Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

depose the king, or dispose of any of his kingdoms or dominions, or to authorize any other prince to invade or annoy him, or his countries, or to discharge any of his subjects of their allegiance and obedience to his majesty, or to give license or leave to any of them to bear arms, raise tumult, or to offer

any

violence or hurt to his royal person, state, or government, or to any

of his subjects within his majesty's dominions.

60. That princes which be excommunicated or deprived by the pope may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or any other whatsoever, is impious doctrine.

61. The laws of the realm may punish Christian men with death for heinous and grievous offences.

62. It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the magistrate, to bear arms, and to serve in just wars.

OF OUR DUTY TOWARDS OUR NEIGHBOURS.

63. Our duty towards our neighbours, is to love them as ourselves, and to do to all men as we would they should do to us; to honour and obey our superiors, to preserve the safety of men's persons, as also their chastity, goods, and good names; to bear no malice nor hatred in our hearts ; to keep our bodies in temperance, soberness, and chastity; to be true and just in all our doings; not to covet other men's goods, but labour truly to get our own living, and to do our duty in that estate of life unto which it pleaseth God to call us. 64. For the preservation of the chastity of men's persons, wedlock is commanded unto all

persons

that stand in need thereof. Neither is there any prohibition by the word of God, but that the ministers of the church may enter into the state of matrimony, they being no where commanded by God's law, either to vow the state of single life, or to abstain from marriage ; therefore it is lawful also for them, as well as for all other Christian men, to marry at their own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godli

ness.

65. The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession, of the same, as certain Anabaptists falsely affirm; notwithstanding every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.

66. Faith given is to be kept, even with heretics and infidels.

67. The Popish doctrine of equivocation and mental reservation is most ungodly, and tendeth plainly to the subversion of all human society.

OF THE CHURCH AND OUTWARD MINISTRY OF THE

GOSPEL.

68. There is but one catholic church (out of which there is no salvation), containing the universal company of all the saints that ever were, are, or shall be, gathered together in one body, under one head, Christ Jesus : part whereof is already in heaven triumphant, part as yet militant here

earth. And because this church consisteth of all those, and those alone which are elected

upon

by God unto salvation, and regenerated by the power of his Spirit, the number of whom is known only unto God himself, therefore it is called the catholic or universal, and the invisible church.

69. But particular and visible churches (consisting of those who make profession of the faith of Christ, and live under the outward means of salvation) be many in number; wherein the more or less sincerely, according to Christ's institution, the word of God is taught, the sacraments are administered, and the authority of the keys used is, the more or less pure as such churches to be accounted.

70. 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 minister by his commission and authority, we may use their ministry both in hearing the word and in receiving the sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away by their wickednes

nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such as by faith do rightly receive the sacraments ministered unto them, which are 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. 71. It is not lawful for any man to take upon

him the office of public preaching, or ministering the sacra

ments of the church, unless he be first 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 them in the church to call and send ministers into the Lord's vineyard.

72. To have public prayer in the church, or to administer the sacraments in a tongue not understood of the people, is a thing plainly repugnant to the word of God and the custom of the primitive church.

73. That person which by public denunciation of the church, is rightly cut off from the unity of the church, and excommunicate, ought to be taken of the whole multitude of the faithful as a heathen and a publican, until by repentance he be openly reconciled and received into the church, by the judgment of such as have authority in that behalf.

74. God hath given power to his ministers not simply to forgive sins (which prerogative he hath reserved only to himself), but in his name to declare and pronounce unto such as truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel, the absolution and forgiveness of sins. Neither is it God's pleasure that his people should be tied to make a particular confession of all their known sins unto any mortal man; howsoever,' any person, grieved in his conscience upon any special cause, may well resort unto any godly and learned minister, to receive advice and comfort at his hands.

OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH, GENERAL COUN

CILS, AND BISHOP OP ROME.

a

75. is not lawful for the church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's word; 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 upon necessity of salvation.

76. 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 not always governed with the Spirit and word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things pertaining to the rule of piety; wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to salvation, have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be shewed that they be taken out of the Holy Scriptures.

77. Every particular church hath authority to institute, to change, and clean to put away, ceremonies and other ecclesiastical rites, as they be superfluous, or be abused, and to constitute other, making more to seemliness, to order, or edification.

78. As the churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the church of Rome hath erred, not only in those things which concern matters of practice and point of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.

« ZurückWeiter »