39 Articles Of Religion
Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther


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Martin Luther was a German theologian and a major leader of the Protestant Reformation. He is sometimes called the father of Protestantism, and one of the major branches of Protestantism - Lutheranism - is named after him.

Early Life

Luther, the son of a Saxon miner, was born at Eisleben on Nov. 10, 1483. He entered the University of Erfurt when he was 18 years old. After graduation he began to study law in 1505. In July of that year, however, he narrowly escaped death in a thunderstorm and vowed to become a monk. He entered the monastery of the Augustinian Hermits at Erfurt, where he was ordained in 1507. The following year he was sent to Wittenberg, where he continued his studies and lectured in moral philosophy. In 1511 he received his doctorate in theology and an appointment as professor of Scripture, which he held for the rest of his life. Luther visited Rome in 1510 on business for his order and was shocked to find corruption in high ecclesiastical places.

He was well acquainted with the scholastic theology of his day, but he made the study of the Bible, especially the epistles of Saint Paul, the center of his work. Luther found that his teachings diverged increasingly from the traditional beliefs of the Roman church. His studies had led him to the conclusion that Christ was the sole mediator between God and man and that forgiveness of sin and salvation are effected by God's Grace alone and are received by faith alone on the part of man. This point of view turned him against scholastic theology, which had emphasized man's role in his own salvation, and against many church practices that emphasized justification by good works. His approach to theology soon led to a clash between Luther and church officials, precipitating the dramatic events of the Reformation.


Martin Luther
Dispute over Indulgences

The doctrine of Indulgences, with its mechanical view of sin and repentance, aroused Luther's indignation. The sale by the church of indulgences - the remission of temporal punishments for sins committed and confessed to a priest - brought in much revenue. The archbishop of Mainz, Albert of Brandenburg, sponsored such a sale in 1517 to pay the pope for his appointment to Mainz and for the construction of Saint Peter's in Rome. He selected Johann Tetzel, a Dominican friar, to preach the indulgences and collect the revenues. When Tetzel arrived in Saxony, Luther posted his famous 95 theses on the door of the castle church at Wittenberg on Oct. 31, 1517. Although some of the theses directly criticized papal policies, they were put forward as tentative objections for discussion.

Copies of the 95 theses were quickly spread throughout Europe and unleashed a storm of controversy. During 1518 and 1519, Luther defended his theology before his fellow Augustinians and publicly debated in Leipzig with the theologian Johann Eck, who had condemned the ideas of Luther. Meanwhile, church officials acted against him. The Saxon Dominican provincial charged him with heresy, and he was summoned to appear in Augsburg before the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan. Refusing to recant, he fled to Wittenberg, seeking the protection of the elector Frederick III of Saxony. When the Wittenberg faculty sent a letter to Frederick declaring its solidarity with Luther, the elector refused to send Luther to Rome, where he would certainly meet imprisonment or death.


In 1520, Luther completed three celebrated works in which he stated his views. In his Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, he invited the German princes to take the reform of the church into their own hands; in A Prelude Concerning the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, he attacked the papacy and the current theology of sacraments; and in On the Freedom of a Christian Man, he stated his position on justification and good works. The bull of Pope Leo X Exsurge Domine, issued on June 15 that same year, gave Luther 60 days to recant, and Decet Romanum Pontificem of Jan. 3, 1521, excommunicated him.

Summoned before Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in April 1521, Luther again refused to recant and was put under the ban of the empire. He took refuge in the Wartburg castle, where he lived in seclusion for eight months. During that time he translated the New Testament into German and wrote a number of pamphlets. In March 1522 he returned to Wittenberg to restore order against enthusiastic iconoclasts who were destroying altars, images, and crucifixes. His reforming work during subsequent years included the writing of the Small and Large Catechisms, sermon books, more than a dozen hymns, over 100 volumes of tracts, treatises, biblical commentaries, thousands of letters, and the translation of the whole Bible into German.

With Philipp Melanchthon and others, Luther organized the Evangelical churches in the German territories whose princes supported him. He abolished many traditional practices, including confession and private mass. Priests married; convents and monasteries were abandoned. These were difficult times. Luther lost some popular support when he urged suppression of the Knights' Revolt (1522) and the Peasants' War (1524 - 26); his failure to reach doctrinal accord with Ulrich Zwingli on the nature of the Eucharist (1529) split the Reform movement. Nonetheless, Luther found personal solace in his marriage (1525) to a former Cistercian nun, Katherina von Bora; they raised six children.

At Worms, Luther had stood alone. When the Evangelicals presented the Augsburg Confession to Charles V and the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, many theologians, princes, and city councils subscribed to that classic Protestant statement of faith. By the time of Luther's death, a large part of northern Europe had left the Roman Catholic church for new Evangelical communities. Late in 1545, Luther was asked to arbitrate a dispute in Eisleben; despite the icy winter weather, he traveled there. The quarrel was settled on Feb. 17, 1546, but the strain had been very great and Luther died the next day.

