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The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia

Anglican Church, the

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The name given to the Church of England as being the Church of the Anglo-Saxon race. The Church was introduced into Britain as early as A.D. 61, probably by St. Paul and it has continued there the same organization ever since, and the Church of the whole English nation until within the last 300 years, when divers and sundry religious bodies have sprung up. Thus the English nation from that early period of the Church's first introduction into Britain down to the present time, has never been without the Orthodox Faith; the Apostolic Ministry in three orders—Bishops, Priests and Deacons; the Sacraments and the ancient Liturgy. Moreover, the Church of England has always affirmed her own national integrity and independence and although overcome and brought into subjection to a foreign power, and finally regained her former independence—yet throughout all she has ever retained the four essentials of Christian Truth and Order mentioned, and thus demonstrates that she is a true branch of the Church founded by Christ, and as such Catholic and Apostolic. For one to say that the Church of England was founded by Henry VIII, or to say that it is a "schism from the Roman Church" shows great ignorance of even the plainest facts of history. The following statement, from a secular paper, the Providence (R. I.) Journal is worth reprinting: "It is still quite usual even for intelligent persons to misunderstand the purposes of the English Reformers, and the result of the English Reformation. . . . The supremacy of Rome has never been borne patiently by the English people, whose church organization was established long before Rome took the trouble to interfere with it; and several English kings had quarreled before Henry the Eighth's time with the Holy See. What the English Reformers wanted, and what they accomplished under Elizabeth, was Reform within the Church. It was on the continent that Protestantism without the Church, built up a new ecclesiastical organization. All this, it may be, is a matter only of historical value to the busy nineteenth century. But even if facts in a historical aspect are of small importance to an intensely practical generation, it is as well to have these facts right as wrong." (See UNDIVIDED CHURCH).

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Bibliography Information
Miller, William James. Entry for 'Anglican Church, the'. The American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia. 1901.

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