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which is mediately one; if we look upon the apostles, united in one corner-stone; if those which believe be therefore said to be built upon the foundation of the apostles, because they believe the doctrine which the apostles preached, and the apostles be therefore said to be of the same foundation, and united to the corner-stone, because they all taught the same doctrine which they received from Christ; then they which believe the same doctrine delivered by Christ to all the apostles, delivered by all the apostles to believers, being all professors of the same faith, must be members of the same Church. And this is the unity of faith.*
Thirdly, Many persons and Churches, howsoever distinguished by time or place, are considered as one Church, because they acknowledge and receive the same sacraments, the signs and badges of the people of God. When the apostles were sent to found and build the Church, they received this commission, “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” (Matt. xxviii. 19.) Now as there is but “one Lord,” and “ one faith," so also there is but “one baptism;" (Eph. iv. 5.) and consequently they which are admitted to it, in receiving it are one. Again, at the institution of the Lord's supper Christ commanded, saying, “ Eat ye all of this, drink ye all of this;" and all by communicating of one, become as to that communication one. “For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.” (1 Cor. x. 17.) As therefore the Israelites “ were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and did all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all drink the same spiritual drink,” (1 Cor. x. 2–4.) and thereby appeared to be the one people of God; so all believing persons, and all Churches congregated in the name of Christ, washed in the same laver of regeneration, eating of the same bread, and drinking of the same cup, are united in the
• Of this doth Irenæus speak, deli- npò katabolñs koguov šyvwKús. Clem. vering the sum or brief abstract of the Alex. Stromat. I. vii. c. 17. This material object of faith : ToĪTO Tò kh- unity of faith followeth the unity of ρυγμα παρειληφυία, και ταυτην την πί- origination, because the true faith is στιν, η εκκλησία, καίπερ εν όλω τω κόσμω the true foundation. * Siqua est ecδιεσπαρμένη, επιμελώς φυλάσσει, ως ένα clesia, quae fidem respuat, nec Apoοίκον οικούσα, και ομοίως πιστεύει του- stolicae praedicationis fundamenta posTOIS, Às uiav puxou kai tov aútov sideat, deserenda est. Petra tua ChriÉxovoa kapdiav, kai ovupóvwg Taõta kn- stus est.' S. Ambros. in Luc. lib. ii. ρύσσει, και διδάσκει, και παραδίδωσιν ως cap. 9. Η γάρ συνέχουσα την εκκληέν στόμα κεκτημένη. Αdvers. Har.1.1. σίαν, ώς φησιν ο Ποιμήν, αρετή η πίστις c. 10. §. 2. Kará te oův útbotaolv, totiv. Clem. Alex. Stromat. 1. i. c. κατά τε επίνοιαν, κατά τε άρχήν, κατά τε 12. St. Jerome on those words of εξοχήν, μόνην είναι φαμεν την αρχαίαν the Psalm xxiii. 11. Hoc est geneκαι καθολικήν εκκλησίαν εις ενότητα πί- ratio querentium Dominum, hath this στεως μιάς της κατά τας ιδίας διαθήκας, observation : Superius singulariter μάλλον δε κατά την διαθήκην την μίαν dixit, Hic accipiet benedictionem; moδιαφόρους τούς χρόνους, ενός του θεού do pluraliter; guia ecclesia ex pluτω βουλεύματι, δι' ενός του Κυρίου συνά- ribus personis congregatur, et tamen γουσαν τους ήδη κατατεταγμένους, ούς una dicitur propter unitatem fidei.' προώρισεν ο Θεός, δικαίους εσομένους
same cognizance, and so known to be the same Church. And this is the unity of the sacraments.
Fourthly, Whosoever belongeth to any Church is some way called; and all which are so, are called in one hope of their calling:" (Eph. iv. 4.) the same reward of eternal life is promised unto every person, and we all“ through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” (Gal.
v. 5.) They therefore which depend upon the same God, and worship him all for the same end, the “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,” (Tit. i. 2.) having all the same expectation, may well be reputed the same Church. And this is the unity of hope.
