I. Pre-Reformation Period.

British and Saxon Periods (§ 1).

The Norman Period (§ 2).

Pre-Reformation Resistance to Rome (§ 3).


II. History From the Reformation. 

Henry VIII. (§ 1). 

Edward VI. and Mary (§ 2).

Elizabeth (§ 3).

Struggle Between Anglicanism and Puritanism (§ 4). 

Triumph of High-church Principles Under Stuarts (§ 5)

The Commonwealth, the Restoration, the House of Hanover (§ 6).

Deism, Rise of Methodism (§ 7).

Later History (§ 8).


III. Theology, Liturgy, Clergy, Government.

Theology (§ 1). 

Liturgy (§ 2).

The Clergy (§ 3).

Government (§ 4).

Relation of Church and State (§ 5).



The Church of England, the national Church of England as by law established, may be regarded as a product of the Protestant Reformation; and from this point of view its history is held to begin with refusal of Henry VIII. to own further allegiance to the pope, and the resultant declaration that the king was the head of the Church in his dominions. In theology it is in general harmony with Protestantism, but in government it claims to have retained in unbroken succession from the Apostles, and hence from Christ himself, the three major orders of bishop, priest, and deacon. In ritual and worship it maintains a uniform order of church service, parts of which are derived immediately from ancient and medieval rituals. It occupies an intermediate position between the Latin communion and the churches of the Reformation. Many Anglican writers regard the Reformation as merely an incident in the history of the Church of England, which did not interrupt its historic continuity, which is held to date from Augustine, and even from the old Celtic Church. A considerable number, particularly in the High-church party, look upon the Reformation as a serious mistake, if not as a crime.


I. Pre-Reformation Period: 1. British and Saxon Periods. The first reliable information regarding the introduction of Christianity into Britain comes from Tertullian, who, early in the third century, wrote (Adv. Jud., vii.; ANF, iii. 158) that Christianity had penetrated into regions of Britain inaccessible to the Romans. The history of the British Church was henceforth that of early Christianity everywhere. It furnished victims to persecution, one of whom, Alban of Verulam (q.v.), was early canonized; it sent representatives to councils, for example, that of Arles (314); and it produced the heretic Pelagius (q.v.; for    this entire period see CELTIC CHURCH). The Saxon period dates from the arrival, in 597, of the monk Augustine, who had been despatched by Gregory I. (see ANGLO-SAXONS, CONVERSION OF THE; and AUGUSTINE, SAINT, OF CANTERBURY). As archbishop of Canterbury Augustine came into conflict with the bishops of the old British, or Celtic, Church; but the Roman type of Christianity prevailed over the Celtic, and crowded it out. The differences concerned the date of Easter, the mode of the tonsure, and allegiance to Rome, the Britons being determined to remain independent of the Roman rule. Augustine called the British bishops to a colloquy on the Severn, but they refused to acknowledge his authority and Augustine invoked and predicted judgment upon them. Christianity spread rapidly in southern England, and was introduced into Northumbria by Paulinus, and made the permanent religion by the labors of St. Aidan of Ireland. Under Theodore of Tarsus (consecrated archbishop of Canterbury in 668) the English episcopate was more fully organized, and the dioceses were grouped around Canterbury as the central and superior see. Theodore held synods and treated the British Christians in a high-handed way. During this period monasteries were founded; and here and there a solitary form, like Cædmon, the monk of Whitby; or Bede, "the father of learning"; or Alcuin the scholar, called to the Court of Charlemagne; or Alfred, the Christian king and patron of letters, stands out prominently. The Danish invaders of the eighth and ninth centuries interrupted the services, and devastated the property of churches and monastic orders. But the judicious wisdom and enlightened zeal of Dunstan (959-988), the first of many English ecclesiastical statesmen, repaired their ravages and effected a severer discipline and a more compact organization of the clergy. He guided the State during the nine years' reign of the invalid Eldred. During the Anglo-Saxon period papal rule won acknowledgment in increasing measure. Members of the royal family went to Rome. and Peter's pence was paid to the Roman treasury. Under the later Saxon kings the Church sank into ignorance and corruption. There were no synods; the priests were married or lived in concubinage; and simony was freely practised.


