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The 39 Articles of Religion. Part nineteen: Church, state, and society. Article XXXV. Of the Homilies.

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The 39 articles of religion

The 39 Articles of Religion

Part nineteen: Church, state, and society


Article xxxv of the homilies
Article XXXV. Of the Homilies

The Second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine, and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies, which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth; and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the Ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may he understanded of the people. [Homilies listed by name].


Article xxxvi of consecration of bishops and ministers
ArticleXXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers

The Book of Consecration of Bishops, and Ordering of Priests and Deacons, as set forth by the General Convention of this Church in 1792, doth contain all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering; neither hath it anything that, of itself, is superstitious and ungodly. And, therefore, whosoever are consecrated or ordered according to said Form, we decree all such to be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.


Consecrated to preach and teach
Consecrated to preach and teach

  • The Book of Homilies and Prayer Book Ordinal commit Anglican clergy to uphold the gospel of justification by grace through faith, and ministry of the word and sacrament as pointing to Christ’s once-for-all-time sacrifice

Ambrose ordained as Bishop [4th C], Juan de Valdés, c. 1670s


Article xxxvii of the power of the civil magistrates
Article XXXVII. Of the Power of the Civil Magistrates

The Power of the Civil Magistrate extendeth to all men, as well Clergy as Laity, in all things temporal; but hath no authority in things purely spiritual. And we hold it to be the duty of all men who are professors of the Gospel, to pay respectful obedience to the Civil Authority, regularly and legitimately constituted.


Separate spheres of authority
Separate spheres of authority

  • The Reformers did not look for separation of church and state, but a division of labor

  • Supremacy of the king-in-parliament belongs to the Anglican view of the relationship of clergy and laity

Coronation of Elizabeth Tudor, Robert Peake the elder, c. 1600


Article xxxviii of christian men s goods which are not common
Article XXXVIII. Of Christian Men's Goods, which are not common

The Riches and Goods of Christians are not common, as touching the right, title, and possession of the same; as certain Anabaptists do falsely boast. Notwithstanding, every man ought, of such things as he possesseth, liberally to give alms to the poor, according to his ability.


Charity commanded not compelled
Charity commanded, not compelled common

  • Christians are commanded to rely primarily on their own work and on their families

  • Biblical charity is to be given according to ability and with joy

St. Peter preaching, Fra Angelico, c. 1433


Article xxxix of a christian man s oath
Article XXXIX. Of a Christian Man's Oath common

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 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.


Let your yes be yes and your no be no
Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no’

  • The article affirms scriptural warnings against vulgar speech and rashly invoking God’s name in oaths

  • This does not mean that Christians should not give binding promises in legal documents, oaths of office, etc

The Return of Jephthah, Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, c. 1700-25