Questions And Answers On The XXXIX Articles

Of The Church of England

By W. Trollope.  Fifth ed. Revised. 1866

[Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals.  Spelling and punctuation selectively modernized.

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            Title and Declaration.

 1.  Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

 2.  Of Christ the Son of God.

 3.  Of his going down into Hell.

 4.  Of his Resurrection.

 5.  Of the Holy Ghost.

 6.  Of the Sufficiency of the Scriptures

 7.  Of the Old Testament.

 8.  Of the Three Creeds.

 9.  Of Original or Birth-sin.

10.  Of Free-Will.

11.  Of Justification.

12. Of Good Works.

13. Of Works before Justification.

14. Of Works of Supererogation.

15. Of Christ alone without sin.

16. Of Sin after Baptism.

17. Of Predestination and Election.

18. Of Obtaining Salvation by Christ.

19. Of the Church.

20. Of the Authority of the Church.

21. Of the Authority of General Councils.

22. Of Purgatory.

23. Of Ministering in the Congregation.

24. Of Speaking in the Congregation.

25. Of the Sacraments.

26. Of the Unworthiness of Ministers.

27. Of Baptism.

28. Of the Lord’s Supper.

29. Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ.

30. Of both kinds.

31. Of Christ’s one Oblation.

32. Of the Marriage of Priests.

33. Of Excommunicate Persons.

34. Of the Traditions of the Church.

35. Of the Homilies.

36. Of Consecration of Ministers.

37. Of Civil Magistrates.

38. Of Christian men’s Goods.

39. Of a Christian man’s Oath.


      “We maintain that our Church, and the Pastors thereof, did always acknowledge the same Rule of Faith, the same fundamental Articles of the Christian Religion, both before and since the Reformation; but with this difference, that we then professed the Rule of Faith with the additional corruptions of the Church of Rome, but now, God be thanked, without them.” – Bishop Bull.


Articles Agreed upon by the Archbishops and Bishops of Both Provinces,

And the Whole Clergy,

In the Convocation holden at London in the Year 1562, for the avoiding of Diversities of Opinions, and for the establishing of Consent touching true Religion: Reprinted by his Majesty’s Commandment with his Royal Declaration prefixed thereunto.


His Majesty’s Declaration.

      Being by God’s Ordinance, according to Our just Title, Defender of the Faith, and Supreme Governor of the Church, within these our Dominions, We hold it most agreeable to this our Kingly Office, and Our own religious Zeal, to conserve and maintain the Church committed to Our Charge, in Unity of true Religion, and in the Bond of Peace; and not to suffer unnecessary Disputations, Altercations, or Questions to be raised, which may nourish Faction both in the Church and Commonwealth.  We have therefore, upon mature Deliberation, and with the Advice of so many of Our Bishops as might conveniently be called together, thought fit to make this Declaration following:

      That the Articles of the Church of England (which have been allowed and authorized heretofore, and which Our Clergy generally have subscribed unto) do contain the true Doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God’s Word: which We do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all our loving Subjects to continue in the uniform Profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles; which to that End We command to be new printed, and this Our Declaration to be published therewith.

      That We are Supreme Governor of the Church of England: And that if any difference arise about the external Policy, concerning the Injunctions, Canons, and other Constitutions whatsoever thereto belonging, the Clergy in their Convocation is to order and settle them, having first obtained leave under Our Broad Seal so to do: and We approving their said Ordinances and Constitutions; providing that none be made contrary to the Laws and Customs of the Land.

      That out of Our Princely Care that the Churchmen may do the Work which is proper unto them, the Bishops and Clergy, from time to time in Convocation, upon their humble Desire, shall have Licence under Our Broad Seal to deliberate of, and to do all such Things, as, being made plain by them, and assented unto by Us, shall concern the settled Continuance of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England now established; from which We will not endure any varying or departing in the least Degree.

      That for the present, though some differences have been ill raised, yet We take comfort in this, that all Clergymen within Our Realm have always most willingly subscribed to the Articles established; which is en argument to Us, that they all agree in the true, usual, literal meaning of the said Articles; and that even in those curious points, in which the present differences lie, men of all sorts take the Articles of the Church of England to be for them; which is an argument again, that none of them intend any desertion of the Articles established.

      That therefore in these both curious and unhappy differences, which have for so many hundred years, in different times and places, exercised the Church of Christ, We will, that 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 Scriptures, 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.

      That if any publick Reader in either of Our Universities, or any Head or Master of a College, or any other person respectively in either of them, shall affix any new sense to any Article, or shall publickly read, determine, or hold any publick Disputation, or suffer any such to be held either way, in either the Universities or Colleges respectively: or if any Divine in the Universities shall preach or print any thing either way, other than is already established in Convocation with Our Royal Assent; he, or they the Offenders, shall be liable to Our displeasure, and the Church’s censure in Our Commission Ecclesiastical, as well as any other: And We will see there shall be due Execution upon them.


Some Principal Fathers of the First Four Centuries: quoted in this Book.

Cent.  I:           Clemens Romans.  Ignatius.  Polycarp.

Cent.  II:         Justin Martyr.  Irenaeus.  Athenagoras.  Theophilus of Antioch.  Clemens Alexandrinus.  Tertullian.

Cent. III:         Origen.  Cyprian.

Cent. IV:         Lactantius.  Eusebius of Caesarea.  Athanasius.  Cyril of Jerusalem.  Basil.  Gregory Nazianzen.  Ambrose.  Jerome.  Chrysostom.  Augustine.


Title and Declaration.

      1.   (1) Give a concise history of the XXXIX Articles; – (2) and shew that both the English and Latin copies are of equal authority.

      Answer.  (1) In consequence of the licence in which both the enemies and friends of the Reformation indulged after the death of Henry VIII, the young King, Edward VI, found it necessary, to lay a prohibition on all preaching, and to limit instruction from the pulpit to the use of the first book of Homilies “set forth by authority,” until “one uniform order throughout the realm should put an end to all controversies in religion.”  Accordingly in 1552, Forty-two Articles of Religion were published by royal proclamation.  In the compilation of these articles, Cranmer and Ridley were principally concerned; but questions relating to them were submitted to many bishops and divines, and all points of disagreement had a full and free discussion, in order that there might be as near an approach to unanimity as possible, in an affair of so great importance.  As a matter of course, these Articles were set aside by Queen Mary; but, after a careful revision in the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth, they were reduced in number to 38, and again put forth by royal authority in 1562.  They were again revised, and assumed their present form and number in 1571; and subscription by the Clergy was required by Act of Parliament. – (2) The Articles of Elizabeth (as those of Edward VI had been) were drawn up in Latin as well as English; and as both the Latin and English copies were subscribed by the members of the two houses of Convocation, they are to be considered as equally authentic.

      2.  What are the principal differences between the 42 Articles of Edward VI and the 39 Articles of Elizabeth?

      (1) Not retained in the Articles of Elizabeth are the following Articles of Edward VI: – X.  Of Grace, – XVI.  Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; – XIX.  All men are bound to keep the moral commandments of the Law (the former part of this being however made the end of the present Article VII.); – 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. – (2) Not in the Articles of Edward VI are the following Articles of Elizabeth: – V.  XII.  XXIX.  XXX. – (Some other differences will be noted hereafter.)

      3.  Do the Articles contain a complete exposition of the religious system of the Church of England?

      Although the 39 Articles are the standard of opinion in the Church of England, with respect to those points of doctrine and practice of which they treat; still they are by no means to be regarded as exhibiting a complete view of her Theological system.  On many matters of the highest importance, such as the effects of the Fall, the obligation of the Sabbath, the laws of marriage and divorce, the rite of Confirmation, and many questions of Church discipline, they are altogether silent.  They were drawn up with immediate reference to a particular purpose, beyond which they do not extend.

      4.  Whence does it appear that they were compiled for a particular purpose; and what was that purpose?

      Both from internal evidence, and from the history of the times in which they were compiled, it is manifest that they are directed against the principal errors and corruptions of the Romish Church, and against the heretical tenets of the Anabaptist and some other sectarians, which were industriously disseminated at the period of the Reformation.  Hence it is expressly stated in the Title, that they were “agreed upon for avoiding diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true religion.”

      5.  Where they designed merely as Articles of peace; and in what sense are they to be interpreted and subscribed?

      It is absurd to suppose that the Articles were drawn up merely as Articles of peace, which those who subscribe them are not obliged to maintain, so long as they do not openly reject them; or which may be subscribed in a sense altogether different from that which they were intended to convey.  Not only were they designed to remove diversities of opinion, but a royal declaration was issued by Charles I in 1628, enjoining “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.”  To act otherwise, is palpably dishonest.

      6.  (1) What are the direct means of ascertaining the legitimate sense of the Articles; – (2) and what are the best sources of their illustration?

      In order to ascertain the legitimate sense of the Articles of any Church, it is obvious to compare them with the formularies of the Church itself, and the writings of those who were engaged in their composition.  Subordinate therefore to the Liturgy and Homilies of the Church of England, the works of those divines, who were personally concerned in the production of the 39 Articles, must ever be considered as the best sources of their illustration.  Among these, Nowell’s Catechism and Jewel’s Apology have always been ranked in the first class; as these authors took a prominent part in the Convocation, by which the Articles were put forth.  Much light is also thrown upon the opinions which the Reformers entertained respecting the doctrines and discipline of the Church, in the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum: – a body of Institutes, collected, at the suggestion of Cranmer, by a Committee of divines and lawyers; which, though possessing no authority, is a valuable record of the prevailing sentiments of the time.

      7.  From which of the Confessions of the foreign reformed Churches may light be sometimes thrown upon the true import of our Articles?

      Since our Articles were taken in part from the Confession of Augsburgh, presented by Luther and Melancthon to the emperor Charles V in 1530, their primitive sense may sometimes be established by a reference to that Confession, and the writings of those reformers.

      8.  What is the general character of the Confession of Augsburgh?

      It is divided into 28 chapters, of which the greater portion are devoted to a clear and Scriptural developement of the Protestant opinions, and the last 7 to a confutation of the principal errors of the Church of Rome.  It is still maintained as the Theological standard of the Lutheran Communion; and, though its rule of faith and some of its tenets are not in accordance with our own, it may be regarded as the least objectionable of the systems drawn up by the foreign reformers.

      9.  Under what general heads may the Articles be conveniently arranged?

      (1) According to Archbishop Bramhall’s classification of the Articles, some are the very same that are contained in the Creed; some are practical truths rather than articles of belief; and, lastly, some are pious opinions, proposed not so much as points of faith essential to Salvation, but rather as inferior truths which ought not to be gainsayed. – (2) The compilers themselves, however, seem to have had a more methodical arrangement in view, which divides them into four general heads: – The five first embrace the great fundamental doctrine of the Trinity in Unity; the sixth, seventh, and eighth, establish the Rule of Faith; the next ten relate to Christians as individuals; and the remaining twenty-one relate to them as they compose a religious society called the Church.


Article  I.

Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

      There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible.  And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


De Fide in Sacrosanetam Trinitatem.

      Unus est vivus at 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 aunt Personae, ejusdem essentiae, potentiae, ac aeternitatis; Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.


      1.  (1) What is asserted in the First Article? – (2) Name the principal errors to which it is opposed.

      (1) This Article asserts the existence of a God; his essential unity, attributes, and perfections; and the mysterious combination of three persons in the unity of the Godhead. – (2) It is opposed – (a) 1. To Polytheism. – 2. to Anthropomorphism, a heresy of the obscure sect of old who held that God had a material body like that of a man: 3. to Pantheism, of which “the leading idea is that God is everything, and everything is God.”  Bp. Browne. – (b) To heresies relating to the Trinity: e.g. 1. to Tritheism, which makes 3 Gods of the 3 Persons; – 2. to Arianism, which makes the Son and the Holy Ghost to be inferior in nature to the Father; – 3. to Sabellianism, which makes the Son and the Holy Ghost to be not personally distinct from the Father. – (See further notices of heresies under Articles II, V.)

      2.  What proofs does Natural Religion offer of the existence of a God, and the unity of the Godhead?

      The being of a God is manifest from the consciousness of our own existence in common with that of innumerable beings, material and spiritual, which cannot be conceived to have produced themselves, and whose production must therefore be referred to some first, independent, and self-existing cause.  Hence the notion of a Supreme Being has universally prevailed among civilized nations, and divine worship, in some form or other, has been constantly paid to the Deity, whose power, wisdom, and goodness are clearly displayed in his works.  The unity of the Godhead is deduced from the incompatibility of a plurality of Gods with the unity of design in the works of creation and providence, and from the obvious want of any necessity for more Gods than one.  “There can be but one chief good, and by consequence but one God.”  Bp. Beveridge.

      3.  Explain, by reference to the Latin Article, the assertion that God is without body, parts, or passions; and shew that the several attributes, which the Article assigns to him, are essential to the Deity.

      In the Latin Article the expressions are incorporeus, inpartibilis, et impassibilis; that is, incorporeal or immaterial, indivisible, and incapable of suffering.  These attributes, with the others here mentioned, will at once be admitted.  God must be everlasting, inasmuch as the great first cause can never have been produced by any other cause; and being self-existent, must ever have existed: He must be incorporeal, and therefore indivisible, since, being every where present, he would otherwise not only be visible, but occupy space to the exclusion of other objects: He must be impassible, as being superior to all and every thing which induces suffering: He is all-powerful, for nothing can resist his might, and he is the only source of power in others: and His wisdom and goodness are manifest in the perfect order, the excellent design, and the merciful economy of his works.  As the world must clearly have been created, so its preservation is dependent upon laws which cannot regulate themselves; and no other Maker and Preserver of all things is conceivable, except God.

      4.  Prove from the Scriptures the Being, the Unity, and the Attributes of God.

      From the Scriptures it appears that there is a God (Exod. 20:1.  Acts 17:23); that there is but one God (Deut. 6:4.  1 Cor. 8:6); that He is the living and true God (Jer. 10:10.  1 Thess. 1:9); that “before the earth and the world were made he was God from everlasting to everlasting” (Psal. 90:2.  Rom. 16:26.  1 Tim. 1:17); that “God is a Spirit,” and therefore “hath not flesh and bones,” neither is he “a man that he should lie or repent” (Num. 23:19.  Luke 24:39.  John 4:24); that “with God all things are possible,” that “his understanding is infinite,” and the riches of his wisdom unsearchable, that the earth is full of his goodness and that “every good gift and every perfect gift cometh down from him” (Psal. 33:5, 147:5.  Matt. 19:26.  Rom. 11:33.  James 1:17); that “in the beginning he created the heaven and the earth,” and “all things that are in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,” that He “preserveth them all,” and that “by Him all things consist” (Gen. 1:1.  Neh. 9:6.  Col. 1:16, 17)

      5.  Since God is impassible, how is it that the Scripture speaks of Him as actuated by feelings analogous to those of human nature; and what is the technical term by which this mode of speaking is designated?

      When the Scriptures speak of God as possessed of human parts and passions, as hands and mouth, or anger, love, repentance, and the like, they accommodate their language to the weakness of man’s capacity, which is unable to comprehend the perfections of the divine nature.  This mode of speaking is denominated ανθρωποπάθεια.

      6.  Shew that the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is abundantly proved in the New Testament.

      The doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is not perhaps distinctly proposed in the New Testament as an article of Faith, but it is so clearly implied throughout the entire history, and such distinct views are taken of God’s threefold manifestation of himself, that it is scarcely possible for an honest man to evade the inference.  At the same time that distinct personal acts are assigned to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, those attributes are appropriated to each and all of these divine persons which belong only to God, and in such a manner as to indicate their equality.  Thus the Son is not only declared to be God (John 1:1), but to be invested with “all the fullness of the Godhead” (Col. 2:9) when Ananias lied unto the Holy Ghost, St. Peter reproved him as lying “not unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4): and the three persons are mentioned in conjunction by our Lord himself (Matt. 28:19), by St Paul (2 Cor. 13:14), by St. John (Rev. 1:4), and each time in a different order, so that they are manifestly co-equal together, as well as co-eternal.

      7.  Is not this doctrine distinctly recognized in the Old Testament?

      A plurality of persons is recognized in many passages of the Old Testament; as, for instance, when God said, “let its make man in OUR own image” (Gen. 1:26).  Still the numerical unity of the Godhead is equally enforced; and although “without controversy great is the mystery of godliness” (1 Tim. 3:16), enough is revealed to establish the truth thereof “unto us and our children for ever” (Deut. 29:29).

      8.  Is there not at least one text of the New Testament in which the doctrine of the Trinity is expressly asserted?

      In 1 John 5:7 it is distinctly asserted that “there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.”  The verse is very generally rejected as spurious; but though external evidence bears strongly against its genuineness, the grammatical construction is greatly in its favour.  Bishop Middleton was of opinion that it ought not to be abandoned without a struggle.

      9.  Quote passages from the writings of the early Fathers, wherein the several points affirmed in this Article are maintained or illustrated.

      Justin M. Cohort. ad Gr. c. 36.  That there is but one God, is the first doctrine of true religion.  Cyprian de Idol. Vanitate: – There is one God, who is Lord of all: for his sublime greatness cannot admit of a partner, being endued with all power.  Theophilus ad Autol. 1. 3.  The form or shape of God is ineffable and inexpressible, and cannot be seen with bodily eyes.  He is infinite in glory, incomprehensible in greatness, superexcellent in power, incomparable in wisdom, immutable in goodness, unspeakable in beneficence.  Clem. R. ad Rom. c. 27.  There is nothing impossible with God.  By the word of his majesty were all things made, and by his word he can destroy them.  Justin M. Apol. 1. c. 6.  Him, and his Son begotten by him, and the prophetic Spirit, we worship and adore.  Augustin. de Temp. Serm. 38.  Without doubt it is to be believed, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are one Almighty God, eternal, immutable; and every one of these is God, and all of them but one God.  See also Clem. Rom. ad Cor. c. 46.  Ignat. ad Magnes. cc. 6. 33. Athenag. Legat. c. 10.  Iren. Haer. 1. 19.  Theoph. ad Autol. ii. 15.  Tertul. c. Prax. cc. 25. 30.  Cyprian, Epist. 73.

      10. In what spirit ought our inquiries into the nature of God, as revealed in the Scriptures, to be conducted ?

      From the uncertainty that prevailed among the most learned of the Heathen sages, as to the nature and attributes of the Deity, the impotence of reason, unassisted by Revelation, is so palpably obvious, that the reflecting man will humble his pride before the light of Scripture; and, with a teachable temper, be content to believe what is there revealed, and submit his own erring judgment to the infallible guidance of God’s word.


Article  II.

Of the Word or Son of God, which was made very Man.

      The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in 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 not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.


De Verbo, sive Filio Dei, qui versa homo factus est.

      Fillius, qui est verbum Patris, ab aeterno a Patre genitus, verus et aeternus Deus ac Patri consubstantialis, 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.


      1.  What is the purport of the second Article, as following out that of the first?

      As the first Article, in asserting the being and attributes of the Deity, dwells more immediately on the character which the Scriptures furnish of the first person in the Trinity, this is devoted to the nature of the second person, and the atonement wrought by him for lost mankind.

      2.  What noted heresy is opposed in the first part of this Article?

      Arianism: according to which the Son is an inferior God, merely ομοιούσιος, “of like substance with,” not ομοούσιος, “of one substance with,” the Father, as defined in the Council of Nice, A. D. 325, (though the term was not then first used) which condemned the Arian doctrine.

      3.  Do the titles of Father and Son, as applied to the two first persons in the Trinity, indicate any superiority of nature in the one over the other?

      The distinctive appellations Father and Son, by which our Lord himself and his Apostles continually designate the unrevealed God whom no man hath seen, and the incarnate Saviour, imply no superiority in the nature of the one above that of the other; but they are merely expressive of that mysterious relationship which exists between the first and second persons in the Godhead.  In its ordinary sense, the term Father may imply priority of existence without superiority of nature; and it is manifest from the whole tenor of the Scriptures that, though the Father is greater than the Son (John 14:28) as touching his manhood, they are otherwise co-eternally and co-equally one; so that “what we believe of the glory of the Father, the same we believe of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, without any difference or inequality.” (Commun. Serv.)

      4.  Whence did St. John adopt the term Logos?

      (1) It has been thought that the term WORD, as applied to the Son of God by St. John (1:1), was borrowed from the writings of Philo Judaeus; and doubtless there is a striking resemblance between the operations assigned to the Logos by the Platonic philosopher and by the holy evangelist. – (2) The Gnostics, however, and other heretics, against whom St. John wrote, had equally adopted the title; and it is therefore probable that he applied it to the Son of God, in order to prove that the person so called was not an inferior emanation from the Deity, but very and eternal God.

      5.  (1) Whence is it evident that the Evangelist applies the term to the Son of God? – (2) Is it elsewhere employed in the same personal acceptation?

      (1) There can be no doubt as to whom the expression is applied, for he forthwith assigns it distinctly to the “only begotten of the Father” (John 1:14); – (2) Not only is it again employed in the personal sense in the opening of his first Epistle and in the Apocalypse (19:11), but perhaps by St. Luke also in the Preface to his Gospel.  In other passages (Heb. 4:12, 13.  James 1:18.  1 Pet. 1:23) it has also been supposed to have the same meaning, but the interpretation is less apparent.

      6.  In what sense do you understand the word Λόγος as applied to Christ; what reason do you give for the meaning which you assign to it; and can you illustrate your answer by a reference to the tenets of any ancient philosophical sect?

      Some would render it WORD, others Reason; but the former meaning is certainly more conformable with the language in which Scripture, from first to last, represents Christ as the channel by which God has revealed his will to mankind.  Compare John 3:34.  Heb. 1:2.  At the same time he is also the “Wisdom which God possessed in the beginning of his way” (Prov. 8:22); and therefore the term may properly be preserved untranslated, so as to express both the λόγος ενδιάθετος and the λόγος προφορικος of the Stoics: i.e. Reason as conceived in thought, and as embodied in speech, respectively.

      7.  What are the opinions of the Church respecting the eternal generation of the Son of God?

      Christ was necessarily begotten of the Father, or he could not be his Son; and from everlasting, or he could not be God.  He was however not only begotten, but μονογενης, only-begotten; and consequently, the Son of God in a restrictive sense, excluding any other, such as those who are called God’s children by adoption and grace.

      8.  Does not the sonship of Christ involve the admission of his divinity?

      That the Jews affixed a peculiar and excellent meaning to the sonship of Christ is manifest; for they sought to kill him because he called God τον ίδιον πατέρα, and thus made himself God (John 5:18, 10:33).  He is also very and eternal God, for he was before the Baptist, and before Abraham, and before the flood, and the worlds were made by him, and he was in glory with the Father before the world was (John 1:1, 15; 8:50; 17:5.  Heb. 1:2.  1 Pet. 3:18).  Hence the beloved disciple calls him ο αληθινος Θεός (1 John 5:20); and he himself has said, “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30), not εις but εν, indicating perfect identity of substance, nature, and essence.

      9.  Had not Christ two natures; and how is the union of these two natures technically designated?

      The Article asserts the humanity of Christ as well as his divinity; and the union of the two natures in the person of the incarnate Saviour is known by the name of the Hypostatic Union, i.e. the combined substance of two natures in one person without confusion of substance.

      10.  Does not this union explain many passages in Scripture which would be otherwise unintelligible?

      Although the character of this union is as utterly incomprehensible to man’s understanding as that of the human soul and body, its reality is not only fully established by Scripture, but there are many passages in the Bible which can only be explained in accordance with this doctrine.  Hence it is, that by a commutation of idioms,* God is said to have shed his blood (Acts 20:28), and the man Christ Jesus to be worshipped by angels (Heb. 1:6).

[*Communicatio Idiomatum; by which “as oft as we attribute to God what the manhood of Christ claimeth, or to man what his Deity hath right unto, we understand by the name of God and the name of Man neither the one nor the other nature, but the whole Person of Christ, in whom both natures are.”  Hooker.]

      11.  What were the errors of Nestorius and Eutyches with respect to the nature of Christ; in what general Council were they condemned; and in what terms?

      Nestorius seems to have understood a distinction of persons as well as nature in the Son of God and the Son of man, asserting that the Virgin Mary should not be called Mother of God, but Mother of Christ; and Eutyches, on the other hand, maintained that Christ was not only one person, but had only one nature, the human nature being absorbed into the divine.  The error of Nestorius was condemned in the Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431; and the error of Eutyches in the Council of Chalcedon, A. D. 451, which, in opposition to both errors, declared the Catholic doctrine to be that “in Christ two distinct natures are united in one Person, without any change, mixture, or confusion”: (ασυγχύτως, ατρέπτως, αδιαιρέτως, αχωρίστως, without confusion, immutably, inseparably, indivisibly).

      12.  What opposite opinions have been held respecting Christ’s Humanity?

      The human nature in Christ consisted of body and soul, as in mankind in general.  While some of the early heretics, as the Docetae, denied him a real body, regarding him a man in appearance only; others, as the Apollinarians, asserted that his divinity supplied the place of the soul.  Hence the Athanasian Creed declares him to be not only “perfect God,” but “perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting”.

      13.  Whence does it appear that Christ was perfect man, composed of soul and body?

      That Christ had a body is manifest from his endurance of the corporeal feelings of hunger and thirst, from the mention of his flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), and other bodily properties.  That he increased in wisdom as well as in stature (Luke 2:52), and that he speaks of the sorrow of his soul, are equally proofs that he was endowed with the spiritual part of man’s nature.

      14.  Why was it necessary that Christ should be both God and Man in one person?

      “The necessity of our salvation did require such a Mediator and Saviour as under one Person should be a partaker of both natures. ... It was expedient that our Mediator should be such an one as might take upon him the sins of mankind, and sustain the due punishment thereof, namely, death. ... But because no creature, in that he is a creature, hath power to destroy death and give life, &c., it was needful that our Messias should be not only full and perfect man, but also full and perfect God, to the intent he might more fully and perfectly make satisfaction for mankind.  ‘This is my well-beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’  Matt. 3:17.  Christ appeased the wrath of his Father, not in that he was only the Son of man; but much more in that he was the Son of God.”  Homily of the Nativity. – “Unless he was man as well as God, he could not suffer; and unless he was God as well as man, he could not satisfy ... He by his sufferings made satisfaction, because the same Person that suffered was God as well as man. ... His sufferings, as they were suitable for men, so were they sufficient for God; for though his Godhead did not suffer, yet he that was God did suffer; and though his manhood did not satisfy, yet he that was mad did.”  Bp. Beveridge.

      15.  (1) Were the sufferings of Christ foretold, – (2) and in what did they consist; – (3) why is it said that he truly suffered; – (4) and how could he suffer being in his divine nature impassible?

      (1) “The Spirit of Christ which was in the prophets testified beforehand of the sufferings of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:11); (see e.g. Psal. 22; Isai. 53) – (2) and if hunger, thirst, revilings, agonies mental and bodily, stripes, insults, and crucifixion are sufferings, Jesus truly suffered. – (3) It is said truly because there have been those who maintained that he suffered in appearance only: – (4) but though in his divine nature he was incapable of suffering, he “suffered for us in the flesh” (1 Pet. 4:1); not in his impassible divinity, but in his passible humanity.

      16.  Shew that Christ was crucified, dead, and buried.

      The crucifixion of Christ is related by all the four Evangelists; and that he really expired upon the cross was manifest not only to his friends but to his enemies.  A soldier also “pierced his side,” thereby fulfilling a prophecy of Zechariah (12:10), and his death was proved by the result: – “forthwith came there out blood and water.”  His burial also was not only a fulfillment of a most remarkable prediction (Isai. 53:9), but a yet more convincing proof of the certainty of his death; and as such it is minutely recorded by St. Matthew (27:60. sqq.).

      17.  Point out the necessity, nature, and extent, of Christ’s atonement.

      Mankind are represented in Scripture as being at enmity with God, but reconciled to him by the death of his son.  The ceremonies and sacrifices of the Jewish dispensation, are emblematical throughout of the great final sacrifice of the Son of God, and of the expiation to be eventually wrought by his blood.  Hence it is said that God “made him to be sin,” that is, a sin offering, “for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21); and that “he gave his life a ransom for many,” λύτρον αντι πολλων.  Compare Matt. 20:28.  Eph. 2:16.  1 Tim. 2:6.  The redemption thus purchased is moreover universal, πολλων being used for πάντων, as in many passages of Scripture; and extends to every species of guilt, with one exception, both actual and original.  See John 1:29.  Rom. 5:14, 19.  2 Cor. 5:18, 19.  Col. 1:21, 22.  Heb. 9:13, 14, 26–28.  1 John 2:2.

      18.  What noted heresy denies the atonement?

      Socinianism (which also holds Christ to have been a mere man, and denies the personality of the Holy Ghost).

      19.  What do you mean by Original sin; and what is the sin for which there is no remission?

      See Articles IX and XVI.

      20.  What is the testimony which the early Fathers afford to the doctrines asserted in this Article?

      Justin M. Apol. 1. c. 63.  The Word, being the first begotten off God, is also God.  Iren. I. 1. 20.  Jesus, who suffered for us, and dwelt among us, is the Word of God.  Ignatius ad Smyrn. c. 1.  Jesus Christ, of the seed of David according to the flesh, is God; – the Son of God, according to the will and power of God, truly born of a Virgin.  Ad Polycarp. c. 3.  Expect him who is before all time, eternal, invisible, yet visible for our sakes; impassible, yet for our sakes passible.  Chrysostom de Cruce: – Not God only, or man only, but both together.  Ignatius, ubi supra: His flesh was truly pierced with nails for us, under Pontius Pilate.  Justin Martyr, ubi supra: – He endured to be set at nought, and to suffer for those who believe in him.  Clem. Alex  Quis dives salv. c. 37.  He came down from heaven, and was made man; and being sacrificed  for us, and offering himself as the price of our Salvation, he has left us a new covenant.


Article  III.

Of the going down of Christ into Hell.

      “As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also it is to be believed that he went down into Hell.”

De Descensu Christi ad Inferos.

      Quemadmodum Christus pro nobis mortuus est, et sepultus, ita est etiam credendus ad inferos descendisse.


      1.  (1) What is the design of this Article, – (2) and what is the Scriptural authority upon which it rests?

      (1) In order to prove yet more fully that Christ’s death was not merely a trance, but a real separation of soul and body, this article asserts, in the words of the Creed, that he “went down into Hell”.  In refutation of the Arians and Apollinarians, who denied the existence of a natural human soul in Christ, the fathers argued that Christ descended into hell; – that this descent was made not by his Divinity nor by his body, but by his soul: – consequently that he had a soul distinct from his flesh and from the Word. – (2) The doctrine is not indeed built upon any express declaration of the Evangelists; but it follows immediately from St. Peter’s application to Christ of the words of David, Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell.  Now unless his soul had been in Hell, God could not be represented as not leaving it there.  Compare Psal. 16:8.  Acts 2:22.  Eph. 4:9 has been urged in support of this doctrine.  But though it may probably refer to the Descent into Hell, it may refer to Christ’s incarnation, or to his burial.  Concerning 1 Pet. 3:18–20. v. infra.

      2.  What different meanings are attached to the word Hell; and in what light has our Lord’s descent into hell been consequently viewed?

      Hell is an old Saxon term, signifying what is unseen or concealed, and applied by the Translators of the Bible both to the place or state of departed souls, and to the place of torment.  In the former sense it corresponds exactly with the original word, άδης (= αειδης), employed by St Peter in the Acts; but because it is also, though rarely, used in the latter, as the representative of the very different word γέενα, it has been sometimes thought that our Lord was detained, between his death and resurrection in the receptacle of condemned sinners.

      3.  What is the opinion generally received by English divines on this subject?

      This article, in the reign of Edward VI, stood thus: – “The body of Christ lay in the grave until his resurrection; but his Spirit, which he gave up, was with the spirits which were detained in prison or in hell, and preached to them, as St. Peter testified.”  See 1 Pet. 3:19, 20.  The interpretation of the passage, upon which this sense is grounded, is now very generally rejected;* and though our Church, with her usual moderation, leaves the question undecided, her most learned divines understand by Christ’s descent into Hell, that his death was attended by all the circumstances of mortality.  His body was laid in the grave, and his soul went to Hades.

[*This statement ought probably to be modified. – See Bp. Horsley’s able sermon on the passage, to which, and to Bp. Middleton on 1 Pet. 3:18, Bp. Browne in his admirable exposition of the Article refers.  See also Campbell’s Prelim. Diss. VI. – Our Church still retains the passage from 1 Pet. 3 in the Epistle for Easter Even.]

      4.  Is the doctrine thus received sanctioned by the testimony of the early Fathers?

      Irenaeus observes (Haer. v. 31.) that our Lord was in the middle of the shadow of death, where the souls of the dead were: Tertullian says (de Anima, c. 55) that he went through the form of human death amongst those who are in the invisible world: and Cyprian (adv. Jud. II. 14), that he was not to be overcome by death, nor remain in Hades.


Article  IV.

Of the Resurrection of Christ.

      Christ did truly rise again from the dead, 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 all Men at the last day.

De Resurrectione 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 reversurus sit.


      1.  What are the doctrines asserted in the fourth Article?

      This Article asserts not only the reality and completeness of our Lord’s resurrection, but those subsequent particulars made known in the Scriptures, of his ascension into heaven, and his exaltation to the right hand of God, there to remain until his second advent to judge the world.

      2.  (1) In what light do you regard the doctrine of Christ’s resurrection; – (2) and how far is the belief in a general resurrection supported by the Old and New Testaments respectively?

      The Resurrection of Christ is the great fundamental doctrine upon which the Christian system depends.  “If,” says the Apostle (1 Cor. 15:14, 19), “Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain; for if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable: but now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that slept.”  His resurrection is therefore the pledge and earnest of a general resurection to an immortal life: – a truth, to which the obscure allusions in the Old Testament. (Job 19:23. sqq.  Psal. 17:15.  Isai. 25:8, 26:19.  Ezek. 37:1. sqq.  Dan. 12:2.  Hos. 6:2, 13:14) by no means obtained the unanimous assent of the Jews; but which in the New Testament is set forth in all the fullness which its importance demands (1 Cor. 15:20. sqq.  Phil. 3:21.  1 Thess. 4:14.  Rev. 20:13).

      3.  (1) Shew that our Lord’s resurrection was foretold by David, and by Himself; – (2) and that the truth of the fact, as recorded in the Gospel, is established by the most convincing evidence.

      (1) St Peter affirms (Acts 2:31), that the resurrection of Christ was predicted by David (Psal. 16:9, 10); and our Lord not only repeatedly foretold his own resurrection (Matt. 17:22, 20:19), but announced it to the Jews as an undeniable proof of his divine mission (John 2:19, 21). – (2) The fact itself is plainly asserted by the sacred writers (Matt. 28:6, 7.  Luke 24:6.  John 21:14.  Acts 2:32, 10:40); the unbelief of Thomas ended in his more perfect conviction (John 20:27); and the only opposing testimony is that of the soldiers, who were bribed to acquiesce in a report that the disciples came and stole the body while they slept.

      4.  What are the proofs of the perfect identity of our Lord’s body, before and after his resurrection?

      As our Lord underwent a true and proper dissolution of soul and body by death, so he resumed the same body at his resurrection.  Of its identity and completeness he assured his disciples, by permitting them to handle him, and examine his corporeal subsistence, his flesh and bones (Luke 24:39.  John 20:27); and they “did also eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.” (Acts 10:41).

      5.  What do the Scriptures state respecting – (1) our Lord’s ascension into heaven, – (2) and his sitting at the right hand of God?

      (1) The high-priest of the Israelites entered into the Holy of holies with the blood of the sacrifice, yearly, on the great day of Expiation, which was typical of Christ’s ascension, through his own blood, into heaven (Heb. 9:11, 12); he himself predicted his own ascension (John 16:28, 20:17); and the Evangelists, to whom, as their eyes could not follow him actually into heaven, his reception was certified by Angels, have recorded the circumstances with which it was attended (Luke 24:50, 51.  Acts 1:11). – (2) His session also at the right hand of God, as the place of highest glory in heaven, was also typified by the exaltation of Joseph (Gen. 41:40), predicted by David (Psal. 110:1) and by Christ himself (Matt. 26:64.  Luke 22:69), and recorded in the Gospel (Mark 16:19).

