« PreviousContinue »
AGREED UPON BY THE ARCHBISHOPS and BISHOPS of both PROVINCES,
and the whole CLERGY, In the Convocation holden at London in the year 1562 ;
for the avoiding of Diverfities of Opinions, and for the establishing of Consent touching true Religion.
ARTICLES of RELIGION.
1. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. HERE is but one living and true God, everlasting,
without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Articles, &c.] Articles of Religion, as directions for the preaching of the clergy, and rules of faith for the people, were first drawn up and circulated in the reign of Henry VIIIth, who fent a letter (dated the sath of July, 1536) to all the bishops, forbidding “all preaching till Michaelmas ensuing, by which time certain articles of religion, moft Catholic, fhould be let forth." The king himself framed these articles, of which the followe ing is an abstract:
1. " All preachers were to inftruct the people to believe the whole Bible, and the three Creeds, viz. the Apostles', the Nicene, and Athanahan, and to interpret all things according to them.
II. " That baptism was a facrament instituted by Chrift; that it was ne. cessary to salvation; that infants were to be baptised for the pardon of original lin; and that the opinions of the Anabaptists and Pelagians were deteftable heresies: (And that those of ripe age, who desired baptism, muft join with it repentance and contrition for their fins, with a firm belief of the articles of the faith.]
II]. That penance, that is, contrition, confeffion, and amendment of life, with works of charity, was necessary to falvation; to which must be added faith in the inercy of God, that He will justify and pardon as, not for the worthiness of any merit or work done by us, but for the only merits of the blood and paflion of Jesus Chrift: nevertheless, that confeflon to a priest was necessary if it might be had; and that the abfolution of a prieft was the same as if it were fpoken
by God himself, according to our SaviQur's words. That auricular confession was of use for the comfort of men's consciences. And though we are justified only by the fatisfaction of Chrift, get the people were to be instructed in the necellity of good works.
II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made
HE Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten
God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: So that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the
IV. "That in the facrament of the altar, under the form of bread and wine, there was, truly and substantially, the fame body of Christ that was born of the Virgin.
V.“ That justification fignified the remission of lins, and a perfe& renovation of nature in Chrift.
VI. “ Concerning images--that the use of them was warranted in Scrip ture; that they served to itir up devotion ; and that it was meet they lhould stand in churches: but the people were to be taught, that in kneeling or worshipping before then they were not to do it to the image but to God.
VII. “ Concerning honouring of Saints, they were to be instructed not to exped those favours from them which are to be obtained only from God, but they were to honour them, to praise God for them, and to imitate their virtues.
VIII.“ —— For praying to faints-That it was good to pray to them to pray for us and with us.
IX. “ Of Ceremonies. The people were to be taught that they were good and lawful, having myftical significations in them; such were the vestments in the worship of God; fprinzling holy water, to put us in mind of our baptism and the blood of Christ; giving holy bread, in ligo of our anion in Christ; bearing candles on Candlemas-day, in remembrance of Christ the spiritual light; giving aber on A/h-Wednesday, to put us is miod of penance and our mortality; bearing palms on Palm Sunday, to fhew our delire to receive Chrift into our hearts, as he entered into Jesusalem; creeping to the cross on Good-Friday, and kifing it, in memory of his death; with the setting up of the fepulchre on that day, the hal lowing of the font, and other exorcisms and benedictions.
Lally, “ As to purgatory, they were to declare it good and charitable to pray for souls departed; but since the place they were in, and the pains they suffered, were uncertain by leripture, they ought to remit them to God's mercy. Therefore all abuses of this doctrine were to be put away, and the people disengaged from believing that the Pope's pardons or maffes faid in certain places, or before certain images, could deliver fouls out of purgatory."
