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§ 80. The Elizabethan Articles. A.D. 1563 and 1571.

After the temporary suppression of Protestantism under Queen Mary, the Reformed hierarchy, Liturgy, and Articles of Religion were permanently restored, with a number of changes, by Queen Elizabeth.

In 1559, Archbishop Parker, with the other prelates, set forth, as a provisional test of orthodoxy, Eleven Articles, taken in part from those of 1553, but differing in form and avoiding controverted topics.11741174   They are printed by Hardwick in Append. IV. pp. 337–339. They were superseded by the Thirty-nine Articles.


At the first meeting of the two Convocations, which were summoned by Elizabeth in January, 1563, Parker submitted a revision of the Latin Articles of 1553, prepared by him with the aid of Bishop Cox 616of Ely, Bishop Guest of Rochester, and others, who had already taken an active part in the revision of the Prayer-book.11751175   A manuscript copy of this revision, with numerous corrections and autograph signatures of Matthæus Cantuar.' (Parker), and other prelates (including some of the northern province), is preserved among the Parker MSS. in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and was published by Dr. Lamb in 1829. The handwriting (as Mr. Lewis, the librarian, informed me when there on a visit in July, 1875) is probably Jocelin's, the secretary of Parker. The copy contains also the older Articles Nos. 40–42, but marked by a red line as to be omitted. This copy is probably the same which Parker submitted to Convocation, but it presents several variations (especially in Art. XX.) from the copy of the Convocation records. Comp. Hardwick, pp. 125 and 135 sqq. After an examination by both houses, the Articles, reduced to the number of thirty-nine, were ratified and signed by the Bishops and the members of the lower house, and published by the royal press, 1563.

It is stated that Elizabeth 'diligently read and sifted' the document before giving her assent. To her influence must probably be traced two characteristic changes of the printed copy as compared with the Parker MS.—namely, the insertion of the famous clause in Art. XX., affirming the authority of the Church in matters of faith—and the omission of Art. XXIX., which denies that the unworthy communicants partake of the body and blood of Christ.11761176   Hardwick, pp. 143 sqq. The latter Article, however, was restored by the Bishops, May 11, 1571, and appears in all the printed copies since that time, both English and Latin.


The authorized English text was adopted by Convocation in 1571, and issued under the editorial care of Bishop Jewel of Salesbury. It presents sundry variations from the Latin edition of 1563. Both editions are considered equally authoritative and mutually explanatory.11771177   This is the view of Burnet and Waterland, adopted by Hardwick, p. 158. Waterland says {Works, Vol. II. pp. 316, 317): 'As to the Articles, English and Latin, I may just observe for the sake of such readers as are less acquainted with these things: first, that the Articles were passed, recorded, and ratified in the year 1562 [1563], and in Latin only. Secondly, that those Latin Articles were revised and corrected by the convocation of 1571. Thirdly, that an authentic English translation was then made of the Latin Articles by the same convocation, and the Latin and English adjusted as nearly as possible. Fourthly, that the Articles thus perfected in both languages were published the same year, and by the royal authority. Fifthly, subscription was required the same year to the English Articles, called the Articles of 1562, by the famous act of the 13th of Elizabeth.—These things considered, I might justly say with Bishop Burnet, that the Latin and English are both equally authentical. Thus much, however, I may certainly infer, that if in any places the English version be ambiguous, where the Latin original is clear and determinate, the Latin ought to fix the more doubtful sense of the other (as also vice versa), it being evident that the Convocation, Queen, and Parliament intended the same sense in both.'



After the Synod of Dort, to which James I. sent a strong delegation, the Arminian controversy spread in England, and caused such an agitation that the king, who, according to his own estimate and that of his flatterers, was equal to Solomon in wisdom, ordered Archbishop Abbot (Aug. 4, 1622) to prohibit the lower clergy from preaching on the five points.11781178   One of the directions reads: 'That no preacher of what title soever, under the degree of a Bishop, or Dean at least, do from henceforth presume to preach in any popular auditory the deep points of predestination, election, reprobation, or the universality, efficacy, resistibility or irresistibility of divine grace; but leave those themes to be handled by learned men, and that moderately and modestly, by way of use and application, rather than by way of positive doctrine, as being fitter for the schools and Universities than for simple auditories.'—Wilkins, Vol. IV. p. 465; Hardwick, p. 202. Charles I., in concert with Archbishop Laud (who sympathized with Arminianism), issued a Proclamation (1626) of similar import, deploring the prevalence of theological dissension, and threatening to visit with severe penalties those clergymen who should raise, publish, or maintain opinions not clearly warranted by the formularies of the Church.

