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definite and formal assent to them. Certainly it was so regarded by Archbishop Laud, who in his conference with Fisher the Jesuit, writes of it as follows :
“A. C. will prove the Church of England a shrew, and such a shrew. For in her Book of Canons, she excommunicates every man, who shall hold anything contrary to any part of the said Articles.' So A. C. But Burely these are not the very words of the Canon, nor perhaps the sense. Not the words, for they are: 'Whosoever shall affirm that the Articles are in any part superstitious or erroneous, etc.'; and perhaps not the sense. For it is one thing for a man to hold an opinion privately within himself, and another thing boldly and publicly to affirm it. And, again, it is one thing to hold contrary to some part of an Article, which perhaps may be but in the manner of expression; and another thing positively to affirm, that the Articles in any part of them are superstitious and erroneous. But this is not the main of the business ; for though the Church of England denounce excommunication, as is before expressed, yet she comes far short of the Church of Rome's severity, whose anathemas are not only for Thirty-Nine Articles, but for very many more, above one hundred in matter of doctrine, and that in many points as far remote from the foundation; though, to the far greater rack of men's consciences, they must be all made fundamental, if that Church have once determined them; whereas the Church of England never declared that every one of her Articles are fundamental in the faith. For it is one thing to say, no one of them is superstitious or erroneous; and quite another to say, every one of them is fundamental, and that in every part of it, to all men's belief. Besides, the Church of England prescribes only to her own children, and by those Articles provides but for her own peace' consent in those doctrines of truth. But the Ch
Rome severely imposes her doctrine upon the whole world, under pain of damnation."1
Moreover, it must not be forgotten that the only formulary to which a layman is directly required to assent is the Apostles' Creed. It is this which is set before him at his baptism, and again in the visitation of the sick, as containing the Articles of the faith. The position which the Nicene Creed occupies in the Church's eucharistic office, where it is appointed to be sung or said before the worshippers are invited to join in the greatest act of fellowship and communion possible, practically interprets for us the sense in which the briefer form is to be understood. But it remains true of the Apostles' Creed that for the layman, “that, and that alone, is required at his baptismal admission within the Church; that, and that alone, is asked for at the deathbed, as a sufficient proof that the man retains what he orginally began with—the Christian's confession of a true faith.” 2
The Articles, on the other hand, are at least primarily for the clergy. The loyal and faithful laity of the Church will naturally regard them with respect, and will in accordance with the terms of the Fifth Canon abstain from impugning them. But the Church never requires from them a formal act of assent to them. “ Their proper usage is as a TÚTrOS Sidaxñs, a sketch or framework of sound doctrine, by which the Church takes engagements from her clergy and other teaching officers, that—while occupying her pulpits and teaching in her name--they will not be disloyal; but will teach in her spirit, and present her time-honoured doctrine, albeit in sundry forms and divers manners to her people." 3
1 Works (Anglo-Catholic Library), vol. ii. p. 60.
Curteis, Bampton Lectures, p. 309 (Ed. 1).
Yid. The whole passage is worth consulting, but it is not entirely free from exaggeration, as there is no reference in it either to the 7. THE CHIEF DIVISIONS OF THE ARTICLES.
It only remains to mark out the chief groups or divisions into which the Articles fall, before proceeding to the commentary upon them. The most natural and convenient division of them, in accordance with their subject matter, appears to be the following:
I. The Catholic Faith and where it may be found (Articles I.–VIII.).
(a) The Faith (Articles I.–V.).
II. Personal Religion, or Man and his Salvation (Articles IX.-XVIII.).
III. Corporate Religion, or the Church, the Ministry, and the Sacraments (Articles XIX.-XXXI.).
IV. Miscellaneous Articles, relating to the discipline of the Church of England, its relation to the civil power, etc. (Article XXXII.-XXXIX.). Fifth Canon, or to the position of the Nicene Creed in the Communion Service.
THE FORTY-TWO ARTICLES OF 1553.
1553. Articuli de quibus in Synodo Lon.
dinensi, Anno Dom. MDLII. ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum veræ religionis firmandum, inter Episcopos et alios Eruditos Viros convenerat.
1553. Articles agreed on by the Bishoppes,
and other learned menne in the Synode at London, in the yere of our Lorde Godde, MDLII., for the auoiding controuersie in opinions, and the establishement of a godlie concorde, in certeine matiers of Religion.
Trinitatem. Unus est vivus et verus Deus, æternus, incorporeus, impartibilis, impassibilis, immense potentiæ, sapientiæ, ac bonitatis, creator et conservator omnium, tum visibilium, tum invisibilium. Et in unitate hujus divinæ naturæ tres sunt personæ, ejusdem essentiæ, potentiæ, ac æternitatis, Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.
Trinitie. There is but one liuing and true God, and he is euerlasting, with out bodie, partes, or passions, of infinite power, wisedome, and goodnesse, the maker, and preseruer of all thinges bothe visible and inuisible, and in vnitie of this Godhead there bee three persones of one substaunce, power, and eternitie, the Father, the Soone, and the holie Ghoste.
esse factum. Filius qui est verbum patris in utero beatæ Virginis, ex illius substantiâ naturam humanam assumpsit, ita ut duæ naturæ, divina et humana, integre atque perfecte in unitate personæ, fuerint inseparabiliter conjunctæ, ex quibus est unus Christus, verus Deus et verus homo, qui vere passus est, crucifixus, mor
II. That the worde, or Sonne of God,
was made a very man. The sonne whiche is the woorde of the father tooke mannes nature in the wombe of the blessed virgine Marie, of her Substaunce, so that two hole and perfeicte natures, that is to saie, the Godhead, and manhode were ioigned together into one persone, neuer to be diuided, where. of is one Christe very God, and very
tous et sepultus, ut patrem nobis reconciliaret, essetque hostia non tantum pro culpa originis, verum etiam pro omnibus actualibus hom. inum peccatis ,
manne, who truely suffred, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his father to vs, and to be a Sacrifice for all sinne of manne, bothe originall, and actuall.
Of the goyng doune of Christo into
Helle. Quemadmodum Christus pro nobis As Christ died and was buried mortuus est et sepultus, ita est etiam for vs : so also it is to be beleued, credendus ad inferos descendisse. that he went downe into hell. For Nam corpus usque ad resurrectionem the bodie laie in the Sepulchre, in sepulchro jacuit, Spiritus ab illo untill the resurrection : but his emissus, cum spiritibus qui in car- Ghoste departing from him, was cere sive in inferno detinebantur, with the Ghostes that were in fuit, illisque prædicavit, quem- prison, or in helle, and didde preache madmodum testatur Petri locus. to the same, as the place of S. Peter
The Resurrection of Christe. Christus vere a mortuis resurrexit, Christe didde truelie rise againo suumque corpus cum carne, ossibus, from deathe and tooke again his omnibusque ad integritatem hu- bodie with flesh, bones, and all manæ naturæ pertinentibus, recepit, thinges apperteining to the perfeccum quibus in cælum ascendit, ibique tion of mannes nature, wherewith residet, quoad extremo dio ad judi. he ascended into Heauen, and there candos homines revertatur,
sitteth, untill he retourne to iudge men at the last daie.
sufficient to Saluation.