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question every one in particular, as he did him who was born blind, after he had restored him his sight (and we are all in his condition), “Dost thou believe on the Son of God ?" Every single Christian is taught to make the same answer which he made, “ Lord, I believe.” (John ix. 35, 38.) As if the Son of God did promise to every one of them which are gathered together in his name, what he promised to “one of the multitude, whose son had a dumb spirit, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth ;" each one for himself returneth his answer, “Lord, I believe; Lord, help my unbelief.” (Mark ix. 17, 23, 24.) Not that it is unlawful or unfit to use another number, and instead of I, to say We believe : for in taking in of others, we exclude not ourselves; and addition of charity can be no disparagement to confession of faith. St. Peter answered for the twelve, “ We believe, and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John vi. 69.) For though Christ immediately replied that “ one of them had a devil,” yet is not St. Peter blamed, who knew it not. But every one is taught to express his own faith, because by that he is to stand or fall. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James v. 16.) for the benefit of his brother, but his faith availeth nothing for the justification of another. And it is otherwise very fit that our faith should be manifested by a particular confession, because it is effectual by particular application; therefore must it needs be proper for me to say, I believe, and to make profession of my “faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal. ii. 20.)
Being then I have described the true nature and notion of belief, the duty of confessing our faith, and the obligation of every particular Christian to believe and to confess; being in these three explications all, which can be imaginably contained in the first word of the Creed, must necessarily be included ; it will now be easy for me to deliver, and for every particular person to understand what it is he says, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he begins his confession with these words, I believe, which I conceive may in this manner be fitly expressed.
Although those things which I am ready to affirm be not apparent to my sense, so that I cannot say I see them; although they be not evident to my understanding of themselves, nor appear unto me true by the virtue of any natural and necessary cause, so that I cannot say I have any proper knowledge or science of them: yet, being they are certainly contained in the Scriptures, the writings of the blessed apostles and prophets ; being those apostles and prophets were endued with miraculous power from above, and immediately inspired with the Holy Ghost, and consequently what they delivered was not the word of man, but God himself; being God is of
that universal knowledge and infinite wisdom, that it is impossible he should be deceived, of that indefectible holiness and transcendent rectitude, that it is not imaginable he should intend to deceive any man, and consequently whatsoever be hath delivered for a truth must be necessarily and infallibly true; I readily and steadfastly assent unto them as most certain truths, and am as fully and absolutely, and more concerningly persuaded of them, than of any thing I see or know. And because that God who hath revealed them hath done it, not for my benefit only, but for the advantage of others, nor, for that alone, but also for the manifestation of his own glory; being for those ends he hath commanded me to profess them, and hath promised an eternal reward upon my profession of them ; being every particular person is to expect the justification of himself, and the salvation of his soul, upon the condition of his own faith; as with a certain and full persuasion I assent unto them, so with a fixed and undaunted resolution I will profess them; and with this faith in my heart, and confession in my mouth, in respect of the whole body of the Creet), and every article and particle in it, I sincerely, readily, resolvedly say, I Believe.
I Believe in God. Having delivered the nature of faith, and the act of belief common to all the articles of the CREED, that we may understand what it is to believe; we shall proceed to the explication of the articles themselves, as the most necessary objects of our faith, that we may know what is chiefly to be believed. Where immediately we meet with another word as general as the former, and as universally concerned in every article, which is God; for if to believe be to assent upon the testimony of God, as we have before declared, then wheresoever belief is expressed, or implied, there is also the name of God understood, upon whose testimony we believe. He therefore whose authority is the ground and foundation of the whole, his existence begins the CREED, as the foundation of that authority. For if there can be no divine faith without the attestation of God, by which alone it becomes divine, and there can be no such attestation, except there were an existence of the testifier, then must it needs be proper to begin the confession of our faith with the agnition of our God. If his *name were thought fit to be expressed in the front of every action, even by the heathen, because they thought no action prospered but by his approbation; much more ought we to fix it before our confession, because without him to believe as we profess, is no less than a contradiction.