2. The Norman Period. The Norman period dates from the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 under a banner blessed by Alexander II. It is distinguished by the complete vassalage into which the Church went to the papal see, the subjection of the State to ecclesiastical domination, and the growing corruption of the clergy. But the State in turn struggled to emancipate itself from ecclesiastical fetters by legislation, and the people to rid themselves of clerical incompetency and scandal by a reform in the life and doctrine of the Church. William the Conqueror removed all the Saxon bishops except Wulfstan of Worcester and replaced them with Norman prelates. He practically chose all ecclesiastical dignitaries himself, and insisted upon the right of investiture as his royal prerogative. He withstood the claims of Gregory VIII. to rights over England as his fief. Lanfranc (q.v.), archbishop of Canterbury (1070-1089), secured the institution of special ecclesiastical courts, in which all ecclesiastical cases were tried. After Lanfranc, archbishop after archbishop contended with royalty, now for the superior rights of the Church and papal investiture, now for the liberties of the people. Lanfranc's successor Anselm (q.v.; 1093-1109), appointed by William Rufus, fought the battle of investiture and went into exile rather than receive it from the king. Under his primacy the canons against clerical marriage and concubinage (1102, 1107, 1108) were renewed by synodal action, but Eadmer reports that "almost the greater and the better part of the English clergy" were the sons of priests. The next great archbishop Thomas Becket (q.v.; 1162-1170), contended with Henry II., who sought to reform the abuses growing out of clerical exemption from civil jurisdiction. Becket's attitude called forth the famous Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164, which forbade papal briefs to be received in England without the royal consent, or prelates to go to Rome without the same consent. Though Becket was murdered, victory did not rest with the king. It remained for the State as a national body to come into subjection to the ecclesiastical power of Rome. This was accomplished during the reign of John (see LANGTON, STEPHEN; and INNOCENT III.).


3. Pre-Reformation Resistance to Rome. A new era seemed to have dawned with the earnest and plain preaching of the Dominican (1221) and Franciscan friars (1224); but, becoming fat with lands, they lost their hold on the popular mind. Here and there a great bishop, like Grosseteste (q.v.; 1235-53), lifted up his voice against the corruption of the clergy, dared to resist the pope's assumption to force appointments within his diocese, and insisted upon the authority and preaching of the Scriptures. The great English chronicler Matthew Paris, in the middle of the thirteenth century, voices the protest of the people against the monetary exactions of the pope and his agents. The State was not completely paralyzed, but sought to meet ecclesiastical domination and abuses with remedial legislation. Two great acts stand out as protests against them. The statute of mortmain (1279) forbade the alienation of lands to religious corporations in such wise as to be exempt from taxation, while the statutes of præmunire and provisors (1351, 1391, etc.) made a royal license necessary to the validity of papal appointments and bulls within the realm. [The statute of præmunire forbade resort to foreign tribunals (the curia included) for the adjudication of ecclesiastical causes without express permission from the crown. The statute of provisors was aimed against the reservation by the pope for himself or his favorites of English benefices, with the collection of the revenues without equivalent service. In case endowed positions were kept vacant with such intent, the revenues were to go into the royal exchequer. A. H. N.] Neither of these acts accomplished much at the time, but the latter was used effectively by Henry VIII. In 1366, a parliament of Edward III. definitely refused to pay the annual tribute of a thousand marks promised by John to the apostolic see. In the fourteenth century loud protests began to be heard from the people and the clergy. John Wyclif (q.v.; 1324-1384), "the morning star of the Reformation," translated the Scriptures and asserted the rights of the State and the individual conscience. He published in 1381 twelve theses against transubstantiation, and declared that the Lord was in the sacrament as a king is in his realm. He insisted upon the practise of preaching, denounced the idleness and ignorance of the monks, defined the Church as "the organization of the elect," and called upon the pope to give up his pride and wealth. William Longland, without Erasmus' scholarship, but in a more popular and earnest vein than he, ridiculed the friars in rimes. The Lollards (q.v.) were so numerous that, according to the chronicler Knighton, every other person on the road was one. But the energetic opposition of Church and State was effective in silencing them or inducing them to recant. The statute "for burning heretics" was enacted in 1401. By the order of the Council of Constance (1415), Wyclif's ashes were disinterred and scattered in the Swift. The Church slumbered on for more than a century longer, but the great movement finally came, out of which Christianity in England, again crystallized in a distinctly national Church of England, started forward on a career of renewed life and achievement.


