Thomas Cranmer: Justification Sola Gratia, Sola Fide is catholic
"you have also heard the ancient authors’ opinion of this saying, “Faith in Christ alone justifies a person”, so plainly declared. So you see that the very true meaning of this proposition or saying, “We are justified only by faith in Christ” (according to the meaning of the old ancient authors) is this: We put our faith in Christ, that we are justified by him alone, that we are justified by God’s free mercy, and the merits of our Saviour Christ alone. By no virtue or good works of our own that are in us, or that we are able to have or to do, can we deserve the same. Christ himself is the only meritorious cause of our justification." ~Thomas Cranmer, A Sermon of the Salvation of Mankind*
"According to the Thirty-nine Articles, the Homily of Salvation or Homily of Justification outlines “a most wholesome doctrine”, that “we are justified by Faith only”. The justice and mercy of God are the only answer to the human predicament created by our original and actual sin. Only Christ can save us, says Cranmer, and he has: “by shedding his most precious blood, he made a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as we might say) he made amends to his Father for our sins, to satisfy the wrath and indignation he had against us for them.” Those who turn to God are “washed by this sacrifice from their sins, in such a way that there remains no spot of sin that shall be imputed to their damnation.” All this is not through our own good works or because we earn or deserve it, but only by grace and only through faith.
This Homily goes out of its way to demonstrate how its teaching of “justification by faith alone” is not a new invention. . .
This Homily goes out of its way to demonstrate how its teaching of “justification by faith alone” is not a new invention, but the loud and clear testimony of the early and medieval church. There are more footnotes in this Homily than any other, because Cranmer quotes here from so many other scholars and sources to convince us of the catholicity or universality of this often misunderstood doctrine."
*Quoted from Lee Gatiss, The First Book of Homilies: The Church of England's Official Sermons in Modern English, 65.
More in Paramount Blog
August 29, 2022"The Myth of the Via Media, and other Canterbury Tales," by Mark Earngey
August 25, 2022Martin Luther and how Evangelicalism Departed from its Reformation Roots
August 20, 2022Martin Luther's Primary Concern in Liturgical Reformation