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As established by the Bishops, the Clergy, and Laity of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Convention, on the twelfth Day of
September, in the Year of our Lord 1801.
Art. I. Of faith in the Holy Trinity.
THERfe. 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, hegotten 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 he 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 he 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 he helieved, tliat he went down into hell. Art. IV. Of the Resurrection nf 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 contained! all tilings 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 under
stand 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, Humeri, Deuteronomium, Joshue, 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 BoakofHcy ter, The Book of Job, The Psalms, The Proverbs, Eecleriastes or Preacher, Canti* ca or Songs of Solomon, Four Prophets the greater, Twelve Prophets the less.
And the other Books (as Hicrome saith) the C hurch doth read for example of lif« 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 Tohias, 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 Storyjtf Susanna, Of Bel and the Dragon, Tks 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 hetween God and Man. being boiii God and Man. Wherefore tliey are not to be heard, which feign that the Old Fathers did look only lor transitory Promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching Oereraoroc; and Rites, do not hind Christian men, nor the Civil Precepts thereof ought »f 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. V1U. Of the Creeds. The ISiccnc Creed, and that which is commonly called the Jjpostlft Ca* . might thoroughly to be received and believed: for they may he 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; nnd therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveili God's wrath and damnation. And this infectiun of nature doth remain, yea, in them that are regenerated; whereby tlie lust of the flesh, called in Greek Q,eovltu& tra^xK, which some do expound the Wisdom, some Sensualitv, 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 helieve and are baptized; yet the Apostle doth confess that vmcupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.
Art. X. OfFree-mn.
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 nave that good will. Art. XI. Of the Justification of Man.
We are accounted righteous hefore 4-*od, only for Die 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 onlv, is a most wholesome doctrine, and vprv full °f comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification. Art. XII. Of good Works.
Albeit that good Works, which are the fruits of Faith, and follow after Justifi cation, cannot put away our sins, ana endure the severity of God's Ju gment i vet 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 btfore Justification,
Works donehcforetnegraceofChrist and the inspiration of his Spirit, ore 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 ami 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 he 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 satth plainly, When ye liave 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 nesh,and in his spirit. Hecama to he 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. Ami 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 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 henefit of God, he called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace obey the calling: they be justined freely: thev 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.
made Sons of God by adoption: they be is contrary to Goii's Word written, un
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 memhers, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly tilings, as well because it doth greatly establish ami confirm their faith of eternal salvation, to be enjoyed through Christ, as hecause it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: so, for curious Mid carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the Sentence of God s Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall,whereby the Devil doth thrust them either Into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.
Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in holy Scripture: And in our doings, that will of God is to he 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 had accursed, that presume to say, thai every man shall be saved by the Law or Sect which he professeth, so that he he 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 Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's Ordinance, in ail those things that of necessity are requisite to the same.
As the Church of HtcrusaUm, Alexnndria, nnd 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.
Art. XX. Oft ke Authority rf the
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and Authority in Controversies of Faith: And vet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that
ther inay it so expound one place oi 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 wane ought it not to enforce any thing to he helie\ed for necessity of salvation. Art XXI. Of the Authority of CSeneral Council*'* ~ Art. XXII. Of Purgatory. The Koinish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardon, Worshipping and Adoration, as well of Images, as of Heliques and alio Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, hut 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 public Preaching, of Ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, hefore he he lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this Work by men who have public Authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord's Vineyard.
Art. XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregat ion in snch a tongue atthePeopit understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to tlie Word of God, and the custom of the Primitive Church, to have Public Praver 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 rvt only badges or tokens of Christian men's Profession; but rather they be certain sure witnesses, and effectual signs \,: grace, and God's good will towards us,hl the which he doth work invisibly in u., and doth not only quicken, liiit also strengthen and confirm our faith in him.
There are two Sacraments nrdained 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 Aiwsties, partly are states of life •)•owed by the Scriptures; but yet have not tike nature of Sacraments with Baptism and the Lord's Supper, for that they have not any visible Sign or Ceremony ordained of God.
* The 21st of the former art'clei is omitted, hecause it is partiv of a local and civil nature, nnd is provided for, as to the remaiinng parts of it. in otiier articles
The Sacraments were not ordained of Christ to he gazed upon, or to be carried a! -o, u. 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 Urmorthintss of the
Ministers^ which hinders not the Effect
of the Sacraments.
Although in the visible Church the evil lie 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 ttori, and in receiving the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's Ordinance taken away by their wickedness, nor the grace of t£od's gifts diminished from such, as by faith, and rightly, do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them, which he effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless, it appertained to the Discipline of the Church, that inquiry be made of evil Miinsters, 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. OfBaptUm.
Baptism is not only asign of Profession^ and mark of Difference, whereby Christ tian men are discerned from others that
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 Ordinance 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 theydocarnally and visibly press with their teeth (as St. Augustine saith) the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ; hut rather to their Condemnation do eat and drink the Sign or Sacrament of so great a tiling. Art. XXX. OfhothKinei s
The Cup of the Lord is not to oe denied to the Lay-Poople: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament by Christ's Ordinance and Commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men alikeArt. 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 tliat alone. Wherefore the Sacrifice
ilsm rightly are grafted into the Church: the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and oi our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and scaled: faith is confirmed, and grace increased by virtue of Prayer unto God. The Baptism of young children is in any
pain or guilt, were blasphemous 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
wise to be retained in the Church as most | Marriage: therefore it is lawful for them,
agreeable with the institution of Christ. Art. XXVIII. Of the Lord's Supper. The Supper of the Lord is not only a .v'jn 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
as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion^ they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
Art XXXIII. Of excommunicate Per
sons, how they are to be avoided.
That person which by open denuncia
Hon of uie Church, is rightly cut off from
the Unity of the Cburch, and excommumultitude 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.
faith receive the same the Bread which (mer,ted, ought to be taken of the whoi*
Art. XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the
Tt is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like j for at all times they have been divers, and may he changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing he 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 other 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 weakBrethren.
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 he done to edifying. Art. XXXV. Of Homilies.
The second Book of Homilies, the sevelal 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 he read in Churches by tlte Ministers diligently and distinctly, tliat 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
Of good Works: frst of Fasting. b. Against Gluttony andl)runkenness.
6. Against Excess of Apparel.
7. Of Prayer.
8. Of the Place and Time of Prayer.
9. That Common Prayers and Sacra* ments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.
lft. Ofthe reverent estimation of God's
Word. It. Of Alms-doing. ,
12. Ofthe Nativity ofChrist,
13. Ofthe Passion of Christ.
14. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
15. Ofthe worthy receiving ofthe Sarramentofth* Body and mood of'Christ'
16. Ofthe 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,
[This Article is received in this Chute i so far as it declares the books of Homilies to he an explication of Christian doctrine, and instructive in 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 suspends 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.] Art. XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, as set forth by the General Convention of this Church in 1792, 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 said form, we decree all such to he rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered. Art. XXXVII. Ofthe Power ofthe C*Jl Magistrates.
The power ofthe Civil Magistrate ettendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And u* hold it to he the duty of all men who are professors ofthe Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the civil authority, regular-ly and legitimately constituted.
Art. XXXVIII. Of Christian Men's
The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought of such things as he possesseth, liherally to give alms to the poor according to bis ability. ArtXXXtX. Of aCHristian Man's Ostk As we confess that vain and rash swearig is forbidden Christian men by - a Lord Jesus Christ, and James his Apostle; so wejudge 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' teach-ins; in J as tic*. Judgment, and Truth-.