Now these words, I believe in God, will require a double consideration; one, of the phrase or manner of speech; an
Θεός, θεός: “Εθος ήν, όταν κατάρχoιντό τινος, θεός λέγειν, επευφημιζομένοις. Ηesych. Ler.
other, of the thing or nature of the truth in that manner expressed. For to believe with an addition of the preposition in, is a phrase or expression ordinarily conceived fit to be given to none but to God himself, as always implying, beside a bare act of faith, an addition of hope, love, and affiance. An observation, as I conceive, prevailing especially in the Latin church, grounded principally upon the authority of St. Augustin.* Whereas among the Greeks, in whose language the New Testament was penned, I perceive no such constant distinction in their deliveries of the Creed; and in the Hebrew languaget
For Ser. 181. which is upon the believe, appears not to be a part of belief, CREED, we find these words : Non di but an act superadded to the act of faith. cit, Credo Deum, vel Credo Deo, quam † For yox is sometimes joined with 5, vis et bæc saluti necessaria sint. Aliud sometimes with 2: when with 5, it enim est credere illi, aliud credere illum, answers properly to πιστεύειν τω Θεώ, aliad credere in illum. Credere illi, est credere Deo, (5 being nothing else but a credere vera esse quæ loquitur; Credere significator of the case); when with 3 it illum, credere quia ipse est Deus ; Cre corresponds to πιστεύειν εις τον Θεόν, credere dere in illum, diligere illum.' And in Deum, (a being a preposition of the though that collection of Sermons de tem same nature with sis or in). But yet there pore under the name of St. Augustin be is so little, or rather no difference in the not all his (divers of them being transla Hebrew, that in the first place wbere it is tions of the Greek Homilies), yet this used, and that of the Father of the Faith. distinction may be collected out of other ful, even for the act of justifying faith, parts of his works. For, first, he distin M10'a 72x77 Gen. xv. 6. it is translated by guisheth very clearly and seriously be tle LΧΧ. και επίστευσεν 'Αβραμ τω Θεώ, tween credere Deo, and creilere in Deum. not eis obov, and that translation warrant. Nunquam aliquis Apostolorum dicere au ed by St. Paul, Rom. iv. 3. Gal. iii. 6. deret, Qui credit in me. Credimus Apo and St. James ii. 23. In the same man. stolo, sed non credimus in Apostolum.' ner, 2 Kings xvii. 14. 171743 13*2877 X5 wwx Tract. 54. in Psalm. And again : •Credi 0777bx is translated by the LXX. (as that mas Paulo, sed non credimus in Paulum ; translation is preserved in the Alexancredimus Petro, sed non credimus in Pe drian and Complutensian copies), o our trum.' Tract. 29. in loan. Secondly, he επίστευσαν κυρίω Θεώ αυτών. . Besides, distinguisheth between credere Deuin, and the same phrase is used in the same credere in Deum. • Multum interest, place both to God and to man, as utrum quis credat ipsum esse Christum, Exod. xiv. 31. 172y voal 1772 173X" et utrum credat in Christum. Ille credit and they believed in God, and in his ser. in Christum, qui et sperat in Christum, et vant Moses; which the Chaldee paradiligit Christum.' De verbis Dom, Serm.
, 61. Aud, which is the sum of all, he puts ; a high value upon the preposition, as if, by virtue of the addition of in, the phrase
they did properly signify so great an accession the word of God, and in the prophecy of unto faich : Quid est credere in Deum? Moses his servant. And 2 Chron. xx. 20. Credendo amare, credendo diligere, cre
, dendo in eum ire, et ejus membris incor yogyin Believe in ihe Lord your God, so porari.' Tract. 29. in Ioan. Which doc shall ye be established ; believe in his protrine of St. Augustin's being taken notice phets, so shall ye prosper. For although the of by Peter Lombard, hath since been Vulgar Latin, which our translation folcontinued by the School-men; and Aqui. loweth, hath made that distinction which nas, Sum. ii. 22. q. 2. 5. 2. ad prim. bring. the Hebrew maketh not : “Credite in ing all three under one act of faith, bath Domino Deo vestro, et securi eritis ; cre. been contradicted by Durand. in 3. Sent. dite prophetis ejus, et cuncta evenient dis. 23. 9. 7. Ø. 6. Credere in Deum
prospera :' yet the Septuagint acknownon est precise actus fidei, sed fidei et ledgeth no vecessity of receding from the caritatis simul; et sunt etiam plures, et original phrase : εμπιστεύσατε εν κυρία τα non unus actus tantum. By whose subtile, Θεώ υμών, και εμπιστευθήσεσθε εμπιστεύbut yet clear, determination (as many of σατε εν προφήταις αυτού, και ευοδωθήσεσθε. his are beyond the rest of the Schools), Nor is it only attributed to Moses as whatsoever is added by the preposition to joined with God, and so taken as it were
