Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sabbath Rest

I've been anticipating something like this to post for quite a bit of time now but it seems that the time has come to do it.

It seems that the time has come for The Hackney Hub to take something of a "Sabbath rest" from active blogging. The reasons for this are numerous but to give the reader an idea. There is an underlying shift in focus in my own thinking since I began this blog that has led to different emphases and opinions than I originally held when starting out. I thought I could gradually shift the rhetoric here and things would follow suit but I think a season of rest will provide the needed direction to envision the future of THH in the world of Anglican blogging.

Additionally, events in my personal life have made active blogging increasingly difficult and I feel that the quality of my posts has gradually decreased with each passing year. I have been trying to put together some posts of the same quality as I used to be able to produce but I am not feeling the energy to put together anything worth sharing, hence, I take this as a sign to give it a break and come back at a later point.

I don't think that the Sabbath rest I am intending to take here will necessarily mean that the blog will be inactive but I will be posting links and shorter pieces, rather than any longer more informative work.

I started this blog in the summer of 2010 -- I think four years of content and over two hundred original posts leaves the Internet world a lot to read and enjoy in the meantime. I hope to clean up some of the links and provide categories for old posts, to help organize them better.

I thank the reader for enjoying my work and I hope to come back with more energy and passion for the Anglican tradition.

- The Hackney Hub

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Prayer Book as a Resource for Private Prayer

Many people struggle with how to balance the responsibilities of work, family, and piety (amongst other responsibilities). The modern world has enriched our lives with many forms of entertainment and other luxuries but this has all come at a great cost to the average man by limiting his time to spend with his God and his family. These two things are more important than career development and advancement in society. The weekend has even become a thing of the past, where rest is no longer really possible or desired by modern society, instead we must be engaged in various extra-curricular activities (which in themselves are good), however, we neglect Sabbath rest.

In this light, one of the first things to go in a person's schedule is their daily prayer. There are a variety of ways in which one can daily read the Scripture and pray. I am assuming that most of the audience is at least incorporating some aspect of liturgical prayer (although extemporaneous prayer should be included as well). When the day is filled with activities and programs and whatnot it is very tempting and easy to sit down and watch another episode of Orange is the New Black, rather than spend those thirty minutes with the Scriptures and praying the Prayer Book.

Due to this stretch of time, and with other principles of using the Prayer Book individually or as a family,

The issue of daily prayer is something of concern amongst devout Christians (not that I count myself in this category). I think there should be some guiding principles for how to incorporate the most of the Prayer Book in our private devotions, whilst acknowledging that sometimes time is not there to be able to do the complete offices. The additional principle is that when the office is prayed by an individual, I do not see the point in reading the responsive portions of the Prayer Book offices.

The main point in this is to see the Prayer Book as a resource for private prayer, not a strict form. In the parish church, the forms must be strictly observed, but in the home and in the messiness of ordinary life, these prayers can be used as needed and in the proper season.

The following principles will help individuals use the Prayer Book most efficiently:

  1. The portions of the service read by the priest only (such as the exhortation and absolution) and the responsive parts of the service (such as the preces, which require more than one person) should be omitted. 
  2. The primacy of Scripture should be exhibited in the liturgy. If time is not to be had, the liturgy should be reduced and not the lessons. The lessons should take precedence over the Psalms. 
    1. Update: It has been pointed out that the Psalms are an integral part of the Offices, and I agree with this assertion. I think the Psalms should be maintained. 
  3. This is a personal preference, but I view the Canticles and Collect of the Day as optional as well, if one must delete additional parts of the service. 

Here follows a simplified version of Evening Prayer which is my own private use. Obviously, the forms can be used in Morning Prayer with the appropriate texts.

WHEN the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. Ezekiel 18.27
I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Psalm 51.3
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Psalm 51.9
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit : a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm 51.17
Rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Joel 2.13
To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him: neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his laws which he set before us. Daniel 9.9-10
O Lord, correct me, but with judgement; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing. Jeremiah 10.24; Psalm 6.1
Repent ye; for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. St. Matthew 3.2
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. St. Luke 15.18-19
Enter not into judgement with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psalm 143.2
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 St. John 1.8-9

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts, We have offended against thy holy laws, We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, And we have done those things which we ought not to have done, And there is no health in us: But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders; Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, Restore thou them that are penitent, According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord: And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.


