As a Licensed Reader within the Church of England, it is of some interest and importance to me to know whether the doctrine of penal substitution is an Anglican doctrine.
Well, the doctrine is not clearly espoused in the Prayer Book of 1662, to which all clergy must assent. The nearest it comes to it is this:
‘…who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.’
But in the Homilies (which are commended in the 39 Articles as containing ‘godly and wholesome doctrine’), penal substitution comes through loud and clear:
‘God sent his only son our Saviour Christ into this world … and by shedding of his most precious blood, to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or (as it may be called) amends to his Father for our sins, to assuage his wrath and indignation conceived against us …
‘… whereas all the world was not able of themselves to pay any part towards their ransom, it pleased our heavenly Father of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ’s body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied.
‘[God] hath given his own natural Son … to be incarnated, and to take our mortal nature upon him, with the infirmities of the same, and in the same nature to suffer most shameful and painful death for our offences, to the intent to justify us, and to restore us to life everlasting: so making us also his dear children …
‘And yet, I say, did Christ put himself between GOD’S deserved wrath, and our sin, and rent that obligation wherein we were in danger to GOD, and paid our debt (Colossians 2.14).
‘Let us know for a certainty, that if the most dearly beloved Son of GOD was thus punished and stricken for the sin which he had not done himself: how much more ought we sore to be stricken for our daily and manifold sins which we commit against GOD,
‘For if GOD (saith Saint Paul) hath not spared his own Son from pain and punishment, but delivered him for us all unto the death: how should he not give us all other things with him (Romans 8.32)?
‘… even then did Christ the Son of God, by the appointment of his Father, come down from heaven, to be wounded for our sakes, to be reputed with the wicked, to be condemned unto death, to take upon him the reward of our sins, and to give his Body to be broken on the Cross for our offences.
‘Was not this a manifest token of God’s great wrath and displeasure towards sin, that he could be pacified by no other means, but only by the sweet and precious blood of his dear Son?’