Luther left behind a movement that quickly spread throughout the Western world. His doctrines, especially justification by faith and the final authority of the Bible, were adopted by other reformers and are shared by many Protestant denominations today. As the founder of the 16th - century Reformation, he is one of the major figures of Christianity and of Western civilization.


Martin Luther
Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)

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Major leader of the German Reformation. Luther's father came from peasant background, but achieved success in the mining industry so that he was able to afford an excellent education for his son. Luther began his studies at the Ratschule in Mansfeld and probably attended the Cathedral School at Magdeburg, where he came under the influence of the Brethren of the Common Life. He completed his preparatory education at the Georgenschule in Eisenach before entering the University of Erfurt in 1501. He received his B A in 1502 and his M A in 1505. In accordance with his father's wishes he had begun study for a law degree when a brush with death in a thunderstorm, July, 1505, caused him to make a vow to become a monk.

While in the monastery Luther began the serious study of theology at Erfurt. In 1508 he was sent to Wittenberg to lecture on moral philosophy at the newly founded University of Wittenberg. In 1509 he returned to Erfurt, where he continued his studies and delivered lectures in theology. His teachers at Erfurt adhered to the nominalist theology of William of Ockham and his disciple, Gabriel Biel, which disparaged the role of reason in arriving at theological truth and placed a greater emphasis on free will and the role of human beings in initiating their salvation than did traditional scholasticism. In 1510 - 11 Luther made a trip to Rome on a mission for his order. While in Rome he was shocked by the worldliness of the clergy and disillusioned by their religious indifference. In 1511 he was sent back to Wittenberg, where he completed his studies for the degree of Doctor of Theology in October, 1512. In the same year he received a permanent appointment to the chair of Bible at the university.

During the period 1507 - 12 Luther experienced intense spiritual struggles as he sought to work out his own salvation by careful observance of the monastic rule, constant confession, and self - mortification. Probably as a result of the influence of popular piety and the teachings of nominalism Luther viewed God as a wrathful judge who expected sinners to earn their own righteousness. Partly because of his contact with the vicar general of his order, Johann von Staupitz, and his reading of Augustine, but primarily through his study of the Scriptures as he prepared his university lectures, Luther gradually changed his view of justification. His "tower experience," in which he achieved his major theological breakthrough and came to the full realization of the doctrine of justification by faith alone, has normally been dated before 1517.

However, recent scholarship has suggested that Luther was correct when he stated near the end of his life that it did not occur until late 1518. This interpretation maintains that Luther gradually progressed in his understanding of justification from the nominalist view, which gave human beings a role in initiating the process, to the Augustinian view, which attributed the beginning of the process to God's free grace but believed that after conversion human beings could cooperate. The fully developed Lutheran doctrine, which viewed justification as a forensic act in which God declares the sinner righteous because of the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ without any human merit rather than a lifelong process, was not clearly expressed in Luther's writings until his sermon Of the Threefold Righteousness, published toward the end of 1518.

The Reformation began in October, 1517, when Luther protested a major abuse in the sale of indulgences in his Ninety - five Theses. These were translated into German, printed, and circulated throughout Germany, arousing a storm of protest against the sale of indulgences. When the sale of indulgences was seriously impaired, the papacy sought to silence Luther. He was first confronted at a meeting of his order held in Heidelberg on April 26, 1518, but he used the Heidelberg disputation to defend his theology and to make new converts. In August of 1518 Luther was summoned to Rome to answer charges of heresy, even though he had not taught contrary to any clearly defined medieval doctrines. Because Luther was unlikely to receive a fair trial in Rome, his prince, Frederick the Wise, intervened and asked the papacy to send representatives to deal with Luther in Germany. Meetings with Cardinal Cajetan in October, 1518, and Karl von Miltitz in January, 1519, failed to obtain a recantation from Luther, although he continued to treat the pope and his representatives with respect.

In July, 1519, at the Leipzig debate Luther questioned the authority of the papacy as well as the infallibility of church councils and insisted on the primacy of Scripture. This led his opponent, Johann Eck, to identify him with the fifteenth century Bohemian heretic, Jan Hus, in an effort to discredit Luther. After the debate Luther became considerably more outspoken and expressed his beliefs with increasing certainty. In 1520 he wrote three pamphlets of great significance.

The first, the Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation, called upon the Germans to reform the church and society, since the papacy and church councils had failed to do so.

The second, The Babylonian Captivity of the Church, clearly put Luther in the ranks of the heterodox, because it attacked the entire sacramental system of the medieval church. Luther maintained there were only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's Supper, or at most three, with penance possibly qualifying as a third, rather than seven sacraments. He also denied the doctrines of transubstantiation and the sacrificial Mass.

