Supplements to CofE 1563 & Damantory clauses UR


Yes, the opening sentence of the article gives a clue that the text you are about to read might not be completely unbiased…

like a virus :laughing:
Reminds me of the hilarious book “Hell under Fire” (Christopher Morgan and Robert Peterson Eds Zondervan 2004) which opens its introduction by describing universalism and annihilationism as “two aberrations”).

I love this, so ironic! And the “boys” seem to offer no explanation as to why four of the 42 articles were dropped, they just take them as “gospel”. Further unbiased historical analysis follows…

Hmmmm. Don’t get me started! What may be helpful here is the fact (if it is correct) that Anabaptism rather than Roman Catholicism was seen as the main threat to Reformed orthodoxy. A shot in the dark - perhaps this is because the Anabaptists were better connected with the teaching of scripture and of the early church fathers than the Catholics were. What do you think?

Anyway must get back to my day job. Thanks again Dick for a great post, especially the info about Erasmus, Ann Boleyn and the KJV bias.

Cheers, Drew


[Note: mod edited to remove an accidental double-post. More recent version was kept below. :slight_smile: ]


Hi Drew –

Yes the ‘boys’ site is indeed a godly lesson in daftness. You’ve hit the nail on the head with the key note being set in the opening sentence with te word ‘contagion’ – which is ‘like a virus’ as you say. As Norman Cohn, Rene Girard and others have shown, the metaphor of ‘contagion’ is always the ‘tell tell’ sign that we are reading a ‘persecuting text’. Heretics, political dissidents etc, throughout history are always described in such texts as ‘viral’ – like a cattle plague; and as the corpses of infected cattle need to be piled high and burnt to get rid of contagion, so the burning of heretics protects the doctrinal purity of the faithful and/or the political purity of the party; and God’s punishment of the wicked will simply be an extension of this process of exclusion/quarantine and purification by fire (not purification of wicked individuals by these means but keeping the pure in a pure state by the same).

The other features of all persecution texts is that in the process of ‘justice’ –

There is no counsel for the defence and the roles of council for prosecution and judge are merged

Witnesses against the accused are not cross examined – their testimony is taken at face value

The accused often ends up agreeing with the charges brought against them verbatim– because of any combination of having been worn down by torture, or sleep deprivation, or infection and starvation in prison, and/or because of the sheer overwhelmingness of the proceedings against them and the loneliness of being cast out of all human community. I note that after the show trials in Stalin’s Russia, dissidents would often face death shouting, ‘Long Live Stalin!’
hat’s astute observation Drew . I don’t expect you’ve read Cohn or Girard – only gloomy souls like me with time on their hands do this. However, it just goes to show their insights are accessible and chime with a keen, natural and compassionate intelligence. In the light of the above they recommend that we need to treat such texts with a ‘hermeneutic of suspicion’.

(And I would say to anyone else reading this post that – ‘If even in your most fleeting and most occasional waking dream you imagine God’s judgement in the terms described above, you need to sit more easily with yourself and accept God’s merciful acceptance of you – warts and all – more readily. The picture lurking in the back of your mind is a mistaken one which you need to question and re-imagine– for this picture is of the judgement of ‘the Accuser who is the Prince of this World’)

Again you are right about their failure to mention the abrogation of the 42nd. Curious eh? Christopher Hill plays a similar trick for Marxist ideological reasons.

I note the unwitting testimony of this site is that a lot of the literature raising the tally ho for persecution of the Family of Love and the Anabaptists came from Calvinist pens. Also I love the reference to ‘Knox’s Britain’ – I always thought he was purely a Scot’s phenomena – and I pity poor Scotland for that (one of my Grandmother’s was Scottish so I feel it in my blood)

It certainly is interesting that the main cause of hatred for Calvinists was the Anabaptists – and the Bishop of Rome always took second place, although Catholics too were/are hated by sectarian Calvinists. The Continental Catholics, Lutherans and Calvinists persecuted the Anabaptists virtually out of existence. Perhaps they were are at an unconscious level that the Anabaptists were following Christ more purely than they were – and so envy was part of their motivation. I think the conscious reason for their persecuting, besides the memory of the Munster debacle, was that their perception that since Anabaptist sdid not recognise the authority of Magistrates (although they did not wilfully ferment social disorder and disobedience after Munster) they were enemies of all good and godly order in the state. This was the reason for Luther’s hatred of the Peasants who thought they were rising in support of him. He thought he was living in the last days and that the good order of the state was necessary if the Gospel was to be spread and the elect of God gathered. His hatred of the Jews had similar roots – he could not comprehend their ‘stiff necked deafness’ to the Gospel’s offer of repentance in the end times. But neither titbits of contextual information excuse Luther’s hate filled persecuting zeal with its tragic consequences that have echoed through the centuries.

