be that be not justified, not regenerate, nor yet in the state of salvation; that is to say, not God's servants: they lack the renovation or regeneration; they be not come yet to Christ. Now these persons who be they that be not come yet to Christ, or if they were come to Christ, be fallen again from him, and so lost their justification, (as there be many of us, which when we fall willingly into sin against conscience, we lose the favour of God, our salvation, and finally the Holy Ghost;)...

Now this I say: I have venial sins, and deadly sins. Which be venial sins? Every sin that is committed against God not wittingly, nor willingly ; not consenting unto it: those be venial sins. As for an ensample: I see a fair woman, I am moved in my heart to sin with her, to commit the act of lechery with her : such thoughts rise out of my heart, but I consent not unto them; I withstand these ill motions, I follow the ensample of that godly young man, Joseph ; I consider in what estate I am, namely, a temple of God, and that I should lose the Holy Ghost; on such wise I withstand my ill lusts and appetites, yet this motion in my heart is sin; this ill lust which riseth up ; but it is a venial sin, it is not a mortal sin, because I consent not unto it, I withstand it; and such venial sins the just man committeth daily. For scripture saith, "The righteous man falleth seven times;" that is, oftentimes: for his works are not so perfect as they ought to be. For I pray you, who is he that loveth his neighbour so perfectly and vehemently as he ought to do? Now this imperfection is sin, but it is a venial sin, not a mortal: therefore he that feeleth his imperfections, feeleth the ill motions in his heart, but followeth them not, consenteth not unto the wickedness to do them; these be venial sins, which shall not be imputed unto us to our damnation...

I put the case, Joseph had not resisted the temptations of his master's wife, but had followed her, and fulfilled the act of lechery with her; had weighed the matter after a worldly fashion, thinking, " I have my mistress's favour already, and so by that mean I shall have my master's favour too; nobody knowing of it." Now if* he had done so, this act had been a deadly sin; for any act that is done against the law of God willingly and wittingly, is a deadly sin. And that man or woman that committeth such an act, loseth the Holy Ghost and the remission of sins ; and so becometh the child of the devil, being before the child of God. For a regenerate man or woman, that believeth, ought to have dominion over sin ; but as soon as sin hath rule over him, he is gone: for she leadeth him to delectation of it, and from delectation to consenting, and so from consenting to the act itself. Now he that is led so with sin, he is in the state of damnation, and sinneth damnably.

And so ye may perceive which be they that sin deadly, and what is the deadly sin; namely, that he sinneth deadly that wittingly falleth in sin: therefore it is a perilous thing to be in such an estate, to be in the state of damnation and everlasting perdition."

And the Homily of Justification (see Article 11 of the 39 Articles) likewise states in brief what Latimer states in greater detail--namely, that one who has been justified and made a member of Christ may later be made a child of the devil:
"Our office is not to pass the time of this present life unfruitfully and idly after we are baptized or justified, not caring how few good works we do to the glory of God and profit of our neighbors. Much less is it our office, after that we be once made Christ's members, to live contrary to the same, making our selves members of the devil, walking after his incitements, and after the suggestions of the world and the flesh, whereby we know that we do serve the world and the devil, and not God."

I likewise agree to a great extent with what you've said regarding Absolution.

I would note though that the 1552/1559/1662 BCP Private form of Confession and Absolution contained in the Office for the Visitation of the Sick is actually the following:
"Here shall the sick person be moved to make a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience troubled with any weighty matter. After which confession, the Priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire it) after this sort.
OUR Lord Jesus Christ, who hath left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine offences: And by his authority committed to me, I absolve thee from all thy sins, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

This is actually not that different from the Private Absolution used by Rome:
"God, the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Or the Russian Orthodox form:
"My child, N. N., may our Lord and God Christ Jesus by the mercy of His love absolve thee from thy sins; and I, His unworthy priest, in virtue of the authority committed to me, absolve thee and declare thee absolved of thy sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen."