The third pamphlet, The Freedom of the Christian Man, was written for the pope. It was nonpolemical and clearly taught the doctrine of justification by faith alone.

Even before the publication of these pamphlets a papal bull of excommunication was drawn up to go into effect in January, 1521. In December, 1520, Luther showed his defiance of papal authority by publicly burning the bull. Although condemned by the church, Luther still received a hearing before an imperial diet at Worms in April, 1521. At the Diet of Worms he was asked to recant his teachings, but he stood firm, thereby defying also the authority of the emperor, who placed him under the imperial ban and ordered that all his books be burned. On the way home from Worms, Luther was abducted by friends who took him to the Wartburg castle, where he remained in hiding for nearly a year. While at the Wartburg he wrote a series of pamphlets attacking Catholic practices and began his German translation of the Bible. In 1522 Luther returned to Wittenberg to deal with disorders that had broken out in his absence, and he remained there for the rest of his life. In 1525 he married Catherine von Bora, a former nun, who bore him six children. Luther had an extremely happy and rich family life, but his life was marred by frequent ill health and bitter controversies.

Luther often responded to opponents in a polemical fashion, using extremely harsh language. In 1525 when the peasants of south Germany revolted and refused to heed his call to negotiate their grievances peacefully, he attacked them viciously in a pamphlet entitled Against the Murdering Horde of Peasants. A controversy with the Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli over the Lord's Supper split the Protestant movement when an effort to resolve the differences at a meeting in Marburg failed in 1529. Throughout his life Luther maintained an overwhelming work load, writing, teaching, organizing the new church, and providing overall leadership for the German Reformation. Among his more important theological writings were the Smalcald Articles published in 1538, which clearly defined the differences between his theology and that of the Roman Catholic Church.

Luther never viewed himself as the founder of a new church body, however. He devoted his life to reforming the church and restoring the Pauline doctrine of justification to the central position in Christian theology. In 1522, when his followers first began to use his name to identify themselves, he pleaded with them not to do this. He wrote: "Let us abolish all party names and call ourselves Christians, after him whose teaching we hold . . . I hold, together with the universal church, the one universal teaching of Christ, who is our only master." He died at Eisleben on February 18, 1546, while on a trip to arbitrate a dispute between two Lutheran nobles. He was buried in the Castle Church at Wittenberg.

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The basic summary of belief of the Church of England, the Thirty - nine Articles of Religion were drawn up by the church in convocation in 1563 on the basis of the earlier Forty - two Articles of 1553. Subscription to them by the clergy was ordered by act of Parliament in 1571. Devised to exclude Roman Catholics and Anabaptists, but not to provide a dogmatic definition of faith - in many instances, they are ambiguously phrased - the articles were influenced by the confessions of Augsburg and Wurttemberg.

They concern fundamental Christian truths (Articles 1 - 5), the rule of faith (Articles 6 - 8), individual religion (Articles 9 - 18), corporate religion (Articles 19 - 36), and national religion (Articles 37 - 39). Retained in use by the various churches of the Anglican Communion, the Articles have been changed only as circumstances require. Thus the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States has retained them, without requiring assent, changing only those articles affected by the independence of the United States from England (Articles 36 and 37).

Martin Luther
The Thirty - nine Articles

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The historical doctrinal standard of the Church of England and the worldwide network of Episcopal churches in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The articles arose as one of the manifestations of the 16th century English Reformation, and more specifically from the liturgical genius of Thomas Cranmer, who served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1533 to 1556. Cranmer and like - minded colleagues prepared several statements of more or less evangelical faith during the reign of Henry VIII, whose divorce from Catherine of Aragon provided the political impetus for the English Reformation. But it was not until the reign of Edward VI that England's reformers were able to proceed with more thorough efforts. Shortly before Edward's death, Cranmer presented a doctrinal statement consisting of forty - two topics, or articles, as the last of his major contributions to the development of Anglicanism.

These Forty - two Articles were suppressed during the Catholic reign of Edward's successor, Mary Tudor, but became the source of the Thirty - nine Articles which Elizabeth the Great and her Parliament established as the doctrinal position of the Church of England. The 1563 Latin and 1571 English editions of the articles, which benefited from the consultation of the queen herself, are the definitive statements. Elizabeth promoted the articles as an instrument of national policy (to solidify her kingdom religiously) and as a theological via media (to encompass as wide a spectrum of English Christians as possible). Since her day much controversy has swirled over their theological significance. In more recent years they have been of greatest interest to the evangelical and Catholic wings of the Anglican - Episcopalian community who, though their differ between themselves over the meaning of the articles, still consider them valid, in contrast to the more liberal groupings within Anglicanism for whomthe articles are little more than a venerated historical document.

