VI. Of the Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that
whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be
required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of Faith,
or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the holy
Scripture we do understand those Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament
of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.
Of the Names and Number of the Canonical Books
•Genesis •Exodus •Leviticus •Numbers •Deuteronomy •Joshua
•Judges •Ruth •The First Book of Samuel •The Second Book of Samuel •The
First Book of Kings •The Second Book of Kings •The First Book of Chronicles
•The Second Book of Chronicles •The First Book of Esdras [Ezra] •The Second
Book of Esdras [Nehemiah] •The Book of Esther •The Book of Job •The Psalms
•The Proverbs •Ecclesiastes or Preacher •Cantica, or Songs of Solomon •Four
Prophets the greater •Twelve Prophets the less
And the other Books (as Hierome saith) the Church doth read for example
of life and instruction of manners; but yet doth not apply them to establish
any doctrine; such are these following:
•The Third Book of Esdras [I Esdras] •The Fourth Book
of Esdras [II Esdras] •The Book of Tobias •The Book of Judith •The rest
of the Book of Esther •The Book of Wisdom •Jesus the Son of Sirach [or
Ecclesiasticus] •Baruch the Prophet •The Song of th e Three Children •The
Story of Susanna •Of Bel and the Dragon •The Prayer of Manasses •The First
Book of Maccabees •The Second Book of Maccabees
All of the Books of the New Testament, as they are commonly received,
we do receive, and account them Canonical.
VII. Of the Old Testament.
The Old Testament is not contrary to the New: for in both the Old and
New Testament everlasting life is offered to Mankind by Christ, who is
the only Mediator between God and Man, being both God and Man. Wherefor
ther are not to be heard, which feign that the old Fathers did look only
for transitory promises. Although the Law given from God by Moses, as touching
Ceremonies and Rites, do not bind Christian men, nor the Civil precepts
thereof ought of necessity to be received in any commonwealth; yet notwithstanding,
no christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the Commandments
which are called Moral.
VIII. Of the Three Creeds.
The Three Creeds, the Nicene Creed, Athanasius's Creed, and that which
is commonly called the Apostles' Creed, ought thoroughly to be received
and believed: for they may be proved by most certain warrents of holy Scripture.
XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in
Controversies of Faith: And yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain
any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound
one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although
the Church be a witness and keeper of holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to
decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to
enforce any thing to be believed for the necessity of Salvation.
XXI. Of the Authority of General Councils.
General Councils may not be gathered together without the commandment
and will of Princes. And when they be gathered together, (forasmuch as
they be an assembly of men, whereof all be not governed with the Spirit
and Word of God,) they may err, and sometimes have erred, even in things
pertaining unto God. Wherefore things ordained by them as necessary to
salvation have neither strength nor authority, unless it may be declared
that they be taken out of holy Scripture.