I agree that the condition for absolution is true faith and repentance. I agree likewise that Private Confession/Absolution was specifically intended to be optional and not necessary. And I agree that the Romanist requirements regarding Private Confession as well as "an assigned penance which merits God's forgiveness and a recharging of one's "infused" justification/righteousness" and other such unscriptural practices and beliefs certainly have no place in the theology of the Articles, BCP, and Homilies.

Finally, I agree that all ministers (whether Baptist, Presbyterian, Pentacostal, Lutheran, or Anglican) exercise the use of the keys of the Kingdom in the preaching of the Word and the administration of the Sacraments and in the discipline of the Church.

Of course, I am a firm believer as Cranmer and Latimer were in justification by faith alone, penal substitutionary atonement, monergistic predestination as taught by Augustine and in the 17th Article and the other foundational beliefs of the Reformation which are all taught in the Articles, BCP, and Homilies.

Blessings in Christ and have a blessed Lord's Day,
William Scott

p.s. I can't guarantee any quick follow ups given my time constraints

--- On Sat, 8/15/09, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament
To: "William Scott" <was02737@yahoo.com>
Cc: "David Knox" <xpecusa@gmail.com>, "Robin Jordan" <truevineanglican@yahoo.com>, "Rev. Dominic Stockford (Free Church of England-Ev. Connection)" <dominic@francisstockford.fsnet.co.uk>, "Joseph Busfield" <jtbusfield@gmail.com>, "Ken Howes" <fcsd2@aol.com>, "D. Philip Veitch" <reformationtoday@yahoo.com>, "charles baker" <fivesolas2003@yahoo.com>
Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009, 5:56 PM

You're misreading "absolution" from the perspective of the English Reformers. It is NOT the SAME absolution given by Roman Catholics and Anglo-Catholics for no man has the power to forgive sins EXCEPT Jesus Christ. The Reformed absolution is a Gospel proclamation that those who have truly believed in Jesus' death and atonement for their sins and have truly repented of their sins may in fact receive forgiveness from God. READ the absolution given IN the 1662 prayer book again!
Then shall the Minister exhort the sick person after this form, or other like.
DEARLY beloved, know this, that Almighty God is the Lord of life and death, and of all things to them pertaining, as youth, strength, health, age, weakness, and sickness. Wherefore, whatsoever your sickness is, know you certainly, that it is God's visitation. And for what cause soever this sickness is sent unto you; whether it be to try your patience for the example of others, and that your faith may be found in the day of the Lord laudable, glorious, and honourable, to the increase of glory and endless felicity; or else it be sent unto you to correct and amend in you whatsoever doth offend the eyes of your heavenly Father; know you certainly, that if you truly repent you of your sins, and bear your sickness patiently, trusting in God's mercy, for his dear Son Jesus Christ's sake, and render unto him humble thanks for his fatherly visitation, submitting yourself wholly unto his will, it shall turn to your profit, and help you forward in the right way that leadeth unto everlasting life. Visitation of the Sick.
There is absolutely NOTHING in the service of the visitation of the sick that even REMOTELY sounds Anglo-Catholic or Roman Catholic. It is strictly Protestant and Reformed and asks several times if the person "believes" the Scriptures, the portions of the Apostles' creed and the Gospel/good news that Christ died for their sins.
As for you contention that the 1662 recommends "private" confession to "all", the introductory rubric specifically denies this:
When any person is sick, notice shall be given thereof to the Minister of the Parish; who, coming into the sick person's house, shall say,
And the morning and even prayer absolutions are likewise Evangelical/Protestant in form and NOT Roman Catholic or Anglo-Catholic:
ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness, and live; and hath given power, and commandment, to his Ministers, to declare and pronounce to his people, being penitent, the Absolution and Remission of their sins : He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy Gospel. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that those things may please him, which we do at this present; and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure, and holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is noticeably missing in the visitation of the sick service is this general absolution given to the entire group of people in public worship. And the "condition" for absolution is true repentance and a genuine faith in "his holy Gospel." I find it extremely odd that there is no such form for the absolution in the visitation of the sick service. It is an entirely different form and the entire service for the visitation of the sick focuses on true belief and true repentance and the Gospel just as the general confession and general absolution does in the morning and evening services.
Thus, you are reading into the Articles, the 1662 BCP AND the Homilies what is NOT there: namely, an Anglo-Catholic and Roman Catholic theology of the sacrament of penance, i.e. private confession, absolution and an assigned penance which merits God's forgiveness and a recharging of one's "infused" justification/righteousness. No, the English theology merely borrows the terms formerly used by the Roman Catholics and gives them a Reformed/biblical interpretation, including your so-called distinction between "venial" and "mortal" sins. If you will read Latimer's sermon on the subject carefully, you will note that Latimer calls sins of thought "venial" sins and sins actually committed "mortal" sins. This is far from the Roman Catholic theology of venial and mortal sins. Further, the Articles clearly show that good works performed before and after baptism merit absolutely nothing.
Any Gospel preacher has the keys to the kingdom. The keys are the Word of God read and preached and the sacraments which are physical symbols of the Word to illustrate in tangible form the Gospel. The body and blood of Christ are eaten by faith after a spiritual manner and that takes places in the heart of the believer--not in the act of eating bread and drinking wine!
Again, I must insist that you read the formularies from the perspective of the English Reformation and not from the Anglo-Catholic view which you seem to be imbibing from other sources. Private confession is not only not required, it is NOT necessary. It is "permitted" for those who have trouble with their assurance of justification and salvation. However, this is nothing new even to Baptists who likewise have private counseling with their pastors available for those who sincerely desire a private hearing with the minister. But all understand that the power of absolution lies with God alone and the minister merely holds the keys to the kingdom, which are in fact the Word of God, the Gospel, and the sacraments rightly administered (representing the true faith of the believe in Christ's atoning death!). While the Reformers, including Cranmer say that ministers have the power of absolution, this is to be understood from the perspective of the scriptural doctrines of repentance, true conversion, and true faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ who died for the sins of His people.
----- Original Message ----- I
Sent: Saturday, August 15, 2009 10:18 AM
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament

