The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England
Explained With an Introduction By Edgar C. S. Gibson
Fourth Edition Revised
[Spelling selectively modernized. Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals. Footnotes moved into or near places of citation.]
Preface to the Second Edition
The demand for a Second Edition has given the opportunity for correcting such slips and misprints as I have been able to discover, as well as for adding references to the more recent literature on some of the subjects treated of. But except for such emendations, and a few slight additions here and there made in consequence of the suggestions of friends, this edition is substantially a reprint of the former one. It is now issued in a single volume, and at a reduced price, in the hope that it may thereby be rendered more suitable as a textbook for theological students.
E. C. S. G.
April 22, 1898
Preface to the First Edition
For some years there has been a widely spread feeling, among those whose work called them to lecture on the XXXIX Articles, that there is room for another treatise on the subject. Archdeacon Hardwick’s invaluable work is purely historical, and attempts no interpretation or Scriptural proof of the Articles themselves. Bishop Forbes’ Explanation is excellent as a theological treatise, but, in spite of its title, it is scarcely an “explanation” “ of the Articles. Dr. Boultbee’s Theology of the Church of England is clear and businesslike, but it is written from a party point of view. Of Bishop Harold Browne’s well-known Exposition it is sufficient to say that the first edition was published in 1850, and that a good deal of fresh light has been thrown upon the Articles during the last forty-six years. But since the Bishop was content to issue edition after edition without making any change in it, or subjecting it to a much-needed revision, the book, which has in the past been of so much service to the Church, has become in many parts (e.g. in all that concerns the history of the Creeds) antiquated and out of date. Since the present work was sent to the press, two other volumes on the same subject have appeared, namely, an Introduction to the XXXIX Articles, by Dr. Maclear and Mr. Williams, and The Thirty-nine Articles and the Age of the Reformation, by the Rev. E. Tyrrell Green, – a fact which affords striking evidence of the feeling alluded to above, that the textbooks at present in use are not altogether adequate. Mr. Green’s work contains much illustrative matter from contemporary documents, and that by Dr. Maclear and Mr. Williams is excellent as a short textbook. My own work is on a somewhat larger scale, and may perhaps appear to be more ambitious, in aiming at completeness as a commentary upon the Articles; and I trust that it may be found that there is room for it as well as for these others. My object throughout has been to make the work correspond as closely as possible to the title. It is not in any way intended to be a complete system of theology. The subjects discussed are strictly limited to those which are fairly suggested by the text of the Articles. Nor is it a history of doctrine. I have simply endeavoured to explain the teaching of the Articles, assuming a general knowledge of ecclesiastical history on the part of the reader, and only tracing out the history of doctrine where it seemed to be absolutely necessary in order to enable him to understand the meaning of the text of the Articles and the expressions used in it. My aim has always been to discover and elucidate the “plain, literal, and grammatical sense” of the document on which I have undertaken to comment. I can honestly say that I have striven to be perfectly fair, and to avoid the temptation to “read in” to the Articles meanings which I am not convinced to be really there. How far I have succeeded my readers must judge for themselves.
One possible criticism I should like to meet beforehand. It may perhaps be said that there is a lack of proportion in the treatment of the Articles, since far more space has been devoted to the first eight than to the remaining thirty-one. My reply must be that the fault, if it be a fault, has been deliberately committed, – and for this reason. The first eight Articles practically restate, in an enlarged form, the rule of faith as contained in the Church’s Creed, and therefore stand on a different footing from the others. In some works on the Articles this seems to be regarded as a reason for devoting but little space to them, it being presumably taken for granted that the student will have previously mastered Pearson’s great work, or some other treatise on the Creed. It has seemed to me wiser to adopt the opposite course, and to make the commentary upon them fuller than that on the remaining Articles, in order to emphasize their importance, and to give them their proper position. I trust, however, that the lack of proportion is not really so great as might at first sight appear. Many of the later Articles admit of very slight treatment, and I hope that it will be found that adequate attention has been paid to the really important ones among them, especially to those on the Church, the Sacraments, and the Ministry.
It only remains for me to express my thanks to those who have assisted me in the work, especially to the Rev. A. Robertson, D.D., Principal of Hatfield Hall, Durham, who has kindly looked through the proof sheets, and helped me by making many valuable suggestions.
E. C. S. G.
The Vicarage, Leeds, December 10, 1896
Synopsis of Contents
Introduction – The Forty-Two Articles of 1553; The Elizabethan Articles; The Royal Declaration; Puritan Attempts to Amend or Supplement the Articles; History of Subscription to the Articles; The Chief Divisions of the Articles
The Forty-Two Articles of 1558
Article I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity – The Grounds on which the Doctrine is accepted; The History of the Doctrine in the Church, and the Growth of Technical Phraseology in connection with it; The Explanation of the Doctrine
Article II. Of the Word or Son of God Which Was Made Very Man – The Divinity and Eternal Generation of the Son; The Incarnation; The Atonement
Article III. Of the Going Down of Christ Into Hell – The Meaning of the word Hell; The Scriptural Grounds for the Doctrine, and the Object of the Descent; The History of the Doctrine in the Church, and of the Clause in the Creed referring to it.
Article IV. Of the Resurrection of Christ – The Resurrection of Christ; The Ascension and Session at the Right Hand of the Father; The Return to Judgment
Article V. Of the Holy Ghost – The Divinity of the Holy Ghost; The Distinct Personality; The Doctrine of the Procession
Article VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation – The Position of Holy Scripture as the Sole Source of Necessary Doctrine; The Canon of Holy Scripture; The Position of “The Other Books”
Article VII. Of the Old Testament – The Old Testament is not contrary to the New; The Old Fathers did not look only for Transitory Promises; The Ceremonial and Civil Law of the Jews is not binding on Christians; The Moral Law remains of Universal and Lasting Obligation
Article VIII. Of the Three Creeds – Creeds in General; The Apostles’ Creed; The Nicene Creed; The Athanasian Creed
Article IX. Of Original or Birth Sin – Original Sin; The Effect of Baptism in the removal of Original Sin; The Character of Concupiscence
Article X. Of Freewill – Freewill; The Need of Grace
Article XI. Of the Justification of Man – Justification: Its Meaning and Relation to Sanctification; The Meritorious Cause of Justification; The Instrument or Formal Cause of Justification; The “Homily of Justification”
Article XII. Of Good Works
Article XIII. Of Works Before Justification – The Title as compared with the Article itself; The Scholastic Theory of Congruous Merit; The Teaching of the Article upon the Subject
Article XIV. Of Works of Supererogation – The Name “Works of Supererogation”; The History of the Growth of the System of Indulgences; The Theological Defence offered for them
Article XV. Of Christ Alone Without Sin – Christ’s Sinlessness
Article XVI. Of Sin After Baptism – The fact that deadly Sin is not Unpardonable; The possibility of falling from Grace
Article XVII. Of Predestination and Election – The Description of Predestination; The Steps which accompany it The Practical Effect of the Doctrine; Two Considerations calculated to guard the Doctrine from Abuses
Article XVIII. Of Obtaining Eternal Salvation Only By the Name of Christ
Article XIX Of the Church – The Description of the Visible Church – The Statement that the Church of Rome hath erred in Matters of Faith
Article XX. Of the Authority of the Church – The Legislative Power of the Church with regard to Rites or Ceremonies; The Judicial Authority of the Church with regard to Doctrine; The Office of the Church with regard to Holy Scripture
Article XXI. Of The Authority of General Councils – They may not be gathered together without the Consent of Princes; They are liable to Err; As a Matter of History they actually have Erred
Article XXII. Of Purgatory – Purgatory; Pardons; Adoration of Images and Relics; Invocation of Saints
Article XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation – The Need of an External Call and Mission; The Description of those through whom the Call comes
Article XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a Tongue as the People Understandeth – The Evidence of Scripture on this Subject; The Custom of the Primitive Church
Article XXV. Of the Sacraments – The Description of Sacraments ordained of Christ; The Number of such Sacraments; The Five Rites “commonly called Sacraments”; The Use of Sacraments
Article XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the Effect of the Sacraments
Article XXVII. Of Baptism – The Description of Baptism and its Effects; Infant Baptism
Article XXVIII. Of the Lord’s Supper – The Description of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; The Doctrine of Transubstantiation; The Nature of the Presence, and the “Mean whereby it is received”; Certain Practices in connection with the Eucharist
Article XXIX. Of the Wicked which do not Eat the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper
Article XXX. Of Both Kinds – The History of the Practice condemned in it; The Arguments by which it has been justified
Article XXXI. Of the One Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross – The Sufficiency of the Sacrifice of the Cross; The Condemnation of the “Sacrifices of Masses”
Article XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests – There is no Prohibition of the Marriage of the Clergy in Scripture; It is lawful for the Clergy to Marry if they think it advisable
Article XXXIII. Of Excommunicate Persons: How they are to be avoided
Article XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church.
Article XXXV. Of Homilies – The History of the Homilies; The Nature of the Assent demanded to them
Article XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers – The Objections of the Puritans; The Objections of the Romanists .
Article XXXVII. Of the Civil Magistrates – The Royal Supremacy; The Papal Claims; The Lawfulness of Capital Punishment; The Lawfulness of War
Article XXXIII. Of Christian Men’s Goods which are not Common – The Community of Goods; The Duty of Almsgiving
Index (omitted for web)
It has been pointed out [Church Quarterly Review, vol. vii. p. 134.] that in the course of the Church’s history there are two special eras of what is sometimes called “Symbolism,” i.e. Creed-Making, or the composition of formularies of faith, – the fourth and fifth centuries, and the sixteenth. The reason for this is obvious. Each age was emphatically an age of religious controversy. After the victory of Constantine over Maxentius and the publication of the Edict of Milan by the joint Emperors Constantine and Licinius (A.D. 313), religious questions and discussions attained a publicity which had hitherto been impossible. There followed, of necessity, a period of definition of the Church’s faith. The great Arian controversy had already begun when Constantine found himself sole ruler of the Roman Empire; and now questions were asked as to the meaning of the Church’s creed which, when once formally raised, required a clear answer. Thus the terminology of philosophy was pressed into the service of the Christian faith, in order to interpret to thoughtful minds in their own language the belief which had been implicitly held by Christians from the beginning. In this way, in the “Nicene” Creed and the doctrinal decisions of the first four General Councils, the fundamental articles of the faith were once for all defined, and since then the Church has never varied in her expression of them.
The formularies of faith belonging to the sixteenth century are of a very different character. Instead of the crisp, short summaries of the main articles of Christian belief, drawn up in the form of creeds, we are confronted with verbose and lengthy “Confessions,” in the form of Articles, bristling with controversial points, and often negative rather than positive, denouncing and protesting against some supposed error, but failing to set forth in any systematic form the definite positive truth to be held on the subject. The religious upheaval of the time had let loose a spirit of universal questioning. “Authority” was widely discarded; and while the fundamental articles of the faith were once more passed in review men did not rest content with the consideration of these, but examined afresh the whole circle of Christian doctrine, and threw doubts on matters only remotely bearing upon the faith once for all committed to the saints. Moreover, fresh complications arose from the confusion in which the question of the duties and rights of the civil power was entangled. In an age when the foundations of the system on which society had rested for centuries were seriously shaken, such subjects as the right of the magistrate to interfere with the belief of the individual, and the limits of his authority over conscience, naturally assumed a prominence hitherto unknown. Thus it became necessary for all bodies of Christians to state their position on topics which might otherwise have remained undefined; and there sprang into existence that bewildering mass of elaborate confessions of faith, extending to subjects which belong to the borderland between religion and politics, which forms one of the special characteristics of this century. If the fourth century was the age of CREEDS, the sixteenth is the age of ARTICLES.
It will be seen, then, that the Thirty-Nine Articles do not stand alone; nor can they be rightly interpreted without reference to various other documents belonging to the same age, or without some knowledge of their history. Not only are they the last of a series of formularies of faith, issued with more or less authority by the English Church during the course of the Reformation, but also, in order to be rightly understood, they require comparison with other, not altogether dissimilar, forms put forth elsewhere.
The earlier formularies put forth in the Church of England are the following:–
1. The Ten Articles of 1536. This document is noteworthy as being the first confession issued by the English Church in this period of transition. As might be expected from a consideration of the date at which it appeared, it “bore the character of a compromise between the old and new learning.” [Dixon’s History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 415.] It was the work of the Convocation, Cromwell having conveyed to that body the King’s wish that controversies should be put an end to “through the determination of you and of his whole parliament.” The Articles were ten in number, and were divided into two parts, the first five on doctrine: I. The principal Articles concerning our Faith. II. The Sacrament of Baptism. III. The Sacrament of Penance. IV. The Sacrament of the Altar. V. Justification. In the second part there followed five “concerning the laudable ceremonies used in the Church.” VI. Of Images. VII. Of Honouring of Saints. VIII. Of Praying to Saints. IX. Of Rites and Ceremonies. X. Of Purgatory. [The Articles are given in full in Hardwick’s History of the Articles, Appendix i., and in Bishop Lloyd’s Formularies of Faith in the Reign of Henry VIII, p. 1.]
As evidence of their transitional character the following facts may be noted:–
(a) Penance is spoken of as a sacrament necessary for man’s salvation, but is the only rite to which the name of a sacrament is applied, besides Baptism and the Eucharist.
(b) While the doctrine of the Real Presence is strongly asserted no mention is made of Transubstantiation.
(c) Images are to be retained as representers of virtue and good example, but superstitious worshipping of them is to be abolished. Saints are to be honoured, and held in reverence, and their prayers are to be asked for by us, “so that it be done without any vain superstition, so as to think that any saint is more merciful or will hear us sooner than Christ, or that any saint doth serve for one thing more than other, or is patron of the same.”
(d) Many medieval ceremonies are retained as useful, though having no power to remit sins.
(e) Prayers for the departed are to be continued, but abuses connected with the doctrine of purgatory are abolished.
The Articles, when signed by Convocation and approved by the King, were published with the following title [spelling modernized]:–
“Articles devised by the King’s highness majesty, to stablish Christian quietness and unity among us, and to avoid contentious opinions, which articles be also approved by the consent and determination of the whole clergy of this realm – Anno MDXXXVI.”
Thus, although the initiative was claimed for the “supreme head,” care was taken to assert the approval of the clergy, as represented in Convocation.
2. In the following year, 1537, this formulary was superseded by The Institution of a Christian Man, or; as it is commonly called, “The Bishops’ Book”. This document contained “the exposition or interpretation of the Common Creed, of the Seven Sacraments, of the Ten Commandments, and of the Pater Noster, and the Ave Maria, Justification, and Purgatory.” The articles on Justification and Purgatory are copied verbatim from those in the Ten Articles, and in general the character of the teaching contained in the two documents is very similar. The “Seven Sacraments” are retained, but abuses connected with extreme unction are carefully restrained, and a marked distinction is drawn between Baptism, the Eucharist, and Penance, and all other sacraments. The book was prepared by a Commission, which sat at Lambeth, under the presidency of Cranmer, and it was published in the name of the two archbishops, “and all other the bishops, prelates, and archdeacons of this realm,” with the signatures of the archbishops, all the diocesan bishops, and twenty-five doctors. “But as it was neither passed by Convocation nor by Parliament, it had no other authority than could be given by the names of those who had signed it, and being printed at the King’s Press.” [Dixon’s History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 529. The Bishops’ Book may be seen in Formularies of Faith, p. 21.]
3. In 1543 there appeared a revised edition of this work, under the title of The Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man. Unlike its predecessor this work received the authority of Convocation, although the title page contained a declaration that it was “set forth by the king’s majesty of England,” and the preface was from the pen of the “supreme head,” whence the volume was commonly known as the King’s Book. While much of the earlier is embodied in it, yet on a comparison of the two, the reactionary character of the King’s Book is very clear. In many points a return to the old system of things is evident, as might be expected from a publication belonging to the later years of Henry’s reign, when the Statute of the Six Articles (the “whip with six strings”) was in force. The section exalting the Eucharist and Penance over the other sacraments is omitted. The doctrine of Transubstantiation is definitely maintained, although the word itself is avoided.* The section on extreme unction is rewritten, and the celibacy of the clergy is enforced.
*[The Eucharist “among all the sacraments is of incomparable dignity and virtue, forasmuch as in the other sacraments the outward kind of the thing which is used in them remaineth still in their own nature and substance unchanged; but in this most high sacrament of the altar, the creatures which be taken to the use thereof, as bread and wine, do not remain still in their own substance, but, by the virtue of Christ’s word in the consecration, be changed and turned to be the very substance of the body and blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ. So that, although there appear the form of bread and wine, after the consecration, as did before, and to the outward senses nothing seemeth to be changed, yet must we, forsaking and renouncing the persuasion of our senses in this behalf, give our assent only to faith, and to the plain word of Christ, which affirmeth that substance there offered, exhibited, and received, to be the very precious body and blood of our Lord, as is plainly written by the evangelists and also by St. Paul.” – Formularies of Faith, p. 262. The corresponding passage in the Bishops’ Book is very different in tone and character (see p. 100).]
