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may sufficiently praise and glorify him. "Let them praise the name of the Lord,” saith David, “ for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and heaven.” (Psal. cxlviii. 13.) Thus did the Levites teach the children of Israel to glorify God: “Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts, the earth, and all things that are therein." (Neh. ix. 5, 6.) And the same hath St. Paul taught us: "For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Rom. xi. 36.) Furthermore, that we may be assured that he which made both heaven and earth will be glorified in both, the prophet calls upon all those celestial hosts to bear their part in his hymn: “Praise ye him all his angels, praise ye him all his hosts. Praise ye him sun and moon, praise ye him all ye stars of light. Praise him ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded, and they were created.” (Psal. cxlviii. 2–5.) And the twenty-four elders in the Revelation of St. John “fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns,” the emblems of their borrowed and derived glories, “before the throne,” the seat of infinite and eternal majesty, “saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. iv. 10, 11.) Wherefore, “if the heavens declare the glory of God,”(Psal. xix. 1.)“and all his works praise him," then shall his saints bless him, they shall speak of the glory of his kingdom, and talk of his power.” (Psal. cxlv. 10, 11.) And if man be silent, God will speak; while we through ingratitude will not celebrate, he himself will declare it, and promulgate : “I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power, and by my outstretched arm.” (Jer. xxvii. 5.)
Secondly, The doctrine of the World's creation is most properly effectual towards man's humiliation. As there is nothing more destructive to humanity than pride, and yet not any thing to which we are more prone than that; so nothing can be more properly applied to abate the swelling of our proud conceptions, than a due consideration of the other works of God, with a sober reflection upon our own original. “When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained;” (Psal. viii. 3.) when I view those glorious apparent bodies with my eye, and by the advantage of a glass find great numbers, before beyond the power of my sight, and from thence judge there may be many millions more, which neither eye nor instrument can reach; when I contemplate those far more glorious spirits, the inha
bitants of the heavens, and attendants on thy throne: I cannot but break forth into that admiration of the prophet, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” What is that offspring of the earth, that dust and ashes ? “ What is that son of man, that thou visitest him ?” (Psal. viii. 4.) What is there in the progeny of an ejected and condemned father, that thou shouldst look down from heaven, the place of thy dwelling, and take care or notice of him? But if our original ought so far to humble us, how should our fall abase us? That of all the creatures which God made, we should comply with him who first opposed his Maker, and would be equal unto him from whom he new received his being. All other works of God, which we think inferior to us, because not furnished with the light of understanding, or endued with the power of election, are in a happy impossibility of sinning, and so offending of their Maker: the glorious spirits which attend upon the throne of God, once in a condition of themselves to fall, now by the grace of God preserved, and placed beyond all possibility of sinning, are entered upon the greatest happiness, of which the workmanship of God is capable: but men, the sons of fallen Adam, and sinners after the similitude of him, of all the creatures are the only companions of those “ angels which left their own habitations," (Jude ver. 6.) and are delivered into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.” (2 Pet. ii. 4.) How should a serious apprehension of our own corruption, mingled with the thoughts of our creation, humble us in the sight of him, whom we alone of all the creatures by our unrepented sins drew unto repentance? How can we look without confusion of face upon that monument of our infamy, recorded by Moses, who first penned the original of humanity,
It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart?” (Gen. vi. 6.)
Thirdly, This doctrine is properly efficacious and productive of most cheerful and universal obedience. It made the prophet call for the commandments of God, and earnestly desire to know what he should obey. “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me: give me understanding that I may learn thy commandments.” (Psal. cxix. 73.) By virtue of our first production, God hath undeniably absolute dominion over us, and consequently there must be due unto him the most exact and complete obedience from us. Which reason will appear more convincing, if we consider of all the creatures which have been derived from the same fountain of God's goodness, none ever disobeyed his voice but the devil ind man. “ Mine hand,” saith he, “ hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens; when I call unto them they stand up together.” (Isa. xlviii. 13.) The most loyal and obedient servants which stand continually before the most illustrious prince are not so ready to receive and execute the commands of their sove
reign lord, as all the hosts of heaven and earth to attend upon the will of their Creator. “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their hosts by number : he calleth them all by names, by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power, not one faileth,” (Isa. xl. 26.) but every one maketh his appearance, ready pressed to observe the designs of their commander-inchief. Thus the Lord commanded and “they fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” (Judg. v. 20.) He “commanded the ravens to feed Elias, and they brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening;" (1 Kings xvii. 4. 6.) and so one prophet lived merely upon the obedience of the fowls of the air. He spake to the devouring whale, “and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land ;” (Jonah ii. 10.) and so another prophet was delivered from the jaws of death by the obedience of the fishes of the sea. Do we not read of “ fire and hail, snow and vapour, stormy wind, fulfilling his word ?” (Psal. cxlviii. 8.) Shall there be a greater coldness in man than in the snow ? More vanity in us than in a vapour ? More inconstancy than in the wind? If the universal obedience of the creature to the will of the Creator cannot move us to the same affection and desire to serve and please him, they will all conspire to testify against us and condemn us, when God shall call unto them, saying, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” (Isa. i. 2.)
