John Jewel's "Challenge" to Rome (1)

It is no exaggeration to say that one sermon dominated anti-Catholic preaching in the first decade of Elizabeth’s reign, and that was the Bishop of Salisbury John Jewel’s Challenge sermon, first delivered on November 26, 1559, and again on 31 March 1560. But before we examine the sermon, we need to ask, who was John Jewel? Jewel is not well known among Anglicans today. Most readers of Meet the Puritans have probably heard of Thomas Cranmer, but John Jewel? But Jewel’s contribution to Anglican theology and the Elizabethan Puritan movement is of the same significance as Cranmer’s. 
We’re in the midst of a study of the 39 Articles of Religion. We know that Archbishop's Cranmer in 1543 and Parker in 1563 were the authors. But who edited the final revision of them in 1571 when the Articles promulgated as our Anglican confession of faith? It was John Jewel. There were times in our study of the Articles that we examined corresponding sermons in the two Books of Homilies, for a fuller statement of Anglican doctrine. John Jewel was the editor the Second Book of Homilies. What is more, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, Archbishop Bancroft gave instructions that every parish church should have a copy of Jewel’s Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae on display in English so that all could read it. His Apologia was the defense of his Challenge sermon. Every Elizabethan Puritan would have been familiar with Jewel’s sermon and his subsequent classic work defining the Reformed Church of England.

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from Meet the Puritans


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