Christ Church Stockport is part of the global Anglican church and therefore out beliefs are aligned with historic Anglicanism.
Statement of Faith
We believe that
- Trinity: There is one true and unchanging God, perfect in every way, who exists eternally in three distinct but equal persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Deuteronomy 32:4, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 28:19)
- God: God is the all-powerful creator, preserver and ruler of all things, visible and invisible, governing them according to his faultless and sovereign will. He is distinct from his creation, and so although involved in it, he is not part of it. (Colossians 1:15-17, Hebrews 1:3, Ephesians 1:11)
- Creation: God’s purpose in creation is to glorify himself in his Son, by sending him to redeem a people to be his own, eager to do what is good, and by bringing all things under his rule. In the gospel, therefore, God calls all people to honour his Son, submitting to him in everything. (Ephesians 1:3-10, 22-23, Titus 2:14)
- Bible: God has revealed himself in the Bible, which consists of the Old and New Testaments alone. Every word was inspired by God through human authors, so that the Bible as originally given is in its entirety the Word of God, without error and fully reliable in fact and doctrine. It is therefore to be submitted to, both individually and corporately, as it alone speaks with final authority in every age, being always sufficient for all matters of belief and practice. (John 10:35, 16:12-15, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5)
- Humanity: God has made humanity in his likeness and according to only two distinct genders. Men and women are equal in sharing an inherent value, dignity and worth, yet created to complement one another by their difference, honouring and upholding the distinctive roles assigned them by God within marriage and the church. According to the Bible, marriage is a life-long commitment between one man and one woman. (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:20-24, Ephesians 5:21-33, 1 Timothy 2:11-15)
- Fall: Since the fall, all human beings have been sinful and guilty, and are subject to God’s wrath and condemnation. Alienated from his life, the inclinations of their minds, hearts, wills and bodies are corrupted by sin, leading them to suppress the truth about God. (Ephesians 2:1-3, 4:17-19, Romans 1:18-32, 5:12-21, 7:14-25)
- Jesus: The Lord Jesus Christ is unique in being God’s incarnate Son, fully God and fully man, yet without sin. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, he was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, was raised bodily from death, and visibly ascended into heaven from where he now reigns over all things with the authority of God the Father. (Luke 1:26-38, Hebrews 4:15, Acts 2:22-36)
- Redemption: By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus was declared to be God’s only Lord and Christ, his promised Saviour-King who redeems sinful human beings from the guilt, penalty and power of sin so that they can share in God’s kingdom. He is the only mediator between God and humankind, in whom alone salvation is to be found. (Acts 2:31-36, 4:12, Galatians 3:13-14, 1 Timothy 2:5)
- Atonement: In his substitutionary death Jesus bore the full penalty for sin, satisfying God’s justice so that those who believe are pardoned, credited with Christ’s righteousness and so justified, which is to be declared righteous by God. From this one act of atonement every spiritual blessing flows. (Romans 3:9-4:8, 5:1-21, Acts 13:39)
- Salvation: Salvation is received solely through being united to Christ by faith, and so by grace alone, not as a reward for moral or religious effort. From the moment he or she first believes, the sinner is wholly justified and reconciled to God, with the sure and certain hope of eternal life. (Philippians 3:1-9, Romans 4:1-5:11)
- The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit alone makes the work of Christ effective, bringing individuals to new birth and faith. He indwells all believers in order to give them a true understanding of the Bible, bring assurance of salvation, move them to do good, grow them to maturity, equip them for service, empower them for mission, and so renew them in the image of God that the church might display the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 1:15-2v10, 4:4-5:20, 1 Corinthians 12:1-14)
- Obedience: Those who are truly born again place their faith in Christ, repenting of their sins, calling on him for salvation and submitting to him as Lord. Being renewed into his likeness, they strive to obey his will in all areas of their lives, trusting that the commands of Scripture are for their good and for God’s glory. This obedience covers both internal attitudes and external actions and includes the rejection of sin. (Galatians 5:16-26; 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; Ephesians 4:17-5:20)
- Sacraments: The one, holy, universal church is the Body of Christ to which all true believers belong. It is made visible in local congregations of believers which are called to worship and serve God in the world, to proclaim and defend his truth, to administer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper, to exhibit his character, and to demonstrate the reality of his new order. (Matthew 28:18-20, 1 Peter 2:9-12, 1 Timothy 3:15
- Church: The unity of Christ’s body is expressed within and between local churches by mutual love, care, correction and encouragement, all in accordance with the Bible. Fellowship within and between local churches is truly Christian insofar as they are faithful to Christ and his gospel. (Ephesians 4:1-16, 2 Corinthians 6:14-16, 2 John 7-11)
- Future: The Lord Jesus Christ will visibly return in glory to raise and judge the dead, granting the fullness of eternal life to his people and eternal punishment to those who have not believed the gospel. God’s kingdom will then be fully established as he creates a new heaven and earth from which evil and evildoers, suffering and death will be excluded, and in which he will be glorified forever. (Matthew 25:31-46, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10, Revelation 20:11-21:8, 22-27)
The 39 Articles
of the Anglican Church
I. OF FAITH IN THE HOLY TRINITY
There is but one living and true God, ever- lasting, 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.
