XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.
It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching,
or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation, before he be lawfully
called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully
called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work by men who have
public authority given unto them in the Congregation, to call and send
Ministers into the Lord's Vineyard.
XXIV. Of speaking in the Congregation in such a tongue
as the people understandeth.
It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God, and the custom of
the Primitive Church, to have public Prayer in the Church, or to minister
the Sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people.
XXVI. Of the Unworthiness of the Ministers, which hinders
not the effect of the Sacrament.
Although in the visible Church the evil be ever mingled with the good,
and sometimes the evil have chief authority in the Ministration of the
Word and Sacraments, yet forasmuch as they do not the same in their own
name, but in Christ's, and do minister by his commission and authority,
we may use their Ministry, both in hearing the Word of God, and in receiving
of the Sacraments. Neither is the effect of Christ's ordinance taken away
by their wickedness, nor the grace of God's gifts diminished from such
as by faith and rightly do receive the Sacraments ministered unto them;
which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although
they be ministered by evil men.
Nevertheless, it appertaineth to the discipline of the Church, that
inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that
have knowledge of their offences; and finally being found guilty, by just
judgement be deposed.
XXXII. Of the Marriage of Priests.
Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, are not commanded by God's Law, either
to vow the estate of single life, or to abstain from marriage: therefore
it is lawful for them, as for all other Christian men, to marry at their
own discretion, as they shall judge the same to serve better to godliness.
XXXIV. Of the Traditions of the Church
It is not necessary that Traditions and Ceremonies be in all places
one and utterly alike; for at all times they have been divers, and may
be changed according to the diversities of countries, times, and men's
manners, so that nothing be ordained against God's Word. Whosoever through
his private judgement, willingly and purposely, doth openly break the traditions
and ceremonies of the Church, which be not repugnant to the Word of God,
and be ordained and approved by common authority, ought to be rebuked openly,
(that others may fear to do the like,) as he that offendeth against the
common order of the Church, and hurteth the authority of the Magistrate,
and woundeth the consciences of the weak brethren.
Every particular or national Church hath authority to ordain, change,
and abolish, ceremonies or rites of the Church ordained only by man's authority,
so that all things be done to edifying.
XXXVI. Of Consecration of Bishops and Ministers.
The Book of Consecration of Archbishops and Bishops, and Ordering of
Priests and Deacons, lately set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth,
and confirmed at the same time by the authority of Parliament, doth contain
all things necessary to such Consecration and Ordering: neither hath it
any thing, that of itself is superstitious and ungodly. And therefore whosoever
are consecrated or ordered according to the Rites of that Book, since the
second year of the forenamed King Edward unto this time, or hereafter shall
be consecrated or ordered according to the same Rites; we decree all to
be rightly, orderly, and lawfully consecrated and ordered.