Hello Charlie Ray,
I could write more extensively on this issue--but I will try to keep it more brief, and then I will have to leave off from further exchanges for a while because of my time limitations.
You noted yourself that Cranmer "allowed for it in special circumstances where someone had fallen into GRIEVOUS sin" and likewise you know that the BCP Homily recommends it to all "who cannot quiet their conscience" by other means. Thus Cranmer and the BCP explicitly intend for Private Confession and Absolution to be used outside of the Visitation of the Sick although the BCP does not contain a seperate specific ceremony directed towards the practice outside of the Visitation of the Sick (the 1552/1559 BCP also does not contain a seperate specific provision for adult Baptism, excommunication, and a number of other Public Services which were clearly not excluded thereby from use in the Church).
Of course, the provision for Private Confession and Absolution in the Visitation of the Sick was written in such a manner that it can naturally be used directly for all other Private Confessions and Absolutions--such as that offered in the BCP Communion Service to all who feel themselves in need of it.
Again, the BCP makes clear that anyone who has a disquited conscience is invited to seek the priest to open his heart to him and to receive counsel and absolution. And this offer is clearly not written in such a manner as to forbid those who have not, at least in the Minister's opinion, fallen into some "grevious sin" from seeking the Private Confession and the "benefit of Absolution." And although Cranmer's Catechism speaks particularly to the value of Private Confession for those who have "greviously sinned"---the Catechism certainly does not exclude the use of Private Confessions for those who have a troubled conscience even if they have not, at least in the Minister's opinion, fallen into some "grevious sin").
As for Private Confession not being the General Practice of the Anglican Reformers--this is hardly surprising, given that (among other things) it was no longer required (as it was under Roman Catholicism), and the Public Services included a general absolution which was taught by Cranmer as being sufficient for those who came to Holy Communion. As a general rule people do not prefer to confess their faults (secret or otherwise) to a Minister--and thus unless compelled to do so they will generally avoid Private Confession Of course, as the 1500s moved on many ministers during this period began to lean more heavily on the Genevan discipline than on the BCP and therefore I imagine such would not encourage or in some cases perhaps even make any allowance for private confession and absolution (even in the case of the Visitation of the Sick). In addition, although I don't have statistics--I would imagine that even in the majority of conservative Anglo-Catholic parishes of our day (or at the very least in the vast majority of those conservative Anglo-Catholic parishes that have not sold out completely to Romanism) private confession is likewise a very rare occurence.
Now, it is certainly true that it was intended by Cranmer that private confession directly to God, in particular, would take the place held by auricular confession to the priest under Romanism. And to that extent it is certainly true that Private confession was no longer intended to be the "general practice" that it was under Romanism.
That said, it was not intended by Cranmer that Private Confession to the Minister would vanish completely--for he considered that it was of great value not only to those at the point of death and for those who had "greviously sinned" but to all who were unable to quiet their conscience by other means. And therefore along these lines and according to this (limited and purified) standard it was considered by Cranmer that Private confession ought to remain in a more limited, but still real sense--a "general practice" of the Church.
Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