      6.  (1) Shew that the ascension of Christ was not metaphorical, but real.  (2) Why was it necessary?

      The ascension of Christ is neither to be understood metaphorically, nor as a dissolution of the hypostatical union; but as a real local translation of the man Christ Jesus into heaven: for he went up bodily and visibly. – (2) Such a translation was necessary, (a) as a proof that the nature of man is not excluded from the divine presence, but that where he is, his faithful followers will be also.  (b) in order that his disciples might receive the Holy Ghost (John 16:7); and that he might be our mediator and intercessor at the throne of Grace (Heb. 7:25).

      7.  (1) Whence do you infer the necessity of a future judgment; – (2) and the fitness of Christ as the appointed judge?

      (1) The necessity of a future judgment is manifest (a) from the moral nature of man, (b) from the apparent inconsistencies in God’s providential government of the world, (c) and from the explicit declarations of Scripture; (2) It is consistent with the Divine justice that Christ should be the judge, who, as God, will execute judgment unerringly and impartially, and, as man, with a merciful feeling for man’s infirmities (Acts 10:42, 17:31.  Rom. 2:16.  2 Tim. 4:8.  Tit. 2:13).

      8.  Adduce passages from the writings of the early Christians confirmatory of the several assertions of this Article.

      Ignatius ad Smyrn. c. 3.  I know that he was in the flesh after the resurrection: for he said to those with Peter, Handle me, feel me, and see that I am no disembodied spirit, Irenaeus adv. Haer. v. 7.  Christ rose again a fleshy substance, and shewed his disciples the print of the nails, and the wound in his side; as proofs that his flesh rose again from the dead.  Ibid. III. 18.  It was still one and the same Jesus, to whom the gates of Heaven were opened, to receive him in the flesh; and he will come again in the same flesh in which he suffered.  See also Tertull. adv. Marcion. iv. 43.  Cyprian.  de Idol. Vanit. 4.


Article  V.

Of the Holy Ghost.

      The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.


De Spiritu Sancto.

      Spiritus Sanctus, a Patre et Filio procedens, ejusdem est cum Patre et Filio essentiae, majestatis, et gloriae, verus ac aeternus Deus.


      1.  What opinions have prevailed on the subject of the procession of the Holy Ghost; and on what grounds does the Church of England rest the doctrine of this Article?

      Disputes arose in very early times respecting the procession of the Holy Ghost: the Greeks maintained that He proceeded from the Father only; not, as the Latins contended, from the Father and the Son.  Although the Scriptures are not perhaps so distinct on this point as on others of more fundamental importance, the Church of England is abundantly justified in adopting the latter conclusion.  The manner of this procession, it is impossible to comprehend; but it is clear that the Holy Spirit stands in the same relation both to the Father and the Son.  Thus our Lord says in one place (John 14:26), “The Father will send the Holy Ghost in my name”; and in another (John 15:26), “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.”  Moreover, the Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ indifferently.  See Rom. 8:9.

      2.  State the proofs of the personality of the Holy Ghost.

      Whatever ambiguity may be alleged against the terms in which the procession of the Holy Ghost is announced, it is evident from the personal acts assigned to him that he is not only a person, but that his personality is distinct from that of the Father and the Son.  Thus He is described as sent by the Father in the name of the Son; and his office is to comfort, to sanctify, and to guide into all truth, which implies the necessity of personal agency.  See Rom. 8:26; 1 Cor. 2:10, 11; Acts 10:19, 13:2.

      3.  Shew that the Holy Ghost is God, of the same substance with the Father and the Son.

      If not so numerous, the proofs of the divinity of the Holy Ghost are equally satisfactory with those of the divinity of the Father and the Son.  When Ananias lied unto the Holy Ghost, he lied “not unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:4); and those peculiar properties, such, for instance, as the gift of inspiration (2 Pet. 1:21), which belong only to the Deity, are ascribed to the Spirit.  It is further enjoined that all nations should be dedicated to him by baptism (Matt. 28:19), and his blessing is invoked (2 Cor. 13:14) in precisely the same form as that of the Father and the Son, so that there can be no inequality in the Godhead.  Compare also 1 Cor. 3:16 with 6:19.

      4.  What was the heresy of Macedonius; and how was it condemned?

      Macedonius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was one of the earliest and most violent opponents of the divinity of the Holy Ghost; whom He asserted to be merely a created energy or power, attendant upon the ministry of the Son.  His followers were called Pneumatomachi; and the first council of Constantinople, in condemnation of his heresy, added to the clause of the Nicene Creed, I believe in the Holy Ghost, the words following, The Lord and giver of life,* who proceedeth &c., except the clause “and from the Son,” which was afterwards added by the Latins.

[*το Πνευμα το άγιον, το Κύριον, και το ζωσποιον, i.e. “the Lord,” (2 Cor. 3:17, 18) “and the Giver-of-life.”  (The common punctuation misrepresents the sense.]

      5.  Prove the divinity of the Holy Ghost from the writings of the early Fathers.

      Basil adv. Eunom. v.  Seeing what is common to the Father and the Son, is common also to the Spirit; seeing also that by what things God the Father and the Son are characterized and described in Scripture, by the same is the Holy Ghost characterized and described; it is hence gathered that the Spirit is of the same divine essence with both.  Justin M. Apol. 1. c. 6.  We worship and adore the prophetic Spirit.  Compare Iren. Haer. I. 2. iv. 17. 37. v. 8.  Tertull. ad. Prax. c. 30.  Cyprian. Epist. 73.


Article  VI.

Of the sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation.

      Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to Salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.  In the name of the holy Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.


Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, The First Book of Samuel, The Second Book of Samuel, The First Book of Kings, The Second Book of Kings, The First Book of Chronicles, The Second Book of Chronicles, The First Book of Esdras, The Second Book of Esdras, The Book of Esther, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, or Preacher; Cantica, or Song of Solomon; Four Prophets the Greater, Twelve Prophets the Less.

      And the other Books, as Hierome saith, the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth it not apply them to establish any doctrine. Such are these following:  The Third Book of Esdras, The Fourth Book of Esdras, The Book of Tobias, The Book of Judith, The rest of the Book of Esther, The Book of Wisdom, Jesus the Son of Sirach, Baruch the Prophet, The Song of the Three Children, The History of Susanna, Of Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, The First Book of Maccabees, The Second Book of Maccabees.

      All the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received, we do receive and account them Canonical.


De divinis Scripturis, quod sufficiant ad Salutem.

      Scriptura sacra continet omnia quae ad salutem sunt necessaria, ita ut quicquid in ea nec legitur, neque inde probari potest, non sit a quoquam exigendum, ut tanquam articulus fidei credatur, aut ad salutis necessitatem requiri putetur.

      Sacrae Scripturae nomine, eos Canonicos libros veteris et novi Testamenti intelligimus, de quorum auctoritate in Ecclesia nunquam dubitatum est.


De Nominibus et Numero Librorum sacrae Canonicae Scripturae veteris Testamenti.

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, Josuae, Judicum, Ruth, Prior liber Samuelis, Secundus liber Samuelis, Prior liber Regum, Secundus liber Regum, Prior liber Paralipomenων, Secundus liber Paralipomenων, Primus liber Esdrae, Secundus liber Esdrae, Liber Hester, Liber Job, Psalmi, Proverbia, Ecclesiastes, vel Concionator, Cantica Solomonis, IV. Prophetae Majores, XII. Prophetae Minores.

      Alios autem libros, ut ait Hieronymus, legit quidem Ecclesia ad exempla vitae et formandos mores: illos tamen ad dogmata confirmanda non adhibet; – ut sunt: Tertius liber Esdrae, Quartus liber Esdrae, Liber Tobiae, Liber Judith, Reliquum libri Hester, Liber Sapientiae, Liber Jesu filii Sirach, Baruch Propheta, Canticum trium Puerorum, Historia Susannae, De Bel et Dracone, Oratio Manassis, Prior liber Maccabaeorum, Seoundus liber Maccabaeorum.

      Novi Testamenti omnes libros, ut vulgo recepti sunt, recipimus, at habemus pro Canonicis.


      1.  How does the present Article differ from that of Edward VI?

      The list of Canonical books, with the introductory clause, “In the name of the Holy Scripture &c.” is now added.  After “proved thereby,” the Article of Edward VI had a clause, “although sometimes it may be admitted by God’s faithful people as pious, and conducing to order and decency.”

      2.  What was the object of our Reformers in the compilation of this Article?

      The Articles having been drawn up with an especial reference to the causes of our separation from the Romish Church, their compilers, after disposing of those leading doctrines of the Christian faith respecting which both parties are agreed, proceed now to lay down the Rule of Faith, by which both the Articles which precede, and those which follow, are to be tested.  This was more particularly necessary, as on this point there is a wide and most important difference in the views of the two Churches.

      3.  What is this difference?

      While both Romanists and Protestants acknowledge the divine authority of the Holy Scriptures, – (1) the former assert that the books of the New Testament do not contain the entire rule of a Christian’s faith and practice; but that there is, in the possession of the Church, a mass of unwritten primitive doctrine independent of Scripture, orally delivered by the Apostles, and faithfully transmitted to the present time, which is equally binding upon the belief and consciences of her members.  They assert also that there is an infallible authority vested in the Church, by which the truth or falsehood of Tradition may be ascertained; and pronounce an anathema against those who call this authority in question. – (2) The Church of England, on the other hand, denies that the belief of any doctrine is to be enforced as necessary to salvation, which is not supported by the sanction of Holy writ.

      4.  Do the Scriptures give any sanction to this alleged authority of Ecclesiastical tradition?

      The New Testament contains not the slightest intimation of any rules or precepts to be traditionally superadded to its own revelations; but, on the contrary, the strongest inferences are deducible both from the Old Testament and the New, against their authority.  Even in the patriarchal ages, when the length of human life afforded a comparative safeguard against error in the transmission of oral records, the true religion became rapidly corrupted before the giving of the written Law; and even that Law itself became at length so effectually defaced by the traditions of the Jews, as to call forth a most severe reprimand from our blessed Saviour (Matt. 15:2).

      5.  Are there any expressions in the writings of St. Paul which may seem to bear upon the subject?

      St. Paul indeed (1 Cor. 11:2.  2 Thess. 2:15) mentions certain παραδόσεις, but he is there speaking of his own written instructions, in a sense perfectly distinct from the use of the term as applied to oral tradition.

      6.  Did the Reformers absolutely reject the testimony of Tradition; or did they, under certain limitations, recognize its importance?

      When the Reformers vindicated to Scriptural authority its due preeminence, they did not mean to abjure all traditional testimony whatsoever.  The deference which they paid to the records of the “Old Fathers” appears from the Preface to the Liturgy; but the appeal which they made to them was subordinate to Scripture.  They reverenced them as human witnesses, but they did not obey them as divine lawgivers.  They maintain the necessity of Scriptural proof in all things “necessary to Salvation”; regarding all beside as liable to error and misrepresentation.  {See Art. XXXIV.}

      7.  Upon what grounds does the English Church look upon Holy Scripture as the only authorized Rule of Faith?

      Since God alone can have the right to prescribe the conditions of Salvation, it is presumption in man to demand what God has not demanded: so that “in vain do they worship God, who teach for doctrines the commandments of man” (Matt. 15”9).  Hence the strong expression of St. Paul (Gal. 1:8): – “Though we or an angel from Heaven preach any other Gospel unto you, than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”  Hence also he affirms (1 Tim. 3:15. sqq.), that the Holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto Salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus; and “all Scripture; he continues, is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

      8.  When were the Apocryphal Scriptures written?

      After the cessation of inspiration in the Jewish Church, and before the promulgation of the Gospel.  Malachi, the last Jewish prophet, flourished about 420. B. C.

      9.  What do you understand by the Canonical and Apocryphal Scriptures; and why are the latter comparatively unimportant?

      See Questions on St. Matthew, Introd. qq. 1–3.

      10.  State the reasons for believing that the books of the Old Testament have come down to us in a state of uncorrupted preservation.

      To the Jews were committed the Scriptures of the Old Testament, which they received as the oracles of God, and “read them in the synagogues every Sabbath-day”; by them they were transmitted, pure and unadulterated, to the Christian Church: for, severe as are the reproofs which our Lord directs against the Scribes and Lawyers, he never charges them with corrupting their sacred writings; and, as they were quoted by Christ and his Apostles, so are they found at the present day.

      11.  What proof have we of the genuineness and integrity of the writings of the New Testament?

      That the several books of the New Testament are the genuine production of those whose names they bear is attested by a connected series of writers from the Apostolic age downwards; and that they have been preserved to us in an uncorrupted state appears from the facts that the quotations made from them by writers of every age and country, that the comments written upon them, and that the versions into which they have been rendered, are in perfect accordance with the text as it now stands.

      12.  Describe briefly the nature of the internal and external evidence, upon which the Inspiration of the New Testament rests.

      The Inspiration of the New Testament is proved – (1) by the internal evidence (a) of its moral purity, (b) its fulfilled prophecy, and (c) the incompetence of its writers to produce works of such a character without the divine assistance; – (2) by the external evidence (a) of the sufferings which its authors underwent in defence of the Gospel, and (b) of its reception by those who, gifted with the supernatural power of discerning spirits and ascertaining the truth (1 Cor. 12:10), rejected, at the same time other writers of an apocryphal nature; and by the concurrent testimony of all succeeding ages in the Church.

      13.  Have all the books of the New Testament equal claims to be received as Canonical?

      There have been local doubts respecting particular books; but the Church at large has, upon the surest grounds, duly settled the Canon as it stands.

      14.  What are the books described as the first and second books of Esdras?

      Those which are more oommonly known as the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah.

      15.  Adduce passages from the early Fathers, descriptive of the character of the Sacred writings.

      Besides the reference to Jerome (Praef. ad Prov.) in the Article itself, Ignatius observes (ad Phil. c. 9.) that the Gospel is the perfection of uncorruptness: Irenaeus (Haer. ii. 47), that the Scriptures are perfect, being dictated by the word of God and his spirit: Tertulliau (adv. Hermog. c. 22.), that woe is in store for those who add to, or detract from, the Scriptures: and St. Athanasius (Synop. S. Scr.), that there are other books, besides those of the Old Testament, which are not canonical, but only read to Catechumens.  See also Justin M. Apol. i. cc. 33. 39.  Iren. Haer. iv. 69.  Tertul. de Praescr. Haer. c. 8.  Cyprian. Epist. 74.  Origen. Philocal. c. 3.


Article  VII.

Of the Old Testament.

      The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for both in the Old and New Testament, everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God end Man, being both God and Man.  Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only for transitory promises.  Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments which are called Moral.


De Veteri Testaments.

      Testamentur vetus novo contrarium non est: 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 male sentiunt, qui veteres tantum in promissiones temporaries sperasse confingunt.  Quanquam lex a Deo data per Mosen, quoad caeremonias et ritus, Christianos non astringat, neque civilia ejus praecepta in aliqua republica necessario recipi debeant, nihilominus tamen ab obedientia mandatorum, quae Moralia vocantur, nullus quantum vis Christianus est solutus.


      1.  To what doctrine is the 7th Article opposed?

      To the Antinomian doctrine, which denied the obligation of the Moral Law upon Christians, and maintained that the Gospel terms of salvation by faith were essentially at variance with legal obedience.

      2.  When did the Antinomian controversy arise; who set the principle on foot; and what is the contrary opinion of the Church of England?

      It was not till the middle of the 17th century that the Antinomian controversy arose; but the principle of Antinomianism originated with John Agricola, a disciple of Luther, who perverted the reformer’s teaching, to the effect that the Law is not to be received as a rule of life, and that good works have no influence in the furtherance of man’s salvation.  In opposition to these notions, the Church of England asserts, that, although written at different times, by different persons, and at different places, the Old and New Testament deliver but one and the same doctrine, and that salvation by Christ is the sum and substance of them both.

      3.  Whence does it appear that the Old Testament is not contrary to the New, and that the main object of both is the same?

      The authority of the Old Testament is acknowledged in the New, and the one great end and aim of both is the salvation of mankind, by the death and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  The redemption, announced and typified in the one, is fulfilled and realized in the other.

      4.  (1) In what manner is the scheme of redemption proposed in the Old Testament; – (2) and on what terms is its authority acknowledged by our Lord?

      (1) In the Old Testament a Law is proposed, which offers salvation as the reward of obedience; but as the weakness of man’s fallen nature is incapable of rendering the obedience which it requires, God, in his mercy, pointed out Christ as the only means of justification, to those who looked forward by faith to his all-sufficient atonement, as shadowed forth in the sacrifices, ceremonies, types, and prophecies of the Patriarchal and Jewish dispensations.  Immediately after the Fall, God declared to our first parents, that “the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head” (Gen. 3:15); “the Scriptures, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Gal. 3:8); – (2) and our Lord thus exhorts the Jews, “Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.  Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:39. 46.).

      5.  How did the Old Covenant serve as an introduction to the Gospel?

      “The Law was a shadow of good things to come” (Heb. 10:1), and acted as “a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Gal. 3:24), who is the Mediator of the New Covenant.  For “there is but one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5), in whom also dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead” (Col. 2:9).

      6.  Shew that good men under the Patriarchal and Jewish Dispensations did not rely on transitory promises?

      Although the Jews were not favoured with such plain and direct assurances of eternal life as those which accompany the glad tidings of the Gospel, it is yet abundantly clear from many passages in the Old Testament, that the old Fathers did look for something more than transitory promises.  “Though worms destroy this body,” exclaimed Job (19:25), yet in my flesh shall I see God.”  The translations of Enoch and Elijah must have led to the expectation of a future resurrection; and Daniel (12:2) explicitly declares that “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” It is enough to refer to the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in proof of the hope entertained by God’s true servants on this point, though it shone only “as a light in a dark place” (2 Pet. 1:19), till “life and immortality” were most fully revealed in the Gospel.

      7.  By what reasons does it appear that the ceremonial and political Law of the Jews is necessarily abolished?

      The ritual and political Laws of Moses would not only be uselessly burdensome to a Christian community, but their adoption is, in many instances, rendered impossible, by the destruction of the Jewish temple and polity.  They were, in fact, designed for a peculiar people, whereas Christianity is intended for all mankind; and the freedom of Christians from the distinction of meats and drinks, and other ceremonial observances of the Levitical Law, is not enly sanctioned by the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), and asserted by the Apostle (Col. 2:16), but was expressly foretold by the prophet Jeremiah (31:31, 32).  Compare also Gal. 3:24, 25; 5:1.  Heb. 7:12, 28.  With respect to the civil precepts of the Mosaic Law, St. Paul would scarcely have “appealed to Caesar’s judgment seat” (Acts 25:10), if he had deemed it necessary to stand by the decision of a Jewish tribunal.

      8.  Is there any force in the objection of the Jews that their Law was to be established for ever?

      No valid objection can be urged against the abrogation of the ritual Law, from the fact that some of its statutes are said to be established, for ever; for this expression is merely applied to certain ordinances which were to be constantly observed by the Israelites, as distinguished from those which were only to remain in force during their sojourn in the wilderness.

      9.  Explain the import of our Saviour’s declaration that not one jot or tittle should pass from the Law till all was fuffilled.

      The Law, so far as it was a shadow of good things to come, was fulfilled when it had answered the purpose for which it was designed; and thus “no tittle passed from the Law, till all was fulfilled” (Matt. 5:18).  The moral Law, however, will never be fulfilled till the end of time, being from its very nature binding upon all mankind in all ages; not because it is a part of the Mosaic Economy, but because it is based upon the immutable principles of right and wrong.  See Rom. 3:31.  1 Cor. 7:19.  James 2:8. sqq.

      10.  Adduce passages from the early Christian writers, which maintain the perfect coincidence of design in the Old and New Testaments.

      With respect to the agreement between the Old and New Testaments, the writer of the Questiones ad Orthodoxos, attributed to Justin Martyr, observes (Quaest. 106.), that the Apostles have taught us as they learnt themselves, first, the precepts of the Lam, and then the Gospel: for what is the Law but the Gospel foretold; and what the Gospel, but the Law fulfilled?  And Justin himself says (Apol. I. c. 31.), that in the books of the Prophets we find Jesus Christ foretold as born of a Virgin, healing diseases, crucified, dead, rising again, and ascending into heaven.  So Ignatius ad Phil. c. 5.  The prophets preached the Gospel, hoping in Christ, and waiting for him.  Origen.  Philocal. c. 6.  All Scripture is a perfect and well-tuned instrument of God, which gives forth, to those who are desirous to attend, one harmonious and salutary voice, though composed of different sounds.  Augustin. c. Faust. Manich. xv. 2.  The Old Testament is a prophecy of the New Testament, so that the holy Patriarchs and Prophets had the hope of eternal salvation therein.  Of the abrogation of the Ceremonial Law, Irenaeus declares (Haer. IV. 8) that the Law began in the time of Moses, and ended with John, when Christ came to fulfill it.  Origen. c. Cels. VII. 26.  The same Providence which heretofore gave the Law, and now the Gospel, not being willing to retain the rites and ceremonies of the Jews, destroyed their city and Temple.  See also Ignat. ad Magn. c. 10.  Just. M. Dial. Tryph. c. 11.  And of the eternal obligation of the moral Law, Irenaeus affirms (Haer. IV. 13) that all these things contain no contradiction or dissolution of the ancient moral Laws, but their fulfilment and extension: as Christ himself says, Unless your righteousness, &c. (Matt. 5:20).


Article  VIII.

Of the Three Creeds.

      The Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius’s Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles’ Creed, ought thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture.


De tribus Symbolis.

      Symbola tria, Nicaenum, Athanasii, et quod vulgo Apostolorum appellatur, omnino recipienda sunt et credenda: nam firmissimis Scripturarum testimoniis probari possunt.


      For an account of the Three Creeds, see Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. 6.  The warrants of Holy Scripture will be found under Articles –V.  There are specimens of early Creeds in Irenaeus (Haer. I. 10. 2.), Tertullian (de Praescr. Mar. c. 13.  Adv. Prax. c. 2.), and Cyril of Jerusalem  Catech. c. 5).


Article  IX.

Of Original or Birth-sin.

      Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, as the Pelagians do vainly talk; 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 original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God’s wrath and damnation.  And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in the Greek phronema sarkos, which some expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affectation, 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 doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.


De Peccato Originali.

      Peccatum originis non est, ut fabulantur Pelagiani, 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 nature 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 carnis interpretantur, legi Dei non subjiciatur.  Et quanquam renatis et credentibus nulla propter Christum est condemnatio, peccati tamen in sese ranonem habere concupiscentiam fatetur Apostolus.


      1.  (1) Recapitulate briefly the purport of the Articles already examined; (2) and point out their connection with those which immediately follow.

      (1) The preceding Articles have asserted the great fundamental doctrines of the Christian Faith; they have taught the mysterious existence of the unity of the Godhead in a Trinity of Persons; they have set forth the comfortable assurance of redemption through the atoning blood of Christ; they have shown the essential office of the Holy Spirit in the great work of man’s Salvation; they have maintained the authority of Holy Scripture in establishing the truth of these important considerations: and they have recommended the use of the three Creeds, as containing a brief, but comprehensive, summary of what it is necessary to believe concerning them. – (2) In this, and the eight following Articles, the compilers proceed to treat of certain doctrines, arising out of the principles already established, and having a more immediate reference to Christians in their individual capacity, rather than as members of a Church.  They begin with Original or Birth-Sin.

      2.  What is the doctrine of the Church of England concerning Original Sin?

      It is the doctrine of our Church in regard to Original Sin, that, in consequence of Adam’s disobedience, all his posterity inherit a vitiated nature and a carnal mind, by which they are constantly disposed to sin; that this innate corruption, which baptism does not remove, renders them liable to God’s wrath, and to eternal punishment; that the condemnation, to which they are thus exposed, is indeed set aside by the merits of Christ, imputed to true believers; but nevertheless the disposition to break the divine Law, which is experienced by the most perfect Christian, has in it the nature of sin, even though it may not ripen into actual transgression.

      3.  Mention any other view which may have been taken of the subject; and quote the terms in which Pelagius speaks of it.

      Some have asserted that Original Sin does not mean the natural corruption of mankind, derived from the progenitor of their race, but the sin of Adam imputed to each of his posterity, and rendering them liable to punishment; while others, as the Pelagians, maintain that it merely consists in following the bad example of disobedience which he has set them.  To this effect Pelagius himself is thus quoted by Augustine (de Nat. et Grat. c. 9.): – In Adamo peccasse omnes, non propter peccatum nascendi origine contractum, sed propter imitationem, dictum est.

      4.  Give a short account of Pelagius.

      Pelagius (or Morgan, a name equivalent in Welsh to Pelagius in Greek) was a native of Wales, who, in conjunction with Celestius, an Irishman, set on foot the heresy which bears his name in the beginning of the fifth century.  He disseminated his opinions in Italy and Palestine; but they were combated with steady perseverance and eventual success by Augustine.

      5.  Add a concise summary of the Pelagian doctrines.

      The Pelagians maintained that Adam was by nature mortal, and would have died, though he had never offended; that his posterity were not involved in the consequences of his guilt, which injured himself alone; that infants come into the world as innocent as Adam before the Fall; that some men have lived without sin, and that man’s unassisted exertions are sufficient to enable him to keep God’s commandments; that grace is in fact proportionate to human merit, and does not influence the performance of good works.

      6.  What is the Scriptural testimony whereon the doctrine of our Church is grounded?

      The Scriptures uniformly ascribe the innate corruption of mankind to Adam, from whom, as their covenanted representative, it passed, with its fatal consequences upon all his posterity.  “In Adam all die” (1 Cor. 15:22).  It was but a short time after the fall, when “all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth”; and from the creation downwards the thoughts of the human heart have been “only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5, 12).  God did not impute Adam’s offence to his posterity; but a corrupt seed produced a corrupt race, and therefore by nature “the chliclren of wrath” (Eph. 2:3), and liable to punishment.

      7.  Shew that the effects of Original Sin are universal.

      Mankind are “shapen in iniquity and conceived in Sin” (Psal. 51:5), and consequently “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression” (Rom. 5:14), and will so reign till the end of time.  Infants and idiots, as well as the adult and the sane, partake of the common mortality; so that natural corruption, not actual sin, must lie at the root of this penalty.

      8.  (1) What would have been the consequence of Adam’s continued innocence; – (2) and is it to be supposed that human nature was not liable to the abuse of appetite before the fall?

      (1) Had Adam preserved his innocence, the seeds of corruption and death would not have been transmitted through him; but “who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?” (Job 14:4). – (2) It is not to be supposed, however, that human nature was entirely free from any propensity to evil before the fall; since this would involve the contradictory notion that man became capable of sin in consequence of sinning.

      9.  Can God be charged either with cruelty or injustice in attaching the penalty incurred by Adam’s transgression to all his race?

      Though all men are concluded under sin and therefore liable to punishment, neither injustice nor cruelty can therefore be charged against God’s inscrutable dispensation.  It does not follow that all who deserve punishment will therefore be punished.  Our Church even goes so far as to say that baptized infants will certainly be saved; and at all events the wisdom and mercy of God have provided a remedy as universal as the disease.  All men have been condemned by reason of the offence of their first parents: but “as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condamnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men to justification of life” (Rom. 5:18).

      10.  Is mankind so utterly depraved as to be incapable of any moral exertion whatever?

      There are some who carry their notions of human depravity to such an extent, as to maintain that the nature of man is utterly incapable of moral good, in act or thought.  But, though man is very far one from “original righteousness,” from that moral rectitude and purity of mind in which our first parents were created, yet the moral sense still remains, without which there could be no possibility of his incurring any judicial sentence whatsoever.

      11.  What proofs have we of the general propensity to evil by which the human mind is naturally affected?

      The experience of every one, as well as the express declarations of Scripture, bears ample testimony to the melancholy truth that the mind of man, from his youth upwards, is prone to evil.  “The carnal mind, φρόνημα σαρκός, is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the Law of God, nor indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7).  What St. Paul also again says, even the most faithful Christian will be ready to confess in his own case: – “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good, I find not.  The good that I would, I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do” (Rom. 7:18, 19).  And again: – “The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).

      12.  What do you mean by the word regenerated?

      See on the Liturgy, Sect. X. qu. 6.  There can be no doubt of the sense in which the term was employed by those who compiled the Articles; for in this very Article, the same Latin word, renatis, is used both for the regenerated and baptized.

      13.  Shew that, without removing the effects of Original Sin, the privileges conferred by Baptism are both necessary and important.

      Bishop Burnet observes that “there is no reason to think Baptism takes away all the effects of Original Sin: it is enough if we are by it delivered from the wrath of God, and brought into a state of favour and acceptation; and if we are so far freed from the corruption of our nature as to have a federal right to such assistance as will enable us to resist and repress it, though this should not go so far as to root all inclinations to evil out of our nature.”  That Baptism does leave the regenerate liable to be “drawn away of their own lusts and enticed” (James 1:14) is manifest from the remarks of St. Paul, which have been already quoted.  Still “there is no condemnation to those which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1), and who, with faith in the all-sufficient merits of his atonement, sincerely endeavour “to abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 2:4).

      14.  How far do the Romanists differ from our, selves in their notions respecting the removal of Original Sin by Baptism?

      The Romanists maintain that the effects of Original Sin are entirely destroyed by Baptism; but perhaps they differ in reality but little from the doctrine of this Article.  They admit in fact that concupiscence is still innate in man; though they conceive it to have been experienced also in Adam before the fall, but restrained by those supernatural aids of which his posterity are deprived.

      15.  In what respect has concupiscence the nature of Sin?

      Concupiscence and lust have the nature of sin, being in fact sins of infirmity, and liable to plunge the believer into the most deadly sins, unless, by God’s grace, they be strenuously resisted.  So long as the will is not consenting, they are not sin properly so called; but “lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).

      16.  From what passage of St. Paul are the Reformers are supposed to have inferred the sinful nature of concupiscence?

      They are generally supposed to have inferred it from Rom. 7:7, 8.  “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin?  God forbid!  Nay, I had not known sin but by the Law: for I had not known lust, except the Law had said, Thou shalt not covet.  But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence.”

      17.  Was the term Original Sin employed in the earlier ages of the Church?

      It does not appear that the term Original Sin was in use before the time of Pelagius and Augustine; but the doctrine of the Church on this Article is uniformly maintained by the early Christian writers, who speak of man’s natural corruption, as derived from Adam, under such expressions as the Old Sin, the ancient wound, the common curse, and the like.

      18.  Shew that the doctrine of our Reformers was held by ancient Christian writers.

      Ignatius (Ep. ad Trail. c. 8) says that the blood of Christ cleanses us from the Old Transgression: Justin Martyr (Dial. Tryph. c. 79) remarks that Christ was crucified for mankind, who through Adam had fallen under death by the deception of the Serpent: Irenaeus (Haer. iv. 5) affirms that men are by ao other means saved from the ancient wound of the Serpent, than by faith in Christ and him crucified: Tertullian (de Anim. c. 5) speaks of Satan as having seduced man to violate the command of God, who therefore became subject to death, and caused his whole race, being infected by his seed, to be liable to condemnation: Origen (c. Cels. iv) says that the curse of Adam is common to all men; and (Hom. viii. in Levit.) that if there were nothing in children to require remission, the grace of Baptism would appear superfluous: Cyprian (Epist. 64) maintains that remission of sins by baptism ought not to be denied to an infant, who, being but newly born, has yet in no way sinned, except that, as descended from Adam, he has contracted the infection of the old death from his very birth: and Augustine c. Julian. VI. 3) declares that the mother is concupiscence, the child Sin: but concupiscence does not bring forth, unless it conceive; and it does not conceive, unless it has gained the consent of the will to an evil action.  Compare also Clem. R. ad Cor. C. 17.  Iren. Haer. IV. 22. V. 16.  Cyprian Test. ad Quirin. III. 54.  Clem. Alex. Strom. II. 20.


Article  X.

Of Free Will.

      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.  Wherefore 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 with us, when we have that good will.


De libero Arbitrio.

      Ea est hominis post lapsum Adae conditio, ut sese, naturalibus suis viribus et bonis operibus, ad fidem et invocationem Dei convertere ac praeparare non possit.  Quare absque gratia Dei, quae per Christum est, nos praeveniente ut velimus; et cooperante dum volumus, ad pietatis opera facienda, quae Deo grata sunt et accepta, nihil valemus.


      1.  What is the effect of man’s natural corruption upon the human will?

      It is the unhappy consequence of man’s degenerate state, described in the last Article, that under the influence of his disorderly passions, the Will, though endowed with freedom of choice between good and evil, is fatally biassed in favour of ill, and naturally unable to discern or choose what is truly and essentially good.

      2.  Whence does it appear that man is a free and accountable being?

      Common sense and daily experience abundantly prove that man is at least so far practically free as to be capable of selecting what line of conduct he will pursue; and so far accountable for his actions as to be liable to praise or dispraise, reward or punishment, for them.  This every one feels to be the case: and it is evident from the fact that even inveterate habits are sometimes, though with difficulty, overcome; and from the shame and fear which control the less hardened sinner in his course of guilt.

      3.  How far then is the freedom of the will impaired or vitiated by Adam’s transgression?

      The moral sense, which thus disposes men to approve what is right both in themselves and others, and deters all but the most depraved from regarding virtue and vice with total indifference, is yet insufficient of itself to resist tetnptation, or to make any effective exertion in active holiness.  So great, indeed, is the perverseness of the will, and so impetuous is the sway of passion, induced by the Fall, that man cannot, by his own natural strength, become a Christian either in faith or practice.

      4.  Does the fact of man’s unassisted incapability of fulfilling his religious requirements invalidate the fulness of the Gospel covenant?

      There is a sense in which things are said to be impossible in Scripture, when it cannot be expected, on any footing of probability or experience, that they will be brought to pass: as, for instance, in Matt. 18:7.  Luke 17:1.  1 Cor. 11:19.  At the same time, the strict impossibility of man’s conversion by his own unassisted endeavours may here doubtless be meant, without detracting from the fullness of the Gospel covenant; for God always supplies the aid which will make it possible in each individual instance.

      5.  Prove from the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, that we have need of God’s grace in order to work out our salvation.

      The most holy men under the Mosaic dispensation constantly acknowledge the necessity of God’s assistance “to guide and direct them” (Psal. 119:18, 32, 35), to give them a “new heart, and renew a right spirit within them” (Psal 51:10).  Compare also Jer. 31:18; 32:39, Lam. 5:21, Ezek. 36:26.  In the New Testament it is distinctly asserted that “they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).  Our Lord told his disciples that “without him they could do nothing,” and that “no man can come to him, except the Father draw him” (Matt. 15:5.  John 6:44).  St. Paul declares that “no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost;” that “we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit helpeth our infirmities”; that “we are not sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God” and that “it is God that worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Rom. 8:26.  1 Cor. 12:3.  2 Cor. 3:5.  Phil. 2:13).  These passages prove that we stand in need both of a preventing and an assisting grace; which we are also assured that God will freely give “to every one that asketh him” (Luke 11:13).  See also Matt. 7:8.  James 4:8.

      6.  What do you understand by preventing, and assisting grace, respectively?

      From the Latin praevenire, “to go before,” preventing grace is that which “puts into our hearts good desires,” and cooperating or assisting grace that which “enables us to bring the same to good effect.”  This meaning of the old word prevent is found in several of our collects.

      7.  Adduce instances of the efficiency of God’s preventing grace.

      Among instances of the efficiency of preventive grace may be mentioned the conversion of at. Paul, God’s “opening the heart of Lydia” (Acts 16:14), and the general assurance, already noticed, that none can come to Christ, except the Father draw him.

      8.  Shew that the necessity of divine grace does not militate against the free agency of man.

      Although the grace of God counteracts the depravity of the human heart, it does not destroy the free agency of man.  God works for us, and with us, but not without us; so that unless a man willingly and cordially endeavours to work out his own salvation, he may “receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1).  Man must “strive for the mastery,” and “to enter in at the strait gate” (Luke 13:24); and “by the help of God he will leap over the wall” (Psal. 18:29).

