The Etcaetera Oath
(in the Canons of 1640)

Gee, Henry, and William John Hardy, ed.,
Documents Illustrative of English Church History
(New York: Macmillan, 1896), 536.

Hanover Historical Texts Project
Scanned and proofread by Heather Haralson, May 1998.
Posted by Raluca Preotu, July 1999.
Proofread and pages added by Jonathan Perry, March 2001.

Editors' Introduction:
THIS oath is inserted in Canon 6 of the foregoing [1]. It was to be taken by every clergyman, every Master of Arts not the son of a nobleman, all who had taken a degree in divinity, law, or physic, all registrars, actuaries, proctors and schoolmasters, all persons incorporated from foreign universities, all candidates for ordination. Its ambiguity, owing to the vague term '&c.' as well as the asserted illegality of the Convocation, caused it to be dropped by the king's order in August of the same year.
[Wilkins, iv. 549.]

I, A. B., do swear that I do approve the doctrine, and discipline, or government established in the Church of England as containing all things necessary to salvation: and that I will not endeavour by myself or any other, directly or indirectly, to bring in any popish doctrine contrary to that which is so established; nor will I ever give my consent to alter the government of this Church by arcbbishops, bishops, deans, and archdeacons, &c., as it stands now established, and as by right it ought to stand, nor yet ever to subject it to the usurpations and superstitions of the see of Rome. And all these things I do plainly and sincerely acknowledge and swear, according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, or mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And this I do heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the faith of a Christian. So help me God in Jesus Christ.

Links to English Reformation Pages


1. The Canons of 1640.

[Page 535] THESE Canons occupy ten folio pages in Wilkins (iv. 543-553).

A Latin summary of the Acts of Convocation for the year 1640 will be found in Cardwell's Synodalia, ii. 593. The titles of the various Canons for that year are as follows: 1. Concerning the regal power. 2. For the better keeping of the day of his majesty's most happy inauguration. 3. For the suppressing the growth of popery. 4. Against Socinianism. 5. Against sectaries. 6. An oath enjoined for the preventing of all innovations in doctrine and government (see No. XCVI). 7. A declaration concerning some rites and ceremonies. 8. Of preaching for conformity. 9. One book of articles of inquiry to be used at all parochial visitations. 10. Concerning the conversation of the clergy. 11. Chancellors' patents. 12. Chancellors alone not to censure any of the clergy in sundry cases. 13. Excommunication and absolution not to be pronounced but by a priest. 14. Concerning commutations and the disposing of them. 15. Touching concurrent jurisdiction. 16. Concerning licences to marry. 17. Against vexatious citations.

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