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minster the xxv. of December, the third yeare of our reigne. T. Cant. R. Rich. Cancel W. Sainct Ihō. I. Russel. H. Dorset. W. North.

☞ Letters sente by the kinge for the takinge downe of aultares in churches, and setting vp the table in stead of the same.

RIght reuerend father in God, right trusty and welbeloued, we grete you well. And wher it is come to our knowledge that being the altares within the more part of the churches of this realme, already vpō good and godly considerations taken downe, there doth yet remaine aultares standing in diuers other churches, by occasyon wherof much variance & contention ariseth amonges sondrye of our subiects, which if good forsighte were not had, might perchance engender great hurt and inconuenience. We let you wit that minding to haue al occasion of contention taken away, which many times grow by those & such lyke aduersities, & considering that amonges other things belonging to our royal office and cure we do accompt the greatest to be, to maintain the common quiet of oure Realme, we haue thought good by the aduise of our counsail to require you, & neuerthelesse specially to charge & commaund you for thauoiding of al matters of further contention & strife about the stāding or taking awaye of the saide aultares, MarginaliaAltars taken downe & destroyd.to geue substancial order through out al your diocesse, that withal diligence al the aultares in euery Church or chappel, aswell in places exempted as not exempted, within your said dioces be taken downe. And in the stead of them a table set vp, in some conuenient parte of the chauncell within euery such church or chappell to serue for the ministration of the blessed Cōmunion. And to thintent the same may be done wythout thoffence of such our louig subiectes, as be not yet so well perswaded in that behalfe, (as we wold wish) we send vnto you herewith certain considerations gathered & collected, that make for the purpose, the which & such others as you shal thinke mete to be setforthe to perswade the weake, to embrace our procedyngs in this part, we praye you cause to be declared to the people by some discrete prechers in such places, as you shall thinke mete, before the taking down of the said aultars. So as both the weake consciences of other may be instructed & satisfied as muche as may be. And thys oure plesure the more quietly executed, for the better doing wherof, we require you to open the forsaid considerations in that our Cathedrall church in your own person, if you conueniently may, or otherwise by your chancelor or som other graue precher both there, & in such other market townes & most notable places of oure diocesse, as you may think most requisite. Geuen vnder our signet, at our pallace of Westminster the xxiiii. daye of Nouember the iiii. yere of our raigne.

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E. Somerset, Thoms Can. W. Wiltsher
Ihon Warwike, I Bedfore. W. Northe, E.
Clinton. H. Wentworth. T. Ely.

☞ Reasons why the Lordes bourd shuld rather be after the forme of a table, than of an aultare.
Romaynes i.

I am nor ashamed of the gospel, because it is the poWer of God vnto saluation to euery one that beleueth.

Certaine reasons whye the reuerend father Nicolas bishop of London amonges other his Iniunctions geuen in his late visitation, dyd exhort those churches in his dioces, where the aultars as then did remayne, to conform them selues vnto those other Churches, whiche had taken them downe, and had set vp in the stede of the multitude of their aultars one decente table in euery churche. And that herein he did not only any thing contrary vnto the book of comon praier or to the kinges maiesties procedings, but that he was induced to do the same partly moued by his office and dewtie, wherewith he is charged in the same boke, and partly for the aduauncemente and sincere setting forward of Gods holy worde, and the kyng his maiesties most godly procedings.

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The fyrste reason.

Fyrst the forme of a table shall more moue the simple from the supersticious opinions of the popish masse vnto the right vse of the lords supper, for the vse of an altar is to make sacrifice vpon it, the vse of a table is to serue for mē to eate vpon. Nowe when we come vnto the Lordes bourde, what doo we come for? To sacrifyce Christ vpon againe? and to crucifie him again, or to feede vpō him that was once only crucyfyed and offred vp for vs? If we come to feed vpon him, spirituallye to eate his bodie, & spiritually to drīk his bloud, which is the trew vse of the Lordes supper, then no man can denye, but the forme of a table is more mete for the lords bourd, thē the fourm of an alter.

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The second reason.

Item where as it is saide, the booke of cōmō prayer maketh mention of an aultar, wher fore it is not lawful to abolish that, which that booke alloweth: To this is thus answered. MarginaliaThe table how it mai be called an altar, and in what respect.The book of common praier calleth the thing, wherupon the Lordes supper is ministred, indifferētly a table, an aultar or the lords bourd, without prescription of any forme thereof, eyther of a table or of an altar. So that whether the Lords bourde haue the forme of an aultar, or of a table, the booke of common prayer calleth it bothe an aultar and a table, for as it calleth an aultar, wherupon the Lordes supper is ministred, a table, and the Lordes bourde, so it calleth the table where the holly commnnion is distributed with laudes and thankes geuing vnto the Lord, an altar, for that, that there is offred the same sacrifice of prayse and thanks geuing. And thus it appeareth that here is no thing neither said or ment cōtrary to the book of common prayer.

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The third reason.

Thirdly the popish opinion of masse, was that it mighte not be celebrated but vpon an

aultar
TT.iiii.
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