      9.  Is there any foundation for the doctrine of irresistible grace?

      It is as unreasonable and as unscriptural to ascribe too little to free-will, as too much.  The grace of God may give us a good will, and supply that degree of help which our weakness requires; but nevertheless we may “quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19), as the Jews “resisted the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51).  Thus while “the doctrine of divine grace is adapted to excite in us gratitude, faith, and humility,” that of human liberty is equally calculated, says Jortin, “to awaken our caution, and quicken our diligence.”  Compare Rom. 8:13.  1 Cor. 15:10.

      10.  Confirm the doctrine of this Article by quotations from the writings of the Reformers.

      The doctrine of the Reformers is fully expressed at the end of the section on Free-Will, in the Necessary Doctrine: – “All men be also to be monished, and chiefly preachers, that in this high matter, they, looking on both sides, so attemper and moderate themselves, that neither they so preach the grace of God, that they take away thereby Free-will, nor on the other side so extol Free-will, that injury be done to the grace of God.”  Thus also in the Reformatio Legum: – Et similiter nobis contra illos progrediendum est, qui tantum in libero arbitrio roboris et nervorurn ponunt, ut eo solo, sine alia speciali gratia, recte ab hominibus vivi posse constituunt.

      11. What were the sentiments which the early Fathers entertained respecting the necessity of divine aid in furtherance of human endeavours after holiness?

      No man, says Irenaeus (Haer. IV. 27), who does not partake of the blessing and assistance of the Lord, can procure for himself the means of salvation.  Tertullian (de Orat. c. 4.) observes, that in order to imitate thepattern which Christ has left us, we have need of the will of God.  Clem. Alex. in Quis div. salv. c. 21. Whilst a man strives and labours by himself to subdue his vicious affections, he can do nothing; but if he manifests an earnest and vehement desire to do so, he is enabled, by the divine power, to accomplish his purpose: for God favours and cooperates with willing minds.  See also Iren. Haer. III. 22.  Augustin. C. Pelag. II.  Ambros. de Vocat. Gent. 1. 3.


Article  XI.

Of the Justification of Man.

      We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings.  Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.


De Hominis Justificatione.

      Tantum propter meritum Domini ac Servatoris nostri Jesu Christi, per fidem, non propter opera et merita nostra, justi coram Deo reputamur.  Quare sole fide nos justificari, doctrine est saluberrima ac consolationis ut in Homilia de Justificatione hominis fuisius explicatur.


      1.  Point out the connection between this eleventh Article, and that which precedes it.

      After asserting man’s inability by reason of his natural infirmities to work out his own salvation, so that he must inevitably have perished if his reconciliation with God had depended upon any inherent merit of his own, our Church proceeds, in the eleventh Article, to direct attention to the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, “whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins, and to be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).  “In passing from the tenth Article to the eleventh,” says Dr. Hey, “we pass from the closet to the tribunal; from the principles of action of each individual, to his trial at the judgment seat of Christ.”

      2.  What is the import of the term Justification?

      As used in this Article, the term Justification is clearly synonymous with being “accounted righteous before God.”  It has in fact a forensic acceptation, and signifies acquittal of an offender, as opposed to his condemnation; not indeed his acquital on the ground of innocence, but as being freed from punishment by the divine mercy, and being esteemed and rewarded as righteous without being strictly so.

      3.  In what sense is the corresponding Greek term used; and has its varied signification any Theological importance?

      The Greek word for Justification is δικαιοσύνη, which is also frequently rendered righteousness, and in many instances wherein its forensic import would be more correctly retained.  Thus, for instance, in Jer. 23:6, The Lord our Righteousness might be translated, The Lord our Justification.  Compare also Rom. 1:17; 4:13; 10:3, 4, 26.  It is also sometimes necessary to distinguish between a first and a final justification; between the commencement and the completion of a man’s justified state; and this distinction will be one means of reconciling the alleged discrepancy between St. Paul and St. James.

      4.  (1) To what doctrine is this Article opposed; – (2) and how does the antithesis, which it exhibits, indicate its real bearing?

      In opposition to the Romish doctrine of human merit, which asserts that man’s inherent righteousness ad vitam aeternam consequendam vere promereri, our Church maintains that we are justified “by faith, and not for our own works or deservings.” – (2) But she does not imply that we are saved by faith without moral virtue.  By a reference to the Latin Article, it will be distinctly seen that the antithesis lies not between faith and works, but between the merit of Christ and the merit of human conduct.  The expressions are “propter meritum Christi, per fidem, propter opera et merita nostra.  Hence faith is the appointed means, which is afterwards marked by the ablative, sola fide; whereas the meritorious cause is indicated neither by the ablative, nor by per, but by propter.”

      5.  Shew that Justification by Faith only is the doctrine of the Scriptures.

      Justification by faith only is unquestionably the doctrine of Scripture.  Thus St. Paul distinctly affirms (Rom. 3:22, 28): – “The righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, is unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”  And again (Eph. 2:8): “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Albeit however that this doctrine is the very essence of Gospel truth, it is highly important to observe that the Apostle’s caution against self-righteousness is widely different from a declaration in favour of no righteousness at all.

      6.  Whence does it appear that St. Paul assigns a justifying effect to an active faith only?

      St. Paul does not speak of works generally, but of the works of the Law; and he is evidently confuting those Judazing, teachers who maintained that the observance of the Mosaic ritual was still binding upon Christians.  By this faith however, to which he attributes a justifying effect, it is manifest that we are to understand an active and lively faith; or, as he himself describes it, “a faith which worketh by Love” (Gal. 5:6).  Thus also he expressly declares, – and there are a multitude of passages to the same effect scattered through his writings, – that God will render to every man according to his works; tribulation and anguish unto every soul of man that doeth evil, and glory and honour and peace to every man that worketh good”: so that “not the hearers of the Law shall be just before God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified” (Rom. 2:6, 13).

      7.  How do you reconcile the statements of St. James with those of St. Paul, on the subject of Justification by faith only?

      St. Paul’s doctrine was perverted in very early times into an assurance that faith in Christ, without works of any kind, was sufficient to ensure salvation; and hence it was that St. James wrote his Epistle to denounce the error.  Nor does be in any degree contradict St. Paul’s doctrine, by saying that “Faith without works is dead,” and that a “man is justified by his works, and not by faith only” (James 2:20, 24).  The one Apostle is speaking of a lively and active faith; the other, of a dead and barren belief, such as the devils may possess (James 2:19): the one is urging the Christian’s freedom from the yoke of legal obedience; the other is maintaining the necessity of practical virtue.

      8.  If good works are a condition of man’s Salvation, how can it be said that God justifies freely?

      By the covenant, into which Christians are admitted with God by Baptism, they receive remission of sins, and are placed in a state a Salvation, on account of the merits of Christ, without an act of obedience on their part to merit his favour.  He is said therefore to justify them freely by his grace; and the annexation of the condition of faith and holiness no more destroys the freedom of the gift, than the pardon of a criminal by an earthly tribunal is vitiated by the implied condition that the offence is not to be repeated.

      9.  Is the merit of Christ’s righteousness, as some suppose, imputed to Christians?

      It is no where asserted or implied in Scripture that the righteousness of Christ is imputed to believers, and thereby considered as their own by a transfer of merit.  Their own faith, on the other hand, is said to be “counted unto them for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3, 6); while the atoning sacrifice of Christ upon the cross is stated to be the only meritorious cause of Salvation.

      10.  On what ground is Justification by Faith declared to be a wholesome and comfortable doctrine?

      (1) It is affirmed to be a wholesome doctrine, because it humbles the pride of self righteousness, and leads to salutary reflection on those inward pollutions against which “the wrath of God is revealed” (Rom. 1:18); – (2) and it is said to be full of comfort because it secures the acceptance of sincere though imperfect endeavours after righteousness, which God has promised to reward for the sake of the all-sufficient atonement of Christ.

      11.  What is the Homily to which reference is made in this Article?

      Since there is no “Homily of Justification,” it is generally supposed that that entitled “a Sermon of the Salvation of all mankind” is intended, from the fact that it treats very largely of the doctrine of Justification by faith.

      12.  Quote a passage from the Homily, in which the doctrine of the Article is asserted.

      “The true understanding of this doctrine is not that this our own act to believe in Christ, or this our faith in Christ, which is within us, doth justify us, or deserve our justification unto us; for that were to count ourselves to be justified by some act or virtue that is within ourselves: but that although we hear God’s word and believe it, although we have faith, hope, charity, repentance, dread and fear of God within us, and do never so many works thereunto; yet we must renounce the merit of all our said virtues and good deeds, which we either have done, shall do, or can do, as things that be far too weak, and insignificant, and imperfect, to deserve remission of our sins and our justification.  Therefore we must trust only in God’s mercy, and that Sacrifice which our High Priest and Saviour Christ Jesus, the Son of God, once offered for us upon the cross, to obtain thereby God’s grace and remission, as well of our original sin in baptism, as of all actual sin committed by us after our baptism, if we truly repent and turn unfeignedly to him again.”

      13.  Give a few extracts from the works of the early Fathers, which bear upon the subject of man’s Justification.

      Clem. Rom. ad Cor. I. c. 32.  We, who are called by his will in Christ Jesus, are not justified bg ourselves, nor by our wisdom, nor understanding, nor godliness, nor by works that we have done in the sanctity of our hearts; but by that faith whereby God Almighty has justified all who have been justified from the beginning of world.  Polycarp, ad Phil. c. 1.  Ye are saved by grace, not by works; but by the will of God through Jesus Christ.  Cyprian, Epist. 63.  The blessing, which was given to Abraham, belongs to Christians also: for if Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness, so whosoever liveth by faith is found righteous.  See also Iren. Haer. IV. cc. 13, 67.  Test. ad Quinin. III. 42.


Article  XII.

Of Good Works.

      Albeit that Good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s Judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faith; insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by the fruit.


De bonis Operibus.

      Bona opera, quae sunt fructus Fidei, et justificatos sequuntur, quanquam peccata nostra expiare, et divini judicii severitatem ferre non possunt; Deo tamen grata sunt, et accepta in Christo, atque ex vera et viva fide necessario profluunt; ut plane ex illis aeque fides viva cognosci possit, atque arbor ex fructu judicari.


      1.  (1) What is the probable object (how shown to be so?) of this Article? – (2) What doctrine does it assert?

      (1) thits Article, not among those of 1552, it was added, in 1562, probably, therefore, with the view of marking more distinctly the opinion of the Church laid down in the preceding Article, and guarding against its abuse by Antinomians and others to the purpose of continuing in sin. – (2) It asserts that, although good works cannot be regarded as a meritorious cause of salvation, they are still indispensible as an evidence of a true and lively faith, and are in Christ, not in themselves, well pleasing to God.

      2.  What is necessary to render Good Works pleasing in the sight of God?

      Although a man’s works may be popularly called good, yet, in order to please God, they must be good in a Christian sense; or, in the words of the Article, they must be “the fruits of faith, and follow after Justification”.  They are then “acceptable to God in Christ”; i.e. because they are done for the sake of Christ, and proceed from a principle of true faith in him.

      3.  (1) What do you understand by good works, which follow after Justification; – (2) and how does St. Paul enforce their necessity?

      (1) It is of course essential that a man should be a Christian in order to act upon Christian principles; and therefore the good works which are pleasing to God are said to “follow after justification,” or after admission into a justified state by Baptism. – (2) Because unnecessary to admission into this state, they are not therefore unnecessary to continuance therein; and this St. Paul distinctly states in his remonstrance against any perversion of the doctrine of justification by faith only into an argument for indulgence in vicious practices (Rom. 6:1): “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  God forbid.  How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?  Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death?  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

      4.  Whence does it appear that good works are pleasing to God, and necessary to salvation?

      The numberless exhortations to practical holiness occuring in Scripture afford unquestionable proof that good works are “acceptable to God in Christ”; not to mention that “Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works” (Tit. 2:14).  A true justifying faith is known by them, as a tree is discerned by the fruit (Matt. 7:16, 17.  James 2:18); and although, by the corruption of human nature, even our best actions cannot endure the scrutiny of divine justice to the expiation of sin, since “after we have done all we are but unprofitable servants” (Luke 17:10), yet the sentence of every man at the day of judgment will certainly be regulated by them.  See Matt. 25:31. sqq.  Rom. 2:6. sqq.

      5.  Shew that it is in Christ that good works are thus acceptable.

      St. Paul observes that although “by grace we are saved through faith, not of works; yet are we created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8, 10).  Thus also he writes to the Colossians (3:17): – “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father in him.”

      6.  Does not however a future judgment according to our works imply merit and demerit?

      It is absurd to imagine the remotest claim to merit, as capable of being urged by a fallen creature before a Being of infinite majesty, more especially with reference to an eternity of reward.  But though imperfection can have no merit, it admits of degrees, so that all men are not, in respect of their actions, on the same footing.  The merits of Christ will be applied to some, and withheld from others, in proportion to their relative exertions after holiness, and their relative disregard of religion and its duties.

      7.  Show that good works do spring out necessarily of a true and lively faith.

      If a man verily and sincerely believes in the truth of the Gospel, and is positively convinced that his eternal happiness depends upon a strict conformity to its precepts, he will surely endeavour, by the assistance of that grace of which he has the promise, and trusts to the efficacy, to comply with its demands.  Hence it is, that wherever faith is mentioned in Scripture, it is supposed to be thus productive.  See Matt. 7:23.  Acts 20:21.  Gal. 5:6.  2 Pet. 1:5.

      8.  Adduce passages in which the necessity of good works is advocated by the early Fathers.

      Clem. Rom. ad Cor. c. 10.  Abraham was found faithful, because he was obedient to God’s commandments.  Ignatius, ad Ephes. c. 9.  Faith is your guide; and love is the way which leads you to God.  Again, c. 14.  No man, who binds himself by the covenant of faith, sinneth.  A tree is known by its fruit: and thus they, who have engaged themselves to be Christians, shall be manifest by the things which they do.  Justin M. Apol. c. 16.  Christ has declared that not they who only profess his religion, but they who do the works which he has commanded them, shall be saved.


Article  XIII.

Of Works before Justifcation.

      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 Jesus Christ; neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or, as the School-authors say, deserve grace of congruity: yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the nature of sin.


De Operibus ante Justifcationem.

      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: immo cum non sint facta, ut Deus illa fieri voluit et praecepit, peccati rationem habere non dubitamus.


      1.  Why are works before Justification not pleasing in the sight of God?

      Inasmuch as, from the corruption of his nature, there “dwelleth in man no good thing” (Rom. 7:18), but “the imagination of his heart is only evil from his youth” (Gen. 8:21), it follows that works which partake of this innate corruption cannot be pleasant to God: and as faith in Christ is the only principle by which they can be rendered acceptable, the grace of Christ must be communicated by baptism in order to that end.

      2.  Shew that the same action may be viewed in a very different light in the abstract, and with relation to the agent.

      An action, abstractedly considered, may be good, without being relatively so.  For instance, an act of charity is a good act in itself, by whomsoever it is performed; but the principles, aim, and motives of the doer are taken into account by God, and unless all these can stand the test of the Gospel, the deed will find no favour in his sight.  Thus the very same act, as done by different persons, will obviously appear in a very different light.

      3.  Illustrate your reasoning by an example; and apply it to the case of mankind in general.

      Both Cain and Abel sacrificed to God: and “the Lord had respect to Abel and his offering; but unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect” (Gen. 4:4, 5).  Now it was “by faith” in the promised seed that Abel offered the “more excellent sacrifice” (Heb. 11:4); and thus it is only when they “spring of faith in Jesus Christ,” that good works “make men meet to receive his grace, and the inspiration of his Spirit,” which are necesssary to counteract the fatal effects of the Fall.

      4.  What do you understand by Grace of Congruity; and to what is it Theologically opposed?

      Grace of Congruity is a term employed by the Schoolmen to express a certain degree of grace, which a man, who has attained by his natural powers to the required state of moral fitness, claims of God de congruo.  It is opposed to a further extension of grace, in virtue whereof he arrives at a state of merit, to which eternal happiness is due (ex condigno) as a right.  This latter is called Grace of Condignity.

      5.  Who were the Schoolmen?

      The Schoolmen were the originators of a system of Theology, called the Scholastic, which professed to reduce Divinity to a kind of Science, and to establish the doctrines of Christianity on metaphysical principles.  Many of the disputes which still agitate the Church may be traced to their discussions; and though the terms which they employed, such as Predestination, Reprobation, Perseverance, and the like, have become almost essential to the language of divines, the controversies respecting the doctrines which they involve have been pregnant with deplorable mischief to the peace of the Church.  The Scholastic system arose in the 11th Century, and continued to enjoy a high celebrity during the 3 following centuries.

      6.  Whence is it that works before Justification are said to have the nature of sin?

      It has been seen that works to be perfectly good must proceed from a good principle; they must “spring of faith,” and thus be done “as God hath willed and commanded them to be done.”  If not perfectly good, they doubtless “have the nature of sin.”

      7.  Do the views expressed in this article tend to exclude all, who have not embraced Christianity, from God’s favour?

      Unquestionably the views of this Article include all those who have not lived under the Gospel; but though the works of all such persons are here declared to have the nature of sin, it does not follow that they will therefore fail of Salvation.  “A willing mind is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:12); so that all of every age, who have not heard the name of Christ, but have “been a law unto themselves” (Rom. 2:14), will partake of the all-sufficient merits of his atonement.

      8.  Shew that the writers of the primitive Church entertained opinions in accordance with the doctrine of this Article.

      Ignatius observes (ad Ephes. c. 8.) that they, who are carnal, cannot do the things that are spiritual: neither can unbelief do the works of faith. – As the wild olive, says Irenaeus (Haer. v. 10), if it be not grafted, continues useless to the owner; so man, who receives not the grafting of the Spirit by faith, continues to be what he was before, flesh and blood, which cannot inherit the kingdom of God. – Chrysostom, in his Sermon de fide &c., speaks thus: You shall find many which have not the true faith, and are not of Christ’s flock, and yet appear to abound in works of mercy: you shall find them full of pity, and compassion, and justice: and yet they have no fruit of their works, because the chief work is wanting.


Article  XIV.

Of Works of Supererogation.

      Voluntary Works besides, over and above, God’s Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety; for by them men do declare, that they do not only render unto 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 saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are unprofitable servants.


De Operibus Supererogationis.

      Opera, quae Supererogationis appellant, non possunt sine arrogantia et impietate praedicari; nam his 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.


      1.  (1) What is the derivation and meaning of the word Supererogation; (2) and what do you mean by Works of Supererogation?

      (1) Supererogation, from the Latin verb erogare, to disburse money, signifies in fact the over-payment of a debt; (2) and Works of Supererogation, in the language of the Romish Church, are good deeds which a man may have done over and beyond what is actually necessary to ensure his salvation.

      2.  In what does this doctrine of the Romish Church appear to have originated?

      The notion seems to have arisen out of an assumed distinction between the precepts and the counsels of the Gospel.  As the Jews distinguished between the weightier and lighter matters of the Law, and thus made the commandments of God of none effect through their traditions (Matt. 15:3), so the Romanists maintain in like manner that, besides the positive duties enjoined in the New Testament, there are certain Counsels of Perfection, which advise the voluntary performance of many works, though not of universal obligation.

      3.  Give an example of these “Counsels of Perfection”; and show that they have no real foundation in Scripture.

      One of the texts upon which this error is founded, is that in which St Paul offered his opinion that, “for the present distress; it was good for a man to abstain from marriage” (1 Cor. 7:26, 38); whereon the Romanists build the supererogatory virtue of celibacy.  It is clear, however, that this, and other passages similarly perverted, have a reference either to a definite period or to particular circumstances, so that they cannot have a general application.

      4.  To what extent have the Romanists carried their notions on this subject; and to what purpose are works of supererogation applied?

      Not only do they hold that Christ both did and suffered more than was necessary for man’s salvation, but that the saints have practiced much beyond the requisite amount of virtue to merit their own justification.  Of this superabundant store of merit the Pope is the guardian; and he dispenses it in the form of Pardons and Indulgences [Pardons and Indulgences.  See under Art. XXII.] to any person or persons who may stand in need thereof, and have the means of obtaining them.

      5.  Does the Gospel afford any sanction to the doctrine condemned in this Article?

      So far from affording the slightest sanction to the doctrine that a man can do more than is required of him, the Gospel urges us to strive to “be perfect even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48); “when we have done all to say we are unprofitable servants, having only done what it was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10); and “to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness both of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).  He then that has no merit of his own, can have none to transfer to others: so that “no man may deliver his brother, nor make agreement unto God for him” (Psa. 49:7).

      6.  Why cannot Works of Supererogation be taught without arrogance and impiety?

      A doctrine which is so opposed to the humility which the Gospel teaches (Luke 18:9–14), may well be called arrogant; nor can it be taught without impiety, inasmuch as it detracts from the all-sufliciency of the atonement, and contradicts the most explicit declarations of Scripture.

      7.  Illustrate this Article by quotations from the Fathers.

      Basil on Psal. 99:7.  How can he, who cannot make satisfaction to God for his own sins, propitiate Him for those of another?  Cyprian. Test. III. 51.  No one ought to be lif’ted up on accountof what he does.  Augustin. in Johan. Tr. 84.  The blood of a martyr is not shed the remission of the sins of his brethren, as Christ died for us.


Article  XV.

Of Christ alone without Sin.

      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 once made, should take away the sins of the world; and sin, as Saint John saith, was not in him.  But all we the rest, although baptized and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


De Christo, qui solus est sine peccato.

      Christus, in nostrae naturae veritate, per omnia similis foetus est nobis, excepto peccato, a quo prorsus erat immunis, tum in carne, tum in spiritu.  Venit ut agnus absque macula, qui mundi peccata per immolationem sui semel factam tolleret; et peccatum, ut inquit Johannes, in eo non erat.  Sed nos reliqui, etiam baptizati et in Christo regenerati, in multis tamen offendimus omnes; et si dixerimus, quod peccatum non habemus, nos ipsos seducimus, et veritas in nobis non est.


      1.  What are the two assertions contained in this Article?

      This Article asserts (1) the perfect sinlessness of Christ, as essential to the fullness of his atonement; – (2) and the sinfulness of all mankind even after regeneration, thereby removing the very foundation of the doctrine of human merit, arising out of works of Supererogation.

      2.  In what did Christ, with reference to his human nature, differ from the rest of mankind?

      Though Christ took the human nature upon him, as already proved, yet was he not conceived and born in sin, as are the rest of mankind.  His conception by the Holy Ghost preserved him from the taint of original sin (Luke 1:35); and the Scriptures throughout bear unvarying testimony to his pure and spotless life.  “As the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.  Therefore we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but he was in all parts tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

      3.  How are we to look upon the notion, which has been entertained by some, of the peccability of Christ?

      It has been urged, indeed, that Christ in his human nature must have been peccable: but at all events we are bound to acquiesce in the distinct assurances that “in him was no sin” (1 John 3:5); that he was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” (Heb. 7:26); and that “he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22).  Had he indeed been polluted by sin, either original or actual, he would have needed a Redeemer as well as others; and therefore “he offered himself without spot to God,” and so “put away sin by the sacrifice of himself” (Heb. 9:14, 26).  {See also Art. II. qq. 12, 13, 16.}

      4.  Why is Christ called the Lamb of God without spot?

      The Paschal Lamb, which was a type of Christ, was required to be “without spot or blemish”.  Hence St. John speaks of him as “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

      5.  How do you reconcile the fact that all men are sinners with the righteousness sometimes attributed to eminent characters in Scripture?

      It has already been shown (Art. IX. qq. 2, 11, 13) that all men, “although baptized and born again in Christ, offend in many things.”  True it is that the Scriptures call some few men righteous, as Noah, for instance, and Job, and Zacharias; but they were only good comparatively with mankind in general.  Indeed transgressions of no trivial nature are recorded against each of them; but God visited them with his free and unmerited pardon, and accepted their sincere, though imperfect, endeavours after holiness instead of an absolute unsinning obedience.  “Their faith was counted for righteousness.”

      6.  Still, is not absolute impeccability ascribed by St. John to the true children of God?

      St. John, indeed, has said that a true Christian “cannot sin, because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9).  Strong, however, as the expression is, it must not be so interpreted as to imply positive impeccability; but limited, as in many similar Scriptural expressions, to a strong repugnance against sin.  If otherwise understood, the Apostle will be made to contradict himself; for he has also said that “if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

      7.  Shew that the early Christian writers have asserted that Christ is alone without sin.

      Justin Martyr (Dial. Tryph.) speaks of Christ as the only unreprovable just man; and Irenaeus (Haer. V. 14) remarks that he differed from other men in this respect, that be committed no sin, whereas we are sinners.  Tertullian (de Pudic. c. 19.) affirms that there are some sins, as causeless and excessive anger, unneighbourly conduct, rash swearing, breach of promise, or thoughtless lying, which men are daily liable to run into.  Thus also Clement of Alexandria (Predag. III. in fine): – The Word alone is without sin; for sin is natural and common to all.


Article  XVI.

Of Sin after Baptism.

      Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable.  Wherefore the grant of repentance 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 arise 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 of forgiveness to such as truly repent.


De Peccato post Baptismum.

      Non omne peccatum mortale post Baptismum voluntarie perpetratum est peccatum in Spiritum Sanctum, et irremissibile.  Proinde lapsis a Baptismo in peccata locus poenitentiae 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 veniae locum denegant.


      1.  Are the Romanists justified in distinguishing between mortal and venial sins; and what alone is the nature and remedy of sin in general.

      There is no Scriptural warrant for any such distinction as that which the Church of Rome has instituted between mortal and venial sins, of which the latter are affirmed to be amenable only to temporal punishment.  Since “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23), all sins are in their nature deadly, though all may not be equal in magnitude: and death would inevitably be the punishment of all, but for the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ.

      2.  Is not every sin committed against the Holy Spirit; and, being so, is it therefore unpardonable?

      Every sin, willfully committed after baptism, is undoubtedly committed against the influence of the Holy Ghost, whose godly motions are thereby resisted and despised; and it is therefore of a more deadly or heinous nature than are sins of ignorance and infirmity.  It does not, however, appear that any such sin is beyond the efficacy of a sincere repentance, except the unpardonable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, to which forgiveness is denied by our Lord himself; and which is probably the same with that emphatically described by St John, as a sin unto death (1 John 5:16) for whose remission prayer will not prevail.

      3.  What then do you mean by the unpardonable sin against the Holy Ghost?

      See Questions on St. Matthew, chap. xii. qq. 43, 44.

      4.  (1) Can this sin be now committed; (2) and what is the simple declaration of our Church respecting it?

      (1) Strictly speaking, the sin of the Pharisees, which our Lord declared to be unpardonable, can no longer be committed, since the age of miracles has passed away; though it would be presumptuous to say that the denunciation does not extend to men in all ages, who labour to set aside the evidence which the Gospel miracles afford to the truth of Christianity. – (2) With her usual moderation, our Church neither restrains nor extends the simple declaration of Scripture; merely affirming that the sin in question is the only one which is absolutely unpardonable.

      5.  Against whom is the Sixteenth Article directed; and what are the doctrines which it maintains?

      In opposition to (1) the Novatians and (2) other Sectarians, this Article asserts the efficacy of repentance for the forgiveness of sins committed after Baptism, and the defectibility of divine grace in those who have once received it. [This Article condemns also the uncommon and manifestly unscriptural error of those who hold that the truly regenerate can sin no more.]

      6.  Who were the Novatians; and what were their distinguishing tenets?

      The Novatians were followers of Novatian, a presbyter of the Church of Rome, whose opinions on Ecclesiastical discipline gave rise to much discussion about the middle of the third century.  Scarcely admitting that the Lapsed, or those who fell into sin after baptism, could hope for Salvation, they excluded all such from their communion, and refused to receive them again as members of the Church.

      7.  Shew that the Liturgy of our Church abides by the doctrine maintained in this Article.

      (1) As to the efficacy of repentance, see (e.g.) the Absolution in the Daily Service; the Collects for Ash-Wednesday, the 21st and 24th Sundays after Trinity, and the office for the Visitation of the Sick. – (2) As to the defectibility of divine grace, see (e.g.) the Collects for the 2nd Sunday in Advent, the 13th Sunday after Trinity; the Burial Service, “Suffer us not at our last hour &c.”; the Catechism, “ ... that I may continue in the same &c.”

      8.  Prove from the Scriptures that Repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism.

      The Apostolic Epistles, which are all addressed to baptized Christians, abound with exhortations to repentance and amendment of life; which plainly indicate that men do constantly sin after baptism, but that by God’s grace they may rise again.  Hence St. Paul directs that “if a man be overtaken in a fault, those which are spiritual are to restore him in the spirit of meekness” (Gal. 6:1).

      9.  What text has been urged in support of the position against which this Article is directed; and how far is the interpretation admissible?

      In Heb. 6:4 it is said to be “impossible for those who have once been enlightened and made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if they shall fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance.”  Extreme difficulty is perhaps all that is here intended; though it must be remarked, that the Apostle is speaking of a particular sin, that of Apostasy: and it is clear that those who cast away their former convictions are very unlikely to be convinced again.

      10.  (1) Whence arose the doctrine that those who have received the Holy Ghost cannot fall from grace; – (2) and how was the matter viewed at the Hampton Court Conference?

      The doctrine of Final perseverance was revived by the Puritans as a necessary consequence of their belief in absolute Predestination and Election; – (2) and accordingly, at the Hampton Court Conference, they pressed the insertion of the words though not finally, in this Article, after we may depart from grace given.  The Bishops resisted the addition as being opposed to the word of God.

      11.  Shew that the doctrine of Final Perseverance is contradicted by the Scriptures.

      Our Lord prayed for Peter, whom “Satan desired to sift as wheat, that his faith might not fail” (Luke 22:31); and St. John points to the propitiation of Christ as the remedy for the sins of Christians generally (1 John 2:2).  St. Paul also was earnestly anxious, “lest when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27).  Compare 1 Cor. 10:12.

      12.  Explain the allusion contained in the expression, place of forgiveness.

      There is probably an allusion to the particular place assigned to the Penitents in the early Church.  (a) In Edward VIth’s Article the Latin has locus poenitentiae,” “poenitentiae locum”; The English “The place for penitents” (twice). – (b) In the Article of 1552 the Latin is the same; the English, “the place for penitence,” “the place of forgiveness.” – (c) In the Article of 1571 the latter Latin clause is “veniae locum”; the former English one, “the grant of repentance.”

      13.  Is the testimony of Antiquity in favour of the doctrine of this Article?

      Of the sin against the Holy Ghost, Jerome (Epist. ad Marcel. c. Novat.) affirms that they only are guilty, who, though in miracles they see the true work of God, yet slanderously ascribe them to the devil. – The doors, says Clement of Alexandria (Quis div. Salv. c. 39), are open to every one, who, in truth and with his whole heart, returns to God; and the Father most willingly receives a son who repents.  St. Cyprian (Epist. 57) wonders that there are some so obstinate, as not to think that repentance ought to be given to such as are fallen, and suppose that pardon should be denied to penitents, when it is written, Remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works (Rev. 2:5).  See also Clem. R. ad Cor. c. 7.  Ignat. ad Phil. c. 8.  Iren. Haer. III. 37.


Article  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 counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.  Wherefore they, which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God, 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 of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good 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 establish and confirm their faith of eternal Salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth 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 doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

      Furthermore, we must receive God’s promises in such wise, 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.


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 in Christo elegit ex hominum genere, a maledicto et exitio liberare, atgue, 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 Dei: unigeniti ejus Jesu Christi imagini efficiuntur conformes: in bonis operibus sancte ambulant: et demum, ex Dei misericordia, pertingunt ad sempiternam felicitatem.

      Quemadmodum Praedestinationis et Electionis nostrae in Christo pia consideratio, dulcis, suavis, et ineffabilis consolationis plena est vere piis, et his qui seutiunt 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: Ita hominibus curiosis, carnalibus, et Spiritu Christi destitutis, ob oculos perpetuo versari Praedestinationis Dei sententiam, perniciosissimum est praecipitium; unde illos Diabolus protrudit vel in desperationem, vel in aeque perniciosam impurissimae vitae securitatem.

      Deinde, promissiones divines 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.


      1.  What do you understand by the term Predestination?

      Predestination is a Theological term, originating with the Scholastic Divines, and denoting the act by which God has determined his purpose respecting man’s Salvation by Jesus Christ.  This determination of purpose involves an enquiry of deep and mysterious difficulty, arising principally out of the adverse opinions, variously modified, of the Calvinists and Armenians.

      2.  In what respect do the Calvinists and Arminians chiefly differ on the subject of Predestination?

      The main point of difference between the two contending sects turns upon the question whether men are saved by absolute predestination and the irresistible influence of the Spirit, or whether each individual is free to accept or reject the offer of divine mercy.

      3.  Who are the Calvinists; and what were the tenets of their founder, more particularly with respect to the doctrine of this Article?

      Calvinists are the followers of John Calvin, who was born at Noyou, in Picardy, in 1509.  His peculiar tenets, with respect both to doctrine and discipline, having forced him to quit France, he settled at Geneva; and hence his system was widely disseminated, and gained a vast number of adherents.  He set up the Presbyterian form of Ecclesiastical government; and opposed the Romish doctrines of the Real Presence, the Mass, the seven sacraments, Purgatory, Indulgences, Prayers for the dead, the worship of the Virgin, and the adoration of Saints.  On the subject of Predestination more particularly, he denied the free agency of man, and the necessity of good works in order to Salvation; affirming that men are saved by an absolute, unconditional, and irresistible determination of the divine will, by which a chosen few are predestinated from all eternity to everlasting happiness, and all beside to everlasting misery.  Calvin died in 1564.

      4.  Quote the definition which Calvin himself has given of Predestination; and the term by which he describes it.

      Calvin, in his Institutes (III. 21), thus speaks of Predestination: – Praedestinationem vocamus aternum Dei decretum, quo apud se constitutum habuit, quid de unoquoque homine fieri vellet.  Non enim pari conditione creantur omnes; sed aliis vita aeterna, aliis damnatio aeterna, praeordinatur.  Quod ergo Seriptura clare ostendit dicimus, aeterno et immutabili consilio Deum constituisse, quos assumere vellet in salutem, quos exitio devovere.  Hoc consilium, quoad electos, in gratuita ejus misericordia fundatum esse asserimus, nullo humanae dignitatis respectu: quos vero damnationi addicit, his justo quidem et irreprehensibili, sed incomprehensibili ipsius judicio, vitae aditum praecludi.  Calvin himself has characterized Predestination, thus considered, by the term decretum horribile.

      5.  Into what two classes are Calvinists divided; and what is the import of their distinctive appellations?

      According to the different notions which they entertain of the effects of the divine decree, as having been determined before or after the fall, supra vel sub lapsum, Calvinists are distinguished into two classes, respectively denominated Supralapsarians and Sublapsarians.

      6.  What is the distinguishing opinion of the Supralapsarians?

      Adam’s transgression, as regarded by the Supralapsarians, seems to have been an involuntary act of disobedience.  They maintain that God, with a view to the manifestation of his mercy in the eternal salvation of a chosen few, and the vindication of his justice by the everlasting damnation of all beside, decreed from all eternity that Adam should fall, and that his sin should involve in its fatal consequences all his posterity; of whom those only who should be endowed with his irresistible grace would be arbitrarily elected to the happiness of heaven.

      7.  How do the Sublapsarians modify this doctrine?

      Allowing that the fall of Adam was not an act of preordained necessity, the Sublapsarians suppose that the decrees of God respecting the final destiny of the human race, were subsequent to that event; but their scheme of Election and Reprobation is otherwise precisely the same as that of the Supralapsarians.

