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A BREFE Declaration of certeine pryncipall Articles of Relygion set out by order and aucthoritie as wel of the Ryght Honorable Sir Henry Sidneye, Knyght of the most noble order, Lorde President of the Coucil in the Principalitie of Wales, and Marches of the same, and generall Deputie of this Realme of Irelande-as by Tharchebyshopes and Byshopes with the rest of her Maiesties Highe Comissioneres for causes Ecclesiasticall in her Realme of Irelande, for the unitie of Doctrine to be holden and taught of all Persons, Vicars, and Curates, as well intestification of their cōmon consente and full agrement in the said Doctryne, as also nessessarye for the instructio of their people in their severall Cures, to be read by the said Persons, Vicars and Curates at their possescio takynge or fyrste entrie into their Cures, and also after that yerelye at two several tymes by the Yere, that is to saye: the Sudays next folowynge Easterday and Sainct Myghell Tharchangell, and this upō payne of Sequestration, depriation, or other cohercion, as shalbe imposed upon suche as shall herein make default.
Forasmuche as it appertayneth to all Chrysten men, but especially to the Ministers and the Pastours of the Churche, beyinge teachers and instructours of others, to be readye to geve a reason of their fayth when they shalbe thereunto required: I for my parte now appoynted your Parson, Vicar, or Curate, hauynge before my eyes the feare of God and the testimonye of
my conscience, doo acknowledge for my selfe, and require you to assent to the same.
The fyrste Article.
Fyrste, that there is but one leuynge and true God, of infinit power, wysdome, and goodnesse; the maker and preseruer of al thynges; and that in unitie of this Godhead ther be thre persons of one substance, of equal power and eternitie, the Father, the Sonne, and the holye Ghost.
The second Article.
I beleue also what soeuer is conteined in the holye canōical Scriptures, in the which Scripturs are cōteined all thynges necessary to saluation, by the which also al errors and heresies may sufficientlye be reproued and conuicted, and al doctrine and Articles necessarye to saluation established. I doo most firmlye beleue and confesse all the Articles conteined in the three Credes-the Nicene Crede, Athanasius Crede, and our comon Creede, called the Apostels Creede, for these doo brefly conteine the principal Articles of our faith, which are at large set foorth in the holye Scriptures.
I acknowledg also the Church to be the Spouse of Christ, wherein the word of God is truely taught, the Sacrametes orderly ministred accoryng to Christes institution, and the aucthoritie of the keiys duely used. And that every such perticuler Churche hath aucthoritie to institute, to chaug, cleane to put away ceremonies and other ecclesiasticall Rites, as they be superfluōs, or be abused: and to constitute other, makyng more to semelynesse, to order or edification.
The fourth Article.
Moreover, I confesse that it is not lawefull for any man to take upon hym anye office or ministerye, eyther ecclesiasticall or seculer, but such onely as are lawefully thereunto called by theyr hyghe aucthorities accordynge to the ordynaunces of this Realme.
The feuft Article.
Furthermore, I doo acknowledge the Queene's Maiesties prerogative and superioritie of governemet of al estates and
in all causes, as wel ecclesiasticall as temporal, within this Realme, and other her Dominions and Countreyes, to be agreable to Godes wourde, and of right to appertayne to her hyghnes, in such sort as is in the late Act of Parliamēt expressed and sithens by her Maiesties iniunctions declared and expounded.
The syxt Article.
Moreover, touchynge the Byshope of Rome, I do acknowledg and confesse, that by the Scriptures and worde of God, he hath no more ancthoritie then other Byshopes have in their Provinces and Diosseces; ad therefore the power which he now chalengeth, that is, to be the supreme head of the universal Churche of Christ, and so to be above all Emperours, Kings, and Princes, is an usurped power, contrary to the Scriptures and worde of God, and contrary to the example of the primative Church: and therfore is for most iust causes taken awaye and abolished within this Realme.
The VII. Article.