The Thirty - nine Articles have been justly praised as a moderate, winsome, biblical, and inclusive statement of Reformation theology. The articles repudiate teachings and practices that Protestants in general condemned in the Catholic church, they deny, e.g.,

  • supererogation of merit (XIV),
  • transubstantiation (XXVIII),
  • the sacrifice of the Mass (XXXI),
  • and implicitly the sinlessness of Mary (XV).

On the other hand, they affirm with the continental reformers that

  • Scripture is the final authority on salvation (VI),
  • that Adam's fall compromised human free will (X),
  • that justification is by faith in Christ's merit (XI),
  • that both bread and wine should be served to all in the
  • Lord's Supper (XXX),
  • and that ministers may marry (XXXII).

The articles borrow some wording from Lutheran confessions,

  • especially on the Trinity (I),
  • the church (XIX),
  • and the sacraments (XXV).

But on baptism (XXVII, "a sign of Regeneration")and on the Lord's Supper (XXVIII, "The Body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten, in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner"), the articles resemble Reformed and Calvinistic beliefs more than Lutheran.

Article XVII on predestination and election is much debated, for it pictures election unto life in terms very similar to those used by Reformed confessions, and yet, like the Lutherans, is silent on the question of reprobation to damnation. The Thirty - nine Articles mute considerably the attack on extreme views from the radical reformation which is present in the Forty - two Articles of 1553.

Thus, the Thirty - nine Articles do not contain the repudiations of antinomianism, soul sleep, chiliasm, and universalism that the early statement did. But they do retain affirmations concerning

  • the propriety of creeds (VIII),
  • the necessity of clerical ordination (XXIII),
  • the right of the sovereign to influence religion (XXXVII),
  • the right of private property (XXXVIII),
  • and the legitimacy of official oaths (XXXIX),

which had been challenged by some radical reformers.

The articles take on a more expressly English cast when they address matters of special relevance to the 16th century. Articles VI and XX allow the monarch considerable space for regulating the external church life of England. Article XX also sides more with Luther than with Zwingli in treating the authority of Scripture as the final and last word on religious matters rather than as the only word. Article XXXIV upholds the value of traditions that "be not repugnant to the Word of God." And Article XXXVII maintains the sovereign's right to "chief government" over the whole realm, including the church, even as it restricts the monarch from exercising strictly clerical functions of preaching or administering the sacraments (in 1801 the American Episcopal Church exchanged this article for one more in keeping with New World view on the separation of church and state).

The Thirty - nine Articles remain a forthright statement of 16th century reform. They are Protestant in affirming the final authority of Scripture. They are at one with common Reformation convictions on justification by grace through faith in Christ. They lean toward Lutheranism in permitting beliefs and practices that do not contradict Scripture. They contain statements which, like Zwingli in Zurich, give the state authority to regulate the church. They are "catholic" in their respect for tradition and in their belief that religious ceremonies should be everywhere the same within a realm. They are ambiguous enough to have provided controversy for theologians, but compelling enough to have grounded the faith of millions.


39 Articles Of Religion
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.

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 all actual sins of men.

3 Of the going down of Christ into Hell.

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

4 Of the Resurrection of Christ.

Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man's nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.

5 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.

6 Of the Suffciency 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 NewTestament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.

Of the Names and Numbers 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, Ecclesistes, or Preacher, Cantica or Songs 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 Forth 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 Story of Susanna, Of Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Manasses, The First Book of Macabees, The Second Book of Macabees.

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

7 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 and 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.

8 Of the Three Creeds.

The Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athannasiu'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.

9 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 ingendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the 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 Greek phronema sarkos, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin

10 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.

11 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.

12 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 Judgement ; 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.

13 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 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.

14 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.

15 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.

16 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.

17 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 may 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 downfal, wereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous then desperation.

Futhermore, 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

18 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

19 Of the Church

The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.

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

20 Of the Authority of the Church

The Church hath power to decree the 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.

21 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 govened 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.

22 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.

23  Of Ministering in the Congragation

It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of publick 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 publick authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord's vineyard.

24 Of speaking in the Congregation in such Tongues as the people understandeth.

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

25 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 by 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 unworthly purchase to themselves damnation, as Saint Paul saith.

 26 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 hath 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 Ministeres, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences: and finally being found guilty, by just judgement be deposed.

27 Of Baptisim

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.

28 Of the Lords 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 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 Fath.

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

29 Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lords 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.

30 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..

31 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.

32 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

33 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.

34 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 judgement, willingly an 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 he that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate, and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethern.

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.

35 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 doeth 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 understanded of the people.

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 of 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

36 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 hearafter shall be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.

37 Of the Civil Magistrates

The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his 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 King'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 of 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 him-self: that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evil-doers.

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.

38 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, Not withstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

39 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 Prophets teaching, in justice, judgement, and truth..


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