      8.  What is the opposite doctrine of the Arminians?

      The Arminian system is directly opposed to that of the Calvinists on the subject of Predestination.  It maintains that the divine decrees were framed in consequence of God’s foreknowledge of the use which Adam and his posterity would make of their natural free agency; that redemption through Christ is offered indifferently to all men; and that each individual of the human race is free to accept or reject the means of grace which are necessary to work out his salvation.

      9.  Who was the founder of this system; by what other title are his followers known; and why were they so designated?

      James Armunsen, a native of Holland, strenuously advocated these principles in the University of Leyden, at the commencement of the 17th century; and his name, Latinised into Arminius, was applied to his system.  His followers were denounced at the Synod of Dort, in 1618, and severe penalties attached to their rejection of the Calvinistic doctrines.  Against this sentence they presented a petition to the States general; and from that circumstance they are sometimes distinguished by the title of Remonstrants.

      10.  What are the (commonly so called) “Five Points” of Calvinism, as distinctly enunciated by the Synod of Dort?

      1.  Arbitrary Predestination (including Reprobation). – 2.  Particular Redemption (i.e. that Christ died for the elect only). – 3.  Original Sin (involving the total depravity of human nature). – 4.  Iressistibility of Grace, or Effectual Calling. – 5.  Indefectibility of Grace, or Final Perseverance.

      11.  Does the Church of England side with Calvin or Arminius; and how has she expressed herself in the Article on Predestination?

      In her views of the confessedly difficult subject of Predestination, the Church of England is neither Calvinistic nor Arminian, but essentially Scriptural.  The doctrine itself she simply states in Scriptural language; points out the danger of its abuse; and adds a caution respecting the interpretation of the divine promises generally.  She makes no mention of Reprobation whatsoever, inasmuch as in the Scriptures the term is altogether unconnected with Election.  As to the controversy of Arminius, it was in fact subsequent to the compilation of our Articles; and the promulgation of the Lambeth Articles, in order to force Calvinism upon our Church, affords a most striking proof that she is not Calvinistic.

      12.  What do you mean by the Lambeth Articles?

      Certain Articles (nine in number) drawn up at Lambeth in 1595 by Abp. Whitgift and some other divines.  A controversy in Cambridge gave the immediate occasion for framing them.  They are decidedly Calvinistic; and their framers of course desired that such of our Articles as relate to the matters contained in them should be interpreted accordingly.  But they have never received any sanction from the Church or the Crown.

      13.  Give the substance of them.

      1. God has from eternity predestinated certain persons to life, and reprobated certain persons to death.  2. The efficient cause of Predestination is not the foresight of faith or good works in those predestinated; but only the will of God’s good pleasure.  3. The predestinated are a predetermined and certain number, which can neither be diminished nor increased.  4. Those who are not predestinated will inevitably be condemned on account of their sins.  5. The elect do not fall from grace either finally or totally.  6. A true believer is certified by the full assurance of faith that his sins are forgiven, and his salvation irresistible.  7. Saving grace is not granted to all men, so that they may be saved if they will.  8. No man is able to come to Christ, unless the Father draw him; and all men are not drawn by the Father.  9. Every man has not the will or power to be saved.

      14.  Show that the definition of Predestination, in the 17th Article, is closely Scriptural.

      It is concisely stated in this Article, in conformity with the express declaration of St. Paul (Rom. 8:29.  Eph. 1:4, 5.  2 Tim. 1:9), that God, before the foundation of the world, had predestinated the redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ; to which end he called them with a holy calling, purposing, according to the good pleasure of his will, to save those, whom he did foreknow as vessels made to honour, and, by ready obedience to his invitation, fit to receive the adoption of children, and become inheritors of the kingdom of heaven.

      15.  By what marks are the predestinated said to be distinguished?

      Those who are endued with so excellent a benefit of God, or, in other words, those who embrace the conditions of the Gospel covenant, pass regularly through the gradations of that scheme of redemption, which the inscrutable wisdom of God has pre-ordained.  “They are called according to his purpose by his spirit working in due season; they through grace obey the calling; they be justified freely; they are made the sons of God by adoption; they are made like the image of Christ; they walk religiously in good works; and at length by God’s mercy attain to everlasting felicity.”  See Matt. 25:34.  Rom. 3:24; 8:29, 30; 9:23.  Gal. 4:6, 7.  Eph. 1:11, 2:10.  1 Pet. 1:2. sqq.

      16.  Is then Predestination to life an arbitrary act, irrespective of human conduct; or a divine purpose dependant on certain conditions?

      From the above declarations of Scripture, duly considered in connection with each other, it appears that Predestination to life is not the arbitrary election of a privileged few to everlasting happiness; but the predeterminate counsel of God, of his free grace and mercy, to offer salvation to all men, Gentiles as well as Jews, through faith in his Son.  This offer every one is capable of accepting or rejecting; so that all who perish, perish by their own fault.  God’s decree is both general and conditional.  It does not relate exclusively to this or that individual, but universally to all mankind; and so far as it relates to a future life, it is not absolute without regard to the conduct of men, but dependent upon their faith and obedience.

      17.  Upon what is the notion of personal election based; and what is the true Scriptural doctrine?

      The doctrine of Individual Election rests upon the application of certain texts to particular persons, which belong, in their original intention, to collective bodies of Christians, and to the Church at large.  Thus St. Peter is writing to all the Christians in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; and St. Paul to the churches of Rome and Colosse in their corporate capacity.  Neither as individuals nor as a body did any of the party, so addressed, merit the vocation by which they were called; the invitation was an act of free mercy and grace; and the final election of each or all would depend on their being clothed in the wedding garment of Faith and Love; and the promised rewards were to be apportioned to all according to their works.

      18.  Who then are the Elect?

      The Elect are the whole body of Christians generally, who have been called to the knowledge of Christ by the Gospel.  Who among these will “make their calling and election sure,” it is not for man to judge; though God, who trieth the hearts, has a clear foreknowledge of those who will walk worthily of their vocation.

      19.  Who are the Reprobate? and what is the proper import of the original word?

      The Reprobate, in the true Scriptural sense, are those who, after due trial, are found to be unworthy of the privileges and promises of the Gospel, and therefore rejected.  In the original sense, the words δοκιμάζειν and αδόκιμος are applied to the assaying of metals; from which the dross is separated, as being unable to endure the refiner’s test.

      20.  Is not St. Paul called a chosen vessel; and consequently an instance of personal election?

      Though St. Paul was a chosen vessel selected by Christ as a fitting minister to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles, it does not follow that be was personally elected to everlasting salvation.  This depended on his “fighting a good fight, and keeping the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7); and consequently he laboured earnestly “lest, when he had preached to others, he himself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27).

      21.  What are the advantages possessed by this view of the doctrines of Predestination and Election over the Calvinistic interpretation?

      This interpretation has at least the advantage of making Scripture consistent with itself.  Its invitations, so understood, are merciful and intelligible; its promises are engaging; its threatenings are alarming; and its exhortations are powerful; whereas the contrary doctrine of an arbitrary predetermination of man’s eternal destiny, without regard to his actions, is subversive of the first principles of reason, as well as contradictory both to the letter and spirit of the New Testament.  Christ, in this case, must have invited many to believe and obey him, whom he knew to be incapable of so doing; the glorious promises of the Gospel are but idle tales, the eloquence of St. Paul an empty sound, and the entire system of Christianity a visionary proposal, by which a man’s future prospects could be influenced neither for the better nor the worse.

      22.  Does not this interpretation, however, militate against the foreknowledge of God?

      No.  It may be difficult, and even impossible to comprehend, how the divine prescience consists with the free agency of man, so as to make those contingencies, which depend upon the human will, clearly ascertained to the mind of the Deity: but, at the same time, this prescience would be as valid against the freedom of his own actions, as those of man.  “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18); and yet his free agency will scarcely be disputed.  By parity of reasoning, therefore, his prescience of human actions does consist with the free agency of man.

      23.  (1) To whom is the Scriptural view of the doctrine full of comfort; – (2) and why?

      (1) “To godly persons,” who “walk religiously in good works,” in the hope of “attaining, by God’s mercy, to everlasting felicity,” the doctrine of predestination and Election in Christ, understood in accordance with the scheme of universal redemption as set forth in the Scriptures and maintained in the Liturgy of our Church, is necessarily full of unspeakable comfort. – (2) As partakers of the atonement, “they rejoice in God through Christ” (Rom. 5:11); they “mortify the deeds of the body through the power of the Spirit that worketh in them” (Rom. 8:13.  Eph. 3:20); “having their conversation in heaven, they set their affections on things above” (Phil. 3:20.  Col. 3:2); and their faith is established in the persuasion that “neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:39).

      24.  How is the danger attending an erroneous view of the doctrine described?

      In the Latin Article, the dangerous tendency of the doctrine of absolute predestination is expressed by the term praecipitium, “a precipice” over which curious and carnal persons may be driven by the devil either into “desperation” or “wretchlessness of unclean living”.

      25.  Who are meant by curious and carnal persons; and what is the import of the word wretchlessness?

      (a) By curious persons are meant those, who, by prying into inscrutable nscrutable counsels of the divine mind which are beyond the reach of man’s understanding, are led to entertain unreasonable doubts of their ability, by God’s grace, to work out their Salvation and consequently to despair of attaining it; (b) while the carnal are those, who, regarding their fate as arbitrarily fixed by an unalterable decree, are altogether unconcerned and reckless as to the means of grace, which their view of Election renders useless, and impiously excuse their vices as if inevitable.  This is implied in the term wretchlessness, which the Latin Article expresses by securitas.

      26.  What is the nature and object of the caution appended to this Article?

      In order to guard her members against erroneous views on the subject of this Article, the Church directs that God’s promises are to be received, not as made to particular individuals, but sic ut nobis in sacris literis generaliter expositae sunt; i.e. with reference to the whole human race in general.  Scripture must not be made to contradict Scripture; which is, in fact, to make God contradict himself: and consequently, “in our doings that will of God is to be followed,” that rule of faith and conduct to be observed, “which we have expressly declared to us in the word of God.”

      27.  To what persons respectively may we especially apply the two branches of this caution?

      The first may especially refer to the curious; the second to the carnal.

      28.  Prove from the New Testament that the offer of Redemption is universal and conditional.

      The Scriptures of the New Testament expressly declare that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16); that He “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4): and that “him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).  As to the conditions of Salvation, they are plainly stated to be “Repentance toward God and Faith in the Lord Jesus Chrsit.”

      29.  Shew that the English Liturgy inculcates the same doctrine.

      In the Communion Service, it is asserted that “Christ made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world”; and in the last collect for good Friday, we pray to God, who made all men, and as hating nothing that he has made, not willing the death of a sinner, but rather that be should be converted and live,” for the salvation of all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks.  Indeed the Liturgy is composed throughout of the pervading conviction that Christ died for all mankind.

      30.  Quote passages from the early Fathers, by which they are seen to have regarded Election in a collective and general sense.

      Clement of Rome thus commences his Epistle to the Corinthians: – The Church of God which is at Rome, to the Church at Corinth, called and sanctified by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Again in c. 58.  May God, who has elected the Lord Jesus Christ, and us through him to be a peculiar people, grant to every soul that calls upon his name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, temperance, holiness, and wisdom.  Ignatius, ad Ephes. c. 1.  Ignatius, to the Church of Ephesus, which is blessed in the fullness of God the Father, and predestinated before the world began unto eternal glory.  See also Ignat. ad Trall. c. 1.  Just. Mart. Apol. I. c. 45.

      31.  (1) What eminent Father is noted for his treatment of the subject of Predestination? – (2) In what remarkable respect did his views differ from those of Calvin?

      (1) Augustine – (2) He held two distinct predestinations; one to a state of grace, the other to persevernce and final glory: the former not always (as would be the case according to Calvin) involving the latter.*

[*Bp. Browne, after a careful and lucid exposition of the representations concerning Election in the Old and New Testaments, comes to the conclusion that “the revelation which God has given us concerns His will and purpose to gather together in Christ a Church chosen out of the world, and that to this Church and to every individual member of it He gives the means of salvation.  That salvation, if attained, will be wholly due to the grace of God, which first chooses the elect soul to the blessings of the baptismal covenant, and afterwards endues it with power to live the life of faith.  If, on the other hand, the proffered salvation be forfeited, it will be in consequence of the fault and wickedness of him that rejects it.  Much is said of God’s will that all should be saved, and of Christ’s death as sufficient for all men; and we hear of none shut out from salvation, but for their own faults and demerits.  More than this cannot with certainty be inferred from Scripture; for it appears most probable that what we learn there concerns only predestination to grace, there being no revelation concerning predestination to glory.”  Election thus understood is indeed, he allows, arbitrary: but not otherwise arbitrary than what continually occurs in the known course of Divine Providence in which “some are nursed in ignorance, others in full light: some with pious, others with ungodly, parents; and now too, some in a Christian, others in a heathen land; some with five talents, others with but one.  Why all this is we cannot tell ... The secret motives of God’s will we are not told, and we cannot fathom.  We are left to believe that though hidden from us, they must be right.  What we are taught is how to avail ourselves of the privileges, whatever the may be, which we have; to escape the dangers and profit by the advantages of our position.  This is practical, and this is revealed truth.”]


Article  XVIII.

Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ.

      They also are to be had accursed 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 Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.


De speranda aeterna Salute tantum in Nomine Christi.

      Sunt et illi anathematizandi, qui dicere audent unumquemque in Lege aut Secta quam profitetur, esse servandum, modojuxtaillam et lumen naturae accurate vixerit: cum sacrae literae tantum Jesu Christi nomen praedicent, in quo salvos fieri homines oporteat.


      1.  Does this Article exclude all who are not Christians from the hope of Salvation?

      No.  Without presuming to enquire how far the divine mercy may be shown to those who have not embraced the religion of Jesus, either because they have not heard of him, or refused to accept him, our Church simply denounces the plausible assumption, that all religions will find equal favour with God, if men be diligent to frame their lives according to the law which they profess, and the light of nature.

      2.  With whom did the doctrine condemned by this Article originate; and has it been widely maintained?

      (a) In the fourth Century, after the establishment of Christianity by Constantine as the religion of the Roman empire, the advocates of Paganism pleaded for the toleration of the old religion, on the ground that it was a matter of indifference what faith a man professed, and that the Deity was more highly honoured by the greater variety of the forms of his worship.  (b) By a like affectation of liberality Mahomet sought to increase the number of his followers: (c) and the same principle has never been without advocates even among professing Christians.

      3.  Upon what grounds and by whose authority is this opinion denounced?

      The Article declares, in the words of Scripture, that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 4:12).  To the same effect our Lord himself assured Nicodemus, “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not, shall not see life: but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).  Thus also he said to his disciples, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6); and, in his parting commission to them, he declared, “He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; and he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).  Hence St. Paul taught that “the Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto Salvation to every one that believeth” (Rom. 1:16); and St. John bare record “that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life in his Son: he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 John 5:11, 12).

      4.  Does not this exclusive belief militate against St. Peter’s declaration to Cornelius, that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of Him (Acts 10:34, 35)?

      No.  The Article proceeds upon the supposition that the Gospel has been preached, and rejected.  When invited to embrace the Gospel, Cornelius would not have been accepted of God if he had refused to embrace it.  On his conversion he became a member of the Church of Christ; and that he was thereby endued with greater privileges than he had before is manifest from the commission which Peter had previously received to instruct him in the Christian faith.

      5.  What then are we directed by our Church to believe respecting those who have not embraced the Gospel covenant?

      Instead of curiously inquiring either into the manner, or the degree, in which the mercy of God may be exerted towards those among whom Christ has not been preached, it is enough to know that they are not included in his covenanted promises, and cannot therefore be placed upon a level with the Church of Christ.  Charity requires us to hope that the benefits of Christ’s death and passion, by which alone they can be saved, will be extended to them.  On this subject however the Article is silent; merely affirming that “they are to be had accursed” who regard the Gospel as useless, by placing it on the same footing with other creeds.

      6.  Explain the import and origin of the expression, to be had accursed.

      To be had accursed is merely a technical term, applied by the primitive Christians to persons excommunicated, or excluded from communion with the Church, either on account of their wicked lives or dangerous opinions.  The original form of condemning an error was by denouncing the person who held it, in the words Anathema sit; or, as in the Latin version of this Article, anathematizandus est: and it seems to have been built upon certain expressions in the Apostolical Epistles.  See Rom. 9:3;  1 Cor. 16:22;  Gal. 2:8.  Those may well be shut out from the privileges of the Church, who undervalue and reject them.

      7.  What do you mean by the privileges of the Church?

      It is in the Church only that Christ has chosen to dispense the means of grace, by which those who hope for Salvation through faith in his name are enabled to attain to it; so that they who do not become members of the Church, exclude themselves from a participation in the Gospel privileges.  Bp. Pearson observes (on the Creed, Art. 9) that “Christ never appointed two ways to heaven; nor did he build a Church to save some, and make another institution for other mens’ Salvation.”

      8.  Shew that the early Fathers speak of Salvation by Christ only, and as attainable only in the Church.

      Ignatius maintains (Ep. ad Smyrn. c. 6.) that all beings, visible and invisible, are obnoxious to judgment, unless they believe in the efficacy of the blood of Christ; and again (ad Phil. c. 9) that Christ is the door of the Father, by which Abraham, and Isaac, and the Prophets, and the Apostles, and the Church, all enter.  Irenaeus (Haer. III. 19. 1) says that all who acknowledge not him that was born the Virgin, even Emmanuel, are deprived of the gift of everlasting life.  And Cyprian (Test. ad Quirin. III. 24) affirms that there is no coming to the Father but by his Son, Jesus Christ, as he himself has declared in John 14:6.  The same writer (Epist. 4) holds that there is Salvation to no one except in the Church: Irenaeus (Haer. III. 40) asserts that those who do not enter the Church cannot be partakers of the Holy Spirit, and therefore cheat themselves of eternal life: and Augustine (Lit. Pet. c. 38), that no one can have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his Mother.  See also Barnab. Ep. Cath. c. 12.  Ignat. ad Ephes. c. 5.  Trail. cc. 7, 9.  Origen. in Josh. Hom. 4.  Cyprian. Epist. 69.  Jerom. in Ephes. c. 5.  Augustine as the great opponent of Pelagianism is led to speak more severely than earlier Fathers of the actual impossibility of salvation to the heathen and unbaptized.


Article  XIX.

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 Hierusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.


De Ecclesia.

      Ecclesia Christi visibilis est coetus fidelium, in quo verbum Dei purum praediceatur, et Sacramento, quoad ea quae necessario exiguntur, juxta Christi institutum recte administrantur.

      Sicut erravit Ecclesia Hierosolymitana, Alexandrina, et Antiochena; ita et erravit Ecclesia Romana, non solum quoad agenda et caeremoniarum ritus, verum in his etiam quae credenda sunt.


      1.  What is the derivative meaning of the word CHURCH; and what is its Greek synonym in the New Testament?

      The English word Church signifies the Lord’s House; as being generally supposed to be derived from the Greek feminine adjective Κυριακη, with οικία understood.  As signifying a congregation or assembly, however, the word employed in the New Testament, and rendered Church in our Version, is εκκλησία.

      2.  Give the original import of the word εκκλησία, and mention the different significations given to it by the sacred writers.

      From εκκαλειν, to call out, εκκλησία properly denotes a public assembly, as those of the Greek republics; in which sense it is used by profane authors, and in Acts 19:39, 41.  Hence it was applied by the sacred writers to the Jewish and Christian Churches, as being called out or separated from the world; and, in a more restricted sense, to any particular branch of the Christian Church.  Compare Matt. 16:18; 18:17.  Acts 2:42, 47; 5:11; 7:38; 9:31; 15:4.  Rom. 16:3, 5.  1 Cor. 1:2.  Eph. 5:23.  Phil. 5:2.  Col. 4:15.  Rev. 1:4.  In Acts 11:26 it signifies, by metonymy, a place of Christian worship.

      3.  How is it used in the nineteenth Article of our Church?

      In the first clause of this Article, the word is probably employed in a general sense, as including the entire body of Christians throughout the world; and in the second clause, it denotes any particular branch of the Church Catholic.  Perhaps, however, it may be taken throughout in a more limited sense, as comprehending only the Christians of one country or persuasion; so that it will retain the same signification in both clauses of the Article.

      4.  What do you understand by the Visible Church?

      The Church is said to be visible, as being a visible congregation of faithful men, associated under a supreme head, and having a rite of admission, stated duties and privileges, and duly appointed ministers.  See 1 Cor. 10:17.  Eph. 4:4.  Col. 1:18.

      5.  Under what other aspect do you regard the Visible Church?

      It is likewise so called in contradistinction to the mystical or invisible Church of Christ, which consists of all who have believed and obeyed the Gospel in all ages; and which is so denominated, (a) not only because its members are not all upon earth, but (b) because the qualities which distinguish them are not objects of sense, and their faithfulness is known to God alone.

      6.  How then can the Church be described, in general terms, as a faithful congregation?

      The Visible Church is necessarily composed of professing Christians in general, whether bad or good; and our Saviour alludes to this mixture in several of his parables.  See Matt. 13:26, 48; 12:10.  The term faithful, therefore, designates the profession, not the character, of a Christian community; of which it is impossible for men to judge otherwise than by external circumstances: but although it would be presumptuous in man to make the discrimination, Christ will hereafter separate the good from the wicked, “as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matt. 25:32), and assign to the real and nominal members of his Church their respective portions.

      7.  What then is absolutely essential to the constitution of the Christian Church?

      Although it is not necessary that all its members should be entirely free from error in their faith and without blame in their conduct, it is essential to the existence of the Church Catholic, and the constitution of any particular branch of it, that the pure word of God be preached therein, and the Sacraments rightly and duly administered.  This is in accordance with the definition of the Church laid down in this Article.

      8.  How are these essentials more fully stated in the second part of the Homily for Whitsunday?

      “The true Church is a universal congregation of Gods faithful and elect people, built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner stone; and it hath always three notes or marks whereby it known: – pure and sound doctrine, the Sacraments administered according to Christ’s holy institution, and the right use of Ecclesiastical discipline.  This description of the Church is agreeable both to the Scriptures of God, and also the doctrine of the ancient Fathers, so that none may justly find fault therewith.”

      9.  Shew that these essentials accord with the marks by which the Church is distinguished in Holy Writ.

      In the Acts of the Apostles (2:41, 42) the Church is described as consisting of those who “believed” and “were baptized, and continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers.”  Its members are also represented as united in one body under Christ their head; as having one faith, one hope, one baptism; as partakers of one bread and of one cup in the communion of the body and blood of Christ; as walking by one rule, and endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  See 1 Cor. 10:17, 11:3, 12:12, 20.  Ephes. 4:2. sqq.  Phil. 3:16.  Col. 3:12. sqq.  1 Pet. 3:8.

      10.  What is meant by (1) preaching the pure word of God, (2) and duly administering the holy Sacraments?

      (1) The pure word of God, it is to be delivered to the people whole and entire, without adding thereto, or diminishing aught from it. – (2) The Sacraments must be administered without in any way detracting from their efficacy.  Accordingly (a) Baptism must be performed in the express form enjoined by Christ himself, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the the Holy Ghost;” and the Elements of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper must be consecrated with strict attention to the form of institution, and delivered in both kinds as memorials of his body broken and his blood shed for our Salvation.

      11.  (1) Under these circumstances how is it that a Church may err; – (2) and why are the Churches specified in the Article selected as instances of possible corruption?

      (1) That the word of God may be preached, and the Sacraments administered, while yet a Church entertains both erroneous doctrines and corrupt practice, will be admitted by all who admit the fallibility of mankind. – (2) The three Churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, are selected as instances of erring communions, as being the most distinguished of those founded by the Apostles, and consequently on a par with that of Rome, against whose corruptions the following Articles are principally directed.

      12.  Can you state the particular errors charged against the Churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch; and the ground upon which the Church of Rome claims to be secure from error?

      It is not recorded, nor is it necessary to inquire, in what particulars these Churches have erred; but that in process of time they fell into considerable errors, is universally agreed.  This indeed the Church of Rome does not deny; while she rests her own assumed perfection on the infallibility to which she lays claim, by virtue of the spiritual supremacy over the Christian world alleged to be communicated through St. Peter to the Popes, his successors.

      13.  Shew that the Romish pretensions to Infallibility are unfounded.

      See Questions on St. Matthew, chaps. x. qu. 7. xvi. qq. 27, 20.

      14.  With what view was the latter clause of this Article appended?

      To set aside, in the outset, the claim to infallibility; for if it were admitted, all the other doctrines of Romanism would be established at once: since the teaching of an Infallible Church must be true.

      15.  Illustrate, by quotations, the light in which the Church was regarded by the early Fathers.

      Irenaeus, in Haer. i. 3. 46.  The Church, having received the same preaching and the same faith, though dispersed throughout all the world, carefully preserves them; and believes, and teaches, and preaches the same things, as having one mind, one heart, and one mouth.  Tertullian de Praescr. c. 20.  So many and great Churches are nothing else but that primitive one, from which all the rest proceed.  Thus all are primitive, and all are Apostolical, whilst they all agree in one and the same truth; whilst there is among them a communication of peace, an appellation of brotherhood, and a league of hospitality, which are only to be preserved inviolable by a constant participation of the same holy Sacraments.  Augustine, c. Faust. Man. XII. 15.  As there were clean and unclean animals in the Ark, so both good and bad partake of the Sacraments of the Church.  Jerome, ad Galat. 1.  The Church is twofold: that which has neither spot nor wrinkle, and is truly the body of Christ; and that which assembles in Christ’s name without full and perfect goodness.  Augustine, Epist. 48.  The Church is sometimes obscured, and as it were clouded over, with the multitude of offences.  See Iren. Haer. v. 20.  Tertull. de Dept. c. 8.  August. de Civ. D. xv. 27.  Ambros. Hexaem. IV. 8.  Theophylact. in Joh. III.


Article  XX.

Of the Authority of the Church.

      The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing 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 any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.


De Ecclesiae Auctoritate.

      Habet Ecclesia Ritus sive Caeremonias statuendi jus, et in fidei controversiis auctoritatem; quamvis Ecclesiae non licet quicquam instituere, quod verbo Dei scripto adversetur, nec 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.


      1.  Give some account of the so-called “disputed” clause in this Article.

      There is a MS. copy of the Articles in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, signed, it should seem, by the Bishops, before they had agreed upon the insertion of the first clause of this Article.  The clause appears, however, to have formed part of the Articles, as originally published; though it is wanting in some other transcripts.  The copy containing it, which was afterwards signed by the Bishops in the place of that which Archbishop Parker left to his College, was deposited in the Register Court of the Province of Canterbury, and was burnt in the fire of London.

      2.  Upon what principle is it necessary that a certain degree of power and authority should be vested in the Church?

      All assemblies of men are necessarily regulated by certain established rules, without the observance of which their harmony and consistency would be destroyed; and upon the same acknowledged principle the Church, in the person of her rulers, has power to prescribe those forms by which order is maintained, and to decide those controversies which unsettle her members and undermine her peace.

      3.  Distinguish between rites and ceremonies; shew from the Scriptures that the Church has authority to prescribe them, as well as to decide in controversies of faith; and mark the limits of that authority.

      See Questions on the Liturgy, Sect. III.

      4.  Give a notable example of the exercise by the Church of the power asserted for it in this Article.

      The Council of Nice was assembled “for the deciding of the controversy of Arius, and the time of the celebrating of Easter, the first of which was clearly a controversy of faith, the other a mere rite or ceremony.”  Bp. Beveridge.

      5.  (1) Had the Jews any institutions and observances which rested only on human authority; (2) and what is the example which Christ has left us of compliance with the ordinances of the Church?

      The Jews had many institutions, such as the feasts of Purim and of Dedication (Esth. 9:24. sqq.  John 10:22, 23) and certain observances in the celebration of the Passover, which were not commanded in the Law.  (2) None of these were censured by our Lord, who seems, indeed to have conformed to such traditional usages and ceremonies as did not tend to encourage superstition; thus leaving an example which Christians will do well to follow in complying with those rites and customs which are adjudged, by the authority of the Church, to be conducive to public decency and religious edification.

      6.  (1) In what sense is the Church a witness and keeper of Holy Writ; (2) and upon what basis are her decrees to be founded?

      (1) To the Church are committed the oracles of God; and, by the practice of reading them publicly in the congregations from the earliest times, they have been preserved free from all material errors and corruptions.  (2) Hence she derives all her doctrines; upon them she founds all her decrees; nor would she be justified in departing from them as the rule of her faith and practice, either by ordaining anything contrary to God’s written word, or requiring anything, as necessary to salvation which is not contained therein.  {See also the Questions on Art. VI.}

      7.  Upon what principles, and to what end, is the Church to interpret the word of God?

      She must be careful not to interpret one passage so as to contradict another; for, as all Scripture is given by inspiration, there must be a perfect harmony and consistency in all its parts, so connected as to form one uniform and comprehensive whole.  Doubtless there are some things in Scripture “hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest to their own destruction” (2 Pet. 3:16).  Against such perversions, the Church, under the influence of divine grace, is the legitimate bulwark; giving stability to the “faith once delivered to the saints” and upholding “the truth as it is in Jesus” (Jude 3.  Eph. 4:21.)

      8.  Shew that the primitive Fathers, in maintaining the authority of the Church, looked upon it as built upon that of the Scriptures.

      Clem. Rom. I. 40.  We must do all things in order, and make our prayers and oblations at the stated seasons; not irregularly and by chance, but at the times and hours appointed.  Tertullian adv. Hermog.  I do not admit what you assert on your own authority without the Scriptures.  If you are an Apostolic man, think with the Apostles.  Clem. Alex. Strom. VII. 15.  We must by no means transgress the canon of the Church.  Augustine, de Merit. at Rem. Peco. I. 22.  Holy Scripture can neither deceive, nor be deceived.  See also Euseb. Hist Eccl. v. 24.  Iren. Haer. IV. 46.  Tertull. de Praescr. Haer. c. 21.  Cyprian de Laps. Epist. 27.  Augustin. de Doctr. Chr. II.


Article  XXI.

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 together, – forasmuch as they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God, – they may err, and sometimes have erred, even 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.


De Auctoritate Conciliorum Generalium.

      Generalia Concilia sine jussu et voluntate principum congregari non possunt: et ubi convenerint, – quia ex hominibus constant, qui non omnes Spiritu et verbo Dei reguntur, – et errare possunt, et interdum errarunt, etiam in his quae ad Deum pertinent.  Ideoque quae ab illis constituuntur, ut ad salutem necessaria, neque robur habent neque auctoritatem, nisi ostendi possint e sacris literis esse desumpta.


      1.  What is an Ecclesiastical Council?

      An Ecclesiastical Council is an assembly of divines, convened for the purpose of deciding some weighty matter of doctrine or discipline.

      2.  Distinguish between the several kinds of such assemblies; and give the name by which they are otherwise designated.

      These assemblies are of four kinds: – 1. General; consisting of prelates of all nations, summoned to consult for the unity and wellbeing of the Church at large.  2. National; which are composed of the bishops and dignitaries of a single nation, as was that convoked by Cardinal Pole in 1555.  3. Provincial; confined to a single province, and attended by the Metropolitan and his Suffragans.  4. Diocesan; at which the Bishop of the diocese meets his Clergy, either to enforce the decrees of General Councils, or to adopt regulations for the particular guidance of themselves.  Properly speaking, the first alone are called Councils; and all others are disignated Synods.

      3.  Give a brief account of the English Convocation.

      The Convocation is a National Synod of the English Clergy, convened to discuss and regulate the affairs of the Church during the session of Parliament.  It has an upper and a lower house; the one composed of the Archbishops and Bishops of the two provinces, and the other of deputies representing the rest of the Clergy.  From 1717 to 1852 it existed only in name: though not absolutely abolished, it was not allowed to meet for the dispatch of business, but was prorogued from session to session by royal mandate.  In 1852 it was allowed to resume its sittings, and is now in a state of considerable activity.

      4.  (1) By what other names are General Councils sometimes called; (2) and by what authority have they been convened?

      (1) They are also called OEcumenical Councils, as consisting of delegates from all parts της γης οικουμένης, of the inhabited world.  (2) In the early ages of the Church, they were summoned by the emperors of the East, whose dominion was nearly co-extensive with the whole of Christendom; till at length the Roman Pontiff assumed the right of summoning them, and insisted on the observance of their decrees, as bearing the sanction of Infallibility.

      5.  Can a Council be lawfully convoked without the consent of the reigning sovereign; and are the Clergy required to attend the summons of a foreign potentate?

      Neither can General or National Councils be convoked without the consent of the prince within whose dominions they are held, and to whom it belongs of right to preside therein and control the proceedings.  Bishops are not governors of countries, but subject to their civil rulers.  Hence it also follows that the Clergy are not bound to obey the summons of a foreign potentate, against the will of their rulers at home; since they could not do so without an infringement of the rights and privileges of every independent sovereign, and a breach of the Scriptural injunction of obedience to the “powers that be”. (Rom. 13:1).

      6.  Which was the first General Council?

      That of Nice in Bithynia, in the year A. D. 325.  Sometimes indeed the Apostolic Council, held at Jerusalem shortly after our Lord’s ascension is looked upon as the first General Council but, it should seem, improperly.

      7.  (1) Shew that the Apostolic Synod at Jerusalem was not a General Council; – (2) that it was necessarily convened without the consent of the civil power; – (3) and that it was distinguished in an important particular from all other Councils.

      (1) This synod was not composed of the heads of all the Churches then in existence, convened for the purpose of deciding a question of importance to the Christian world; but “the Apostles and elders” of the Church at Jerusalem “came together for to consider of a matter” (Acts 15:6), which regarded the Gentile Christians only, and more especially those of Antioch.  Probably all the Apostles were not present; and Paul and Barnabas were there, not as delegates, but as ambassadors.  (2) Since the Civil power was not then Christian, and the assembly had none of the characteristics of a general council properly so called, it was held without obtaining the consent of the Jewish rulers; (3) more especially as the Apostles, being inspired with the Holy Ghost, were guided by the higher authority of God.  In this respect the synod of Jerusalem stands alone, and distinct from all other councils on record.

      8.  (1) Prove that General Councils may err; (2) and assign your reasons for rejecting the Romish assertion of their infallibility.

      Inasmuch as general Councils are composed of many members, of whom every one is liable to error as an individual, they are also liable to error in their collective capacity.  The very fact of their meeting to deliberate implies that they may differ and consequently err.  So far from being infallible, those who debate on things pertaining to God, if they allow their passions to prevail for a moment over a due submission to the word of God, are perhaps more easily led into error than other men.  Witness the controversies, and heresies, and schisms, which have harassed the Church of Christ from the days of the Apostles to the present time.  (2) The Church of Rome indeed asserts, according to the Rhemish Commentator on Acts 15:28, that “holy Councils have ever the assistance of God’s Spirit, and therefore cannot err in their sentences and determinations”; but surely if such were the case, God would have placed so important a privilege beyond dispute, by an express declaration of it in the writings of the New Testament.  In the place of any such assurance, both reason and experience contradict the assertion.

      9.  Adduce instances in which general Councils have erred.

      Not only have Popes and Councils, with equal claims to infallibility, mutually condemned each other; but one general Council has flatly contradicted another, so that both cannot be right.  Thus the decree of the Council of Nice was rejected by several subsequent Councils; the second Council of Ephesus reversed the sentence passed against Eutyches by that of Chalcedon; and the very point under consideration, the authority of Councils, was asserted at Constance, and denied by the Council of Trent.  As a further proof that councils have erred, the worship of images was approved by the second of Nice (A. D. 787); and that of Rimini (A. D. 360) espoused the Arian heresy.

      10.  How many General Councils are received by Romanists and Protestants respectively; and what are the grounds upon which their authority is admitted?

      The Church of Rome acknowledges eighteen General Councils, ending with that of Trent, which sat at intervals from A. D. 1545–1563; and, in the face of their contradictory decrees, she maintains the infallibility of them all, chiefly on the authority of Matt. 18:17.  It is clear however that this passage enjoins an appeal, in case of obstinate resistance to friendly mediation, to the particular Church or communion of which the offender was a member; and that it does not bear upon General Councils at all.  Protestants, on the other hand, receive only four General Councils; admitting “the authority of their decrees, solely because it may be declared,”– —i.e. shewn or proved, in Latin ostendi, – “that  they be taken out of Holy Scripture.”

