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said.” (John ii. 22.) When Christ was ascended up into heaven, and the Holy Ghost came down, when the words which Christ had taught the apostles were preached by them, and many thousand souls converted to the faith, they believed the writings of the prophets and the words of the apostles; and in these two was comprised the complete object of their faith. When the apostles themselves departed out of this life, and confirmed the truth of the Gospel preached by the last of sufferings, their death, they left the sum of what they had received in writing, for the continuation of the faith in the churches which they had planted, and the propagation thereof in other places, by those that succeeded them in their ordinary functions, but were not to come near them in their extraordinary gifts. “ These things were written (saith St. John, the longest liver, and the latest writer), that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John xx. 31.)
Those Christians then which have lived since the apostles' death, and never obtained the wish of St. Augustin, to see either Christ upon earth, or St. Paul in the pulpit
, have believed the writings of Moses and the prophets, of the apostles and evangelists, in which together is fully comprehended whatsoever may properly be termed matter of divine faith ; and so “ the household of God is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,”* (Eph. ij. 20.) who are continued unto us only in their writings, and by them alone convey unto us the truths which they received from God, upon whose testimony we believe. And therefore he which put their writings into the definition of faith, considering faith as it now stands with us, is none of the smallest of the Schoolmen.t From whence we may at last conclude, that the true nature of the faith of a Christian, as the state of Christ's Church now stands, and shall continue to the end of the world, consists in this, that it is an assent unto truths credible upon the testimony of God delivered unto us in the writings of the apostles and prophets.
To believe therefore as the word stands in the front of the Creed, and not only so, but is diffused through every article and proposition of it, is to assent to the whole and every part of it, as to a certain and infallible truth revealed by God (who by reason of his infinite knowledge cannot be deceived, and by reason of his transcendent holiness cannot deceive), and delivered unto us in the writings of the blessed apostles and prophets, immediately inspired, moved, and acted by God, out of whose writings this brief sum of necessary points of faith
Prophetæ et Apostoli, super quos omnium Ecclesiarum fundamenta locantur.' S. Hieron. in Psal. xvii. •Super Prophetas ædificatur orbis terrarum, credens in Domino.' Ruffin, ibid.
+ Fides est babitus, quo assentimus dictis Scripturæ propter auctoritatem Dei revelantis. Durand. 1, iii. Dist. 24. q. 1. $. 9.
was first collected.* And as this is properly to believe, which was our first consideration; so to say I believe, is to make a confession or external expression of the faith, which is the second consideration propounded.
Faith is a habit of the intellectual part of man, and therefore of itself invisible; and to believe is a spiritual act, and consequently immanent and internal, and known to no man but him who believeth : "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him ?” (1 Cor. ii. 11.) Wherefore Christ being not only the great Apostle, sent to deliver these revealed truths, and so the author of our faith, but also the head of the Church, whose body consisteth of faithful members, and so the author of union and communion, which principally hath relation to the unity of faith, he must needs be imagined to have appointed some external expression and communication of it: especially considering that the sound of the apostles was to go forth unto the ends of the world, and all nations to be called to the profession of the Gospel, and gathered into the Church of Christ; which cannot be performed without an acknowledgment of the truth, and a profession of faith, without which no entrance into the Church, no admittance to baptism. “What doth hinder me to be baptized ? (saith the ennuch.) And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts viii. 36, 37.) So believing with all his heart, as Philip required, and making profession of that faith he was admitted. “ For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. x. 10.)+ The belief of the heart is the internal habit residing in the soul, an act of faith proceeding from it, but terminated in the same. The confession of the mouth is an external signification of the inward habit or act of faith, by words expressing an acknowledgment of those truths which we believe or assent to in our souls. I The ear receiveth the word, “ faith cometh by hearing ;” (Rom. x. 17.) the ear conveyeth it to the heart, which being opened receivethit, receiving believeth it; and then “ out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matt. xii. 34.) In the heart faith is seated; with the tongue confession is made; between these two salvation is completed. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Ούχ, ας έδοξεν ανθρώπους, συνετέθη τα της corde fit confessio ad justitiam ; habes πίστεως, αλλ' εκ πάσης γραφής τα καιριώτατα unde debeas confiteri, ore confessio fit ad συλλεχθέντα μίαν αναπληροί τήν της πίστεως salutem.' Chrysol. Serm. 56. didaszahízy. S. Cyril. Catech. 5. fin. • Ec # *Sermo creat auditum, auditus conclesiarum Patres, de populorum salute cipit fidem, credulitatem parturit fides, soliciti, ex diversis voluminibus Scriptu. confessionem credulitas nutrit, confessio rarum collegerunt testimonia divinis gra perpetuam dat salutem.' Chrysol. Serm. 60. vida Sacramentis.' Euseb. Gall. in Sym. ♡ Magnum, filioli, per noc fidei nostræ Hom. i. in Biblioth. Patr. Lat. t. v. par. videmus esse compendium, quando inter i. p. 552.
cor et linguam totum salutis humanæ verHabes, homo, unde credere debeas, satur et geritur Sacramentum.' Chrysol.
