Definition of the Union of the Divine
and Human Natures in the Person of Christ
Council of Chalcedon, 451 A.D., Act V
Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one
and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in
manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one
substance (homoousios) with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of
one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as
regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood
begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer
(Theotokos); one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two
natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the
distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics
of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence,
not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten
God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him,
and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the Fathers has handed down
The Creed of Saint Athanasius
Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.
Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish
And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory
equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost
The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.
As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and
So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
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So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.
And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.
For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by
himself to be both God and Lord,
So are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.
The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten,
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another;
But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be
He therefore that will be saved must think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the
Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, is God and Man;
God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance
of his Mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.
Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father, as touching his
Who, although he be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one Christ;
One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh but by taking of the Manhood into God;
One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.
For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, he sitteth at the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from
whence he will come to judge the quick and the dead.
At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into
This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
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The First Book of Common Prayer (1549)
There was never any thing by the wit of man so well devised, or so sure established, which
in continuance of time hath not been corrupted: as, among other things, it may plainly
appear by the common prayers in the Church, commonly called Divine Service: the first
original and ground whereof, if a man would search out by the ancient fathers, he shall find,
that the same was not ordained, but of a good purpose, and for a great advancement of
godliness: For they so ordered the matter, that all the whole Bible (or the greatest part
thereof) should be read over once in the year, intending thereby, that the Clergy, and
especially such as were Ministers of the congregation, should (by often reading, and
meditation of God's word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort
others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth. And
further, that the people (by daily hearing of holy Scripture read in the Church) should
continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with
the love of his true religion.
But these many years passed, this godly and decent order of the ancient fathers hath been so
altered, broken, and neglected, by planting in uncertain stories, Legends, Responds, Verses,
vain repetitions, Commemorations, and Synodals, that commonly when any book of the
Bible was begun, before three or four Chapters were read out, all the rest were unread. And
in this sort the book of Isaiah was begun in Advent, and the book of Genesis in
Septuagesima; but they were only begun, and never read through. After a like sort were
other books of holy Scripture used. And moreover, whereas St. Paul would have such
language spoken to the people in the Church, as they might understand, and have profit by
hearing the same, the Service in the Church of England (these many years) hath been read in
Latin to the people, which they understood not; so that they have heard with their ears
only; and their hearts, spirit, and mind, have not been edified thereby. And furthermore,
notwithstanding that the ancient fathers had divided the Psalms into seven portions,
whereof every one was called a nocturn, now of late time a few of them have been daily said
(and oft repeated), and the rest utterly omitted. Moreover, the number and hardness of the
Rules called the Pie, and the manifold changings of the service, was the cause, that to turn
the Book only, was so hard and intricate a matter, that many times, there was more business
to find out what should be read, than to read it when it was found out.
These inconveniences therefore considered, here is set forth such an order, whereby the
same shall be redressed. And for a readiness in this matter, here is drawn out a Kalendar for
that purpose, which is plain and easy to be understood, wherein (so much as may be) the
reading of holy Scripture is so set forth, that all things shall be done in order, without
breaking one piece thereof from another. For this cause be cut off Anthems, Responds,
Invitatories, and such like things, as did break the continual course of the reading of the
Yet because there is no remedy, but that of necessity there must be some rules: therefore
certain rules are here set forth, which, as they be few in number; so they be plain and easy to
be understood. So that here you have an order for prayer (as touching the reading of the
holy Scripture), much agreeable to the mind and purpose of the old fathers, and a great deal
more profitable and commodious, than that which of late was used. It is more profitable,
because here are left out many things, whereof some be untrue, some uncertain, same vain
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and superstitious: and is ordained nothing to be read, but the very pure word of God, the
holy Scriptures, or that which is evidently grounded upon the same; and that in such a
language and order as is most easy and plain for the understanding, both of the readers and
hearers. It is also more commodious, both for the shortness thereof, and for the plainness of
the order, and for that the rules be few and easy. Furthermore, by this order the curates shall
need none other books for their public service, but this book and the Bible: by the means
whereof, the people shall not be at so great charge for books, as in time past they have been.