      11.  Name the four General Councils which are universally acknowledged, with the dates of their convention, the princes who held them, and the object for which they were convened.

      The Council of Nice (A. D. 325), convened by the Emperor Constantine; which maintained the divinity of Christ, in opposition to the Arian heresy.  2. The Council of Constantinople (A. D. 381), convened by the Emperor Theodosius.  It condemned the heresy of Macedonius, and enlarged the Nicene Creed by the addition of several articles, including the assertion of the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, which that heretic denied.  3. The Council of Ephesus (A. D. 434), assembled by Theodosius the younger against the Nestorians, who maintained that there were two persons in Christ.  On the other hand, the Council asserted the Scriptural doctrine of the union of two natures, divine and human, in one person.  4. The Council of Chalcedon (A. D. 451), which confirmed the decrees of the three preceding Councils; and maintained further, in condemnation of the Eutychians, that the two natures of Christ, though united in one person, were perfectly distinct.

      12.  Shew that the early Fathers asserted the supreme authority of princes, and their right to summon Councils.

      With respect to the allegiance due to princes, Tertullian (ad Scap. c. 2), observes that the Emperor is greater than all beside, and less than none but the true God: and Jerome (Epist. ad Evagr. 146), in order to be assured of the authority of a Council, enquires, What Emperor commanded it to be convened?


Article  XXII.

Of Purgatory.

      The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration as well of Images, as of Reliques, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God.


De Purgatorio.

      Doctrina Romanensium de Purgatorio, de Indulgentiis, de Veneratione et Adoratione tum imaginum, tum reliquiarum, necnon de Invocation Sanctorum, res est futilis inaniter conficta, et nullis Scripturarum testimoniis innititur: immo Verbo Dei contradicit.


      1.  What is the subject of this Article

      Although the title speaks of Purgatory alone, the Article itself condemns four other doctrines of the Romish Church, which are either based upon that of Purgatory, or intimately connected with it: namely, Pardons, the Worship of Images, the Adoration of Relics, and the Invocation of Saints.

      2.  What is the doctrine of the Church of Rome concerning Purgatory?

      It is the doctrine of the Church of Rome that, besides Heaven and Hell, there is a third place called Purgatory, set apart for the purging or purification of departed souls between death and the resurrection.  It this place, and in a state of suffering by fire which differs from that of Hell only in duration, the pious are condemned to bear the punishment of those venial slips and failings which do not merit eternal perdition; but which, not coming within the object of Christ’s death and intercession, and not having been fully expiated by acts of penance during life, require a further cleansing before the soul can be admitted into Heaven.  The period of detention in Purgatory varies according to the number and magnitude of the sins to be expiated; but it may be considerably reduced by the prayers of the faithful, by alms and devotions, and by the sacrifice of the Mass.

      3.  Give references to the principal passages of Scripture upon which a belief in Purgatory is founded.

      The passages from the Old Testament (Gen. 3:24.  1 Sam. 31:13.  2 Sam. 1:12.  Psal. 66:12.  Isai. 9:18, 19.  Micah 7:9.  Zech. 9:11.  Mal. 3:2), which were once adduced in support of the doctrine, have been more recently abandoned; and its main prop, being derived from the Apocrypha (2 Macc. 12:32. sqq.), does not, even did if it be understood of the writer’s belief in a Purgatory, carry with it the weight of Scripture.  From the New Testament the principal authorities are Matt. 5:25, 26; 12:32.  1 Cor. 3:10. sqq.  1 Pet. 3:19.

      4.  How is the first text from St. Matthew understood by the Romanists; and what is its true import?

      According to the Romish view of this passage, the farthings are venial sins, for which satisfaction is to be made in the prison of Purgatory; whereas it is clear that, rightly interpreted, it represents the eternal punishment which the Almighty Judge will inflict on those who fail, during the present life, to make their peace with him, through the mediation of Jesus Christ.

      5.  Set aside the Romish perversion of the second text.

      From our Lord’s declaration respecting the sin aginst the Holy Ghost, that it shall not be forgiven, “neither in this world, neither in the world to come,” the Romanists infer that as this sin will not be forgiven in the world to come, there are some sins that will, and that in Purgatory.  But from the parallel texts (Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10) it plainly appears that our Lord’s declaration in Matt. 12:32 is merely a form of expression implying that this sin will never be forgiven.

      6.  Shew that the Apostle’s argument to the Corinthians does not bear on the doctrine of Purgatory.

      St. Paul is here speaking of certain teachers, who, in raising the superstructure of the Christian Church upon the foundation laid by the Apostles, employed different materials, as gold, silver, and precious stones on the one hand, and wood, hay, stubble, on the other, or true and erroneous doctrines respectively, for the work.  Those, he continues, whose works abide the fiery trial of the divine judgment, will receive a reward; whereas false teachers, even if they escape at all, will yet be saved so as by fire: which is a figurative expression, implying a narrow escape from imminent perdition.*  Compare Amos 4:11.  1 Pet. 1:7.  Jude 23.  Upon what ground the Romanies interpret these combustible materials of venial sins, passing through the fire of Purgatory, it is somewhat difficult to conceive.

[*The interpretation which refers the teachers’ works to the results of their respective teaching in the building up of different kinds of disciples avails equally for the purpose of the present argument.]

      7.  What are the Romish and the correct interpretations of St. Peter’s remark respecting the preaching of Christ to the Spirits in prison?

      According to the Romanists, the prison in which St. Peter represents Christ as preaching to the Antediluvian sinners is Purgatory; but that view of the passage seems to be more reasonable, as it is also more generally received, which regards the preaching to be that of Noah, inspired by the Spirit of Christ, to the wicked spirits who are now in Hades.

[*The interpretation, however, that Christ in his spirit or soul preached to departed spirits in Hades is by no means necessarily connected with the doctrine of Purgatory.  {See note on Art. III.}]

      8.  Have any other texts of the New Testament been urged in support of the doctrine of Purgatory; and is any weight to be attached to them?

      Certain other texts (Matt. 5:22.  Luke 16:9, 28:42.  Acts 2:24.  1 Cor. 15:29.  Phil. 2:10.  Heb. 12:23.  1 Pet. 4:18.  Rev. 5:3.) have been occasionally urged in support of a Purgatory; but they are now very generally given up: and indeed a living prelate of the Romish Church admits that even the passages, upon which the greatest reliance is placed, lead to “no certain results,” and only “guide us to some striking probabilities”.  Moreover the terms, Hades, Paradise, and Abraham’s bosom, wherever they occur in the New Testament, are understood by the Romanists to mean Purgatory; although the plainest declarations of Scripture are totally at variance with such an interpretation.

      9.  Prove that this doctrine is not only unauthorized, but contradicted by Scripture.

      Not only are the Scriptures altogether silent respecting any intermediate state of pain and punishment after death, from which the merits of Christ cannot deliver us; but the Gospel represents Lazarus as removed at once to happiness in Abraham’s bosom (Luke 16:22), and the penitent thief as receiving our Lord’s promise to be in Paradise on the very day of his death (Luke 23:43).  St. Paul exults in the idea of “departing to be with Christ” (Phil. 2:23), and of being “absent from the body, and present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).  St. John too proclaims the “blessedness of the dead which die in the Lord” to consist in “rest from their labours”; which assuredly could not be the case in Purgatory: and with respect to the all-sufficiency of Christ’s atonement, it is asserted in the most explicit and unqualified terms, that “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin” (1 John 1:7), and that “there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”

      10.  Give a brief outline of the rise and progress of the doctrine of Purgatory.

      During the first four centuries of the Christian era the doctrine of Purgatory was altogether unknown; and the confused ideas respecting it, which had sprung up in the two following centuries, were in the beginning of the 7th century molded into form by Pope Gregory the Great.  The doctrine was formally adopted by the Councils of Florence (A. D. 1439) and of Trent (A. D. 1564); and the Trent catechism teaches (I. 5. 5.) that “there is a fire of Purgatory, wherein the souls of the pious, for a certain determinate term, are cleansed by sufferings, so that an entrance may be opened into the kingdom of Heaven, into which shall enter nothing that defileth.”

      11.  What assertion, manifestly erroneous, do the Romanists however make as to an earlier origin of the doctrine in connection with the practice of Prayer for the Dead?

      The Romanists maintain indeed that there is an inseparable connection between Purgatory and Prayer for the dead; inasmuch as it is needless to pray for the saints in heaven, and useless to pray for the condemned in Hell.  Hence they infer the contemporaneous origin of the doctrine, and the practice which is said to rest upon it; or rather, they would assign an earlier date to the former: whereas the custom of praying for the dead dates unquestionably from the second century, long before any notion of a Purgatory existed in the Church. [“The ancients prayed for a hastening of the Resurrection, much in the spirit of our own Burial Service, and of the petition in the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Thy kingdom come’.”]

      12.  What gave rise to the connection erroneously maintained by the Romanists between the doctrine and practice?

      It was soon seen that the efficacy of Masses to redeem the souls of the departed from purgatorial sufferings would become a fruitful source of emolument to the Clergy, and the one was accordingly appended to the other.

      13.  How has the Church of England expressed her sentiments with respect to Purgatory and Praying for the dead respectively?

      While the Church of England has authoritatively condemned the doctrine of Purgatory, she has given no direct statement of her opinion with respect to Prayer for the dead.  At the same time the nature of that opinion may readily be inferred from the gradual removal of every trace of such prayers from her public formularies and especially from the Prayer for the Church Militant.  In the Liturgy of 1549, this prayer contained a petition that God would shew mercy to the departed; in that of 1552 the petition was omitted; and in our present Liturgy it has been succeeded by a thanksgiving for those who have “departed in God’s faith and fear,” &c. with a petition that the living may “follow their good examples.” [Our Reformers, though at first retaining such prayers for the dead as were accordant with primitive practice and belief, afterwards, from what had occurred, fearing that even such prayers might be abused or misconstrued, removed them from the Communion and Burial Services: still however retaining a thanksgiving for saints departed, a prayer that we, with them, may be partakers of everlasting glory, and a request that God would complete the number of his elect, and hasten his kingdom, that we with all those departed in his faith and fear may have our perfect consummation, &c.  See Bp. Browne.]

      14.  What were the Pardons of the primitive Church, and how were they abused?

      The word Pardon was applied in the primitive Church to the mitigation of ecclesiastical censures and penalties; a power being vested in the bishops to relax or remit, according to circumstances, the sentence of penance or excommunication denounced by the Church against offenders.  This power was abused to the purpose of promoting the wealth of the Clergy; and at length assumed a most flagrant character under the name of Indulgences.

      15.  What do you mean by Indulgences; and what is the doctrine of the Romanists respecting them?

      Indulgences are pardons extended to all kinds of sins, past, present, and future.  It is the doctrine of the Romish Church, that “the Roman Pontiff may, for reasonable causes, by his Apostolical authority grant Indulgences out of the superabundant merits of Christ and the Saints; whereby all persons, whether living or dead, are delivered from so much temporal punishment, due according to divine justice for their actual sins, as is equivalent to the value of the Indulgence bestowed and received.”

      16.  (1) When and in what did Indulgences originate; – (2) what great result did they bring about; – (3) and upon what principle do they rest?

      (1) Urban II set the scheme on foot in the 11th century as an inducement to serve in the Crusades; – (2) and the extravagance to which they were afterwards carried was the more immediate cause of the Reformation. – (3) It is admitted by Fisher, the Romish Bishop of Rochester, that they “had their origin in the fears of men, excited by the horrors of Purgatory”; and they are supported by the assertion that “not only forgiveness may be had in the Catholic Church, but that she has the power to forgive sins.”

      17.  Quote a text from St. Peter, which proves that the practice of the Romish Church with regard to Indulgences is unscriptural.

      St. Peter expressly declares that it is not “with corruptible things, as silver and gold,” that we are redeemed; but “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Pet. 1:18, 19) {See also under Art. XIV.}

      18.  Distinguish between Religious and Idolatrous worship.

      Religious worship is the veneration and homage (veneratio et adoratio) due to the true God, and offered in spirit and in truth (John 4:24); and Idolatry is not only the worshipping of a false God, but the worshipping of the true God through any image or representation as forbidden in the second Commandment.

      19.  Whence does it appear that the primitive Christians had no images in their Churches?

      It is certain that the early Christians had no images in their Churches, (a) from the fact that the heathen thence inferred that they worshipped no deity at all; (b) and from the nature of the argument directed against image worship by the early Christian writers, which they grounded upon the spiritual nature of God, as described in the Scriptures.

      20.  Give a brief statement of the rise and progress of Image worship in the Christian Church.

      Images seem to have been first introduced into Churches during the fifth century.  The first instance of the kind is mentioned by Epiphanius, who destroyed a (pictorial) representation of the Saviour (or some saint) in a Church in Palestine, becanse he regarded it as a violation of the divine command.  From this period, however, the custom of placing images in Churches gradually became general; and, though designed at first as merely ornamental tributes to the memory of departed Saints, the veneration paid to them became at length so grossly idolatrous that in a Council held at Constantinople (A. D. 754) the practice was authoritatively condemned.  The memorable Iconoclast controversy forthwith ensued; different Popes and different Councils espoused different sides of the question; and the Council of Trent at last decreed that due “worship should be given to images”; but their use was rejected at the Reformation, as being plainly repugnant to the word of God.

      21.  (1) State the arguments by which the Romanist defends the use of images; – (2) and shew that it is inadmissible.

      (1) The Romanists sometimes pretend that they do not worship images, but God through the medium of images, which are merely the fulcrum on which they rest their thoughts, and the aid by which they bring the real object of adoration more vividly before them. – (2) It is clear however that this distinction must be utterly beyond the reach of ordinary worshippers; not to mention that the divine command is express against any use whatsoever of images in worship.  Moses says indeed that the Israelites “saw no similitude when the Lord spake unto them” (Deut. 4:16), for the very purpose that they might not corrupt themselves by making an emblematic representation of the Deity; and hence the worship of the Golden Calf, which appears to have been regarded merely as a symbol of the true God, was nevertheless most severely punished.

      22.  How does the Church of Rome act unfairly with respect to the second commandment?

      Joining the first and second commandments together, and dividing the tenth into two – so far indeed only following the arrangement of the Masoretic Jews – she acts unfairly in this, that teaching the commandments popularly only in epitome, she omits the second in her catechisms, &c., thus eluding the warning of that commandment against idolatry.

      23.  Prove that the worship of Images is altogether at variance with the Scriptures of the New Testament.

      Since the Jews were never again addicted to Idolatry after their return from Babylon, our Saviour does not allude to it in the Gospels; but St. Paul was greatly moved by the gross idolatries of the learned and polite Athenians, and reasoned with them on the absurdity of “thinking that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art or man’s device” (Acts 17:29).  Again, in writing to the Romans, he denounces God’s anger against those who “changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things,” thereby “changing the truth of God into a lie, and worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator” (Rom. 1:23, 25): and he commends the faith of the Thessalonians, who had “turned from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9).  “Little Children,” writes St. John, “keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21).

      24.  What do you mean by Relics; and what was the origin and progress of the veneration attached to them?

      Relics are the remains, real or supposed, of the bodies or clothing of the Apostles and early martyrs, the instruments of torture by which they suffered, or any thing of which they are said to have been possessed.  It was natural that in the first days of the Gospel every mark of respect should be paid to the memories of those who had perished in its cause; and the religious meetings of the primitive Christians were very commonly held near the places where they were buried.  It was not, however, till the fourth century that their relics were supposed to be endued with miraculous power as preservatives against natural and spiritual evils; and shortly afterwards a violent dispute arose between Vigilantius and Jerome on the subject: but although the latter warmly maintains that miracles had sometimes been wrought by them, he is equally earnest in disclaiming all idea of making them objects of worship.  The pretended discovery of the true cross by the empress Helena among the ruins of Jerusalem, led to the fabrication of an inexhaustible supply of relics, which the frauds of the monks, and the cupidity of the Papal see, imposed upon the credulity and superstition of the people; till at length the Council of Trent decreed that the glory of God is increased by reverencing the remains and ashes of the martyrs and saints, and all the Romish Churches are supplied with an abundant store of these venerated impostures.

      25.  Shew that the Adoration of Relics receives no sanction from the Scriptures.

      The burial of the body of Moses in a “sepulchre which no man knew of” (Deut. 34:6) seems to have been intended to prevent any propensity of the Israelites to worship it; the miracles wrought by the bones of Elijah (2 Kings 13:21) were not followed by any superstitious veneration of them; and Hezekiah’s conduct, in destroying the brazen serpent which Moses had made, was commended because the children of Israel burned incense to it (2 Kings 18:4).  These examples afford convincing arguments against the Romish practice.  In those early times too, when the most valuable relics could have been obtained, the garments of our Lord passed, without an attempt at their recovery, into the possession of his executioners; his cross was sought for above three hundred years afterwards in the neglected rubbish among which it was supposed to lie; devout men buried the body of the Proto-martyr Stephen (Acts 8:2); and the handkerchiefs and Aprons, which wrought special miracles for the sick in consequence of their contact with St. Paul’s body (Acts 19:11, 12), are not even said to have been preserved, much less to have been adored.

      26.  What is the meaning of the word Saint?

      The term Saint, as employed in Scripture, belongs to Christians in general, as persons ordained by God (sanciti, and by abbreviation sancti) to be invested with certain privileges; but the Romanists confine it to the Apostles and martyrs, and other individuals, sometimes of very questionable sanctity, whose works of supererogation have obtained for them the honour of Canonization.

      27.  What is the doctrine of the Church of Rome respecting the Invocation of Saints?

      It is the doctrine of the Church of Rome that “saints reigning with Christ, offer their prayers to God for men; and that it is useful to invoke them in order to procure their assistance in asking God for blessings through Christ.”

      28.  In what does the practice seem to have originated; and at what period had it become general?

      On the anniversaries of the death of the early martyrs, it was usual to pronounce an eulogistic oration over their graves, in which the speaker would sometimes indulge in the idea that the departed was interceding for his suffering friends on earth, “if he had any sense or knowledge of what was doing here below.”  By an easy transition, these qualified expressions passed at length into a direct petition for the intercession of the Saints in their behalf; and the practice naturally grew up in connection with the reverence paid to Relics.  Great indeed, it might be argued, must be the influence of the beatified spirit, if the corruptible remains were endued with such miraculous energies.  Thus at length they were invoked as mediators between God and man; kingdoms as well as individuals had their patron Saints; Churches and monasteries were erected to their honour; and at length, in the beginning of the tenth century, Saint-worship in general, and that of the Virgin in particular, became an established practice in the Christian Church.

      29.  How were the the anniversary commemorations of the early martyrs designated?

      They were called Natalitia; because the martyr’s admission to the joy of heaven was regarded as another Nativity.

      30.  How do the Romaniats attempt to justify the practice of praying to the Saints?

      They allege that the degree of worship which is paid to God is of a more exalted character than that which they pay to the Saints; of which the former is denominated λατρεία, and the latter δουλεία.  Of this last again they recognize two degrees, whereof that paid to the Virgin, and called υπερδουλεία, is superior to that of which the Saints in general are the objects.

      31.  What is the negative argument by which the judicious Hooker proves that Saint-worship is unjustifiable?

      In one of his Sermons, Hooker speaks thus: – “Against invocation of any other than God alone, if all argument else should fail, the number whereof is both great and forcible, yet this very bar and single challenge might suffice: that whereas God hath in Scripture delivered us so many patterns for imitation when we pray; yea, framed ready to our hands, in a manner, all suits and supplications, which our condition of life on earth may at any time need; there is not one, no, not one to be found, directed unto angels, or saints, or any save God alone.”

      32.  Shew that the Invocation of Saints is plainly forbidden in the New Testament.

      Although the examples of the pious dead are proposed in the Scripture for imitation, yet in no case are we directed to worship them.  On the other hand, it is expressly declared that “there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5), through whom we have access to the Father” (Eph. 2:18).  “Let no man beguile you,” says the Apostle (Col. 2:18), “in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels”; and the angel in the Apocalypse (Rev. 19:10) rejecting the worship of St. John, as being “his fellow servant,” enjoined him to “worship God”.  If then Angels are not to be worshipped, much less are the Spirits of holy men.

      33.  Adduce the testimony of the early Church against the several errors denounced in this Article.

      Tertallian affirms (adv. Marc. 4:34) that the souls of the righteous are refreshed in Abraham’s bosom, until the consummation of all things shall complete the general resurrection with the fullness of reward.  St. Cyprian (Epist. 55) urges the sinner, while it is yet in his power, and while yet a spark of life remains, to make his peace with God.  For, he continues, when once we have departed hence, there is no more place for repentance, neither any means of satisfaction.  It is here that life is either lost or secured.  Chrysostom observes (in Gen. Hom. 36) that to such as live virtuously death is a change from worse to better, from this transitory life to one that is immortal and eternal.  While we are in this world, says Jerome (Comment. in Galat. c. 6), we are able to help one another either by our prayers or our advice; but when we come before the judgment seat of Christ, neither Job, nor Daniel, nor Noah, can entreat for any one, but every one must bear his own burden.  Clement of Alexandria teaches (Quis Div. salv. c. 40.) that of all beings the Father is the only one who can undo those things that are done, and who only, by his mercy, and by the dew of his Spirit, can blot out our former transgressions.  Lactantius maintains (Instt. Div. II. 19) that wherever there is an image, there is no religion: because there can be nothing heavenly in what is made out of earthly things.  Augustine (de Oper. Monach. c. 28) condemns those who traffic in the limbs of martyrs, if indeed they be genuine relics; and again (de vera Relig. C. 55.) he lays down a caution against making it a part of religion to worship men that are dead: for if they lived well, they are to be honoured for imitation, not to be adored for religion.


Article  XXIII.

Of Ministering in the Congregation.

      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.


De Ministrando is Ecclesia.

      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, co-optati fuerint at adsciti in hoc opus.


      1.  What are the propositions maintained in this Article?

      These two: – (1) No man can exercise the functions of the Christian ministry, unless he be “lawfully called and sent to execute the same”; – (2) His commission must be received from those who have public authority to call and send him.  {Both these points are fully illustrated in the Questions on the Liturgy, Sect. XVI.  See also Sect. I. qq. 6, 7.}.

      2.  Shew that the positions maintained in this Article, are in accordance with the sentiments of the early Fathers.

      Clement of Rome (Ep. ad Cor. c. 44) observes that as Christ was sent by God, and the Apostles by Christ, so the Apostles, when preaching the Gospel in countries and cities, chose persons, of whom they had a perfect knowledge, and invested them with the pastoral care; in order that after their deaths other men also, having first been tried and apppprroved, might succeed them in their office.  Jerome (Proem. in Matth.) teaches, that in those who come uncalled there is presumption and temerity; but in those who are sent, the obedience of servants.  See also Ignat. ad Ephes. c. 3.  Cyprian. Epist. 69.  Augustin. adv. Faust.  Manich. XVI. 12.  Ambros. Epist. 44.


Article  XXIV.

Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth.

      It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister the Sacraments, in a tongue not understanded of the People.


De loquendi in Ecclesia lingua, quam Populus intelligit.

      Lingua Populo non intellecta, publicas in Ecclesia preces peragere, aut Sacramenta administrare, verbo Dei, et primitivae Ecclesiae consuetudini, plane repugnat.


      1.  Was this Article originally expressed in the same terms as at present?

      In 1552, this Article stood thus: – “It is most fit and most agreeable to the word of God, that nothing be read or rehearsed in the Congregation in a tongue not known unto the people; which St. Paul hath forbidden to be done, unless some be present to interpret it:” thus including preaching as well as prayer.

      2.  What may have been the motive for introducing a change into the wording of the Article?

      In all probability the change was made with a view to mark more expressly the object of the Article, as directed against the use of the Latin Liturgy in the Romish Church, which is continued even to the present day, although perfectly unintelligible to the great majority of worshippers.  After the fall of the Roman Empire this language ceased to be spoken, and Sermons were necessarily preached (as they still are) in the vernacular tongue; but, in order to keep the people in a state of ignorant dependence, Pope Hildebrand, (Gregory VII) interdicted the reading of the Scriptures altogether, and enjoined the Mass to be still celebrated in Latin.

      3.  Shew that the practice of praying in an unknown tongue is both irrational and unscriptural.

      As religious worship is essentially an act of the mind, to engage in it without “the spirit and the understanding” is both impious and absurd: and, although St. Paul fully appreciated the value of the gift of tongues as a means of preaching the Gospel among all nations, he prohibited its use for any other purpose than that of edification (1 Cor. 14:5); arguing at length, throughout the whole chapter, on the importance of offering prayers in the language of those who are to join therein.

      4.  What do you infer from the manner in which the books of the Old and New Testament were written and read; and from the teaching of our Lord and his Apostles?

      The books of the New Testament were written in the Hellenistic or Alexandrian Greek, which, at the time of their composition, was universally spoken in the countries where they were intended to be read; and the books of the Old Testament, originally written in Hebrew, were not only explained by the Chaldee Paraphrases after the Babylonian Captivity, but subsequently translated into Greek, when that language became more generally understood.  Hence it was to this, the Septuagint translation, rather than the original, that our Lord and his Apostles commonly referred; and indeed he seems to have employed, on all occasions, the ordinary language of his hearers.

      5.  Shew from the Fathers, that divine service was always performed in the primitive Churches in a language with which the people were acquainted.

      Justin Martyr (Apol. I. c. 67), in giving an account of the public service of the Church as it was performed in his days, manifestly implies that it was conducted in a language understood by the congregation; and all the early Liturgies were composed in the vernacular tongue of those for whom they were designed: – for instance those of St. James and Chrysostom in Greek, and the old Syriac and Coptic Liturgies.  Indeed Origen expressly says (c. Cels. VIII. 13) that the Greeks use Greek words in their Prayers, the Romans, Latin; and every one prays to God in his own Language: and He that is Lord of every tongue hears that which is asked in any tongue.  It is also observed by St. Cyprian (De Orat. Dom.) that we ought to pray, not only with the sound of the voice, but with the sincere earnestness of the spirit and the understanding.  {See also Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. I. qq. 8–10.}


Article  XXV.

Of the Sacraments.

      Sacraments ordained of Christ be not only badges or tokens of Christian men’s profession, but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs of grace, and God’s good will towards us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our Faith in him.

      There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gospel, that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.

      Those five commonly called Sacraments, that is to say, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel: being such as have grown partly of the corrupt following of the Apostles, partly are states of life allowed in the Scriptures; but yet have not like nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, for that they have not any visible sign, or ceremony ordained of God.

      The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we should duly use them.  And in such only as worthily receive the same, they have a wholesome effect or operation: but they that receive them unworthily, purchase to themselves damnation, as St. Paul saith.


De Sacramentis.

      Sacramenta a Christo instituta non tantum sunt notae professionis Christianorum, sed certa quaedam potius testimonia, et efficacia signa gratiae, atque bonae in nos voluntatis Del, per quae invisibiliter ipse in nos operatur, nostramque fidem in se non solum excitat, verum etiam confirmat.

      Duo a Christo Domino nostro in Evangelio instituta sunt Sacramenta, scilicet Baptismus, et Coena Domini.

      Quinque ilia vulgo nominata Sacramenta, scilicet Confirmatio, Poenitentia, Ordo, Matrimonium et Extrema Unctio, pro Sacramentis Evangelicis habenda non sunt: ut quae partim a prava Apostolorum imitatione profluxerunt, partim vitae status sunt in Scripturis quidem probati sed Sacramentorum eandem cum Baptismo et Coena Domini rationem non habentes, ut quae signum aliquod visibile, seu caeremoniam a Deo institutam, non habeant.

      Sacramenta non in hoc instituta sunt a Christo, ut spectarentur, aut circumferrentur, sed ut rite illis uteremur.  Et in his duntaxat qui digne precipiunt, salutarem habent effectum: qui vero indigne percipiunt, damnationem, ut inquit Paulus, sibi ipsis acquirunt.


      1.  (1) What is the original import of the word Sacramentum; – (2) and how is it applied by Christians?

      (1) The word Sacramentum, in its original acceptation, denotes the oath of allegiance taken by the Roman soldiers to their general; (2) and hence it has been applied in a Christian sense, more particularly by the divines of the English Church, to those holy rites, by one of which the Christian engages, and by the other renews his engagement, to fight “manfully under the banner” of his Redeemer, and to “continue his faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end.”

      2.  (1) Is there any corresponding term in Holy Writ; – (2) how do the early Fathers use it; – (3) and does not the Church of England occasionally employ it in a more extended acceptation?

      (1) There is no word in the Scriptures either of the Old or New Testament which answers to the word Sacrament; – (2) and the early writers applied the term, in a more extended sense, to any religious ordinance whatever, and especially to those of a figurative or mystical import.  They use it, in fact, much in the same way that the Greek Fathers use μυστήριον:—and thus the expression μέγα μυστήριον, under which St. Paul represents Marriage (Eph. 5:32), is rendered in the Vulgate Sacramentum magnum. – (3) Indeed the Homilies of our own Church employ the term both in its general and limited sense; for example: – “Though the Ordering of Ministers hath this visible sign or promise, yet it lacks the promise of remission of Sin, as all other Sacraments beside the above named do; and therefore neither it, nor any other Sacraments else, be such Sacra ments as Baptism and the Communion are.”

      3.  What then is the character of a Sacrament, properly so called, according to the definition of the present Article?

      To prevent any mistake or misapprehension as to her notion of a Sacrament, properly so called, the Church commences this Article by a statement of its essential characteristics; from which it appears that they were ordained by Christ himself, not merely as tokens by which a Christian may be distinguished from an unbeliever, but as federal rites, signifying a communion between God and a man of grace and good will on the one part, and faith and obedience on the other.

      4.  What was the object which the Reformers had in view in this and some of the following Articles?

      (a) In this present Article, we are referred to the Gospel for proof that the two Christian Sacraments were ordained by Christ himself as effectual signs of grace; after which the test is applied to certain rites which the Romanists have dignified with the name of Sacraments; and a caution is subjoined with respect to the proper use of the Lord’s Supper in particular.  (b) The subject of Sacraments is continued through the six following Articles in which their nature, as such, is examined in the case of each respectively, and the Romish corruptions with respect to the Eucharist denounced.

      5.  (1) Upon what grounds is it necessary that Sacraments should have been ordained by Christ himself; (2) and in how many, so ordained, does the primitive Church appear to have recognized the essentials of a Sacrament?

      (1) As “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace given unto us,” as a “means whereby we receive,” and as “pledges that we do receive” this grace “working invisibly in us to the quickening of our obedience, and the confirmation of our faith”; – in other words, as federal rites, whereby God promises on certain conditions to give us his secret but sure assistance in working out our Salvation; – it is evident that Sacraments can be instituted by Him alone, who prescribes the terms on which he will bestow his blessings.  (2) Tried by this test, there are but two ordinances of Christ, which appear in the New Testament under the character of an outward sign, accompanied by a promise of inward grace: and accordingly no mention occurs in any Christian writer, previous to the twelfth century, of more than these two; namely, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

      6.  Shew from the New Testament that Baptism is a Sacrament, properly so called.

      In his conversation with Nicodemus, our Lord speaks of Baptism as an essential condition of admission into the Christian covenant, and in terms which include both the outward sign and the inward grace characteristic of the Sacrament: – “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).  The direct institution of the Sacrament is comprised in the solemn commission delivered to the Apostles immediately before his ascension into heaven; and herein is the prescribed form of administration, the promise of Salvation, and the condition annexed to it: – “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Matt. 28:19.  Mark 16:16.).  Conformably with this commission, St. Peter, in his Sermon on the day of Pentecost, addresses the following exhortation to the astonished multitudes: – “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins; and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

      7.  Prove the same with respect to the Lord’s Supper.

      From the accounts of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, which are given by the three first Evangelists and by St. Paul (Matt. 26:26. sqq.  Mark 14:22. sqq.  Luke 22:19, 20.  1 Cor. 11:23. sqq.), the rite manifestly embraces all the requisites of a Sacrament.  The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Christ, by a spiritual participation of which all the promised blessings of the baptismal covenant are renewed to us on God’s part, and we on our part “shew forth the Lord’s death till his coming again”, in token of our continued dedication to his service.

      8.  (1) Who is the first writer that speaks of more than two Sacraments; (2) and on what authority has the addition been ratified in the Romish Church?

      (1) Peter Lombard is the first writer who mentions seven Sacraments, in which number are included Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and Extreme Unction; but as none of them “have any visible sign or ceremony ordained of God,” they have no legitimate claim to that title.  (2) About the middle of the fifteenth century, however, Pope Eugenius IV admitted their Sacramental character; the Council of Trent declared them to be Sacraments equally with Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; and they have been thenceforth acknowledged as such by the Church of Rome.

      9.  In what light does our Church regard Conformation; and why does she not admit it to be a Sacrament?

      As a primitive practice sanctioned by Apostolic usage, our Church enjoins Confirmation among those rites and ceremonies which every Church has power to decree: but it was not ordained by Christ himself, who has left no express form for its administration; there is no command either from our Lord or his Apostles for its adoption; Imposition of hands is not confined to it as a sign of spiritual grace, but used on various other occasions; it is not a federal rite; and therefore it is not a Sacrament.  {See further in the Questions on the Liturgy ; Sect. xi. qq. 5–7.}

      10.  (1) What was the original, and what is the Romish, view of Penance; – (2) and what opinion did our Reformers entertain respecting it?

      (1) Penance is an ecclesiastical term, denoting a public act of contrition and penitence required from those, who had been guilty of any sins by which the Church was scandalized, before they could be readmitted to her communion.  It originated, during the early days of persecution in the restoration of those who had apostatized from the faith; and, being thence extended to sins and offences in general, was changed at length into that system of auricular confession and private penance, at all times commutable for money, by which priestly absolution is obtained in the Church of Rome.  (2) Our Reformers have expressed a wish for the revival of the ancient discipline, which, under proper regulations, might be rendered a powerful means of checking vice, and restoring the sinner; but they properly deemed the Romish practice to have “grown out of a corrupt following of the Apostles”: while to Penance, under any view, they denied the rank of a Sacrament, inasmuch as it is neither of divine institution, federal in its nature, nor symbolic in form.

      11.  Prove that Holy Orders have no claim to be considered as a Sacrament.

      The sacred functions of the Christian ministry are called Holy Orders; but neither is there any ground for supposing, with some, that there is a Sacramental virtue inherent in the ordained person or his office; or for regarding the rite of Ordination as a Sacrament, in which light it is viewed by the Romanists.  No particular form of Ordination was prescribed by our Lord; and, though prayer and imposition of hands are used during the ceremony according to the practice of the Apostles, yet these merely give solemnity to the act, and authority to the minister, without partaking of the essential qualities of a Sacrament.  Doubtless the grace of God directs, promotes, and sanctifies the labours of his ministers; but it is granted rather for the benefit of those entrusted to their charge, than for their own individual salvation.

      12.  Shew that Marriage, though a mystical rite, is not of a Sacramental character.

      Matrimony is “an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency,” and it is figurative of the “mystical union that exists between Christ and his Church,” but it has no visible sign of spiritual grace received thereby, and consequently does not partake of the nature of a Sacrament.  The Ring is emblematic of the marriage covenant between the man and his wife, not of a federal communion with God.  Marriage is essentially a religious rite, but not Sacramental.

      13.  Have the Romanists any satisfactory grounds for assigning the virtue of a Sacrament to the ceremony of Extreme Unction?

      The Romanists refer to two passages (Mark 6:13.  James 5:14) in support of the Sacramental efficacy of Extreme Unction; but neither of them imply any federal act of a spiritual nature and permanent duration, and they fail accordingly of establishing the point.  The rite has indeed an outward sign, but no inward grace accompanies it.