II. History From the Reformation: 1. Henry VIII. The same general principle of protest against ecclesiastical corruption was involved in the Reformation movement in England that inspired the Reformation on the Continent. Nevertheless, the movement in England had its own salient and distinguishing features, preserving in unbroken continuity the ecclesiastical orders and succession of the catholic Church. Circumstances had been preparing the way for the Reformation in England. The signs of the times in the early part of the sixteenth century indicated a mighty movement of men's minds in England as well as on the Continent, as shown by the revival of classical learning with such names as Erasmus, Colet, and Thomas More, the bold satires upon clerical abuses, the independence of thought as shown in Erasmus' appeal to the Greek New Testament in the preface of his edition (Basel, 1516), and More's dreams of improvement in Church and State in his Utopia. Open revolt was declared in the translation of the New Testament by Tyndale (1526) and its circulation, in spite of ecclesiastical disapproval. Luther's words from across the sea, declaring papal domination to be the Babylonian captivity of the Church (1520) found an eager audience in England, nor could the public burning of his tracts by Wolsey (1521) check the growing movement against Roman Catholic rule. Henry VIII., the "defender of the faith," was then a loyal son of Rome and set himself against reform in doctrine or in ritual. The aid which his attitude came to give to the Reformation was brought about with no deliberate intention on his part. The open rupture between Rome and England, which might not inconceivably have come to pass in any case, was actually forced, not as the protest of religious principles against ecclesiastical abuses, but as a political expedient to which Henry VIII. resorted to accomplish and to justify his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and his marriage with Anne Boleyn. In 1531 Henry charged the clergy with a violation of the statute of præmunire for being accomplices with Cardinal Wolsey, who had exercised the functions of a legate without the royal consent. The two convocations compounded by the payment of £118,000; but the king, not satisfied with this evidence of a submissive temper, demanded that he should be recognized as "chief protector, the only supreme lord and head of the Church and clergy in England." The Convocation of Canterbury accepted the title, but added the limiting clause: "so far as the law of Christ will allow." In 1533 a parliamentary statute forbade all ecclesiastical appeals beyond the kingdom. The year following, impelled by the pope's command to take back Catherine, Henry secured the passage of the Act of Supremacy, which made all papal appointments within the realm illegal, and vested unlimited authority in the crown to reform and redress ecclesiastical abuses. The English Church was thus severed from the papal communion and became an independent body. It was not long before the king, in 1536-39, made a bold use of his new authority by abolishing the monastic establishments and confiscating their wealth, amounting to £38,000,000. In Thomas Cranmer (q.v.), who had helped, him in his efforts to divorce Catherine, Henry found an able primate. He was a strong friend of the new views, married to a Lutheran wife, and in his earlier life was strongly Lutheran in doctrine. The king, however, had little or no sympathy with the Continental Reformation. He attacked Luther in a tract on the seven sacraments, and Luther's rude reply confirmed Henry's mind against the Reformation. The articles adopted by Convocation in 1536 retained the doctrine of the Real Presence, the use of images, prayers to saints, purgatory, and auricular confession, and only divested these practises of some gross superstitions. The king seemed to take higher ground when he gave his sanction to the translation of the Scriptures known as the Great Bible (1539). But all hopes of a thorough doctrinal reformation were doomed to disappointment. The six so-called "Bloody Articles" of 1539 denounced all denial of transubstantiation as heresy, and declared strongly in favor of auricular confession, the celibacy of the clergy, and the sacrifice of private masses. The punishment for denying transubstantiation was burning.


2. Edward VI. And Mary. Under Edward VI. (1548-53), the doctrinal reformation was accomplished. The six articles were repealed, and sympathy with the Continental Reformers was shown in the call of Butzer and Fagius to Cambridge, and of Peter Martyr and Ochino to Oxford. A Prayer-Book was issued in 1549, the Forty-Two Articles were drawn up in 1552. They declared that "the Church of Rome hath erred not only in its living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith" (xix.); expressly denied transubstantiation; permitted the marriage of the clergy; discontinued auricular confession; and approved of the communion in both kinds. With their adoption the formative period of the Church of England closes. The reign of Mary (1553-58), a firm adherent of the Roman Catholic faith, checked the Reformation for the moment, but did not crush it, though a determined effort was made to restore papal control over the English Church, the intolerance of the age being freely employed. Hooper, Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer were brought to the stake, and many refugees fled to Basel and Geneva; but these persecutions, which were attributed largely to Spanish influence, Mary being married to Philip II., only awakened dogged resistance. The number of certified executions for religious reasons during her reign was 286, of which forty-six were of women.


3. Elizabeth. The accession of Elizabeth restored the independence of the Church of England, which, in spite of occasional resistance from within and papal opposition from without (1570), became the permanent religious home of the large majority in the land, and was firmly established by the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Two periods stand out in the history of the Church under Elizabeth. In the early part of her reign the separation of the National Church from the Roman Catholic see was completed, and in the latter part the conflict between Anglicanism and Puritanism deepened and resulted in the victory of the Anglican school. The queen was no zealous reformer, but directed the affairs of the Church with the keen sagacity of a statesmanship which placed national unity and the peace of the realm above every other consideration. In the first year of her reign the Act of Supremacy was renewed and the Act of Uniformity (q.v.) was passed. By the former all allegiance to foreign princes or prelates was forbidden; by the latter the use of the liturgy was enforced. The royal title of "Defender of the Faith and Supreme Head of the Church" was retained, with the slight alteration of "Head" to "Governor"; but the deprecation was struck out of the Litany which read, "From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome and all his detestable enormities, good Lord, deliver us." The queen retained, against the protest of bishops, an altar, crucifix, and lighted candles in her own chapel, disapproved of the marriage of the clergy, interrupted the preacher who spoke disparagingly of the sign of the cross, and imperiously forced her wishes upon unwilling prelates. But in spite of seeming to approximate the Church of Rome in points of ritual, Elizabeth did not interfere by any public measures with the results of the Reformation of Edward VI. The reduction of the Forty-two Articles to thirty-nine (1563), the form which they have ever since retained, did not impair their Protestant character.