As this proclamation did not silence the controversy, Charles was advised by Laud to order the republication of the thirty-nine Articles with a Preface regulating the interpretation of the same. This Preface, called 'His Majesty's Declaration,' was issued in 1628, and has ever since accompanied the English editions of the Articles.11791179   It disappeared, of course, in the American editions. It is printed in Vol. III. p. 486. Its object was to check Calvinism (although it is not named), and the quinquarticular controversy ('all further curious search' on 'those curious points in which the present differences lie'), and to restrict theological opinions to the 'literal and grammatical sense' of the Articles.11801180   'No man shall either print or preach or draw the Article' [the previous sentence speaks of the Articles generally, perhaps Art. XVII. on predestination is meant particularly] 'aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof; and shall not put his own sense or comment to be the meaning of the Article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.' In a 'Declaration' of Charles on the dissolution of Parliament (March 10, 1628), he says, concerning his intention in issuing the Declaration before the Articles: 'We did tie and restrain all opinions to the sense of these Articles that nothing might be left to fancies and invocations' [probably an error for 'innovations']. 'For we call God to record, before whom we stand, that it is, and always hath been, our chief heart's desire, to be found worthy of that title, which we account the most glorious in all our crown, Defender of the Faith.'—Hardwick, p. 206. It 618was greeted by Arminians and High-Churchmen, who praise its moderation,11811181   Hardwick says (p. 205): 'A document more sober and conciliatory could not well have been devised.' Bishop Forbes goes further, and thinks that it was 'the enunciation of the Catholic sense of the Articles,' and that Newman's Tract XC. and Pusey's Irenicon are 'legitimate outcomes of the King's Declaration' (1.c. Vol. I. p. xi.). but was resisted by Calvinists and the Puritan party then prevailing in the House of Commons, which declared its determination to suppress both 'Popery and Arminianism.'11821182   The House passed the following vote and manifesto on the royal Declaration: 'We, the Commons in Parliament assembled, do claim, protest, and avow for truth, the sense of the Articles of Religion which were established by Parliament in the thirteenth year of our late Queen Elizabeth, which by the public act of the Church of England, and by the general and current expositions of the writers of our Church, have been delivered unto us. And we reject the sense of the Jesuits and Arminians, and all others, wherein they differ from us.'—Hardwick, p. 206. The subsequent history of England has shown how little royal and parliamentary proclamations and prohibitions avail against the irresistible force of ideas and the progress of theology.


Queen Elizabeth was at first opposed to any action of Parliament on questions of religious doctrine, which she regarded as the highest department of her own royal supremacy; but in May, 1571, she was forced by her council, in view of popish agitations, to give her assent to a bill of Parliament which required all priests and teachers of religion to subscribe the Thirty-nine Articles.11831183   Stat. 13 Eliz. c. 12. It enacts 'by the authority of the present Parliament, that every person under the degree of a bishop, which doth or shall pretend to be a priest or minister of God's holy Word and Sacraments, by reason of any other form of institution, consecration, or ordering, than the form set forth by Parliament in the time of the late King of most worthy memory, King Edward the Sixth, or now used, . . . shall . . . declare his assent, and subscribe to all the Articles of Religion, which only concern the confession of the true Christian faith and the doctrine of the sacraments comprised in a book entitled Articles, . . . put forth by the Queen's authority.' The subscription to the Articles was urged by the Puritanic party in Parliament in opposition to Romanism. See Hardwick, pp. 150 sq. The wording of the statute was made use of to confine assent to the doctrinal Articles ('which only concern,' etc.), and to relieve the conscience of the Puritans who objected to the royal supremacy, the surplice, and other 'defiled robes of Antichrist.'

Subscription was first rigidly enforced by Archbishop Whitgift (in 1584, which is noted as 'the woful year of subscription'), and by Bancroft (1604).

This test of orthodoxy was even applied to academical students. At Oxford a decree of Convocation, in 1573, required students to subscribe 619before taking their degrees, and in 1576 this requirement was extended to students above sixteen years of age on their admission. At Cambridge the law was less rigid.

The Act of Uniformity under Charles II. imposed with more stringency than ever subscription on the clergy and every head of a college. But the Toleration Act of William and Mary gave some relief by exempting dissenting ministers from subscribing to Arts. XXXIV—XXXVI. and a portion of XXVII. Subsequent attempts to relax or abolish subscription resulted at last in the University Tests Act of 1871, by which 'no one, at Oxford, Cambridge, or Durham, in order to take a degree, except in divinity, or to exercise any right of graduates, can be required to make any profession of faith.'11841184   The various acts enforcing and relaxing subscription are conveniently collected in the Prayer-Book Interleaved, London, 7th ed. 1873, pp. 360 sqq. See also chap. xi. of Hardwick's History of the Articles.


The Elizabethan Articles differ from the Edwardine Articles, besides minor verbal alterations—

(1.) In the omission of seven Articles (Edwardine X., XVI., XIX., XXXIX. to XLII.). The last four of them reject certain Anabaptist doctrines, which had in the mean time disappeared or lost their importance.11851185   See p. 615. Art. XIX. of the old series, touching the obligation of the moral law, was transferred in substance to Art. VII. of the new series.