      14.  What is meant by gazing at the Sacraments; and why is the practice condemned?

      This expression alludes to the processions of the consecrated host and the mummeries which attend them in the Church of Rome.  There is no authority for any such practice in Holy Writ, nor in the custom of the primitive Church; and it is altogether inconsistent with the simplicity and spirituality of Christian worship.

      15.  In what does the proper use of the Sacraments consist?

      The Sacraments are to be duly used in accordance with the design of each of them.  Baptism, as the rite of admission into Christ’s Church, is not to be repeated; but no opportunity is to be neglected of receiving the Lord’s Supper, and thereby manifesting a continued allegiance to Christ and his religion.

      16.  What is the wholesome effect produced by the Sacraments; and who alone are benefited thereby?

      Remission of sins is expressly declared to be the wholesome effect produced by both the Sacraments (Matt. 26:28.  Acts 2:38); but it is not to be expected that this benefit will accrue to those, who do not “worthily receive the same”.  Neither one or the other have any secret influence over the nature and consequence of sin, being simply the appointed means of conveying pardon, grace, and consolation to such as with a hearty repentance and true faith turn to Christ.  Of all others they only increase the condemnation.

      17.  In what light do you understand the declaration that those who receive the Sacraments unworthily purchase to themselves damnation?

      The word damnation implies not only eternal, but temporal punishment; and it is in the latter sense St. Paul (1 Cor. 11:29) applies it in this passage, since he explains it by the infliction of “divers diseases, and sundry kinds of death”.  Thus explained, therefore, the word need not create undue alarm to tender consciences, more especially as it is scarcely possible that the profaneness of the Corinthian converts can now take place; although at the same time it is very possible to receive unworthily in other respects, and thus, without repentance, to incur the danger of God’s vengeance.

      18.  What is the error against which the concluding caution is directed?

      It is directed against the doctrine of the Church of Rome that the opus operatum, the mere act of receiving the Holy Communion, is of itself sufficient to secure Salvation, without any reference to the faith of the recipient, unless he be in a state of mortal sin.  (Hence the Romish priesthood use it as a viaticum, even in the agonies of death, and when the dying man is utterly unconscious of its administration.)

      19.  How did this clause stand, and what was the extent and arrangement of the entire Article as set forth in 1552?

      The clause itself ran thus: – “In such only as worthily receive the same they have a wholesome effect or operation; not, as some say, ex opere operato: which terms, as they are strange and utterly unknown to Holy Scripture, so do they yield a sense which savoureth of little piety, but of much superstition.”  Then followed the definition of a Sacrament with which the Article now begins; and the Article commenced with the following sentence from Augustine (de Doctr. Chr. III. 13): – “Our Lord Jesus Christ gathered his people into a society by Sacraments, very few in number, most easily to be kept, and of most excellent signification; that is to say, Baptism and the Supper of the Lord.”  The sentence respecting the Romish Sacraments was absent.

      20.  What inference respecting the number of the Sacraments may be drawn from the writings of the Primitive Church?

      In the early ages of the Gospel there was no controversy respecting the nature and number of the Sacraments, and the point can only be incidentally determined.  At the same time, Justin Martyr (Apol. cc. I. 61. sqq.) mentions only two Sacraments, namely, Baptism and the Eucharist; and Tertullian also (de Coron. Mil. c. 3.) speaks of these two in conjunction, without alluding to any more.  So likewise the Clem. Recogn. i.  Chrysost. Hom. 85. in D. Johan. c. 3.  Cyril. Hierosol. de Catect.  Augustin. Epist. 23, and 54.


Article  XXVI.

Of the unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacrament.

      Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometimes 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 in Christ’s, and do minister by his commission and authority, we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving of the Sacraments.  Neither is the effect of Christ’s ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of God’s gifts diminished, from such as by faith and rightly do 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 evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty by just judgment, be deposed.


De vi institutionum divinarum quod eam non tollat malitia Ministrorum.

      Quamvis in Ecclesia visibili bonis mali semper sunt admixti, atque interdum ministerio Verbi et Sacramentorum administrationi praesint; tamen cum non suo, sed Christi nomine, agant, ejusque mandato et auctoritate 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 oblate percipiunt; quae propter institutionem Christi et promissionem efficacia sunt, licet per malos administrentur.

      Ad Ecclesiae tamen disciplinam pertinet, ut in malos ministros inquiratur, accusenturque ab his, qui eorum flagitia noverint; atque tandem, justo convicti judicio, deponantur.


      1.  Why does this Article seem to have been drawn up by the Reformers?

      About the time of the Reformation the flagitious conduct of many of the Romish Clergy had revived an opinion, originally entertained by the Donatists, that the effect of the Sacraments was invalidated by the sins of the minister.  Against such opinion this Article is directed as being not only unreasonable in itself, but contrary to the teaching of our Lord and his Apostles.

      2.  Shew that the wickedness of the ministry cannot reasonably be supposed to vitiate the efficacy of the Sacraments.

      Since the ministers of Christ act under his authority, the efficacy of their ministration cannot be impaired by any personal failings of their own; and indeed the discharge of their commission as ambassadors of Christ could not rest on the uncertain foundation of individual worthiness without continually giving rise to the most perplexing difficulties.  The Sacraments being federal acts, it cannot be supposed that God’s covenanted mercies will fail through the unworthiness of those by whom they are dispensed; not to mention that as all men are liable to sin, no one, if sin vitiated the Sacraments, would ever be certain whether he bad been baptized, or received the Lord’s Supper.

      3.  May not a like inference be drawn from the Scriptures of the New Testament?

      As the Scribes “sat in Moses’ seat,” our Lord directed his disciples to “observe and do what they bid them, but not to do after their works, because they said, and did not” (Matt. 23:2, 3).  In declaring also that “he that believed and was baptized should be saved” (Mark 16:16), he does not limit the beneficial effect of baptism to those who receive the rite from a worthy minister.  The treasure of the Gospel was committed to the priesthood “in earthen vessels, that the power might be of God, and not of men” (2 Cor. 4:5, 7); “neither is ‘he that planteth any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase” (1 Cor. 3:7).  Indeed, of the twelve Apostles chosen by Christ, one, as he well knew, was “a devil” (John 6:70); and that Christ was “preached, whether in pretence or in truth,” was to St. Paul a matter of rejoicing (Phil. 1:18).

      4.  What is the teaching of the Church of Rome on the subject of Sacramental validity?

      The Church of Rome (a) allows that the clerical functions are not affected by the character of the officiating priest: (b) but she holds an opinion far less tenable, that the intention of the minister is essential to the validity of a Sacrament; and that if he repeat the form of words without intending to administer the rite, the rite is not administered.  A notion so absurd carries its own refutation along with it; but a decree to that effect was made in the Councils both of Florence and of Trent.

      5.  Is it not essential that clerical delinquencies should be punished; and with whom does the power rest of adjudging and inflicting the penalty?

      Although the ministerial functions are not impaired by personal wickedness, and the office, not the individual, is to be regarded in their exercise; still the vices of ministers are calculated to create extensive scandal and mischief in the Church, and it is necessary to guard against the pernicious effects of their evil examples.  St Paul directs that an accusation is not to be received against an elder, “but before two or three witnesses”: and it is essential to the interests of religion that if, upon “enquiry made,” the accused “be found guilty,” he “be rebuked before all, that others also may fear” (1 Tim. 5:19, 20); or, should the case require it, “be deposed”.  Authority to this extent has always been vested in the Church; and it is absolutely necessary to the maintenance of order and discipline that it should be so.

      6.  Shew that the Article is confirmed throughout by the opinions and practice of the primitive Church.

      God sometimes works, says Chrysostom (in 1 Cor. Hom. 8.), even by those who are unworthy; nor is the grace of Baptism at all impaired by the life of the priest.  According to St. Ambrose (Epist. 1. ad Chromat.), the merits of the individuals are not to be regarded, but the functions of minister.  Gregory of Nazianzum (Orat. de Bapt.) maintains that the Baptism of Peter is no better than that of Judas, illustrating his assertion by the fact that a seal of iron gives as perfect an impression as a seal of gold; and so Augustine (Lit. Pet. III. 67.): – A minister of the Gospel, who is also a dispenser of the Sacraments, if he be a good man, is a partaker with the Gospel; but if he be a bad man, he is not therefore no dispenser of God’s word.  Peter preached it, as likewise did other good men; Judas, also preached it, though unwillingly: for the dispensation of it was committed to him together with them, although they alone have a good reward for dispensing it.  And again (c. 110.): – The conduct of evil men does not hinder the Sacraments of God, so as to annul them, or make them less holy.  See also Tract, in Johan. Ev. v. 18.  With respect to the latter part of the Article, St Cyprian writes as follows (Epist. 41): – As to Felicissimus the deacon, let him know that he is cast out from among us; inasmuch as, besides the frauds and robberies of which we know that he is guilty, he is also charged with adultery: and this charge some of our brethren, who are grave men, have pledged themselves to make good.


Article  XXVII.

Of Baptism.

      Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not Christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.

      The Baptism of young children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.


De Baptismo.

      Baptismus non est tantum professionis signum, ac discriminis nota, qua Christiani a non Christianis discernantur, sed etiam est signum Regenerationis, per quod, tanquam per instrumentum, recte Baptismum suscipientes Ecclesiae inseruntur; promissiones de remissione peccatorum, atque adoptione nostra in filios Dei per Spiritum Sanctum, visibiliter obsignantur; fides confirmatur, et vi divinae invocations gratia augetur.

      Baptismus parvulorum omnino in Ecclesia retinendus est, ut qui cum Christi institutione optime congruat.


      1.  In what manner, and to what extent, is Baptism a sign of the Christian profession?

      As the Jews were distinguished from all other nations by Circumcision, so are Christians distinguished both from the Jews and all others by Baptism; and, according to the express declaration of Christ himself; who ordained Baptism as the sacrament of admission into his Church, none are Christians, and entitled to Christian privileges, who have not been baptized.

      2.  Is not Baptism a sign of something more than mere external profession?

      Baptism is also a sign of Regeneration or New Birth; or, according to the Church Catechism, the thing signified by Baptism is “a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness; for, being by nature born in sin, and the children of wrath, we are thereby made the children of grace.”

      3.  What promises are visibly signed and sealed to the Christian by Baptism?

      St. Peter connects with “Baptism in the name of Christ” the promise of “Remission of sins.” (Acts 2:38.)  Of this promise the outward washing is the visible sign and seal, as well as of our adoption to be the sons of God.  “For we are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ; for as many as have been baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ.” (Gal. 3:26, 27.)

      4.  Shew that Baptism was never administered in the name of Christ only.

      From these and other passages, where Baptism in the name of Christ is mentioned, without reference to the prescribed form of administration, it is not to be inferred that the rite can be duly administered without that form.  Not only was it always performed in the primitive Church in the name of all the three persons in the blessed Trinity; but there is a striking incident recorded in the Acts, which clearly marks the Apostolic practice.  The question, “Unto what then were ye baptised?” put by St. Paul to certain Ephesian converts, who had not heard of the Holy Ghost, – implies that, – if they had received Christian Baptism, they could not have failed to hear of him; and accordingly it appeared that they had only been baptized “unto John’s baptism.” (Acts 19:3).

      5.  What are the benefits conveyed by the right use of this Sacrament?

      Inasmuch as Baptism is the appointed means of admission into the Gospel Covenant, the right use of the Sacrament will necessarily tend to a confirmation of our faith in the promises of God; and a well-grounded faith, accompanied by fervent and constant prayer, will as surely produce an increase of grace, resulting in a daily advance towards Christian perfection.

      6.  What is the purport of the prayer which our Church offers up in behalf of those who are baptized?

      Our Church invokes a blessing upon those who are baptized to the effect that “the old Adam may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in them; that all things belonging to the Spirit may live and grow in them; that they may have power and strength to have victory, and to triumph against the devil, the world, and the flesh; and that, being endued with heavenly virtues, they may be everlastingly rewarded through God’s mercy in Christ.”

      7.  Give some leading arguments for Infant Baptism.

      (a)  1.  Baptism, though excelling its type circumcision as the new covenant excels the old, is, as circumcision was, an initiatory rite, the means of admission into covenant with God:  2. And the Circumcision of Jewish infants enjoined under the Law could not fail to be understood as sanctioning (or indeed requiring) the Baptism of the infant children of Christians unless our Lord had expressly excepted them. – (b)  1. ... “God commanding children to be curcumcised, or initiated into the church, the same command may well be looked upon as reaching to baptism too; for it is by this we are initiated into the Church now, as it was by curcumcision they were initiated then ... [“If children be admitted into the covenant of works, why not, a fortiori, into the covenant of grace?”  Bp. Browne.]  2. {Further}, The words of our Saviour are a law, when he saith, Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them, &c (Matt. 28:19).  Where though it be translated teach, {which term, it has been objected, would not apply to infants}, the word in the original {μαθητεύσατε} properly imports disciple, and make disciples; ... So that all that are disciples are here commanded to be baptized; nay they are therefore commanded to be baptized because disiples.  [If we take the original to mean make disciples by baptizing them, the command still applies to whole nations, children included, as a Jew would understand them to be if not excepted.]  And seeing all disciples are to be baptized, infants, the children of believing parents, amongst the rest must be baptized too; for that they are disciples is clear from their being circumcised under the law: for that argued they were under the covenant with God, otherwise they could not have had the seal of the covenant administered to them, and if they were in covenant with God, they must needs be disciples ... – 3.  Again, of children our Saviour saith, of such is the kingdom of God, Mark 10:14.  And therefore they must needs be disciples, unless such as are not disciples should be thought to belong to the kingdom of God.”  Bp. Beveridge. – (c) Where one parent only was Christian, St. Paul affirms the children to be holy (1 Cor. 7:14); surely then admissible into the Christian covenant by baptism. – {See further on Infant Baptism, Baptism by Affusion, and other particulars relating to Baptism, in Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. X.}

      8.  Prove that the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration, and the Baptism of Infants, are confirmed by the writings of the early Fathers.

      St Barnabas (Epist. c. 11) observes that we descend into the water full of sins and pollutions, and ascend out of it full of good fruits, having fear in our hearts, and hope towards the Lord in our spirit.  Justin Martyr (Apol. I. c. 66.) relates that those who believed the Gospel, and undertook to live in conformity therewith, were brought to a place where there was water, and regenerated after the same manner of regeneration, as those who had previously embraced Christianity; and he adds that in the water they obtained the redemption of all their past sins.  And in his second Apology he speaks of persons 60 and 70 years old who when he wrote it had been made disciples to Christ (εμαθητευθήσαν τω Χριστω) – (doubtless by baptism) – in their childhood; (i.e. in the lifetime of St. John).  Theophilus of Antioch (ad Autol. II. 16) says that men obtain remission of sins by water, and the laver of regeneration, even as many as come to the truth, and are born again, and receive the blessing of God.  The Apostolical Constitutions (VI. 15.) direct that children should be baptited, and brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  Irenaeus (Haer. 39.) teaches that Christ came to save by himself all who are born again to God through him, whether infants, children, boys, youths, or old men.  See also Tertull. de Bapt. c. 4.  De Cor. Mil. c. 1.  Adv. Prax. c. 26; Chrysostom. Hom. in. Joh. 85.  Cyprian. Epist. 64.  Origen. in Luc. Hom. 14; Augustin. de Pecc. Mor. I. 19.


Article  XXVIII.

Of the Lord’s Supper.

      The Supper of the Lord is not only a sign of the love that Christians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather 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 partaking of the body of Christ; and likewise the Cup of blessing is a partaking of the blood of Christ.

      Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of Bread and Wine in the Supper of the Lord, cannot be proved by holy Writ; but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.

      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.

      The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was not by Christ’s ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped.


De Coena Domini.

      Coena Domini non est tantum signum mutuae bonevolentiae Christianorum inter se, 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 Eucharista ex sacris literis probari non potest; sed apertis Scripturae verbis adversatur, Sacramenti naturam evertit, et multarum superstitionum dedit occasionem.

      Corpus Christi datur, accipitur, et manducatur in Coena, tantum coelesti et spirituali ratione.  Medium autem, quo corpus Christi accipitur et manducatur in Coena, fides est.

      Sacramentum Eucharistiae ex institutione Christi non servabatur, circumferebatur, elevabatur, nec adorabatur.


      1.  Whence does it appear that the Lord’s Supper is a sign of Christian fellowship?

      In speaking of the Eucharist, St. Paul describes the Sacramental bread as an emblem of that love and unity, which ought to subsist among Christians, and incorporate them into one undivided body, of which Christ is the spiritual head.  “For we, being many, are one bread and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17.)

      2.  Shew that the Lord’s Supper is also a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ’s death.

      As the Lord’s Supper was instituted “for the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and of the benefits which we receive thereby,” so, in accordance with the true character of a Sacrament, the elements of bread and wine are an outward sign of the spiritual blessings obtained for us by the body of Christ broken, and his blood shed upon the cross for our salvation; insomuch that the worthy recipient of the appointed symbols becomes through faith a partaker of the thing signified.  With a view to avoid any attempt to explain the mysterious nature of this participation, our Church has, with her usual moderation, conveyed her meaning in terms which are strictly Scriptural.  “The cup of blessing which we bless,” asks St. Paul (1 Cor. 10:16), “is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ.”

      3.  Explain the nature and design of the Eucharist, by means of the analogy observable in the sacrifices both of Jews and Heathens.

      Among the Jews, some of their sacrifices were entirely consecrated to God, as being typical of the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice of the promised Redeemer; and of the trespass offering, a portion was eaten by the priests only, as mediators between God and the person who made the offering; but in peace offerings, which were a token of reconciliation between God and man, part was offered to God, and the rest consumed by the priest and people, who were thereby reinstated in covenant with Jehovah.  To this latter class the Passover, and consequently the Lord’s Supper, manifestly belong; and thus our Lord declares in John 6:53.  “Except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”  Hence this Sacrament is not a sacrifice, but a feast upon a sacrifice, to wit, the sacrifice once offered by Christ upon the cross: and such were not only these feasts which accompanied the Jewish sacrifices, but those among the heathen upon things offered to idols, which St. Paul contrasts with the agapae, or Eucharistic feasts of the early Christians (1 Cor. 10:13. sqq.).  Now these epulae sacrificiales under the Law were regarded as federal rites between God and the parties who partook thereof; just as covenants were ratified in early times by the contracting parties eating and drinking together.  Those present were regarded as God’s guests, who entered into covenant with him by eating their portion of the victim, while his was consumed; and, in like manner, the Christian’s participation in the Holy Communion is a visible pledge of Christ’s love to his faithful followers, as well as a bond of unity among themselves.

      4.  How is the death of Christ represented in the New Testament; and by what term is the sacrifice expressed?

      The Sacrifice of Christ is represented in the New Testament as an offering for Sin; and that, by means of the same sacrificial term which the LXX apply to the sin offering of the Levitical dispensation.  Thus, for instance, in 2 Cor. 5:21, υπερ ημων αμαρτίαν εποίησεν.  Compare Lev. 4:20, 9:7, 14:18, 15:19.  Numb. 6:11, 8:12.  Isai. 53:10.  In like manner, we have ο μόσχος της αμαρτίας (Ezek. 45:22), and similar expressions; in which η αμαρτία, according to OEcumenius, is equivalent to το περι αμαρτιων θυμα.

      5.  In what light does the Church of Rome regard the celebration of the Eucharist?

      The Romanists believe that the sacrifice of the death of Christ is repeated every time the Lord’s Supper is administered, and an atonement thereby made both for the living and the dead.  Accordingly they regard the service of the Mass as a lively representation of the several circumstances of his death and passion.  The error has obviously arisen out of the doctrine of Transubstantiation. {See on Art. XXXI.}

      6.  What is meant by Transubstantiation?

      The doctrine is thus stated in the 14th Article of the Creed of Pope Pius IV: – “In the Sacrament of the Eucharist there is truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ; and there is a conversion of the whole substance of the bread into his body, and of the whole substance of the wine into his blood; which conversion the Holy Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation.”  In explanation of the term, the Trent Catechism teaches that, “because in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the whole substance of one thing passes into the whole substance of another, the word Transubstantiation was rightly and wisely invented by our forefathers.”

      7.  Shew that the argument from Scripture, upon which the doctrine of Transubstantiation is founded, is invalid.

      The doctrine is mainly built upon the solemn words employed by Christ at the institution of the Sacrament (Matt. 26:26, 28), and his exhortations to his disciples in the sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel.  Of these last, in order to prevent misapprehension, he distinctly asserted the spiritual nature.  “The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).  It is also manifest that the words “This is my body” and “this is my blood,” could only be meant to imply that the bread represented his body, and the wine his blood; and are no more to be understood literally, than we are to suppose our Lord himself to have been actually a door, a vine, a lamb, or a way.  Besides, as the blood of the Paschal Lamb was a symbol, so by analogy are the Eucharistic elements.  Indeed there is no word in Hebrew which expresses to signify or represent; and consequently it is, was employed for it signifies, by a common Oriental idiom.  Examples of this usage abound.  Compare Gen. 41:26.  Dan. 7:24.  Matt. 13:31, 39.  Luke 8:9, 15:26.  John 7:36, 10:6.  Acts 10:17.  1 Cor. 10:4.  Gal. 4:24.  Rev. 1:20.

      8.  Does it not appear that this doctrine is alike impossible and absurd?

      It is impossible that the bread, which Christ gave to his disciples, should have been his natural body, while he was then alive, and in the act of breaking it; nor could the wine in the cup be the blood still flowing in his veins.  In fact, the elements are still called bread and wine after consecration (1 Cor. 10:27); and it is moreover absurd to suppose that Christ can be corporeally present to different congregations of communicants at the same time.

      9.  Point out the inconsistency of Transubstantiation with the nature of miracles, and the evidence on which they invariably rest.

      The reality of the miracles of the Old and New Testaments was in all cases established by the evidence of the senses: and whenever change of property or substance was effected, similar to that which is alleged of Transubstantiation, such change was obvious and readily discernible.  When, for instance, our Lord turned water into wine at the Marriage feast in Cana, the attributes of the wine took place of those of the water; whereas the consecrated bread and wine remain, as far as the senses can discover, bread and wine still.  Moreover, the accidents of the miracle are plainly inverted; for instead of Christ’s body and blood being changed into bread and wine, as the words of institution are made to indicate, it is the bread and wine that are transubstantiated into Christ’s body and blood.

      10.  Shew that Transubstantiation is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture.

      In the Gospel narrative of the institution of the Lord’s Supper, it is plainly related that “Jesus took bread, and brake it, and gave it,” i. e. the bread, “to his disciples.  So likewise of the Cup.  He also spake of the wine after consecration as being still the fruit of the vine” (Matt. 26:26–29).  Neither is it possible to reconcile the corporeal presence of Christ in the Eucharist with the assurance that he is at the the right of God in heaven, there to remain “until the times of the restitution of all things”.  See Acts 3:21.  Eph. 1:21.

      11.  In what respect does Transubstantiation overthrow the nature of a Sacrament?

      Inasmuch as a Sacrament has an outward visible sign, as well as an inward and spiritual grace, the conversion of the bread and wine in Christ’s body and blood, by which the sign is changed into the thing signified, must at once destroy the Sacramental character of the Ordinance.

      12.  What are the Superstitions, to which the doctrine of Transubstantiation has given rise?

      Those which are enumerated in the last clause of the Article.  Under the absurd persuasion that the consecrated wafer, or, as it is called, the Host, has become the actual body of Christ, Romanists worship it on their knees, as it is elevated by the priest for that purpose: and not only is the portion “reserved” for the sick solemnly paraded through the streets in Romish countries, but a day, called Corpus Christi Day, is set apart, on which the Host is “carried about” in procession, “lifted up,” and “worshipped.”

      13.  Does the Ordinance of Christ give any sanction to these superstitions?

      At the institution of the Sacrament, our Lord’s command was simply this: – “Take, eat, this is my body which is  given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Matt. 26:26.  Luke 22:19).  From these words no sanction can be elicited either for the reservation, perambulation, elevation, or worship of the Host; whereas the practice is manifestly superstitious and idolatrous, and consequently at variance both with the spirit and the doctrine of Holy Writ.

      14.  What is the derivation and meaning of the word Host?

      The word is, in fact, an abbreviation of the Latin hostia, “a victim”; and it is employed to convey the idea that Christ is offered up anew, as a propitiatory sacrifice, at every celebration of the Eucharist.

      15.  When was the doctrine of Transubstantiation first mooted; how was it received; and may not its erroneous tendency be thence argued?

      In the first ages of the Church it seems to have been universally believed that the body and blood of Christ were really present in the Lord’s Supper, but the nature of that presence gave rise to no serious discussion prior to the Publication of a treatise “on the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ,” by Paschasius Radbertus, a Benedictine monk, in the year 831.  Nor indeed did this treatise attract any great degree of attention until, fourteen years afterwards, it was presented, in an enlarged and amended form, to Charles the Bald.  Radbert maintained that, after consecration, nothing remains of the bread and wine except their outward appearance; and that the body of Christ, which then becomes really and locally present, is the same identical body which was born of theVirgin, which suffered on the cross, and which rose from the dead.  Charles disapproved of the work; and, in order to settle the question, directed two of his ablest writers to examine the arguments on which it rests.  Thus not only does the late origin of the doctrine of Transubstantiation, but the manner in which it was received, make strongly against its truth; though, without the warranty of Scripture, it must have been equally rejected as an error, even if it had dated from the earliest times.

      16.  To whom was the examination of the new doctrine particularly entrusted; how did they execute their task; and in what light was the worship of the elements regarded?

      John Scott, an Irishman, and Ratramn, a monk, were the persons selected by Charles to investigate the opinions of Radbert.  The work of the former, which seems to have been a concise and perspicuous exposition of the symbolic and commemorative import of the rite, is unfortunately lost; while the real opinions of the latter are, perhaps intentionally, concealed in a maze of perplexing subtleties.  Others also engaged in the dispute, among whom was Rabanus Maurus, the most learned divine of the ninth Century; and it is worthy of remark that the worship of the elements is not mentioned by any of the writers on either side of the question.

      17.  Did the Anglo-Saxon Church hold the doctrine of Transubstantiation?

      It appears from the Canons of AElfric that no such belief was entertained by our Saxon ancestors; for he uses language not only irreconcileable with a belief in Transubstantiation, but has made great use of Ratramn’s treatise against it.  Neither was any profession of belief then required from the Clergy at ordination, or any enquiry made with respect to it.

      18.  Give a brief view of the history of the doctrine in its subsequent stages.

      Before the end of the ninth century the controversy had subsided; on its revival in the eleventh, it was opposed by the celebrated Berenger; in the twelfth century, however, it was very generally received as a doctrine of the Church, though the word Transubstantiation, which the Trent Catechism ascribes to the wisdom of our “forefathers,” was only first stamped upon the doctrine by the fourth Council Lateran (A. D. 1215), having been then recently invented by Bishop Stephen of Arles, with the sanction of Pope Innocent III.; and at length the Council of Trent enrolled both the name and the doctrine among the peculiar tenets of the Romish communion.

      19.  What doctrine was substituted by Luther for Transubstantiation; and by what arguments is it shewn to be untenable?

      By Zuingle and Calvin, and indeed by the Reformers in general, the doctrine of Transubstantiation was rejected in toto; but Luther and his followers admitted that the substance of Christ’s body and blood is present in the Eucharist, together with the substance of the bread and wine: and accordingly the modified doctrine of Consubstantiation was inserted by Melancthon in the Augsburgh Confession; although he seems to have entertained considerable doubt respecting it, and subsequently, indeed, to have discarded it altogether.  It is manifest that the same reasons hold against the Lutheran, as against the Romish, doctrine.

      20.  Does the Church of England offer an unqualified contradiction to the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist?

      Unquestionably the Church of England recognizes a real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; but it is a spiritual, not a corporeal, presence.  While she declares that “the bread and the wine remain unchanged,” and that they are merely “a sign of Christ’s body and blood,” which are given and received “only in a heavenly and spiritual manner,” she still asserts that they “are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful.”  In other words, without incurring the risk of being wise beyond that which is written, she affirms that those who worthily partake of the appointed emblems, bread and wine, are fed with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of Christ to the strengthening and refreshing of their souls; and this is in strict accordance with the repeated declaration of our Lord himself.  “Whoso eateth my flesh” he solemnly assures his disciples, “and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; for my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.”  But, he adds “it is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing” (John 6:54, 63).

      21.  By what means then are the body and blood of Christ taken and received in the Lord’s Supper?

      Since the body of Christ is not actually, but spiritually eaten, it follows of necessity that the means whereby it is so eaten is a true and lively faith in the benefits purchased to mankind by his all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross.  Thus eaten, “Christ becomes one with us, and we with him;” we are nourished, strengthened, and supported by the heavenly food; and we go on from grace to grace until we lay hold on eternal life.

      22.  How does Hooker practically sum up a discussion on the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper?

      “Let it be sufficient for me, presenting myself at the Lord’s Table, to know what there I receive from him, without searching or inquiry of the manner how Christ performeth his promise. ... This Bread hath in it more than the substance which our eyes behold, this Cup hallowed with solemn benediction availeth to the endless life and welfare both of soul and body: in that it serveth as well for a medicine to heal our infirmities and purge our sins, as for a sacrifice of thanksgiving; with touching it sanctifieth, it enlighteneth with belief, it truly conformeth us unto the image of Jesus Christ.  What these elements are in themselves it skilleth not: it is enough that to me which take them they are the Body and Blood of Christ; his promise in witness hereof sufficeth; his word he knoweth which was to accomplish; why should any cogitation possess the mind of a faithful comunicant but this;O my God, thou art true; O my soul, thou art happy!’”

      23.  What are the opinions of the early Fathers touching the nature of this Sacrament, and the manner in which it is received?

      Although Justin Martyr (Apol. I. c. 66.) and Irenaeus (Haer. IV. 34.) affirm that the bread, after consecration, is no longer common bread, but heavenly food; yet the Fathers in general constantly speak of the consecrated elements as signs, symbols, figures, types, commemorative and mystical representations; and while they afford numerous testimonies to the figurative import of the Sacrament, there is not a single authority on the other side. [It is vain, especially in the face of many positive assertions to the contrary, to take literally by way of authority glowing rhetorical expressions, manifestly such, which have been used by some Fathers, who, before Transubstantiation was mentioned, had not such reason as we have for guarding their language.]  Thus Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. Myst. IV. 3) teaches that under the type bread, Christ’s body is given, and under the type of wine, his blood; so that those who partake of the body and blood of may be of one body and blood with Him.  Origen says (Hom. VII. in Levit.) that to understand our Saviour’s words, of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, according to the letter, is a letter that killeth.  Thus also Augustine (De Doctr. Chr. III. 16.): – These words, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you, seem to command a heinous wickedness; and therefore the commandment is figurative.  See also Tertull. adv. Marc. IV. 40.  Cyprian. Epist. 63.  Augustin. in Psal. 98. c. 9.  It may be remarked also incidentally, that in answer to the calumny which charged the primitive Christians with eating human flesh, the martyr Blandina argued its impossibility from the fact, that for the purpose of religious abstinence, they forbore to eat even such flesh as might be lawfully eaten (Iren. ap. OEcumen. Comm. in 1 Pet. 3.)


Article  XXIX.

Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord’s Supper.

      The Wicked, and such as be void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth, as Saint Augustine saith, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ; but rather to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign, or Sacrament, of so great a thing.


De Manducatione Corporis Christi, et impios illud non manducare.

      Impii, et fide viva destituti, licet carnaliter et visibiliter, ut Augustinus loquitur, corporis et sanguinis Christi Sacramentum dentibus premant, nullo tamen modo Christi participes efficiuntur: sed potius tantae rei Sacramentum, seu symbolum, ad judicium sibi manducant et bibunt.


      1.  Why is this Article introduced in this place; and upon what principle does it rest?

      The teaching of this Article follows necessarily from that of the preceeeding, and seals the testimony of our Church against the doctrine of Transubstantiation.  If the sacramental elements be really changed into the substance of Christ’s body and blood, then all communicants, whether bad or good, are equally partakers thereof: but if, on the other hand, Christ is only received in a spiritual manner by means of faith, the wicked, who have no true faith, do not receive him.

      2.  What is the error against which the Article is directed?

      Romanists are not only compelled to admit that the wicked are partakers of Christ’s body, but they assert, – and they are only consistentin so doing, – that Sacramental grace follows the act of receiving ex opere operato, without respect to the character of the recipient.  It is against this fearful position that this Article seems to have been directed.

      3.  Whence does it appear that the wicked do not partake of Christ in receiving the Lord’s Supper?

      As Sacraments are federal rites, those who receive them without caring to perform the covenanted conditions, are in no wise partakers of Christ, by reason of their joining in the external ceremony.  The outward act without the inward devotion of the heart is mere hypocrisy and a profanation of the institution; so that instead of partaking of the benefits of the death of Christ, “he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eatheth and drinketh damnation to himself, not considering the Lord’s body” (1 Cor. 11:29).  “To this effect also writes St. John: – “If we say that we have fellowshipwith him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6, 7).

      4.  Will scruples as to receiving the Sacrament unworthily justify a person in abstaining from it altogether?

      The fear of receiving unworthily is no excuse for not receiving at all.  Indeed the very fact of not communicaing is a most grievous sin.  It is a willful disobedience to the dying command of the Redeemer, and a refusal to ratify our Christian covenant as he has appointed.  Those “who are fearful of receiving unworhtily must” repent and “amend,” and so come to the Lord’s Table.  There are other ways of working out our own condemnation besides “eating and drinking” it.

      5.  How do you understand the caution given by St. Paul against eating and drinking unworthily?

      See Questions on the Liturgy, sect. IX. qu. 33.

      6.  Give at length the passage (where occurring?) from Augustine cited in this Article.

      The passage, occurring in the 26th Tract on St. John (c. 18), is to the following effect: – “In order to dwell in Christ, and that he may dwell in us, we must eat that food, and drink that drink: and he who by this means does not dwell in Christ, and Christ in him, neither spiritually eats his flesh nor drinks his blood, though he carnally press with his teeth the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ.  Rather to his own condemnation, he eats and drinks the Sacrament of so great a thing, because he has presumed to come impure to the Sacraments of Christ which none receive worthily, but they who are pure in heart (Matt. 5:8).”

      7.  Adduce like testimonies of Origen and Jerome.

      Origen in his Comment. on Matt. 15., speaks thus: – Christ is the true food: whosoever eats him shall live for ever; and of him no wicked person can eat: for if it were possible that any, who continue in sin, should eat the Word that was made flesh, it had never been written, Whoso eats this bread shall live for ever.  Thus also Jerome (Comment. in Isai. 66): – The good eat the living bread which came down from heaven: but the wicked eat dead bread, which is death.  And again: – They that are not holy in body and spirit do neither eat the flesh of Christ nor drink his blood; of which he said, He that eats my flesh ad drinks my blood hath eternal life.


Article  XXX.

Of Both Kinds.

      The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alike.


De utraque Specie.

      Calix Domini laicis non est denegandus: utraque enim pars Dominici Sacramenti, ex Christi institutione et praecepto, omnibus Christianis ex aequo administrari debet.


      1.  What is the practice of the Church of Rome with regard to the administration of the Cup in the Lord’s Supper; and what gave rise to it?

      The Romish Church withholds the Cup from the Laity.  After consecrating both the bread and wine, the officiating priest receives in both kinds himself, but administers the bread only to the communicants, including likewise the Clergy who may happen to form part of the consecrators: for “without the authority of the Church, none but consecrating ministers may partake of the sacred Eucharist in both kinds.”  The practice is one of the many errors which arose out of the doctrine of Transubstantiation.  Under the impression that Christ was corporeally present in the consecrated elements, superstitious fears soon began to be entertained lest any portion of them should be lost or wasted.

      2.  Upon what grounds do the Romanists defend this pratice?

      Admitting that “Christ did institute this Sacrament in both kinds, and that the faithful in the primitive Church did receive in both kinds, they maintain that the Church is empowered to make such a change “for weighty and just causes.”  The Canons of the Council of Trent do not assign these causes: but the Romanists defend the practice by alleging that the laity do virtually receive the blood, since the blood is with the body.