4. Struggle Between Anglicanism and Puritanism. The independence of the National Church being thus permanently settled, it remained only to settle disputes within her own pale. The great question was whether Puritanism should be tolerated. This was a question not of doctrine, for the prevailing doctrinal views were Calvinistic, and Elizabeth's bishops, almost without exception, were Calvinists. It was a question of ecclesiastical polity, ritual, and vestments. Many of the refugees who had fled to the Continent in Mary's reign returned strongly prejudiced against an elaborate ritual, and in favor of the Genevan form of government. Thomas Cartwright (q.v.), Margaret professor of divinity at Cambridge, was the ablest exponent of these views (1570). There was no uniformity practised in the conduct of public services and the dress of the clergy. Hooper, bishop of Gloucester, who had died at the stake in 1555, for a long time refused to be consecrated from conscientious scruples against the usual episcopal robes, and Bishop Jewel pronounced the clerical garb a stage dress and a "relic of the Amorites." It is noteworthy that two of Elizabeth's archbishops, Matthew Parker and Edmund Grindal (qq.v.), were averse to enforcing uniformity in these matters. The latter, with Bishops Parkhurst and Ponet, not only would have allowed a coordinate authority to the presbyterian system of Geneva, but would have gone even farther. Grindal incurred suspension from his office as primate by disobeying the queen's command to suppress the Puritan "prophesyings," or informal religious harangues. By a royal proclamation these were suppressed, and a royal proclamation had already required the use of clerical vestments. It thus was decided that no unrestricted license in the conduct of public worship and clerical dress was to be tolerated. These acts made many of the Puritan clergy see fit to resign their benefices. In Grindal's successor, John Whitgift (q.v.), Elizabeth had a prelate to her hand. The breach between the two parties became wider; and if the Church, on her part, refused to countenance any dissidence, the Puritans, on their part, became coarse, as in the so-called Marprelate controversy (1588), when they issued scurrilous libels against the queen and bishops (see MARPRELATE TRACTS). The controversy was closed in 1593 by an act of Parliament which made Puritan ism an offense against the statute law. After the defeat of the Spanish Armada, some Puritans were put to death and others took refuge in Holland, and later in America. See PURITANS, PURITANISM.


5. Triumph of High-church Principles Under Stuarts. The history of the seventeenth century is marked by the consolidation of the Church of England in spite of a temporary triumph of Puritanism, and by the development of the doctrine of the divine appointment of episcopacy, the first indications of which showed themselves in the Puritan controversies of the Elizabethan period, with a consequent uncompromising resistance to all dissent in ritual and doctrines, culminating in the repressive legislation of Charles II. Under James I. (1603-25), who came from Scotland to England with a cordial hatred of Presbyterianism, the Puritan party was completely humiliated. All the Puritan hopes expressed in the famous Millenary Petition, signed by eight hundred clergymen, and asking for the removal of "superstitious usages" from the Prayer-Book, etc., were doomed to disappointment; although James won the approval of Churchmen and dissenters alike by the preparation, under his auspices, of the authorized version of the English Bible which appeared in 1611 (see HAMPTON COURT CONFERENCE). James retained relations with the Reformed Churches of the Continent, and sent five commissioners to represent the Church of England at the Synod of Dort, with instructions to "favor no innovations in doctrine, and to conform to the confessions of the neighboring Reformed churches." But full sympathy with the Continental churches was hereafter impracticable, and recognition of their orders (as was the case under Elizabeth) impossible, by the High-church views of episcopacy which were spreading, and which, under Charles I. (1625-49) and Archbishop Laud (q.v.; 1633 45), assumed an extreme form. The latter taught that episcopacy was not only necessary to the wellbeing, but essential to the very existence of the Church. His administration revived, to the Low-church and Puritan mind, the ritual of Rome, and displayed so much sympathy with it that he was said to have been offered a cardinal's hat. Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury (1611-35), was a strict Calvinist, but he could not check the growth of the Arminian views advocated by Laud, whose fidelity to his principles brought him to the block in 1645. He and Charles I. have since been regarded as martyrs by a school of Anglicans who reprobate everything that savors of Puritanism as contrary to the Church and to God. Since his day a large liberty of opinion has been allowed and practised in the Church of England on the question of ritual and episcopacy; the High-church views of Laud, and the Low-church views of Parker and Grindal, both having their representatives.


6. The Commonwealth, the Restoration, the House of Hanover. During the Commonwealth, the Established Church was, in fact, a religio illicita, an act of Parliament having abolished episcopacy, and discontinued the use of the Liturgy (Sept. 10, 1642). Puritanism triumphed for a time, and the Westminster Assembly (q.v.) in 1643 established a Presbyterian kingdom; but in spite of the strong theological intellects which supported it, and in spite of the massive will of Cromwell, who was not a Presbyterian, but an Independent, Puritanism was a failure in England. The accession of Charles II. (1660) restored the Church of England to the national position which it has ever since held. Stern measures against the Puritans soon followed. By the Act of Uniformity (q.v.) of 1662, the use of the Prayer-Book was rigidly enforced; and two thousand English clergymen, among them some of the most scholarly and pious divines of the time (such as Baxter and Howe), were deprived of their benefices. These penalties for dissent were increased by the Five-Mile Act (q.v.) of 1665, while the Test Act (q.v.) of 1673, by excluding all Puritans from office, marked the culmination of legislation against dissenters. Charles II. died, it is commonly held, a Roman Catholic, and his brother, James II., lived as one; but the nation was against him, and his efforts to restore confidence and toleration for the Roman Church failed. The accession of William and Mary in 1688 ushered in a new epoch. The principle that the Established Church had an exclusive right to existence and protection was abrogated. The movement in favor not only of toleration but of absolute freedom of worship and political equality without reference to ecclesiastical connection began with this reign. Put into more and more extensive practise, this principle has effected the abolition of most, if not all, political disabilities on account of religious differences. The first legislation in this direction was the Act of Toleration (q.v.) of 1689 establishing freedom of worship. The nineteenth century witnessed the repeal of the Test Act (1828), the removal of the disabilities of the Roman Catholics (1829) and Jews (1858), and the disestablishment of the Irish Church (1868).


