An Apology of the Church of England

An Apology of the Church of England

An Apology of the Church of England

An Apology of the Church of England

Excerpt

In the spring of 1561 Queen Elizabeth I of England, together with her Councilors, made a decision, one of the consequences of which was the publishing of John Jewel Apology of the Church of England. Although the religious settlement effected in the Parliament of 1559 was most definitely Protestant, there were those who tenaciously held on to the hope that Elizabeth would eventually rejoin the schismatic English Church to the See of Rome. Such hopes were ill founded, based upon such tenuous evidence as rumors at court and abroad and the deliberately misleading statements which the Queen made to over-anxious ambassadors. There were some actions too which kindled the hope. The retention of the cross or crucifix in the royal chapel is a well-documented illustration. While the royal visitation of 1559 was erasing the remnants of Romish superstition from the cathedrals and parish churches of England, Elizabeth insisted upon maintaining a cross or crucifix on the royal chapel altar, provoking John Jewel, then Bishop of Salisbury, to report to Peter Martyr, his Continental mentor:

Religion among us is in the same state which I have often described to you before. The doctrine is everywhere most pure; but as to ceremonies and maskings, there is a little too much foolery. That little silver cross, of ill-omened origin, still maintains its place in the . . .

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