Articles of Religion of the Evangelical Episcopal Church.
Baltimore: Matchett, 1821.
1.—Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
There is but one living, true, and eternal God, the Father Almighty; without body, parts or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and Goodness; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisible: and one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, very and true God; who came down from heaven, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin of her substance, and was God and man in one person, whereof is one Christ; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to be a sacrifice for the sins of all men; he arose again from death, ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he shall return to judge the world at the last day; and one Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, of the same divine nature with the Father and the Son.
2.—Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation.
The Holy scriptures which form the Old and New Testaments are a full revelation of the will of God, in reference to man: and contain all things necessary to salvation, are alone sufficient for every thing relative to the faith and practice of a Christian; and were given by the inspiration of God.
3.—Of the Old and New Testament.
There is a perfect harmony and agreement between the Old Testament and the New; for in both, everlasting life is offering to mankind by Christ, who is the only Mediator between God and man: and although the law given by Moses, as to ceremonies and the evil precepts of it, doth not bind Christians; yet all such are obliged to observe the moral commandments which he delivered.
4.—Of the Creation and Fall of Man.
God created man pure and holy, without any moral imperfection; but free to stand or fall. Through the temptation of the Devil he fell from this state of righteousness, became morally corrupt in his nature, and transmitted his moral defilement to all his posterity.
5.—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, pleasing and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ, giving a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
6.—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.
7.—Of Good Works.
Although 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 fruit.
8.—Of Christ alone without Sin.
Christ, by taking human nature on him, was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted. He was a lamb without
9. Of obtaining Eternal Salvation only by the name of Christ.
They are to be accounted presumptuous, who 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 the holy scripture doth set out unto us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
10.—Of the Church.
The visible church of Christ, is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure word of God is preached and received as the only rule of faith and practice.
11.—Of the Authority of the Church.
The church hath power to ordain, change, and abolish rites and ceremonies, for the more decent order, and good government thereof; so that all things be done to edifying.
12.—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 called of God and sent to the same. And those we ought to receive as lawfully called and sent, who are declared to be so by men who have public authority given to them in the church.
13.—Of the Sacraments.
There are two sacraments ordained by Christ our Lord in the gospel, that is to say, baptism, and the supper of the Lord.
Water baptism is not spiritual regeneration or the new birth, but is the sign thereof; whereby they who rightly receive the same are grafted into the visible church of Christ. It is also a pledge of the promises of God and a seal of the covenant of grace. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the church.
15.—Of the Lord’s Supper.
The supper of the Lord is not merely 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.
The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the supper of the Lord, only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the mean whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the supper, is faith.
16.—Of the one Oblation of Christ 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.
17.—Of the Marriage of Ministers.
Ministers of the gospel are not commanded by God’s law either to avow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage; therefore it is lawful for them as for all other Christians to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to Godliness.