Furthermore I do graunt and cōfesse, that the boke of comon prayer and administration of the holye Sacramentes, set foorth by the aucthoritie of Parlyament, is agreable to the Scriptures, and that it is Catholyke, Apostolyke, and most for the advauncynge of Gods glorye and the edifiynge of Gods people, both for y it is in a touge, y' may be understāded by ye people, and also for the doctrine and forme of ministration conteyned in the same.
The VIII. Article.
And although in the administration of Baptisme, ther is neither exorcisme, oyle, salte, spittil, or halowynge of the water now used: and for y' they were of late yeres abused and esteemed necessary, where they pertaine not to ye substaunce and necessitie of the Sacramēt ful and perfectly ministred to al intētes and purposes agreable to the instituciō of our Saviour Christe.
The IX. Article.
Moreover I do not onely acknowledg that privat Masses were never used amōgest the Fathers of the primitive Churche, I meane publique ministration and receavinge of ye Sacramet by the Prieste alone without a iust number of comunicates, accord
ynge to Christes saying, Take ye and eate ye, &c., but also that the doctrine which maynteinith the Masse to be a propiciatory sacrifice for the quicke and the dead, and a meane to delyver soules out of purgatorye, is neyther agreable to Christes ordynaunce nor grounded upon doctrine Apostolycke, but contrarywise most ungodlye and most iniurious to the precious redemptio of our Saviour Christ and his onely sufficient sacrifise offered once for ever upon the alter of the Crosse.
The X. Article.
I am of that mynde also, that the holy Cōmunion or Sacramēt of the body and bloude of Christ, for the due obediece to Christes institution, and, to expresse the vertue of the same, ought to be mynistred unto the people under both kyndes, and that it is avouched by certaine fathers of the Church to be a playne sacriledge to robbe them of the misticall cup, for whom Christ hath shed his moste precious bloud: Seyinge he him selfe hath saied, drinke ye all of this. Consyderynge also that in the tyme of the auncyent doctours of the Church, as Ciprian, Jerome, Augustine, Gelasius, and others, vi. hundreth yeares after Christ and more, both the partes of the Sacramente were mynistred unto the people.
The XI. Article.
Last of al, as I do utterly disalowe the extollynge of Images, Relicks, and fayned Miracles, and also all kynde of expressinge God invisible in the forme of an olde man, or the holye ghoste in forme of a dove, and all other vayne worshippynge of God devised by mans fantasie, besydes or contrarye to the Scriptures: As wandrynge on pilgrimages, settynge upe of Candels, prayinge upō beades, and such lyke supersticion, which kynde of woorkes have no promyse of rewarde in Scripture, but cōtrary wise, threatnynges and maladictions: So I do exhorte all men to the obedyence of Godes lawe, and to the workes of fayght: As charytie, mercy, pitye, almes, devout and fervent prayer, with thaffection of the hart, and not with the mouth only, godly abstinence and fastynge, chastitie, obedyence to the rulers and superyour powers, with such lyke workes and godlynes of lyfe. commaunded by God in his worde, which as Sainte Paule saith, hath promises both of this lyfe, and of the lyfe to come, and are workes only acceptable in Godes syght.
The XII. Article.
These thynges above rehearsed, though they be appoynted by common order, yet do I without all compulsion, with fredome of mynde and conscience, frome the bottome of my hart and upon most sure perswasion, acknowledge to be true and agreable to Godes worde, And therfore I exhort you al, of whom I have cure, hartelye and obedientlye to embrace and receave the same, that we all ioyning together in unitie of spirit, fayth, and charytie, may also at leangth be joyned together in the kyngdome of God, that through the merites and deathe of our Saviour Jesus Christe to whom, with the Father and the holy Ghost be all glory and empyre now and for ever. Amen.
Imprynted at Dublin in Saint Nycolas Stret, by Humfrey Powell, Prynter appoynted for the Realme of Irelande.