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ARTICLES OF RELIGION.
XVII. OF BAPTISM. Baptism is not only a sign of profession and mark of difference whereby Christians are distinguished from others that are not baptized; but it is also a sign of regeneration or the new birth. The baptism of young children is to be retained in the Church. Acts 22. 16; 10. 47; 2. 38, 39.
XVIII. OF THE LORD'S SUPPER. The Supper of the Lord is not only 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.
Transubstantiation, or the change of the substance of bread and wine in the Supper of our Lord, cannot be proved by Holy Writ, but is repugnant to the plain words of Scripture, overthroweth the nature of a Sacrament, and hath given occasion to many superstitions.
The body of Christ is given, taken, and eaten in the Supper, only after a heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means whereby the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith.
The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was not by Christ's ordinance reserved, carried about, lifted up, or worshiped. 1 Cor. 10. 16, 17; 11. 26.
XIX, OF BOTH KINDS. The cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the lay people; for both the parts of the Lord's Supper, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be administered to all Christians alike. Matt. 26. 27.
XX. OF THE ONE OBLATION OF CHRIST, FINISHED
UPON THE CROSS. The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect ro. demption, 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. Wherefore the sacrifice of masses, in the which it is commonly saia that the priest doth offer Christ for the quick and the dead. to have remission of pain or guilt, is a blasphemous fable, and dangerous deceit. Heb. 10. 14; 1 Peter 2. 24; Heb. 9. 28.
XXI. OF THE MARRIAGE OF MINISTERS. The ministers of Christ are not commanded by God's law either to vow 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 best to godliness. I Tim. 3. 2; I Cor. 9. 5. XXII. OF THE RITES AND CEREMONIES OF CHURCHES.
It is not necessary that rites and ceremonies should in all places be the same, or exactly alike; for they have been always different, and may be changed according to the diversity of countries, times, and men's manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's word. Whosoever, through his private judgment, willingly and purposely doth openly break the rites and ceremonies of the Church to which he belongs, which are not repugnant to to the word of God, and are ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly (that others may fear to do the like), as one that offendeth against the common order of the Church, and woundoth the consciences of weak brethren,
ARTICLES OR RELIGION.
Every particular Church may ordain, change, or abolish rites and ceremonies, so that all things may be done to edification. I Cor. 14. 26, 40; Acts 15. 28, 29; 2 Thess. 3. 6. XXIII. OF THE RULERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF
AMERICA.* The President, the Congress, the General Assemblies, the Governors, and the Councils of State, as the delegates of the people, are the rulers of the United States of Amer. ica, according to the division of power made to them by the Constitution of the United States, and by the Constitutions of their respective States. And the said States are a sovereign and independent nation, and ought not to be subject to any foreign jurisdiction. Rom. 13. 1-3.
XXIV. OF CHRISTIAN Men's Goods. The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same, as some do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability. Acts 5. 4; 1 John 3. 17.
XXV. OF A CHRISTIAN MAN'S OATH. As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James his apostle; so we judge that the Christian religion doth not
* As far as it respects civil affairs, we believe it the duty of Christians, and especially all Christian ministers, to be subject to the supreme authority of the country where they may reside, and to use all laudable means to enjoin obedience to the powers that be; and therefore it is expected that all our preachers and people, who may be under the British or any other government, will behave themselves as peaceable and orderty subjects
prohibit, but that a man may swear when the magistrato requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be dono According to the prophet's teaching, in justice, judgment and truth. Exod. 20. 7; Matt. 5. 34; 26. 63, 64,
NATURE, DESIGN, AND GENERAL RULES OP
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
1. NATURE AND DESIGN OF THE FIRST METHODIST
SOCIETIES. N the latter end of the year 1739 eight or ten persons
earnestly groaning for redemption, came to Mr. Wesley in London. They desired, as did two or three more the next day, that he would spend some time with them in prayer, and advise them how to flee from the wrath to come, which they saw continually hanging over their heads. That he might have more time for this great work, he appointed a day when they might all come together; which from thenceforward they did every week, namely, on Thursday, in the evening. To these, and as many more as desired to join them (for the : number increased daily), he gave those advices from time to time which he judged most needful for them; and they always concluded their meeting with prayer suited to their several necessities.
This was the rise of the UNITED SOCIETY, first in Europe, and then in America. Such a society is no other than “a company of men having the form and seeking the power of godliness, united in order to pray together, to receive the word of exhortation, and to watch over one another in love, thal they may help each other to work out thair colvation."