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. x. 9.) This faith of the heart every one ought, and is presumed to have; this confession of the mouth every one is known to make, when he pronounceth these words of the CREED, I believe; and if true, he may with comfort say," the word of faith is nigh me, even in my mouth and in my heart:” (Rom. x. 8.)* first in my heart really assenting, then in my mouth clearly and sincerely professing with the prophet David, “I have believed, therefore have I spoken.” (Psalm.cxvi. 10.) Thus briefly from the second consideration concerning confession implied in the first words I believe, we shall pass unto the third consideration, of the necessity and particular obligation to such a confession.
If there were no other argument, yet being the object of faith is supposed infallibly true, and acknowledged to be so by every one that believeth, being it is the nature of truth not to hide itself, but rather to desire the light that it might appear; this were sufficient to move us to a confession of our faith. But besides the nature of the thing, we shall find many arguments obliging, pressing, urging us to such a profession. For, first, from the same God, and by the same means by which we have received the object of our faith, by which we came under a possibility of faith, we have also received an express command to make a confession of the same: "Be ready (saith St. Peter), always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you;” (1 Pet. iii. 15.) and there can be no reason of hope but what is grounded on faith, nor can there be an answer given unto that without an acknowledgment of this. Secondly, it is true indeed that the great promises of the Gospel are made unto faith, and glorious things are spoken of it; but the same promises are made to the confession of faith, (Rom. x. 10.) together with it; and we know who it is bath said, " Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. x. 32.) Besides the profession of the faith of one Christian confirmeth and editieth another in his, and the mutual benefit of all layeth an obligation upon every particular. Again, the matters of faith contain so much purity of doctrine, persuade such holiness of life, describe God so intinitely glorious, so transcendently gracious, so loring in himself, so merciful in his Son, so wonderful in all his works, that the sole confession of it glorifieth God; and how can we expect to enter into that glory which is none of ours, if we deny God that glory which is his? Lastly, the concealing those truths which he hath rerealed, the not acknowledging that faith which we are thought to believe, is so
3. Qanda te et pro te reposcitur, · De hox sine dubio legimus per Prointra f. á A onis tanaars et conus pertam. Propre est (inquit) in ore tuo, et
as Festas en soma. Hea, ii in curte tao' El Ganda sud.
far from giving God that glory which is due unto him, that it dishonoureth the faith which it refuseth or neglecteth to profess, and casteth a kind of contumely upon the author of it, as if God had revealed that which man should be ashamed to acknowledge. Wherefore he that came to save us hath also said unto us, “ Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.' (Luke ix. 26.) Such a necessity there is of confession of faith, in respect of God, who commanded it, and is glorified in it; in respect of ourselves, who shall be rewarded for it; and in respect of our brethren, who are edified and confirmed by it. Which necessity the wisdom of the Church in former ages has thought a sufficient ground to command the recitation of the Creed at the first initiation into the Church by baptism* (for which pur
Ο τον κανόνα της αληθείας ακλινή εν εαυτώ Symbolum reddere.' Ruffin. in Symb. 5. 3. κατέχνη, η δια του βαπτίσματος είληφε. Solenne est in lavacro, post Trinitatis Iren. 1. i. c. 1. Cum sub tribus et tes. confessionem interrogare, Credis in Sanctatio fidei et sponsio salutis pignerentur, tam Ecclesiam ? Credis remissionem peccatonecessario adjicitur Ecclesiæ mentio, quo rum?' S. Hieron. contra Lucifer. col. 618. nian ubi tres, id est, Pater, Filius, et ed. M. Victor. 