Important as these three formularies of faith are, as marking the transitional character of the reign of Henry VIII, and the hesitating, gradual course of the doctrinal changes introduced, yet, for our present purpose, their importance is less than that of another document which was prepared in 1538, but never published nor in any way imposed upon the Church. While the works just considered enable us to see something of the practical system which our reformers had before them, and with which they were called upon to deal, yet it must be noticed that no trace of their language can be found in our present series of Articles. For the source of these we must turn to a different quarter. In 1538 a small number of Lutheran divines from Germany were invited to this country by Henry, in order to confer with a committee of Anglican divines, and, if possible, draw up a joint Confession of Faith, with a view to the comprehension of both Anglicans and Lutherans in one communion. The invitation was accepted. A mixed committee met, under the presidency of Cranmer, to consider the subject. So long as the discussion was confined to matters of faith, agreement was arrived at with comparative ease. By the use of general terms, and (in some cases) designedly ambiguous formularies, it was found possible to compile a number of propositions which proved satisfactory to both parties. Thirteen Articles were thus prepared on the following subjects: – I. De unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum. II. De Peccato Originali. III. De duabus Christi Naturis. IV. De Justificatione. V. De Ecclesia. VI. De Baptismo. VII. De Eucharistia. VIII. De Poenitentia. IX. De Sacramentorum usu. X. De Ministris Ecclesiae. XI. De Ritibus Ecclesiae. XII. De Rebus Civilibus. XIII. De Corporum resurrectione et judicio extremo. Of these the first three are taken almost word for word from the Confession of Augsburg, the influence of which may be traced in other parts of the Articles as well. But it is noteworthy that the sections on Baptism, the Eucharist, and Penance are either entirely new or largely rewritten, while in that on the Use of Sacraments the language of the Lutheran Confession has been considerably strengthened, in order to emphasize the character of sacraments as channels of grace – apparently in order to satisfy the Anglican divines.
But, while agreement on the subjects mentioned was secured with comparative ease, divergence of opinion was at once manifested when the committee passed from the consideration of doctrine to the discussion of questions connected with discipline. The summer was wasted in fruitless negotiations. The approach of winter led to the return of the Germans to their own land. Although a second mission was sent by them in the following year, nothing was done, and the scheme for a joint Confession of Faith seems to have been quietly allowed to drop. The Articles were not made public. They were not even submitted to Convocation, nor did they ever receive any sanction or authority whatever. Their importance however, historically, is very great, for they form the link between the Confession of Augsburg and our own Articles. A comparison of the three documents makes it perfectly clear that it was only through the medium of the Book of the Thirteen Articles that the Lutheran formulary influenced the Forty-Two Articles of 1553, from which our own are descended. “The expressions in Edward VI’s formulary, usually adduced to prove its connection with the Confession of Augsburg, are also found in the Book of Articles, while it contains others which can be traced as far as the Book of Articles, but which will be sought for in vain in the Confession of Augsburg.” [Jenkyns’ Cranmer, 1. xxiv., quoted in Hardwick’s History of the Articles, p. 61. The Thirteen Articles may be seen in Hardwick, Appendix ii.]
Before proceeding to the consideration of the Edwardian Series of Articles (the immediate predecessor of our own), it will be well to give a very brief notice of some of the doctrinal formularies issued on the Continent, a comparison with which may sometimes tend to throw light on the meaning of the Anglican statements.
The position of the Lutherans is shown by the Confession of Augsburg. This document contains an apologetic statement of their position, as distinct from that of both Romans and Zwinglians, on the special points of doctrine and practice at that time actually in controversy. It was originally drawn up by Melancthon, revised by Luther and others, and presented to the Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg, 1530. It contains twenty-eight articles, and is divided into two parts: (1) On doctrine, comprising twenty-one articles; and (2) on ecclesiastical abuses, seven articles. As we have just seen, it was used by the framers of the Thirteen Articles of 1538, and has through them influenced the English Articles. But since its influence on the Anglican formulary was only indirect, there is no necessity to give a fuller account of it here. [The Confession of Augsburg is contained in Sylloge Confessionum. For some account of it, see Schaff’s History of the (Lutheran) Reformation, vol. ii. p. 706.]
A second Lutheran document to be noticed is the Confession of Wurtemberg. This contains thirty-five articles. It was framed on the model of the Confession of Augsburg, and presented to the Council of Trent by the ambassadors of the State of Wurtemberg, in 1552. It is mentioned here, because, as will be shown further on, it proved of considerable use to Archbishop Parker in the preparation of the Elizabethan Articles of 1563. [For the Confession of Wurtemberg (which is not given in the Sylloge Confessionum, see Le Plat, Monumenta, iv. 420.]
Meantime, while the Lutherans were thus formulating their views, the Swiss and French reformers, who sympathized with the teaching of Zwingli and Calvin, were busy with the preparation of a number of documents expressing their views. Of these, it will be sufficient to mention the following: – The Confessio Basiliensis (1534) and the Confessio Helvetica I (1536), both of which are Zwinglian. The Confessio Helvetica II (1564), which is largely influenced by Calvin. Still more strongly Calvinistic is the Confessio Fidei Gallicana, containing forty articles. This was apparently drawn up in 1559, and presented in the following year to Francis II of France, and in 1561 to Charles IX. On the same lines is the Confessio Belgica of 1562 (containing thirty-seven articles), which obtained wide acceptance among the congregations of the “Reformed” in the Netherlands. [These Zwinglian and Calvinistic Confessions will all be found in Niemeyer’s Collectio Confessionum in Ecclesiis Reformatis Publicatarum. For some account of the Swiss formularies, see Schaff’s History of the Swiss Reformation, vol. i., p. 217 seq. No mention is made in the text of the Westminster Confession (1643), as it belongs to a somewhat different period.] These documents, just enumerated, closely resemble each other, and are of a somewhat ambitious character, for they appear to be intended as complete schemes of theology, embracing the whole circle of Christian doctrine. It is needless to say that none of these compilations have the slightest connection with our own Articles. They are only mentioned here, because a comparison with them not seldom serves to bring out the marked contrast that there is between the unguarded and extravagant positions taken up by some of the foreign reformers, and the judicious moderation and wise avoidance of dogmatic assertions on points of small practical importance which may be observed in the English Articles.
The formal positions to which the Church of Rome committed herself at this period will be found in the Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent. The Council first met in December 1545 in the pontificate of Paul III. By July 1547 ten sessions had been held. Shortly afterwards the Council was suspended for some years. Its sittings were resumed by order of Julius III in 1551, and between September 1551 and April 1553 six more sessions (xi–xvi) were held. The Council was then once more suspended, nor did it meet again until the Papacy of Pius IV; sessions xvii–xxv being held in the course of the years 1562, 1563, and the final confirmation of the Council being dated January 26, 1564. It will appear from this enumeration of dates that Rome was stereotyping her doctrine just at the same time that the Church of England was revising her expression of it. Many of the same subjects were considered at Trent as in England. In some cases priority of treatment belongs to Rome, in others to England. It becomes, therefore, a matter of importance to ascertain in each case whether our reformers were confronted with the authoritative statements to which Rome was formally committed by her representatives at Trent, or whether they had before them merely the popular doctrine and the current practices. Thus, in regard to the number and authority of the canonical books, the subject was discussed at Trent during the fourth session of the Council in 1546. So also, in the earlier sessions held during 1546 and 1547, such subjects as original sin, justification, and the sacraments generally were considered, and canons concerning them were drawn up. On all these matters, therefore, it is obvious that the compilers of the Edwardian as well as of the Elizabethan Articles had the formal decisions of the Council before them. The Eucharist, Penance, and extreme unction were discussed in sessions xiii and xiv, held in October and November 1551; thus, in this case, the decrees were issued while the Forty-Two Articles were in course of preparation but before their actual publication in 1553. The question of communion in both kinds was not considered by the Council till session xxi (July 1562), the sacrifice of the Mass in session xxii (September 1562), and the doctrine of Purgatory, invocation of saints, adoration of images and relics not till the very last session of the Council held in December 1563, some months after the publication of the Elizabethan Articles. On all these matters, therefore, priority of treatment belongs to the Anglican formulary, and it is impossible to take its statements as intended to refer directly to the formal decrees of the Council of Trent. The so-called “Creed of Pope Pius IV” is of still later date, as it was only published in a bull dated November 13, 1564.
2. The Forty-Two Articles of 1553. The subjects to be considered in this section may be divided thus: (a) The history and authority of the Forty-Two Articles. (b) Their object and contents. (c) Their sources.
(a) The history and authority of the Forty-Two Articles.
The first draft of these was certainly the work of Archbishop Cranmer, the impress of whose mind they bear throughout. Edward VI had come to the throne in 1547, but, though the liturgical reforms moved rapidly, [In 1548 was published the “Order of the Communion,” an English form for communicating the people in both kinds. The first complete English Prayer Book followed in 1549, the English Ordinal was published in 1550, and in 1552 the first Prayer Book was superseded by “the Second Prayer Book of Edward VI”.] some time was suffered to elapse before the publication of any doctrinal as distinct from liturgical or homiletical [The first Book of the Homilies was published in 1547.] formulary. According to Strype, [Cranmer, bk. ii. ch. xxvii.] in the year 1553 the King and his Privy Council ordered the archbishop to frame a book of Articles of religion for the preserving and maintaining peace and unity of doctrine in this Church, that being finished they might be set forth by public authority. But at a still earlier date we find indications that a series of Articles had been framed by the archbishop and used by him as a test of orthodoxy.* This was in all probability “an early draft of the great formulary afterwards issued as the Forty-Two Articles.” [Hardwick, p. 72. Hooper apparently took these Articles. and after modifying them in an arbitrary fashion to bring them more into harmony with his own opinions, offered them as a test to the clergy of his diocese at his visitations in 1551 and 1552. – See Dixon’s History of the Reformation, vol. iii. p. 483.] By Cranmer they were submitted to other bishops for their revision and approval. In May 1552 they were laid before the Council. In September of the same year they were returned to the archbishop, who added the titles upon every matter, and sent them to Sir William Cecil and Sir John Cheke, the King’s secretary and tutor. Shortly after this they were submitted to the six royal chaplains, “to make report of their opinions touching the same”. [See Strype’s Cranmer, bk. ii. ch. xxvii., and Hardwick, p. 73 seq.] The MS. signed by the chaplains is happily still in existence, and enables us to see exactly the form which the documents had by this time reached.** The Articles are forty-five in number, that on the Eucharist, which afterwards appeared as XXIX., being broken up into four separate Articles; and besides this difference of enumeration and division they differ in various other not unimportant particulars from the series as finally published. In November they were remitted to the archbishop, for “the last corrections of his pen and judgment”. A few days later the document was returned to the Council, and on June 19, 1553, a mandate was issued in the King’s name to the officials of the province of Canterbury, requiring subscription from all clergy, schoolmasters, and members of the university on admission to degrees. [The mandate is given in Wilkins’ Concilia, vol. iv. p. 79; cf. Strype. Ecclesiastical Memorials, bk. ii. ch. xxii.] This is really all that is known, for certain, of their history. But we find that the Articles thus offered for subscription in June 1553 had been issued to the public in English in the previous month. They were published at the press of R. Grafton, and bore the following title: – “Articles agreed on by the bishops and other learned men in the Synod at London, in the year of our Lord God MDLII, for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a Godly concord in certain matters of religion.”
*[On December 27, 1549, Hooper writes to Bullinger as follows: – “The Archbishop of Canterbury entertains right views as to the nature of Christ’s presence in the Supper, and is now very friendly towards myself. He has some articles of religion, to which all preachers and lecturers in divinity are required to subscribe, or else a license for teaching is not granted them; and in these his sentiments respecting the eucharist are pure and religious, and similar to yours in Switzerland.” – See Original Letters (Parker Society), p. 71. The letter is wrongly dated “February 27” in Hardwick’s History of the Articles, p. 72. Again, on February 5, 1550, Hooper writes to the same correspondent in almost identical terms: “The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is at the head of the King’s Council, gives to all lecturers and preachers their license to read and preach; every one of them, however, must previously subscribe to certain Articles, which if possible I will send you; one of which respecting the Eucharist is plainly the true one, and that which you maintain in Switzerland.” – Original Letters, p. 76.]
**[See Lemon’s Calendar of State Papers, “Domestic,” 1547–1580, p. 46. The Articles signed by the chaplains are printed in the last edition of Hardwick, Appendix iii. Mr. Dixon (Reformation, iii. p. 481 seq.) shows (after Dr. Lorimer) that the Article on “The Book of Prayers and Ceremonies of the Church of England” (No. XXXV in the published series, XXXVIII in the original draft) was considerably modified after the Articles had been submitted to the chaplains, probably owing to the remonstrances of John Knox. “All that had appeared in the first draft on the subject of the ceremonies of the Prayer Book was cancelled, and nothing remained save what referred to the doctrine of the book, to which Knox had taken no exception.” – Lorimer’s Knox in England, p. 126.]
Two other editions were published shortly afterwards, in which the Articles were appended to a catechism that had previously been prepared.
1. An English edition, published by Day: “A short catechism or plain instruction, containing the sum of Christian learning, set forth by the king’s majesty’s authority, for all schoolmasters to teach. To this catechism are adjoined the articles agreed upon by the bishops and other learned and godly men, in the last convocation at London, in the year of our Lord MDLII, for to root out the discord of opinions and establish the agreement of true religion. Likewise published by the king’s majesty’s authority, 1553.”
2. A Latin edition, published by Wolfe: “Catechismus Brevis Christianae disciplinae summam continens omnibus ludimagistris authoritate regia commendatus. Huic Catechismo adjuncti sunt articuli, de quibus in ultima Synodo Londinensi Anno Domini MDLII ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum vere religionis firmandum inter Episcopos et alios eruditos atque pios viros convenerat: Regia similiter authoritate promulgati, 1553.”
We now come to the consideration of the authority by which these Articles were imposed upon the Church. Had they really received the sanction of Convocation? The records of Convocation unfortunately perished in the great fire of London, and it is therefore impossible to appeal to them; but, even were they forthcoming, it is doubtful whether a reference to them would decide the question, for Fuller, who had the opportunity of examining them before their destruction, tells us that they were “but one degree above blanks, scarce affording the names of the clerks assembled therein.” [Church History, vol. ii. p. 400 (Ed. Nichols).] To the same effect Heylin writes: “The Acts of this Convocation were so ill kept that there remains nothing on record touching their proceedings, except it be the names of such of the bishops as came thither to adjourn the house.” [History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 256.] In the face of these statements it would appear that the acts of the Synod must either have been kept with culpable negligence, or that there was deliberate mutilation in the following reign. Whichever be the true explanation of the blank character of the records, it would appear that no help would be obtained from them were they still existing, for the solution of the question before us. We are left, then, to search for any evidence from other quarters which may throw light upon it.
On the one hand, it will be noticed that the authority of Convocation was claimed for the Articles in each of the three editions published, and that, where they are appended to the catechism, this authority is claimed for them alone, and not for the catechism. This latter is said, in the King’s injunction prefixed to it, to have been “written by a certain godly and learned man,” and committed to the examination of “certain bishops and other learned men, whose judgments we have in great estimation” [See the Liturgies of Edward VI (Parker Society), p. 485, where the Catechism and Articles will be found, both in Latin and in English.]; but not a word is said concerning its submission to the Synod, whereas, in each edition of the Articles, they are said to have been agreed upon in the Synod of 1552 (i.e. according to modern reckoning, 1553, as the year was then considered to begin on 25th March). At first sight, this fact might seem to be conclusive. But, on the other hand, there is no mention of the authority of Convocation in the royal letter requiring subscription, and grave doubts are thrown on the truth of the statement made in the title by what happened in the following reign. Early in the reign of Mary (October 1553), complaints were raised in Convocation, that the Catechism “bore the name of the honourable Synod, although put forth without their consent.” The explanation given by Philpot, Archdeacon of Winchester, was that, though the house had no notice of “the articles of the Catechism, yet they might well bear the title of the Synod of London, since the house had given authority to certain persons to make ecclesiastical laws, and what was done by their authority was done by them.” This must refer to the Commission which drew up the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum on which see below, § 2, c.), and, as Mr. Dixon says, “Certainly the appointing of that Commission had been asked for several times by Convocation, and it is probable that it was the working part of that Commission that made the Articles. But it was a stretch to argue from this as Philpot did.” [Reformation, vol. iii. p. 514.]
Still more startling is the explanation offered by Cranmer, at his disputation at Oxford in April 1554, when the charge was brought up against him, that he had “set forth a Catechism, in the name of the Synod of London, and yet there be fifty which, witnessing that they were of the number of the Convocation, never heard of this Catechism.” In his reply to this, Cranmer disclaimed all responsibility for the title. “I was ignorant of the setting to of that title, and, as soon as I had knowledge thereof, I did not like it; therefore, when I complained thereof to the Council, it was answered me that the book was so entitled, because it was set forth in the time of the Convocation.” [Cranmer’s Works, vol. iv. pp. 64, 65 (Ed. Jenkyns).] A more unsatisfactory explanation it is hard to conceive. But what makes it more remarkable is that, as we have seen, the Catechism, as distinct from the Articles, had never claimed the authority of Convocation at all. And yet, in each case in which complaint is made in the reign of Mary, the terms of the complaint mention the Catechism, not the Articles; and the defenders of the title never deny, as we might have expected them to do, that the Catechism claimed synodal authority. The only possible explanation of this appears to be, that the whole book, containing the Articles as well as the Catechism, was known as “The Catechism,” [This view obtains some slight confirmation from the fact that the colophon at the close of the book, after the Articles and a few prayers, says “These Catechisms are to be sold, etc.” It is also worth noticing that, in Elizabeth’s reign, the Puritans were anxious to have a Catechism united to the Articles, “joined in one book, and by common consent to be authorized.” – Strype, Annals, ii. p. 317 (Ed. 1725).] and that the objection really had reference to the Articles rather than the Catechism proper. If so, Philpot’s expression, the Articles of the Catechism, was strictly accurate, and was intended to describe the Articles contained in the publication called and known as “The Catechism”. If Cranmer’s language may also be taken as referring to the Articles, then we are driven to the conclusion that, in spite of their title, they had never been submitted to Convocation at all, and that the title prefixed to them rested solely on the authority of the Privy Council, who must bear the blame of having set them forth with “a deceitful title to impose upon the unwary vulgar.” [Burnet, History of the Reformation, vol. iii. p. 370. Mr. Dixon throws doubt on the statement that the book had been set forth in the time of the Convocation, and thinks that even this was untrue. – Reformation, vol. iii. p. 517.]