However, I have to hand one thing to Luther. As you may have guessed I see him as a complex man with partially redeeming features (I’d like to say the same of Calvin – I have tried to, even on this site, but I’m still not convinced). At first Luther did not persecute the Anabaptists. He only did so after the Peasant risings and then was palpably moved by their deaths as they died brave women and men certain of their faith. By way of contrast Calvin just had them killed without a second thought, and Zwingli had them drowned in wicked parody of the rite of adult baptism. And the Catholic Princes of Europe joined in the slaughter without scruple.

The only place in Europe where the Anabaptists were eventually tolerated – before many immigrated to America during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries when the persecuting zeal of America’s Calvinists was under control form other social forces – was the Dutch Free Republic. This Republic, administered by the Princes of Orange, comprised not only Holland, but also the Benelux countries and the Low land countries of what is now Northern France (that is, ‘Flanders’). I need to find out more about its history of tolerance, but I do know that in the first part of Elizabeth’s reign many of these lands were occupied by the Spanish Empire under the Duke of Parma and the Spanish Inquisition was in operation in them. I also know that Protestant England allied with Catholic France (France although Catholic was still an imperial rival of Catholic Spain) to help liberate the occupied Dutch lands. Perhaps the struggle against foreign occupation was the force that united disparate communities of Dutch Catholics, Calvinists and Lutherans together in a tolerant confederation against a foreign tyranny, and perhaps the memory of occupation made them more ready to provide a haven to persecuted minorities from elsewhere in Europe. This is my informed hunch – and I expect to have it confirmed by further reading. Also, of course, this was helped by the proud echoing memory of Erasmus ‘Dutch’ tolerant pan-European Christian Humanism – this much I do know.

Another thing I do know for sure is that the fragile peace of the Dutch Free Republic was only ever seriously threatened by one group – you’ve guessed it, they were the sectarian Calvinists wanting to bring all under God’s sovereignty. In addition I know that it was the Dutch Prince William of Orange who as William III of England sided with the forces urging religious toleration within the Anglican community and together they abolished the last remnants of religious persecution in England – although religious discrimination against Catholics and Non-conformists still persisted for a time (that’s a sneak preview of a detail from part 2 of this story which is really just a briefer appendix to part 1; and part 1 is now almost done even if it’s taking a bit longer than I thought).

I think the Anabaptists experience of persecution by Magisterial Protestants always made them sensitive to reading scripture in a way that gave proper emphasis to the social nature of sin. The Magisterial Protestant tradition only emphasised the personal nature of sin – people are depraved and therefore need to be controlled by a punitive state. The Anabaptists, by way of contrast, retained a tradition of reading scripture with a theology of ‘Powers and Principalities’ in mind – hence their reading of the Book of Revelation as social critique.

All the best Drew old chum (and wasn’t it fun having a laugh at the boys?)



I just wanted to say I am totally downloading a bunch of historical books from Schaff right this moment. :mrgreen:

(I’ve seen him reffed before, and I suspect Pelikan’s book on the Creeds is more up to date–which I own but haven’t gotten around to reading yet; but the geek in me nearly wet my pants at seeing how many of Schaff’s classic works I can download for free off CCEL. Oh, hey, I wonder if they have copies of the rare Winchester books on prophecy I’m missing?–vols 3 and 4… update: no, they don’t. Too much to hope from Calvin College I guess.)


To translate that terminology, this means he didn’t use all of every text, but jumped between texts for different portions.

Each miniscule has a different reference number, and four such texts are being discussed here. My apparatus seems to indicate only one of them still exists (the others having been lost by wars or other accidents in the centuries since the TR’s compilation). Thus they are no longer available for direct text critical purposes. (They can be sort-of reconstructed from the TR, but such reconstructions are speculative, especially since Erasmus had to use Latin for portions he was missing.)

The little letters after the numbers indicate the contents of the text, but in this case they also indicate which portions of the text he used.

So text #1 (the only one still extant) was his primary text for ®evelation (also borrowing from the Vulgate although the list doesn’t show it); and one of his secondary texts for the (E)vangels (i.e. the Gospels), (A)cts and the §auline letters. (My apparatus only lists this text for (e) now, so only the Gospels may currently survive from it.) His primary text for those was #2, supplemented by text #4 and #7. The list doesn’t show what he referenced for the ©atholic epistles. (I don’t recall offhand if EpistHeb is listed for apparatus purposes with the Paulines or with the Catholics, but my guess would be the Paulines.)


Incidentally, while 12th century is late relatively late by modern text crit standards, it’s still in bounds, and relatively early for “Byzantine” texts (which are mentioned as a group in text apparatuses for comparison purposes).