Reading(s) (with or without Canticles)

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, Born of the Virgin Mary, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Was crucified, dead, and buried: He descended into hell; The third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, And sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost; The holy Catholick Church; The Communion of Saints; The Forgiveness of sins; The Resurrection of the body, And the Life everlasting. Amen.

OUR Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. Amen.

(Collect of the Day)

The Second Collect, for Peace.
O GOD, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, whose service is perfect freedom: Defend us thy humble servants in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in thy defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Third Collect, for Grace.
O LORD, our heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day: Defend us in the same with thy mighty power; and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Choose one or more of the following

A Prayer for the Queen's Majesty.
O LORD, our heavenly Father, high and mighty, King of kings, Lord of lords, the only Ruler of princes, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth: Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Sovereign Lady, Queen ELIZABETH; and so replenish her with the grace of thy Holy Spirit, that she may alway incline to thy will, and walk in thy way. Endue her plenteously with heavenly gifts; grant her in health and wealth long to live; strengthen her that she may vanquish and overcome all her enemies; and finally after this life she may attain everlasting joy and felicity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Royal Family.
ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all goodness, we humbly beseech thee to bless Philip Duke of Edinburgh, CharlesPrince of Wales, and all the Royal Family: Endue them with thy Holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly grace; prosper them with all happiness; and bring them to thine everlasting kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord.Amen.

A Prayer for the Clergy and People.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels: Send down upon our Bishops, and Curates, and all Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer of Saint Chrysostom.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee; and dost promise that when two or three are gathered together in thy Name thou wilt grant their requests: Fulfil now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

2 Corinthians 13.
THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Evangelion: Proclaiming the Good News in TEC

I am very pleased to announce "Evangelion: Proclaiming the Gospel in TEC", a conference for Evangelicals in the Episcopal Church in 2015.

All interested parties are encouraged to fill out the contact form found on the website.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ecclesiology, Continuing, and "Realigning"

The issues facing North American Anglicans are many and difficult ones at that. If one looks at the history of the American Episcopal Church from the 1960's to the present, it can only be marked by schism and division. At the beginning of this period, there was really only one group not connected with the Episcopal Church, and that is the Reformed Episcopal Church. One of the earliest groups to secede from the Church was the Anglican Orthodox Church. The two issues that caused the first wave of schisms was the 1979 Prayer Book and the ordination of women. From this group, the "Continuing Movement" was born, I put this in quotations because I doubt the intent was to "continue" Anglicanism. The Continuing Movement splintered internally almost before it began between differing factions with different goals. The division did not end there, as the reader is well aware. The decision of the 2003 General Convention to elect an openly homosexual man (against its own Church's teaching) to the office of Bishop for New Hampshire has sparked the recent schism from the Church. These groups left and joined various other Anglican provinces ("the Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England"?). These came together to be called the Common Cause Partnership and later the Anglican Church in North America. The goals of the realignment as it has come to be called are confusing and hard to discern. Some of them want to be in communion with Canterbury and either replace or be an officially-sanctioned alternative to the Episcopal Church. Other groups do not want to be in communion with Canterbury, but what they want from that point on is difficult to understand. Some seem to want a sort of alternative Communion to be established around the GAFCON primates.

This is the generally accepted history of alternative Anglican movements in the US and Canada, which can be divided into three groups broadly: the REC, the Continuum, and the Realignment. There are some cases, such as Dees' Anglican Orthodox Church which do not generally fit into any of the categories neatly. Additionally, the REC has essentially abandoned its own principles in the past decade or so and should probably really be considered part of the Realignment now. But for the sake of those in the REC who do wish to preserve its original intents, I will consider it a separate movement within Anglicanism. Now, the issue becomes more complicated with the Continuum because this can be divided into two sub-groupings: the "Continuing" Churches and the Continuing Churches. You might think it clever my use of the apostrophe here but I do wish to make a valid distinction with them. The Churches in the Continuum that I classify as "Continuing" are those that go by the name of "Continuing" but in no measurable sense do they "continue" Anglicanism, by their own admission. These are the Churches that adhere to the St. Louis Affirmation as authoritative over the Anglican Formularies. They wish to impose a revisionist catholic understanding of Anglicanism through the Continuum movement. A good example of this group is the Anglican Catholic Church. The latter group, the Continuing Churches, are those that intend and do (to some extent) continue Anglicanism. In this sense, they do their best to preserve the Anglicanism that has been abandoned by the mainline churches. A good example of this is the United Episcopal Church in North America (or the Church of England, Continuing across the pond).