(2.) In the addition of four Articles, viz.: On the Holy Ghost (Eliz. V.); on good works (XII.); on the participation of the wicked in the eucharist (XXIX.); on communion in both kinds (XXX.).

(3.) In the partial curtailment or amplification of seventeen Articles. Among the amplifications are to be noticed the list of Canonical and Apocryphal Books (VI.), and of the Homilies (XXXV.); the restriction of the number of sacraments to two (XXV.); the condemnation of transubstantiation, and the declaration of the spiritual nature of Christ's presence (XXVIII.); the disapproval of worship in a foreign tongue (XXIV.); the more complete approval of infant baptism (XXVII.), and clerical marriage (XXXII.).


The difference of the two series, and their relation to the Thirteen Articles, will be more readily seen from the following table:

Thirteen Articles.
Forty-two Articles.
Thirty-nine Articles.
1. De Unitate Dei et Trinitate Personarum. 1. Of faith in the holie Trinitie. 1. Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.
2. De Peccato Originali. 2. That the worde, or Sonne of God, was made a very man. 2. Of Christ the Son of God, which was made very man.
3. De duabus Christi Naturis.
4. De Justificatione. 3. Of the goying doune of Christe into Helle. 3. Of the Going down of Christ into Hell.
5. De Ecclesia.
6. De Baptismo. 4. The Resurrection of Christe. 4. Of the Resurrection of Christ.
7. De Eucharistia.
8. De Pœnitentia.


5. Of the Holy Ghost.
9. De Sacramentorum Usu. 5. The doctrine of holie Scripture is sufficient to Saluation. 6. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scripture for Salvation.
10. De Ministris Ecclesiæ.
11. De Ritibus Ecclesiasticis. 6. The olde Testamente is not to be refused. 7. Of the Old Testament.
7. The three Credes. 8. Of the Three Creeds.
12. De Rebus Civilibus. 8. Of originall or birthe sinne. 9. Of Original or Birth Sin.
13. De Corporum Resurrectione et Judicio Extremo. 9. Of free wille. 10. Of Free Will.
10. Of Grace.
11. Of the Justification of manne. 11. Of the Justification of man.
[This order follows, as far as it goes, the order of the doctrinal articles of the Augsburg Confession.]


12. Of Good Works.
12. Workes before Justification. 13. Of Works before Justification.
13. Workes of Supererogation. 14. Of Works of Supererogation.
14. No man is without sinne, but Christe alone. 15. Of Christ alone without sin.
15. Of sinne against the holie Ghoste. 16. Of Sin after Baptism.
16. Blasphemie against the holie Ghoste.
17. Of predestination and election. 17. Of Predestination and Election.
18. We must truste to obteine eternal salvation onely by the name of Christ. 18. Of obtaining Salvation by the name of Christ.
19. All men are bound to kepe the moral commaundementes of the Lawe.
20. Of the Church. 19. Of the Church.
21. Of the aucthoritie of the Churche. 20. Of the Authority of the Church.
22. Of the aucthoritie of General Counsailes. 21. Of the Authority of General Councils.


23. Of Purgatorie. 22. Of Purgatory.
24. No manne maie minister in the Congregation except he be called. 23. Of Ministering in the Congregation.
25. Menne must speake in the Congregation in soche toung as the people understandeth. 24. Of Speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue as the people understandeth.
26. Of the Sacramentes. 25. Of the Sacraments.
27. The wickednesse of the Ministres dooeth not take awaie the effectuall operation of Goddes ordinances. 26. Of the Unworthiness of Ministers which hinder not the effect of the Sacraments.
28. Of Baptisme. 27. Of Baptism.
29. Of the Lordes Supper. 28. Of the Lord's Supper.
29. Of the Wicked which eat not the Body of Christ in the use of the Lord's Supper.
30. Of Both Kinds.
30. Of the perfeicte oblacion of Christe made upon the crosse. 31. Of the one Oblation of Christ finished upon the cross.
31. The state of single life is commaunded to no man by the worde of God. 32. Of the Marriage of Priests,
32. Excommunicate persones are to bee auoided. 33. Of Excommunicate Persons, how they are to be avoided.
33. Tradicions of the Churche. 34. Of the Traditions of the Church.
34. Homelies. 35. Of Homilies.
35. Of the booke of Praiers and Ceremonies of the Churche of England. 36. Of Consecrating of Bishops and Ministers.
36. Of Ciuile Magistrates. 37. Of Civil Magistrates.
37. Christien mennes gooddes are not commune. 38. Of Christian men's goods, which are not common.
38. Christien menne maie take an oath. 39. Of a Christian man's oath.
39. The Resurrection of the dead is not yeat brought to passe. The Ratification.
40. The soulles of them that departe this life doe neither die with the bodies nor sleep idlie.
41. Heretickes called Millenarii.
42. All men shall not bee saved at the length.

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