7. Deism, Rise of Methodism. The eighteenth century was characterized by a wide-spread religious apathy and worldliness among the clergy, and witnessed the culmination of Deism, which identified Christian revelation with natural religion, and excluded from Christianity, as ungenuine and false, all that was not contained in the latter (see DEISM). But the influence of Deism was more than counteracted by the Evangelical spirit and activity of Whitefield and the Wesleys, graduates of Oxford, which worked with irresistible power upon the masses, and aroused the clergy out of their indifference to a new sense of their spiritual obligations. John Wesley (q.v.; 1702-91), the founder of the movement, a man of notable power of organization as well as a great preacher, reached the masses and spoke as no single individual had spoken to England since Wyclif. Charles Wesley (q.v.) gave the English people some of its best hymns. Whitefield (q.v.) in America as well as in England made the reputation of the greatest popular preacher England had produced. Against his will John Wesley founded a new church organization (see METHODISTS). Fresh life sprang up in the Church of England as a result of this revival of practical religion. The so-called Evangelicals, including some of the most famous pastors, fervent preachers, devout poets, and self-sacrificing philanthropists--men like Venn and Newton and Cowper and Wilberforce--brought a warm consecration to their work and vied with the more eloquent and equally devoted leaders of the Methodist movement in spreading the truths of vital religion. The century closed with an intense sympathy for the heathen abroad and the depraved classes at home. Sunday Schools were organized by the layman Robert Raikes of Gloucester in 1780, and in 1799 the Church Missionary Society was founded, while later still the movement which resulted in the abolition of the slave-trade was inaugurated by Wilberforce.


8. Later History. The nineteenth century was characterized by earnest philanthropic movements, by the rise of the Oxford Movement, which profoundly influenced the Church (see TRACTARIANISM), and by the close affiliation with the Episcopal churches in the United States and the English colonies. The British and Foreign Bible Society united Churchmen and dissenters in a common enterprise, and the Evangelical Alliance, in 1846, again sought to unify them in spirit and prayer. No preceding period was distinguished for piety at once more practical and more liberal. However, the Church received a blow which, in the eyes of her opponents, threatened to crush her, when John Henry Newman, Henry Edward Manning, Frederick W. Faber, and other men of eminence among both the clergy and the laity became converts to the Roman Catholic communion. A far different school, equally devoted to the Church of England, but adhering to Reformation rather than to Anglo-Catholic tenets, included such men as the Hares, F. D. Maurice, and Archbishop Whateley. In the last half of the century Biblical scholarship was carried on to a high point by such men as Archbishop Trench, Dean Alford, Bishops Lightfoot and Westcott of Durham, Bishop Ellicott, Dean Stanley, and Professors Hatch and Hort, not to mention the living. These Biblical studies culminated in the movement to revise the English translation of the Bible (see BIBLE VERSIONS, B, IV., § 7). The High-church party lays emphasis upon the exclusive right of episcopacy and apostolic succession, and maintains an advanced ritual, together with insistence on the doctrines of the Real Presence and baptismal regeneration. The extreme wing has reintroduced practises abrogated under Lutheran and Calvinistic influence, such as veneration of the Blessed Sacrament, auricular confession, communion in one kind for the laity, and the establishment of monastic orders. They are distinguished for the elaborate and reverent character of their services, for the frequent celebration of the Eucharist, which is held to be sacrificial, and for their great zeal and devotion in benevolent church work. Occupying opposite ground is the Low-church party, which holds strictly to the natural interpretation of the Thirty-nine Articles (q.v.), denies episcopacy to be of the essence of the Church, and denounces so-called ritualistic practises. Between these two schools a third has grown up since the middle of the nineteenth century. Its combination of tolerant, and sometimes latitudinarian, sympathies with loyalty to the Church has secured for it the name of the Broad-church party. Among its more prominent representatives have been Arnold, Julius Hare, Maurice, Kingsley, and Stanley. During the nineteenth century the vigorous life of the Church was further shown by the restoration of cathedrals and the construction of churches, in the creation of new episcopal sees at home and the rapid extension of the Church and episcopate in the colonies. In addition to the Parliamentary acts bearing on the rights of Churchmen were the Compulsory Church Rate Abolition Act (1868) relieving dissenters of church taxation, and the University Test Act (1871) throwing open the universities to all irrespective of creed.