והימיכו בשום ,phrase explaineth thus -Jona מימרא דיי ובנבואתיה דמשה גבריה ואימינו במימרא דיי than and Onkelos and_tle believed in ובנביאות משה עבדיה
האמינו ביהוה אלהיכם ותאמנו האמינו בנביאיו
of the Old, from which the Jewish and Christian Greeks received that phrase of believing in, it hath no such peculiar and accumulative signification. For it is sometimes attributed to God, the author and original cause ; sometimes to the prophets, the immediate revealers of the faith ; sometimes it is spoken of miracles, the motives to believe; sometimes of the Law of God, the material object of our faith. Among all which varieties of that phrase of speech, it is sufficiently apparent that in this confession of faith it is most proper to admit it in the last acceptation, by which it is attributed to the material object of belief. For the Creed being nothing else but a brief comprehension of the most necessary matters of faith, whatsoever is contained in it beside the first word I believe, by which we make confession of our faith, can be nothing else but part of those verities to be believed, and the act of belief in respect to then nothing but an assent unto them as divinely credible and infallible truths. Neither can we conceive that the ancient Greek Fathers of the Church could have any farther meaning in it, who make the whole body of the CREED to be of the same nature, as so many truths to be believed, acknowledged, and confessed ; insomuch as sometimes they use not believing in,* neither for the Father, Son, nor Holy Ghost; sometimes using it az to them, they continue the same to the following articles of, the Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints,t &c. and geinto the same phrase, but separately by tnx592 DPX7 XS LXX. xai oir isistiuhimself, as Exod. xix. 9. ir The Lord σαν εν τοις θαυμασίοις αυτού, αnd they besaid unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in lieved not in his wondrous works; somea thick cloud, that the people may bear times to the object of it, or that which is
I , ? believed, as Psalm cxix. 06. tmn2 osty's and believe in thee for ever.” And 720x7 I have believed in thy command. therefore when it was objected to St. ments, as Mark i. 15. TIJ TELETE & Ta Basil, that they did believe in Moses, as ευαγγελία. . well as that they were baptized into Πιστεύομεν ούν και ομολογούμεν ένα μόνον Moses, and generally : zistis duodó αληθινών και αγαθόν Θεόν, και ένα τον μονογενή γηται ήδη και εις τους ανθρώπους γεγενησθαι : αυτού υιον, και εν μόνον πνεύμα άγιον. S. Bathe Father doth not deny the language, sil. de Fide, c. 4. but interprets it : ή εις αυτόν πίστις επί τον + Arius and Euzoius in their confession xúglov ayn qizeth. De Sp. S. c. 14. Neither delivered to Constantine : Πιστεύομεν εις is this only spoken of Moses and the
pro ένα Θεόν πατέρα, και εις ένα κύριον Ιησούν, και phets, that the Israelites believed in them, είς το άγιον πνεύμα, και είς σαρκός ανάστασιν, but of David, not as a prophet, but as και εις ζωής του μέλλοντος αιώνος, και εις a bare relater of his own actions, 1 Sam. βασιλείαν ουρανών, και εις μίαν καθολικήν έκxxvii. 12. 7772 wdx 1280*7 xai ÉTIS TEÚün κλησίαν του Θεού, , Sacrat. Iist. Eccl. 1. i. Δαυίδ εν τω 'Αγχους, Ι.ΧΧ. . Et credidit c. 26. Swomen. I. ii. c. 27. Karingt; Tan Achis in David,' Vulg. * Est ergo fides φωτιζομένων σχεδιασθείσα εις το πνεύμα nostra primo quidem omnium in Domi άγιον, και εις μίαν αγίαν καθολικήν εκκλησίαν, num nostrum Jesum Christum, conse και είς σαρκός ανάστασιν, και εις ζωήν αιώνιον. quenter vero etiam in omnes sanctos Pa S. Cyril. Hierosol. Catech. 18. Els TÒ Tiveütriarchas, vel Prophetas, vel Apostolos μα το άγιον, εις μίαν αγίαν καθολικής και Christi.' Orig. in Apol. Pamphil. p. 489. Å TOT TONIXño éxxanoiav. S. Epiphan. in Anc. To conclude, this general phrase of be s. 120. And in a larger confession : 116lieving in, is originally attributed some στεύομεν εις μίαν καθολικήν και αποστολικήν times to the supreme author of our Faith, εκκλησίας, και εις εν βάπτισμα μετανοίας, και as to God; sometimes to the intervenient είς ανάστασιν νεκρών, και εις βασιλείαν ουρανών, messengers, as the Prophets ; sometimes και εις ζωήν αιώνιον. 5. 121. to the motives of our Faith, Psal.lxxvii.32.