These distinctions are important (at least to me) because they reveal fundamentally different goals. All of these points relate to ecclesiology (that which no one seems to have nowadays). I will be posting later more fully on ecclesiology and the "national church principle" but the crux of the matter is that to be Anglican means to be in communion with England. These groups that intend to replace the Anglican tradition in the US are not viable options for me (that means the Realignment and "Continuing" Churches). These have as their goal ultimately the redefinition of Anglicanism, in some extent. This is where the Continuing group comes in. Sometimes the Anglican provinces in our respective lands do wander astray. In this case, some of our people cannot reconcile staying with the national body in good conscience. In these cases, the Continuing group can be a refuge for those people, with the ultimate goal of rejoining the national body in due course.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Why I Don't Make the Sign of the Cross

Many Protestants have grown comfortable with making the sign of cross as a part of their piety. Whilst I do not wish to doubt their genuineness, nor their conscience in doing so, I wanted to outline briefly the reasons for which I do not make the sign of cross, either in public or private worship. The reasons for not doing so are three in number and broadly relate to three types of concerns: 1) theological; 2) liturgical; 3) practical.

Briefly, a distinction must be made between two forms of the sign of the cross. The first is a liturgical action in the sacrament of Baptism, performed by the priest, to mark the sign of regeneration to the infant. This is a different sort of symbol and not to be discarded (for more information and an explanation of its value, see Canon 30 of the Canons of 1604). The other is the form that most think of when hearing the words "sign of the cross", made by the hand touching the forehead and crossing over from shoulder to shoulder. This latter practice is the subject of this post.

The sign of the Cross is associated with the Roman Catholic idea of sacramentals, which is implicitly tied to their understanding of works salvation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, "Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it." In other words, the sacramentals are an invitation to cooperate with God's grace, implying the power of our wills to do good independent of God's grace (only needing His help, not utter dependence upon Him). The Catechism specifically mentions the sign of the Cross, "Among sacramentals blessings (of persons, meals, objects, and places) come first. Every blessing praises God and prays for his gifts. In Christ, Christians are blessed by God the Father “with every spiritual blessing.”177 This is why the Church imparts blessings by invoking the name of Jesus, usually while making the holy sign of the cross of Christ." The Sign of the Cross is more explicitly linked to works righteousness in another manner. In the 1968, Enchiridion of Indulgences, the Roman Church grants, "A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful, who devoutly sign themselves with the sign of the cross, while saying the customary words: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." The system of indulgences is a fictitious system whereby the works of one believer can be applied to another to decrease the amount of time spent in Purgatory, the whole of this system is rightly called "repugnant" to Scripture by our Formularies and should be avoided at all costs.

The second reason I do not make the sign of the Cross is what I call a liturgical objection. The point of Anglican worship is to be simple and easy to follow. The nature of the sign of the Cross is not simple or easy to follow. One would think that it would be but once the works righteousness is attached to an action, it acquires a life of its own and multiplies in use, because it is viewed as a means of salvation. For this reason, the sign of the cross multiplies in occurrences in the divine service. It can occur many times in the Episcopal liturgy, at the invocation of the Trinity, at the Gospel, at the Creed, before and after the Sermon, at the mention of the "prayers for the dead (which is another issue entirely), at the consecration, before and after receiving, at the end of the service. This is mind-boggling and impossible for the simple person to follow. It complicates the service and adds a layer of superstition and distraction to the worshipper.