III. Theology, Liturgy, Clergy, Government: 1. Theology. The doctrinal standards of the Anglican Church are the Thirty-Nine Articles (q.v.) and the Book of Common Prayer (see COMMON PRAYER, BOOK OF). To these may be added the Catechism and the two Books of Homilies (see HOMILIARIUM) issued in the reign of Edward VI. and sanctioned by the Thirty-nine Articles. Within the pale of the Church the most divergent views have prevailed concerning its doctrinal status. On the one hand, it has been represented as strongly Calvinistic, both in respect to the sacraments and to the decrees; on the other hand, theologians such as Newman (before his conversion to the Roman Catholic faith), Bishop Forbes of Brechin, and Pusey hold that nothing is taught in the Thirty-nine Articles which can not be harmonized with the Tridentine decrees. An unprejudiced study of the wording of the Articles, without any inferences from what is left unsaid, shows that they teach a moderate Calvinism, and are in all essentials in sympathy with the Protestant Reformation of the Continent. The sole and supreme authority of the Scriptures is emphasized (Art. vi.), as is the doctrine of justification by faith, Art. xi. reading: "Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholesome Doctrine," etc. Original sin is the corruption by nature of every descendant of Adam (Art. ix.); and predestination is the everlasting purpose of God to redeem "those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind" (Art. xvii.). The doctrines of purgatory, celibacy, etc., are specifically denounced (Arts. xxii., xxxii.). The teaching concerning the Eucharist is plainly against transubstantiation, which, in Art. xxviii., is declared to be "repugnant to the plain words of Scripture," the "Body of Christ " being "given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner." While Art. xxvii. can scarcely be said unreservedly to set forth the doctrine of baptismal regeneration, the case is different in the Office for Baptism in the Prayer-Book. After the child has been baptized, the priest says: "Seeing now . . . that this Child is regenerate, and grafted into the body of Christ's Church"; and again, after repeating the Lord's Prayer, he gives thanks to God for regenerating the infant, etc. These words, naturally interpreted, teach baptismal regeneration, although by Low-churchmen they are frequently explained as being used in a hypothetical sense.


2. Liturgy. The worship of the Church of England is liturgical and is regulated by the Book of Common Prayer. Its beautiful forms of service, and its solemn and venerable prayers, are not only among the choicest specimens of English, but exert on the ear and heart of those who hear them an influence which nothing else can replace. The rubrics (so called from having originally been written or printed in red ink) give directions for the minutest details of the service. Provision is made for daily morning and evening prayer, these services consisting of prayers, anthems (Te Deum, Benedicite, Magnificat, Nunc Dimittis, etc.), one lesson from the Old and one from the New Testament, the Creed, and the sermon. After morning prayer on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, a Litany of great beauty and comprehensiveness should be recited; and the Eucharist, for which a separate liturgy is provided, is celebrated at varying intervals, as often as once daily in many High churches. The original purpose was obviously to have a celebration at least once each week. Twenty-nine feasts are observed, while Lent and Advent, with certain other days, are fasts. The forms for baptism, confirmation, marriage, burial, and ordination are prescribed. The creeds are the Apostles, Nicene, and Athanasian, the last-named assailed by a strong faction. Any departure, even in the smallest detail, from the Book of Common Prayer is illegal.


3. The Clergy. The clergy of the Church of England consists of three orders--deacons, priests (presbyters), and bishops. The canonical age is respectively twenty-three, twenty-four, and thirty. The duties of the deacon are to render assistance to the priest in the service of the sanctuary and in pastoral work. He may preach, read the prayers and Scripture lessons, assist in the distribution of the elements at communion, and administer baptism. The priest serves at the altar and consecrates the elements in the Eucharist. At his ordination the bishop pronounces upon him the words "Receive the Holy Ghost for the Office and Work of a Priest in the Church of God," etc., this being interpreted either as a petition for the anointing of the Holy Spirit or as marking the transmission of a heavenly grace through the bishop. The bishop has the exclusive right of ordination, confirmation, and the consecration of churches. Bishops are appointed by the crown. A congé d'élire is sent to the chapter when a bishopric is vacant, but it is a mere formality, as the name of the new appointee is sent with it. In the case of bishoprics recently established, as Manchester, St. Albans, Liverpool, Truro, Newcastle, and Southwell, they are conferred directly by letters patent from the crown. Deans have charge of cathedral churches and are assisted by canons, the number of which may not exceed six for any cathedral. The archdeacon assists the bishop in his official duties as superintendent of the diocese. He holds synods, delivers charges, and visits parishes. He is sometimes aided by rural deans. Both these classes are members of Convocation by virtue of their office. No bishop is allowed to transgress the limits of his diocese in the performance of episcopal functions unless requested so to do. The bishops frequently associate with themselves suffragan bishops.