This appears to be the most probable solution of the difficulty. But, at the same time, it cannot be denied that there is a certain amount of counter-evidence in support of the claim raised by the title, which prevents us from acquiescing in the explanation just given as certain.
1. “They are publicly recited as possessing such authority on their subsequent revival and enactment in the Convocation of 1563, and it appears almost incredible that these assumptions should have been allowed to pass unchallenged, more especially by prelates like Archbishop Parker, [Parker had been appointed Dean of Lincoln in 1552, and was therefore himself a member of the Convocation of 1552–3.] in a critical Synod, if the document had not really been invested with the sanction which it claims.” [Hardwick, p. 109.]
2. In a communication from the visitors to the Vice-Chancellor and Senate of Cambridge, dated 1st June 1553, the Articles are spoken of as having been prepared by good and learned men, and agreed upon in the Synod of London.
3. A letter from Sir John Cheke to Bullinger (June 7, 1553), mentions that the Articles of the Synod at London were published by royal mandate.
4. During the controversy on vestments, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was, says Archdeacon Hardwick, urged against the recalcitrant clergy, by an advocate of the party of order, that “many of their party had actually subscribed to the Edwardian formulary in the Convocation of 1553, and were accordingly bent on violating their own pledge, by breaking the traditions and ceremonies of the Church. The answer of the Puritan makes no attempt to throw discredit on this statement. He concedes that many of the disaffected g clergy set their hands to the thirty-third of the Forty-Two Articles in common with the rest, but argued that they did so with the reservation that nothing was or ought to be commanded by the Church in contradiction to the word of God.” [Ibid. loc. cit. It does not appear quite certain that the subscription admitted is supposed to have taken place in the Synod. Subscription was required from all the clergy by royal mandate, and it is possible that the reference is to this. If so, although the passage would still testify to a belief, common to both parties in the controversy, that the Articles had actually passed Convocation, the value of its evidence would be considerably lessened, as there would be no admission by the disaffected clergy that they had actually subscribed in the Convocation of 1563.]
The reader has now the evidence of both sides before him, and will see that the question is really a puzzling one, and cannot be decided offhand. On the whole, it appears to the present writer that the balance of evidence is against the correctness of the assertion made in the title. But he is free to confess that he cannot speak without some hesitation. It is possible that further evidence may yet be discovered, which will set the question at rest. In the meantime, we must be content with the statement that the Articles, as published in 1553, claimed the authority of Convocation, but that it is highly probable that the claim was not justified by facts.
(b) The object and contents of the Forty-Two Articles.
It is perfectly clear that these Articles – unlike some of the foreign Confessions – were never meant to form a complete system of theology, but were merely intended to treat of such points as were actually in dispute at the time. The title prefixed to the English edition speaks of them as agreed upon, “for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a godly concord in certain matters of religion,” and the title is so far entirely justified by their contents. [The Articles are printed in Latin and English at the close of this Introduction.] Their limitations and omissions are fatal to the view that they were designed to cover the whole field of Christian doctrine. Beyond the general statement of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity in Article I., there is nothing in them on the Divinity of our Lord, nor is there any Article on the Holy Spirit. [These omissions were supplied in 1563.] While the sufficiency of Holy Scripture is asserted in Article V, there is no account of the Canon of Holy Scripture, nor any enumeration of the canonical books. [Remedied in 1563. The omission in the Edwardian series of any account of the Canon, or of the position of the Apocrypha, is all the more remarkable as the Tridentine Decree on the Canon had been already drawn up.] Not a word is said of Confirmation or of Penance; and in many other matters there is a reticence which would be inexplicable, on any view except that which regards their range and extent as conditioned by present emergencies. They may be regarded as a two-edged sword, intended to smite with equal impartiality the errors to be found in two different directions – (1) those of the Medievalists, and (2) those of the Anabaptists.
1. Roman or medieval errors are expressly condemned in Article XII (The teaching of the “school authors” on congruous merit), XIII (Works of supererogation), XXIII (“The doctrine of school-authors concerning purgatory, etc.”), XXVI (The doctrine of grace ex opere operato), XXIX (Transubstantiation), XXX (The sacrifices of masses); while Roman claims are rejected, or the position of the English Church in claiming liberty of independent action is defended, in such articles as XX (“The Church of Rome hath erred, etc.”), XXI (It ought not to enforce anything beside Holy Scripture to be believed as an article of faith, cf. also Art. V), XXII (General Councils may err and have erred), XXV (“It is most seemly and most agreeable to the word of God that in the congregation nothing be openly read or spoken in a tongue unknown to the people”), XXXI (“Bishops, priests, and deacons are not commanded to vow the state of single life without marriage, neither by God’s law are they compelled to abstain from matrimony”), XXXIII (On “Traditions of the Church”), XXXV (“Of the Book of Prayers and ceremonies of the Church of England”), XXXVI (“The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England”).
2. On the other hand it is probable that to a still greater extent the Articles were conditioned by the errors of the Anabaptists, who were rapidly bringing the whole Reformation movement into serious discredit by their wild extravagances and the utter defiance and repudiation of all authority, whether civil or ecclesiastical, of which they were guilty. These fanatics took their name from their practice of rebaptizing those who joined them, having been previously baptized in infancy. But their errors were far from being confined to the single point of the rejection of infant baptism. Indeed, it is hard to find a heresy or erroneous opinion which may not be laid to the charge of some among them. How serious was the danger, and what was the character of the false teaching which they were propagating in this country, may be seen from a letter written by Bishop Hooper shortly before the preparation of the Forty-Two Articles: –
“The Anabaptists flock to the place, and give me much trouble with their opinions respecting the incarnation of our Lord; for they deny altogether that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, according to the flesh. They contend that a man who is reconciled to God is without sin, and free from all stain of concupiscence, and that nothing of the old Adam remains in his nature; and a man, they say, who is thus regenerate cannot sin. They add that all hope of pardon is taken away from those who, after having received the Holy Ghost, fall into sin. They maintain a fatal necessity, and that beyond and beside that will of His, which He has revealed to us in the Scriptures. God hath another will, by which he altogether acts under some kind of necessity. Although I am unable to satisfy their obstinacy, yet the Lord by His word shuts their mouths, and their heresies are more and more detested by the people. How dangerously our England is afflicted by heresies of this kind, God only knows; I am unable indeed from sorrow of heart to express to your piety. There are some who deny that man is endued with a soul different, from that of a beast, and subject to decay. Alas, not only are these heresies reviving among us, which were formerly dead and buried, but new ones are springing up every day. There are such libertines and wretches, who are daring enough in their conventicles not only to deny that Christ is the Messiah and Saviour of the world, but also to call that blessed seed a mischievous fellow, and deceiver of the world. On the other hand, a great portion of the kingdom so adheres to the popish faction, as altogether to set at nought God and the lawful authority of the magistrates; so that I am greatly afraid of a rebellion and civil discord.” [Original letters (Parker Society), p. 65. The letter is dated June 25, 1549.]
To the same effect another of Bullinger’s correspondents, Martin Micronius, writes on August 14, 1551:–
“We have not only to contend with the Papists, who are almost everywhere ashamed of their errors, but much more with the Sectaries and Epicureans and pseudo-Evangelicals. In addition to the ancient errors respecting paedo-baptism, the incarnation of Christ, the authority of the magistrate, the lawfulness of an oath, the property and community of goods, and the like, new ones are rising up every day, with which we have to contend. The chief opponents, however, of Christ’s divinity are the Arians, who are now beginning to shake our churches with greater violence than ever as they deny the conception of Christ by the Virgin.” [Ibid. p. 574. Both letters are quoted in Hardwick, p. 88 seq.]
As a safeguard against the errors of fanatics, such as those thus described, even more perhaps than against the errors of medievalists, it was found necessary to issue the Articles. Although the Anabaptists are actually mentioned by name in but two of the Articles, namely, VIII (On original sin), and XXXVII (“Christian men’s goods are not common”), they are undoubtedly the persons alluded to in Article VI (“They are not to be heard which feign that the old fathers did look only for transitory promises”), XIV, XV (“They are to be condemned which say they can no more sin as long as they live here, etc.”), XVIII (“They also are to be had accursed and abhorred that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, etc.”), XIX (“They are not to be hearkened unto, who affirm that Holy Scripture is given only to the weak, etc.”). In each of these articles there is evidently a definite set of persons contemplated who were propagating the views condemned; and in each case we find that the objectionable tenet was one which was maintained by some among the Anabaptists. Further, Anabaptist opinions account for the language of Article XXIV (“It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching, or ministering in the congregation, before he be lawfully called and sent to execute the same,”), XXVII (“The wickedness of the ministers doeth not away the effectual operation of God’s ordinances”), XXVIII (“The custom of the Church to christen young children is to be commended, and in any wise to be retained in the Church”), XXXII (“Excommunicate persons are to be avoided”), XXXIII (“Whosoever through his private judgment willingly and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained, and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly (that others may fear to do the like), as one that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of weak brethren”), XXXVI (“The civil magistrate is ordained and allowed of God; wherefore we must obey him, not only for fear of punishment, but also for conscience sake. The civil laws may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences. It is lawful for Christians, at the commandment of the magistrate, to wear weapons, and to serve in lawful wars”), XXXVIII (“Christian men may take an oath”), XXXIX (“The resurrection of the dead is not yet brought to pass”), XL (“The souls of them that depart this life do neither die with their bodies, nor sleep idly”), XLI (“Heretics called Millenarii”) XLII (“All men shall not be saved at the length”). And even in those articles which might be thought to be less directly polemical, such as I to IV, and VII (On the Creeds), there can really be no doubt that the danger of Anabaptism was present to the compilers. It was owing to the spread of the errors of these fanatics that it became absolutely necessary to restate the fundamental articles of the faith, and the Church’s adherence to the traditional Creeds of Christendom, for many of the Anabaptists “abandoned every semblance of belief in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and so passed over to the Arian and Socinian schools, then rising up in Switzerland, in Italy, and in Poland.” [Hardwick. p. 86.]
This brief review of the object and contents of the Forty-Two Articles will be sufficient to show that in the first instance the document must have been merely intended to be a provisional and temporary one. Every line of it bears witness to this. The idea that it would be maintained as a permanent test of orthodoxy cannot have ever occurred to its authors. For such a purpose it is singularly ill-suited. Many of the articles are purely negative, condemning in trenchant terms some existing error, but not attempting to define the positive truth opposed to it. Our review will also indicate how utterly mistaken is the notion that the Articles were mainly, if not exclusively, designed as a safeguard against Rome, for we have seen that, although a considerable number of the Articles do condemn Roman and medieval errors, yet a far larger number are directed against the teaching of the Anabaptists, and denounce false doctrines in terms to which the most ardent Romanist could not take exception.
(c) The Sources of the Forty-two Articles.
When the Anglican formulary of 1553 is compared with the Confession of Augsburg (1530), it is immediately apparent that the later document is indebted to the earlier one. The similarity between some of the Articles is so marked that the Lutheran Confession may be unhesitatingly set down as their ultimate source. But it is tolerably certain that the debt is only indirect, nor is there any reason to think that the Augsburg Confession itself was actually used by Cranmer and his colleagues in the preparation of the English Articles. The clauses common to both are all found also in the Thirteen Articles of 1538, and other language in the Forty-Two Articles is also traced to this document, and not to Augsburg. Even so, the debt to Lutheranism is but a limited one. The correspondence of language is confined almost entirely to Articles I, II, XXIII, XXVI, XXVII, XXXII, i e. to the Articles on the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Ministry, the Sacraments, and Traditions of the Church. On the burning question of justification and all kindred subjects, where correspondence might well be looked for, it is remarkable that it is sought in vain. On all these topics, which were among the principal subjects of debate in the early days of the Reformation – questions which concern the condition of man, and the means of his salvation – our reformers took an independent line of their own, which differs in a very marked way from the line taken at Augsburg. Nor should it be forgotten that in some of the matters in which indebtedness to the Lutheran formulary cannot be denied, the Anglican statements are far stronger and more precise than those to which the Lutherans were called on to subscribe, e.g. on the Sacraments, the Confession of Augsburg said that they were instituted, “not only to be marks of profession among men, but rather to be signs and witnesses of God’s goodwill towards us, offered to quicken and confirm faith in those who use them.” In the Thirteen Articles of 1538 this was altered into the statement “that sacraments instituted by the word of God are not only marks of profession among Christians, but rather certain sure witnesses and effectual signs of grace and God’s goodwill towards us, by which God works invisibly in us ... and through them faith is quickened and confirmed in those who use them.” [“De usu Sacramentorum docent quod Sacramenta instituta sint, non modo ut sint notae professionis inter homines, sed magis ut sint signa et testimonia voluntatis Dei erga nos ad excitandam et confirmandam fidem in his qui utuntur proposita.” – Conf. August. xiii.
“Docemus quod Sacramenta quae per verbum Dei instituta sunt, non tantum sint notae professionis inter Christianos, sed magis certa quaedam testimonia et efficacia signa gratiae et bonae voluntatis Dei erga nos, per quae Deus invisibiliter operatur in nobis et suam gratiam in nos invisibiliter diffundit, siquidem ea rite susceperimus; quodque per ea excitatur et confirmatur fides in his qui eis utuntur.” – Thirteen Articles of 1538, No. IX.
“Sacramenta per verbum Dei instituta non tantum sunt notae professionis Christianorum, sed certa quaedam potius testimonia et efficacia signa gratiae atque bonae in nos voluntatis Dei, per quae invisibiliter ipse in nobis operatur, nostramque fidem in se non solum excitat, verum etiam confirmat.” – Forty-Two Articles of 1553, No. XXV.]
This is much more emphatic than the language of Augsburg, and it is remarkable that it was retained by Cranmer in 1553, when his views on the sacraments had considerably changed from what they were fifteen years previously. The result of the retention of these words is to bring Article XXVI, in which they occur, into rather startling contrast with Article XXIX. The two Articles really belong to different dates, and harmonize ill together, for whereas the earlier passage taken from the Thirteen Articles of 1538 describes the position of sacraments of the gospel as channels of grace in terms which leave nothing to be desired, the Twenty-Ninth Article of 1553 reflects the opinion to which Cranmer was committed at a later date when he had fallen under the influence of John a Lasco, and its teaching on the presence in the Eucharist, if not actually Zwinglianism, is perilously near to it. Happily, as will be pointed out further on in the introduction, the changes made in this Article in Elizabeth’s reign have altered its character, and by the removal of the objectionable clause, and the substitution of another for it, have brought it into harmony with the teaching of Article XXV ( = XXVI of 1553).
During the years in which the Forty-Two Articles were being shaped, another work was also in course of preparation (probably by the very same men to whom the Articles are due), viz. the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum. The exact relation of this to the Articles is hard to determine. That a relation of some sort exists is perfectly clear, the wording of many passages being identical, or nearly so. But it is not easy to decide which document can claim priority. As early as 1532 mention is made of a design for the reform of the ecclesiastical laws, but it is uncertain whether anything was actually done before the reign of Edward VI. In 1549 an Act of Parliament was passed empowering the King, by the advice of his Council, to appoint thirty-two persons “to compile such ecclesiastical laws as should be thought by him, his Council, and them, convenient to be practiced in all the spiritual courts of the realm.” Two years elapsed before any such persons were nominated. But in 1551 two commissions were issued, the one to thirty-two persons, as provided in the Act of 1549, the other to a smaller number of divines, by whom the actual work was to be done, as the full commission of thirty-two was apparently considered too large. The authors of the code, as it finally appeared, were Cranmer, Goodrich, Cox, Peter Martyr, May, Rowland Taylor, John Lucas, and Richard Goodrick. The work was completed early in 1553. Cranmer was, however, unable to obtain the sanction of Parliament for it before the death of the King in the summer of the same year. Thus the scheme fell to the ground, and although the volume was subsequently printed during the reign of Elizabeth, the revised code of ecclesiastical law was never imposed upon the Church by any authority whatsoever. Its interest, then, is purely historical. But, regarded as a contemporary exposition of the Articles, and as either furnishing one of the sources from which they were drawn, or as containing an expanded version of some of them, parts of the work are of the highest value. The first two sections are headed, “De summa Trinitate et Fide Catholica,” and “De Haeresibus.” In these the passages corresponding with the Articles occur, and it will frequently be found that, being in a fuller and more amplified form, they supply exactly what is wanting to enable us to determine the exact drift of the more condensed statements of the Articles, or they indicate precisely the quarter from which the errors condemned in the Articles were proceeding. [For the history of the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, see Dixon, vol. iii. 350 seq.]
3. The Elizabethan Articles. It will be convenient once more to subdivide the subject before us, and distribute it under the following headings”: – (a) The history of the revision of 1563. (b) The character of the revision, and comparison of the Elizabethan with the Edwardian Articles. (c) The final revision in 1571.
