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Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Collect.

O LORD, we beseech thee to keep thy Church and household continually in thy true religion; that they who do lean only upon the hope of thy heavenly grace may evermore be defended by thy mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Changes Made to the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion

I have a copy of Gerald Bray's Documents of the English Reformation, (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994). For those who would deny that the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion teach justification by faith only in Article XI I would like to quote the 1552 edition of the Forty-Two Articles in which the parts in bold were deleted in 1563 and 1571. The parts in parentheses were added in 1563/1571:


Justification by only faith in Jesus Christ, in that sense, as is declared in the Homily of Justification, is most certain and wholesome doctrine for Christian men.

(We are accounted righteous before God only for the merit 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). (Bray, p. 291).

The original Latin reads as follows:


Iustifcatio ex sola fide Iesu Christi, eo sensu quo in Homelia de iustificatione explicatur, est certissima et sluberrima Christianorum doctrina.

(Tantum propter meritum Domini ac Servatoris nostri Iesu Christi per fidem, non propter opera et merita nostra, iusti coram Deo reputamur; quare sola fide nos iustificari, doctrina est saluberrima, ac consolationis plenissima, ut in Homelia de iustidficatione hominis fusius explicatur.) (Bray, p. 291).




And Article XVII has the following sentences in bold left out after the 1563/1571 revision:


Article 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 own judgement (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 by Christ as vessels made to honour. Whereupon such as have (Wherefore they which be endued with) so excellent a benefit of God given unto them 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 (e)stablish 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 downfall, whereby the devil may (doth) thrust them either into desperation or into a recklessness of most unclean living no less perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, although the decrees of predestination are unknown to us, yet we must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth 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. (Bray, p. 295).

De Praedestinatione


Praedestinatio ad vitam est aeternum Dei propositum, quo, ante iacta mundi fundamenta, suo consilio, nobis quidem occulto, constanter decrevit eos, quos in Christo elegit ex hominum genere, a maledicto et exitio liberare, atque ut vasa in honorem efficta per Christum ad aeternam salutem adducere. Unde qui tam praeclaro Dei beneficio sunt donati, illi, Spiritu eius opportuno tempore operante, secundum propositum eius vocantur; iustificatur gratis; adoptantur in filios Dei; unigeniti eius Iesu Christi imagini efficiuntur conformes; in bonis operibus sancti ambulant; et demum ex Dei misericordia pertingunt ad sempiternam felicitatem.

Quemadmodum Praedestinationis et Electionis nostrae in Christo pia consideratio dulcis, suavis, et ineffabilis consolationis plena est vere piis et his qui sentiunt in se vim Spiritus Christi, facta carnis et membra quae adhuc sunt super terram mortificantem, animumque ad coelestia et superna rapientem, tum quia fidem nostram de aeterna salute consequenda per Christum plurimum stabilit atque confirmat, tum quia amorem nostrum in Deum vehementer accendit: ita hominibus, curiosis carnalibus et Spiritu Christi destitutis, ob oculos perpetuo versari Praedestinationis Dei sententiam perniciosissimum est praecipitium, unde illos diabolus protrudit vel in desperationem vel in aeque pernitiosam impurissimae vitae securitatem.

Deinde licet praedestinationis decreta sunt nobis ignota, promissiones tamen divinas sic amplecti oportet, ut nobis in sacris literis generaliter propositae sunt; et Dei voluntas in nostris actionibus ea sequenda est quam in verbo Dei habemus deserte revelatam. (Bray, p. 295).


We can clearly see that the 42 Articles were much more overtly Calvinistic and Reformed, especially in Article XVII where we see a more explicit statement made on double predestination.

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