And where heretofore, there hath been great diversity in saying and singing in churches
within this realm: some following Salisbury use, some Hereford use, some the use of
Bangor, some of York, and some of Lincoln: now from henceforth, all the whole realm shall
have but one use. And if any would judge this way more painful, because that all things
must be read upon the book, whereas before, by reason of so often repetition, they could
say many things by heart: if those men will weigh their labor with the profit in knowledge,
which daily they shall obtain by reading upon the book, they will not refuse the pain, in
consideration of the great profit that shall ensue thereof.
And forasmuch as nothing else, almost, be so plainly set forth, but doubts may arise in the
use and practicing of the same: to appease all such diversity (if any arise), and for the
resolution of all doubts, concerning the manner how to understand, do, and execute, the
things contained in this book: the parties that so doubt, or diversely take any thing, shall
always resort to the Bishop of the Diocese, who by his discretion shall take order for the
quieting and appeasing of the same; so that the same order be not contrary to any thing
contained in this book.
Though it be appointed in the afore written preface, that all things shall be read and sung in
the church in the English tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified:
yet it is not meant, but when men say Matins and Evensong privately, they may say the
same in any language that they themselves do understand. Neither that any man shall be
bound to the saying of them, but such as from time to time, in Cathedral and Collegiate
Churches, parish Churches, and Chapels to the same annexed, shall serve the congregation.
Articles of Religion
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 the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power,
and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
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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 Hell.
As Christ died for us, and was buried; so also it is to be believed, that he went down into
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 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 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,||The First Book of Samuel,||The Book of Esther,|
|Exodus,||The Second Book of Samuel,||The Book of Job,|
|Leviticus,||The First Book of Kings,||The Psalms,|
|Numbers,||The Second Book of Kings,||The Proverbs,|
|Deuteronomy,||The First Book of Chronicles,||Ecclesiastes or Preacher,|
|Joshua,||The Second Book of Chronicles,||Cantica, or Songs of Solomon,|
|Judges,||The First Book of Esdras,||Four Prophets the greater,|
|Ruth,||The Second Book of Esdras,||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
|The Third Book of Esdras,||The rest of the Book of Esther,|
|The Fourth Book of Esdras,||The Book of Wisdom,|
|The Book of Tobias,||Jesus the Son of Sirach,|
|The Book of Judith,||Baruch the Prophet,|
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|The Song of the Three Children,||The Prayer of Manasses,|
|The Story of Susanna,||The First Book of Maccabees,|
|Of Bel and the Dragon,||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
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
The original Article given Royal assent in 1571 and reaffirmed in 1662, was entitled, "Of
the Three Creeds; and began as follows, "The Three Creeds, Nicene Creed, Athanasius's
Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed . . ."
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, Φρόνημα σαρκός, (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.
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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
XIII. Of Works before Justification.
Works done before the grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of the 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 not only render unto God as much as they are bound to, 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 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.
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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 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
working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly mem-
bers, 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 wrethchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than
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 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.
XIX. Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in 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 hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of
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 anything 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 not to enforce
any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.
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XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.
[The Twenty-first of the former Articles is omitted; because it is partly of a local and civil
nature, and is provided for, as to the remaining parts of it, in other Articles.]
The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article, omitted in the version of 1801, reads as
follows: "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 Relics, 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 Congregation.
It is not lawful for any man 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 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
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 of God.
The Sacraments are 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 Saint Paul saith.
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XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders not the effect of the Sacraments.
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 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
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 offences; and
finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed.
XVII. 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 the 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.
XVIII. 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 it 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,
lifted 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 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.
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XXX. 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.
XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the Cross.
The Offering of Christ once made in 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 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
XXXIII. 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 the authority thereunto.
XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church.
It is not necessary that the Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places one, or utterly like; for at
all times they have been divers, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries,
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
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.
