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"The Institution of a Christian Man, containing the exposition or interpretation of the Common Creed," etc. (1537), or "A Necessary Doctrine and Erudition for any Christian Man" (1543), and then turn to the Book of Common Prayer, and he will need no other commentary on the purpose of the reformers in the matter of the Apostles' Creed. The "Freedom" of the Christian man was their aim, not his "Institution" or "Erudition." It was the ancient aspiration - Libera sit ecclesia Anglicana, that was at last to be fulfilled.

It is a misapprehension of the Anglican Church, including our own, which has somehow come to be widely prevalent, that she enforces upon her clergy, however it may be with the laity, an oath to receive the Apostles' Creed and to believe it and recite it with some authoritative sense attached to each phrase, under penalty of incurring the stigma of dishonesty and perjury. And the burden has grown the heavier because a school in the Church, dating from the last century, insists that the Creed shall be taken in what is now called its "Catholic" sense. And it has come about that those who should rejoice in the Church in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free are sensitive and uncertain, and even doubt whether they are truly called

according to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, to serve in the sacred ministry of His Church.

In the literature of the Church of England, there is a book rarely if ever referred to, an almost forgotten book, known as the "Homilies." It is the only book ever set forth by authority, of which it is said in the Thirty-fifth of the Articles of Religion that it "doth contain a godly and wholesome doctrine and necessary for these times," and to this statement the American Episcopal Church has added that it is "an explication of Christian doctrine, and instructive in piety and morals." It is referred to here, because, in its origin, it is contemporary with the Prayer Book—those who drew up the Ordinal and the Articles being among its compilers. To understand the vows which the clergy assume at ordination, it is indispensable. It is, however, chiefly a book for the laity instructing them as to the doctrine of this Church, with special insistence on the source from which the doctrine is derived.

It is characteristic of the book of the Homilies that it nowhere recommends ecclesiastical tradition as an authority in this Church; it contains no exposition of the Creed. It has discourses on the Nativity, on the Passion, and Resurrection of our Lord. The first of these

is noticeable for the absence of any effort to urge the Medieval conception of the Incarnation, which had become the source of confusion and weakness. The virgin birth is assumed, but no dogmatic importance is attached to it, and Mary is not alluded to as "ever Virgin and Mother of God." There is no dwelling upon the Gospel of the Infancy, but rather on the character and work and teaching of the mature Christ, Son of God and Son also of Man; and if there is any insistence it is on His perfect humanity, which in the preceding ages had been obscured and practically lost.

There is much in the Homilies that in tone is antiquated, but its spirit is fresh and strong as in the day of its birth. Its keynote is the importance of "the reading and knowledge of Holy Scripture" and not familiarity with Church traditions. If men are in doubt, whether clergy or laity, it is to Scripture they must turn for relief. It is assumed that the laity are capable by this method for themselves to reach the truth. There is not one source for the clergy and another for the people, but Scripture is imposed on both alike. The laity are not urged to turn to the clergy for light and satisfaction in the resolution of difficulties, but to go for themselves to the Word of God. The book

opens with words like these addressed to the people in the congregation:

"Unto a Christian man there can be nothing either more necessary or profitable than the knowledge of holy Scripture, forasmuch as in it is contained God's true word, setting forth his glory and also man's duty. And there is no truth nor doctrine necessary for our justification and everlasting salvation but that is or may be drawn out of that fountain and well of truth. Therefore as many as be desirous to enter into the right and perfect way unto God, must apply their minds to know holy Scripture; without the which, they can neither sufficiently know God and his will, neither their office and duty. And as drink is pleasant to them that be dry and meat to them that be hungry, so is the reading, hearing, searching of holy Scripture to them that be desirous to know God, or themselves, and to do his will. . Let us reverently study and read holy Scriptures, which is the food of the soul. Let us diligently search for the well of life in the books of the Old and New Testament, and not run to the stinking puddles of men's traditions, devised by men's

imaginations for our justification and salvation. For in Holy Scripture is fully contained what we ought to do, and what to eschew, what to believe, what to love, and what to look for at God's hand at length. In these books we shall find the Father

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from whom, the Son by whom, and the Holy Ghost in whom all things have their being and keeping up; and these three persons to be but one God and one substance."

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The object of the reformers as achieved in the Book of Common Prayer was to get away from the commandments of men, which had been substituted for Christ's commandment, to get back again to Christ, and to His will, to banish and drive away from the Church "the manifold enormities" and "the ungodly doctrine" which had crept into the existing Church "unto the utter destruction of innumerable souls, if God's mercy were not."

The articles of the faith were given a prominent place. The Lord's Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments were to be read openly unto the people, that "they may learn how to invocate and call upon the name of God, and 1 "The First Homily," pp. 1, 2.

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