וגם בך יאמיני ,when I speak with thee
nerally speak of the CreeD* as nothing but mere matter of faith, without any intimation of hope, love, or any such notion included in it. So that believing in, by virtue of the phrase or manner of speech, whether we look upon the original use of it in the Hebrew, or the derivative in the Greek, or the sense of it in the first Christians in the Latin Church, can be of no farther real importance in the Creed in respect of God, who immediately follows, than to acknowledge and assert his being or existence. Nor ought this to be imagined a slender notion or small part of the first Article of our faith, when it really is the foundation of this and all the rest; that as the CREED is fundamental in respect of other truths, this is the foundationt even of the fundamentals : " for he that cometh to God must believe that he is." (Heb. xi. 6.) And this I take for a sufficient explanation of the phrase, I believe in God, that is, I believe that God is.
As for the matter or truth contained in these words so explained, it admits a threefold consideration, first, of the notion of God, what is here understood by that name ; secondly, of the existence of God, how we know or believe that he is ; thirdly, the unity of God, in that though “ there be gods many, and lords many,” (1 Cor. viii. 5.) yet in our Creed we mention him as but one. When, therefore, we shall have clearly delivered what is the true notion of God in whom we believe, how and by what means we come to assure ourselves of the existence of such a Deity, and upon what grounds we apprehend him of such a transcendent nature that he can admit no competitor; then may we be conceived to have sufficiently explicated the former part of the first Article; then may every one understand what he says, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he professeth, I believe in God.
The name of God is attributed unto many, but here is to be understood of him who by way of eminency and excellency bears that name, and therefore is styled God of gods ; “the
Greg. Nyss. calls them eigeßsis megi fidei illa qua creditur, Unum omnino Deum Otsi isehifeis. And Eusebius in his Con esse:' and adv.Praream,c.2.where he makes fession exbibited to the council of Nice, another rehearsal of his Creed, he begins concludes: Πιστεύομεν και εις εν πνεύμα with : Unicum quidem Deum credimus.' άγιον, τούτην έκαστον είναι και υπάρχειν πι + Non est amor Dei Articulus, neque Tehitas: signifying that every particular etiam amor proximi; quia etiamsi siut which be had rehearsed be believed to præcepta generalia activa, tamen cum be. And that was all in the confession actio contineatur, non oportet eum constiintended. Alexander, bishop of Alexan tuere articulum : sed ista sunt fidei dogdria, after a long declaration of the former mata, quæ sunt columnæ et fundamenta articles concerning the Father and the Son, legis divinæ. Is. Abravanel de cap. fidei, draws to a conclusion on the latter article c. 11. • Primus est deorum cultus, deos thus : 2; 3; 7 test3ạ (l. tua :) Tau credere.' Sen. Epist. xcv. p. 470. τη περί πατρός και υιού δόξη- εν πνεύμα
! αγιον ομολογούμεν ––μίας και μόνην καθολι
7 the τήν την αποστολικής εκκλησίαν---μετα του dation of foundations and pillar of wisdoms τον (rel τούτο) εκ νεκρών ανάστασιν οίδαμεν. is to know, that the first Being is, and that Thenior. Hist. Eccl.l.i.c. 1. So Tertull.de it giveth existence to every thing which is. Prescript. adv. Hæret. c. 13. • Regula est Maimonides de Fundamen. Legis, c. 1.
: יסוד היסודות יעמוד החכמות לידע שיש -the foun שם מצוי ראשון והוא ממציא כל־נמצא