4. Government. England is divided into the two archbishoprics of Canterbury and York. In 1906 there were within the limits of the former twenty-five sees, and within the latter nine. In order of dignity the archdioceses and dioceses rank: Canterbury, York, London, Durham, Winchester, etc. In connection with the Church of England and Wales there are also twenty-one suffragan bishops and two assistant bishops. The Irish Church, disestablished in 1869, has two archbishops and eleven bishops, and the Scotch Episcopal Church has seven bishops. The first colonial see was that of Nova Scotia, which was created in 1787. There are thirty-two deans presiding over as many cathedrals, but the deans of Westminster and Windsor are independent of episcopal control, and are subject directly to the crown. There are ninety-three archdeacons and 810 rural deans. The clergy of the Church in priest's orders in England and Wales are called "rector," "vicar," "curate," etc., and at the census of 1901 numbered 25,235. The benefices, or livings, number nearly 14,080. Their patronage is divided between the crown (1,150 livings), the bishops (1,853), the universities (770), private patrons (6,200) etc. (see ENGLAND AND WALES.) The consent of the bishop of the diocese is necessary to the induction of an incumbent; and, in the event of a disagreement between patron and bishop, the case is decided by the Court of Arches. The people have no voice in the choice of their rector, but the rector, once inducted, has absolute control of his church, so that not even the bishop may enter it without his consent. Many of the parishes have endowments in lands; others are supported, in whole or in part, from public funds, such as Queen Anne's Bounty. The system of patronage has led to abuses, some of which still remain. On the other hand, the plurality system, by which a clergyman might hold any number of livings at the same time, and which was so much abused in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, has been rectified by parliamentary legislation. Under the present law no one can hold two cathedral positions at the same time. The holder of a cathedral position may hold only one parish besides. A clergyman may have two parishes; but if the one numbers three thousand, the other may not include more than five hundred. The evils of non-residence have likewise been restrained by law. The yearly income of the Church of England from voluntary contributions amounts to something more than £8,000,000 and the income from ancient endowments to £5,500,000. Of this income the archbishop of Canterbury receives £15,000, and the archbishop of York £10,000; the bishop of London £10,000, and the bishop of Durham £8,000. The see with the smallest income is that of the bishop of Sodor and Man, which amounts to £2,000. Deans on the average receive £1 000; and the clergy from £150 upward. A fund managed by the "Ecclesiastical Commission," and supplied by the revenues of suppressed canonries, sinecures, and the surplus revenues of bishoprics over and above the episcopal salary, is used for the augmentation of bishoprics, the increase of the smaller salaries, the endowment of new churches, etc.


5. Relation of Church and State. The Church of England is one of the estates of the realm. Its relation to the State is one of dependence, the sovereign being its supreme governor, and Parliament its highest legislature. The archbishop of Canterbury is the first peer in the realm and crowns the king. The bishops (see EPISCOPACY, IV.) have their "palaces," and seats in the House of Lords, except the bishop of Sodor and Man. As for the rest, excepting the bishops of London, Winchester, and Durham (who always sit), they have seats only after their appointment to the House of Lords. The Church does not legislate for itself independently or directly; it is subject to Parliament. The convocations of Canterbury and York are the two highest official church bodies. Convocation is assembled by the king's writ, and can not proceed to make new canons without his license, nor are its decisions valid till confirmed by his sanction (see CONVOCATION). Judicial business is transacted in three courts. The lowest is the diocesan Consistory Court, presided over by the bishop's chancellor. Appealed cases go up to the Court of Arches, the official head of which is styled Dean of the Arches (see ARCHES, COURT OF). The last tribunal of appeal is the king in council, or the judicial committee of the Privy Council. There are three church censures: suspension (for the neglect of parish duties), deprivation, and degradation. The two latter follow upon the disuse of the Prayer-Book, teachings subversive of the Thirty-nine Articles, simony, or conviction in a civil court. The Court of Arches alone exercises the right of deprivation.


In 1888 the first Lambeth Synod was held which included the bishops of the Church of England and the Colonies and all the Protestant Episcopal churches of America (see LAMBETH CONFERENCE; LAMBETH ARTICLES). As in America, it should be noted, the opposition of a wing of the Low-church party to the Oxford Movement led to the formation of the Free Church of England (q.v.) as well as to the introduction into England of the Reformed Episcopal Church (q.v.). 



BIBLIOGRAPHY: For a comprehensive list of the literature the fullest treatment is in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, in six parts, under the entry "England." The titles of the most important recent works (1889-1905) are collected in the Subject Index issued by the trustees of the British Museum, under the entry "England," in which a section is devoted to the Church of England. A very necessary volume is C. Gross, Sources and Literature of English History . . . to About 1485, London, 1900. The reader is referred also to the bibliographies appended to the articles on the individual worthies of that communion in this work, and to such articles as COMMON PRAYER, BOOK OF; THIRTY-NINE ARTICLES; and WESTMINSTER ASSEMBLY.