(a) The history of the revision of 1563. – It would appear that during the reign of Mary (1553–1558) no notice whatever was taken of the Forty-Two Articles. As they had never been enjoined by Parliament, there was no necessity for an Act to repeal them. Consequently they were quietly dropped. Nor were they immediately revived on the accession of Elizabeth. For some time after this Archbishop Parker provided, on his own authority, an independent test, consisting of eleven Articles, which all the clergy were required to read publicly, not only on entry into any cure, but also twice in the course of every year. [See Strype, Eccl. Annals, vol. i. p. 218.] But when Convocation met, at the beginning of 1563, one of the first works undertaken by it was a revision of the Edwardian Articles, with a view to their revival in a modified form. This resulted in the publication of the Thirty-Eight Articles of 1563. Even before the meeting of the Synod, Archbishop Parker, aided probably by Guest, Bishop of Rochester, had been at work on the Articles; and there still exists among the MSS. of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, a copy of the Latin Articles as presented by him to the Synod, with the signatures of the bishops who subscribed this document on January 29, after further alterations had been introduced by them. [A copy of this, with a facsimile of the signatures, is printed in Lamb’s Historical Account of the Thirty-Nine Articles. Among those whose signatures are attached to this document are the Archbishop of York and the Bishops of Durham and Chester. “Though the Northern Convocation as a body had no direct influence in the compiling of the Articles, its concurrence was, to some extent, implied in the signature of the Archbishop of York and his two suffragans. In 1605 all doubts and scruples on this question were set at rest by the formal acceptance of the Articles in the Convocation of York.” – Hardwick, p. 140.] By the help of this paper it is possible to discover exactly which of the changes were made by Parker in his preparatory revision, and which are to be assigned to the bishops during the passage of the Articles through Convocation. From the Upper House they passed on February 5 to the Lower, and were signed by the members of that house. They were then laid before the Queen in Council, and published in Latin by Wolfe, the royal printer, under the direct authority of the Queen herself. But it is remarkable that this published copy differs in two important particulars from the MS. as signed by the bishops on January 29th.
(1) It prefixes to Article XX the affirmative clause; “Habet ecclesia ritus statuendi jus et in fidei controversiis autoritatem,” which now makes its appearance for the first time.
(2) It omits Article XXIX: “De manducatione Corporis Christi, et impios illud non manducare.” This article, to which there is nothing corresponding in the Edwardian series, had been added by Parker, and apparently accepted by the Synod, as it is in the MS. copy to which the signatures of the bishops are attached.
The detailed examination of the questions that arise in connection with these changes is reserved for the commentary on the Articles in question. It will be sufficient to say here that both alterations were probably due to the Queen herself, and that they were made after the Articles had passed the Lower as well as the Upper House of Convocation. They were therefore wanting in synodical authority, and rested simply on the authority of the Sovereign, as “supreme governor”. The object of the addition of the affirmative clause to Article XX was to assert in strong terms the rights and powers of the Church, with an eye to the position taken up by the Puritan party, who were denying to her the power to decree any rites and ceremonies, save such as could claim direct support from Holy Scripture. The omission of Article XXIX was probably due to tenderness to the Roman party, and a desire, if possible, to embrace them within the limits of the National Church.
(b) The character of the revision and comparison of the Articles of 1563 with those of 1553.
The following conspectus of the principal changes introduced in 1563 will enable the reader to see without difficulty the importance of the revision, and the very real difference in tone and character that exists between the Elizabethan Articles and those of Edward’s reign. Italics are used to denote the alterations made by Archbishop Parker in his preliminary work before he submitted the Articles to the Synod. Those made by the bishops are indicated by ordinary roman type; thick black letters being used for the two subsequent changes mentioned above as probably due to the Queen herself.
A. Four New Articles, viz. –
Art. V. Of the Holy Ghost.
Art. XII. Of good works.
Art. XXIX. Of the wicked, which do not eat the body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper. [Omitted before publication; restored in 1571.]
Art. XXX. Of both kinds.
B. Clauses in other Articles.
Art. II. “Begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.”
Art. VI. The clauses on the Canon of Scripture with the list of the canonical books of the Old Testament, and specimens of the Apocrypha.
Art. VII. The clause on the Ceremonial and the Moral Law. (“Although the law given from God by Moses ... the commandments which are called moral.” This clause was drawn from the Nineteenth Article of 1553.)
Art. VIII. “And believed.”
Art. X. “The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works to faith and calling upon God.
Art. XVII. “In Christ.”
Art. XX. “The Church hath power to decree rites or ceremonies and authority in controversies of faith.”
Art. XXV. The two clauses on the number of the sacraments, and the five rites, commonly called Sacraments.
Art. XXVII. “Overthroweth, the nature of a sacrament.” “The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper only after an heavenly and spiritual manner: and the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper is faith.”
Art. XXXIII. “Every particular or National Church hath, authority to ordain, change, and abolish ceremonies or rites of the Church, ordained only by man’s authority, so that all things be done to edifying.”
Art. XXXVII. The explanation of the royal supremacy. (“Where we attribute to the Queen’s majesty ... restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.”)
A. Seven complete Articles, viz.: –
Art. X. Of grace.
Art. XVI. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
Art. XIX. All men are bound to keep the commandments of the Moral Law. (Though this was omitted as a separate article, part of it was embodied in Article VII of the revised series. See above.)
Art. XXXIX. The resurrection of the dead is not yet brought to pass.
Art. XL. The souls of them that depart this life do not die with the bodies nor sleep idly.
Art. XLI. Heretics called Millenarii.
Art. XLII. All men shall not be saved at length.
B. Clauses in other Articles.
Art. III. “For the body lay in the sepulcher until the resurrection, but his ghost departing from him was with the ghosts that were in prison, or in hell, and did preach to the same, as the place of St. Peter doth testify.
Art. VI. “Although it be sometimes received of the faithful as godly and profitable for an order and comeliness.”
Art. IX. “Which also the Anabaptists do nowadays renew.”
Art. XVII. “Though the decrees of predestination are unknown to us.”
Art. XXV. “Our Lord Jesus Christ hath, knit together a company of new people with sacraments, most few in number, most easy to be kept, most excellent in signification, as is Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.”
“And yet that not of the work wrought [ex opere operato], as some men speak, which word, as it is strange and unknown to Holy Scripture, so it engendereth no godly but a very superstitious sense.”
Art. XXVIII. “Forasmuch as the truth of man’s nature requireth, that the body of one and the self-same man cannot be at one time in diverse places, but must needs be in some one certain place: therefore the body of Christ cannot be present at one time in many and diverse places. And because (as Holy Scripture doth, teach) Christ was taken up into heaven, and there shall continue unto the end of the world, a faithful man ought not either to believe or openly to confess the real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ’s flesh and blood in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.” [Parker, in his preliminary revision, omitted this clause, but substituted for it the following, which was rejected by the Synod: “Christus in coelum ascendens, corpori suo immortalitatem dedit, Naturam non abstulit; humanae; enim naturae veritatem (juxta Scripturas) perpetuo retinet, quam uno et definito loco esse, et non in multa, vel omnia simul loca diffundi oportet. Quum igitur Christus in coelum sublatus, ibi usque ad finem seculi sit permansurus, atque inde, non aliunde (ut loquitur Augustinus) venturus sit, ad judicandum vivos et mortuos, non debet quisquam fidelium, carnis ejus, et sanguinis, realem et corporalem (ut loquuntur) presentiam in Eucharistia vel credere, vel profiteri.”]
Art. XXVII. “The Civil Magistrate is ordained and allowed of God: wherefore we must obey him, not only for fear of punishment, but also for conscience’ sake.”
3. SUBSTITUTIONS AND OTHER CHANGES.
A. Articles rewritten.
Art. XI. Of the justification of man.
Art. XXIV. Of speaking in the congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth.
Art. XXXII. Of the marriage of priests.
Art. XXXV. Of homilies.
Art. XXXVI. Of consecration of bishops and ministers.
B. Other Changes.
Art. XXII. “The Romish, doctrine” (doctrina Romanensium) was substituted for “the doctrine of school authors.”
Art. XXV. The order of the clauses was reversed.
Art XXVII. The clause on Infant Baptism was rewritten.
Art. XXXVII. The first paragraph was rewritten. (“The Queen’s Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England, and other her Dominions, and unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes, doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction,” was substituted for “The King of England is supreme head in earth, next under Christ, of the Church of England and Ireland.”)
Of several of the additions made by Parker the source is to be found in the Confession of Wurtemberg. From this is taken verbatim the clause in Article II concerning the Divine Nature of the Son; the Fifth Article (“Of the Holy Ghost”), and the statement concerning the canonical books of the Old and New Testament in Article VI; while the additional clause in Article X, the rewritten Article XI, and the new Article XII (“On good works”), as well as the affirmative clause in Article XX, are obviously suggested by it.
We are now in a position to consider the significance and object of the changes thus introduced.
1. A character of greater completeness, as regards “fundamentals,” was given to the formulary, and some changes were introduced, seemingly in order to make the document suitable for a permanent test of doctrinal orthodoxy.
It was probably for this reason that the clause on the Divinity of the Son in Article II was introduced, as well as the new Fifth Article on the Holy Spirit. To the same cause we may trace the excision of the reference to the Anabaptists in Article IX, and the total omission of Articles XXXIX–XLII, on speculative points which had been raised by some among the Anabaptists. Apparently, the erroneous teaching had either disappeared or was regarded as less formidable, and therefore, in a document designed for permanent use, it was thought well to remove the reference to it. Under the same head notice may be taken of the omission of the reference to 1 Peter 3:18 in Article III, and of the Sixteenth Article, defining the nature of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. These omissions may have been due to the desire for comprehension, and willingness to allow room for divergence of opinion in regard to difficult and disputed texts. But, although the Elizabethan Articles were thus rendered more complete than those issued in 1553, it remains true that even so they cannot be regarded as a complete scheme of doctrine. Many important matters of faith are omitted in them; and, in order to arrive at the mature judgment of the Church of England it is frequently necessary to have recourse to the Prayer Book, and to supplement the partial and fragmentary teaching of the Articles by it. The statement already made in reference to the Edwardian Articles holds good of these also. Many of them are purely negative, condemning some erroneous view, and telling us what not to hold, but stopping short without any expression of the true doctrine on the subject, as opposed to the error rejected. Bishop Pearson’s words, quoted in this connection by Archdeacon Hardwick, are substantially true. The Book of the Articles “is not, nor is pretended to be, a complete body of divinity, or a comprehension and explication of all Christian doctrines necessary to be taught, but an enumeration of some truths, which upon and since the Reformation have been denied by some persons; who upon their denial are thought unfit to have any cure of souls in this Church or realm, because they might, by their opinions, infect their flock with error, or else disturb the Church with schism, or the realm with sedition.” [Minor Works, vol. ii. p. 215, quoted in Hardwick, p. 158.]
2. The Catholic position of the Church of England, and her determination to adhere to the general teaching of the Church was made clearer.
This is seen in the alterations made in Article XI, and the introduction of Article XII (“On good works”), which render the teaching on the justification of man less open to objection. Still more is it evidenced by the alterations introduced into the sacramental Articles. Especially noteworthy is the omission of the clause in Article XXVIII, which denied the “real and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ’s flesh and blood in the sacrament.” In place of this was introduced the clause stating that the body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper only after an heavenly and spiritual manner, intended, according to Bishop Guest who says that it was “of mine own penning,” “not to deny the reality of the presence of the body of Christ in the Supper, but only the grossness and sensibleness in the receiving thereof.” [See further in the commentary on Article XXVIII. It will not be forgotten that a few years earlier (in 1559) the Elizabethan divines had struck out from the Prayer Book the “black rubric” which appeared to deny the “real and spiritual presence” of Christ’s body and blood, and had restored the use of the first clause (“the body of our Lord Jesus Christ, etc.”) in the administration of the elements, as well as of the eucharistic vestments.] It will also be noticed that the clause denying the theory of grace ex opere operato, was omitted from Article XXV, and that the language on infant baptism in Article XXVII was strengthened, while that in XXXVII (“On the royal supremacy”) is of a much more sober and guarded character than the bald statement of the corresponding Article in the Edwardian series.
3. On the other hand, the independent line taken by the Church of England in the matters of dispute with Rome was adhered to, and in some respects more sharply defined than had been the case in the earlier Articles.
As instances of this, reference may be made to the additions to Article VI (On the canonical books, and the position of the Apocrypha), the addition to XXV (On the number of sacraments ordained of Christ, and the rejection of the claim of the “five rites” to be regarded as having the like nature of sacraments with Baptism and the Eucharist), the addition of XXX (On the denial of the cup to the laity), the vindication of the rights of National Churches in XXXIII, and of the character of the English ordinal in XXXVI. The substitution of “Romanensium” for “Scholasticorum” in XXII marked the intention of the Article to condemn a present current form of teaching rather than the more formal statements of scholastic divines. And while the withdrawal of Article XXIX before publication, as well as the excision of the clause referred to above on grace ex opere operato, betrays a desire not to create unnecessary differences with Rome on matters of doctrine, where there might be room for difference of opinion, the rewriting of Articles XXIV and XXXII manifested a determination to speak out plainly on practical matters, where it was considered that plain speaking was necessary.
4. Changes affecting the position of the Puritan* party.
*[The name of Puritan may well be given to them, though, as a matter of history, it was not used till the following year. Fuller (Ch. Hist. ii. p. 540) notes, under the year 1564, that the name first began in this year, and characteristically adds that “the grief had not been great, if it had ended in the same.”]
There is no doubt that the change in Article XXVIII, involving the omission of the clause denying the real presence was most distasteful to them, [Humphrey and Sampson sent to Bullinger in July 1566 a list of “some blemishes which still attach to the Church of England,” and among them they note the following: – “The free liberty of preaching is taken away from the ministers of Christ, those who now are willing to preach are forbidden to recommend any innovation with regard to rites, but all are obliged to give their assent to ceremonies by subscribing their hands. Lastly, the article composed in the time of Edward the Sixth respecting the spiritual eating, which expressly oppugned and took away the real presence in the Eucharist, and contained a most clear explanation of the truth, is now set forth among us mutilated and imperfect.” – Zurich Letters (Parker Society), vol. i. p. 165.] nor can the addition of the affirmative clause to Article XX have been altogether agreeable, though their objections to it were not raised till later. They were not altogether satisfied with Article XXXIII, as a considerable number of members of the Lower House of Convocation were anxious that these words in it might be mitigated. “Is ut qui peccat in publicum ordinem ecclesiae, quique laedit authoritatem magistratus, et qui infirmorum fratrum conscientias vulnerat, publice, ut caeteri timeantur, arguendus est.” [Strype’s Annals, vol. i. p. 336.] The clause had stood without question in the Edwardian Articles, and, in spite of the request of the Puritan party, was left intact. On the other hand it is possible that the tenth of the series of 1553 was omitted out of tenderness to the rising Calvinism of the party, and that for the same reason the first clause was added to our present Article X.
5. There remain a limited number of changes which cannot well be classified under any of the foregoing heads. Of these some were made in order to bring the English into closer conformity with the Latin. [The Parker MS., signed by the bishops, is, it will be remembered, in Latin, as is also the authoritative edition published by Wolfe. But English MSS. of the Articles dating from 1563 still remain among the Elizabethan State Papers (“Domestic,” vol. xxvii. §§ 40, 41), one of which is endorsed “Articles of Religion agreed on, 1562, in the Convocation House,” and at least two English editions of the Articles were printed by Jugge and Cawood.] For others it is not easy to state the precise reason which called for them. None of them, however, are of any great importance.
(c) The final revision of 1571. – The Articles passed by Convocation and approved by the Crown in 1563 underwent a further revision in 1571. Up till this date, although the Articles had been signed by members of Convocation, subscription was not required from the clergy of the Church in general; and the Queen steadily resisted every attempt made to submit them to Parliament. When, however, the Anglo-Roman schism had been brought about by the publication of the papal bull, excommunicating the Queen in 1570, it would seem that her reluctance to call in the aid of Parliament in enforcing subscription was somewhat relaxed, and in the session of 1571 an Act was passed requiring all clergy, who had been ordained by any form except that in the English Prayer Book of Edward VI or Elizabeth, to subscribe to “all the Articles of religion which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith and the doctrine of the Sacraments, comprised in a book imprinted, entitled, Articles whereupon it was agreed by the Archbishops and Bishops of both provinces, and the whole Clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God 1562, according to the computation of the Church of England, for the avoiding the diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion; put forth by the Queen’s authority.” The Act was evidently due to the Anglo-Roman schism, and was intended primarily to enforce subscription on those who had been ordained during the reign of Mary. But it also provided that, for the future, “ the said Articles “ were to be subscribed by all candidates for ordination, and by every person admitted to any benefice with cure of souls. [13 Elizab. c. xii., “An Act to reform certain disorders touching ministers of the Church.” See Strype, Annals, vol. ii. p. 71, and Prothero’s Statutes and Constitutional Documents, p. 64.]
Thus, for the first time, subscription to the Articles was required by statute law, and until quite recent times this Act of the 13th of Elizabeth was the only one that could be quoted as enforcing it on all the clergy. [The Act of Uniformity of 1662 was concerned with the Prayer Book and not the Articles – only incidentally requiring subscription to the latter from all lecturers. The Articles, it must be remembered, form no part of the Book of Common Prayer, though in modern times generally bound up with it.] This is the more remarkable when it is considered – (1) that the edition of the Articles contemplated in the Act was the English edition, printed in 1563, by Jugge and Cawood, which contained neither the Twenty-ninth Article nor the affirmative clause of Article XX; (2) that the terms of the Act were ingeniously drawn, so as to enforce subscription to some only of the Articles, for it is clear that the restrictive word, “only,” was inserted in the interests of the Puritan party, and intended to relieve them from the necessity of subscribing to those Articles which were concerned with discipline as distinct from doctrine; and (3) that, without any reference whatever to the action of Parliament, the Articles were revised by Convocation, and that, from that day to this, subscription has been required on the authority of the Church to all the Articles, and to that form of them which was finally accepted by Convocation. Such facts are very significant, and those who maintain that the Church of England is an “Act of Parliament Church” would do well to ponder them.