      3.  Shew that these reasons are not only unsatisfactory in themselves, but entirely at variance with Christ’s holy institution.

      There can be no cause sufficiently weighty to set aside a positive institution of Christ; and the words of Christ, in relation to this part of the rite seem to be, as it were, prophetically emphatic against the Romish innovation.  “Drink ye ALL of this,” ALL without exception or reserve.  The notion, too, that the Apostles received the cup as priests, – not to mention that the Sacrament was instituted before they had received their priestly commission, and that no distinction was made by our Lord in the manner of delivering the bread and wine respectively, – is clearly set aside by the reason why ALL are to drink it: – “For this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”  All, therefore, who stand in need of forgiveness, i.e. all mankind, both priests and people, are to partake thereof; and indeed, since “without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb. 9:22), the cup, if one part of the Sacrament can be deemed more necessary than the other, seems to be so.  As to the subterfuge, that the blood is with the body, be it observed that we commemorate, not the life, but the death of Christ; and after death the body is without blood.  “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death, till he come” (1 Cor. 11:26).

      4.  Is there not, however, a manifest contradiction in the decree of the council of Trent, sub altera tantum specie totum atque integrum Christum verumque sacramentum sumi?

      If Christ is received whole and entire under one kind, it is clearly as unnecessary for the priest to receive the cup, as it is for the people; and if the priest, as sometimes asserted, receives merely to afford a lively representation of the blood separated from the body, the contradiction is equally apparent, since they allow that all are equally required to”shew the Lord’s death till be come” (1 Cor. 11:26).

      5.  What do you infer from the fact that the breaking of bread is sometimes mentioned without reference to the wine?

      The breaking of bread is indeed sometimes mentioned in the New Testament (Acts 2:42, 46; 20:7) without any mention of the wine: but it does not thence follow that the cup was not also administered.  It is rather an argument that the Sacramental elements were so constantly and necessarily united, that the writer, in mentioning one only with a view to conciseness of expression, was not likely to be misunderstood.

      6.  When was the custom of withholding the cup from the laity first introduced; and did it meet with no opposition?

      As may be readily supposed, a change so important was not effected at once.  It seems to have been first attempted in the twelfth century; but it was only by slow degrees that opposition to the measure was gradually overcome, and the practice enforced by a decree of the Council of Constance in the year A. D. 1414.

      7.  What expedients had in the mean time been resorted to; and what results from the manner in which the Eucharist is now administered in the Church of Rome?

      At one period, the expedient was adopted of sopping the bread in the wine; at another the wine was conveyed to the mouth by tubes; but these and other contrivances, irreverent from their very absurdity, failed to prevent an occasional spilling of the wine.  In the mean time, small wafers, conveyed at once and entire to the mouth of the communicants, were substituted for bread, in order to guard against any accidental waste; and the cup being at length altogether withheld from the Laity, and the bread being unbroken, the spirit of the institution is totally lost.  It is curious to observe the inconsistency of the Romanists in thus destroying an express command of Christ, while they still scrupulously retain the primitive custom of tempering the wine and water, though the water is clearly unessential to the Sacrament.

      8.  Had there never been any departure from the practice of administering or receiving in both kinds before the Romiah custom became established?

      The Aquarii, a Manichaean sect of the 5th century, with whom it was a principle never to drink wine, partook of the bread, but refused the cup, when they were present at the celebration of the Eucharist.  This refusal of what, be it observed, was not withheld from them, called forth a decree from Pope Gelasius, to the effect “that all persons should either communicate in the Sacrament entirely, or be entirely excluded from it; for that such a dividing of one and the same Sacrament could not be made without sacrilege.”  There is mention also of a few persons, in the third century, who, from fear of persecution, omitted the wine in the Sacramental cup, and used water only, lest the smell should betray them.

      9.  What is the inference manifestly deducible from the writings of the primitive Church?

      Ignatius (ad Phil. c. 4.), Justin Martyr (Apol. I. c. 65.), and indeed the Fathers generally, speak of the Eucharist in such a manner, as to prove that it was always administered in both kinds; and indeed the Romanists themselves admit the fact.  The practice of this Church therefore, being unknown, is not specially noticed.  With respect, however, to those, whose fears induced them to use water, Cyprian writes thus to Caecilina (Epist. 63): – If it be not lawful to violate one of the least commandments of Christ, how much more is it unlawful to break one so great, so weighty, and so closely connected with the Sacrament of his passion and our own redemption; or by any human institution so change it into that which is altogether different from the divine institution.  Indeed, throughout this whole Epistle, Cyprian speaks at large in reprobation of the practice.  Again, in allusion to the Aquarii, St. Chrysostom observes that our blessed Lord instituted the holy Eucharist in wine, and himself drank wine at his own Communion-table after his resurrection, to condemn, as it were by anticipation, this pernicious heresy.


Article  XXXI.

Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.

      The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation, 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 guilt, were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits.


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 offerre Christum, in remissionem poenae aut culpae, pro vivis et defunctis, blaspheme figmenta sunt, et perniciosae imposturae.


      1.  In what light does the Church of England regard the sacrifice made by Christ upon the Cross for the sins of mankind?

      In the second Article, it is affirmed that the Son of God died upon the Cross “to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men”; and here it is asserted that this sacrifice was single and perfect.  It was a sacrifice once made, and never to be repeated; as being in all respects entirely effectual to the purpose of man’s salvation.

      2.  Explain the terms in which the doctrine of the Church is asserted.

      Between Redemption and Propitiation exists the mutual relationship of an effect to its cause.  Redemption signifies a buying back by means of a ransom paid; Propitiation, which is synonymous with atonement, marks the nature of that sacrifice by which Christ purchased and redeemed the souls of men from the punishment due to their sins.  In the term satisfaction there is a reference to the sufficiency of the one oblation of Christ once offered; since it implies that the divine justice is thereby satisfied, and a full reconciliation effected between an offended God and his sinful creatures.

      3.  What is the import of the word Oblation?

      See Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. IX. qu. 31.

      4.  Prove from the Scriptures that the sacrifice of Christ was made once for all, and that, being sufficient, there is no other satisfaction.

      St. Paul’s declarations to this effect in the Epistle to the Hebrews are so many and so express that there is no mistaking their import.  Unlike the Hebrew priests, who “stood daily offering the same sacrifices,” Christ appeared once at the end of the world “to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself”; so that “we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all”; and “this man, after he had offered up one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of God” (Heb. 5:12, 12:26, 10:10).  Thus also St. Peter: – “Christ also hath once suffered, the just for the unjust, that be might bring us unto God” (1 Pet. 3:18).  “There remaineth,” therefore, “no more sacrifice for sin” (Heb. 10:26); none other satieaction but that alone: for “he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2).

      5.  What is the doctrine of the Church of Rome respecting Christ’s sacrifice?

      In the face of these pointed declarations of Scripture, which have the appearance of a prophetic warning against so gross an error, the Romanists, as a consequence of their belief in the doctrine of Transubstantiation, maintain that the real body of Christ is offered up, as an expiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead, at every celebration of the Eucharist.

      6.  What corrupt practice has been built upon this erroneous doctrine?

      Under the impression that the pains of Purgatory were mitigated or wholly suspended by the sacrifice of the mass, persons were induced to give or bequeath sums of money for masses to be said for the repose either of their own souls, or those of their relatives.  These masses are more or less numerous and imposing, and of course more or less effective, in proportion to the amount received for their performance; and they have always been a source of great wealth to the Church.  As the priest alone takes part in them, they are called Solitary masses; though several are frequently going on at the same time at different altars in the same Church, in the presence of these whom curiosity or devotion may attract to the ceremony.

      7.  Can the Eucharist be strictly called a sacrifice; and if not, is there any sense in which it may be so considered?

      Neither is the Eucharist a sacrifice, nor has the Christian Church any sacrifice, in the strict sense of the word: though in a larger or metaphoric sense, it is designated in the Liturgy, a “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.” [Similarly Bp. Burnet: who adds, “In two other respects it may be also more strictly called a sacrifice.  One is because there is an oblation of bread and wine made in it, which being sanctified are consumed in an act of religion.  To this many passages in the writings of the Fathers do relate ... And in the ancient liturgies they did with particular prayers offer the bread and wine to God. ... Another respect in which the Eucharist is called a sacrifice is because it is a commemoration and a representatuion to God of the sacrifice that Christ offered for us on the cross. ... Stll it is a commemorative sacrifice and not propitiatory. ...”]  Even in this sense however it is a commemorative, not a propitiatory, sacrifice.  Thus also Contrition, Prayer, and Almsgiving, are said to be sacrifices (Psal. 41:17.  141:2.  Phil. 4:18.); and we are exhorted to “present our souls and bodies, as a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto God.

      8.  How is it then that, without a sacrifice, the Christian Church still has its priests?

      The fact is, that there is no sacrificing priest under the Christian, as there was under the Jewish, Dispensation.  The term ιερευς is applied by the New Testament writers, in a literal sense, to Christ only; and figuratively to Christians in general; whereas the word which corresponds with our word priest, and from which it is derived, is uniformly πρεσβύτερος, an elder.  [See also Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. IX. qq. 1–3).

      9.  Is then the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper nothing more than a mere commemorative institution?

      It is more.  Though the Eucharist is a commemorative rite, it is also federal act, ratified by partaking of the sacrificial feast, as a pledge that we partake also of the spiritual benefits of the commemorated sacrifice.  In this sacrifice, Christ was our victim: and although we cannot feast literally on his body, which is in heaven, yet the bread, of which we can partake, becomes to us the bread of life, because he himself appointed it to represent his body.

      10.  In what respect are the sacrifices of masses blasphemous fables?

      Inasmuch as the notion that the sacrifice of the mass is either real or expiatory, as well as the doctrine of Purgatory itself (Art. XXII), are not only unauthorized, but plainly contradicted, by Scripture, and inconsistent with the all-sufficiency of the one oblation of Christ once offered, they are appropriately designated blasphemous fables.  The Romish doctrine also plainly implies a power in the priest to bring down Christ from heaven, and subject him to a continuance of his sufferings upon earth; for if he does not suffer, it can be no sacrifice; and if be does suffer, the heaven cannot have received him “till the times of the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).  Surely this is both blasphemous and absurd.

      11.  Why are masses said to be dangerous deceits?

      By holding out a hope of pardon which has no sanction in Holy Writ, and leading men to believe that the Salvation of God may be purchased by money, the Romish priesthood are guilty of beguiling their people with dangerous deceits.  To maintain that an offering of the consecrated elements by the priest alone can procure “remission of pain or guilt” either for “the quick or dead,” who do not partake with him, can be nothing else than, as the Latin strongly expresses it, a pernicious imposture.

      12.  What may have been the object of the compilers of this Article in speaking of these errors of the Romanists as commonly current, and in the past tense?

      Probably the past tense was adopted by the Reformers, because, when the Articles of Edward VI were drawn up, the Council of Trent had not yet published their decrees; and although these things were then commonly current, they charitably hoped that the Romish Church might be led to renounce a doctrine so repugnant to the truth of the Gospel.

      13.  In what light does it appear that the Eucharist was regarded by the primitive Church?

      Since the early Christians were reproached by the heathen for embracing a religion which had neither altars nor sacrifices, without alleging the Eucharist in reply, it is manifest that they did not regard it as a sacrifice in an expiatory point of view.  Indeed Justin Martyr says expressly (Apol. I. c. 13.) that the Christians have no other sacrifices but prayers and praises; and in the Apostolical Constitutions (VIII. 12.), the Lord’s Supper is described as a pure and unbloody sacrifice.  Compare also Justin M. Apol. I. cc. 65. 67.  Dial. Tryph. cc. 41, 117, 118.  Moreover, says Augustine (c. Faust. Man. XX. 18.), Christians do still celebrate the memory of the sacrifice then made, in the offering and participation of the body and blood of Christ.  Passages to the like effect are found in Athenagoras, Tertullian, Origen, and other writers.


Article  XXXII.

Of the Marriage of Priests.

      Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are not commanded by God’s Law, either to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage.  Therefore it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.


De Conjugio Sacerdotum.

      Episcopis, Presbyteris, et Diaconis nullo matidato divino praeceptum est, ut aut coelibatum voveant, aut a matrimonio abstineant.  Licet igitur etiam illis, ut caeteris omnibus Christianis, ubi hoc ad pietatem magis facere judicaverint, pro suo arbitratu matrimonium contrahere.


      1.  What are the tenets to which this Article is opposed; and has any addition been made thereto since its first publication?

      About the middle of the 11th Century, Priests at their ordination gave a promise of celibacy, and bishops were bound by an oath not to ordain a married man.  The Reformed Church generally declared against these vows; but, on the other hand, one of the six Articles of Henry VIII affirmed that “Priests may not marry by the Law of God.”  With reference to these points the present Article was doubtless framed in 1552, when it consisted of the first clause only: the second was added in the reign of Elizabeth.

      2.  What were the six Articles; and was their promulgation followed by any important results?

      They were the several provisions of an Act, passed in the year 1539, when the Romish party had regained the ascendancy.  The points enforced were Transubstantiation, Communion in one kind, the celibacy of the Clergy, the obligation of vows of Chastity, private masses, and Auricular Confession.  It was on this occasion that Latimer resigned his bishopric, and retired into private life; and Cranmer only retained his post in the hopes of preventing still greater concessions.

      3.  To what extent, and under what conditions, was Celibacy advocated among the primitive Christians?

      Beyond all question the minds of the early Christians were most deeply impressed with a notion of the superior sanctity of a single life: so much so, that the author of the treatise de Resurrectione attributed to Justin even applies the epithet άνομος to marriage (I. 3.).  See also Ignat. Epist. ad. Polycarp. c. 5.  Athenag. Legat. c. 33.  Justin M. Apol. I. cc. 15, 29.  Dial. c. 110.  Clem. Alex. Strom. VI. 12, 100.  Origen. c. Cels. I. 25.  It will appear however, from these references, that celibacy, whether Lay or Clerical, was so far from being enjoined, that it was only allowed on condition of the strictist chastity, and on no account to be made the subject of boasting.

      4.  (1) Is the marriage of the Clergy prohibited in Scripture; – (2) and what do you infer from the sacerdotal succession under the Mosaic Law?

      (1) There is no command in Scripture which binds the Clergy to celibacy; but, on the other hand, St. Paul affirms that “marriage is honourable to all” (Heb. 13:4), and permits “every man to have his own wife” (1 Cor. 7:2), without any exception or limitation whatsoever. – (2) Under the Jewish dispensation, the priesthood were, as a rule, obliged to marry; and as the exercise of the sacerdotal functions were vested in the descendants of one family, thus rendering celibacy impossible, it follows that the married state is not incompatible with ministerial efficiency.

      5.  Were any of the Apostles married; and is any thing known of the condition of their fellow labourers, which should devote their successors to a single life?

      Although it cannot be proved from the New Testament that any of the Apostles, except St. Peter, was a married man; yet this single instance, of which there is positive evidence (Matt. 8:14) would be sufficient to shew that the celibacy of the Romish Clergy is not supported by Apostolical example.  It is more than probable however, from the right asserted by St. Paul of carrying about a Christian wife, – for such is the real import of the expression αδελφην γυναικα (1 Cor. 9:5), – as well as other Apostles, that St. Peter was not the only one who had a wife: and indeed, according to St. Ambrose, in his comment on the Epistles, omnes Apostoli, exceptis Johanne et Paulo, uxores habuisse dicuntur.  Philip, one of the seven deacons, was also a married man (Acts 21:8, 9); and when Aquila travelled about to preach the Gospel, his wife Priscilla accompanied him.  If then Christ did not require celibacy in his Apostles and their fellow labourers, there can be no authority for imposing it upon their successors.

      6.  Do any of the precepts of St. Paul sanction the marriage of the several orders of the Christian ministry?

      Among the qualifications of a Bishop, specified by St. Paul, it is expressly stated that he “must be the husband of one wife”; and the same is required of presbyters and deacons.  The Apostle also directs that the Clergy be such as “rule their own houses well, having their children in subjection with all gravity: for if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?”  He adds that “their wives must be grave, not slanderers, sober, and faithful in all things”; and then proceeds to class “forbidding to marry” among those “doctrines of devils” characteristic of the apostasy of the latter times.  See 1 Tim. 3:2. sqq.; 4:1,  3.  Tit. 1:6.

      7.  (1) How do you account for the favour with which Celibacy was regarded in early times; – (2) and what was the grand motive for making it compulsory on the Clergy?

      From a misapplication of those passages in which both Christ and St. Paul recommend, under certain circumstances, a single life, a degree of merit was in very early times attached to voluntary abstinence from marriage, and retirement from the world; and the reputation for sanctity acquired by Hermits and other recluses, led by degrees to the institution of Monachism, and the principle of clerical celibacy.  It was proposed at the Council of Nice that priests should not be permitted to marry; but, in consequence of the energetic remonstrance of Paphnutius (himself unmarried), the prohibition was limited to the contracting of second marriages on the part of the Clergy. [It was indeed proposed that the already married Clergy should not retain their wives; but on Paphnutius’ remonstrance the Council agreed with him that ... “it is enough that they that come into the clergy do not marry according to the ancient tradition of church; but that they should not be separated from those which before when laymen they had married.”  Socr. Hist. Eccl. q, by Bp. Beveridge.]  A system, however, which was calculated to divest the priesthood of the ties of family, and leave them unfettered in the promotion of the interest of the Church, was warmly advocated by the popes; although it was not till A. D. 1085 that Gregory VII succeeded in making it compulsory.

      8.  Shew that neither our Lord nor St. Paul intended to give any general preference to the principle of Clerical Celibacy.

      Our Lord’s admonition (Matt. 19:11, 12) has immediate reference to the circumstances of the times at which it was delivered; and that of St. Paul (1 Cor. 7:26) is manifestly limited, by the expression δια την ενεστωσαν ανάγκην, to the Church of Corinth in its then condition of present and expected persecution.  Marriage, upon the very occasion in question, is represented by Christ as a divine institution, ordained in the time of man’s innocency; so that although the early propagation of the Gospel, and the dangers attending it, might render it advisable to be free for a time from the unavoidable incumbrances of the married state, a temporary caution can never have the force of a law universally binding.  Besides, our Lord does not actually recommend celibacy; he merely permits it, provided a person can so effectually restrain his passions as to run no risk of falling into sin: and this, it has been shrewdly remarked, amounts to a virtual prohibition with the great majority of mankind.  St. Paul also distinctly leaves the expediency of marriage to the judgment of each individual: and, at all events, his words have nothing to do with clerical celibacy in particular, since men and women without distinction are included in the advice.

      9.  May not, however, a single state be in some cases desirable; or is our Church to be considered as condemning celibacy altogether?

      Doubtless there may be individuals, who, in the sincere and earnest devotion of their hearts to the service of their Redeemer, may feel that the anxieties and cares of married life would impede their exertions and distract their minds; nor is there any thing in this Article that censures a state of Celibacy.  It is merely affirmed that all Christian men, Clergy as well as Laity may marry, or not, at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.  Celibacy is only not compulsory; and if we may judge from the dissolute morals of the Romish Clergy at the period of the Reformation, it will abundantly appear that the removal of the prohibition to marry was a step by which the interests of religion were most essentially advanced.

      10.  Shew from the impure morals of the Romish Clergy that an enforced Celibacy is pernicious.

      Bishop Jewel, in his Apology, affirms that “from the law, which compels them to celibacy, has flowed incredible lawlessness of life and conversation to the ministers of God;” and he adduces ample proof of his affirmation.  It will suffice to mention that several of the Romish Canonists look upon fornication as no sin; that Cardinal Campegio and others have taught that the priest, who keeps a concubine, leads a holier and chaster life than a priest who has taken a wife in marriage; and that an enormous tribute was levied by a long succession of popes upon licensed brothels.

      11.  Name any of the early Fathers who are known to have been married; and shew that they did not consider a married life inconsistent with ministerial usefulness.

      We have an acknowledged instance of clerical marriage in Tertullian, a presbyter of the second century, who has left a treatise, in two books, addressed to his Wife.  It is true that he continually and strongly expresses himself in favour of celibacy, and the Romanists say that after he became a priest, he ceased to cohabit with his wife: but this is mere assertion without a shadow of proof; and his writings abound with evidence that in his time the clergy were at liberty to marry.  A letter is also extant from Hilary of Poictiers to his daughter, who was in all probability born after he had been made a bishop.  As to the perfect compatibility of marriage with the clerical duties, Clement of Alexandria, though a decided patron of celibacy, not only states that some of the Apostles were married and had children, but that if Christ himself did not marry, it was because the Church was his bride (Strom. III. 533. 30; 535. 16).  St. Chrysostom (Oper. T. XI. p. 738.) affirms that it is agreeable both with the law of God and man to ascend the episcopal throne in the marriage state; Gregory of Nazianzum (Orat. Funeb. XIX) observes that a laborious and pious bishop executes his office nothing the worse, but rather more profitably, as a married man; and Theophylact (on Titus, p. 843) infers that marriage is no hindrance to virtue, since the chief of the Apostles had his wife.


Article  XXXIII.

Of Excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.

      That person which by open denunciation of the Church is rightly cut off from the unity of the Church, and excommunicated, 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 thereunto.


De excommunicatis vitandis.

      Qui per publicam Ecclesiae denunciationem rite ab unitate Ecclesiae praecisus est, et excommunicatus, is ab universa fidelium multitudine, donec per poenitentiam publice reconciliatus fuerit arbitrio Judicis competentis, habendus est tanquam Ethnicus et Publicanus.


      1.  What is Excommunication?  Did it exist, and under what form, in the Jewish Church?

      Excommunication is a judicial sentence of the Church, whereby an offender is for a time exeluded from her communion, and deprived of all or certain of his Christian privileges.  It is analogous to a similar mode of proceeding among the Jews, whereby, under sanction of the Mosaic Law (Exod. 12:19.  Lev. 7:20.  Ezra 10:8.) a person was condemned to separation from social intercourse, and exclusion from the synagogue.  The term employed by St Luke (6:22) is αφορίζεσθαι, and by St. John (9:22), αποσυνάγωγος γενέσθαι.

      2.  Upon what ground is the rite of Excommunication claimed by the Church of Christ?

      The Church claims the right to excommunicate offenders, partly on the authority of Christ and his Apostles, and partly on the principle that such a power is necessarily inherent in every community in order to its preservation and support.  As the civil government has the power of inflicting punishment in proportion to the crimes committed against society at large, so is it essential that the Church should be invested with a like power in cases of any gross violation of the duties of religion.  So generally has this principle been understood and acted upon, that even under heathen forms of worship, exclusion from sacred rites was uniformly regarded as a severe and efficacious punishment.

      3.  Cite an instance of exclusion from religious privileges, as practiced by the Heathen.

      Caesar (B. G. VI. 13.) speaks thus of the Druids of Gaul: – Siquis aut privatus aut publicus eorum decreto non stetit, sacrificiis interdicunt.  Haec poena apud eos gravissima.  Quibus ita est interdictum, in numero impiorum ac sceleratorum habentur; iis omnes decedunt, aditum eorum sermonemque defugiunt, neguid ex contagione incommodi accipiant; neque iis petentibus jus redditur, neque honos ullus communicatur.

      4.  Mention such cases of Excommunication as occur in the Apostolic history; give the form under which the sentence was delivered; and shew that extreme severity was sometimes exercised by the Apostles.

      The most remarkable instance recorded in the New Testament is that of the incestuous person, whom St. Paul directed the Corinthians to excommunicate; from which it may probably be inferred that παραδουναι τω Σατανα, to deliver over to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5), was the usual form in which the sentence was expressed.  It is possible however that in this particular case, the addition of the words εις άλεθρον της σαρκος indicate some bodily disease, in the infliction of which Satan might be regarded as the agent.  That severe temporal calamities, and sometimes even death itself, were inflicted by the Apostles on notorious sinners, is manifest from the instances of Ananias and Sapphire, of Elymas, and the like.  In the case of Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim. 1:20), the simple form is used without the additional words.

      5.  Advert to any direct rules, which the Apostles may have laid down respecting Excommunication.

      St. Paul directs that those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the Apostolic doctrine are to be “marked” and “avoided” (Rom. 16:17); and that a heretic after a first and second admonition is to be “rejected” (Tit. 3:10).  “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, receive him not into your house,” says St. John, “neither bid him God speed” (2 John 9, 10).  See also 1 Cor. 5:11, 16:22.  2 Thess. 3:6.

      6.  Upon what authority is this Article immediately grounded; and how is the precept to be carried out?

      Christ himself enjoined his disciples, that when an obstinate offender refused to listen to the admonitions of the Church, and was consequently excommunicated, he was to be treated as a “heathen man and a publican” (Matt. 18:17).  Hence it follows that, in carrying out the censures which she inflicts upon notorious sinners, she is entitled to the cooperation of all her members in making the punishment felt, to the extent implied in our Saviour’s precept.  In early times those who gave any countenance to persons under Ecclesiastical censure, rendered themselves liable to the same punishment as the offenders themselves.

      7.  In what sense is the rule prescribed by our Lord to be understood?

      It is well known that both heathens and publicans were held by the Jews in extreme detestation, and considered to be without the pale of religious society.  According to our Lord’s injunction, therefore, no religious communion is to be held with a man who refuses to comply with the endeavours which are made to restore him to a sense of duty; but his national and civil rights are to remain unmolested.

      8.  What are the ends and object of Ecclesiastical penalties?

      Punishments inflicted by the Church are not intended to be vindictive, but admonitory, “that a man may be ashamed” of what he has done amiss (2 Thess. 3:14, 15); that he may be led thereby to repentance, and “learn not to blaspheme” (1 Tim. 1:20); that having suffered in the flesh in this world, “the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5); and that others may be deterred by their example from the commission of similar crimes (1 Tim. 5:20).  Hence they are inflicted in mercy both to the sinner and to others; and thereby the Church, “knowing the terrors of the Lord, persuades men” (2 Cor. 5:11).

      9.  To what extent are the censures of the Church to be carried?

      Our Lord immediately followed up his instructions respecting the treatment of an obstinate offender, by confirming to his Apostles generally, the authority to “bind and loose,” which he had previously conferred on Peter together with the “power of the keys”.  Hence it appears that those who have power to inflict, have also the power to remit, the penalties of transgression; so that, when “openly reconciled by penance,” the penitent is to be again received in the Church “by a judge that hath authority thereto”.  Thus St. Paul directed that the person, who had been excommunicated by the Corinthians, was on repentance to be “forgiven, and comforted, lest perhaps he be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow,” and “lest Satan also should get an advantage” by tempting men to resist an authority unnecessarily severe.  He added his own Apostolical sanction for the reversal of the sentence, and forgave the offence “in the person of Christ” (2 Cor. 2:7, 10, 11).

      10.  To whom appertains the judicial authority in these matters?

      As the Church, wherein the power of excommunication is vested, must be that particular congregation of which the offender is a member, acting under the sanction of its bishop; so the same bishop is the judge by whose authority the sentence is relaxed.  Thus it is the angels of the respective Churches mentioned in the Apocalypse, who are made responsible as it were for the corruptions of their charge: and St. Paul exhorts both Timothy and Titus to rebuke with all authority.  See 1 Tim. 5:20.  2 Tim. 4:2.  Tit. 2:15.  Rev. 2:14, 15, 20.

      11.  What are the degrees of severity in sentences of Excommunication?

      Excommunication is of two degrees, the lesser and the greater: the former being a sentence of temporary exclusion from the Lord’s Supper; and the latter a deprivation of all religious communion whatsoever, as well as of the society and conversation of the faithful, until the party be restored by performance of the required penance to the privileges of the Church.  {See on Art. XXV. qu. 10.}

      12.  Does the English Church still uphold the principle of Excommunication; and what led to its gradual disuse?

      Although the practice of Excommunication has now fallen almost entirely into disuse, yet our Church both recognizes the principle, and asserts the right, not only in this Article, but in her Rubrics and Canons.  See Rubrics to this effect in the Commmunion Service, and the office for the Burial of the Dead; and Canons 2–12, 65, 68, 85.  Its practical discontinuance was consequent upon the mischievous purposes to which it was applied by the Popes, in not only depriving mankind of their natural and civil rights, such as filial obedience and the protection of the magistrate; but in deposing sovereigns, releasing subjects from their allegiance, interdicting whole kingdoms from the use of the sacraments and public worship, and even debarring them from every comfort of social and Christian life.

      13.  Shew that Excommunication was a prominent feature of primitive Ecclesiastical discipline.

      Ignatius (ad Smyrn. c. 4.) mentions those, whom Christians ought not only not to receive, but, if possible, not to meet.  Tertullian (Apol. c. 39) observes that one object of the Christian assemblies was to cut off from communion in prayer and every holy exercise, those who had been guilty of any flagrant offence; and the sentence was pronounced by the bishop or presiding minister.  See also the Tract. de Pudicit. c. 14.  Cyprian (Epist. 52) speaks of profane persons without the pale of the Church; and Augustine (de mor. Eccl. I. p. 1146) describes the Church as a house of discipline.


Article  XXXIV.

Of the Traditions of the Church.

      It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, and utterly like: for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word.  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 be that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.

      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.


De Traditionibus Ecclesiasticis.

      Traditiones atque Caeremonias easdem non omnino necessarium est esse ubique, aut prorsus consimiles: nam et variae semper fuerunt, et mutari possunt, pro regionum, temporum, et morum diversitate, modo nihil contra verbum Dei instituatur.  Traditiones, et caeremonias Ecclesiasticas, quae cum verbo Dei non pugnant, et sunt auctoritate publica institutae: atque probatae, quisquis privato consilio volens, et data opera, publice violaverit, is, ut qui peccat in publicum ordinem Ecclesiae, quique laedit auctoritatem Magistratus, et qui infirmorum fratrum conscientias vulnerat, publice, ut caeteri timeant, arguendua est.

      Quaelibet Ecclesia particularis sive nationalis auctoritatem habet instituendi, mutandi, aut abrogand caeremonies aut ritus Ecclesiasticos, humana tantum auctoritate institutos, modo omnia ad aedificationem fiant.


      1.  How many kinds of Traditions are there; and what is the nature of the traditions mentioned in this Article?

      Traditions are of two kinds, doctrinal and ceremonial: of which the former are unwritten Articles of faith, said to have been orally transmitted from Christ and his Apostles; and the latter, mere ritual observances of human appointment, adapted to the more decent and orderly celebration of the public worship of God.  It is these last which form the subject of the present Article.

      2.  Whence is it necessary that external ceremonies should differ in different Churches?

      As the Church, on the one hand, is bound to reject all doctrinal traditions which are not in strict accordance with Holy Writ, so, on the other, she has power, as maintained in the twentieth Article, “to decree rites and ceremonies,” provided that nothing be ordained “contrary to God’s word written”.  Now the manners and customs of one nation being not only different from those of another, but those of the same nation being continually liable to change, it was not to be expected that these external forms should be every where alike; nor does the Gospel, which was designed to become the universal religion of mankind, require that they should be either alike in all Churches, or unchangeable at all times.

      3.  Shew that the ritual observances of a Church cannot be set aside at the private caprice of individual members.

      Provided the discipline of a Church is not repugnant to the word of God, every Member of that Church is bound to submit to it on the principle of obedience to the higher powers; and because, if every individual were at liberty to use his own private judgment in disregarding the traditions and ceremonies ordained by common authority, uniformity of worship would be at once destroyed, and the bonds of Christian fellowship dissolved.

      4.  But since rites and ceremonies are mere human appointments, and so far indifferent as to admit of variation and change, may not the observance of them be comparatively unimportant?

      Although outward observances are so far matters of indifference that they may differ in different Churches, and vary from time to time with a change of circumstances even in the same Church; nevertheless, when sanctioned by constituted authority, they are no longer matters of indifference to individuals.  Churches, with different external rites, so long as they agree in the essentials of faith, may be in communion with each other; but individual members of a particular Church cannot violate an established form without introducing confusion among their fellow worshippers.  As matters of indifference, indeed, it must be worse than folly to dispute and wrangle about them, and St. Paul’s conduct (Acts 21:26; 28:17) is worthy of imitation; but as essential to the promotion of peace and order in religious worship, their violation indicates a “presumptuous and self-willed” disposition (2 Pet. 2:10), and is especially offensive to God, who “is the author, not of confusion, but of peace, in all Churches of the saints” (1 Cor. 14:33).  He therefore that so offends, “should be rebuked before all, that others also may fear” (1 Tim. 5:20).

      5.   Does not, however, an enforced conformity militate against St. Paul’s instructions respecting Scandals?

      St. Paul undoubtedly says, “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth”: for that “every one must be fully persuaded in his own mind”; since “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  He teaches also that it is good not to do anything “whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak” (Rom. 14:3, 5, 21, 23).  The Apostle, however, is here speaking of things really indiferent, which related entirely to Christians as individuals, and were controlled by no public authority.  If offence is taken at the observance of authorized appointments, the fault lies with him who takes the offence, not with him who gives it by setting an example of legal obedience (Matt. 11:6.  1 Pet. 2:8); and indeed the real offender is he, who, by unreasonable nonconformity, “offendeth against the common order of the Church, hurteth the authority of the magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.”

      6.  How does he, who opposes his private judgment to established ordinances, offend against the common order of the Church?

      Inasmuch as every irregularity impedes devotion, and frustrates instruction, every one who intentionally interrupts that which ensures regularity, offends against that “decency and order” without which nothing can tend to edification.

      7.  How does such an one hurt the authority of the magistrate?

      Every violation of lawful authority has a tendency to weaken the power of the magistrate; and, as the rites and ceremonies of the English Church are also sanctioned by the State, their observance is enforced both by the laws of God and man.  “Now that spiritual laws are backed by civil sanctions,” says Barrow, “the knot of our obligations is tied faster; and by disobedience to them we incur a double guilt, and offend God two ways, both as supreme governor of the world, and as king of the Church.”

      8.  In what respects does he wound the consciences of weak brethren; and how is this conduct described by St. Paul?

      Considerable harm may be done, even in trifles, by shocking the prejudices of weak brethren, who are less able to judge for themselves, as to the real importance of the matter in hand.  Thus the violation of rules which they have been brought up to observe, may lead them by the force of example to do what in their consciences they condemn; or, by raising doubts and scruples in their minds, may make them dissatisfied with the establishment of which they have been hitherto happy members.  Hence their religious principles become unsettled; and “when ye sin so against the brethren,” says the Apostle, “and wound their weak consciences, ye sin against Christ” (1 Cor. 8:12).  See also 1 Cor. 9:19. sqq.  Gal. 5:13.

      9.  Shew that in all times rites and ceremonies have been different in different Churches, and varied according to circumstances.

      In primitive times, each particular Church ordained, and varied at its pleasure, its rites and ceremonies; and there were considerable differences even in the earliest rituals.  (a) From the want of uniformity in the time of celebrating Easter arose the famous Quartodeciman controversy; (b) while some congregations stood, others knelt during prayer; (c) the Eastern and Western Churches have differed in many observances; (d) and even the Church of Rome, which lays claim to infallibility and universal sovereignty, has changed its canons repeatedly.

      10.  Does not the same power of change still exist; and by what principle should it be regulated?

      Whatever power a Church may possess at one period, it possesses at another; nor are the rites ordained in one age, necessarily binding upon succeeding generations.  At the same time changes are not to be introduced without sufficient grounds, or received without due deliberation; so that, according to the Apostle’s precept (Rom. 14:19), “all things be done to edifying.”  It was upon this principle that our Reformers cleared away the corruptions of the Romish ritual.

      11.  Shew that in early times particular Churches differed from each other in discipline without breach of communion; and that they were placed under no restraint in respect to external observances.