Fifthly, They which are all of one mind, whatsoever the number of their persons be, they are in reference to that mind but one; as all the members, howsoever different, yet being animated by one soul, become one body. Charity is of a fastening and uniting nature; nor can we call those many, who “endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. iv. 3.) “By this,” said our Saviour, “shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John xiii. 35.) And this is the unity of charity.*
Lastly, All the Churches of God are united into one by the unity of discipline and government, by virtue whereof the same Christ ruleth in them all. For they have all the same pastoral guides appointed, authorized, sanctified, and set apart, by the appointment of God, by the direction of the Spirit, to direct and lead the people of God in the same way of eternal salvation: as therefore there is no Church where there is no order, no ministry;t so where the same order and ministry are, there is the same Church. And this is the unity of regiment and discipline. I
By these means, and for these reasons,ş millions of persons
* • Unus Deus enim et Christus connectit, aut contexit.' upus, ecclesia ejus una, fides una, et I 'Episcopatus unus est, cujus a plebs in solidam corporis unitatem singulis in solidum pars tenctur: ecconcordia glutine copulata.' S. Cy- clesia quoque una est, quæ in multituprian. de Unitate Eccles. §. 21. dinem latius incremento foecunditatis
+ Ecclesia non est, quæ non ha- extenditur.' S. Cyprian. de Unit, bet Sacerdotes.' S. Hier. adv. Luci- Eccles §. 4. So he joins these two fer. col. 302. IIávtes &vtpenéodwoav together: Cum sit a Christo una τους διακόνους ως Ιησούς Χριστόν, και ecclesia per totum mundum in multa τον επίσκοπον ως Πατέρα, τους δε πρε- membra divisa, item episcopatus unus σβυτέρους ως συνέδριον Θεού και ως σύν- episcoporum multorum concordi nudeguov ’ATTOOTÓWv. xwpis routwv ék- merositate diffusus.' Ep. ad Antoniaa noia où kaleirai. S. Ignat, ad Trall. num, I. iv. ep. 2. §. 16. al. ep. 52. δ. 3. Τό γε μέν της εκκλησίας όνομα § These are all expressed by TerTNV Tūv eis XPLOTÒV TPLOTEVOLVtwv úpai- tullian : ‘Una nobis et illis fides, unus VEL #noùv, ispovpyoús te kai laovs, Deus, idem Christus, eadem spes, eaποιμένας και διδασκάλους, και τους υπό dem lavacri sacramenta, Semel dixeīpa katesevyuévous: S. Cyril. ad Is. xerim, una ecclesia sumus.' De Virg. c. 'xlv. 17. *ubi interpres ügaivet, veland. c. 2. Corpus sumus de conmale transtulit declarat, quod est scientia religionis et disciplinæ unii Topalvel; cum reddere oportuerit, tate et spei foedere.' Apolog. c. 39.
and multitudes of congregations are united into one body, and become one Church. And thus under the name of Church, expressed in this Article, is understood a body, or collection, of human persons professing faith in Christ, gathered together in several places of the world for the worship of the same God, and united into the same corporation by the means aforesaid. And this I conceive sufficient to declare the true notion of the Church as such, which is here the object of our faith. It remaineth therefore that we next consider the existence of the Church, which is acknowledged in the act of faith applied to this object: for when I profess and say, I believe a Church, it is not only an acknowledgment of a Church which hath been, or of a Church which shall be, but also of that which is. When I say, I believe in Christ dead, I acknowledge that death which once was, and now is not: for Christ once died, but now is not dead: when I say, I believe the resurrection of the body, I acknowledge that which never yet was, and is not now, but shall hereafter be. Thus the act of faith is applicated to the object according to the nature of it; to what is already past, as past; to what is to come, as still to come; to that which is present, as it is still present. Now that which was then past, when the CREED was made, must necessarily be always past, and so believed for ever; that which shall never come to pass until the end of the World, when this public profession of faith shall cease, that must for ever be believed as still to come. But that which was when the CREED began, and was to continue till that CREED shall end, is proposed to our belief in every age as being; and thus ever since the first Church was constituted, the Church itself, as being, was the object of the faith of the Church believing.
