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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 11 Feb 2016

Lee Gatiss considers Homily 1 on Holy Scripture and its condemnation of mere tradition.

The first of the Church of England’s “official sermons” in the Book of Homilies, is called “A Fruitful Exhortation to the Reading and Knowledge of Holy Scripture.” It extols the virtues of knowing the Bible, and all the positive spiritual effects of reading and obeying it. The alternative is “to run to the stinking puddles of men’s traditions”—which doesn’t sound very thirst-quenching to me!

Here’s some of what it says:

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Posted by Lee Gatiss, 10 Feb 2016

Lee Gatiss looks at King Edward VI's preface to the Church of England's "Book of Homilies".

Over Lent we will be looking each day on the CS blog at an extract from the Church of England’s official sermons, the Book of Homilies.

We begin today with King Edward VI’s preface to the First Book of Homilies, explaining the purpose for which they have been published. They are, he says, set forth after advice from his Council, because he and his beloved subjects wish to be free of false, superstitious doctrine and to feed on the pure word of God, which teaches us to live godly, obedient, and peaceful lives. Using these Homilies, ministers can build up and comfort their congregations, that they may know and serve God, and so they are to be read out every week along with the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments.

Here’s some of what he says:

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Posted by The Revd George Whitefield, 9 Feb 2016

George Whitefield reflects on the importance of the Church of England’s official Book of Homilies

The word homily signifies a sermon. Consequently “the Book of Homilies”, implies a book of sermons. Particularly that book which was composed by those great reformers, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, Hooper, and others, in the beginning of the reign of that Josiah of his age, Edward VI. Even to this very day, the thirty-fifth Article of our church runs thus:

“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 VI; and therefore we judge them to be read in churches by the ministers, diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of by the people.”

Such are the express words of our 35th Article; and yet, though we subscribe this article, which enjoins these Homilies to be read in our churches by the ministers, diligently and distinctly, this is so far from being our practice, that almost for time immemorial, at least in our days, they are seldom if ever read at all.

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