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:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

24 December 1525 A.D. Christmas Eve at St. Edward’s, Cambridge, UK—Dr. Robert Barnes Wirebrushes Episcopal and Papal Abuses

24 December 1525 A.D.  Christmas Eve at St. Edward’s, Cambridge, UK—Dr. Robert Barnes Wirebrushes Episcopal and Papal Abuses with 15 Propositions. 

Robert Barnes, the prior of Augustinian Friars and a leading figure “in the circle of scholars” preached at St. Edward’s Church a “paraphrase of Luther’s postil for the day” (24).  This raises the big issue again: what Lutheran documents were in Cambridge?  24 December 1525, Hugh Latimer also raises “Reformation themes” (24), although Prof. Clebsch merely refers to this without further evidence.

This particular sermon would be the basis for the imputation of 25 articles of heresy against Robert Barnes.  A university-wide debate was opened up in the following weeks. An investigation by Wolsey was commenced. Barnes was arrested c. 6 Feb 1526, investigated c. 7-8 Feb 1526, and forced to abjure in a public service of abjuration at St. Paul’s, London on 11 Feb 1526, Quinquagesima Sunday, 0800.  Fisher preached. Two elevated scaffolds were constructed. 40-some church dignitaries were on one scaffold.  Barnes and 5 merchants, kneeling, were on the other scaffold.  In between the two scaffolds were baskets of Lutheran books.  While Fisher preached, the abjuration service was conducted, all participants begging forgiveness from the Crown and the Church.  What began at St. Edward’s, Cambridge with Barnes’ sermon ended at St. Paul’s, London—although Barnes would later recant his abjuration and go back to Reformation themes.
We have treated the propositions and the results elsewhere.  Suffice it to say that the Reformation was "game on" by the mid-1520s in England.  The Reformers were on the offense and the Church and Crown were playing defense.

St. Edward’s. 

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