A Godly lesson in daftness indeed! Only sorry I couldn’t find the picture of the boys in their sharp suits. Still, its good that we can benefit from their work and at the same time enjoy a chuckle at their expense :slight_smile:
I may go quiet for a few days. Working away in the lovely principality of Andorra for the weekend.


Forgot to say, I haven’t read Girard - not sure my wee brain could handle him - but I do enjoy the books of James Alison, who builds on Girard’s insights.


Hi Jason -

That’s great to hear that you already wanted to get hold of Schaff’s big work :smiley: - and I hope you do find those other books online the slightly out of date but still reliable classics are often the loveliest to read in any field). I would never have heard of Schaff if I had not have chanced upon this here thread before Christmas. Everyone was talking about the Athanasian Creed – and I think this was an overspill from the really wonderful discussion you had about it on another thread. It seemed that Drew wanted to focus on the precise mater of history, which is when I joined up in his support. I felt bad about closing down the discussion about the AC – which I then knew little about - because I did not realise that the other discussion had already taken place. I did a Google search for the AC to find something out about it; and I soon found Schaff’s work from the ‘Theopedia’ link. So my serendipity that is now your serendipity grew out of your discussion of the AC. Wonderful eh?

All clarification about Erasmus and the Textus Receptus gratefully received. :smiley:

Hi Drew –
You have a lovely time in your sweet arcadia; I’m sure you can do with the break old chap.
Girard? I really am a pickle but I was just teasing you about this. You see when I did my initial and too brief lurking on this site I looked at another thread where you were being subjected to a volley of ‘clobber texts’. I would have come in to support you, because I could already see I liked you a lot. However… things needed to cool down there as you all know. You had cited James’ Alison’s fine essay – at least fine to my mind – on the first chapter of Romans (an essay that transcends the context of the specific moral issue he was writing about, because it deals with the danger of seeing idols outside of ourselves while becoming blind to the idols within). So I knew you were already well acquainted with Girard and were showing your implicit understanding of him a few posts back on this thread :wink: .

Do you forgive me for being a pickle :blush: ? I needed a bit of light relief, because although I’m enjoying writing here some of this stuff is very dark – although I think it is necessary that we have a reckoning with it together (I would have despaired by now if I hadn’t been aware of support from EU readers and my three regular correspondents).

All the best

Dick :smiley:


Oh by the way Drew - hope you had a lovely weekend. And just a note to say that I wasn’t really pulling your leg about Girard. I knew you had a knoweldge of his ideas but I was in that funny position when posting that althought I am addressing a specific person as often as not, I are also addressing a general audience and cannot assume previous knowledge of arcane matters of them all - if you know what I mean.

All the best

Dick :slight_smile:


Drew - last note on Girard (and I’m amazed how relevant he’s been when looking at this here topic and how clear his New Testament insights are).

When we first met on this site - you know I think I had succumbed to a bit of Nicodemean dissembling myself. I’d seen the very ‘scary’ thread - where my sympathies were entirely with you (although I have to respect differences among Christians on the topic that was under discussion) - and when you invited me to write an Introduction to myself I did send a signal of support to you by stating that I was enthusiastic about Girard.

With James Alison - sometimes he gets so ‘baroque’ in his extravagant enthusiasm that I get a bit lost (perhaps people could say that about me!). However, I really love his article on Romans 1, his essay ‘Contemplation in a world of violence’, in ‘On Being Liked’, and that wonderful and healing book about re-visioning the apocalypse with a non-violent and eschatological imagination - ‘Living in the End Times’. Did you know that Alison was a Christian Fundamentalist - that’s probably why he knows the Bible rather too well for a Catholic :laughing: .

Also I really love ‘Saved from Sacrifice’ by Mark Heim which is, in my view, the best book about the new non-violent atonement theology. Heim gives some mind blowing details about the uses of Jonah and Susana in the early Church as types and anti-types of Christ. He’s also brilliant in his discussion of martyrdom and responses to persecution in ways that echo the Reformation debate on these matters that I’ve just been reading about in Walsham’s ‘Charitable Hatred’ – I may do a post on this one day when I’m at leisure to pop in the occasional piece on the Supplementary thread here – after the main narrative is finished.

