Articles, Six

Articles, Six.

This was an act (known as "the bloody statute") passed during that period of reaction against the Reformation in the mind of Henry VIII, which lasted from 1538 to 1544. Gardiner and Tonstall took advantage of this mood of the king's mind, and procured the enactment, June 28, 1539, of the "six articles for the abolishing of diversity of opinions ;" in reality, a law to punish with death all persons who should adopt the doctrines of the Reformers on the points covered by it. These points were, that in the sacrament of the altar, after consecration, there remains no substance of bread and wine, but the natural body and blood of Christ; that communion in both kinds is not necessary; that priests, according to the law of God, may not marry; that vows of chastity ought to be observed; that private masses ought to be continued; and that auricular confession is expedient and necessary, and ought to be retained in the church. Cranmer strenuously opposed this act, but afterward I complied. Latimer and Shaxton resigned their bishoprics. It was under this act that Anne Askew (q.v.), or Ascough, was executed in 1546.-- Burnet, Hist. Engl. Reform. i, 416; ii, 63; Maitland, Essays of the I Reformation, essay xii; Hardwick, Church History, iii, 205; Neal, History of the Puritans, vol. i, ch. i.

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