#
#
Home
About us
Publications
Issues
How we can help
Events
Latest news
Press Releases
How to join
Contact us
#
Quick links
Churchman
Church Society Trust
Cross+way
EV News

 Issues | 39 Articles | Articles 37-39

The Thirty-Nine articles of Religion.  Text of the articles (with a modern rendering) and links to other information on each article.

Articles 37-39: Church and State

 

Articles 32-36 (previous page)

Article 37  The state and its civil representatives.

Article 38  The possessions of Christians are not common to all

Article 39  A Christian's oath

(See also Donald Allister's Cross†Way article on Articles 37-39)

XXXVII. Of the Civil Magistrates.
The King's Majesty hath the chief power in this Realm of England, and other his Dominions, unto whom the chief Government of all estates of this Realm, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Civil, in all causes doth appertain, and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign Jurisdiction.
Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the chief government, by which Titles we understand the minds of some slanderous folks to be offended; we give not to our Princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the Sacraments, the which thing the Injunctions also lately set forth by Elizabeth our Queen do most plainly testify; but that only prerogative, which we see to have been given always to all godly Princes in holy Scriptures by God himself; that is, that they should rule all estates and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be Ecclesiastical or Temporal, and restrain with the civil sword the stubborn and evildoers.
The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.
The Laws of the Realm may punish Christian men with death, for heinous and grievous offences.
It is lawful for Christian men, at the commandment of the Magistrate, to wear weapons, and serve in the wars.

37 The state and its civil representatives
The sovereign has the chief power in the realm of England and his other possessions. The supreme government of all in this realm, whatever their station, whether ecclesiastical and civil, and in all matters, belongs to him and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction. When we attribute to the sovereign the chief government (a title which seems to have offended some slanderous persons) we do not grant our rulers the ministry of either God's Word or of the sacraments. This is also made clear in the Injunctions published by Queen Elizabeth I. By this title we acknowledge only the prerogative which we see in holy Scripture God has given to all godly rulers. They should rule all people committed to their charge by God, whatever their station or rank, whether ecclesiastical or secular, and restrain with the civil power those who are stubborn or practise evil.
The bishop of Rome has no jurisdiction in this realm of England.
The laws of the realm may punish Christian people with death for heinous and grave offences.
It is lawful for Christian men at the command of the state to carry weapons and serve in wars
.

back to top

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.

38 The possessions of Christians are not common to all
Contrary to what some Anabaptists claim, the wealth and possessions of Christians are not common, as far as the right, title and possession of them is concerned. Nevertheless, everyone ought to give freely to the poor from what he possesses, according to his means.

back to top

XXXIX. Of a Christian man's Oath.
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, judgement, and truth.

39 A Christian's oath
We believe that the vain and rash swearing of oaths is forbidden to Christians by our Lord Jesus Christ and St James. However, we judge that the Christian faith does not prohibit the swearing of an oath when the state requires it, if in a cause where faithfulness and love justify it, and according to the prophet Jeremiah's teaching, in justice, judgment and truth.

See also the Homily against Swearing and Perjury (Homily 7)

back to top

Related Links
The Thirty Nine Articles
BulletIntroduction
BulletImportance of the Articles

BulletArticles 1 - 5
BulletArticles 6 - 8
BulletArticles 9 - 14
BulletArticles 15 - 18
BulletArticles 19 - 22
BulletArticles 23 - 24
BulletArticles 25 - 31
BulletArticles 32 - 36
BulletArticles 37 - 39

BulletSalvation in the Articles
BulletRyle on the 39 Articles
BulletDonald Allister on the Articles
BulletWace - Main Purpose

Segments
BulletHistory of the Articles

Doctrine Pages
BulletIntroduction

Doctrine - Other Sub Issues
BulletHeads of Theology

BulletThe Three Creeds
BulletBook of Common Prayer
BulletThe Homilies
BulletAnglican theology (other)
BulletTheological Movements

BulletOther doctrine pages

Other Issues
BulletEthics
BulletLocal Church
BulletNational Church
BulletGeneral Synod
BulletAnglican Communion
BulletMinistry
BulletHistory
BulletLiturgy
BulletEcumenical
BulletOther Faiths
BulletMiscellaneous

 Issues Sitemap
 List all issues
 search site
Home | About us | Publications | Store | Issues | Events | Press releases
Membership | Contact us | Search | Links | Churchman | Church Society Trust | Cross+way