« PreviousContinue »
them that believe and are baptized; yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
Art. 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, with. out 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.
Art. 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.
Art. XII. Of good IVorks. 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.
Art. XIII. Of Works before Justification. Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-Authors say) deserve grace of congrui. ty: 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 na. ture of sin.
Art. 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.
Art. 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 a Lamb without spot, who by sacrifice of himself once made, should take away the sins of the world ; and sin (as St. 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
mselves, and the truth is not in us.
Art. 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.
Art. 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 con. stantly 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 ves. sels made to honour. Wherefore they, which he 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 continue ally 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. Art. XVIII. Of obtaining Eternal Salvation only by the Name of
Christ. They also are to be bad accursed, that presume to say, that ev. cry 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.
Art. 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 Sacra
ments 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 er. red; so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their liv. ing and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
Art. 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. Art. XXI. Of the Authority of General Gauncils".
Art. XXII. Of Purgatory. The Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of images, as of Reliques, and al. so Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and ground. ed upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the word of God.
Art. XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation. It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the Office of pub. lic 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 cho. sen 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. Art. 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 Cus. tom of the Primitive Church, to have Public Prayer in the Church, or to Minister the Sacraments in a Tongue not understanded of the People.
Art. 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 wit. nesses, 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 Cbrist 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 Confirma. tion, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to
• The 21st of the former articles is omitted, because it is partly of a local and civil nature, and is provided for, as to the remaining parts of it, in other articles.
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 by 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.
Art. XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders
not the Effect of the Sacraments. Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good, and sometime the evil have chief authority in the ministration of the Word and Sacraments: yet, forasmuch as they do not the same in their own name, but 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 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 un. to 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 inquiry 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.
Art. 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 the 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.
Art. 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 it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Christ's death : Insomuch that to such as rightly, worthily, and with faith receive the same, the Bread which we break is a 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 it 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 Or. dinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped. Art. XXIX. Of the Wicked, which eat not of 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 St. Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; yet in no wise ure they partakers of Christ ; but rather to their Condemnation do eat and drink the Sign or Sacrament of so great a thing.
Art. 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. Art. 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 Sacrifice of Masses, in 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 blasphe. mous fables, and dangerous deceits.
Art. 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 Chris. tian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness. Art. 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 Pe. nance, and received into the Church by a Judge that hath authori. ty thereunto.
Art. XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church. It is not necessary that Traditions and Cerremonies be in all places one, or utterly like ; for at all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoerer 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