      The following account of a meeting between Polycarp and Anicetus, bishop of Rome, is contained in the fragment of a letter preserved by Irenaeus (Ed. Ox. p. 466): – When Polycarp was at Rome, he had some little controversy with Anicetus, about other things; but they presently settled the dispute, and proved themselves also to be no lovers of strife even on that particular head.  Neither indeed could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to desist from observing Easter, as he had always observed it with St. John, the disciple of our Lord, and with the rest of the Apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor could Polycarp persuade Anicetus to observe it otherwise than, as he said it was his duty to do, according to the custom of the elders before him: but though the case stood thus between them, they notwithstanding communicated with each other.  Augustine writes thus to Januarius (Ep. I. c. 2.): – Other things indeed are changed according to the different places and countries of the earth.  Thus some fast on the Sabbath; others do not: some partake daily of the body and blood of our Lord, others receive it only on certain days: but the observance of all such matters is subject to no restraint; nor can a grave and venerable Christian lay down a better rule for himself than to act with regard to them as he sees the Church act, to which he may happen to come.  For whatsoever is proved to be repugnant neither to faith or good manners is to be regarded as indifferent, and to be observed for the sake of the society among whom we live.  See also Iren. ap. Euseb. V. 24.  Jerome Epist. 28.  Augustin. Epist. 64, 82, 86; de vera Relig. c. 26.  Greg. M. Epist. 41.


Article  XXXV

Of the Homilies.

      The second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth: and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understood of the people.


De Homiliis.

      Tomus secundus Homiliarum, quarum singulos titulos huic articulo subjunximus, continet piam et salutarem doctrinam, et his temporibus necessariam, non minus quam prior Tomus Homiliarum, quae editae sunt tempore Edvardi Sexti: itaque eas in Ecclesiis per ministros diligenter et clare, ut a populo intelligi possint, recitandas esse judicavimus.


Of the Names of the Homilies.

 1.  Of the right use of the Church.

 2.  Against peril of Idolatry.

 3.  Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.

 4.  Of good Works: first of Fasting.

 5.  Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.

 6.  Against. Excess of Apparel.

 7.  Of Prayer.

 8.  Of the Place and Time of Prayer.

 9.  That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.

10.  Of the reverend estimation qf God’s Word.

11.  Of Alms-doing.

12.  Of the Nativity of Christ.

13.  Of the Passion of Christ.

14.  Of the Resurrection of Christ.

15.  Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.

16.  Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

17.  For the Rogation-days.

18.  Of the state of Matrimony.

19.  Of Repentance.

20.  Against Idleness.

21.  Against Rebellion.


      1.  What, and whence derived, is the meaning of the word Homily?

      The Greek word ομιλία, from which Homily is taken, signifies properly social intercourse, and also familiar conversation.  Hence the early ecclesiastical writers employed it to signify a plain discourse or sermon, very much in the sense of the Latin concio.  It may be observed, however, that Xenophon also has used the word in the sense of oral or conversational instruction (Mem. I. 2. 6.).

      2.  Of what do the two Books of Homilies consist; and what were the respective dates of their publication?

      The two Books of Homilies are a collection of discourses, written in plain and earnest language, on doctrinal and practical subjects, principally with reference to prevailing errors of the times in which they were published.  The first book was prepared in the reign of Edward VI, and published in the year 1547, with instructions to the Clergy to read them in their Churches “on any Sunday or holyday, when there is no Sermon”; and the second followed in the year 1560, in the reign of Elizabeth.

      3.  What were the peculiar circumstances of the times, which rendered such a publication necessary?

      At the period of the Reformation, opinions on the contested points of doctrine and of discipline were carried to extremes both by the friends and enemies of the Protestant cause; and not only were many of the Clergy exceedingly illiterate, but suspected also of a secret attachment to the errors of the Church of Rome.  So incompetent indeed, as well from their intemperate zeal as their want of learning, were a larger proportion of the priesthood to the office of public teachers, that a prohibition was laid upon preaching during the four successive reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth.  It seemed advisable therefore, to set forth by authority a series of popular sermons, calculated to possess the nation with a sense of the purity of the Gospel, to point out the dangers of those errors from which it had been recently emancipated, and especially to shew the worthlessness of masses and indulgences in procuring the Salvation of souls.

      4.  (1) Does this Article give the Titles of the Homilies correctly; (2) and, if imperfectly, can you complete the List?

      (1) The titles of the second Book of Homilies, as enumerated in this Article, do not exactly correspond with those given in the Book itself.  (2) Those of the first Book are not enumerated at all.  They are as follow: – 1. A fruitful exhortation to the reading of Holy Scripture.  2. Of the Misery of all Mankind.  3. Of the Salvation of all Mankind.  4. Of the true and lively Faith.  5. Of Good works.  6. Of Christian love and charity.  7. Against swearing and Perjury.  8. Of the declining from God.  9. An exhortation against the fear of Death.  10. An exhortation to obedience.  11. Against Whoredom and Adultery.  12. Against Strife and Contention.

      5.  Is not one of the Articles confirmed by a reference to the Homilies ; and which is the Homily cited?

      See on Art. XI. qu. 11.

      6.  Under whose care were the two Books of Homilies respectively compiled; and can the several discourses be referred to the different writers?

      The first book was published under the superintendence of Cranmer, Ridley, and Latimer; and the second by Jewel.  In the former, the Homilies on Salvation, Faith, and Good Works were probably written by the primate; and that against Adultery, by Thomas Becon, one of his chaplains: while the quaint and homely expressions and other peculiarities in that against Strife and Contention, seem to fix it to Latimer.  Of the rest, as well as of the entire series in the second Book, the authorship is altogether unknown.

      7.  What is the nature of the assent which those who subscribe the Articles are required to give to the doctrine and utility of the Homilies.

      With reference to the motives with which they were drawn up, and the necessity of having some general standard of faith and discipline, there can be little hesitation in admitting that the two Books of Homilies contain “a godly and wholesome doctrine, necessary for the times” in which they were put forth; so that they might then be appropriately read in Churches.  Indeed, though from the change which has taken place in the English language, they would now be with difficulty “understood of the people,” the Clergy may still study them with advantage, and obtain from them considerable aid in the composition of their Sermons.

      8.  To what opinions is the judgment of this Article opposed?

      (a) In asserting that the doctrine of the Homilies is good and wholesome, the Article is directed against the Romanists; (b) and the injunction to read them in Churches contradicted the notion of the Puritans that nothing ought to be there read except the Word of God.

      9.  Shew that the Canonical Scriptures were not exclusively read in the congregations of the primitive Christians.

      There are still extant Homilies of Chrysoetom, Augustine, Gregory, and others; and it appears from the testimony of Eusebius (Hist. Eccl III. 16.) and Jerome (T. II. pp. 831. 843.) that the Pastor of Hermes, the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, and of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, were publicly read in Churches.


Article  XXXVI.

Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.

      The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth, and confirmed at the same time by authority of Parliament, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering: neither hath it any thing that of itself is superstitious and ungodly.  And therefore whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to the rites of that Book, since the second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time; or hereafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.


De Episcoporum et Ministrorum Consecratione.

      Libellus de Consecratione Archiepiscoporum et Episcoporum, et Ordinations Presbyterorum et Diaconorum, editus nuper temporibus Edvardi VI., et auctoritate Parliamenti illis ipsis temporibus confirmatus, omnia ad ejusmodi consecrationem et ordinationem necessaria continet: at nihil habet, quod ex se sit aut superstitiosum aut impium.  Itaque quicunque juxta ritus illius Libri consecrati aut ordinati sunt, ab anno secundo praedicti regis Edvardi usque ad hoc tempus, aut in posterum juxta eosdem ritus consecrabuntur aut ordinabuntur, rite, atque ordine, atque legitime statuimus esse et fore consecratos et ordinatos.


      1.  What is necessary to render the ordination of a Christian minister valid and complete?

      In order to render Ordination valid and complete, it is essential that it should be Episcopal, and conferred on one or other of the three appointed orders of the Christian ministry; that the candidate be “lawfully lawfully called and sent” after due examination into his moral and religious character, as well as literary and theological acquirements; that prayer and the imposition of hands constitute an indispensable part of the ceremony, as sanctioned by Apostolical usage and the constant practice of the Church; and that in other respects the Ordinal contain nothing that “of itself is superstitious or ungodly.”

      2.  (1) Prove that the Ordinal of our Church corresponds in every respect with these particulars; (2) and consequently that her ministers are duly and lawfully ordained.

      (1) That this book is drawn up in perfect accordance with the stated requisites is proved at large in the Questions on the Liturgy; Sect. XVI.  (2) Since, therefore, its use is prescribed by proper authority, and embodies all that is known to have the sanction of the Apostles, all who are “consecrated or ordered according to the rites” thereof, are to be considered “rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.”

      3.  Account for the retrospective view of the last clause of this Article.

      In the reign of Queen Mary, the Ordinal of Edward VI, included in the Book of Common Prayer, was condemned by name; but when the Prayer Book was again authorized under Elizabeth, the office of Ordination, as forming part of it, was not expressly specified.  Bishop Bonner, however, contended, that as it had been condemned by name, and not since revived by name, all ordinations conferred according to its rules were null and void; and, an act of Parliament having been passed to obviate the objection, a clause to the same effect was introduced into this Article.

      4.  Shew that our Ordinal agrees with the forms and Canons of the early Church; and the statements of the primitive Fathers.

      No very early form of Ordination is now extant; but it will appear by comparing it with the most ancient that are still in being that the English Ordinal has omitted nothing which was formerly deemed essential to render ordination complete.  By the fourth Canon of the Council of Nice (A. D. 325.) it was decreed that, if possible, a bishop should be constituted by all the bishops of the province, but at all events, that three should meet together for the purpose, and the rest certify their assent in writing.  The second Canon of the Council of Carthage (A. D. 399) directs that, when a Bishop is ordained, two bishops are to hold the book of the Gospels over his head; and one pronouncing the blessing upon him, the others who are present are to lay their hands on him.  According to the second Apostolical Canon, Presbyters and Deacons are to be ordained by one Bishop.  At the Ordination of a Priest, the Council of Carthage (Can. 3) directs that, while the bishop blesses him and lays his hand on his head, all the presbyters present are to place their hands upon his head by the hand of the bishop; and that, at the Ordination of a Deacon (Can. 4), the bishop only is to lay his hand on his head, because he is not admitted to the priesthood.  In the first Council of Constantinople, and in the Council of Sardis, Presbyterian Ordination was declared invalid; and thus Athanasius (Apol. II) asserts that all persons, mho had been ordained by Colluthus, a presbyter, were still laymen.  See also Iren. Haer. III. 3.  Tertull. Praescr. Haer. cc. 28. sqq.  Jerom. Epist. 85. ad Evagr.  Cyprian. Epist. 66.  Chrysost. in Tit. 1:5.


Article  XXXVII.

Of the Civil Magistrates.

      The Queen’s Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England, and other her dominions, 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.

      Where we attribute to the Queen’s Majesty the chief government, by which titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended, we give not to our Princes the ministering either God’s Word, or of the Sacraments; the which thing the Injunctions also, lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen, do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in Holy Scriptures by God himself: that is, that they should rule all states and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.

      The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.

      The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.

      It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.


De Civilibus Magistratibus.

      Regia Majestas in hoc Angliae regno, ac caeteris ejus dominiis, summam habet potestatem, ad quam omnium statuum regni, sive illi Ecclesiastici sint sive Civiles, in omnibus causis supreme gubernatio pertinet, et nulli externae jurisdictioni est subjecta, nec esse debet.

      Cum Regiae Majestati summam gubernationem tribuimus, quibus titulis intelligimus animos quorundam calumniatorum offendi, non damns Regibus nostris aut verbi Dei, aut Sacramentorum, administrationem; quod of etiam Injunctiones, ab Elizabetha Regina nostra, nuper editae, apertissime testantur; sed eam tantum praerogativam, quam in Sacris Scripturis a Deo ipso omnibus piis Principibus videmus semper fuisse attributam: hoc est, ut omnes status atque ordines fidei suae a Deo commissos, sive illi Ecclesiastici sint sive Civiles, in officio contineant, et contumaces ac delinquentes gladio civili coerceant.

      Romanus Pontifex nullam habet jurisdictionem in hoc regno Angliae.

      Leges Regni possunt Christianos, propter capitalia et gravia crimina, morte punire.

      Christianis licet, ex mandato Magistratus, arma portare, et justa bella administrare.


      1.  In whom, and upon what ground, is the supreme authority in these realms vested?

      By the laws of the land the Queen is constituted the supreme Governor of all states and conditions in this kingdom; and she claims allegiance from her subjects as the minister and vicegerent of Him, “by whom kings reign and princes decree justice” (Prov. 8:15).  {See Leges Edvardi Confess. c. 17.  Statutes at large: 16 Rich. II. A. D. 1392. c. 5; 28 Hen. VIII. A. D. 1536. c. 7.  Canon. Eccles. II.}  For the maintenance of public peace and order it is necessary that there should be different degrees of established authority; and it is not only agreeable to reason, but sanctioned by Scripture, that the ruling power over all should be vested in the Sovereign.

      2.  Shew that this supremacy is necessarily Ecclesiastical, as well as Civil.

      Since it is clearly the moral duty of Sovereigns to promote the welfare and interests of their subjects, it would be taking a very low estimate of this duty, to confine it to their worldly interest alone.  Now in order to advance their spiritual as well as temporal welfare, it is necessary that they should be invested with a power “in all causes, ecclesiastical as well as civil, supreme.”  This Ecclesiastical supremacy is vindicated in this Article to the English Throne; and it is agreeable with the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testament, and many practical examples of former times.  Indeed, ecclesiastical and civil matters are frequently so closely connected that it would be impossible to make a distinction between them.

      3.  Shew from the Old Testament that the kings exercised supreme authority in the Jewish Church.

      There are many circumstances which prove that, under the Mosaic dispensation, the kings of Judah exercised the chief authority in religious matters, and that their authority was recognized by the Church.  The high priest Abimelech appeared before Saul to answer certain charges alleged against him in his sacerdotal character (1 Sam. 22:11); David distributed the priests into twenty-four courses (1 Chron. 27:6), and made a variety of regulations for the devout celebration of the Temple service; “Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the Lord” (1 Kings 2:26); Jehoshaphat invested some of the priesthood with certain judicial powers (2 Chron. 19:8, 9); and Hezekiah commanded the priests and Levites, on more than one special occasion, to offer sacrifices, and to minister and give thanks in the house of the Lord (2 Chron. 29:21, 31:2).  With respect to the Church of Christ also, Isaiah (49:23) foretold that “kings should be her nursing fathers, and queens her nursing mothers”; which implies rule and government as of the parent over the child.

      4.  What appears from the Books of the New Testament to have been the intention of Christ and his Apostles respecting magisterial authority?

      It does not appear to have been the intention of Christ or his Apostles to interfere with the established government of any country; but that, on the contrary, they enjoined obedience “to every ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake; whether it be to the king as supreme, or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Pet. 2:13, 14).  Compare also Matt. 22:21.  Rom. 13:1–7.  These precepts, be it observed, are delivered in general terms, without any distinction between the Clergy and the Laity; so that both one and other are equally bound to obedience in all things which are not forbidden by the word of God.  St. Paul “appealed unto Caesar” (Acts 25:11) as his lawful sovereign; and indeed it should seem that the Clergy, who are to put “others in mind of their subjection to principalities and powers” (Tit. 3:1) are more especially bound to support their doctrine by their examples.

      5.  To what extent, and under what circumstances, is this obedience inculcated; and what is the inference?

      The reverence due to Sovereigns and those in authority under them is altogether apart from any consideration of their private conduct.  “The Scribes,” said our Lord, “sit in Moses’ seat.  All, therefore, whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do not ye after their works; for they say and do not” (Matt. 23:2, 3).  Even in a case of flagrant illegality St. Paul excused the warmth with which he had resented an act of violence on the part of one, who does not seem to have been justly entitled to the office which he held: – “I wist not that he was the High Priest; for it is written, Thou shall not speak evil of the ruler of thy people” (Acts 23:5).  At the time too, when these precepts were thus given and exemplified, the ruling powers were heathen; so that a peculiar obligation must necessarily lie upon Christian subjects to honour and obey their King.  In short the command is at once most explicit, and exempts neither Clergy nor people; – “Whoever resisteth, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist, shall receive to themselves damnation” (Rom. 13:2).

      6.  Why is it necessary that the Queen’s power in this realm should be subject to no foreign jurisdiction?

      The interference of any foreign power in the internal government of a kingdom must be entirely subversive of its independence; and more especially any external allegiance on the part of the Clergy must inevitably tend to introduce disorder and confusion into that branch of the universal Church, over which, under Christ as the supreme head, the sovereign of each country is ordained of God to preside.

      7.  What changes were introduced into this Article in the reign of Elizabeth; and why?

      In the Article of 1552, the King of England was declared to be “Supreme Head in Earth, and next under Christ, of the Church of England and Ireland.”  To satisfy the scruples of some who objected to the title under this form, it was laid aside in 1562, and the royal authority asserted in the clause as it stands at present.  At the same time the nature of the Sovereign’s office was more clearly defined, in order to obviate the insinuation of the Puritans, who not only denied the right of the civil magistrate to interfere in any ecclesiastical matters whatsoever, but insinuated that the power of ministering in the congregation was implied in the assertion of spiritual supremacy.  Hence they are called in the Article calumniators, or slanderous persons.

      8.  The monarchs of England then lay no claim to the exercise of any of the sacred functions of the ministry?

      The Kings of England have never asserted or assumed a right to the ministering either of God’s word or of the Sacraments in their own person; but “that only prerogative which has been given to all godly princes in Holy Scripture by God himself.”  In 1559, soon after her accession to the throne, Queen Elizabeth set forth the “Injunctions” to which the Article alludes, and which began with asserting the Queen’s supremacy; but they did “not challenge any authority which is not, and was not of ancient time, due to the imperial crown of this realm”; and the Declaration of Charles I, prefixed to the Articles, appoints “Churchmen to do the work proper unto them.”  Our monarchs have therefore no authority to exercise the sacred functions of the ministry, or to violate the canons of the Church: but they are bound to provide that those “who are duly called and sent” into the Lord’s vineyard faithfully perform the charge with which they are entrusted.

      9.  Shew from the Scriptures that the office of Kings is controlling, not sacerdotal.

      When Saul was anointed king over Israel, he was “made the head of all the tribes” without any reservation in respect of the tribe of Levi: and the Jewish priesthood readily submitted to him and to his successors in all things, which did not infringe upon their sacerdotal functions.  See 1 Sam. 15:17.  1 Kings 2:26.  2 Chron. 30:1.  No sooner, however, did Uzziah attempt to burn incense in the Temple, than the priest openly resisted him; and, as a mark of the divine displeasure, the sacrilegious monarch was smitten with a leprosy, and he “was a leper unto the day of his death” (2 Chron. 26:16).  As guardians therefore of both Tables of the Law, Kings have supreme authority over all persons and in all causes, ecclesiastical as well as civil; and they are commissioned “to restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and the evildoers,” without distinction of rank or profession, and without control or cognizance of any foreign jurisdiction.

      10.  Whence does it appear that the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in England?

      What applies to any foreign jurisdiction whatsoever, applies equally to that of the Pope of Rome; nor had his dominion once exercised over these realms, as well as over the rest of Christendom, any other foundation than that of a restless and insatiable ambition, which prompted the Papal see to build upon the ignorance and superstition of the times a claim to universal sovereignty.  From the period that the Roman Empire became Christian, Constantine and his successors enacted laws with relation to spiritual matters, which are still extant in the codes of Theodosius and Justinian; councils were called and their decrees confirmed by the Emperors; with respect to Britian, no ecclesiastical control was exercised by the Popes therein for the first six centuries of the Christian era; and the encroachments upon her liberties were followed by remonstrance after remonstrance, till they were at length fully vindicated by the Reformation.

      11.  Upon what grounds is it pretended that the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Pope ought to be acknowledged in England?

      (a) By virtue of the alleged supremacy of the succession of St. Peter over every branch of the Catholic Church of Christ; (b) of the right acquired by the conversion of the Saxons through the instrumentality of Augustine; (c) and of the concession made to the Papacy by William the Conqueror and his immediate successors, but more especially by King John.

      12.  (a) Shew that the Church of Rome derives no exclusive rights from St. Peter; and that St. Peter himself exercised no supremacy over the rest of the Apostles.

      It does not appear that St. Peter was ever at Rome except as an Apostle;  and even if it could be proved that he was the first bishop of Rome, his commission was in no respect superior to that of the other Apostles.  The power of the Keys was committed to him merely as the representative of all the Apostles; and, as far as priority of foundation goes, the Church of Jerusalem was the mother of all the Churches.  Indeed St. James presided over a Council at Jerusalem, at which St. Peter merely assisted (Acts 15:13).  St. Paul certainly considered himself “not a whit behind” St. Peter in Apostolical authority (2 Cor. 11:5), and even “withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed” (Gal. 2:11).

      13.  (b) Does it appear that the mission of Augustine establishes any claim to the Pope’s jurisdiction in Britain?

      Without undervaluing the labours of Augustine, and the benefits derived from his preaching, it is certain that all his efforts would have been unavailing unless King Ethelhert had been induced to sanction and encourage his mission.  Besides, there was a flourishing Church in Britain more than three centuries before the arrival of Augustine; and there is reason to believe that one of the Apostles, probably St. Paul, was the founder of the English Church.  St. Alban, the first British martyr, suffered under Diocletian, A. D. 305.

      14.  (c) Did not, however, the cession of their rights by the Norman kings invalidate the prerogatives of the crown?

      It is not in the power of a Sovereign to alienate any part of his prerogative.  William the Conqueror was doubtless glad to secure his conquest by means of the Papal influence; and the weakness, physical and moral, of his successors were a sure means of Romish aggrandisement: but no power save that of God alone can transfer the hereditary rights of kings from their legitimate successors.

      15.  Are not bishops, priests, and deacons of the English Church required to make a solemn declaration of their assent to this principle at the time of their ordination?

      Yes; in the oath of the Queen’s supremacy, which is as follows: – “I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, has, or ought to have, any jurisdiction, power, superiority, preeminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm.  So help me God.”

      16.  Upon what grounds does the Article assert the lawfulness of capital punishments?

      Although a government, founded on Christian principles, will limit the punishment of death to the most “heinous and grievous offences,” and, if possible, to murder alone; still it has seldom been questioned that this, the severest penalty, is sometimes indispensably necessary for the welfare and protection of society at large.  By the the law of Moses, capital punishments were adjudged to a variety of offences; and though they are not expressly enjoined by the Gospel, the principle is distinctly recognized.  St. Paul, in appealing to Caesar’s judgment seat, observed that “if he were an offender, or had committed any thing worthy of death, he refused not to die” (Acts 25:11); and, in writing to the Romans, he speaks of rulers as “a terror to evil works, and not bearing the sword in vain” (Rom. 13:3, 4).  Hence it follows that, as the sword is an instrument of death, the civil magistrate may adjudge that punishment in cases of aggravated guilt.

      17.  Shew that it is not unlawful for Christians to serve in the wars.

      If mankind were universally influenced by the genuine spirit of Christianity, both private quarrels and public wars would cease in all the world; but, in the present state of things, it is manifest that no kingdom could maintain its independence, unless it were prepared to resist the aggressions of its enemies.  It has indeed been frequently affirmed that war is utterly at variance with the mild and benevolent precepts of Jesus Christ, and the teaching of the Apostles: but although wars are only to be undertaken after the most persevering forbearance, the most mature deliberation, and in the most just cause; and to be prosecuted without any unnecessary excess of vengeance; the lawfulness of wearing weapons, and serving in the wars, is implied in the Scriptures both of the Old and New Testaments.  The Israelites were continually engaged in war by the command of God himself; John the Baptist exhorted soldiers “to be content with their wages” (Luke 3:14) without denouncing their profession; our Lord commended the faith of one Roman centurion (Matt. 8:10), and St. Peter was sent to baptize another (Acts 10:20); and, by the example of a military life, St. Paul urges upon Timothy the duty of pastoral diligence (2 Tim. 2:4).  War, therefore, however deplorable, may be necessary, and therefore justifiable.

      18.  What opinions were entertained by the Fathers on the several positions maintained in this Article?

      The following are testimonies to the supremacy of kings: – Tertull. ad Scap. c. 2.  We reverence the emperor, so far as it is lawful for us, and expedient for him; as having received his authority from God, and as being inferior to God alone.  Chrysost. Hom. 23. in Rom. 13:1.  The Apostle, in the very first words, extends his command to all, whether priests or laymen, by saying, Let every soul be subject, though he be an Apostle, though he be an Evangelist, though he be a prophet, or whatsoever he be.  Socrates moreover (Hist. Eccl. V. pr.) states, that as soon as the emperors became Christians, they began to conduct the affairs of the Church, and to take cognizance of ecclesiastical causes.  See also Basil. Const. Monach. c. 22.  Optat. Lib. III.  Tertull. Apol. c. 30.  With respect to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope, it is certain from the account of the early controversy respecting Easter (Euseb. H. E., V. 23), that Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, recognized no supremacy in Anicetus, bishop of Rome; nor did Irenaeus of Lyons acknowledge any inferiority to Pope Victor (Iren. Haer. II. 3.). Moreover, Cyprian bishop of Carthage, writes thus, in Concil. Carthag. c. 7.  Nor has any one of us set himself up for a bishop of bishops, nor by any tyrannical usage terrified his colleague into a necessity of stooping and cringing to him; since every bishop is free to exercise authority accordingto his discretion, and is neither to judge nor be judged by another.  And again, de Unit. Eccles. p. 106.  All the Apostles were equal in power, and all bishops are also equal; since the whole Episcopate is one entire thing, qf which of every bishop has a complete and equal share.  Even Gregory the Greet declared (Epist. vii. 33.) that the assumption of the title of Universal Bishop savoured of Antichrist.  Of the punishment of death, Irenaeus (Haer. v. 21) observes that God imposed the fear of man upon the unruly, the covetous, and murderers, that they might be terrified by the sword which was publicly set before them; and that magistrates, being invested for this end with the laws of justice, are not to be questioned or punished for their proceedings according to law.  With respect to the last clause of the Article, the primitive Christians, according to Tertullian (Apol. c. 42.), served in the wars of the heathen emperors; and Augustine (c. Faust. Man. XXII. 74) speaks of soldiers not as homicides, but defenders of the public safety.  He also writes thus in Civ. D. I. 22.  He is no murderer, who, God being the arbiter, serves in war; or who, as the representative of the public authority, and acting according to law, punishes the wicked with death.


Article  XXXVIII.

Of Christian men’s Goods, which 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.


De illicita bonorum Communicatione.

      Facultates et bona Christianorum non sunt communia, quoad jus et possessionem ut quidam Anabaptistae jactant.  Debet tamen quisque de his quae possidet, pro facultatum ratione, pauperibus eleemosynas benign distribuere.


      1.  Give an account of the Anabaptists; and quote Luther’s summary of their opinions.

      The Anabaptists were a sect that sprung up in Germany about the year 1520, and, influenced by the misguided zeal of their leader, Thomas Muncer, committed the most disgraceful excesses.  Among other unwarrantable opinions, they inferred from the statement of St. Luke (Acts 2:44) that the first disciples “had all things common,” that a community of goods was binding upon Christians.  The name of the sect is derived απο του αναβαπτίζειν, from rebaptizing those who joined their communion; and Luther (Praef. ad Exam, in Matt. 5) gives the following account of them: – Docent Christiano nihil esse possidendum, non jurandum, nullos magistratus habendos, non exercenda judicia, neminem tuendum ad defendendum, uxores et liberos deserendos, atque id genus portenta quamplurima.

      2.  Shew that a community of goods was never contemplated by Christ and his Apostles as a principle of Christianity.

      In the repeated exhortations of Christ and his Apostles to alms-giving and hospitality, as well as to the exercise of those virtues which can only be displayed in the lower ranks of life, it is manifestly implied that there will ever be the rich to give, and the poor to receive: while the contributions which were sent from Macedonia and Achaia to the poor Christians in Judaea, abundantly prove that, even in the Apostles time, there were those who from their private means were able to relieve the necessitous and distressed.  There is neither any precept in the Gospel where a community of goods is enjoined; nor is it consistent with the general welfare of society, or even with its existence, that a renunciation of private property should take place.  Such a state of things would be a direct encouragement to idleness, and in manifest opposition to the Apostle’s admonition, that “with quietness men work, and eat their own bread” (2 Thess. 3:12).

      3.  Does it not appear, however, that the early converts had all things common?

      It appears indeed that a community of goods was for a time adopted in the infant Church at Jerusalem, and that many of the new converts delivered up their worldly possessions for the use of the brethren.  Among others Barnabas, “having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the Apostles feet” (Acts 4:37).  Some have thought, however, that those only, who were immediately engaged in the work of the ministry, threw their property into a common stock; but at all events the act was altogether voluntary, and consequent upon no command from any of the Apostles.

      4.  Whence does it appear that these contributions to a common fund was in no way compulsory?

      In the matter of Ananias and Sapphira, though St. Peter denounced the fraudulent and dishonourable object of the transaction, he fully admitted their right of possession.  “While it remained,” he said to Ananias, “was it not thine own?  After it was sold, was it not in thine own power?” (Acts 5:4.)

      5.  Shew that Almsgiving is a paramount Christian obligation; and mark the principle upon which it must be based in order to acceptance in the sight of God.

      No duty is more frequently and earnestly pressed upon Christians in the New Testament than that of contributing to the necessities of their poorer brethren.  To “give to him that asketh”; to “minister to the necessity of the saints,” according as God has blessed them with the ability, is recommended as a debt which they owe to the giver of all good; and while Timothy is instructed to “charge them that are rich in this world that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Tim. 6:17, 18), those who are not rich are enjoined to “work with their hands the thing which is good, that they may have to give to him that needeth” (Eph. 4:28).  God does not regard the value of the gift, but the disposition of the giver; and a principle of love to God and Christ must be the ruling motive of every act of benevolence.  All is worthless without this love; and with it even a widow’s mite is a “sacrifice with which God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:16).

      6.  In what light does our Lord regard the practice of almsgiving and brotherly love?

      An act of mercy, done even to the most humble of his followers, is accepted and rewarded by Christ, as if it were done to himself.  “Inasmuch as ye have done it,” he says, “to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matt. 25:40).  As therefore the practice of Christian charity in all its branches is so highly estimated by our Lord, so will the neglect be severely punished at the day of final retribution.

      7.  Quote passages from the early Fathers in support of the doctrine of this Article.

      Clem. Rom. Ep. ad Cor. c. 38.  Let him that is strong despise not him that is weak, and let him that is weak reverence him that is strong: let the rich give alms to the poor, and the poor give thanks to God.  Justin M. Apol. I. c. 67.  Those that have much make their contributions accordingly, which are deposited with the President, for the support of orphans and widows, and the relief of those that are in want by reason of sickness or any other cause, or those that are in bonds, or strangers that have come from a distance.  In a word, he takes care of all that stand in need of assistance.  Clem. Alex. Quis div. Salv. c. 13.  How much better is it, by possessing a competency, to be free from the hardships of want, and to be able to relieve those whom it is proper to relieve!  How manifestly would this doctrine of a community of goods be found to be at variance with many of our Lord’s precepts!  How shall any give meat to the hungry, or perform these other acts of charity, against those who neglect which he denounces everlasting fire (Matt. 25:41), if every one is to be deprived of the means of doing all these things?


Article  XXXIX.

Of a Christian man’s Oath.

      As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle; 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, judgment, and truth.


De jurejurando.

      Quemadmodum juramentum vanum et temerarium a Domino nostro Jesu Christo, et Apostolo ejus Jacobo, Chistianis hominibus interdictum esse fatemur; ita Christianorum religionem minime prohibere censemus, quin jubente magistratu, in causa fidei et charitatis, jurare liceat, modo id fiat juxta Prophetae doctrinam, in justitia, in judicio, et veritate.


      1.  What is an Oath; and upon what does the force of it depend?

      An Oath is a solemn appeal to the Supreme Being, declaratory of the truth of an assertion, or the obligation of a promise.  It is made under the persuasion that God will punish, as a deliberate defiance of his wrath, the violation of a pledge thus given between man and man; and it has consequently been always regarded as the most efficient means of securing justice, and preserving confidence, in the transactions of civil and social life.

      2.  By whom, and upon what grounds, have objections been urged against the lawfulness of oaths?

      The Anabaptists of former times, and the Quakers of the present day, are the principal objectors to the lawfulness of oaths; and their scruples have reference to the prohibition of our Saviour, repeated by St. James, to which this Article alludes.

      3.  To what description of Swearing do our Lord and his Apostles allude in these prohibitions?

      In our Saviour’s time, the Jews were much addicted to the use of profane and unmeaning oaths, in which they swore by Heaven, by Earth, by Jerusalem, and by the head, without attaching any obligation to asseverations thus supported.  It is manifestly with reference to this practice of swearing in common conversation that our Lord says “Let your communication,” i.e. your ordinary intercourse with each other, “be yea, yea; nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than this cometh of evil” (Matt. 5:34).  The precept of St. James (5:12) is to the same purpose.

      4.  Shew that oaths upon occasions of peculiar solemnity, and consequently judicial oaths, are not repugnant to the Word of God.

      Under the Patriarchal dispensation, not only did Abraham pledge his faith to Abimelech by an oath (Gen. 21:23), but God himself sware unto Abraham (Gen. 22:16); and “because he could sware by no greater, he sware by himself” (Heb. 6:13).  Under the Law, He directed the Jews to swear by his name (Deut. 6:13); and in conformity with this injunction, although profane swearing was forbidden by the third commandment (Exod. 20:7), a power was vested in the judges to examine persons upon oath (Levit. 5:1).  It was by virtue of this law that the High priest adjured our Saviour in the name of the living God to declare “whether he was the Christ, the Son of God” (Matt. 26:63); whereupon he no longer hesitated to break the silence which he had hitherto maintained.  St. Paul also frequently calls God to witness the truth of his assertions (Rom. 1:9, 9:1.  2 Cor. 1:18.  Gal. 1:20); and, observing that “an oath for confirmation is an end of all controversy” (Heb. 6:16), sanctions beyond dispute the use of an oath in litigated questions.

      5.  What then is essential to render an oath lawful?

      It must be made “in a cause of truth and charity,” that is, for the establishment of mutual confidence, and the promotion of peace and good will among mankind; and, according to the prophets’ teaching (Jer. 4:2), in justice, judgment, and truth.”

      6.  Quote an admonition to the same effect from the Homily against Swearing and Perjury.

      “There be three things necessary in a lawful oath; first, that it be made for the maintenance of the truth; secondly, that it be made with judgment, not rashly or unadvisedly; thirdly, for the zeal and love of justice.  Therefore, whosoever maketh any promise, binding himself thereunto by an oath, let him foresee that the thing which he promiseth be good and honest, and not against the commandment of God, and that it be in his own power to perform it justly: and such good promises must all men keep evermore assuredly.  But if a man shall at any time, either of ignorance or malice, promise or swear to do any thing which is either against the law of Almighty God, or not in his power to perform, let him take it for an unlawful and ungodly oath.”

      7.  Can you adduce any examples of unlawful and ungodly oaths?

      The Homily above cited remarks that as Herod, in the case of John the Baptist’s murder, “took a wicked oath, so he more wickedly performed the same”; and the Act of Uniformity (A. D. 1661) denounces the abjuration of the solemn League and Covenant as “an unlawful oath, and imposed on the subjects of this realm against the known laws and liberties of the kingdom.”  Surely also the oath of the Romish prelates, taken on their consecration, and binding them, pro posse, to the persecution and extermination of heretics, is both unlawful and ungodly.

      8.  Shew that the primitive Christians did not deem an oath unlawful on occasions of importance.

      Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VII. 8) says that “a Christian religiously observes an oath, though he is seldom prevailed upon to swear at all.”  Jerome (on Jer. 4:2) remarks that unless an abjuration is accompanied by truth, judgment, and justice, it is not an oath, but a perjury.  And St. Augustine teaches (Epist. CLVII. 40.) that our Lord advises us to let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay; not because it is a sin to smear to what is true, but because it is a most grievous sin to swear falsely, which that man is most likely to commit, who is in the habit of swearing.  See also Tertull. adv. Marc. II. 26.  Cyril. Alex. de Adorat. VI.  August. Epist. XLVII. 2.


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