the Reformation was less thorough in Ireland. Later on
there were some strong Puritan influence not least in the form
of Archbishop James Ussher.
Eleven Articles produced in 1561 in the reign of Elizabeth had
never been made legal in England but they do appear to have been
introduced in Ireland in 1566. As a consequence the Thirty-Nine
Articles did not become the standard in Ireland for 70 years.
in 1615 under Archbishop Ussher, the Convocation of the Irish
Church approved a series of 104 Articles drawn up by Ussher and
known as the Irish Articles.
between Irish Articles & 39 Articles
are commonly held to be three main areas of difference between
the Irish Articles and the Thirty Nine Articles.
although the Thirty Nine Articles teach very clearly the doctrine
of Predestination and perseverance, they are fairly careful in
doing so and in this follow the likes of John Calvin.
Articles are much more forthright in declaring this doctrine and
Ussher's articles are decidedly more anti-Roman Catholic.
For instance his articles affirm that the Pope is Antichrist.
the Thirty Nine Articles take a less polemical line.
Thirty Nine Articles do not hesitate to refute false teaching,
whether that be Roman Catholic or Anabaptist. They declare certain
doctrines and teachings to be in error, but they are not being
sectarian or personal, it is the defence of truth against error
that is in view.
one place where it might be said that there anti-Romanism is in
the 38th Article which famously declares:
Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.
that is simply part of an article that declares where proper authority
does lie and repudiates the claims of a foreign power. As I said
earlier it is similar to the many Canons of the early Councils.
third difference is that in Ussher's articles there is no mention
of a three-fold ministry, nor of the need for episcopal ordination.
Here again this influence of the Presbyterians can be clearly
contrast the Thirty Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer
assert the practice of a threefold ministry as something we have
inherited, without trying to claim it is of the essence of the
Church or, in fact, Biblical.
articles lasted until 1634 when the Irish Convocation, under the
influence of Lord Wentwoth, later the Earl of Strafford, adopted
the Thirty Nine Articles instead.
himself continued to use both forms, but gradually the Irish Articles
gradually fell into disuse in Ireland.
they were a major source in the compilation of the later Westminster
Confession of Faith and therefore became much more part of the
life of worldwide Presbyterianism rather than Anglicanism.
the 1640s and 50s Ireland went through the same turmoils as England
and the 1662 Act of Uniformity had consequences for both. From
then on the Thirty Nine Articles had an assured place.
the 1865 formula of subscription was noted. Four years
later came the Irish Church Act of 1869 and in 1871 the disestablishment
of the Church.
is still required by Irish Clergy to the Thirty-Nine Articles
when they are ordained and instituted to a new living.