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Chicago Lambeth Articles

In 1870 William Reed Huntington, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, proposed four principles upon which Christian churches might agree in order to bring about unity. In 1886 these principles were adopted by the American Episcopalian bishops meeting in Chicago. Known ever since as the Articles, or the Chicago Quadrilateral, they consist of these commitments: (1) adherence to the Holy Scriptures as the ultimate standard of faith; (2) adherence to the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed; (3) adherence to the two sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper; (4) adherence to a belief in the historic episcopate. The fourth article has created a difficulty for other Christian churches whose leaders fear that unity with the Episcopalians might force them to reordain their own clergy. Nonetheless, the influence of the Chicago Lambeth Articles in ecumenism is great. In 1888 the Lambeth Conference also adopted these articles in a revised form (the Lambeth Quadrilateral) as the basis for its own discussion of Christian unity with other churches.