For general treatment the pertinent works of the English historians Lingard (Roman Catholic; able), Freeman, Froude, Green, Ranke, H. D. Traill (Social England, 6 vols., London, 1893-97, 3d ed. in progress), Gardiner, and Lecky are to be consulted, as well as the monumental Dictionary of National Biography. As sources the superlatively important Rolls Series may not be overlooked, as well as the publications of the Camden and Surtees Societies. Bohn's Antiquarian Library, 41 vols., London, 1848 sqq., contains the medieval English chroniclers and other valuable works. On the Reformation the publications of the Parker Society are to be noted; also Foxe's Acts and Monuments, best ed., 8 vols., London, 1843; J. Strype, Annals of the Reformation (and other works), 27 vols., Oxford, 1822-28; G. Burnet, Hist. of the Reformation, 7 vols., Oxford, 1865; D. Neal, Hist. of the Puritans, new ed., 2 vols., London, 1843; cf. also F. Seebohm, Oxford Reformers, 3d ed., London, 1887; and the general works upon the Reformation.


On the general history consult: the Opera of Bede; J. Ussher, Ecclesiarum Britannicarum, antiquitates, in the Works, ed. C. R. Elrington, 16 vols., Dublin, 1847-62; E. Stillingfleet, Origines Britannicæ, ed. Pantin, 2 vols., Oxford, 1842; T. Fuller, Church Hist. of Britain, ed. J. Nichols, 3 vols., London, 1868; J. Inett, Origins Anglicanæ, ed. J. Griffiths, 3 vols., Oxford, 1855 (in continuation of Stillingfleet); J. Collier, Eccl. Hist. of Great Britain, best ed., 9 vols., London, 1840 (goes through the reign of Charles II.); J. Grant, Hist. of the English Church and of the Sects . . . with Answers to Each Dissenting Body, 4 vols., London, 1811-25 (goes through the reign of George III.); E. Cardwell, Documentary Annals of the Reformed Church of England, 1546-1716, 2 vols., Oxford, 1844; G. Weber, Geschichte der akatholischen Kirchen and Sekten von Grossbritannien, 2 vols., Leipsic, 1845-53; J. S. M. Anderson, Hist. of the Church of England in the Colonies, 3 vols., London, 1858; G. G. Perry, Hist. of the Church of England, 3 vols., ib. 1862-64; R. W. Dixon, History of the Church of England from the Abolition of the Roman Jurisdiction, 4 vols., ib. 1878-91; A. Martineau, Church Hist. in England . . . to the Reformation, ib. 1878; R. Barclay, Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth, 2 vols., ib. 1879; E. Churton, The Early English Church, ib. 1879; J. Stoughton, Hist. of Religion in England, 1640-1800, 6 vols., ib. 1881; idem, Religion in England during the First Half of the Present Century, 2 vols., ib. 1884; C. J. Abbey and J. H. Overton, The English Church in the 18th Century, 2 vols., ib. 1887; W. Stubbs, Registrum sacrum Anglicanum, Oxford, 1897; a new ed. Of Stubbs' Lectures on Early English Church Hist., ed. A. Hassell, appeared, ib. 1906; W. A. Shaw, Hist. of the English Church, 1640-1660, 2 vols., ib. 1900; J. H. Overton, The Church in England, 2 vols., ib. 1903. Convenient handbooks are: G. G. Perry, Student's Church Hist. of England, 3 vols., ib. 1878-87; A. C. Jennings, Ecclesia Anglicana, ib. 1882; H. Gee, The Elizabethan Clergy and the Settlement of Religion, Oxford, 1898; H. C. G. Moule, Evangelical School in the Church of England; its Men and its Work in the 19th Century, London, 1901; A. Plummer, English Church Hist., 1509-1702, 3 vols., Edinburgh, 1904-07; T. Allison, Lectures on English Church Hist., . . . 1708, London, 1906; A. Gasquet, Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries, ib. 1906 (Roman Catholic); S. R. Maitland, The Reformation in England, New York, 1906; H. N. Birt, The Elizabethan Religious Settlement, a Study of Contemporary Documents, London, 1907 (Roman Catholic); J. H. Overton, The Anglican Revival, New York, 1907; W. B. Carpenter, Popular Hist. of the Church of England, London, 1908; G. R. Balleine, A Hist. of the Evangelical Party in the Church of England, ib. 1908.


On councils and church law: D. Wilkins, Concilia Magnæ Britannia, 4 vols., London, 1737; E. Cardwell, Synodalia, a Collection of Articles of Religious Canons and Proceedings of Convocation in the Province of Canterbury, 2 vols., Oxford, 1842; F. Makower, The Constitutional Hist. and Constitution of the Church of England, London, 1895; R. J. Phillimore, The Ecclesiastical Law of the Church of England, ed. W. G. F. Phillimore and C. F. Jemmett, 2 vols., London, 1895; W. Stubbs, The Constitutional Hist. of England, 3 vols., Oxford, 1897; idem, Select Charters of English Court Hist., ib. 1900; F. W. Maitland, Roman Canon Law in the Church of England, London, 1898; H. H. Henson, The National Church; Essays on its Hist. and Constitution, ib., 1908; Gee and Hardy, Documents.