The Bill referred to above was introduced into the Commons on 7th April, transmitted to the Lords on 3rd May, passed its third reading on the 21st, and obtained the royal assent on the 29th of the same month. On the very day on which it was read the first time in the House of Commons, we find Parker requiring subscription from all members of the Lower House of Convocation, who had not formerly subscribed; and early in May there are signs that a revision of the Articles was taken in hand, and that some alterations and emendations were in contemplation. On 4th May the bishops were secretly considering the Articles, and came to the conclusion “that when the Book of Articles touching doctrine shall be fully agreed upon, that then the same shall be put in print by the appointment of my Lord of Sarum [Jewel], and a price rated for the same to be sold.” On 11th May the bishops were again deliberating, and on that day Parker and ten other bishops (including Guest of Rochester) signed an English MS. containing the Twenty-ninth Article, but omitting the affirmative clause of Article XX. [See Hardwick, p. 150 seq.] After this, further deliberations must have taken place, although no record of them is now forthcoming. We only know that the bishops gave up the Book of the Articles to the Queen’s Majesty “to peruse them and judge them,”* and that the Thirty-Nine Articles were finally published in Latin and English with the royal ratification attached to them, which plainly declared the assent of Convocation to them.
*[Among the State Papers (“Domestic,” Elizabeth, vol. lxxviii. No. 37) is an (unsigned) document addressed to Cecil, in Bishop Guest’s handwriting, suggesting the introduction of various alterations in the Articles before their final ratification. The Articles which he wished to have modified were the seventeenth, in which he suggests the omission of the words “by His counsel secret to us,” on the ground that Ephesians 1 really reveals God’s counsel. Further, he would have the last paragraph of this article altered, because part of it is not clearly expressed, and part might be thought to countenance the notion of a secret will of God opposed to His revealed one. In Article XXV he criticizes the paragraph on the “five rites commonly called Sacraments,” which he wishes to have altered. In XXVIII he suggests – (1) the omission of the word “only” in the clause, “the body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the supper only after an heavenly and spiritual manner,” and (2) the addition of “profitably” to the following clause, “the mean whereby the body of Christ is received, etc.”; while he urges very strongly that Article XXIX should not be confirmed and authorized. The paper was quite ineffectual, as none of the changes suggested by him were made. The latter part of the document is quoted in Mr. G. F. Hodge’s Bishop Guest – Articles XXVIII and XXIX where, however, a wrong reference to the volume of State Papers is given. It should be not lxxv. 36, but (as above) lxxviii. 37.]
“This Book of the Articles before rehearsed is again approved and allowed to be holden and executed within the realm, by the assent and consent of our Sovereign Lady ELIZABETH, by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, etc. Which Articles were deliberately read and confirmed again by the subscription of the hands of the archbishops and bishops of the Upper House, and by the subscription of the whole clergy of the Nether House in their Convocation, in the year of our Lord 1571.” [The ratification still stands at the close of the Articles as they are printed in modern Prayer Books.]
The changes introduced before the Articles were thus ratified and published include the restoration of Article XXIX, and the addition of the complete list of the books of the Apocrypha in Article VI. The affirmative clause of Article XX was apparently ratified by the Synod, and various other minor alterations were introduced. “They are either emendations in the wording of thirteen titles, or corrections introduced into the English form of the older Latin copy, or occasional explanations of phraseology believed to have been capable of misconstruction,” but they “left the character impressed upon the Articles of 1563 entirely unaffected.” [Hardwick, p. 156.] The fact that the Articles, as thus revised, were published in both Latin and English, with the royal ratification attached to them, suggests the inquiry, which of the two versions is to be considered the most authoritative; and in answer to this we cannot do better than follow the example of Archdeacon Hardwick in quoting some words of Daniel Waterland, which sum up in a convenient form all that there is to be said on the subject.
“As to the Articles, English and Latin, I may just observe, for the sake of such readers as are less acquainted with these things – First, That the Articles were passed, recorded, and ratified in the year 1562, and in Latin only. Secondly, That those Latin Articles were revised and corrected by the Convocation of 1571. Thirdly, That an authentic English translation was then made of the Latin Articles by the same Convocation, and the Latin and English adjusted as nearly as possible. Fourthly, That the Articles thus prepared in both languages were published the same year, and by the royal authority. Fifthly, Subscription was required the same year to the English Articles, called the Articles of II 1562, by the famous Act of the 13th of Elizabeth.
“These things considered, I might justly say, with Bishop Burnet, that the Latin and English are both equally authentic. Thus much, however, I may certainly infer, that if in any places the English version be ambiguous, where the Latin original is clear and determinate, the Latin ought to fix the more doubtful sense of the other (as also vice versa), it being evident that the Convocation, Queen, and Parliament, intended the same sense in both.” [“Supplement to the Case of Arian Subscription Considered,” Works, vol. ii. p. 316; quoted in Hardwick, p. 156.]
4. The Royal Declaration. Since 1571 no change whatever has been made in the text of the Thirty-Nine Articles. But, as they stand in modern prayer books, there is prefixed to them a document entitled “His Majesty’s Declaration,” of which some account must now be given.
By the time of the accession of Charles the First (1625), the school of churchmen, of which Bishop Andrewes is the best and most famous representative, [On the position of Andrewes and his school, see Dean Church’s essay on Andrewes, in Masters in English Theology, p. 88 seq.] had begun to rise into power. The publication of the Ecclesiastical Polity of Richard Hooker [The first four books of the Ecclesiastical Polity were published in 1593, and the fifth came out by itself in 1597; the three remaining books were published posthumously, as they were incomplete when Hooker died in 1600.] may be said to mark the beginnings of the reaction against the dominant Calvinism of the latter part of Elizabeth’s reign. Since then the position of the “Arminian” [It is difficult to know by what term to describe the party. “High Churchmen” is an anachronism, as the word had not yet come into use. “Arminian” was the term (most unfairly) applied to them by their opponents. It is therefore employed in the text.] party had become much more definite. Instead of merely standing upon the defensive, they were beginning to carry the war into the enemy’s country, and attack the interpretation which the Calvinistic party, with an entire disregard of history, had fastened upon the Articles and formularies of the Church. The attention of the country in general was called to the subject by the appearance of Richard Montague’s New Gag for an Old Goose in 1622. Montague was at this time a simple parish priest, and his work was intended as a reply to a Roman attack upon the Church of England, entitled The Gag for the New Gospel, which assumed that the popular Calvinistic theology of the day truly represented the accepted doctrine of the Church of England. To this position Montague offered an uncompromising opposition, and, “as far as the matter of his volume is concerned,” it may be described as “a temperate exposition of the reasons which were leading an increasing body of scholars to reject the doctrines of Rome and Geneva alike.” [S. R. Gardiner, History of England, vol. v. p. 352.] Complaints of the book were raised in the House of Commons, and the matter was referred to Abbot, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Montague was summoned to Lambeth, and admonished; but instead of yielding to the primate’s advice, returned home to follow up his first work by a second, the famous Appello Caesarem, in which he “indicated more fiercely than before his claim to be the true exponent of the doctrine of the Church.” [S. R. Gardiner, History of England, vol. v. p. 354.] The book was scarcely completed before James I died, and thus it appeared in 1625 with a dedication to his successor. Once more complaints were raised in the House of Commons, and for a time Montague was committed to custody. Shortly after his release, however, he was appointed Bishop of Chichester (August 1628), and now, though the Puritan Abbot was still Archbishop of Canterbury, yet with Laud already Bishop of London, and daily rising in the royal favour, it was manifest to all that the supremacy of the Calvinistic party was seriously endangered. While the storm raised by the publication of the Appello Caesarem was still raging, Cosin, Prebendary (and afterwards Bishop) of Durham, had in 1627 published his Devotions. This was a manual of prayer, containing offices for the Hours, which had been prepared, probably at the request of the King himself, for the use of members of the English Church. It was at once made the subject of a violent attack by William Prynne, who boldly demanded that, for the future, no man should be allowed to speak or write against the Calvinistic doctrines, and that the conclusions of the (Calvinistic) Synod of Dort should be offered as a test to every clergyman in England. Those who refused to subscribe were to be at once excluded from holding any ecclesiastical office. This was a definite challenge to the Church party, and was immediately accepted by them as such. Two years before, in 1626, a royal proclamation for the peace of the Church had been drawn up, in the hope of putting an end to the unseemly controversies which were raging. In some of the towns where this was distributed, it seems to have had some effect. [Cf. Hardwick, p. 200.] Accordingly Laud now advised Charles to follow it up by a second proclamation, which should be prefixed to a reprint of the Thirty-Nine Articles. This was at once done, [See the history in Gardiner, vol. vii. p. 21 seq.] and the document thus issued, which is probably from the pen of Laud himself, has kept its place prefixed to the Articles to the present day. Its object was to allay the violent disputes by which the Church was torn asunder. And in order to effect this, his Majesty was made to express his will, that “in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ ... all further curious search be laid aside, and these disputes shut up in God’s promises, as they be generally set forth to us in the Holy Scripture, and the general meaning of the Articles of the Church of England according to them. And that no man hereafter shall either print or preach to draw the article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof; and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.”
Simultaneously with the publication of this declaration a proclamation was issued, calling in Montague’s Appello Caesarem, in order that men might “no more trouble themselves with these unnecessary questions, the first occasion being taken away.” But, in spite of this proof of earnestness and good faith, the indignation of the Puritan and Calvinistic party among the clergy and in the House of Commons knew no bounds. Some of the clergy at once addressed a petition to the King, complaining that he had placed them in a grave dilemma, for they must either disobey him by attacking the Pelagian and Arminian heresies, or else, on the other hand, “provoke the heavier indignation of the King of kings Himself by failing to make known the whole counsel of God,” while the House of Commons, turned for the time into a theological debating society, solemnly adopted the following resolution:–
“We, the Commons now in Parliament assembled, do claim, profess, and avow for truth, the sense of the Articles of religion which were established in Parliament in the reign of our late Queen Elizabeth, which by public acts of the Church of England, and by the general and concurrent exposition of the writers of our Church, have been delivered to us; and we do reject the sense of the Jesuits and Arminians.” [Gardiner, vol. vii. p. 41.]
Into the later history of the controversy there is no necessity to enter here. It is sufficient to point out how true is the remark of Archdeacon Hardwick that such protestations are utterly inconsistent with the pretext that the Articles were framed on a Calvinistic hypothesis, “for as the ‘Declaration’ aimed at nothing more than to confine the teaching of the clergy to those points which were suggested by a plain and literal exposition of the public formulary, the wild outcry raised against such principles of exegesis seemed to justify the argument which Montague and others were adopting, when they urged that ‘Calvinism’ is not accordant with the letter of the Articles, and cannot be deduced from them by any of the rules which judges commonly apply to the interpretation of a legal document.” [Hardwick, p. 203.]
5. Puritan Attempts to Amend or Supplement the Articles.
The observation just quoted is very just, and, in order to confirm it, it will be well to pass briefly in review the attempts to supplement or amend the Articles which at various times proceeded from the Calvinistic party, who thus by their own acts have again and again testified to their conviction that the natural interpretation of the authoritative formularies of the Church of England is not favourable to their tenets. Pitt’s saying that the Church of England has a Popish liturgy and a Calvinistic set of Articles is well known, and probably represents an opinion which is widely held. It is, however, seriously inaccurate. It must be admitted that there is a difference between the Articles and the Prayer Book. The Articles, dating as they do from the early years of Elizabeth’s reign, are, as has been already implied, the product of a time when churchmen were still standing on the defensive, and had not yet fully worked out their true position. For example, exposed as they were to the violent attacks of the party of the exiles on the whole system of Church government, they were concerned mainly to defend Episcopacy as an allowable form of Church government rather than as a system of divine origin. In other matters, too, their position was more or less tentative, and often negative rather than positive. The Articles naturally reflect the character of the time to which they belong, and speak at times in hesitating and indecisive tones. The Prayer Book has twice undergone revision since the Articles assumed their present form. The revision of 1604 gave us the latter part of the Catechism with its clear teaching on the sacraments, and the presence in the Eucharist; while the impress of the Caroline divines was stamped upon the book in 1662; and the numerous changes then introduced bear witness to the determination of those who were responsible for them to make the book more adequate to express the mind of the Church catholic. In order, therefore, to arrive at the full teaching and mature judgment of the Church of England, the Articles must be supplemented by the Prayer Book. Thus much is frankly admitted. What is not admitted is that the Articles were framed on a definite Calvinistic hypothesis, and that the interpretation fastened upon them by Calvinists is true. On such an hypothesis they are, to say the least, seriously defective; and so much was admitted by the party, even as early as 1571. We have already seen that the Parliament of that year hesitated to enforce subscription to those Articles which concern the discipline and polity of the Church. In spite of this it would appear that some of the Puritans were unable to subscribe, and consequently suffered deprivation, under the terms of the Act [See the complaint raised in the “first admonition,” quoted in Prothero’s Statutes and Constitutional Documents, p. 198.]; and that the doctrinal Articles were not altogether satisfactory to them is proved by the Admonitions to Parliament which emanated from the Puritan party shortly afterwards. In the first of these (1572) the Puritans ingenuously admit that some reservation was requisite on their part, if they were to accept the Articles, for they write as follows: – “For the articles concerning the substance of doctrine, using a godly interpretation in a point or two, which are either too sparely or else too darkly set down, we were and are ready, according to duty, to subscribe unto them.” In the “Second Admonition” some months later they say boldly, “The Book of the Articles of Christian Religion speaketh very dangerously of falling from grace, which is to be reformed, because it too much inclineth to error.”
Again, the whole controversy, which resulted in the preparation of the Lambeth Articles in 1595, is a witness to the same fact. This is not the place to enter into the history of that controversy. [On the controversy, see Perry’s English Church History, vol. ii. p. 351 seq. and Hardwick, p. 159 seq.] The Articles themselves will be given in the commentary on Article XVII. It will be sufficient to point out here that in order to crush at the outset the revolt against the dominant Calvinism at Cambridge Archbishop Whitgift was persuaded to send down to the university a series of nine Articles prepared by Whitaker, the Regius Professor of Divinity, and revised and approved by the archbishop himself and a few other divines assembled at Lambeth. These Articles set forth, in the harshest and narrowest fashion, the main points of the Calvinistic system, and we have only to place them side by side with our own Seventeenth Article to feel convinced that, whatever it means, it does not mean to teach the doctrine of Calvin. Happily the Queen intervened, and the attempt to force the Lambeth Articles upon the Church was dropped. They were not even presented to Convocation, nor have they ever received any authority of any kind in this country.
Once more, at the beginning of the reign of James I, the Puritans confessed that from their point of view the Articles were defective and inadequate. At the Hampton Court Conference, in 1604, various objections were raised to them by Reynolds, the Puritan spokesman, who “moved his majesty that the Book of Articles of Religion, concluded 1562, might be explained in places obscure, and enlarged where some things were defective. For example, whereas Article 16, the words are these: “After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace”; notwithstanding the meaning be sound, yet he desired that, because they may seem to be contrary to the doctrine of God’s predestination and election in the Seventeenth Article, both those words might be explained with this, or the like addition, “yet neither totally nor finally”; and also that the nine assertions orthodoxal, as he termed them, concluded upon at Lambeth, might be inserted into that “Book of Articles.” [“The Sum and Substance of the Conference, etc.” in Cardwell’s History of Conferences, p. 178.] Towards the close of the same year an “apology for those ministers who are troubled for refusing of subscription and conformity” was drawn up by the Lincolnshire Nonconformists and presented to the King (December 1, 1604), in which complaint is made that they are unable to subscribe, because they are “persuaded that both the Book of Common Prayer and the other book (i.e. the Articles) contain in them sundry things which are not agreeable but contrary to the word of God.” [Neal’s History of the Puritans, vol. ii. p. 56.] Again, when, during the Civil War, the Puritan party had obtained the upper hand, one of the first things undertaken by them was a revision of the Articles, “in order to render their sense more express and determinate in favour of Calvinism.” Acting under directions received from the Parliament the Westminster Assembly of Divines, in 1643, appointed a committee, “to consider what amendments were proper to be made in the doctrinal articles of the Church of England, and report them to the assembly, who were ten weeks in debating upon the first fifteen.” At a later date the divines were “very busy upon Article XVI and upon that clause of it which mentioneth departing from grace,” when their work was altogether suspended, by order of the Parliament. The first fifteen Articles, as amended by this body, have been printed by Neal the Puritan historian, [Op. cit. vol. iii. Appendix i.] and a singular composition it is. The first Article is the only one that was allowed to remain untouched. The changes in Articles IV, V, XIV, and XV are of little or no consequence. Very significant, however, is the change in Article II, where in the clause on the Atonement, which states that Christ died “to be a sacrifice not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men,” the word “all” is deliberately expunged, in order to bring the article into harmony with the tenet of “particular redemption”. The eighth (“ On the creeds”) was at first omitted altogether, but the divines were content to let it remain, on condition that the creeds were retranslated and annotated. In the remaining Articles changes of more or less importance will be found, which are duly noted in the commentary, [See especially the notes on Article IX.] and which give in some cases an entirely different complexion to the teaching of the Articles. But even so we learn from the report of divines to the House of Commons that they were not completely satisfied with the result of their labours, for they felt themselves constrained to acknowledge that, in spite of their efforts, very many things continued to be “defective,” and “other expressions also were fit to be changed.” [See Hardwick, p. 212.]
Still later, we find that the Puritan objections to the Articles were repeated after the Restoration, and so late as 1689 Richard Baxter, in his English Nonconformity, admits that “the words of the Articles in their obvious sense are many times liable to exception, and that there are many things in them that good men may scruple.” [Ch. xxiv.]
The facts here collected together are suggestive. Of themselves they are sufficient to show how utterly false is the popular misconception to which Pitt gave expression in the remark quoted above; and when contrasted with the readiness of Laud and his party to appeal to the “literal and grammatical sense of the Articles,” they indicate not obscurely that the interpretation placed upon the Articles by the Laudian school of divines and their successors is historically correct.