Another more practical (and mercifully little) book from a Girardian perspective which I have learnt much from is ‘Clever as Serpents’ by Jim Grote, John McGeeney. This is interesting because it is a book on business ethics and a canny appraisal of how to mitigate and survive (depending on your role) rivalry and scapegoating in the work place. I was very impressed, having always done some work in community education and being familiar with the ‘twilight of the gods’ period in projects when successful ventures have their funding cut and things get very nasty – I must have been there about ten times. It also chimed with my experience as an employee of a much loved educational institution, founded on principles of education for all and social justice, working on a care ethic, and employing many people with special needs in its administrative staff. Under the pressure of market fundamentalism in the 1990’s it was taken over by middle managers trained in laissez faire policy (downsizing, right sizing, flattened hierarchies, re-imposition of hierarchy – you name it, they tried it) and turned very nasty with plenty of scapegoating and staff break downs. I wish I’d read ‘Clever as Serpents’ at this time. So many people make themselves martyrs to work in these circumstances, when the best thing to do is get out and live again elsewhere. And I like the text that is used for contemplation in this book; when the Pharisees took up stones to kill Jesus in the Temple – ‘he passed through the crowds unharmed’. I’ll bet you see plenty of this type of stuff in the dear old Church of England too – with Bishops acting increasingly like managers (because they have to - but some relish this role too much I understand).

With Girard himself, well I’ve got a ‘Girard Reader’ :laughing: !!! He can be a bit obscure, but the reader highlights some stuff that is interesting to me with a History of Ideas/Cultural History background concerning Girard’s view of Shakespeare’s 'Theatre of Envy, some wonderful stuff on prefiguration of the Gospel in Greek tragedy, and a devastating critique of Nietzsche.

The thing you must always remember about you and me is that although we are equals in intelligence and I hope I sometimes come near to you in compassion (but doubt it), I have a memory like a bucket – and some of my friends view me as a freak of nature!!! It helps when remembering books, but can be a very pest when it comes to important matters like ‘forgiveness’. Where some people just forget, I seldom do and have to go on longer journeys than them, in tying myself in knots trying to forgive until I finally give up and make the space for Grace to happen.

All the best

Dick :slight_smile:


One other thing Drew – and no need to reply at once, you are busy an can read all of this through at leisure over the year -I’ve received my copy of Tom Talbott’s ‘The inescapable Love of God’ this morning (you recommended it to me). Hmmm I see what you mean about Calvin and Servetus. Whatever anyone says about Calvin’s efforts to get Servetus to change his mind/repent, and that it was his wish that Servetus ‘merely’ be beheaded rather than burned there is all of the highly unpleasant evidence that Talbott produces suggesting that although Servetus posed no threat to the Genevan state, Calvin actually conspired to entrap him. I have seen a writer compare Calvin’s record favourably with the Elizabeth’s. Whereas Calvin was no enthusiast for burning Elizabeth burned six in her time. Well there is no evidence that Elizabeth was an enthusiast for burning either – besides which nobody died for their faith in the first seventeen years of her rule (and Calvin was only really powerful in Geneva for eleven years at the end of his life – so he didn’t have to cope with all of the reversals and blows to good intentions that Elizabeth experienced – besides which Geneva is a lot smaller than England).Also Calvin, in executing all Anabaptists without mercy – and inciting the execution of Anabaptists in England – and in instigating the harsh laws against disobedient children, adulterers etc. well surpassed anything seen in Elizabethan England.

Dear me - I really don’t want to the think the worst of Calvin - there are many moderate Reformed Christians and Universalist Reformed Christians as I well know (and some on this site). I’d love to touch base with some of these to listen to their side of the story because I know Calvinism has its riches – its testimony to the inescapable love of God, its value for education, its love of democratic freedoms (and sometimes in Calvin and indeed in Jonathan Edwards we get a glimmer of real concern for social justice and even passages of almost mystical intensity at the contemplation of the beauty of nature). But I really am confused here. The only insight I have at the moment is that Calvinism bring forth its true riches in situations where it no longer considers itself as ‘the antithesis’ to all that is not under God’s sovereign rule (which can lead to ‘self idolatry’ within its ranks under the guise of humility). Yes it is in a pluralist setting that Calvinism is at its best (and I infer this from what you have told me about the book you are reading Barth and Origen it seems, amongst other things).
Yes I’d love to listen to moderate Reformed views– because I really would like to think of Calvin with the same amount of understanding as I now do Luther.
However, as far as any sectarian Clavinists on this site or elsewhere – God bless them; they are made in the image of God and ultimately predestined for incorporation into the Body of Christ along with the rest of us when Christ shall be All in All. But the prospect of dialogue with them turns me off (and I have read Francis Schaeffer, Hans Rookmaaker, Cornelius Van Til, and Abraham Kuyper so I’m not uninformed about the sectarians). I know all of the moves in Calvinist exegesis of scripture and I’ve long since found them completely unsatisfactory. Therefore I must be one of the reprobate – hence my sinful understanding of scripture – in which case its best for them to leave me alone and for me to leave them alone… For my part I think ‘better a Hell with Jesus’ as I understand Jesus, than a heaven without him. So we are locked in thesis and antithesis and had better leave each other in peace. Yes, ‘Go in peace’ I say – unless you actually want to learn with me about God’s all embracing love – and you will one day; God is infinite ly patient even if I am not.

