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life, describe God so infinitely glorious, so transcendently gracious, so loving 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 revealed, the not acknowledging that faith which we are thought to believe, is so 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 purpose it was taught
• Ο τον κανόνα της αληθείας ακλινή ritum Sanctum, ac propterea usurεν εαυτώ κατέχων, δν διά του βαπτίσμα- pare eum potestatem baptizandi Tos eilnpe. Iren. I.i..c. 1. Cum sub posse, quod videatur in interrogatribus et testatio fidei et sponsio sa tione Baptismi a nobis non discrelutis pignerentur, necessario adjici pare: sciat quisquis hoc opponen. tur Ecclesiæ mentio, quoniam ubi dum putat, non esse unam nobis et tres, id est, Pater, Filius, et Spiritus schismaticis Symboli Legem, neque Sanctus, ibi_Ecclesia, quæ trium eandem interrogationem. Nam cum corpus est.' Tertull. de Baptis. c. 6. dicunt, Credis remissionem peccalo* In quem tingueret? in poeniten rum, et vitam æternam per Sanctam tiam ? quo ergo illi præcursorem ? Ecclesiam? mentiuntur in interrogain peccatorum remissionem, quam tione, quando non habeant Eccleverbo dabat? in semetipsum, quem siam.' Idem Epist. ad Magnum, §. 6. humilitate celabat? in Spiritum San • Mos ibi (id est, Romæ) servatur ctum, qui nondum a Patre descende- antiquus, eos, qui gratian Baptismi rat? in Ecclesiam, quam nondum suscepturi sunt, publice, i. e. fideA postoli struxerant ? Ibid. c. 11. lium populo audiente, Symbolum • Dehinc ter mergimur, amplius ali reddere.' Ruffin. in Symb. §. 3. Soquid respondentes quam Dominus in lenne est in lavacro, post Trinitatis Evangelio determinavit.' Id. de Cor. confessionem interrogare, Credis in Militis, c. 3. 'Sed et ipsa interro Sanctam Ecclesiam? Credis remisgatio, quæ fit in Baptismo, testis est sionem peccatorum?' S.Hieron. contra veritatis, nam cum dicimus, Credis Lucifer. col. 618. ed. M. Victor. 1609. in vitam æternam, et remissionem pec “Mens Hæretica reliquit Doctorem a catorum per sanctam Ecclesiam? in quo fidem Ecclesiæ didicerat, oblità telligimus remissionem peccatorum est pacti Dei sui, hoc est, fidei ipsius non nisi in Ecclesia dari.' S. Cypri Dominicæ quæ in Symbolo contineanus, ep.ad Januarium, &c. §. 2.'Quod tur, quam se die baptismatis servatusi aliquis illud opponit, ut dicat, ean ram esse promiserat.'Id.Com. in Prov. dem Novatianum Legem tenere c. ii. v. 17. ‘Interrogatus es, Credis in quam Catholica Ecclesia teneat, eo Deum Patrem omnipotentem? dixisti dem Symbolo quo et nos baptizare, Credo; et mersisti, hoc est, sepultus eundem nosse Deum Patrem, eun es. Iterum interrogatus es, Credis in dem Filium Christum, eundem Spi Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum,
and expounded to those which were to be baptized immediately * before the great solemnity of Easter), and to require a et in crucem ejus? dixisti, Credo, et first council of Constantinople conmersisti, ideo et Christo es consepul firms the Nicene confession, as : tus. Tertio interrogatus, Credis in πρεσβυτάτην τε ούσαν και ακόλουθον Spiritum Sanctum? dixisti, Credo; Tao Bantiopari. Theodor. lib. v. cap. tertio mersisti: ut multiplicem la 9. And the council of Chalcedon of psum superioris ætatis absolveret the same: ήν, ως κοινόν εξ αγίων σύνtrina confessio.' Ambros. de Sacram. θημα, τοϊς μυουμένοις προς την της υιο1. ii. c. 7. Leo speaks thus of Euty θησίας παρεγγυώμεν ασφάλειαν. Parte ches in his Epistle to Flavianus: tertia. The Synod at Jerusalem :
