Home >> Encyclopedia Americana, Volume 26 >> Sunstroke to Switzerland >> Supererogation


unto and church

SUPEREROGATION, performance of more than duty requires, for example, if one commits theft of a dollar and makes reparation of the wrong by giving back two dollars; or if one not only forgives those who injure him, but confers unmerited benefits upon them. The Anglican Church, in the 14th of the 39 Articles of Religion, expressly condemns the notion of works of supererogation as impious: ((Volun tary works besides, over and above, God's Com mandments, which they call Works of Super erogation, cannot be taught without arrogancy and impiety; for by them men do declare that they not only render unto God as much as they are bound to do, but that they do more for his sake than of bounden duty is required; whereas Christ saith plainly, When ye have done all that are commanded to you, say, We are un profitable servants." Supererogation is not a term of theology in the Roman Catholic Church; but that Church teaches that good works done by the faithful in the state of grace are meritorious of eternal reward, and that merits of holy men redound, through the goodness of God, to the spiritual advantage of the whole Church. This doctrine differs not

from that taught in the 'Institution of a Chris tian Man,) published by authority of convoca tion in 1537: " I believe that whatsoever spiritual gift or treasure is given by God unto any one part or member of this mystical body of Christ, although the same be given particularly unto this member, and not unto another, yet the fruit and merit thereof shall, by reason of that incomprehensible union and bond of charity which is between them, redound necessarily unto the profit, edifying, and increase in Christ's Body of all other members particularly."