Well you know what I mean?

All the best



I want to do some posts here noting some of the subsidiary topics that have occurred to me while I’ve been writing about the abrogation of the 42nd Article; some will be properly developed, but with others I will simply note that I need to look at as specific sub-topic more deeply someday soonish. I’m going to post the completed stuff gradually over this week as I complete the other stuff. I think you will find some of the subsidiary stuff very interesting if you are already interested in the main thread – and writing it down and posting it helps me clear my head and focus on the main argument – for I have ever been one with a bonnet full of wild bees.

Two poems by Sir Thomas Wyatt

I’ve talked about the radical separation of the public and the private self (for self protection) as a phenomenon often found in the acts and works of those who moved in the circles of power during the Renaissance/Reformation; and this insight seemed to cause some interest with some of you. Interesting and very appropriate examples of this – for my/our purposes – can be found in the writings of Sir Thomas Wyatt. Wyatt was one of the first recruits to the full Protestant cause at the court of Henry VIII (even when Henry broke with Rome his theology still remained Catholic and he and Cranmer still persecuted full Protestants). Wyatt was a Christian Humanist scholar who translated the Penitential Psalms from Jerome’s Vulgate into English – and, in coded form, these translations reveal that Wyatt understood ‘penance’ to mean ‘repentance’. He was also a close friend of Anne Boleyn’s. Whether they were lovers in the modern sense is debatable, and any relationship they had took place before Anne was married to Henry. However, it seems very probable that at some stage before the marriage Wyatt had been Anne’s courtly lover – inspired by her presence and beauty to write courtly poems of non-rivalrous desire to her. Their love was perhaps once ‘consummated’ in a courtly, chaste embrace with Anne granting Wyatt the favour of embracing her while she was naked and he kept his clothes on (a sort of asceticism of passion, as they did things then). Wyatt was arrested along with Anne and the other men accused of being her lovers and was sent to the Tower where, it seems, he was forced to watch her execution from an upper window but was later released without trial. A lot of Wyatt’s love poetry is standard courtly stuff – couched in language that had been fresh in the twelfth centre but had become formulaic and clichéd with tie. However two poems come to life with the shock of the new in the dislocation of the public and private, and both of these probably concern Anne Boleyn; they speak of the danger of a love that was once intimate and tender but has turned wild now the beloved belongs to Caesar. I would like to do a brief post on these – they are ‘Whoso list to hunt’ and ‘They flee from me’.

**Whoso List to Hunt

Whoso list to hunt, I know where is an hind,
But as for me, alas, I may no more;
The vain travail hath wearied me so sore,
I am of them that furthest come behind.
Yet may I by no means my wearied mind
Draw from the deer, but as she fleeth afore
Fainting I follow; I leave off therefore,
Since in a net I seek to hold the wind.

Who list her hunt, I put him out of doubt,
As well as I, may spend his time in vain.
And graven with diamonds in letters plain,
There is written her fair neck round about,
‘Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.’**

This poem is a translation of a sonnet of Petrarch’s by Wyatt – but Watt makes a lot of significant changes to the original and thus the poem becomes very much his own. There’s is no need for me to do a full literary analysis here – I will just pick out the significant bits. The argument of the poem is an extended metaphor about the hunter (Wyatt, the lover) who once pursued the deer (almost certainly Anne Boleyn, the beloved) but is now exhausted through labour in vain. He invites others to take up pursuit if they list/wish, but the closing sestet includes the terrible warning of the motto inscribed in diamonds on the collar around the deer’s neck

’Noli me tangere, for Caesar’s I am,
And wild for to hold, though I seem tame.'

‘Noli me a tangere’ is the Vulgate’s Latin for the words ‘Touch me not’ spoken by Jesus to Mary Magdalene in the garden of Resurrection. So here the World of Christ – of love and intimate compassion – is placed together in a dislocating paradox with the World of ‘Caesar’ in Caesar’s/Henry VIII’s ownership of the deer; the concluding punch line is a terrible warning of danger and false seeming. The image is striking, individual and fresh.

**They flee from me.

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand; and now they range,
Busily seeking with a continual change.

Thanked be fortune it hath been otherwise
Twenty times better; but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, “dear heart, how like you this?”

It was no dream: I lay broad waking.
But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.
But since that I so kindly am served
I would fain know what she hath deserved.**

In the first stanza here we again have the traditional courtly love motif of the fleeing deer signifying the beloved pursued by the lover. However, in a note of almost surreal dislocation, the beloved is not one but many; and the setting is not the hunt in court parklands but the intimacy of the lover’s bedchamber into which the herd of deer stray meekly to be fed bread from his hand.

