"We had not left the Catholic Church": Bramhall on the Reformation of the Church in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland

From John Bramhall's Protestants' Ordinations Defended (a defence of the episcopal order of the reformed ecclesia Anglicana against Roman allegations of invalidity). Bramhall was Bishop of Derry 1634-61, then Archbishop of Armagh 1661-63.  Challenging a Roman controversialist's account, he provides an overview of the Reformation of the Church in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland:

To his objection then I answer; first, for our reformers; - that Cranmer, and those others who were prime actors in the Reformation, were not private persons, but public pastors of the Church; to whom this author saith, that "God unfoldeth the meaning of His" word; to whom "He delivereth infallibly the inheritance of truth." Yet these were not our reformers, but the synods and Parliaments of our kingdom under the sovereign prince, the synods proposing, the Parliament receiving, the king authorizing. 

Secondly, for the manner of our reformation:- it was not seditious, tumultuous, nor after a fanatical or enthusiastical way, but done with all requisite helps, taking the Primitive Church to be their pattern, and the Holy Scriptures, interpreted according to the analogy of faith, to be their rule.

Thirdly, for the subject of their reformation:- as it was not other Churches but their own, so it was not of "articles" of "Faith" ... but it was of corruptions which were added of later times, by removing that "hay and stubble" which the Romanists had heaped upon the foundation; always observing that rule of Vinccntius Lirinensia, to call nothing into question which had been believed always, everywhere, and by all Christians ...

Lastly, for the extent of our separation. - We have not left the Catholic Church, but only the Roman Church; and that not absolutely, but in their superstructures, which they have addded to the doctrine of saving truth.


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