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REASONS FOR ALTERING THE FORM OF THE TABLE. 323
is more holden in the minds of the simple and ignorant This reason by the form of an altar, than of a table; wherefore it is away the more meet, for the abolishment of this superstitious opinion, tious to have the Lord's board after the form of a table, than serveth also of an altar.
as well for abolishing other things : besides altars, &c.
The form of an altar was ordained for the sacrifices of the The name of law, and therefore the altar in Greek is called Ovotaorplov, how deriquasi sacrificii locus. But now both the law and the sacrifices thereof do cease: wherefore the form of the altar used in the altar ought to cease withal.
a table, and
Christ did institute the sacrament of his body and blood Christ used at his last supper at a table, and not at an altar; as it not an altar. appeareth manifestly by the three Evangelists. And St Paul calleth the coming to the holy communion, the coming unto the Lord's Supper. And also it is not read that any of the apostles or the primitive church did ever use any among the altar in ministration of the holy communion.
The altar never used
Wherefore, seeing the form of a table is more agreeable to Christ's institution, and with the usage of the apostles and of the primitive church, than the form of an altar, therefore the form of a table is rather to be used, than the form of an altar, in the administration of the holy communion.
Sixth and last reason.
It is said in the preface of the Book of Common Prayer, that if any doubt do arise in the use and practising of the same book, to appease all such diversity, the matter shall be referred unto the bishop of the diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the quieting and appeasing of the same, so that the same order be not contrary unto any thing contained in that book.
(After these letters and reasons received, the fore-named Nicholas Ridley, bishop of London, consequently upon the
Ridley appointed in his diocese
the right form of a table.
The wall by altar in St
Paul's broken down by Ridley.
same did hold his visitation, wherein, amongst other his injunctions, the said bishop exhorted those churches in his diocese, where the altars did then remain, to conform themselves unto those other churches which had taken them down, and had set up, instead of the multitude of their altars, one decent table in every church. Upon the occasion whereof here arose a great diversity about the form of the Lord's board, some using it after the form of a table, and some of an altar. Wherein when the said bishop was required to say and determine what was most meet, he declared he could do no less of his bounden duty, for the appeasing of such diversity, and to procure one godly uniformity, but to exhort all his diocese unto that which he thought did best agree with the Scripture, with the usage of the apostles, and with the primitive church, and to that which is not only not contrary unto any thing contained in the Book of Common Prayer (as is before proved), but also might highly further the king's most godly proceedings in abolishing of divers vain and superstitious opinions of the popish mass out of the hearts of the simple, and to bring them to the right use, taught by holy Scripture, of the Lord's supper. And so appointed he the form of a right table to be used in his diocese, and in the church of Paul brake down the wall standing then by the high altar's side. Fox.)
COVERDALE'S "LETTERS OF THE MARTYRS"; THE WORKS OF STRYPE; BURNET'S "HISTORY OF THE RE
FORMATION"; THE "ACTS AND
MONUMENTS OF FOXE";
TOGETHER WITH OTHERS FROM
THE HARLEIAN COLLECTION OF MSS. IN THE BRITISH
MUSEUM, AND THE MSS. IN THE LIBRARY OF
LETTERS OF DOCTOR RIDLEY,
LATE BISHOP OF LONDON:
WHO, AFTER LONG IMPRISONMENT, WAS SPITEFULLY AND CRUELLY
LETTER I. (BURNET.)
To the protector, concerning the visitation of the University of Cambridge.
I WISH your grace the holy and wholesome fear of God, because I am persuaded your grace's goodness to be such unfeignedly, that even wherein your grace's letters doth sore blame me, yet in the same the advertisement of the truth shall not displease your grace; and also perceiving that the cause of your grace's discontentation was wrong information, therefore I shall beseech your grace to give me leave to shew your grace, wherein it appeareth to me that your grace is wrong informed.
Your grace's letters blameth me, because I did not (at the first, before the visitation began, having knowledge of the matter) shew my mind. The truth is, before God, I never had, nor could get any fore-knowledge of the matter, of the uniting of the two colleges, before we had begun, and had
[ Edward Duke of Somerset. ED.]
[ These two Colleges were Clare Hall, of which Dr Madew was Master, and Trinity Hall, of which Stephen Gardiner was Master. It was intended to unite these two, and to form out of them one college of civilians. Clare Hall, however, refused to submit; and as it was then full of Northern men, Ridley, who supported their refusal, was thought to have been induced to take this step by his partiality for his own countrymen. This visitation took place in May, 1549, at which time Robert Rugge was Chancellor. ED.]