6. History of Subscription to the Articles.
When the Forty-Two Articles of 1553 were first issued, the intention of the authorities was that they should be offered for signature to all the clergy of the Church of England, and a royal mandate to this effect was accordingly issued in June 1553. The death of the King in the following month prevented it from being enforced, and when the Articles were revived and revised in 1563, no attempt to require general subscription was made by the Church. The Act of 1571, as has been already shown, was so drawn as to require the acceptance of the doctrinal Articles alone, as distinct from those which concern discipline. But the Convocation that met at the same time proceeded boldly to insist in its canons that every minister before entering on his duties should subscribe to all the Articles agreed upon in the Synod,* and that all public preachers should signify their assent in the same way,** and although these canons were not subscribed by the Lower House, and were left without any formal ratification by the Sovereign, the Court of High Commission proceeded to enforce subscription to all the Articles without distinction.
*[“Quivis minister ecclesix, antequam in sacram functionem ingrediatur, subscribet omnibus articulis de religione Christiana, in quos consensum est in Synodo; et publice ad populum, ubicunque episcopus jusserit, patefaciet conscientiam suam, quid de illis articulis, et universa doctrina sentiat.” – Cardwell’s Synodalia, vol. i. P. 120.]
**[Quoniam articuli illi religionis Christianae, in quos consensum est ab episcopis in legitima et sancta Synodo, jussu atque auctoritate serenissimae principis Elizabethae convocata et celebrata, haud dubie collecti sunt ex sacris libris Veteris et Novi Testamenti, et cum caelesti doctrina, quae in illis continetur, per omnia congruunt; quoniam etiam liber publicarum precum, et liber de inauguratione archiepiscoporum, episcoporum, presbyterorum, et diaconorum nihil continent ab illa ipsa doctrina alienum; quicunque mittentur ad docendum populum, illorum articulorum auctoritatem et fidem, non tantum concionibus suis, sed etiam subscriptione confirmabunt.” – Synodalia, vol. i. p. 127.]
This rigour was considerably relaxed during the later years of Grindal’s primacy, in consequence of which, upon Whitgift’s elevation to the see of Canterbury, one of his earliest acts was to put forth his famous “Three Articles” in 1583. Neither the Parliament nor the Convocation had ordered any precise form of subscription, an omission which Whitgift now proceeded to supply, requiring, “That none be permitted to preach, read, catechize, minister the sacraments, or execute any ecclesiastical function, by what authority soever he be admitted thereunto, unless he first consent and subscribe to these Articles following, before the ordinary of the diocese, viz.: –
“1. That Her Majesty under God hath, and ought to have, the sovereignty and rule over all manner of persons born within her realms, and dominions, and countries, of what estate, ecclesiastical or temporal, soever they be; and that none other foreign power, prelate, state, or potentate, hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, preeminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or temporal, within Her Majesty’s said realms, dominions, and countries.
“2. That the Book of Common Prayer, and of ordering bishops, priests, and deacons, containeth nothing in it contrary to the word of God, and that the same may lawfully be used, and that he himself will use the form of the said book prescribed in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, and none other.
“3. That he alloweth the Book of the Articles of Religion agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord 1562, and set forth by Her Majesty’s authority, and that he believeth all the articles therein contained to be agreeable to the Word of God.” [Strype’s Whitgift, bk. iii. ch. iii; cf. Perry, History of the English Church, vol. ii. p. 318 seq.]
In conformity with this document, subscription was once more rigorously enforced, and at the beginning of the following century the “Three Articles” received synodal authority, being adopted almost verbatim as the Thirty-sixth Canon in the series put forth and ratified by the Sovereign in 1604.
“Subscription to be required of such as are to be made ministers.”
No person shall hereafter be received into the ministry, nor either by institution or collation admitted to any ecclesiastical living, nor suffered to preach, to catechize, or to be a lecturer or reader of divinity, in either university, or in any cathedral or collegiate church, city, or market town, parish church, chapel, or in any other place in this realm, except he be licensed either by the archbishop, or by the bishop of the diocese where he is to be placed, under their hands and seals, or by one of the two universities under their seal likewise; and except he shall first subscribe to these three articles following, in such manner and sort as we have here appointed:–
“I. That the King’s Majesty, under God, is the only supreme governor of this realm, and of all other his Highness’s dominions and countries, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, preeminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within His Majesty’s said realms, dominions, and countries.
“II. That the Book of Common Prayer, and of ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, containeth in it nothing contrary to the word of God, and that it may lawfully so be used; and that he himself will use the form in the said Book prescribed, in public prayer, and administration of the sacraments, and none other.
“III. That he alloweth the Book of Articles of Religion agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and by the whole clergy in the Convocation holden at London in the year of our Lord God 1562; and that he acknowledgeth all and every the Articles therein contained, being in number nine and thirty, besides the ratification, to be agreeable to the word of God.
“To these three Articles, whosoever will subscribe he shall, for the avoiding of all ambiguities, subscribe in this order and form of words, setting down both his Christian and surname, viz.: –
“I, N. N., do willingly and ex animo subscribe to these three articles above mentioned, and to all things that are contained in them.
And if any bishop shall ordain, admit, or license any, as is aforesaid, except he first have subscribed in manner and form as here we have appointed, he shall be suspended from giving of orders and licenses to preach for the space of twelve months. But if either of the universities shall offend therein, we leave them to the danger of the law, and His Majesty’s censure.” [Cardwell’s Synodalia, vol. i. p. 267. The canons were passed by both Houses, and ratified by letters patent, in Latin, but an English translation was at once made, and printed by “Robert Barker, printer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, anno 1604.”]
The Act of Uniformity of 1662 required a still more stringent declaration of assent to the Book of Common Prayer, to be read publicly in church, by every person instituted or collated to a benefice with cure, [“I, A. B., do hereby declare my unfeigned assent and consent to all and every thing contained and prescribed in and by the book entitled, ‘The Book of Common Prayer, and Administration of the Sacraments and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church, according to the use of the United Church of England and Ireland: together with the Psalter or Psalms of David, pointed as they are to be sung or said in Churches; and the Form or Manner of Making, Ordaining, and Consecrating of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons’ (13 & 14 Chas. IL, ch. 4, § 6).”] but the subject of subscription to the Articles did not come within its province, [Except so far as lecturers were concerned (13 & 14 Chas. II., c. 4, § 19).] and, therefore, the form ordered by the Thirty-sixth Canon remained in force.
After the revolution of 1688 an attempt was made to get rid of the various forms of subscriptions and declarations required from the clergy, and the abortive Comprehension Bill of 1689 proposed that “No other subscriptions or declarations shall from henceforward be required of any person, but only the declaration mentioned in a statute made in the thirtieth year of the reign of the late King Charles the Second, entitled, ‘An Act for the more effectual preserving the King’s person and government by disabling Papists from sitting in either House of Parliament,’” and also this declaration following:–
“I, A. B., do submit to the present constitution of the Church of England. I acknowledge that the doctrine of it contains in it all things necessary to salvation, and that I will conform myself to the worship and the government thereof, as established by law. And I solemnly promise, in the exercise of my ministry, to preach and practice according thereunto.” [See the report of Her Majesty’s Commissioners appointed to consider the subscriptions, declarations, and oaths required to be made and taken by the clergy of the United Church of England and Ireland, 1865 (p. 53), where the form finally agreed upon by the House of Lords is given.]
The Bill was introduced into the House of Lords, without any reference whatever to Convocation; and though it passed the Lords, the House of Commons declined altogether to discuss it. “They were much offended with the Bill of Comprehension, as containing matters relating to the Church, in which the representative body of the clergy had not been so much as advised with.” [For the history of the bill see Perry, vol. ii. p. 543 seq., and Macaulay, History of England, ch. xi.] Accordingly, the somewhat ambitious scheme “for uniting their Majesties’ Protestant subjects” was hastily dropped, and the agitation in favour of a change in the forms of subscription died away. In practice, the subscriptions required by the terms of the 13th Act of Elizabeth and the Thirty-sixth Canon were combined, the form generally used being as follows:–
“I, A. B., do willingly and from my heart subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the United Church of England and Ireland, and to the three Articles in the Thirty-sixth Canon, and to all things therein contained.”
In spite of the stringency of the tests required it was found early in the last century that a considerable number of clergy of Arian and Socinian opinions had crept into the ministry of the Church. These men, when confronted with the terms of the declaration to which they had set their hands, boldly declared that it was “an avowed principle among them that these Articles (viz. the Thirty-Nine) may lawfully and conscientiously be subscribed in any sense in which they themselves, by their own interpretation, can reconcile them to Scripture, without regard to the meaning and intention, either of the persons who first compiled them, or who now impose them.” [See Waterland’s “Case of Arian Subscription Considered,” Works, vol. ii. p. 264. Dr. S. Clarke in his Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity, published in 1712, had laid it down as a maxim that “every person may reasonably agree to such forms, whenever he can, in any sense at all, reconcile them with Scripture.”] They were thus ready to evade their plain meaning and make short work of their “literal and grammatical sense”. This dishonest and disingenuous manner of subscribing was denounced with great energy by Daniel Waterland in his “Case of Arian Subscription Considered,” [Published in 1726.] and other works, and its advocates soon found that their position was an utterly untenable one. Then began an agitation for the removal of all tests, headed by Archdeacon Blackburne, the author of the notorious Confessional, a work in which “he denies that churches have any right to make confessions of faith, and asserts that the inalienable privilege of every one to believe as he pleases ought not to be interfered with. That these objectionable confessions, every one of which, according to Blackburne, contains “very material decisions from which an intelligent Christian may reasonably dissent,” should be imposed as terms of qualification for office, and formal subscription required to them, is contended to be an abominable injustice and tyranny.” [Perry’s English Church History, vol. iii. p. 101.] A petition was, accordingly, prepared, setting forth the views of the Latitudinarian party, and introduced into the House of Commons on February 6th, 1772. Its rejection was moved by the member for Oxford, Sir Roger Newdigate. Edmund Burke spoke strongly against it, and in the end the proposal to receive and consider the petition was rejected by 217 to 71. After this decisive defeat a considerable time elapsed before any further attempt was made to alter the terms of the declaration required from the clergy, and the forms of assent given above remained unchanged until the year 1865. A few years previously an abortive bill had been introduced into the House of Lords, for the purpose of abolishing the oaths and declarations required. Shortly after this a royal commission was appointed to consider the whole subject. Their report showed that the forms in use were unnecessarily numerous and complicated, and the commissioners were unanimous in recommending the substitution of a single declaration of assent to the Prayer Book and Articles together, in place of the cumbrous forms till then in use. An Act of Parliament was passed in 1865 to give legal effect to their recommendations, and, at the same time, Convocation obtained leave from the Crown to revise the Canons so far as was necessary. An amended version of Canon XXXVI was made and published by the Convocations of Canterbury and York, and confirmed by royal letters patent, [The history of the agitation that led to the appointment of the commission is told in the Life of Archbishop Tait, vol. i. p. 487 seq. See also the report of the Commissioners themselves.] and since that time the declaration of assent made by all candidates for orders, as well as by all persons admitted to any benefice or licensed to preach has run as follows:–
“I, A. B., do solemnly make the following declaration. I assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and to the Book of Common Prayer, and of ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons; I believe the doctrine of the [United] Church of England [and Ireland], as therein set forth, to be agreeable to the word of God: and in public prayer and administration of the Sacraments, I will use the form in the said book prescribed, and none other, except so far as shall be ordered by lawful authority.” [The words in brackets were of course disused after the Irish Church was disestablished in 1869.]
Thus it is from the clergy and the clergy only that the Church demands subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles. It is, of course, well known that at one time laymen were also required to subscribe them in the universities – at the time of matriculation at Oxford, and before proceeding to a degree at both Oxford and Cambridge. This was first required at Oxford by the Puritan Chancellor Leicester, in the sixteenth century, in order to exclude Romanists from the university. Cambridge followed during the reign of James I. But the legislation of 1854 and 1871 has entirely removed any such requirement. Nor can the Church fairly be held responsible for it while it lasted. It was really due to the; authorities of the universities as such, and to the Crown.* The Thirty-sixth Canon of 1604, it is true, stated that no person should be suffered to preach, to catechize, or to be a lecturer or reader of divinity in either university without subscribing the “Three Articles”. But as if those who were responsible for it were conscious that in making this demand they were exceeding the rightful limits of their jurisdiction, they added that “if either of the universities shall offend therein, we leave them to the danger of the law and His Majesty’s censure.”
*[The following are the material facts in the history of subscription to the Articles at the universities. It was first required from candidates for degrees at Oxford by authority of the university in Convocation assembled, in October 1576. A few years later (Nov. 1581) in consequence of a suggestion from the Chancellor, Leicester, it was also required by the university from all persons at matriculation. In 1587, during the Chancellorship of Hatton, a declaration of assent to the Prayer Book, as well as subscription to the Articles, was demanded from candidates for degrees; and in the reign of James I, in consequence of an edict of the King (dated Jan. 18, 1616), a decree of the university (March 31, 1617) required from all candidates for degrees (except in music) subscription to the Thirty-Nine Articles, the “Three Articles” of the Thirty-sixth Canon, and the Oath of Supremacy.
At Cambridge subscription to the “Three Articles” was for the first time required from candidates for all degrees by edict of James 1, dated December 4, 1616, confirmed by decree of the heads of houses in 1623.
In 1772 for the degree of B.A., and in 1779 for B.C.L., M.B., and M.D., there was substituted by a grace of the senate a simple declaration of membership of the Church of England: “I, A. B., do declare that I am, bona fide, a member of the Church of England, as by law established.” But at Oxford the old forms of subscription were still required, though we learn from the report of the Oxford University Commission of 1852 that different interpretations were usually given, though without authority, by different vice-chancellors or pro-vice-chancellors at the time of subscription for matriculation. “Sometimes the person matriculated is told that ‘he hereby expresses his assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles, so far as he knows them’; sometimes that ‘he probably has not read them, but that he has no objection to them’; sometimes that ‘he thereby declares himself to be a member of the Church of England.’ Sometimes, however, no observation is made.” – Report, p. 55. Further, there was much justice in the following remark of the commissioners: “It certainly is singular that a lay corporation should require from laymen, simply as a condition of membership, that which the Church of England does not require for participation in its most sacred ordinance.” – Report, p. 55. Accordingly, the Oxford University Act of 1854 (17 & 18 Vict. c. lxxxi.) made unnecessary any declaration or oath in regard to religion at matriculation. It also enjoined that it should be unnecessary for any person taking the degrees of B.A., B.C.L., B.M., or B.Mus., to make or subscribe any declaration or take any oath. But such degree was not to constitute a qualification for holding any office formerly held by members of the Church of England, unless the person had taken the oaths and declarations required. Finally, the Universities Test Act of 1871 (34 Vict. c. xxvi.) laid down definitely that no person on taking any degree other than a degree in divinity, or holding lay, academical, or collegiate offices should be required to subscribe any formulary of faith.]
But though the Church of England has never asked for any formal act of subscription to the Articles from the lay members of her communion, it cannot be denied that the Fifth Canon of 1604 makes some approach towards regarding them as terms of communion.
“Impugners of the Articles of Religion, established in the Church of England, censured.
“Whosoever shall hereafter affirm, That any of the Nine-and-Thirty Articles agreed upon by the archbishops and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy, in the Convocation holden at London, in the year of our Lord God one thousand five hundred sixty-two, for avoiding diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion, are in any part superstitious or erroneous, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe to, let him be excommunicated ipso facto, and not restored, but only by the archbishop, after his repentance, and public revocation of such his wicked errors.”
The Canon, however, strong as its language is, was apparently intended to prohibit the laity from impugning and attacking the Articles rather than to require a definite and formal assent to them. Certainly it was so regarded by Archbishop Laud, who in his conference with Fisher the Jesuit, writes of it as follows:–
“A. C. will prove ‘the Church of England a shrew, and such a shrew. For in her Book of Canons, she excommunicates every man, who shall hold anything contrary to any part of the said Articles.’ So A. C. But surely these are not the very words of the Canon, nor perhaps the sense. Not the words, for they are: ‘Whosoever shall affirm that the Articles are in any part superstitious or erroneous, etc.’; and perhaps not the sense. For it is one thing for a man to hold an opinion privately within himself, and another thing boldly and publicly to affirm it. And, again, it is one thing to hold contrary to some part of an Article, which perhaps may be but in the manner of expression; and another thing positively to affirm, that the Articles in any part of them are superstitious and erroneous. But this is not the main of the business; for though the Church of England denounce excommunication, as is before expressed, yet she comes far short of the Church of Rome’s severity, whose anathemas are not only for Thirty-Nine Articles, but for very many more, above one hundred in matter of doctrine, and that in many points as far remote from the foundation; though, to the far greater rack of men’s consciences, they must be all made fundamental, if that Church have once determined them; whereas the Church of England never declared that every one of her Articles are fundamental in the faith. For it is one thing to say, no one of them is superstitious or erroneous; and quite another to say, every one of them is fundamental, and that in every part of it, to all men’s belief. Besides, the Church of England prescribes only to her own children, and by those Articles provides but for her own peaceable consent in those doctrines of truth. But the Church of Rome severely imposes her doctrine upon the whole world, under pain of damnation.” [Works (Anglo-Catholic Library), vol. ii. p. 60.]
Moreover, it must not be forgotten that the only formulary to which a layman is directly required to assent is the Apostles’ Creed. It is this which is set before him at his baptism, and again in the visitation of the sick, as containing the Articles of the faith. The position which the Nicene Creed occupies in the Church’s eucharistic office, where it is appointed to be sung or said before the worshippers are invited to join in the greatest act of fellowship and communion possible, practically interprets for us the sense in which the briefer form is to be understood. But it remains true of the Apostles’ Creed that for the layman, “that, and that alone, is required at his baptismal admission within the Church; that, and that alone, is asked for at the deathbed, as a sufficient proof that the man retains what he originally began with – the Christian’s confession of a true faith.” [Curteis, Bampton Lectures, p. 309 (Ed. 1).]