Lastly, The creation of the World is of most necessary meditation for the consolation of the servants of God in all the variety of their conditions ; “Happy is he whose hope is in the Lord his God, which made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that therein is.” (Psal. cxlvi. 5, 6.) This happiness consisteth partly in a full assurance of his power to secure us, his ability to satisfy us. “The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof, the world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” (Psal. xxiv. 1, 2.) By virtue of the first production he hath a perpetual right unto, and power to dispose of, all things: and he who can order and dispose of all, must necessarily be esteemed able to secure and satisfy any creature. “Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?” (Isa. xl. 28.) There is no external resistance or opposition where Omnipotency worketh, no internal weakness or defection of power where the Almighty is the agent; and consequently there remaineth a full and firm persuasion of his ability in all conditions to preserve us. Again, this happiness consisteth partly in a comfortable assurance, arising from this meditation, of the
will of God to protect and succour us, of his desire to preserve and bless us. “My help cometh from the Lord, who made heaven and earth: he will not suffer thy foot to be moved,” (Psal. cxxi. 2, 3.) saith the prophet David ; at once expressing the foundation of his own expectancy and our security. “God will not despise the work of his hands," (Job x. 3.) neither will he suffer the rest of his creatures to do the least injury to his own image. “ Behold (saith he), I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord.” (Isa. liv, 16, 17.)
Wherefore to conclude our explication of the first Article, and to render a clear account of the last part thereof; that every one may understand what it is I intend, when I make confession of my faith in the Maker of heaven and earth, I do truly profess, that I really believe, and am fully persuaded, that both heaven and earth and all things contained in them have not their being of themselves, but were made in the beginning; that the manner by which all things were made was by mediate or inmediate creation; so that antecedently to all things beside, there was at first nothing but God, who produced most part of the World merely out of nothing, and the rest out of that which was formerly made of nothing. This I believe was done by the most free and voluntary act of the will of God, of which no reason can be alleged, no motive assigned, but his goodness; performed by the determination of his will at that time which pleased him, most probably within one hundred and thirty generations of men, most certainly within not more than six, or at farthest seven, thousand years.
I acknowledge this God, Creator of the World, to be the same God who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: and in this full latitude, I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. The second Article of the CREED presents unto us, as the object of our faith, the second person of the blessed Trinity; that as in the Divinity there is nothing intervening between the Father and the Son, so that immediate union might be perpetually expressed by a constant conjunction in our Christian confession. And that upon no less authority than of “the Author and Finisher of our faith,” (Heb. xii. 2.) who in the persons of the apostles gave this command to us, “Ye
believe in God, believe also in me." (John xiv. 1.) Nor speaketh he this of himself, but from the Father who sent him: for “ this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ.” (1 John iii. 23.) ACcording therefore to the Son's prescription, the Father's injunction, and the sacramental institution, as we are baptized, so do we * believe in the name of the Father, and the Son.
Our blessed Saviour is here represented under a threefold description : first, by his nomination, as Jesus Christ; secondly, by his generation, as the only Son of God; thirdly, by his dominion, as our Lord.'
But when I refer Jesus Christ to the nomination of our Saviour, because he is in the Scriptures promiscuously and indifferently sometimes called Jesus, sometimes Christ, I would be understood so as not to make each of them equally, or in like propriety, his name. “His name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb:” (Luke ii. 21.)“ who is also called Christ,” (Matt. i. 16.) not by + name, but by office and title. Which observation, seemingly trivial, is necessary for the full explication of this part of the Article: for by this distinction we are led unto a double notion, and so resolye our faith into these two propositions, ' I believe there was and is a man, whose name was actually, and is truly in the most high importance, Jesus, the Saviour of the world. I believe the man who bare that name to be the Christ, that is, the Messias promised of old by God, and expected by the Jews.'
For the first, it is undoubtedly the proper name of our Saviour given unto him, according to the custom of the Jews, at his circumcision: and as the Baptist was called John, even so the Christ was called Jesus. Beside, as the imposition was after the vulgar manner, so was the name itself of ordinary use.
We read in the Scriptures of “Jesus which was called Justus,” a fellow-worker with St. Paul; (Col. iv. 11.) and of a certain sorcerer, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus,” (Acts xiii. 6.) that is, the son of Jesus. Josephus, in
* • Eadem regula veritatis docet est nomen, Jesus proprium vocabunos credere post Patrem etiam in Fi- lum Salvatoris.' S. Hieron. in Matt. lium Dei, Christum Jesum, Domi- xvi. 20. “Jesus inter homines nominum Deum nostrum, sed Dei Filium; natur; nam Christus non proprium hujus Dei qui et unus et solus est, nomen est, sed nuncupatio potestatis conditor scilicet rerum omnium.' No. et regni.' Lactan. de ver. Sap. 1. iv. vat. de Trinit, c. 9.
• Dum dicitur Christus, comf'Si tamen nomen est Christus, mune nomen dignitatis est; dum Jeet non appellatio potius; Unctus enim sus Christus, proprium vocabulum significatur. Unctus autem non ma- Salvatoris est.' Isidor. Orig. l. vii. c. gis nomen est, quam vestitus, quam 2. ’Inooūs kalɛītai pepwvýuws. S.Cyril. calceatus, accidens nomini res. Ter- Catech. 10. tull. adv. Prax. c. 28. 'Quorum no I 'Habuit et Judæa quosdam Jeminum alterum est proprium, quod ab sus, quorum vacuis gloriatur vocabuAngelo impositum est; alterum ac. lis. Illa enim pec lucent, nec pascunt, cidens, quod ab unctione convenit.' nec medentur. Bernard. in Cant. Ibid. • Christus commune dignitatis Serm. xv.