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 all actual sins of men.
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.
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
- 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
- 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 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 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 ingendered 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, “Phronema Sarkos”, 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 Judgement; 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 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 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 downfal, 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 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 the 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 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 CONGREGATION
IT is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of publick 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 publick 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 publick 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 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 Saint 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 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 of 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 judgement 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, 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.
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 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 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 to godliness.
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 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 countries, times, and men’s manners, so that nothing be ordained against God’s Word. Whosoever through his private judgement, 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
- Of the right Use of the Church.
- Against peril of Idolatry.
- Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
- Of good Works: first of Fasting.
- Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
- Against Excess of Apparel.
- Of Prayer.
- Of the Place and Time of Prayer.
- That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue.
- Of the reverend estimation of God’s Word.
- Of Alms-doing.
- Of the Nativity of Christ.
- Of the Passion of Christ.
- Of the Resurrection of Christ.
- Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
- Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
- For the Rogation-days.
- Of the State of Matrimony.
- Of Repentance.
- Against Idleness.
- 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 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 CIVIL MAGISTRATES
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 to our Princes the 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 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 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 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 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, judgement, and truth.
THIS Book of Articles before rehearsed, is again approved, and allowed to be holden and executed within the Realm, by the assent and consent of our Sovereign Lady ELIZABETH, by the grace of God, of England, France, and Ireland, Queen, Defender of the Faith, &c. Which Articles were deliberately read, and confirmed again by the subscription of the hands of the Archbishop and Bishops of the Upper-house, and by the subscription of the whole Clergy of the Nether-house in their Convocation, in the Year of our Lord 1571.
The Historic Creeds
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
his only Son our Lord.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and sits at the right hand of the Father.
From there he will come again
to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things, visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
God from God, Light from Light,
of one being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven.
He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit
of the virgin Mary, and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate.
He suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
according to the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He shall come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son
he is worshipped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
I acknowledge one holy, catholic and apostolic church,
and one baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Whosoever wishes to be saved
before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith,
which faith, if anyone does not keep it whole and unharmed,
without doubt he will perish everlastingly.
Now, the catholic faith is this,
that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confusing the Persons
nor dividing the divine Being.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son,
and another of the Holy Spirit,
but the Godhead of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit is all one,
their glory equal, their majesty co-eternal.
Such as the Father is, such is the Son
and such is the Holy Spirit:
the Father uncreated, the Son uncreated
and the Holy Spirit uncreated;
the Father infinite, the Son infinite
and the Holy Spirit infinite;
the Father eternal, the Son eternal
and the Holy Spirit eternal;
and yet they are not three Eternals
but one Eternal,
just as they are not three Uncreateds, nor three Infinites,
but one Uncreated and one Infinite.
In the same way, the Father is almighty, the Son almighty
and the Holy Spirit almighty;
and yet they are not three Almighties
but one Almighty.
Thus the Father is God, the Son is God
and the Holy Spirit is God;
and yet there are not three Gods
but one God.
Thus the Father is the Lord, the Son is the Lord
and the Holy Spirit is the Lord;
and yet not three Lords
but one Lord.
Because, just as we are compelled by Christian truth
to confess each Person singly to be both God and Lord,
so are we forbidden by the catholic religion
to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is from none,
not made nor created nor begotten;
the Son is from the Father alone,
not made nor created, but begotten:
the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son,
not made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons;
one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity there is no before or after,
no greater or less,
but all three Persons are co-eternal with each other
So that in all things, as has already been said,
the Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity, is to be worshipped.
He therefore who wishes to be saved
let him think thus of the Trinity.
Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation
that he should faithfully believe the incarnation of
our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, the right faith is that we should believe and confess
that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God,
is both God and man equally.
He is God from the Being of the Father, begotten before the worlds,
and he is man from the being of his mother, born in the world;
perfect God and perfect man,
having both man’s rational soul and human flesh;
equal to the Father as regards his divinity
and inferior to the Father as regards his humanity;
who, although he is God and man,
yet he is not two, but one Christ;
one, however, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh
but by the taking up of humanity into God;
utterly one, not by confusion of human and divine being
but by unity of Christ’s one Person.
For just as the rational soul and flesh are one man,
so God and man are one Christ;
who suffered for our salvation,
descended to Sheol, rose from the dead,
ascended to heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father,
from where he will come to judge the living and the dead;
at whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies
and will give an account for their own actions,
and those who have done good will go into life everlasting
and those who have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the catholic faith
which, if anyone does not believe it faithfully and firmly,
he cannot be saved.