1609. Mens Hæretica Spiritus Sanctus, ibi Ecclesia, quæ trium reliquit Doctorem a quo fidem Ecclesiæ corpus est' Tertull. de Baptis. c. 6. • In didicerat, oblita est pacti Dei sui, hoc est, quem tingueret? in pænitentiam ? quo fidei ipsius Dominicæ quæ in Symbolo conergo illi præcursorem ? in peccatoruin tinetur, quam se die baptismatis servaturemissionem, quam verbo dabat ? in seme ram esse promiserat. Id. Com. in Prov. tipsum, quem humilitate celabat ? in Spi c. ii. v. 17. Interrogatus es,Credis in Deum ritum Sanctum, qui nondum a Patre de Patrem omnipotentem ? dixisti Creilo; et scenderat ? in Ecclesiam, quam nondum mersisti hoc est, sepultus es. Iterum in. Apostoli struxerant ?' Ibid. c. 11. Debinc terrogatus es, Credis in Dominum nostrum ter mergimur, amplius aliquid responden Jesum Christum, et in crucem ejus? dixisti, tes quam Dominus in Evangelio deter Credo,et mersisti, ideo et Christo es conseminavit.' Id. de Cor. Militis, c. 3. Sed pultus. Tertio interrogatus, Credis in Spiet ipsa interrogatio, quæ fit in Baptismo, ritum Sanctum dixisti, Credo; tertio mer. testis est veritatis, nam cum dicimus, sisti : ut multiplicem lapsum superioris Credis in vitam æternam, et remissionem pec ætatis absolveret trina confessio.' Ambros. catorum per sanctam Ecclesiam ? intelligi de Sacram. I. ii. c. 7. Leo speaks thus of mus remissionem peccatorum non nisi in Eutyches in his Epistle to Flavianus : Ecclesia dari.' S. Cyprianus, ep. ad Janua .Quam enim eruditionem de sacris Novi rium, &c. §. 2. Quod si aliquis illud et Veteris Testamenti paginis acquisivit, opponit, ut dicat, eandem Novatianum qui ne ipsius quidem Symboli initia comLegem tenere quam Catholica Ecclesia prehendit? et quod per totum mundum teneat, eodem Symbolo quo et nos bap omnium regenerandorum voce depromitur, tizare, eundem nosse Deum Patrem, eun istius adhuc senis corde non capitur.' Ep. dem Filium Christum, eundem Spiritum
X. c. 1. And in the 12. Book de Trinitute, Sanctum, ac propterea usurpare eum po p. 304. ed. Chifflet. 1664. (formerly attestatem baptizandi posse, quod videatur tributed to Athanasius, but more probably in interrogatione Baptismi a nobis non now thought to belong to l'igilius Tapdiscrepare : sciat quisquis hoc opponen sensis) : * Nec non et illa magna et beata dum putat, non esse unam nobis et schis. Confessio Fidei, imo ipsa Fides Sanctorum, maticis Symboli Legem, neque eandem et Testamentum quod disposuimus ad interrogationem. Nam cum dicunt, Credis Patrem, Filium, et Spiritum Sanctum, ad remissionem peccatorum, et vitam æternam sacrum lavacrum regenerationis venienper Sanctam Ecclesiam? mentiuntur in in tes, Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, terrogatione, quando non habeant Eccle et in Jesum Christum Filium ejus unigenisiam. Idem Epist. ad Magnum, Ø. 6. tum, et in Spiritum Sanctum.' Kaos Tra*Mos ibi (id est, Romæ) servatur antiquus, ρελάβομεν παρά των προ ημών επισκόπων έν eos, qui gratiam Baptismi suscepturi sunt, τε τη πρώτη κατηχήσει, και ότε το λουτρόν publice, i. e. fidelium populo audiente, erau Beivousv. Euseb. of the Confession of
pose it was taught and expounded to those which were to be baptized immediately* before the great solemnity of Easter), and to require a particulart repetition of it publicly, as often as the sacrament of the Eucharist was administered, and a constant and perpetual inculcation of the same by the clergy to the people. I
And as this necessity is great, as the practice useful and advantageous; so is the obligation of believing and confessing particular, binding every single Christian, observable in the number and person expressed, I beliere. As if Christ did Faith which he exhibited to the council Creel or Symbolum Fidei, and was so of Nice, Socr. 1. i. c. 8. Theodor. l. i. c. translated anciently, as appeareth by the 12. • Abrenuncio, inquis, Diabolo, pompis, Canon preserved in the Canon-law, and spectaculis,et operibus ejus,et quid postea? rendered thus : Baptizandos oportet Credo, inquis, in Deum Patrem omnipoten Fidei Symbolum discere, et quinta feria tem. Salvianus de Gubern. Dei, lib. vi. ultimæ septimanæ vel Episcopo vel Presp. 208. ed. Altorf. 1611. al. p. 182. And byteris reddere.' De Consec. dist. 4. cap. when this Creed was enlarged by the 58. ‘Symbolum etiam placuit ab omnibus council of Nice, and after that by others, Ecclesiis una die, i. e. ante octo dies Epiphanius commends it to the Catechu. Dominicæ resurrectionis, publice in Ecmeni, to be repeated at their baptism: clesia competentibus prædicari.' Concil. ούτως εκάστω των κατηχουμένων των μελλόντων Agath. cap. 13. • Sicut antiqui Canones των αγίω λουτρού προσιέναι, ου μόνον επαγγέλλειν jubent, ante viginti dies Baptismi ad purοφείλετε το πιστεύειν τους εαυτών υιοίς εν κυρία, , gationem exorcismi Catechumeni currant, αλλά και διδάσκειν ρητώς, ας πάντων και αυτή in quibus viginti diebus omnino Cateckuμήτηρ υμών τε και ημών το λέγειν, Πισ. meni Symbolum, quod est, Credo in Deu! TEÚợp ev siç sve Otòr, &c. Epiphan. in Anco. Putrem omnipotentem, specialiter doce. Tato, g. 119.
