« PreviousContinue »
to Januarius, who had consulted him concerning the obedience which was due to the different customs of different churches, in which we shall see reason to admire the candour and good sense of that eminent father : “ Alia vero quæ per loca terrarum regionesque variantur, sicuti est, quod alii jejunant sabbato, alii non; alii
quotidie communicant corpori et sanguini Domini, alii certis diebus accipiunt: Alibi nullus dies prætermittitur, quo non offeratur, alibi sabbato tantum et dominico, alibi tantum dominico. Et si quid aliud hujusmodi animadverti potest, totum hoc genus rerum liberas habet observationes : nec disciplina ulla est in his melior gravi prudentique Christiano, quam ut eo modo agat, quo agere viderit ecclesiam ad quam forte devenerit. Quod enim neque contra fidem, neque contra bonos mores esse convincitur, indifferenter est labendum ; et propter eorum inter quos vivitur societatem, servandum est (h).”
(h) Aug. ad Jan. Ep. 1. cap. 2.
ARTICLE THE THIRTY FIFTH.
Of the Homilies.
THE SECOND BOOK OF HOMILIES, THE SEVERAL
TITLES WHEREOF WE HAVE JOINED UNDER THIS ARTICLE, DOTH CONTAIN A GODLY AND WHOLESOME DOCTRINE, AND NECESSARY FOR THESE TIMES, AS DOTH THE FORMER
BOOK OF HOMILIES, WHICH WERE SET FORTH
IN THE TIME OF EDWARD THE SIXTH; AND
THEREFORE WE JUDGE THEM TO BE READ
IN CIIURCHES BY THE MINISTERS, DILIGENTLY AND DISTINCTLY, THAT THEY MAY BE UNDERSTANDED OF THE PEOPLE.
THE NAMES OF THE HOMILIES :
1. OT THE RIGHT USE OF THE CHURCH.
2. AGAINST PERIL OF IDOLATRY.
3. OF REPAIRING AND KEEPING CLEAN OF
4. OF GOOD WORKS. FIRST OF FASTING. 5. AGAINST GLUTTONY AND DRUNKEN NESS. 6. AGAINST EXCESS OF APPAREL. 7. OF PRAYER. 8. OF THE PLACE AND TIME OF PRAYER.
9. THE COMMON PRAYERS AND SACRAMENTS
OUGHT TO BE MINISTERED IN A KNOWN
10. OF THE REVERENT ESTIMAITON OF GOD's
11. OF ALMS DOING. 12. OF THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST. 13. OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST, 14. OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. 15. OF THE WORTHY RECEIVING OF THE
SACRAMENT OF THE BODY AND BLOOD
16. OF THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST.
21. AGAINST REBELLION.
In this Article, the doctrine contained in the Homilies is asserted to be GODLY AND WHOLE. some, in opposition to Papists, who condemn them as heretical; and the reading of them in churches is authorized in opposition to the Puritans, who contend that nothing ought to be publicly read in churches except the holy Scriptures.
Homily is a Greek word, originally signifying conference or conversation. It was applied to those familiar discourses or exhortations, which were delivered by ministers to Christian con, gregations assembled in churches. In the first ages of Christianity preaching was chiefly confined to bishops; but afterwards presbyters, and in process of time deacons also, were permitted to preach, even when bishops were present. The Homilies or Sermons of Chrysostom, Augustine, Gregory, and many other of the fathers, , are still extant.
At the time of the Reformation in England many of the clergy were exceedingly illiterate, and it was also suspected that some of them still favoured the tenets of the church of Rome; “ therefore to supply the defects of some, and to oblige the rest to teach according to the form of sound doctrine, there were two books of Homilies prepared ; the first was published in king Edward the sixth's time; the second was not finished till about the time of his death ; so it was not published before
Elizabeth's time (a).” The design of them was to mix speculative points with practical matters : some explain the doctrine, and others enforce the rules of life and manners. These are plain and short discourses, chiefly calculated to possess the nation with a sense of the purity of the Gospel, in
opposition (a)The first book of Homilies was published in 1547, and was supposed to be written chiefly by Cranmer; the second in 1560, and was probably written by Jewell.
opposition to the corruptions of Popery, and to reform it from those crying sins that had been so much connived at under Popery, while men knew the price of them, how to compensate for them, and to redeem themselves from the guilt of them by masses and sacraments, by indulgences and absolutions (6).
These two books of Homilies, upon their first publication, were distributed throughout the kingdom, and the parochial clergy were commanded to read them in their churches. When compared with the
age in which they were written, they may be considered as very extraordinary compositions, though perhaps every argument and expression in them is not to be approved; but whoever will peruse them with candour and attention will beconvinced that they contain A GODLY AND WHOLESOME DOCTRINE. The compilers of the Articles thought them NECESSARY FOR THE TIMEs in which they lived, and directed them TO BE READ IN CHURCHES
MINISTERS, DILIGENTLY DISTINCTLY, THAT THEY STANDED OF THE PEOPLE. The English language has changed so much since these Homilies were written that they would scarcely now be understood by a common congregation; and
MAY BE UNDER