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XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils. Eneral Councils may not be gathered together without the Commandment and Will of Princes. And when they be gathered together (forafmuch as they be an Affembly of Men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit and Word of God) they may err, and fometimes have erred, even in Things pertaining unto God Wherefore Things ordained by them as neceffary to Salvation, have neither Strength nor Authority, unless it may be declared that they be taken out of holy Scripture.
XXII of Purgatory.
HE Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping and Adoration, as weli of Images as of Reliques, and alfo 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 miniftering in the Congregation.
T is not lawful for any Man to take upon him the Office of publick Preaching, or miniftering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully called and fent to execute the fame. And thofe we ought to judge lawfully called and fent, which be chofer and called to this Work by Men who have publick Authority given unto them in the Congregation to call and fend Minifters into the Lords Vineyard.
XXIV. Of Speaking in the Congregatiou in fuch a Tongue as the people understandeth.
T is a Thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the Cuftom of the Primitive Church, to have Publick Prayer in the Church, or to minifter the Sacraments in a Tongue not underltanded of the People.
XXV. Of the Sacraments.
Acraments ordained of Chrift be not only Badges or Tokens of Christian Mens Profeffion, but rather they be certain fure Witneffes, and effectual Signs of Grace, and Gods good Will towards us; by the which he doth work invifibly in us, and doth not only quicken, but alfo Atrengthen and confirm our Faith in him.
There are two Sacraments ordained of Christ our Lord in the Gofpel; that is to fay, Baptifm, and the Supper
of the Lord.
Thofe five, commonly called Sacraments, that is to fay, Confirmation, Penance, Orders, Matrimony, and extreme Unction, are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gofpel; being fuch as are grown, partly of the corrupt following of the Apoftles, partly are States of Life allowed by the Scriptures: But yet have not like Nature of Sacraments. with Baptifm, and the Lords Supper, for that they have not any vifible Sign or Ceremony ordained of God.
The Sacraments were not ordained of Chrift to be gazed upon, or to be carried about, but that we fhould duly ufe them. And in fuch only as worthily receive the fame, they have a wholesome Effect or Operation: But they that receive them unworthily purchafe to themfelves Damnation, as Saint Paul faith.
XXVI. Of the unworthiness of the Minifters, which hinders not the Effect of the Sacraments.
Lthough in the Visible Church the Evil be ever mingled with the Good, and fometimes the Evil have chief Authority in the Minifteration of the Word and Sacraments: Yet, forafmuch as they do not the fame in their own Name, but in Chrifts, and do minifter by his Commiffion and Authority, we may use their Miniftery, both in hearing the Word of God, and in the receiving of the Sacraments. Neither is the Effect of Christs Ordinance taken away by their Wickednefs, nor the Grace of Gods Gifts diminished from fuch, as by Faith, and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them, which be effectual, becaufe of Chrifts Inftitution and Promife, although they be ministered by evil Men.
Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the Dicipline of the Church, that Enquiry be made of evil Minitters, and that they be accused by thofe that have Knowledge of their Offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just Judgment be depofed.
XXVII. Of Baptism.
Aptifm is not only a Sign of Profeffion, and Mark of Difference, whereby Chriftian Men are difcerned from others that be not chriftened; but it is alfo a Sign of Regeneration, or New Birth, whereby, as by an Inftrument, they that receive Baptifm rightly, are grafted into the Church; the Promifes of the Forgiveness of Sin, and of our Adoption to be the Sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are vifibly figned and, fealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increase by Virtue of Prayer unto God. The Baptifm of young Children is in any wife to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the Inftitution of Christ. XXVIII Of the Lords Supper.
THE Supper of the Lord is not only a Sign of the Love that Chriftians ought to have among themselves one to another, but rather it is a Sacrament of our Redemption by Chrifts Death; infomuch that to fuch as rightly, worthily, and with Faith receive the fame, the Bread which we break, is a partaking of the Body of Chrift; and likewife the Cup of Bleffing is a partaking of the Blood of Chrift.
Tranfubftantiation, or the Change of the Subftance 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 Occafion to many Superititions."
The Body of Chrift is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after an heavenly and spiritual Manner. And the Mean whereby the Body of Chrift is received and eaten in the Supper, is Faith.
The Sacrament of the Lords Supper was not by Chrifts Ordinance referved, carried about, lifted up, or worshipped, XXIX. Of the Wicked, which eat not the Body of Christ in the Ufe of the Lords Supper.
HE Wicked, and fuch as be void of a lively Faith, although they do carnally and visibly prefs with their Teeth, as Saint Auguftine faith, the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Chrift; yet in no wife are they Partakers of Chrift, but rather, to their Condemnation, do eat and drink the Sign or Sacrament of fo great a Thing,
XXX. Of both Kinds.
THE Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Laypeople for both the parts of the Lords Sacrament, by Chrifts Ordinance and Commandment, ought to be Miniftered to all Chriftian men alike.
XXXI. Of the one Oblation of Chrift finished upon the Crofs. HE Offering of Chrift once made, is that perfect Redemption, Propitiation, and Satisfaction for all the fins of the whole world, both Original and Actual, and there is none other Satisfaction for fin, but that alone. Wherefore the Sacrifice of Maffes, in the which it was commonly faid that the Prieft did offer Chrift for the quick and the dead, to have remiffion of pain or guilt, were blafphemous Fables, and dangerous Deceits.
XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests.
and Deacons, are not commanded by
Gods Law, either to vow the Estate of single life, or to obftain from Marriage: therefore it is lawlul for them, as for all other Chriftian men, to Marry at their own difcretion, as they fhall judge the fame to ferve better to godliness. XXXIII. Of excommunicate Perfons, bow they are to be avoided. TH HAT Perfon 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
XXXIV. of the Traditions of the Church.
T is not neceffry that 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 Mens Manners, fo that nothing be ordained against Gods Word. Whofoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purpofely doth openly break the Traditions end 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 Magiftrate, and woundeth the Confciences 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 Mans Authority; fo that all Things be done to edifying.
XXXV. Of Homilies.
HE fecond Book of Homilies, the feveral Titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholefome doctrine, and neceffary for thefe Times, as doth the Former Book of Homilies, which were fet forth in the Time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and diftinctly, that they be underftanded of the People.
Of the Names of the Homilies.
1 OF the right Ufe of the Church. 2 Against Peril of Idolatry.
3 Of repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
4 Of good Works: First of Fafting.
5 Against Gluttony and Drunknness.
8 Of the Place and time of prayer.
9 That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be Minift
ered in a known Tongue.
10 of the Reverent Eftimation of Gods Word.
11 Of Alms doing.
12 Of the Nativity of Chrift.
13 Of the Paffion of Chrift.
14 Of the Refurrection of Chrift.
15 Of the worthy Receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Chrift.
16 Of the gifts of the Holy Ghoft.
17 For the Rogation-days.