They flee from me that sometime did me seek
With naked foot, stalking in my chamber.
I have seen them gentle, tame, and meek,
That now are wild and do not remember
That sometime they put themself in danger
To take bread at my hand

In so doing they put themselves in ‘danger’ – and C.S. Lewis wrote a long appendix in his ’Allegory of Love’ on the etymology of this word; it does not signify the danger of physical assault from a jealous husband; rather it signifies the haughty response of the rejection of an abject lover by a proud and dignified lady. However in this stanza ‘danger’ has become the prerogative of the lover rather than the beloved.
The next stanza takes us out of allegory to reveal the truth of the intimate encounter being referred to –

…but once in special,
In thin array after a pleasant guise,
When her loose gown from her shoulders did fall,
And she me caught in her arms long and small;
Therewithall sweetly did me kiss
And softly said, "dear heart, how like you this?"

When she says ‘dear heart how like you this?’ the roles are reversed again. The lover is now the ‘dear heart’ (which alludes to ‘as pants the heart for cooling stream when heated in the chase’ from the Hebrew Bible). This direct portrayal of intimacy is virtually unknown in other courtly poetry of this period.
In the final stanza all is turned on its head completely as the lover has ‘leave to go’ – is cast off – by the beloved’s ‘goodness’ (surely ironic).

But all is turned thorough my gentleness
Into a strange fashion of forsaking
And I have leave to go of her goodness,
And she also, to use newfangleness.

In the fearful world of this poem the quality of ‘gentleness’ – courtly virtue – which the lover esteems, has no place, The beloved now uses ‘newfangleness’ – which means a desire for novelty and for pastures new. The word was first coined by Chaucer in a poem in which he contrasted the spring green of changeable nature, with the constancy of the blue sky - blue also being the colour of the Virgin Mary’s garments in traditional iconography. (and it is this colour lore that informs the famous Tudor court song ‘Greensleeves’ addressed to the lady who has cast her lover off ‘discourteously’.
And so I suggest that Wyatt’s two finest poems give us a stunning insight into the fearful conflict between the private and the public selves that bedevilled the men and women who moved in the circles of power in our period of study.
All the best (and hope you like the poems too)



A footnote on the two poems by Wyatt –

Of course it is the hart that pants for cooling streams not the ‘heart’ – hence the pun

C.S. Lewis’ discussion of the word ‘daunger’ relates to the medieval French Courtly Allegory ‘The Romance of the Rose’. I am certain ‘danger’ still carried the meaning of ‘haughty rejection’ in Wyatt’s time that Lewis suggests here. However, again in the context of Henry’s court it will also have meant real and terrible danger of torture and death.
When I was an undergraduate I read the wonderful book by the twentieth century Dutch Christian Humanist, ‘The Waning of the Middle Ages’, This looks at the cultural games and traditions with which Courtly society in the Middle Ages gave aesthetic form and pattern to its more anarchic and dangerous impulses – namely Chivalry for war, and Courtly Love for sexual desire. I remember that Huizinga argues that although these cultural forms were always idealised they did once stand for real idealism – at least potentially. However as the Middle ages ‘waned’ and the early modern period was born medieval cultural forms still persisted for a while, but they no longer signified anything much, either real or ideal; hence the awful sense of dislocation in Wyatt’s poems.

Henry VIII would hold courtly pageants and jousts, and he himself wrote songs in which he adopted the persona of the troubadour. However… well I’m sure some of you have read ‘The Other Boleyn Girl.’ When Mary Boleyn, Anne’s sister, first came to court with her new husband Henry decided that he wanted her as his mistress; and due to court politics Mary Boleyn’s husband had no say in the matter. And Henry once appeared in the white robes of theological uppity to interrogate and condemned a hectic over transubstantiation.

All the best



I’ve found an article by David Knauss about Christian Humanism. I can’t find it on the Internet – so here is some relevant stuff from it (it’s excellent):

**Influenced in large part by the Dutch philosopher Hermann Dooyeweerd’s critique of western culture, Francis Schaeffer frequently used “humanism” as an unqualified polemical term to refer to thinkers and ideas he objected to from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. In his most acclaimed book, How Shall We Then Live?, which was highly influential in Anglo-American Reformed and Evangelical communities, Schaeffer specifically attacked Renaissance humanism and linked it with modern secular humanism…

[However]Christian humanism finds its basis in humbling oneself before the wisdom of others, that one might find exaltation in love and knowledge. It is the extension of John the Baptist’s words “He must increase, but I must decrease” to all of God’s creation and all His children.