Thirdly, I do not make the sign of the Cross for practical reasons. The sign of the Cross is popularly associated with Roman Catholicism. Now, this is not reason enough to reject something but it is enough to allow it for consideration. It is not only associated with Roman Catholicism in general but folk Catholicism in particular. By this I mean it is associated with nominal Catholicism or those who are not particularly practicing but wish to maintain some sense of "Catholic identity". I can speak from personal experience when friends of mine who are not particularly devout will make the sign to convey some vague sense of spirituality. It is associated in the nominal mind with works righteousness and "balancing the books" with God. For this reason, it points to man as the source of salvation and not to God in Christ and for me, this is reason enough to not practice it.

A note must be added at the end as to how the sign of the Cross even became an issue for Anglican Protestants. It was rejected at the Reformation (except for its inclusion in the Baptismal service). It was only revived when a certain group of priests and churchmen began to re-introduce it illegally and consequently breaking their ordination vows. In England, it was both illegal by ecclesiastical and secular law, and punishable by the courts. In the United States it was not allowed by ecclesiastical law, yet in both cases, these priests disobeyed both the civil authorities and the Church in reintroducing this custom.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Homilies on Prayers to the Dead

Of Prayers for the Dead

Now to entreat of that question, whether we ought to pray for them that are departed out of this world, or no. Wherein if we will cleave only unto the word of God, then must we needs grant, that we have no commandment so to do. For the Scripture doth acknowledge but two places after this life, the one proper to the elect and blessed of God, the other to the reprobate and damned souls; as may be well gathered by the parable of Lazarus [Luke 16:[19–26].] and the rich man. Which place St. Augustine expounding saith on this wise: “That which Abraham speaketh unto the rich man in Luke’s Gospel, namely, that the just cannot go into those places where the wicked are tormented, what other things doth it signify but only this, that the just, by reason of God’s judgment, which may not be revoked, can shew no deed of mercy in helping them which after this life are cast into prison until they pay the uttermost farthing?” These words, as they confound the opinion of helping the dead by prayer, so they do clean confute and take away the vain error of purgatory, which is grounded upon this saying of the Gospel [Matt. 5:26]: Thou shalt not depart thence, until thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Now doth St. Augustine say, that those men which are cast into prison after this life on that condition may in no wise be holpen, though we would help them never so much. And why? Because the sentence of God is unchangeable, and cannot be revoked again. Therefore let us not deceive ourselves, thinking that either we may help other, or other may help us by their good and charitable prayers in time to come. For, as the Preacher saith [Eccles. 11:[3].], when the tree falleth, whether it be toward the south, or toward the north, in what place soever the tree falleth, there it lieth; meaning thereby, that every mortal man dieth either in the state of salvation or damnation, according as the words of the Evangelist John do also plainly import, saying [John 3:[36].], He that believeth on the Son of God hath eternal life; but he that believeth not on the Son shall never see life, but the wrath of God abideth upon him. Where is then the third place, which they call purgatory? or where shall our prayers help and profit the dead? St. Augustine doth only acknowledge two places after this life, heaven and hell. As for the third place, he doth plainly deny that there is any such to be found in all Scripture. Chrysostom likewise is of this mind, that, unless we wash away our sins in this present world, we shall find no comfort afterward.4 And St. Cyprian saith, that after death5 “repentance and sorrow of pain shall be without fruit; weeping also shall be in vain, and prayer shall be to no purpose.” Therefore he counselleth all men to make provision for themselves while they may, because, “when they are once departed out of this life, there is no place for repentance, nor yet for satisfaction.” Let these and such other places be sufficient to take away the gross error of purgatory out of our heads; neither let us dream any more that the souls of the dead are anything at all holpen by our prayers: but, as the Scripture teacheth us, let us think that the soul of man, passing out of the body, goeth straightways either to heaven or else to hell, whereof the one needeth no prayer, and the other is without redemption. (p. 335-37)

Monday, June 2, 2014

The Doctrines of Grace and the Anglican Church

The doctrines of grace, colloquially known as Calvinism, or the biblical teaching on the nature of man and God's election of individuals to salvation through Christ, is usually a contentious topic of discussion. This is really no surprise. Truth rings like a cymbal in the mind of a fallen sinner. Nonetheless, the nature of these truths must be discussed in order to both understand more fully the teaching of Scripture and for Anglicans, to understand more fully the teaching of our own Church.