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Of the Names of the Homilies
|1 Of the right Use of the Church.||11 Of Alms-doing.|
|2 Against Peril of Idolatry.||12 Of the Nativity of Christ.|
| 3 Of repairing and keeping clean of
|13 Of the Passion of Christ.
14 Of the Resurrection of Christ.
| 4 Of good Works: first of Fasting.
5 Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
|15 Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the
Body and Blood of Christ.
|6 Against Excess of Apparel.||16 Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.|
|7 Of Prayer.||17 For the Rogation-days.|
|8 Of the Place and Time of Prayer.||18 Of the State of Matrimony.|
| 9 That Common Prayers and Sacraments
ought to be ministered in a known tongue.
|19 Of Repentance.
20 Against Idleness.
|10 Of the reverend Estimation of God's Word.||21 Against Rebellion.|
[This Article is received in this Church, so far as it declares the Book of Homilies to be 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.]
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 be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.
The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article reads as follows: "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 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 Power of the Civil Magistrates.
The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things
temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of
all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority,
regularly and legitimately constituted.
The original 1571, 1662 text of this Article reads as follows: "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 our Princes the
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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
himself; 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
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 the 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
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 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 Prophet's teaching in justice, judgment, and truth.
The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral 1886, 1888
Adopted by the House of Bishops
We, Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Council
assembled as Bishops in the Church of God, do hereby solemnly declare to all whom it may
concern, and especially to our fellow-Christians of the different Communions in this land,
who, in their several spheres, have contended for the religion of Christ:
1. Our earnest desire that the Savior's prayer, "That we all may be one," may, in its
deepest and truest sense, be speedily fulfilled;
2. That we believe that all who have been duly baptized with water, in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, are members of the Holy Catholic Church.
3. That in all things of human ordering or human choice, relating to modes of worship
and discipline, or to traditional customs, this Church is ready in the spirit of love and
humility to forego all preferences of her own;
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4. That this Church does not seek to absorb other Communions, but rather, co-operating
with them on the basis of a common Faith and Order, to discountenance schism, to heal the
wounds of the Body of Christ, and to promote the charity which is the chief of Christian
graces and the visible manifestation of Christ to the world.
But furthermore, we do hereby affirm that the Christian unity . . .can be restored only by
the return of all Christian communions to the principles of unity exemplified by the
undivided Catholic Church during the first ages of its existence; which principles we believe
to be the substantial deposit of Christian Faith and Order committed by Christ and his
Apostles to the Church unto the end of the world, and therefore incapable of compromise
or surrender by those who have been ordained to be its stewards and trustees for the
common and equal benefit of all men.
As inherent parts of this sacred deposit, and therefore as essential to the restoration of unity
among the divided branches of Christendom, we account the following, to wit:
1. The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revealed Word of God.
2. The Nicene Creed as the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
3. The two Sacraments,--Baptism and the Supper of the Lord,--ministered with
unfailing use of Christ's words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him.
4. The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the
varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.
Furthermore, Deeply grieved by the sad divisions which affect the Christian Church in
our own land, we hereby declare our desire and readiness, so soon as there shall be any
authorized response to this Declaration, to enter into brotherly conference with all or any
Christian Bodies seeking the restoration of the organic unity of the Church, with a view to
the earnest study of the conditions under which so priceless a blessing might happily be
brought to pass.
Note: While the above form of the Quadrilateral was adopted by the House of Bishops, it was not
enacted by the House of Deputies, but rather incorporated in a general plan referred for study and action
to a newly created Joint Commission on Christian Reunion.
Lambeth Conference of 1888
That, in the opinion of this Conference, the following Articles supply a basis on which
approach may be by God's blessing made towards Home Reunion:
(a) The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as "containing all things
necessary to salvation," and as being the rule and ultimate standard of faith.
(b) The Apostles' Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient
statement of the Christian faith.
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(c) The two Sacraments ordained by Christ Himself--Baptism and the Supper of the Lord
--ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of Institution, and of the elements
ordained by Him.
(d) The Historic Episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the
varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the Unity of His Church.
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