--- On Fri, 8/14/09, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament
To: "William Scott" <was02737@yahoo.com>
Date: Friday, August 14, 2009, 9:47 PM

You betray yourself again as an Anglo-Catholic dissimulator. There is NO provision in the 1662 BCP for private confession OTHER than in the visitation of the sick. AND Cranmer only allowed for it in special circumstances where someone had fallen into GRIEVOUS sin. Thus, PRIVATE CONFESSION WAS NOT THE GENERAL PRACTICE OF THE ANGLICAN REFORMERS NOR WAS IT INTENDED TO BE.
The BCP says no such thing.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 14, 2009 7:44 PM
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament

Hello Charlie,
Going now to your emails on the private absolution and the quote from the Homily.
It is not simply "private confession"/absolution" alone which is counted as the rite or "sacrament" according to Cranmer . Rather, it is both the general and private confession/absolution which are the rite or "sacrament" of the Church.
It is incorrect that the only reference to private confession/absolution is in the Visitation of the Sick (again the problem with second-hand sources). The BCP states clearly that it is to be a General practice in the Church that anyone who is struggling with his conscience prior to receiving Communion (i.e. the normal time traditionally for private confession/absolution) may go to the priest open his heart and receive counsel and absolution.
1552/1559 BCP Homily in the Communion Service states:
And because it is requisite that no man should come to the holy Communion, but with a full trust in God's mercy, and with a quiet conscience; therefore if there be any of you, which by the means aforesaid cannot quiet his own conscience, but requireth further comfort, or counsel; then let him come to me, or some other discreet and learned Minister of God's word, and open his grief, that he may receive such ghostly counsel, advice, and comfort, as his conscience may be relieved; and that by the ministry of God's word he may receive comfort, and the benefit of absolution, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.
And the more detailed Homily in the 1549 BCP speaks at greater length on the issue (noting that General Confession/Absolution is sufficient):
And if there be any of you whose conscience is troubled and grieved in any thing, let him come to me, or to some other discreet and learned priest, taught in the law of God, and confess and open his sin and grief secretly, that he may receive such ghostly counsel, advice, and comfort, that his conscience may be relieved, and that of us (as the ministers of God and of the Church) he may receive comfort and absolution, to the satisfaction of his mind, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness; requiring such as shall be satisfied with a general confession not to be offended with them that do use, to their further satisfying, the auricular and secret confession to the priest; nor those also which think needful or convenient, for the quietness of their own consciences, particularly to open their sins to the priest, to be offended with them that are satisfied with their humble confession to God, and the general confession to the Church: but in all things to follow and keep the rule of charity; and every man to be satisfied with his own conscience, not judging other men's minds or consciences; whereas he hath no warrant of God's Word to the same.
Latimer frequently notes likewise in his Sermons--which I could quote at length on the matter if need be.
The above information is from my own study into the oft neglected first hand sources--I don't rely on any "dissimulating Anglo-Catholic friends" for my information.
As it is--I have never participated in private confession/absolution with a minister before--and I feel that the general confession/absolution is sufficient for me on this matter. Nevertheless, the official Anglican position is that the option of private confession/absolution with the priest is offered and encouraged in the BCP for all who so desire.
As for my quote from the Anglican Homilies regarding broader use of the term Sacrament--the Homily says exactly what I have said. It speaks of the term Sacrament in its highest and strictest sense or "exact signification" as being limited to the two dominical Sacraments. Whereas the Homily refers several times in a looser or broader usage of the term to other Rites of the Church being among the "other sacraments." And then expressly allows a broader use of the term Sacrament for any thing by which an holy thing is signified (whether the five ordinances which are "commonly called" sacraments or other rites)--while noting that no man ought to take these lesser rites for sacraments (with the following important and very intentional qualification) "in such significance and meaning" as Baptism and the Lord's Supper. It is non-debatable that the Homily explicitly allows for a broader or less exact usage of the term Sacrament.
And the Catechism's section on the Sacraments (written by Bishop Overall who himself speaks of Absolution, for example, as a Sacrament) likewise adds a likewise intentional qualification in its statement regarding there being "two Sacraments only" [QUALIFICATION] "as generally necessary to Salvation."
Blessings in Christ,
William Scott
p.s. I realize the tone of my last email was likely not appropriate--I apologize for that. I also realize that your statements regarding me or anyone else not being saved or being a liar are almost certainly stated with a real desire for myself and others to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
Because of the time it takes to write these kind of emails and my many responsibilities it may be a good while before I can write any further serious emails.