The ‘Praise of Folly’ (circa 1509) is a mock encomium by Erasmus owing much to the book of Ecclesiastes, among other sources, and it would become a major source of inspiration for other writers like Rabelais. The book is the occasion for Dame Folly to praise herself at length by showing how her cult is a the centre of all human affairs. The satire of the book is extreme, but it has a serious message. Erasmus’s goal is not to promote scepticism for its own sake but to lead others through a carnivalesque pageant to a better appreciation of the experience of discovering true wisdom and the hard ordeal by which we come to it through our own folly. Erasmus would have agreed with what Fransesco Petrarca [Petrarch] wrote in ‘On His Own Ignorance and That of Many Others (circa 136 8) – that knowledge sometimes makes us miserable. But Erasmus has Folly assert that it is only because of her existence that knowledge does not always make us miserable. Folly affirms that humans pursuing knowledge are generally presumptuous, incredibly short-sighted, and misery would always be the inevitable fruit of their labour if not for the blinding influence of Folly and her servant Forgetfulness. In this manner Folly becomes a serious comic mouthpiece for Erasmus’ criticism of academics [of late medieval/early modern Catholicism that was ripe for reform]; but these are only two of her targets. The particular folly of which philosophers and theologians partake is more widespread and rooted in human nature – nobody escapes it. To presume to eliminate folly from one’s life is shown to be one of the most foolish endeavours there is. What other than folly resides in the pride behind the belief that one can liberate oneself from creaturely limitations and human fallenness? We cannot get outside ourselves to a folly free zone to perform an exorcism. Any effort to do so is to follow the pure utopian thinking that presumes we actually can step outside human nature to become objective, autonomous observers, capable of finding pure principles for right thought and action. Since this is precisely the kind of presumption that modernity has romanced in various [murderous] political ideologies masquerading as critical sciences, Erasmus sounds very postmodern [feel slightly queasy at the mention for this word] in critiquing it in the early sixteenth century [well I can see what David Knauss is driving at here, but I guess ‘post early modern ‘would have been a better term, if we must use exciting language]…

…accepting our nature, we should learn to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity, and error as constant parts of our lives. Yet however deluded we may be, t is not impossible to discern truth or to act wisely and prudently> Indeed, there is no doubt on Folly’s or Erasmus’ part that here is such a thing as truth and a transcendent reality, a foundation for creation in a creator

I believe that any authentically Christina response to the modern-postmodern dichotomy [slight cringe!] must recover this central trait of Renaissance humanism: the ability to accept and hold together – even to cherish – the two disparate halves of human nature. On the one hand, we are impoverished, deceitful, and self-deceiving. On the other hand, we are noble, capable of reasoning towards truth, capable of sharing the experience of it, and able to improve what we know and how we love. Emphasizing either aspect of human nature at the expense of the other is wrong and will yield distorted results. In reality they are always conjoined, and we live within the tensions both in the Gospel and the fallen human condition. Good, wise readings of ourselves, literature, history, and the word [and the Bible]will only come forth if we push those tensions out front, cherish them, and live under them in humility, always seeking their truth. Here is no systematic, rationalistic method or theory that will help us without an intuitive, experience base and spiritually guided openness to questions and conversations where, if any truth is to be had, it must be tasted to be seen.**

And I’ll drink to that :smiley:

All the best



I’d like to stock up the Erasmus resources on this site a bit more – as you know I’m speaking up for the Christian Humanist and Anabaptist Spiritual tradition with fellow Universalist who are Armenians and Calvinists and don’t know a lot about us (so that’s why I’m posting a lot for a season to keep m brothers and sisters informed).
Erasmus wrote a charming little Book for the Education of the Little Christian gentleman – which really reflects his moderation and good humour. It’s such a contrast to the Puritan literature for children which I’ll do a post on after this. For the moment, if you are a follower of this marginal thread, I hope you enjoy – and please put a note after this post if you have done (it’ll keep me sweet and cheerful).
The Quotations are from ‘A handbook of Good Manners for Children’ by Deisidere Erasmus, translated by Eleanor Merchant (published by Preface 2008)

•Let other people emblazon their shields with lions, eagles, bulls and leopards; the emblems of the intellect, acquired by an education in the liberal arts, bear a truer nobility.

•It’s rather obscene to snort through your nose, and implies anger if it’s a habit. Of course, those who are short of breath on account of illness must be excused.

•To laugh on your own or for no obvious reason is an attribute of the stupid or the insane. If however something of this kind arises, it’s polite to explain to others the reason for your laughter. But if you don’t consider it appropriate to relate this, make something else up, in case someone thinks that they are the object of the joke.