Quam enim eruditionem de sacris το άγιον σύμβολον είς δ εβαπτίσθημεν Novi et Veteris Testamenti paginis kai Bantifouev. The Synod at Tyre: acquisivit, qui ne ipsius quidem Sym εν αυτώ βαπτισθέντες και βαπτίζοντες. boli initia comprehendit? et quod
And the council of Constantinople per totum mundum omnium regene under Menna, to which the former randorum voce depromitur, istius sent their synodical letters: το άγιον adhuc senis corde non capitur. Ep. σύμβολον εν ώ πάντες εβαπτίσθημεν. X. c. 1. And in the 12. Book de Concil. Constantinop. sub Agap. et Trinitate, p. 304. ed. Chillet. 1664. Menna, Act. 5. Basiliscus and Mar(formerly attributed to Athanasius, cus in two several edicts, confirmed but more probably now thought to the same Nicene Creed with these belong to Vigilius Tapsensis): Nec words: είς και ημείς τε και πάντες οι non et illa magna et beata Confessio προ ημών πιστεύσαντες εβαπτίσθημεν, . Fidei, imo ipsa Fides Sanctorum, et Evagr. I. iii. cap. 4. et 7. And the Testamentum quod disposuimus ad edict of the emperor Justinian: AnaPatrem, Filium, et Spiritum San thematizaverunt eos, qui aliam defictum, ad sacrum lavacrum regenera nitionem fidei, sive Symbolum, sive tionis venientes, Credo in Deum Pa Mathema, tradunt accedentibus ad trem omnipotentem, et in . Jesum sanctum baptisma.' Christum Filium ejus unigenitum, et "Οτι δεί τους φωτιζομένους την in Spiritum Sanctum.' Kabus Trape πίστιν εκμανθάνειν, και τη πέμπτη της λάβομεν παρά των προ ημών επισκόπων εβδομάδος απαγγέλλειν το επισκόπη ή έν τε τη πρώτη κατηχήσει, και ότε το Tois tpeoßutépois. Concil. Laodic. Can. Loutpòv ļaußávouev. Euseb. of the 46. Where it is to be observed that Confession of Faith which he exhi Ilioris is taken for the Creed or Symbited to the council of Nice, Socr. 1. bolum Fidei, and was so translated i. c. 8. Theodor, 1. i. c. 12. Abre anciently, as appeareth by the Canon nuncio, inquis, Diabolo, pompis, preserved in the Canon-law, and spectaculis, et operibus ejus, et quid rendered thus: ‘Baptizandos oporpostea ? Credo, inquis, in Deum Pa tet Fidei Symbolum discere, et quintrem omnipotentem.' Salvianus de Gu ta feria ultimæ septimanæ vel Epibern. Dei, lib. vi. p. 208. ed. Altorf. scopo vel Presbyteris reddere. De 1611, al. p. 182. And when this Consec. dist. 4. cap. 58. Symbolum Creed was enlarged by the council etiam placuit ab omnibus Ecclesiis of Nice, and after that by others, una die, i. e. ante octo dies DomiEpiphanius commends it to the Cas nicæ resurrectionis, publice in Ectechumeni, to be repeated at their clesia competentibus prædicari.' baptism: ούτως εκάστω των κατηχου Concil. Agath. cap. 13. Sicut anμένων των μελλόντων των αγίω λουτρα tiqui Canones jubent, ante viginti προσιέναι, ου μόνον επαγγέλλειν οφεί dies Baptismi ad purgationem exorλετε το πιστεύειν τοϊς εαυτών υιοίς εν cismi Catechumeni currant, in quiκυρίω, αλλά και διδάσκειν ρητώς, ως bus viginti diebus omnino Catechuπάντων ή αυτή μήτηρ υμών τε και ημών, meni Symbolum, quod est, Credo in το λέγειν, Πιστεύομεν εις ένα θεόν, &c. Deum Patrem omnipotentem, spe
Epiphan. in Ancorato, g. 119. And cialiter doceantur.' Concil. Brawhen he had yet farther enlarged it car. 2. cap. 1. The Canon of the by reason of some new emergent he Laodicean Council, already menresies, he commends it: pálcota tois tioned, is verbatim rehearsed in the τώ αγίω λουτρό πρoσιoύσιν, ίνα απαγ sixth council in Trulla, Can, 78. It γέλλωσι και λέγωσιν ούτως. Ιbid. The appeareth therefore a general com
particular* 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.
