Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Anglo-Reformed Movement - The Lambeth Articles (1595)

The Anglo-Reformed Movement - Anglicans in the Wilderness

The Lambeth Articles (1595)

The Lambeth Articles were drawn up by Dr. William Whitaker, Regius Professor of Divinity in Cambridge, with input from Dr. Richard Fletcher (Bishop of London), Dr. Richard Vaughan (Bishop-elect of Bangor) and Humphrey Tyndall (Dean of Ely). They were formally approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury (Dr. John Whitgift), the Archbishop of York (Dr. Matthew Hutton), the Bishop of London (Dr. Richard Fletcher), the Bishop-elect of Bangor (Dr. Richard Vaughan), and other prelates convened at Lambeth Palace, London (20 November, 1595) whose intent was that they be not new laws and decrees, but rather an explanation of certain points already established by the 39 Articles, particularly its soteriology. This view, that they represented a compromise, is not the majority view today. Rather, the majority view is that they represented an extreme Calvinist view that served only to promote argument. See Article.

Although the Lambeth Articles were never formally added to the Church of England's Thirty-Nine Articles (1563), they were accepted by the Dublin Convocation of 1615 and engrafted on the Irish Articles (1615), which are believed to have been largely the work of James Ussher, who was to become Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland (1625-1656). In the Church of Ireland, the Lambeth Articles obtained for some time a semi-symbolical authority. It is stated that they were exhibited at the Synod of Dordt (1618-1619) by the English deputies, as the judgment of the Church of England on the Arminian controversy.

Sadly, today, in most Anglican churches around the world, the Lambeth Articles are either unknown or rejected. Even before 1595 the soteriology of the Church of England had begun to drift away from Calvinism, and in the years to follow the falling away would become ever more pronounced, eventually resulting in the rejection not only of the predestinarian views of the Lambeth Articles but also of those in the 39 Articles, and their replacement by the works-righteousness and free-will views of Roman Catholics and Wesleyans.

One suspects that the Lambeth Articles of 1595 were drawn up in expectation of Anglicanism's doctrinal difficulties that were yet to come, and in hopes that they might be avoided.

The Lambeth Articles (1595)

1.God from eternity has predestined some men to life, and reprobated some to death.
2.The moving or efficient cause of predestination to life is not the foreseeing of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of anything innate in the person of the predestined, but only the will of the good pleasure of God.
3.There is a determined and certain number of predestined, which cannot be increased or diminished.
4.Those not predestined to salvation are inevitably condemned on account of their sins.
5.A true, lively and justifying faith, and the sanctifying Spirit of God, is not lost nor does it pass away either totally or finally in the elect.
6.The truly faithful man—that is, one endowed with justifying faith—is sure by full assurance of faith ("plerophoria fidei") of the remission of sins and his eternal salvation through Christ.
7.Saving grace is not granted, is not made common, is not ceded to all men, by which they might be saved, if they wish.
8.No one can come to Christ unless it be granted to him, and unless the Father draws him: and all men are not drawn by the Father to come to the Son.
9.It is not in the will or power of each and every man to be saved.

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