And when he had yet far antur.' Concil. Bracar. 2. cap. 1. The ther enlarged it by reason of some new Canon of the Laodicean Council, already emergent heresies, he commends it: nás mentioned, is verbatim rehearsed in the λιστα τούς των αγίων λουτρώ πρoσιoύσιν,ίνα απαγ sixth council in Trulia, Can. 78. It apγέλλωσι και λέγωσιν ούτως. Ιbid. The first peareth therefore a general command of council of Constantinople confirms the the church, that those wbo were to be Nicene confession,as: πρεσβυτάτην τε ούσαν baptized, should have a certain time alκαι ακόλουθον τα βαπτίσματι. Τheolor. lib. lotteil for the learning and rehearsing of v. cap. 9. And the council of Chalcedon the Creed. And in case of necessity, if of the same : ήν, ως κοινόν εξ αγίων σύνθημα, any were baptized, they were to learn the τους μυουμένους προς την της υιοθησίας πα Creed immediately after their Baptism : ρεγγυώμεν ασφάλειαν. Parte tertia.
The Ti dei (not as it is in the edition of Binius, Synod at Jerusalem : το άγιον σύμβολον εις both in this canon and in the former most ο έβα στίσθημεν και βαπτίζομεν. The Synod absurdly, “Οτι ου δεί) τους εν νόσω παραλαμat Tyre : εν αυτώ βαπτισθέντες και βαπτί. βάνοντας το φωτισμα, και είτα αναστάντας ζοντες. . And the council of Constantino. εκμανθάνειν την πίστιν, και γινώσκειν ότι θείας ple under Menna, to which the former dogeãç xa thgrboncar. Conc. Laoil. Can. 47. sent their synodical letters : Tòäylov oupe † As appears in the ancient Greek βολον έν και πάντες εβαπτίσθημεν. . Concil. Liturgies, and the Decree of the third Constantinop. sub Agup. et Menna, Act. 5. council of Toledo: •Ut omni sacrificii Basiliscus and Marcus in two several tempore ante communionem corporis edicts, confirmed the same Nicene Creed Christi et sanguinis, juxta Orientalium with these words : είς δ ημείς τε και πάντες partium morem, unanimiter clara voce saοι προ ημών πιστεύσαντες εβαπτίσθημεν. . cratissimum fidei recenseant Symbolum.' Evagr. I. iii. cap. 4. et 7. And the edict t. ii. par. 2. p. 278. Concil. Gen. ed. Bin. of the emperor Justinian : “Anathemati Which custom as they call it of the Orienzaverunt eos, qui aliam definitionem fidei, tal parts, is said first to be introduced by sive Symbolum, sive Mathema, tradunt Petrus Mongus at Alexandria, and after by accedentibus ad sanctum baptisma.' Timotbeus at Constantinople, as appears
“Οτι δεί τους φωτιζομένους την πίστιν έκ out of the fragments of Theodorus Lector. μανθάνειν, και τη πέμπτη της εβδομάδος απαγ † Symbolum, quod est signaculum γέλλειν τω επισκόπω και τους πρεσβυτέροις. fidei, et Orationem Dominicam discere, Concil. Laodic. Can. 46. Where it is to semper admoneant sacerdotes populum be observed that notis is taken for the Christianum.' Concil. Mogunt. cap. 15.