--- On Thu, 8/13/09, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament
To: "William Scott" <was02737@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 8:09 AM

It might be even more helpful if you read the article I posted from the Church Society on the subject. http://www.churchsociety.org/issues_new/doctrine/misc/iss_doctrine_misc_privateconfession.asp
The ONLY reference to private confession in the 1662 BCP is in the visitation of the sick. AND Cranmer's reference to private confession had to do with someone who had fallen away and then was restored through repentance but still struggling with their assurance of salvation. It was NOT a general practice in any way at all as your dissimulating Anglo-Catholic "friends" are indicating.
Private confession is not a sacrament.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, August 13, 2009 7:18 AM
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament

Hello Charlie--it might be helpful to look back at the entire email from our earlier discussion (you'll find that there is more than one reference to the Homilies in it):

Hello Charlie Ray,

--Using the term "sacrament" in a broader (or looser) and "lesser" sense in reference to those ordinances "commonly called" sacraments (as the 39 Articles refer to them--even as the Day of Nativity is said to be "commonly called" Christmas Day in the BCP) was acceptable to Cranmer and practiced in the Anglican Formularies themselves.
"By holy promises, we be made lively members of CHRIST, receiving the sacrament of Baptism. By like holy promises the sacrament of Matrimony knitteth man and wife in perpetual love."
Obviously though, Cranmer drew a sharp division between the Two Sacraments of the Gospel and the other "commonly called" sacraments (which--as noted in Article 25 and the BCP Catechism--do not have all of the notable and distinguishing Sacramental qualifications as Baptism and the Lord's Supper (one distinct qualification given in the Catechism is that Baptism and the Lord's Supper alone are "generally necessary to Salvation")--and thus do not have the full "nature of Sacraments" in the way that the Two Sacraments of the Gospel do).
And the issue of the numbering of the Sacraments and the use of the term "sacrament" itself is addressed more fully in the Homily on Common Prayer and the Sacraments (in treating this matter the Homily refers briefly to absolution--and private absolution in particular--which was joined at that time with the priest laying hands on the penitent).
"Now with like, or rather more brevity, you shall hear how many Sacraments there be, that were instituted by our Saviour Christ, and are to bee continued, and received of every Christian in due time and order, and for such purpose as our Saviour Christ willed them to be received. And as for the number of them, if they should be considered according to the exact signification of a Sacrament, namely, for the visible signs, expressly commanded in the new Testament, whereunto is annexed the promise of free forgiveness of our sin, and of our holinesse and joining in Christ, there be but two: namely Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord. For although absolution hath the promise of forgiuenesse of sinne, yet by the express word of the new Testament it hath not this promise annexed and tyed to the visible signe, which is imposition of hands. For this visible sign (I meane laying on of hands) is not expresly commanded in the new Testament to be used in absolution, as the visible signes in Baptisme and the Lords Supper are: and therefore absolution is no such Sacrament as Baptisme and the Communion are. And though the ordering of ministers hath his visible signe and promise: yet it lacks the promise of remission of sinne, as all other sacraments besides the two above named do. Therefore neither it, nor any other sacrament else, be such Sacraments as Baptisme and the Communion are. But in a general acception, the name of a Sacrament may be attributed to any thing whereby an holy thing is signified...And although there are retained by the order of the Church of England, besides these two, certain other Rites and Ceremonies...yet no man ought to take these for sacraments, in such signification and meaning, as the Sacrament of Baptism. and the Lords Supper are:"
You can read the entire Homily here:
As for the progression of Cranmer's views in relation to the 1548 Catechism--it's helpful to note that the Homily of Justification (for example) cited in Article 11 was written as early as 1543 or 1544 (and no later than 1546/1547). Also, Cranmer came to his final view on the Sacrament (namely that the spiritual presence was the Catholic faith maintained in the Scriptures and the Church Fathers) by the later half of 1547 (as did Latimer--while Ridley came to his final view on the Sacrament in 1546 through the historic witness of the 9th century English monk Bertram (particularly through Bertram's persuasive citings from the Church Fathers on the matter)--and Ridley convinced Cranmer and Latimer of this position through the same essential means that he was convinced).
Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