The Articles, on the other hand, are at least primarily for the clergy. The loyal and faithful laity of the Church will naturally regard them with respect, and will in accordance with the terms of the Fifth Canon abstain from impugning them. But the Church never requires from them a formal act of assent to them. “Their proper usage is as a τύπος διδαχης, a sketch or framework of sound doctrine, by which the Church takes engagements from her clergy and other teaching officers, that – while occupying her pulpits and teaching in her name – they will not be disloyal; but will teach in her spirit, and present her time-honoured doctrine, albeit in sundry forms and divers manners to her people.” [Ibid. The whole passage is worth consulting, but it is not entirely free from exaggeration, as there is no reference in it either to the Fifth Canon, or to the position of the Nicene Creed in the Communion Service.]
7. The Chief Divisions of the Articles.
It only remains to mark out the chief groups or divisions into which the Articles fall, before proceeding to the commentary upon them. The most natural and convenient division of them, in accordance with their subject matter, appears to be the following:–
I. The Catholic Faith and where it may be found (Articles I–VIII).
(a) The Faith (Articles I–V).
(b) Scripture and the Creeds (Articles VI–VIII).
II. Personal Religion, or Man and his Salvation (Articles IX– XVIII).
III. Corporate Religion, or the Church, the Ministry, and the Sacraments (Articles XIX–XXXI).
IV. Miscellaneous Articles, relating to the discipline of the Church of England, its relation to the civil power, etc. (Article XXXII–XXXIX).
The Forty-Two Articles of 1553.
Articuli de quibus in Synodo Londinensi, Anno Dom. MDLII ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum ventae religionis firmandum, inter Episcopos et alios Eruditos Viros convenerat.
[English spelling modernized.]
Articles agreed on by the Bishops, and other learned men in the Synod at London, in the year of our Lord God, MDLII, for the avoiding of controversy in opinions, and the establishment of a godly concord, in certain matters of Religion.
I. De fide in Sacrosanctam Trinitatem.
Unus est vivus et verus Deus, aeternus, incorporeus, impartibilis, impassibilis, immensae potentiae, sapientiae, ac bonitatis, creator et conservator omnium, tum visibilium, tum invisibilium. Et in unitate hujus divinae naturae tres sunt personae, ejusdem essentiae, potentiae, ac aeternitatis, Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.
I. Of faith in the holy Trinity.
There is but one living and true God, and he is 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.
II. Verbum Dei verum hominem esse factum.
Filius qui est verbum patris in utero beatae Virginis, ex illius substantia naturam humanam assumpsit, ita ut duae naturae, divina et humana, integre atque perfecte in unitate personae, fuerint inseparabiliter conjunctae, ex quibus est unus Christus, verus Deus et verus homo, qui vere passus est, crucifixus, mortuus et sepultus, ut patrem nobis reconciliaret, essetque hostia non tantum pro culpa originis, verum etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis.
II. That the word, or Son of God, was made a very man.
The son which is the word of the father took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed virgin Mary, of her Substance, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead, and manhood were joined together into one person, 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 Sacrifice for all sin of man, both original, and actual.
III. De descensu Christi ad Inferos.
Quemadmodum Christus pro nobis mortuus est et sepultus, ita est etiam credendus ad inferos descendisse. Nam corpus usque ad resurrectionem in sepulchro jacuit, Spiritus ab illo emissus, cum spiritibus qui in carcere sive in inferno detinebantur, fuit, illisque praedicavit, quemmadmodum testatur Petri locus.
III. Of the going douse of Christ into Hell.
As Christ died and was buried for us: so also it is to be believed, that he went down into hell. For the body lay in the Sepulcher, until the resurrection: but his Ghost departing from him, was with the Ghosts that were in prison, or in hell, and did preach to the same, as the place of St. Peter doth testify.
IV. Resurrectio Christi.
Christus vere a mortuis resurrexit, suumque corpus cum carne, ossibus, omnibusque ad integritatem humanae naturae pertinentibus, recepit, cum quibus in coelum ascendit, ibique residet, quoad extremo die ad judicandos homines revertatur.
IV. The Resurrection of Christ.
Christ did truly rise again from death and took again his body with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge men at the last day.
V. Divinae Scripturae doctrina sufficit ad salutem.
Scriptura sacra continet omnia quae sunt ad salutem necessaria, ita ut quicquid in ea nec legitur neque inde probari potest, licet interdum a fidelibus, ut pium et conducibile ad ordinem et decorum admittatur, attamen a quoquam non exigendum est ut tanquam articulus fidei credatur, et ad salutis necessitatem requiri putetur.
V. The doctrine of holy Scripture is sufficient to Salvation.
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to Salvation: So that whatsoever is neither read therein, nor may be proved thereby, although it be sometime received of the faithful, as Godly, and profitable for an order, and comeliness: Yet no man ought to be constrained to believe it, as an article of faith, or repute it requisite to the necessity of Salvation.
VI. Vetus Testamentum non est rejiciendum.
Testamentum Vetus, quasi Novo contrarium sit, non est repudiandum, sed retinendum, quandoquidem tam in veteri quam in novo per Christum qui unicus est Mediator Dei et hominum, Deus et homo, aeterna vita humano generi est proposita. Quare non sunt audiendi, qui veteres tantum in promissiones temporarias sperasse confingunt.
VI. The old Testament is not to be refused.
The old Testament is not to be put away as though it were contrary to the new, but to be kept still: for both in the old, and new Testaments, everlasting 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 feigns that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.
VII. Symbola tria.
Symbola tria, Niceni, Athanasii, et quod vulgo Apostolicum appellatur, omnino recipienda sunt. Nam firmissimis divinarum Scripturarum testimoniis probari possunt.
VII. The three Creeds.
The three creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles Creed, ought thoroughly to be received; for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture.
VIII. Peccatum Originale.
Peccatum originis non est (ut fabulantur Pelagiani, et hodie Anabaptistae repetunt) in imitatione Adami situm, sed est vitium et depravatio naturae cujuslibet hominis ex Adamo naturaliter propagati: qua fit ut ab originali justitia quam longissime distet, ad malum sua natura propendeat et caro semper adversus spiritum concupiscat: unde in unoquoque nascentium, iram Dei atque damnationem meretur. Manet etiam in renatis haec naturae depravatio, qua fit ut affectus carnis, graece φρόνημα σαρκός, quod alii sapientiam, alii sensum, alii affectum, alii studium vocant, legi Dei non subjiciatur. Et quamquam renatis et credentibus nulla propter Christum est condemnatio, peccati tamen in sese rationem habere concupiscentiam fatetur Apostolus.
VIII. Of original or birth sin.
Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam, as the Pelagians do vainly talk, which also the Anabaptists do nowadays renew, but it is the fault, and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from his former righteousness, which he had at his creation and is of his own nature given to evil, so that the flesh desireth always contrary to the spirit, and therefore in every person borne into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation: And this infection of nature doeth remains; yea in them that are baptized, whereby the lust of the flesh called in Greek φρόνημα σαρκός, (which some do expound, the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh) is not subject to the law of GOD. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe, and are baptized, yet the Apostle doeth confess, that concupiscence, and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
IX. De libero arbitrio.
Absque gratia Dei, quae per Christum est, nos preveniente ut velimus, et cooperante dum volumus, ad pietatis opera facienda, quae Deo grata sint et accepta, nihil valemus.
IX. Of free will.
We have no power to do good works pleasant, and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ, preventing us that we may have a good will, and working in us when we have that will.
X. De gratia.
Gratia Christi, seu spiritus sanctus qui per eundem datur, cor lapideum aufert, et dat cor carneum. Atque licet ex nolentibus quae recta sunt volentes faciat, et ex volentibus prava, nolentes reddat, voluntati nihilominus violentiam nullam infert. Et nemo hac de causa, cum peccaverit, seipsum excusare potest, quasi nolens aut coactus peccaverit, ut eam ob causam accusari non mereatur aut damnari.
X. Of Grace.
The Grace of Christ, or the holy Ghost by him given doth take away the stony heart, and giveth an heart of flesh. And although, those that have no will to good things, he maketh them to will, and those that would evil things, he maketh them not to will the same: Yet nevertheless he enforceth not the will. And therefore no man when he sinneth can excuse himself, as not worthy to be blamed or condemned, by alleging that he sinned unwillingly, or by compulsion.
XI. De Hominis justificatione.
Justificatio ex solo fide Jesu Christi, eo sensu quo in Homelia de justificatione explicatur, est certissima et saluberrima Christianorum doctrina.
XI. Of the Justification of men.
Justification by only faith in Jesus Christ in that sense, as it is declared in the Homily of Justification, is a most certain and wholesome doctrine for Christian men.
XII. Opera ante justificationem.
Opera quae fiunt ante gratiam Christi, et Spiritus ejus afflatum, cum ex fide Jesu Christi non prodeant, minime Deo grata sunt. Neque gratiam (ut multi vocant) de congruo merentur: Imo cum non sint facta ut Deus illa fieri voluit et praecepit, peccati rationem habere non dubitamus.
XII. Works before Justification.
Works done before the Grace of Christ and the inspiration of his spirit are not pleasant to GOD, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesu Christ, neither do they make men mete to receive Grace, or (as the School authors say) deserve grace of congruity: but because they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not, but they have the nature of sin.
XIII. Opera Supererogationis.
Opera quae Supererogationis appellant, non possunt sine arrogantia et impietate praedicari, nam illis declarant homines non tantum se Deo reddere quae tenentur, sed plus in ejus gratiam facere quam deberent: cum aperte Christus dicat, Cum feceritis omnia quaecunque praecepta sunt vobis, dicite: Servi inutiles sumus.
XIII. Works of Supererogation.
Voluntary works besides, over, and above God’s commandments, which they call works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogance, and iniquity. For by them men do declare, that they do not only render to GOD, as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake, than of bounden duty is required: Whereas Christ sayeth plainly: when you have done all that are commanded you, say, We be unprofitable servants.
XIV. Nemo riveter Christian est sine peccato.
Christus in nostrae naturae veritate, per omnia similis factus est nobis, excepto peccato, a quo prorsus erat immunis, tum in carne tum in spiritu. Venit ut agnus absque macula esset, qui mundi peccata per immolationem sui semel factam tolleret: et peccatum (ut inquit Joannes) in eo non erat. Sed nos reliqui etiam baptizati, et in Christo regenerati, in multis tamen offendimus omnes, et si dixerimus quia peccatum non habemus, nos ipsos seducimus, et veritas in nobis non est.
XIV. No man is without sin, but Christ alone.
Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the lamb without spot, who by sacrifice of himself made once forever, should take away the sins of the world: and sin (as Saint John sayeth) was not in him. But the rest, yea, although we be baptized, and borne again in Christ, yet we all offend in many things: and if we say, we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
XV. De peccato in spiritum sanctum.
Non omne peccatum mortale post baptismum voluntarie perpetratum, est peccatum in spiritum sanctum et irremissibile: proinde lapsis a baptismo in peccata, locus penitentiae non est negandus. Post acceptum spiritum sanctum possumus a gratia data recedere atque peccare, denuoque per gratiam Dei resurgere ac resipiscere. Ideoque illi damnandi sunt, qui se quamdiu hic vivant, amplius non posse peccare affirmant, aut vere resipiscentibus poenitentiae locum denegant.
XV. Of sin against the holy Ghost.
Every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is not sin against the holy Ghost, and unpardonable: wherefore the place for penitents, is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of GOD we may rise again, and amend our lives. And therefore they are to be condemned, which say they can no more sin as long as they live here, or deny the place for penitents to such as truly repent, and amend their lives.
XVI. Blasphemia in Spiritum Sanctum.
Blasphemia in Spiritum Sanctum, est cum quis Verborum Dei manifeste perceptam veritatem, ex malitia et obfirmatione animi, convitiis insectatur, et hostiliter insequitur. Atque hujusmodi, quia maledicto sunt obnoxii, gravissimo sese astringunt sceleri. Unde peccati hoc genus irremissibile a Domino appellatur, et affirmatur.
XVI. Blasphemy against the holy Ghost.
Blasphemy against the holy Ghost is, when a man of malice and stubbornness of mind, doth rail upon the truth of God’s word manifestly perceived, and being enemy thereunto persecuteth the same. And because such be guilty of God’s curse, they entangle themselves with a most grievous, and heinous crime, whereupon this kind of sin is called and affirmed of the Lorde, unpardonable.
XVII. De Praedestinatione et Electione.
Praedestinatio ad vitam est aeternum Dei propositum, quo ante jacta mundi fundamenta suo consilio, nobis quidem occulto, constanter decrevit eos quos elegit ex hominum genere, a maledicto et exitio liberare, atque ut vasa in honorem efficta, per Christum ad aeternam salutem adducere; unde qui tam praeclaro Dei beneficio sunt donati, illi, spiritu ejus opportuno tempore operante, secundum propositum ejus vocantur, vocationi per gratiam parent, justificantur gratis, adoptantur in filios unigeniti Jesu Christi imagini efficiuntur conformes, in bonis operibus sancte ambulant, et demum ex Dei misericordia pertinguut ad sempiternam felicitatem.
Quemadmodum praedestinationis et electionis nostrae in Christo pia consideratio, dulcis, suavis, et ineffabilis consolationis plena est vere piis, et his qui sentiunt in se vim spiritus Christi, facta carnis, et membra quae adhuc sunt super terram mortificantem, animumque ad coelestia et superna rapientem, tum quia fidem nostram de aeterna salute consequenda per Christum, plurimum stabilit atque confirmat; tum quia amorem nostrum in Deum vehementer accendit: Its hominibus curiosis, carnalibus, et spiritu Christi destitutis, ob oculos perpetuo versari praedestinationis Dei sententiam, perniciosissimum est praecipitium, unde illos diabolus pertrudit vel in desperationem, vel in aeque perniciosam impurissimae vitae securitatem.
Deinde licet praedestinationis decreta sunt nobis ignota, promissiones tamen divinas sic amplecti oportet, ut nobis in sacris literis generaliter propositae sunt: et Dei voluntas in nostris actionibus ea sequenda est, quam in Verbo Dei habemus diserte revelatam.
XVII. Of predestination and election.
Predestination to life, is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his own judgment secret to us, to deliver from curse, and damnation those whom he hath chosen out of mankind, and to bring them to everlasting salvation by Christ, as vessels made to honour: whereupon, such as have so excellent a benefit of GOD given unto them be called, according to God’s purpose, by his spirit, working in due season, they through grace obey the calling, they be justified freely, they be made sons by adoption, they be made like the image of God’s only begotten son Jesu Christ, they walk religiously in goods works, and at length by God’s mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
As the Godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly stablish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doeth fervently kindle their love towards God: So for curious, and carnal persons lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God’s predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil may thrust them either into desperation, or into a rechlessness of most unclean living, no lease perilous then desperation.
Furthermore, although the Decrees of predestination are unknown unto us, yet we must receive God’s promises, in suchwise as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture, and in our doings that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.
XVIII. Tantum in nomine Christi speranda est aeterna salus.
Sunt et illi anathematizandi qui dicere audent, unumquemque in lege aut secta quam profitetur esse servandum, modo juxta illam et lumen naturae accurate vixerit: cum sacrae literae tantum Jesu Christi nomen praedicent in quo salvos fieri homines oporteat.
XVIII. We must trust to obtain eternal Salvation only by the name of Christ.
They also are to be had accursed, and abhorred that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the Law, or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that Law, and the light of Nature: For holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesu Christ, whereby men must be saved.
XIX. Omnes obligantur ad moralia legis praecepta servanda.
Lex a Deo data per Mosen, licet quoad caeremonias et ritus Christianos non astringat, neque civilia ejus praecepta in aliqua Repub. necessario recipi debeant, nihilominus ab obedientia mandatorum quae Moralia vocantur, nullus quantumvis Christianus est solutus. Quare illi non sunt audiendi, qui sacras literas tantum infirmis datas esse perhibent, et spiritum perpetuo jactant, a quo sibi quae praedicant suggeri asserunt, quanquam cum sacris literis apertissime pugnent.
XIX. All men are bound to keep the moral commandments of the Law.
The Law, which was given of GOD by Moses, although it bind not Christian men, as concerning the Ceremonies, and Rites of the same: Neither is it required, that the Civil Precepts and Orders of it should of necessity be received in any common weale: Yet no man (be he never so perfect a Christian), is exempt and lose from the Obedience of those Commandments, which are called Moral. Wherefore they are not to be harkened unto, who affirm that holy Scripture is given only to the weak, and do boast themselves continually of the spirit, of whom (they say) they have learned such things as they teach, although the same be most evidently repugnant to the holy Scripture.
XX. De Ecclesia.
Ecclesia Christi visibilis est coetus fidelium, in quo verbum Dei purum praedicatur, et Sacramenta quoad ea quae necessario exiguntur, juxta Christi institutum recte administrantur.
Sicut erravit Ecclesia Hyerosolymitana, Alexandrina et Antiochena, ita et erravit Ecclesia Romana, non solum quoad agenda et caeremoniarum ritus, verum in his etiam quae credenda sunt.
XX. Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful Men, in the which the pure word of God is preached, and the sacraments be duly ministered, according to Christ’s ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, of Alexandria, and of Antioch hath erred: So also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living, but also in matters of their faith.