Briefly, Reformed theology is often summarized with the acronym, TULIP, which is not always the best acronym but it is the more commonly used one. It more commonly stands for the following (with common exceptions in parentheses):

Total depravity (Total Inability)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (Particular Redemption)
Irresistible Grace (Effectual Calling)
Perseverance of the Saints

It must be remembered that TULIP is a modern invention. Additionally, the so-called "five points of Calvinism" were not meant to be the summary of Calvinistic theology. However, in response to the five points of the Remonstrants, the Ecumenical Council of Dort drew up a response to these five points. The judgement of the Synod of Dort can be read here.

The Church of England's teaching on these matters comes in two of her articles. In must be remembered that the Articles of Religion predate the Synod of Dort in 1619. In this sense, her articles are not as precise as the later judgements of the Council would be. However, it must be remembered that the Church of England participated in the Synod and proclaimed that the teaching of Dort was consistent with her own teaching on election.

The first point, total depravity, or as it is more appropriately called, total inability, is taught in two of the Articles of Religion. Briefly, this statement does not mean that each man is as evil as he can be but that his state is such after the Fall of Adam that he has no desire or ability in his natural state to turn to God for salvation. In this sense, his salvation is dependent upon God acting on his behalf.
IX. Of Original or Birth-sin
Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam, (as the Pelagians do vainly talk;) but it is the fault and corruption of the Nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam; whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth God's wrath and damnation. And this infection of nature doth remain, yea in them that are regenerated; whereby the lust of the flesh, called in Greek φρόνημα σαρκὸς, which some do expound the wisdom, some sensuality, some the affection, some the desire, of the flesh, is not subject to the Law of God. And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptizedm yet the Apostle doth confess, that concupiscence and lust hath of itself the nature of sin.

X. Of Free-Will
The condition of Man after the fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself, by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: Wherefore we have no power to do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will.
Article 9 touches on the nature of original sin, which is passed on through each generation. Article 10 touches on the nature of our wills as inherently not free. The second article here presents the teaching of total inability. A note, the word prevent here does not have the modern connotation of stopping something from happening but rather means something like "coming before". With this in mind, we see that our Church clearly teaches that men are not able to turn to God in their natural state but must be regenerated by the grace of God in order to be able to turn to him in faith. This resonates with what the Synod taught, "Therefore, all men are conceived in sin, and born the children of wrath, indisposed (inepti) to all saving good, propense to evil, dead in sins, and the slaves of sin; and, without the grace of the regenerating Holy Spirit, they neither are willing nor able to return to God, to correct their depraved nature, or to dispose themselves to the correction of it." The Synod goes on to teach, "But, when God performs his good pleasure in his elect, or works in them true conversion, he not only provides that the Gospel should be outwardly preached to them, and that their mind should be powerfully illuminated by the Holy Spirit, that they may rightly understand, and judge what are the things of the Spirit of God; but he also by the efficacy of the same regenerating Spirit, penetrates into the innermost recesses of man, opens his closed heart, softens his obdurate heart, circumcises his uncircumcised heart, infuses new qualities into his will, makes that which had been dead alive, that which was evil good, that which had been unwilling willing, and from being refractory, obedient; and leads and strengthens it, that, as a good tree, it may be able to bring forth the fruit of good works." 

The bulk of our Church's teaching on the matter is found in Article 17, which is also the longest of the Articles:
XVII. Of Predestination and Election
Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace obey the calling: they be justified freely: they be made sons of God by adoption: they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ: they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy they attain to everlasting felicity.

As the godly consideration of Predestination, and our Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh, and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things, as well because it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to be enjoyed through Christ, as because it doth fervently kindle their love towards God: so for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of Christ, to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's Predestination, is a most dangerous downfall, whereby the Devil doth thrust them either into desperation, or into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.

Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth in holy Scripture: and, in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the Word of God. 
In this article, we find the Church's teaching on predestination to life, or election, on effectual calling, and on the perseverance of the saints.

