Lambeth Quadrilateral

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The four articles stating, from the Anglican point of view, the essentials for a reunited Christian Church: acceptance of Scripture, the Apostles' and Nicene Creed, the two Sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, and "the historic Episcopate." It was first proposed by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. in its General Convention held in Chicago in 1886, and adopted by the lambeth conference of 1888. There have been some variations in the wording of these points. The Lambeth Conference of 1888 declared that Scripture contained "all things necessary to salvation" and that the two Sacraments were ordained by Christ himself; the Chicago declaration of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S., in its general convention of 1886, had omitted these qualifications. The four points must be understood in connection with other Anglican statements, among which was the report of the Joint Commission on Approaches to Unity in the American Episcopalian General Convention of 1949. It contained declarations on the Eucharistic sacrifice and on the other Sacraments as "sacramental rites of mysteries." Some Anglican statements also interpret acceptance of the Nicene Creed as involving recognition of the first six ecumenical councils. The subject of episcopacy has been discussed at subsequent Lambeth Conferences and other church unity gatherings.

Bibliography: r. t. davidson, The Five Lambeth Conferences (New York 1920). r. m. brown and d. h. scott, eds., Challenge to Reunion (New York 1963). j. r. wright, ed. Essays on the centenary of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral 1886/88-1986/88: Quadrilateral at One Hundred (London 1988).

[b. leeming/eds.]