What he actually said: “What Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that the first place both of credit and obedience are due; the next whereunto, is what any man can necessarily conclude by force of Reason; after this, the voice of the church succeedeth.”
SCRIPTURE, or the ACTUAL:
- "Anglicans recognize only one dogma about Mary: that she is the Theotokos, the Mother of God. All other doctrines, beliefs, or legends about Mary are secondary to her role as Mother of God."
- "Anglicans recognize Mary as an example of holiness, faith and obedience for all Christians; and that Mary can be seen as a prophetic figure of the Church. As the Gospel of Luke (1.48) states 'henceforth all nations shall call me blessed', she is often considered to have a unique place of importance within the Communion of Saints."
- "The Anglican Communion observes all the traditional Marian festivals of the ancient Catholic Church."
Given Mary’s centrality in the economy of salvation it could hardly be seemly to give her neither pride of place amongst all the saints nor the title of Theotokos.
The Feasts of the Purification, Annunciation, and Visitation are and will continue to be celebrated.
Given a scriptural basis, no Anglican could reasonably forswear traditional chants and hymns, nor the uttering of such, as a pious ejaculation:
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Saint Mary the Virgin, Mother of God, all generations shall call thee blessed, for thou hast borne the saviour for all the world.
REASON, or the DEMONSTRABLE:
- "Some Anglicans agree that the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is sound and logical, but without more scriptural proof it cannot be considered dogmatic."
- "Most Anglicans reject the idea of Mary as Co-Redemptrix and any interpretation of the role of Mary that obscures the unique mediation of Christ. Anglicans typically believe that all doctrines concerning Mary must be linked with the doctrines of Christ and the Church."
An ascription such as “Blessed Mary, Ever-Virgin” is coherent with a possible reading of scripture. Hence, theological espousal of such is (strictly speaking) ‘reasonable’ yet scarcely to be mandated [= very weak proof].
Any and all proposals that Our Lady be deemed the 'co-mediatrix of all grace' or 'mediatrix of all grace' or 'co-redemptrix' are utterly impossible and must be repulsed as they militate strongly against our received creeds and our doctrines of salvation [= very strong disproof].
TRADITION, or the POSSIBLE:
- "Most Anglicans generally believe that the Roman Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption of Mary are merely pious beliefs or legends, since there is no clear reference in Scripture to support them ..."
Scripture is completely silent and no true proofs are possible. Given our completely uncertainty about both, the palpable Orthodox apprehensions about the former, and, yet, the relative antiquity of the latter, I would think that the Scottish Prayer Book yields the best example:
The FALLING ASLEEP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY [August 15]
O GOD, who as on this day didst take to thyself the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of thy Son: Grant that we who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of thy eternal kingdom; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, ever one God, world without end. Amen.