Many wonder about so-called "double predestination" or the idea that God predestinates both the elect and the reprobate. Whilst there is a good amount of theological discussion about this point, our Articles do not expound upon that point in any great detail (yet, our Church was in agreement with Dort…). However, as to predestination to life, our Church has a great deal to say.

The first sentence of the Article lays out clearly the doctrine of election. In similar language, the Canons of Dort state:
Election is the immutable purpose of God, by which, before the foundations of the world were laid, he chose, out of the whole human race, fallen by their own fault from their primeval integrity into sin and destruction, according to the most free good pleasure of his own will, and of mere grace, a certain number of men, neither better nor worthier than others, but lying in the same misery with the rest, to salvation in Christ; whom he had, even from eternity, constituted Mediator and Head of all the elect, and the foundation of salvation; and therefore he decreed to give them unto him to be saved; and effectually to call and draw them into communion with him, by his own word and Spirit; or he decreed himself to give unto them true faith, to justify, to sanctify, and at length powerfully to glorify them, having been kept in the communion of his Son; to the demonstration of his mercy, and the praise of the riches of his glorious grace.
The first paragraph of this Article reflects the "golden chain" as it is often called of salvation, as found in Paul's Letter to the Romans:
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Rom. 8:29-30)
This Article relates God's predestination before the foundation of the world, whereby he chose out of mankind a certain number to be saved. This is beyond our comprehension, yet, we confess it to be true because it is taught in Holy Scripture.

The Article also affirms effectual calling and the perseverance of the saints, although in less precise language. First, consider this statement, "Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season: they through grace obey the calling" in this portion of the Article, we are taught that those who are chosen in Christ are brought to be justified by him through the power of the Spirit. This is the essence of this teaching, that all who are elected by Christ will be brought to salvation in him.

The latter part of the first paragraph of the Article affirms the doctrine of assurance, or perseverance of the saints, whereby those who are elected by God will be called, justified, sanctified, and eventually glorified. This means that true believers will not fall away from God's grace because they are protected by his Holy Spirit to remain in him.

Another testimony can be had in regards to Calvinism in the Anglican Church, which is beyond what the Church itself teaches (which, honestly, should be enough to convince anyone, but Anglicans are known for disregarding their Church's teaching in open rebellion) and that is the testimony of countless Anglicans themselves, who in obedience upheld their Church's teaching, rather than apostatizing.

To begin, one only need to look at the Reformers themselves. Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, from the earliest days upheld the biblical doctrines of grace and wrote them into our Church's Formularies. Later, Jewell, Hooker, Ussher, Davenant, Whitgift, Grindal, among others were the Elizabethan and Jacobean bishops who upheld the faith in the second and third generations of the English Reformation. It was during this time that the "Calvinist Consensus" of the Anglican Church existed, when everyone was essentially in agreement with what our Church actually teaches. There were others, of course, during this period, granted, as the name implies, nearly every Anglican clergyman was a Calvinist during this time.

The English Civil War and Restoration was not particularly a strong time in the religious life of England. A form of moralism took over the Established Church and was only overcome by the work of  the religious societies and the Evangelical Revival. Men such as William Grimshaw, Henry Venn, William Romaine, John Newton, Thomas Haweis, George Whitefield, among many others, upheld the Church's doctrine in the 18th century against this spirit of moralism and rationalism. This generation would set the stage for the 19th century movement with all of its spiritual giants, such as Charles Simeon, JC Ryle, and countless others.

Let us not forget the New World. The Evangelical Movement took off in the Episcopal Church with a number of early bishops espousing the Reformed doctrine of the Church of England. Men such as Gregory Thurston Bedell, Manton Eastburn, Alexander Viets Griswold, Charles Pettit McIlvaine, William Meade, Benjamin Moore, Richard Channing Moore, Leonidas Polk, Benjamin Bosworth Smith, and others upheld a Scriptural witness in the Protestant Episcopal Church, together with priests such as James Milnor, the Tyngs, and other priests, not to mention prominent laymen, such as John Jay and Francis Scott Key.

This is not a comprehensive list, far from it, but only a brief mention of some of the names of those men and women who upheld the Church of England's teaching in their own time. May a new generation of men and women rise up to do the same today.