« ElőzőTovább »
ARTICLES OF RELIGION, As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and Laity of
the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the 12th day of September, in the Year of our Lord, 1801.
Art. I. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity. There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions ; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible. And in unity of this Godhead, there be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Art. 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 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.
Art. III. 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,
Art. 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.
Art. 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.
Art. VI. Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for
Salvation. Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation : so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of 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.
1 Of the Names and Numbers of the Canonical Books.
Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri, Deuteronomium, 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 Hester, 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 Hierome saith) the church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners: but yet it doth not apply them to establish any doctrine ; such as 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 Hester, The Book of Wisdom, Jesus the Son of Sirach, Baruch the Prophet, The Song of the Three Children, The Story of Susannah, Of Bell 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.
Art. 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.
Art. VIII. Of the Creeds. The Nicene 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.
Art. 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 Greek opóvnua oapxas, 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.
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, 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. 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 Šustification.
Art. 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.
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 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.
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 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 is commanded to you, say, We are un profitable 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 ourselves, 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 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 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 workings of the spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation, to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God; so, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture: and in our