The proceedings of the Assembly of Divines upon the Thirty nine Articles of the Church of England:

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The proceedings of the Assembly of Divines upon the Thirty nine Articles of the Church of England:
Westminster Assembly
[London :: s.n.,

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Subject terms
Great Britain -- Church history
Church of England. -- Early works to 1800.
Church of England -- Creeds
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"The proceedings of the Assembly of Divines upon the Thirty nine Articles of the Church of England:." In the digital collection Early English Books Online 2. University of Michigan Library Digital Collections. Accessed May 26, 2024.


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The Proceedings of the Assembly of Divines upon the Thirty nine Articles of the Church of ENGLAND.

To the honourable house of COMMONS assembled in Parliament.

THe Assembly at their first sitting re∣ceived an Order from both the ho∣nourable Houses of Parliament, bea∣ring date July 5. 1643, requiring them to take into their consideration the ten first Articles of the 39 Ar∣ticles of the Church of England, to free and vindicate the Doctrine of them from all aspersions and false interpretati••••••. In obedience whereunto, they forthwith took the said ten first Articles into consideration. Afterward they received another Order for the nine next following; and accor∣dingly took the same into consideration. But being limited by both the said Orders onely to the clearing and vindicating of them; though we found our selves necessitated for that

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end to make some, yet we made fewer alterations in them and additions to them, then otherwise e 〈◊〉〈◊〉 ••••ve thought fit to have done, if the whole mtter hd b••••n left to us without such limitation, conceiving many things yet remaining to be defective, and other expressions also fit to be changed. And herein we proceeded onely to the finish∣ing of fifteen Articles, because it pleased both Houses by an Order hearing date Octob. 12. 1643, to require us to lay aside the remainder, and enter upon the work of Church-Government: And afterward by another Order to employ us in framing a Confession of Faith for the three King∣doms, according to the Solemn League and Covenant: In which Confession, we have not left out any thing that was in the former Articles material▪ necessary to be re∣tained. Which having finished, and presented to both Houses, we should have forborn the tendering of these fifteen Articles (both as a Piece several ways imperfect, and the whole as relating onely to the Church of Eng∣land) but that we were commanded otherwise by 〈…〉〈…〉 order of the honourable House of Commons bearing date Dec. 7. 1646. According whereunto, we prese•••• them 〈◊〉〈◊〉 fol∣loweth.

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ARTICLE I. Of Faith in the holy Trinity.

THere is but onea living and true Godb, e∣verlastingc, without body, partsd, or passi∣onse; of infinite powerf, wisdomg, and goodnesseh; the maker and preserver of all things both visible and invisiblei. And in unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one sub∣stance, power, and eternity; the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghostk.

ART. 2. Of the Word, or Son of God, which was made very Man.

The Son, which is the Word of the Father, be∣gotten from everlasting of the Fathera, the veryb and eternal Godc, of one substance with the Fa∣therd, took mans nature in the womb of the bles∣sed Virgin, of her substancee. So that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the Manhood, were joyned together in one person,

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never to be divided, whereof is one Christ very God and very Manf, who for our fakes truely suf∣fered most grievous torments in his soul from Godg, was crucified, dead, and buriedh, to re∣concile his Father to usi, and to be a Sacrifice, not onely for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of menk.

ART. 3.

As Christ died for us, and was buried; so it is to be believed, that he continued in the state of the dead, and under the power and dominion of deatha, from the time of his death and burial, until his re∣surrectionb: which hath been otherwise expressed thus, He went down into Hell.

ART. 4. Of the Resurrection of Christ.

Christ did truely rise again from deatha, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of mans natureb, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there fit∣tethc, until he return to judged all mene at the general resurrection of the body at the last dayf.

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ART. 5. Of the holy Ghost.

The holy Ghost is very and eternal God, of one substancea, majestieb, and glory with the Father and the Sonc, proceeding from the Father and the Sond.

ART. 6. Of the sufficiency of the holy Scriptures for salvation.

Holy Scripturea containeth all things necessary to salvationb; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be believed as an Article of Faith, or necessary to sal∣vationc.

By the name of holy Scripture, we understand all the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testa∣ment; which follow.

  • Of the Old Testament,
    Genesis, Exodus, &c.
  • Of the New Testament,
    The Gospel ac∣cording to Matthew, &c.