XXI. De Ecclesia authoritate.
Ecclesiae non licet quicquam instituere, quod verbo Dei scripto adversetur: neque unum Scripturae locum sic exponere potest, ut alteri contradicat. Quare licet Ecclesia sit divinorum librorum testis et conservatrix, attamen ut adversus eos nihil decernere, ita praeter illos nihil credendum de necessitate salutis debet obtrudere.
XXI. Of the authority of the Church.
It is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything, that is contrary to God’s word written, neither may it so expound one place of scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore although the church be a witness and a keeper of holy writ, yet as it ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation.
XXII. De authoritate Conciliorum Generalium.
Generalia Concilia sine jussu et voluntate Principum congregari non possunt; et ubi convenerint, quia ex hominibus constant qui non omnes spiritu et verbis Dei reguntur, et errare possunt et interdum errarunt, etiam in his quae ad normam pietatis pertinent: ideo quae ab illis constituuntur, ut ad salutem necessaria, neque robur habent neque authoritatem, nisi ostendi possunt e sacris literis esse desumpta.
XXII. Of the authority of general Councils.
General councils may not be gathered together, without the commandment, and will of Princes: and when they be gathered (forasmuch as they be an assembly of men whereof all be not governed with the spirit, and word of God) they may err, and sometime have erred, not only in worldly matters, but also in things pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them, as necessary to salvation, have neither strength, nor authority, unless it may be declared, that they be taken out of holy scripture.
XXIII. De Purgatorio.
Scholasticorum doctrine de Purgatorio, de Indulgentiis, de veneratione et adoratione tum imaginum tum reliquiarum, nec non de invocatione sanctorum, res est futilis, inaniter conficta, et nullis Scripturarum testimoniis innititur, imo Verbo Dei perniciose contradicit.
XXIII. Of Purgatory.
The doctrine of School authors concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping, and adoration as well of images, as of relics, and also invocation of saints, is a fond thing vainly feigned, and grounded upon no warrant of scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God.
XXIV. Nemo in Ecclesia ministret nisi vocatus.
Non licet cuiquam sumere sibi munus publice praedicandi, aut administrandi sacramenta in Ecclesia, nisi prius fuerit ad haec obeunda legitime vocatus et missus. Atque illos legitime vocatos et missos existimare debemus, qui per homines, quibus potestas vocandi ministros atque mittendi in vineam Domini publice concessa est in Ecclesia, cooptati fuerint et asciti in hoc opus.
XXIV. No man may minister in the Congregation, except he be called.
It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of Public preaching, or ministering the sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called, and sent, which be chosen, and called to this work by men, who have public authority given unto them in the congregation, to call, and send ministers into the Lord’s vineyard.
XXV. Agendum est in Ecclesia lingua quae sit populi nota.
Decentissimum est et Verbo Dei maxime congruit, ut nihil in Ecclesia public legatur aut recitetur lingua populo ignota, idque Paulus fieri vetuit, nisi adesset qui interpretaretur.
XXV. Men must speak in the Congregation in such tongue as the people understandeth.
It is most seemly, and most agreeable to the word of God, that in the congregation nothing be openly read, or spoken in a tongue unknow to the people, the which thing St. Paula did forbid, except some were present that should declare the same.
XXVI. De Sacramentis.
Dominus noster Jesus Christus Sacramentis numero paucissimis, observatu facillimis, significatione praestantissimis, societatem novi populi colligavit, sicuti est Baptismus et Coena Domini. Sacramenta non instituta sunt a Christo ut spectarentur aut circumferrentur, sed ut rite illis uteremur: at in his duntaxat qui digne percipiunt, salutarem habent effectum, idque non ex opere (ut quidam loquuntur) operato; quae vox ut peregrina est et sacris literis ignota, sic parit sensum minime pium sed admodum superstitiosum: qui vero indigne percipiunt, damnationem (ut inquit Paulus) sibi ipsis acquirunt.
Sacramenta per Verbum Dei instituta, non tantum sunt notae professionis Christianorum, sed certa quaedam potius testimonia et efficacia signa gratiae atque bonae in nos voluntatis Dei, per quae invisibiliter ipse in nobis operatur, nostramque fidem in se non solum excitat, verum etiam confirmat.
XXVI. Of the Sacraments.
Our LORD Jesus Christ hath knit together a company of new people with Sacraments, most few in number, most easy to be kept, most excellent in signification, as is Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should rightly use them. And in such only, as worthily receive the same, they have an wholesome effect, and operation, and yet not that of the work wrought, as some men speak, which word, as it is strange, and unknown to holy Scripture: so it engendereth no Godly, but a very superstitious sense.
But they that receive the Sacraments unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul sayeth.
Sacraments ordained by the word of God be not only badges, and tokens of Christian Men’s profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will toward us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen, and confirm our faith in him.
XXVII. Ministrorum malitia non tollit efficaciam institutionum divinarum.
Quamvis in Ecclesia visibili, bonis mali siut semper admixti, atque interdum ministerio verbi et Sacramentorum administrationi praesint, tamen cum non suo sed Christi nomine agant, ejusque mandato et authoritate ministrent, illorum ministerio uti licet, cum in Verbo Dei audiendo, tum in Sacramentis percipiendis: neque per illorum malitiam effectus institutorum Christi tollitur, aut gratia donorum Dei minuitur quoad eos, qui fide et rite sibi oblata percipiunt, quae propter institutionem Christi et promissionem efficacia sunt, licet per malos administrentur. Ad Ecclesiae tamen disciplinam pertinet, ut in eos inquiratur, accusenturque ab iis, qui eorum flagitia noverint, atque tandem justo convicti judicio, deponantur.
XXVII. The wickedness of the Ministers doth not take away the effectual operation of God’s ordinances.
Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the word and Sacraments: Yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but do minister by Christ’s commission, and authority: we may use their ministry both in hearing the word of God, and in the receiving the sacraments, neither is the effect of God’s ordinances taken away by their wickedness, or the grace of God’s gift diminished from such, as by faith and rightly receive the Sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual, because of Christ’s institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men. Nevertheless it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that enquiry be made of such, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences, and finally being found guilty by just judgement, be deposed.
XXVIII. De Baptismo.
Baptismus non est tantum signum professionis ac discriminis nota, qua Christiani a non Christianis discernuntur, sed etiam est signum regenerationis, per quod tanquam per instrumentum recte Baptismum suscipientes, Ecclesiae inferuntur, [V. l. inscruntur.] promissiones de remissione peccatorum atque adoptione nostra in filios Dei per Spiritum Sanctum visibiliter obsignantur, fides confirmatur, et vi divinae invocationis gratia augetur. Mos Ecclesiae baptizandi parvulos at laudandus et omnino in Ecclesia retinendus.
XXVIII. Of Baptism.
Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from other that be not christened, but it is also a signs and scale of our new birth, whereby, as by an instrument they that receive Baptism rightly, are grafted in the Church, the promises of forgiveness of sin, and our adoption to be the sons of God, are visibly signed and sealed, faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The customs of the Church to christen young children, is to be commended, and in any wise to be retained in the Church.
XXIX. De Coena Domini.
Coena Domini non est tantum signum mutuae benevolentiae Christianorum inter sese, verum potius est Sacramentum nostrae per mortem Christi redemptionis. Atque adeo rite, digne et cum fide sumentibus, panis quem frangimus est communicatio corporis Christi: Similiter poculum benedictionis est communicatio sanguinis Christi.
Panis et vini transubstantiatio in Eucharistia, ex sacris literis probari non potest, sed apertis Scripturae; verbis adversatur et multarum superstitionum dedit occasionem.
Quum naturae humanae veritas requirat, ut unius ejusdemque hominis corpus in multis locis simul esse non posset, sed in uno aliquo et definito loco esse oporteat, idcirco Christi corpus, in multis et diversis locis, eodem tempore, praesens esse non potest. Et quoniam, ut tradunt Secrae literae, Christus in Coelum fuit sublatus et ibi usque ad finem seculi est permansurus, non debet quisquam fidelium carnis ejus et sanguinis Realem et Corporalem (utloquuntur) praesentiam in Eucharistia vel credere vel profiteri.
Sacramentum Eucharistiae ex institutione Christi non servabatur, circumferebatur, elevabatur, nec adorabatur.
XXIX. Of the Lord’s Supper.
The Supper of the Lorde is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a sacrament of our redemption by Christ’s death, insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the bread which we break is a communion of the body of Christ. Likewise the Cup of blessing, is a communion of the blood of Christ.
Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread, and wine into the substance of Christ’s body, and blood cannot be proved by holy writ, but is repugnant to the plains words of Scripture, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
Forasmuch as the truth of man’s nature requireth, that the body of one, and the selfsame man cannot be at one time in diverse places, but must needs be in some one certain place: Therefore the body of Christ cannot be present at one time in many, and diverse places. And because (as holy Scripture doeth teach) Christ was taken up into heaven, and there shall continue unto the end of the world, a faithful man ought not, either to believe, or openly to confess the real, and bodily presence (as they term it) of Christ’s flesh and blonde, in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not commanded by Christ’s ordinance to be kept, carried about, lifted up, nor worshipped.
XXX. De unica Christi oblatione in cruce perfecta.
Oblatio Christi semel facta, perfecta est redemptio, propitiatio et satisfactio pro omnibus peccatis totius mundi, tam originalibus quam actualibus: neque praeter illam unicam est ulla alia pro peccatis expiatio. Unde Missarum sacrificia, quibus vulgo dicebatur, Sacerdotem offere Christum in remissionem peonae aut culpae pro vivis et defunctis, figmenta sunt, et perniciosae imposturae.
XXX. Of the perfect oblation of Christ made upon the cross.
The offering of Christ made once forever, is the perfect redemption, the pacifying of God’s displeasure, and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual: and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone. Wherefore the sacrifices of masses, in the which, it was commonly said, that the Priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or sin, were forged fables, and dangerous deceits.
XXXI. Caelibatus ex verbo Dei praecipitur nemini.
Episcopis, Presbyteris et Diaconis non est mandatum ut coelibatum voveant: neque jure divino coguntur matrimonio abstinere.
XXXI. The state of single life is commanded to no man by the words of God.
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded to vow the state of single life without marriage, neither by God’s law are they compelled to abstain from matrimony.
XXXII. Excommunicati vitandi sunt.
Qui per publicam Ecclesiae denunciationem rite ab unitate Ecclesiae praecisus et excommunicatus, is ab universa fidelium multitudine, donec per poenitentiam publice reconciliatus fuerit arbitrio Judicis competentis, habendus est tanquam Ethnicus et Publicanus.
XXXII. Excommunicate persons are to be avoided.
That person, which by open denunciation of the Church, is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicate, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful, as an Heathen and publican, until he be openly reconciled by penance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authority thereto.
XXXIII. Traditiones Ecclesiasticas.
Traditiones atque caeremonias easdem non omnino necessarium est esse ubique, aut prorsus consimiles, nam variae et semper fuerunt et mutari possunt pro regionum at morum diversitate; modo nihil contra Dei verbum instituatur.
Traditiones et caeremonias Ecclesiasticas, quae cum Verbo Dei non pugnant et sunt authoritate publica institutae atque probatae, quisquis privato consilio volens et data opera publice violaverit, is, ut qui peccat in publicum ordinem Ecclesiae, quique laedit authoritatem Magistratus, et qui infirmorum fratrum conscientias vulnerat, publice, ut caeteri timeant, arguendus est.
XXXIII. Traditions of the Church.
It is not necessary that traditions and ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like. For at all times they have been divers, and may be changed, according to the diversity of countries and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s word.
Whosoever through his private judgement willingly, and purposely doth openly break the traditions and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the word of God, and be ordained, and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly (that other may fear to do the like) as one that offendeth against the common order of the church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.
Homiliae nuper Ecclesiae Anglicanae per injunctiones Regias traditae atque commendatae, piae sunt atque salutares, doctrinamque ab omnibus amplectendam continent: quare populo diligeiiter, expedite, clareque recitandae sunt.
The Homilies of late given, and set out by the king’s authority, be godly and wholesome, containing doctrine to be received of all men, and therefore are to be read to the people diligently, distinctly, and plainly.
XXXV. De Libro Precationum et caremoniarum Ecclesiae Anglicanae.
Liber qui nuperrime authoritate Regis & Parliamenti Ecclesiae Anglicanae traditus est, continens modum & formam orandi, & Sacramenta administrandi in Ecclesia Anglicana: similiter & libellus eadem authoritate editus de ordinatione ministrorum Ecclesiae, quoad doctrinae veritatem, pii sunt, & salutari doctrinae Evangelii in nullo repugnant sed congruunt, & eandem non parum promovent & illustrant, atque ideo ab omnibus Ecclesiae Anglicanae fidelibus membris, & maxime a ministris verbi cum omni promptitudine animorum & gratiarum actione, recipiendi, approbandi, & populo Del commendandi sunt.
XXXV. Of the book of Prayers, and Ceremonies of the Church of England.
The Book which of very late time was given to the Church of England by the king’s authority, and the Parliament, containing the manner and form of praying, and ministering the Sacraments in the Church of England, likewise also the book of ordering Ministers of the Church, set forth by the foresaid authority, are godly, and in no point repugnant to the wholesome doctrine of the Gospel but agreeable thereunto, furthering and beautifying the same not a little, and therefore of all faithful members of the Church of England, and chiefly of the ministers of the word, they ought to be received, and allowed with all readiness of mind, and thanksgiving, and to be commended to the people of God.
XXXVI. De civilibus Magistratibus.
Rex Angliae est supremum caput in terris, post Christum, Ecclesiae Anglicanae & Hibernicae.
Romanus Pontifex nullam habet jurisdictionem in hoc Regno Angliae. Magistratus civilis est a Deo ordinatus atque probatus, quamobrem illi, non solum propter iram, sed etiam, propter conscientiam, obediendum est.
Leges civiles possunt Christianos propter capitalia & gravia crimina morte punire.
Christianis licet ex mandato Magistratus arma portare & justa bella administrare.
XXXVI. Of Civil magistrates.
The king of England is Supreme head in earth, next under Christ, of the Church of England, and Ireland.
The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.
The civil Magistrate is ordained, and allowed of God wherefore we must obey him, not only for fear of punishment, but also for conscience sake.
The civil laws may punish Christian men with death, for heinous, and grievous offences.
It is lawful for Christians, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and to serve in lawful wars.
XXXVII. Christianorum bona non sunt communia.
Facultates et bona Christianorum non sunt communia, quoad jus et possessionem, ut quidam Anabaptistae falso jactant; debet tamen quisque de his quae possidet pro facultatum ratione, pauperibus eleemosynas benigne distribuere.
XXXVII. Christian men’s goods are not common.
The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right title and possession of the same (as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast); notwithstanding every man ought of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.
XXXVIII. Licet Christianis jurare.
Quemadmodum juramentum vanum & temerarium a Domino nostro Jesu Christo & ab Apostolo ejus Jacobo, Christianis hominibus interdictum esse fatemur, ita Christianum religionem minime prohibere censemus, quin jubente Magistratu, in causa fidei & charitatis jurare liceat, modo id fiat juxta Prophetae doctrinam, in Justitia, in Judicio et veritate.
XXXVIII. Christian men may take an Oath.
As we confess that vain, and rash swearing is forbid Christian men by our Lord Jesu Christ, and his Apostle James: so we judge that Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear, when the magistrate requireth in a cause of faith, and charity, so it be done (according to the Prophet’s teaching) in justice, judgement, and truth.
XXXIX. Ressurrectio mortuorum nondum est facta.
Resurrectio mortuorum non adhuc facta est, quasi tantum ad animum pertineat qui per Christi gratiam a morte peccatorum excitetur, sed extremo die quoad omnes qui obierunt, expectauda est; tunc enim vita defunctis (ut Scripturae manifestissime testantur) propria corpora, carnes & ossa restituentur, ut homo integer, prout vel recte vel perdite vixerit, juxta sua opera, sive praemia sive poenas reportet.
XXXIX. The Resurrection of the dead is not yet brought to pass.
The Resurrection of the dead is not as yet brought to pass, as though it only belonged to the soul, which by the grace of Christ is raised from the death of sin, but it is to be looked for at the last day: for then (as Scripture doth most manifestly testify) to all that be dead their own bodies, flesh, and bone shall be restored, that the whole man may (according to his works) have other rewards, or punishment, as he hath lived virtuously, or wickedly.
XL. Defunctorum animae neque cum corporibus intereunt, neque otiose dormiunt.
Qui animas defunctorum praedicant usque ad diem judicii absque omni sensu dormire, aut illas asserunt una cum corporibus mori, & extrema die cum illis exeitandas, ab orthodoxa fide, quae nobis in sacris literis traditur, prorsus dissentiunt.
XL. The souls of them that depart this life do neither die with the bodies, nor sleep idly.
They which say, that the souls of such as depart hence do sleep, being without all sense, feeling or perceiving until the day of judgement, or affirm that the souls die with the bodies, and at the last day shall be raised up with the same, do utterly dissent from the right beliefs declared to us in holy Scripture.
Qui Millenariorum, fabulam revocare conantur, sacris literis adversantur, & in Judaica deliramenta sese praecipitant.
XLI. Heretics called Millenarii.
They that go about to renew the fable of heretics called Millenarii, be repugnant to holy Scripture, and caste themselves headlong into a Jewish dotage.
XLII. Non omnes tandem servandi sunt.
Hi quoque damnatione digui sunt, qui conantur hodie perniciosam opinionem instaurare, quod omnes, quantumvis impii, servandi sunt tandem, cum definito tempore a justitia divina poenas de admissis flagitiis luerunt.
XLII. All men shall not be sawed at the length.
They also are worthy of condemnation, who endeavour at this time to restore the dangerous opinion, that all men be they never so ungodly, shall at length be saved, when they have suffered pains for their sins a certain time appointed by God’s justice.