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 believe. As if Christ did 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
“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
mand of the church, that those who ni sacrificii tempore ante commuwere to be baptized, should have a nionem corporis Christi et sanguinis, certain time allotted for the learning juxta Orientalium partium morem, and rehearsing of the Creed. And unanimiter clara voce sacratissimum in case of necessity, if any were bap- fidei recenseant Symbolum.' t. ii. par. tized, they were to learn the Creed 2. p. 278. Concil. Gen. ed. Bin. Which immediately after their Baptism: custom as they call it of the Oriental Őri dei (not as it is in the edition of Bi parts, is said first to be introduced by nius, both in this canon and in the Petrus Mongus at Alexandria, and former most absurdly, “Ότι ου δεϊ) τους after by Timotheus at Constantiểv vóoy napalaußávovraç tò púrioua, nople, as appears ont of the frag. και είτα αναστάντας εκμανθάνειν την ments of Theodorus Lector. πίστιν, και γινώσκειν ότι θείας δωρεάς + 'Symbolum, quod est signacu- , karngólnoay. Conc. Laod. Can. 47. lum fidei, et Orationem Dominicam
* As appears in the ancient Greek discere, semper admoneant sacerLiturgies, and the Decree of the dotes populum Christianum.' Concil. third council of Toledo: •Ut om. Mogunt. cap. 45.
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 be should intend to deceive any man, and consequently whatsoever he 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 CREED, 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; another, 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
* Θεός, θεός: "Έθος ήν, όταν κατάρ Tract. 29. in Ioan. Secondly, he χοιντό τινος, θεός λέγειν, επευφημιζομέ distinguisheth between credere Deum, vous. Hesych. Lex.
and credere in Deum. Multum in† For Ser. 181. which is upon the terest, utrum quis credat ipsum esse Creed, we find these words: Non Christum, et utrum credat in Chridicit, Credo Deum, vel Credo Deo, stum. Ille credit in Christum, qui et quamvis et hæc saluti necessaria sperat in Christum, et diligit Chrisint, Aliud enim est credere illi, stum.' De verbis Dom. Serm. 61. aliud credere illum, aliud credere in And, which is the sum of all, he puts illum. Credere illi, est credere vera a high value upon the preposition, as esse quæ loquitur; Credere illum, if, by virtue of the addition of in, the credere quia ipse est Deus; Credere phrase did properly signify so great in illum, diligere illum.' And though an accession unto faith : Quid est that collection of Sermons de tempore credere in Deum? Credendo amare, under the name of St. Augustin be credendo diligere, credendo in eum not all his (divers of them being trans ire, et ejus membris incorporari.' lations of the Greek Homilies), yet Tract. 29. in Ioan. Which doctrine this distinction may be collected out of St. Augustin's being taken notice of other parts of his works. For, of by Peter Lombard, hath since been first, he distinguisheth very clearly continued by the School-men; and and seriously between credere Deo, Aquinas, Sum. ii. 22. q. 2. §. 2. ad and credere in Deum. 'Nunquam
Nunquam prim. bringing all three under one aliquis Apostolorum dicere auderet, act of faith, hath been contradicted Qui credit in me. Credimus Apo by Durand. in 3. Sent. dis. 23. q.7. stolo, sed non credimus in Aposto- $.6. "Credere in Deum non est preJum. Tract. 54. in Psalm. And cise actus fidei, sed fidei et caritatis again: 'Credimus Paulo, sed non simul; et sunt etiam plures, et non credimus iv Paulum; credimus Pe. unus actus tantum. By whose subtro, sed non credimus in Petrum.' tile, but yet clear, determination (as