All which Books, as they are commonly recei∣ved,

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we do receive, and acknowledge them to be given by the inspiration of God, and in that re∣gard to be of most certain credit, and highest au∣thority.

ART. 7. Of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament is not contrary to the New, in the doctrine contained in thema; for both in the Old and New Testament everlasting life is of∣fered to mankinde by Christb, who is the onely Mediatour between God and manc, being both God and Mand. Wherefore they are not to be heard, which feign, that the old fathers did look onely for temporary promisese.

Although the Law given from God by Moses, a touching Ceremonies and Rites, do not binde Christiansf, nor the Civil precepts given by Mo∣ses, such as were peculiarly fitted to the Common-wealth of the Jews, are of necessity to be received in any Common-wealthg: yet notwithstanding no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedi∣ence of the Commandments which are called Mo∣ralh. By the Moral Law we understand all the ten Commandments taken in their full extent.

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ART. 8. Of the three Creeds.

The Creeds that go under the names of the Ni∣cene Creed, Athaasius Creed, and that which is commonly called The Apostles Creed, are thorow∣ly to be received and believed, for that they may be proved by most certain warrant of holy Scripture.

ART. 9. Of Original, or Birth-sin.

Original sina standeth not in the following of Adam, as the Pelagians do vainly talkb▪ But, together with his first sin imputedc, it is the fault and corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is propagated from Adam; whereby man is wholly deprived of Original righteous∣nessed, and is of his own nature inclined onely to evile. So that the lust of the flesh, called in Greek 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which some do expound the Wisdom, some Sensuality, some the Affe∣ction, some the Desire of the flesh, is not sub∣ject to the Law of Godf, and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth Gods wrath and damnationg. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are rege∣nerateh, whereby the flesh lusteth always con∣trary to the Spiriti. And although there is no condemnation for them that are regenerate and

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do believek; yet the Apostle doth confesse that concupiscence and lust is truely and properly sinl.

ART. 10. Of Free-will.

The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn or prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faih and calling upon Goda; wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasing and acceptable to Godb, without the grace of God by Christ, both preventing us, that we may have a good Will, and working so effectually in us, as that it determineth our Will to that which is goodc, and also working with us when we have that will unto goodd.

ART. II. Of the Justification of man before God.

We are justified, that is, we are accounted righ∣teous before God, and have remission of sinsa, not for nor by our own works or deservingsb, but freely by his gracec, onely for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christs saked, his whole obedience and satisfaction being by God imputed unto use,

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and Christ with his righteousnesse, being appre∣hended and rested on by faith onelyf. The Do∣ctrine of Justification by Faith onely, is an whol∣som Doctrine, and very full of comfortg: not∣withstanding God doth not forgive them that are impenitent, and go on still in their trespassesh.

ART. 12. Of good works.

Good works, which are the Fruits of Faitha, and follow after Justificationb, cannot put away our sinsc, and endure the severity of Gods Judgement; yet are they, notwithstanding their imperfectionse, in the sight of God plea∣sing and acceptable unto him in and for Christf, and do spring out necessarily of a true and lively Faithg, insomuch that by them a lively Faith may be evidently known,d as a tree discerned by the fruitsh.

ART. 13. Of Works before Justification.

Works done before Justification by Christ, and Regeneration by his Spirit, are not pleasing unto Goda, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith

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in Jesus Christb; neither do they make men meet to receive grace, or (as the School-Authours say) deserve grace of congruityc; yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, they are sin∣fuld.

ART. 14. Of Works of Supererogation.

Voluntary Works besides, over and above Gods Commandments, which they call Works of Supererogation, cannot be taughta without arro∣gancy and impietyb: for by them men do de∣clare that they do not onely render unto God as much as they are bound to do; but that they do more for his sake then of bounden duty is re∣quired: whereas Christ saith plainly, When you have done all those things that are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to doc.

ART. 15. Of Christ alone without sin.

Christ in the truth of our nature, was made like unto us in all things, sin onely excepteda, from which he was clearly void both in his flesh and in his spiritb: he came to be the Lamb

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without spotc, who by sacrifice of himselfd once madee, should take away the sins of the worldf; and sin (as Saint John saith) was not in himg. But all we the rest, although baptized and re∣generate, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in ush.

  • CHARLES HERLE Prolocutor.



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