--- On Thu, 8/13/09, Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com> wrote:

From: Charlie J. Ray <cranmer1959@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: On the term Sacrament
To: "William Scott" <was02737@yahoo.com>
Date: Thursday, August 13, 2009, 7:03 AM

William, you can post whatever you like, whenever you like. However, simply because the homilies call matrimony a "sacrament" does not undo what the Articles say. The Articles take precedence over the homilies and in fact the homilies contain some things which were still being worked out.
I will respond to you later. However, it is increasingly obvious to me that your commitments lie with Anglo-Catholicism rather than Reformed Anglicanism.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 11:42 PM
Subject: On the term Sacrament

Hello Charlie--I was going to post this on VirtueOnline--but I wanted to give you the heads up before I do so. I am concerned about posting it before hearing back from you because I'm afraid it might unjustly tarnish your honesty if I post it without you being able to publicly correct yourself on Virtue beforehand.
From your brother in Christ,
William Scott
Hello all,
Now let me start off by noting that I have no problem with someone restricting or limiting the non-Scriptural term "Sacrament" to its highest application only--namely in reference to the two Dominical Sacraments. That said, it is simply not the case that the Articles exlude a broader application of the term Sacrament.
Charlie said:
[quote]No matter how you try to twist the words of Article 25 around it plainly condemns the other so-called "sacraments" as corruptions of what the apostolic teaching was. Furthermore, only someone with an agenda would assert what Article 25 does not assert, namely that there are 7 sacraments. The other 5 are not sacraments according to the English Reformers.[/quote]
Don't you remember Charlie that you recently said on your own blog:
[quote]In short, Cranmer's view of absolution as a sacrament has to do with Gospel repentance and Gospel assurance and absolutely nothing to do with the Roman Catholic doctrine of penance as a sacrament, meriting forgiveness by doing penances and good works, etc. This should be abundantly clear from the larger context of the sermon on baptism.[/quote]
i.e. You specifically (and correctly) refer in your own blog to Cranmer's broader use of the term Sacrament and yet you state here that the English Reformers excluded use of the term Sacrament for anything other than Baptism and the Lord's Supper. It would appear that your statement in this present discussion that the English Reformers rejected a broader use of the term Sacrament was an unintentional overstatement (which can certainly happen in the heat of debate--I might add).
Further, in an email discussion we had around the same time I noted among other things that the Anglican Homilies themselves do not limit the term Sacrament to Baptism and Holy Communion.
"By holy promises, we be made lively members of CHRIST, receiving the sacrament of Baptism. By like holy promises the sacrament of Matrimony knitteth man and wife in perpetual love."
You can read the entire Homily here:
Blessings in Christ,
William Scott

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