Please help welcome John Jewel’s wonderful “Apology or Answer in Defence of the Church of England” to our site, and indeed to the Internet. It is the first and only online reproduction of this immortal work, and we hope that it will serve the Church in our modern day, the bishop edifying us about her nature and explaining why she is what she is and not any other.
John Jewel’s Apology came out in 1562 A.D. shortly after Queen Mary deceased and the Anglican church was able to return to England, quickly becoming the standard text that identified Anglican views as they differed from the Church of Rome. Its importance in defining the Anglican identity was such that Archbishop Parker wrote letters of congratulatory admiration to its author as well as sponsored its translations into English, the Convocation expressed wholesale approval, and the work even acquired semi-official Confessional status by being included in the “Unity of the Confessions” of 1581 A.D. Readers of every century have admired this treatise and it remains vital even unto today where it serves as a living text, a Monument and a Testament, that churchmen continue to mine their opinions and inspiration from.
The work is first and foremost a polemical text, and bishop Jewel was the first to admonish against treating every clause as a systematic definition. Other works would serve for that purpose. In this work, for it is but a brief treatise, Jewel intended to show in broad strokes the grave irredeemable faults of the Roman Catholic system, and the explanation for why the paths of the Church of England, and the Church of Rome, went their separate ways. It has been said that the Apology was found to be unanswerable by the Roman apologists, at time of its publication, and ever since.
The second treatise launched today is the famous 1685 A.D. “Life of John Jewel.” If after having perused the Apology the faithful reader will desire to learn more about the reverend bishop’s life, he will find no better biography than this exceptional seventeenth century text. In its force, emphatic power, accuracy and vigor of situating Bishop Jewel in his context, no better biography has been written, and we heartily recommend it to the reader’s attention.
The Apology of the Church of England can be found here →
The Life can be found here →