In the succeeding reign these articles were superseded by a fresh feries, confifting of forty-two, drawn up by Cranmer and Ridley, which were published with the following title : « Articles agreed upon by the Bishops and other learned Men, in the Convocation held at London, in the year 1552, for the avoiding diversity of opinions, and establishing consent touche ing true Religion. Published by the King's authority." These articles are, for the most part, the same as our present articles; and were reduced to the number of thirty-nine in the reign of Elizabeth, who, in the begin ning of the year 1962, directed letters of licence to review the doctrine and discipline of the church. On this occalion the articles onderwent a revifal,
Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one per. fon, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a facrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual fins of men.
III. Of the going down of Christ into bell.
IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
again his body, with fleth, bones, and all things appertainmg to the perfection of man's nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there fitteth, until he return · to judge all men at the last day.
V. Of the Holy Ghost. T "HE Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the
Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God. VI. Of the fufficiency of Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
OLY Scripture containeth all things necessary to
salvation : So that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith,
when the forty-two were brought down to thirty-nine, the following being omitted from 'Edward's series:-“ Art. xxxix. The resurrection of the dead is not passed already.-Art. xl. The fouls of men deceased do not perish with their bodies, nor Neep idly:--Art. xli. Of the Millinarians.Art. xlii. All men not to be saved at last.” Some of the other articles underwent a new divifion; but the doctrines continued to be much the same as before. Thefe articles, however, did not pass into a law, nor become a part of the establishment till the year 1571, when an act was passed entitled, * An Act for Reformation of Disorders in the Ministers of the Church;" which enjoined “all that have any ecclefiaftical livings to declare their assent, before the bilhop of the diocese, to all the'Articles of Religion," &c. The articles were prepared both in Latin and English, of which originals it is worthy remark, that many (though for the most part llight) differences occur between the two; of these the following may serve as an instance: Latin. “Christianis licet, ex mandato magiftratus, arma portare, et juta bella adminiftrare.”—English. “ It is lawful for Christian men, at the command of the magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars."
or be thought requifite or necessary to falvation. In the name of the holy scripture we do understand those canonical books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books. GENESIS,
The First Book of Chronicles, Exodus,
The Second Book of Chronicles Leviticus,
The First Book of Efdras, Numbers,
The Second Book of Esdras, Deuteronomy,
The Book of Esther, Fosbua,
The Book of Job, Judges,
The Psalms, Ruth,
The Proverbs, The First Book of Samuel, Ecclefiaftes, or Preacher, The Second Book of Samuel, Cantica, or Songs of Solomon, The First Book of Kings, Four Prophets the greater, The Second Book of Kings, Twelve Prophets the less. "And the other books (as Hierome faith) the Church doth read for example of life, and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any
doctrine: Such are these following: The Third Book of Esdras, | Baruch the Prophet, The Fourth Book of Esdras, The Song oftheThree Children The Book of Tobias, The Story of Susanna, The Book of Judith,
Of Bel and the Dragon, The rest of the Book of Esther The Prayer of Manajes, The Book of Wisdom, The Fir? Book of Maccabees, Jesus the Son of Sirach, The Second Bookof Maccabees.
All the books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account them canonical.
VII. Of the Old Testament. "HE Old Testament is not contrary to the New:
For both in the Old and New Testament everlast: ing life is offered to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man, being both God and man. . Wherefore they are not to be heard which feigo,
that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises. Although the law given from God by Moses, as touching ceremonies and rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth ; yet notwithstanding, no Christian man whosoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral.
VIII. Of the three Creeds. "HE three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius' Creed, Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of boly Scripture.
IX. Of Original or Birth-Sin.
as the Pelagians do vainly talk; but it is the faul and corruption of the nature of every man that naturally is ingendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the fielh lusteth always contrary to the spirit ; and therefore in every person bora into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain ; yea, in them that are regenerated: whereby the last of the filesh, called in Greek Φρονημα σαρκος,
which fome do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, fome the affection, some the de. Lire of the filesh, is not subject to the law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess that con. cupiscence and luft hath of itself the nature of fin.
X. Of Free-Will. 'HE condition of man, after the fall of Adam, is fuch,
that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own Datural strength and good works, to faith and calling apon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Chrift preventing us, that we may have a good will
, and working with us when we have that good-will.