The Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England
2 Timothy 1:13
Hold fast the form of sound words, which you have heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

The words which I have chosen for the text intimate to us the great importance of the words by which our religious ideas are expressed. The Scriptures, indeed, as indited by the Spirit of God, contain words, of all others, the soundest and the best, by which to express such truths as are necessary for mankind to believe or know. The great God being the author, He has, without doubt, expressed everything there, in a manner of all others the most fit and proper. Nothing else would be consistent with infinite wisdom and goodness, and whatever words we employ, are either true or false, sound or corrupt, as they agree or disagree with the words of the Scriptures. But still there never has been any error, or heresy, or schism in the Church, but its authors have pretended to ground it on the Scriptures. In this all heretics, Greek and Latin, old and new, agree. They all plead Scripture for what they say, and each one pretends that his opinion, be it never so absurd and ridiculous, is in accordance with the words there used. This at first may seem strange, but on further reflection it is not to be so much wondered at; it arises partly from the Scriptures being written in different languages to those with which most men are familiar; so that, if in the translation (admirable as that translation on the whole is) there be any word that seems to favour an erroneous opinion to which men may be inclined, it is too readily concluded that the Scriptures favour it. This arises partly again from the circumstance, that though others are acquainted with the original languages in which the Scriptures are written, they yet are not so fully acquainted with them as to clearly understand the full meaning of every expression. Then again, the rites and customs of countries far distant, and ages far remote, were so different to our own, that they occasion difficulties and obscurities. A large part of the Bible is also written in the highest poetical language, and abounds with metaphors and figures. All classes of individuals have therefore been agreed on the desirableness of some form of sound words, based on the Scriptures. Every one of the foreign churches, I believe, possesses such a form of its own; and those who in our own country left our own Church, also had such a form drawn up for themselves by the assembly of divines at Westminster, and still employ it as their catechism. There is, therefore, no difference of opinion as to the propriety of this — the necessities of the Church have established the approval of it. There are three especial excellencies in the articles, which deserve to be noticed, and which, perhaps, render them pre-eminent among all formularies of faith which have yet been drawn up. They are most eminently evangelical, moderate, and protestant. Evangelical in doctrine, moderate in discipline, and protestant in ceremonials.

(J. Garwood, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

WEB: Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

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