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XXIV. OF CHRISTIAN MEN'S GOODS. The riches and goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the saine, 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.
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 prohibit but that a man may swear when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the prophet's teaching, in justice, judgment, and truth.
We may thus rely on Christ, either tremblingly or confidingly; but in either case it is saving faith. If, though tremblingly, we rely on him in his obedience for us unto death, instantly we come into union with him, and are justified. If, however, we confidingly rely on him, then have we the comfort of oạr justification. Simply by faith in Christ are we justified and saved.
Of the Justification of Man. We are pardoned and 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. He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. He bare our sins in his own body. It pleased our heavenly Father, of his in
without any our desert or deserving, to provide for us the most precious sacrifice of Christ, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is himself the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him. He for them paid their ransom, by his death. He for them fulfilled the law, in his life. So that now in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.
Of Repentance. The repentance required by Scripture is a change of mind toward God, and is the effect of the conviction of sin, wrought by the Holy Ghost.
The unconverted man may have a sense of remorse, or of shame and self-reproach, and yet he may have neither a change of mind toward God nor any true sorrow; but when he accepts Christ as his Saviour, therein he manifests a change of mind, and is in possession of repentance unto life. The sinner comes to Christ through no labored process of repenting and sorrowing; but he comes to Christ and repentance both at once, by means of simply believing. And ever afterwards his repentance is deep and genuine in proportion as his faith is simple and childlike.
times of the restitution of all things. To those who look for him he shall appear a second time without sin unto salvation. Then shall he change the body of our humiliation that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body. He will take to himself his great power, and shall reign till he have put all enemies under his feet.
Of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
It is the work of the Holy Ghost to reprove and convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment; to take of the things of Christ and show them to mnen; to regenerate—making men willing, leading them to faith in Christ, and forming Christ in them the hope of glory; to strengthen them with might in their inner man, that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith; and to secure in them that walking in the ways of God which is called the Fruit of the Spirit. The trne Church is thus called out of the world, and is builded together for an habitation of God, through the Spirit.
Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost: Holy Scripture is therefore the Word of God; not only does it contain the oracles of God, but it is itself the very oracles of God. And hence it containeth all things necessary to salvation : so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand the canonical books of the Old and New Testament, viz. :
Of the Old Testament :
The 1st Book of Samuel,
The 2d Book of Samuel;
The 1st Book of Kings,
The 2d Book of Kings,
to believers in him pardon, acceptance, sonship, sanctification, redemption, and eternal glory. Those who believe in him are in him complete. They are even now justified and have a present salvation; though they may not at all times have the sense of its possession.
ARTICLE XVIII. Of Election, Predestination, and Free Will. While the Scriptures distinctly set forth the election, predestination, and calling of the people of God unto eternal life, as Christ saith: • All that the Father giveth me shall come to me;' they no less positively affirm man's free agency and responsibility, and that salvation is freely offered to all through Christ.
This Church, accordingly, simply affirms these doctrines as the Word of God sets them forth, and submits them to the individual judgment of its members, as taught by the Holy Spirit; strictly charging them that God commandeth all men every where to repent, and that we can be saved only by faith in Jesus Christ.
Of Sin after Conversion. The grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after conversion : that is to say, after, by the quickening into life by the Holy Ghost, they have turned to God by faith in Christ, and have been brought into that change of mind which is repentance unto life. For after we have received the Holy Ghost we may, through unbelief, carelessness, and worldliness, fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives; but every such fall is a grievous dishonor to our Lord, and a sore injury to ourselves.
Of Christ alone, without Sin. Christ, in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted, from which he was clearly void, both in his flesh, and in his spirit. He came to be the Lamb without spot, who, by sacrifice of himself, made once forever, should take away the sin of the world; and sin (as St. John saith) was not in him. But all we the rest, although born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and
if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Of the Church. The souls dispersed in all the world, who adhere to Christ by faith, who are partakers of the Holy Ghost, and worship the Father in spirit and in truth, are the body of Christ, the house of God, the flock of the Good Shepherd—the holy, universal Christian Church.
A visible Church of Christ is a congregation of believers in which the pure Word of God is preached and Baptism and the Lord's Supper are duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. And those things are to be considered requisite which the Lord himself did, he himself commanded, and his apostles confirmed.
As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch,' and Rome have erred, so also others have erred and may err, not only in their living and manner of ceremonies, but also in matters of faith.
Of the Authority of a Church. A Church hath power to decree ceremonies and to establish forms of worship and laws for the government and discipline of its members, and to declare its own faith; yet it is not lawful for any Church to ordain or decide any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture that it be repngnant to another. And as the Church ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of salvation. The Nicene Creed, as set forth in the Prayer-Book of this Church, and that which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought to be received and believed; for they may be proved by Holy Scripture.
*[As in the Anglican and the Protestant Episcopal Articles, so here Constantinople—the great rival of Rome and chief representative of the Eastern Church-is omitted, no doubt undesignedly; but some Anglo-Catholics, zealous for intercommunion with the Greek Church, derive comfort from the omission.]