Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

6 July 1553 A.D. Edward VI, England’s Boy-King and Reformed Josiah, Dies

6 July 1553 A.D. Edward VI, England’s Boy-King and Josiah, dies.

Dr. Rusten tells one version of the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

By 1534, Henry VIII had made himself the English equivalent of the Pope in England rather than Italy and Europe, as the Popes had done or had tried to do repeatedly. 

Henry’s matrimonial conquests produced one lad, Edward, born in 1537.

It is claimed that Henry, an Anglo-Italian, provided the lad with Protestant tutors.  The claim needs to be tested.

Henry died.  Edward was crowned Edward VI.  They buried an “ogre” and crowned a “Reformer,” as the narrative goes. But, was it Edward or the appointed Council of Regency or Edward Seymour, a Protestant “Protector of the Realm?” 

Henry had tossed the Pope’s jurisdiction but sovereignly exercised his own.

But, this much:

  • English rather than Latin services were introduced to the nation
  • English Bible lections were introduced to the nation
  • 1552 Prayer Book revision pruned more Romanism from the services
  • The 42 Articles were penned, encapsulating Mr. (Canterbury) Cranmer’s theology
  • “Masses” were excluded and renamed “Lord’s Supper” to avoid Roman doctrines
  • Thomas Cranmer was Reformed in theology, not Lutheran and not Roman
  • Reformed theologians were brought into the nation
  • These changes would be solidified under Elizabeth and England would experience substantial changes as a result

Dr. Rusten claims it was a “mild” Reformation.  Actually, these were some significant changes.  It’s no exaggeration to say that the English-speaking world was forever influenced.  It’s only been since the 1970s that the Vatican permitted vernacular services for English-speaking Romanists, itself, a major change to what began with the Edwardean Reformation.

Dr. Rusten posts a reported prayer recited by Edward 3 hours prior to death (which he oddly attributes to “congenital syphilis” as he did for Mary 1).  Here’s the prayer:

“Lord God, deliver me out of this miserable and wretched life, and take me among Thy chosen: howbeit not my will but thy will be done.  Lord, I commit my spirit to Thee.  O Lord, thou knowest how happy it were for me to be with Thee; yet for Thy chosen sake send me life and health that I may truly serve Thee.  O Lord God, save Thy chosen people of England.  O my Lord God, defend this realm from papistry, and maintain thy true religion, that I and my people may praise Thy holy name, for thy Son Jesus Christ’s sake.”

If true, this is a prayer that no Pentecostalist, TBNer,  Word of Faither,  Rick Warrenite, Newmanian, Tractarian, or modern Anglican—once Reformed—would ever make today.  First, his prayer was not answered.  He died 3 hours later.  Second, Edward speaks of misery in this life, something no self-aggrandizing Warrenite or Osteenite would acknowledge.  They believed in original and actual sins in those times.  Third, Edward thought Romanism was not a true religion and should not have any place in merry England.  So much for the Edwardian prayer and England too.


Ashley. The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens. 20, 636-7.

Duffield, G.E. “Edward VI.” EC. 4: 17.

Durant. The Reformation. 579-87.

Petty, P.W. “Edward VI (1537-1553).” NIDCC. 333-4.

Smith, Preserved. The Age of the Reformation. New York: Holt, 1920. 310-17.

Williamson. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. 170-91.

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