•To refrain from passing urine is bad for your health; but be discreet when you go. There are some who teach that a child should hold in digestive wind by clenching his buttocks. But it’s not good manners to make yourself ill in your eagerness to appear polite.

•Don’t be conspicuous by your shabbiness, nor by any opulence, wantonness or arrogance.

•The greater someone’s fortune, the more agreeable is his modesty.

•When the gospel is proclaimed, stand up, and listen with devout attention if you are able. When the Creed is sung, at the words ‘and was made man’, kneel down, as in this way you submit yourself in honour of him, who, although Lord of all the heavens, came down to earth for your salvation; who, although God, deigned to become man, that he should reconcile you with God.

•Consider yourself to have come to church in vain unless you go out from there a better and purer person.

•Whilst dining you should be cheerful, but not cheeky

•As you wash your hands, so too, clear troubles from your mind. For it’s not good manners to be gloomy at dinner or to make anyone else miserable.

•…the rewards of enjoying strong wine will be decayed teeth, bleary eyes, dim vision and a dull mind, in short, a premature decline.

•It’s courteous to return the favour when someone toasts you with his cup, raising the cup to your lips, sipping a little and giving the impression of drinking.

•If someone crudely urges you to drink more, it’s fine for you to promise that you will respond to his request when you are grown up.

•A child should be kept waiting for a while, so that he gets used to controlling his appetite.

•If someone else offers you a particularly choice piece of food, you should try to decline gently before accepting it, but only cut off a small portion for yourself, and offer the remainder to the person who gave it to you, or share it with someone sitting near you.

•To swallow whole pieces of food in one gulp is the practice of storks and clowns.

•Gnawing on bones is for dogs; using a knife to strip meat away is well-mannered.

•Greedy gobbling is the way of ruffians.

•To blurt out what someone’s said or done when they’ve had a few drinks is behaviour fitting for no one, especially a child.

•At dinner nothing should be blurted out that might darken the cheerful tone. Harming the reputation of someone not present is a great offence. And it’s not the place to reopen old wounds with anyone.

•Get-togethers ought to feel relaxed.

•Those who force children to fast, in my opinion, are just as insane as those who stuff children full of food…Moderation ought to be learnt from the beginning

•Those who often allow their children to stay up through long meals lasting into the middle of the night show their disregard for their children.

•Just as God bid us, through Solomon, that we should stand up out of respect for the elderly, and likewise, through Paul, he urged us to show double reverence to our elders.

•We should speak respectfully and succinctly to our superiors; lovingly and kindly to our contemporaries.

•A shy manner is acceptable, but only if it suits someone, not if it renders them thunderstruck.

•Allow your voice to be soft and gentle, not clamorous like a farmer’s, nor so subdued that it can’t , heard by the person you’re addressing.

•…the well-raised child should neither use foul language nor listen to it.

•If something is to be contradicted, be careful not to say, ‘You’re not telling the truth’, particularly if you are speaking to your elder, but say with respect, ‘It was told to me very differently by so and so.’

•He shouldn’t put himself above others, nor boast about what he’s done, nor criticise someone else’s behaviour, nor disparage the customs or habits of another country, nor reveal a secret he’s been trusted with, nor spread fresh rumours, nor damage someone’s reputation spitefully, nor reproach someone on account of an inborn defect…Following these guidelines should mean that you win praise without envy and gain friends.

•Don’t get involved in quarrels with anyone, and show affability to all.

•When playing games be cheerful. Don’t be stubborn as that causes quarrels.

•Someone who concedes a game with good humour gains more honour than one who always insists on winning.

•Don’t contradict the umpires.

•The point of playing is in the spirit of the game rather than any prize.

•When you’ve been to the toilet, don’t do anything else until after you’ve washed your face and hands, and rinsed out your mouth.

•For those lucky enough to be born in to privilege, it’s disgraceful if their manners don’t match their position. Those whom fate has chosen to be ordinary, common or uncouth have to make a much greater effort with their manners to compensate for their lack of privilege.

•The key to good manners is that you should readily ignore the faults of others, but avoid falling short yourself. For that reason, you shouldn’t look down on a friend if he has poorer behaviour…but if a friend does something wrong without realising it, and it seems important, then it’s polite to inform him of it gently and in private.

My good friend who has shared a very similar spiritual journey to me tyoed these extracts (and chose them). She’s a mum so I thought she’d make the best choice. I’ll have to call her ‘Sister Sobornost’ and offer my warm thanks to her –

All the best





good advice :slight_smile:

likewise here :slight_smile:

Tell this one to all the rabid sports fans out there. :laughing:

and this too :wink:

good stuff, Rick :slight_smile:

blessings :slight_smile:



Thanks Matt :smiley: :laughing:


You’re welcome, good sir :smiley: