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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
Articles (the Thirty-Nine)
Articles (The Thirty-Nine)
of the Church of England contain what may be called the "symbol," "creed." or "confession of faith" of the Church of England. especially as to the points on which, at the time of the adoption of the articles, disputes existed. They constitute also, substantially, the Creed of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States (see below).
The history of their origin, as nearly as can be ascertained, is about as follows. As early as 1549 Cranmer drew up and circulated a series of articles designed "to test the orthodoxy of preachers and lecturers in divinity." Hooper objected to them because of the empression that "the sacraments confer grace," and for other reasons (Hooper, Original Letters, p. 71). About this time three eminent Continental reformers were domiciled in England, viz. John a Lasco or Laski (q.v.), as preacher in London, Bucer (q.v.), as theological lecturer at Cambridge, and Peter Martyr (q.v.), as professor at Oxford. The influence of these great men went all in the current of thoroughly Protestant reformation, and was especially felt in the revision of the Prayer-book and of the Articles, in which they were consulted to a greater or less extent. Calvin, Melancthon, Bullinger, and other eminent Continental Protestants were in correspondence with Cranmer on the settlement of doctrinal points. In 1549, an act of Parliament was passed empowering the king to appoint a commission of 32 persons to make ecclesiastical laws. Under this act a commission of 8 bishops, 8 divines, 8 civilians, and 8 lawyers (among whom were Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper, Coverdale, Scory, Peter Martyr, Justice Hales, etc.), was appointed in 1551. Cranmer seems to have laid before this body, as a basis, a series of 13 articles, chiefly from the Augsburg Confession (reported in Hardwick, History of the Articlel App. iii). Finally, " Forty-two articles" were laid before the royal council, Nov. 24, 1552 (text given in Burnet, 4:311). In March, 1553, they were laid before Convocation, but whether adopted by that body or not is undecided. Strype and others assert that they were; Burnet, that they were not (Hist. Ref. iii 316).
Fuller, speaking in his quaint way of this con vocation, declares that it had "no commission from the king to meddle with church business, and," he adds, "every convocation in itself is born deaf and dumb, so that it can neither hear nor speak concerning complaints in religion till first Ephptha, ' Be thou opened,' be pronounced unto it by royal authority. However," he continues, "this barren convocation is entitled the parent of those forty-two articles which are printed with this title, Articuli de quibus in Synoda Londinensi 1552 A.D. inter Episcopos et alios convenerat." To these articles was prefixed the Catechism, and the preparation of them was chiefly the work of Cranmer and Ridley, on the basis of the Augsburg Confession (Laurence, Bampton Lecture, p. 230). Immediately after their publication Edward died (July 6, 1553). Under Queen Mary. Cranmer and Ridley went to the stake, and Gardiner and the Papists took their places as authorities in religion. In 1558 Mary died. Soon after the accession of Elizabeth, Matthew Parker (q.v.) was made archbishop of Canterbury (1559). One of his first tasks was to restore and recast the XLII articles. He expunged some parts and added others, making special use of both the Augsburg and Wiirtemberg Confessions (Laurence, Bampt. Lect. 233; Browne, XXXIX Articles, 15). The revised draught was laid before Convocation, which body made some minor alterations, and finally adopted the Thirty-eight Articles (January, 1562-3). They are given in Hardwick, History of the Articles, p. 124.
In 1566 a bill was brought into Parliament to confirm them. The bill passed the Commons, but by the queen's command was dropped in the Lords. In 1571 the Convocation revised the articles of 1562, and made some alterations in them. In the same year an act was passed "to provide that the ministers of the church should be of sound religion." It enacted that all ecclesiastical persons should subscribe to "all the articles of religion which only contained the confession of the true faith and of the sacraments, comprised in a book imprinted, entitled 'Articles,' whereupon it was agreed by the archbishops and bishops, and the whole clergy in convocation holden in London, in the year of our Lord God 1562, according to the computation of the Church of England, for the avoiding of diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true relic ion, put forth by the queen's authority." In 1628 an English edition was published by royal authority, to which is prefixed the declaration of Charles I.
The following are the Articles in full, as found in the Prayer-book of the Church of England:
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 bon, and the Holy Ghost.
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.
III. Of the going down of Christ into Hel. — As Christ died for us, and was buried, so also is it to be believed that he went down into hell.
IV. 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.
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.
VI. Of the Sufficient 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 Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the greater, Twelve-Prophets the less. And the other Books (as Hiero mee 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 Story 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.
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 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.
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.
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 phronenm sarko, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 honor. 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 be the calling; they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of his onlybegotten. 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 toward 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 wretchedness 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.
XVIII. Of obtaining eternal Salvation only by the Name of Christ. —
They also are to be had accursed that presume t. 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.
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 administered 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 hath erred, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.
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.
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.
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.
XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregations. — It is not lawful for any person 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 a work by men who have public authority given unto them in the congregation to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard.
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.
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 toward us, by the which he doth work invisibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but also strengthen and confirm our faith in him.
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, an 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.
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 orasmuch 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 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 inquiry be made of evil ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offenses; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.
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.
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, litted up, or worshipped.
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 St. Augustine saith) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise tare they partakers of Christ, but rather, to their condemnation, do eat and drink the sign and sacrament of so great a thing.
XXX. Of both kinds. — The cup of the Lord is nut 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.
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.
XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests — Bishops, priests, and deacons are not commanded by God's law either to avow 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.
XXXIII. Of excommunicate Person, 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.
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 counties, 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 he 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.
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 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 Regation days;
18. Of the state of Matrimony;
19. Of Repentance;
20. Against Idleness;
21. Against Rebellion.
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 anything 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.
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 cases 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 of God's Word or of the sacraments, that 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 tile 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.
XXXVIII. Of Christian men's Goods, which are not common.-The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching tie 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.
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 the 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.
The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States adopted in convention, September 12, 1801, the Thirty-nine Articles, except the 21st, with certain modifications, which are stated as follows by the American editor of Hook's Church Dictionary:
'In the eighth article we have left out the words 'three creeds' and ‘ Athanasius creed,' having rejected that creed as an exponent of our faith. The 21st article, 'Of the authority of general councils,' is left out altogether; and, though the No. 21 and title is retained, an asterisk refers us to a foot-note which says, '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 part of it in other articles.' After the 35th article, 'Of homilies,' our reviewers have inserted the following explanation in bracket. 'This article is received in this church so far as it declares the books of homilies to be an explication of Christian doctrine, and instructive on piety and morals. But all references to the constitution and laws of England are considered as inapplicable to the circumstances of this church, which also suspend the order for the reading of said homilies in churches, until a revision of them may be conveniently made, for the clearing of them, as well from obsolete words and phrases as from the local references.' The 36th article, 'Of the consecration of bishops and ministers,' is altered to suit the peculiarities of the American Church. The 37th article ' Of the power of the civil magistrates,' is a new one entirely superseding that of the Church of England, which sets forth the queen's supremacy in church and state, the annulling of papal jurisdiction in England, the power of the laws of the realm to punish with death, and the lawfulness of wearing weapons and serving in wars at the commandment of the magistrates. The American article is a biblical statement of a great and fundamental principle, applicable to all men, and under all circumstances. The American articles were ordered to be set forth by the General Convention assembled in Trenton, New Jersey, in September, 1801.
As to the sources of the English articles, besides what has been said above, it may not be amiss to add that the 1James, 2 d, 25th, and 31st agree not only in their doctrine, but in most of their wording, with the Confession of Augsburg. The 9th and 16th are clearly due to the same source. Some of them, as the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 34th, resemble, both in doctrine and/language, certain articles drawn up by a commission appointed by Henry VIII, and annotated by the king's own hand. The 11th article, on justification, is ascribed to Cranmer, but the latter part of it only existed in the articles of 1552. The 17th, on predestination, has afforded matter of great dispute as to the question whether it is meant to affirm the Calvinistic doctrine or no. On this point, see Laurence, Bampton Lectures; Browne On 39 Articles, p. 420 sq., and our articles (See ARMINIANISM), (See CALVINISM), with further references there. The Thirty-nine Articles have been described as "containing a whole body of divinity." This can hardly be maintained. They contain, however, what the Church of England holds to be a fair scriptural account of the leading doctrines of Christianity, together with a condemnation of what she considers to be the principal errors of the Church of Rome and of certain Protestant sects. As far as they go (and there are many things unnoticed by them), they are a legal definition of the doctrines of the Church of England and Ireland, though the members of that communion look to the Prayer-book as well as to the articles for the genuine expression of her faith. The articles are far more thoroughly Protestant than the Prayer-book, taken as a whole. Although the articles expressly assert that the Church of Rome has erred, attempts have repeatedly been made by the High-Church party of the Church of England to show that there is no irreconcilable difference between the Thirty-nine Articles and the decrees of the Council of Trent, and that a construction can be put upon them fully harmonizing them. To show this was, in particular, the object of Dr. Newman's celebrated tract (Tracts for the Times, No. 90, Oxf. 1839), and more recently of Dr. Pusey's Eirenicon (Lond. 1865; N. Y. 1866). See also Christ. Remembr. Jan. 1866, art. vi. The articles were adopted by the Convocation of the Irish Church in 1635, and by the Scotch Episcopal Church at the close of the 18th century. Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, contains the only copies of the articles in manuscript or print that are of any authority. Among them are the Latin manuscript of the articles of 1562 and the English manuscript of the articles of 1571, each with the signatures of the archbishops and bishops who subscribed them. See Lamb, Account of the Thirty-nine Articles (Camb. 2d ed. 1835). One of the best accounts of the origin of the Thirty- nine Articles is given by Hardwick, History of the Articles of Religion (Lond. 1855, 8vo). For expositions of them, see Burnet On the Thirty-nine Articles (N.Y. 1845, 8vo); Welchman, XXXIX Articles (Lond. 1834, 8vo, 13th ed.); Sworde, The first Seventeen Articles (Lond. 1847, 8vo); Wilson, XXXIX Articles Illustrated (Oxf. 1840, 8vo); Dimock, XXXIX Articles Explained (Lond. 1845, 2 vols. 8vo); Browne, Exposition of Thirty-nine Articles (Lond. 1851, 8vo; N. Y. ed. by Williams, 1865, 8vo); Cardwell, Synodalia; Palmer On the Church, ii, 242 sq.; Lee, The Articles paraphrastically explained by Sancta Clara (Dr. Davenport) (from the edition of 1646; London, 1865, post 8vo).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Articles (the Thirty-Nine)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/a/articles-the-thirty-nine.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.
the Week of Proper 13 / Ordinary 18