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ARTICLES OF RELIGION,

AGREED VPON BY

THE ARCHBISHOPS AND BISHOPS,

AND THE REST OF THE CLEARGIE OF IRELAND,

IN THE CONUOCATION HOLDEN AT DUBLIN IN THE YEARE OF OUR LORD God 1615, FOR THE AUOIDING OF DIUERSITIES OF OPINIONS,

AND THE ESTABLISHING OF CONSENT TOUCHING

TRUE RELIGION.

Of the holy Scripture and the three Creeds.

1. THE ground of our Religion, and the rule of faith and all sauing trueth is the word of God, contained in the holy Scrip

ture.

2. By the name of holy Scripture we understand all the Canonicall Bookes of the Old and New Testament, viz. :

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All which wee acknowledge to be giuen by the inspiration of God, and in that regard to be of most certaine credit and highest authority.

3. The other Bookes, commonly called Apocryphall, did not proceede from such inspiration, and therefore are not of sufficient authoritie to establish any point of doctrine; but the Church doth reade them as Bookes containing many worthy things for example of life and instruction of maners.

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4. The Scriptures ought to be translated out of the originall tongues into all languages for the common use of all mē: neither is any person to be discouraged from reading the Bible in such a language, as he doth vnderstand, but seriously exhorted to read the same with great humilitie and reuerence, as a speciall meanes to bring him to the true knowledge of God, and of his owne duty.

5. Although there bee some hard things in the Scripture

(especially such as haue proper relation to the times in which they were first vttered, and prophesies of things which were afterwardes to bee fulfilled), yet all things necessary to be knowen vnto euerlasting saluation are cleerely deliuered therein: and nothing of that kinde is spoken vnder darke mysteries in one place, which is not in other places spoken more familiarly and plainely, to the capacitie both of learned and vnlearned.

6. The holy Scriptures containe all things necessary to saluation, and are able to instruct sufficiently in all points of faith that we are bound to beleeue, and all good duties that we are bound to practise.

7. All and euerie the Articles contained in the Nicen Creede, the Creede of Athanasius, and that which is commonly called the Apostles Creede, ought firmely to bee receiued and beleeued, for they may be proued by most certaine warrant of holy Scrip

ture.

Of faith in the holy Trinitie.

8. There is but one liuing and true God, euerlasting, without body, parts, or passions, of infinite power, wisedome, and goodnes, the maker and preseruer of all things, both visible and inuisible. And in vnitie of this Godhead, there be three persons of one and the same substance power and eternitie: the Father, the Sone, and the holy Ghost.

9. The essence of the Father doth not begett the essence of the Sonne; but the person of the Father begetteth the person of the Sonne, by communicating his whole essence to the person begotten from eternitie.

10. The holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Sonne, is of one substance, maiestie, and glory, with the Father and the Sonne, very and eternall God.

Of God's eternall decree, and Predestination.

11. God from all eternitie did by his vnchangeable counsell ordaine whatsoeuer in time should come to passe: yet so, as thereby no violence is offred to the wills of the reasonable creatures, and neither the libertie nor the contingencie of the second causes is taken away, but established rather.

12. By the same eternall counsell God hath predestinated some vnto life, and reprobated some vnto death: of both which there is a certaine number, knowen only to God, which can neither be increased nor diminished.

13. Predestination to life, is the euerlasting purpose of God,

whereby, before the foundations of the world were layed, he hath constantly decreed in his secret counsell to deliuer from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankinde, and to bring them by Christ vnto euerlasting saluation, as vessels made to honor.

14. The cause mouing God to predestinate vnto life, is not the foreseeing of faith, or perseuerance, or good workes, or of anything which is in the person predestinated, but onely the good pleasure of God himselfe. For all things being ordained for the manifestation of his glory, and his glory being to appeare both in the workes of his Mercy and of his Iustice: it seemed good to his heauenly wisedome to choose out a certaine number towardes whome he would extend his vndeserued mercy, leauing the rest to be spectacles of his iustice.

15. Such as are predestinated vnto life, be called according vnto Gods purpose (his spirit working in due season) and through grace they obey the calling, they bee iustified freely, they bee made sonnes of God by adoption, they be made like the image of his onely begotten Sonne Iesus Christ, they walke religiously in good workes, and at length, by God's mercy they attaine to euerlasting felicitie. But such as are not predestinated to saluation, shall finally be condemned for their sinnes.

16. The godlike consideration of Predestination and our election in Christ, is full of sweete, pleasant, and vnspeakeable comfort to godly persons, and such as feele in themselues the working of the spirit of Christ, mortifying the workes of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing vp their mindes to high and heauenly things: as well because it doth greatly confirme and establish their faith of eternall saluation to be enioyed through Christ, as because it doth feruently kindle their loue towardes God: and on the contrary side, for curious and carnall persons, lacking the spirit of Christ, to haue continually before their eies the sentence of Gods predestination, is very dangerous.

17. Wee must receiue Gods promises in such wise as they be generally set forth vnto vs in holy Scripture; and in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we haue expressely declared vnto vs in the word of God.

Of the creation and gouernement of all things.

18. In the beginning of time, when no creature had any being, God by his word alone, in the space of sixe dayes, created

all things, and afterwardes by his prouidence doth continue, propagate, and order them according to his owne will.

19. The principall creatures are Angels and men.

20. Of Angels, some continued in that holy state wherein they were created, and are by Gods grace for euer established therein : others fell from the same, and are reserued in chaines of darkenesse vnto the iudgement of the great day.

21. Man being at the beginning created according to the image of God (which consisted especially in the Wisedome of his minde and the true Holyness of his free will) had the couenant of the lawe ingrafted in his heart: whereby God did promise vnto him euerlasting life, vpon condition that he performed entire and perfect obedience vnto his Commandements, according to that measure of strength wherewith hee was endued in his creation, and threatned death vnto him if he did not performe the

same.

Of the fall of man, originall sinne, and the state of man before iustification.

22. By one man sinne entred into the world, and death by sinne; and so death went ouer all men, for as much as all haue sinned.

23. Originall sinne standeth not in the imitation of Adam (as the Pelagians dreame) but is the fault and corruption of the nature of euery person that naturally is ingendred and propagated from Adam: whereby it commeth to passe that man is depriued of originall righteousnes, and by nature is bent vnto sinne. And therefore, in euery person borne into the world, it deserueth Gods wrath and damnation.

24. This corruption of nature doth remaine euen in those that are regenerated, whereby the flesh alwaies lusteth against the spirit, and cannot bee made subject to the lawe of God. And howsoeuer, for Christs sake there bee no condemnation to such as are regenerate and doe beleeue: yet doth the Apostle acknowledge that in it selfe this concupiscence hath the nature of sinne.

25. The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turne, and prepare himselfe by his owne naturall strength and good workes, to faith, and calling vpon God. Wherefore we haue no power to doe good workes, pleasing and acceptable vnto God, without the grace of God preuenting vs, that we may haue a good will, and working with vs when wee haue that good will.

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