The existence therefore of the Church of Christ (as that Church before is understood by us), is the continuation of it in an actual being, from the first collection in the apostles' times unto the consummation of all things. And therefore, to make good this explication of the Article, it will be necessary to prove, that the Church which our Saviour founded and the apostles gathered, was to receive a constant and perpetual accession, and by a successive augmentation be uninterruptedly continued in an actual existence of believing persons and congregations in all ages unto the end of the World.
Now this indeed is a proper object of faith, because it is grounded only upon the promise of God; there can be do other assurance of the perpetuity of this Church, but what we have from him that built it. The Church is not of such a nature as would necessarily, once begun, preserve itself for ever. Many thousand persons have fallen totally and finally from the faith professed, and so apostatized from the Church. Many particular Churches have been wholly lost, many candlesticks have been removed; neither is there any particular Church which hath any power to continue itself more or longer
than others; and consequently, if all particulars be defectible, the universal Church must also be subject of itself unto the same defectibility.
But though the providence of God doth suffer many particular Churches to cease, yet the promise of the same God will never permit, that all of them at once shall perish. When Christ spake first particularly to St. Peter, he sealed his speech with a powerful promise of perpetuity, saying, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. xvi. 18.) When he spake generally to all the rest of the apostles to thé same purpose, “Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" (Matt. xxviii. 19.) he added a promise to the same effect," and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” (Ibid. 20.) The first of these promises assureth us of the continuance of the Church, because it is built upon a rock; for our Saviour had expressed this before, “ Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.” (Matt. vii. 24, 25.) The Church of Christ is the House of Christ; for he hath“ builded the house,” and is as a son over his own house, whose house are we;” (Heb. iii. 3. 6.) and as a wise man, he hath built his house upon a rock, and what is so built shall not fall. The latter of these promises giveth not only an assurance of the continuance of the Church,* but also the cause of that continuance, which is the presence of Christ. “Where two or three are gathered together in the name of Christ, there he is in the midst of them,” (Matt. xviii. 20.) and thereby they become a Church; for they are as a builded house, and the son within that house. Wherefore being Christ doth promise his presence unto the Church, even unto the end of the World, he doth thereby assure us of the existence of the Church, until that time, of which his presence is the cause. In
* Non de serit ecclesiam suam dies mihi annuncia. Exiguitatem diedivina protectio, dicente Domino, rum meorum, non æternitatem dieEcce ego vobiscum omnibus diebus, rum meorum annuncia mihi. Quam&c.' Leo Epist. 31. St. Augustin upon diu ero in isto sæculo, annuncia mihi, those words of Psal. ci. Exiguitatem propter illos qui dicunt, Fuit et jam dierum meorum annuncia mihi, mak- non est: propter illos qui dicunt, Imeth the Church to speak these words: pletæ sunt Scripturæ, crediderunt • Quid est, quod nescio qui recedentes omnes gentes, sed apostatavit, et pea me murmurant contra me? Quid riit ecclesia de omnibus gentibus. est, quod perditi me periisse conten- Quid est hoc, Exiguitatem dierum dunt? Certe enim hoc dicunt, Quia meorum annuncia mihi? Et annunciafui et non sam. Annunciu mihi exi- vit, nec vacua fuit vox ista. Quis guitatem dierum meorum. Non a te annunciavit mihi, nisi ipsa via ? Quoquæro illos dies æternos ; illi sine modo annunciavit? Ecce ego vobisfine sunt, ubi ero; non ipsos quæ- cum sum usque ad consummationem saro; temporales quæro, temporales culi.' Serm. ii. &. 8.
deed, this is the city of the Lord of Hosts, the city of our God, God will establish it for ever,*” (Psal. xlviii. 8.) as the great prophet of the Church hath said.
Upon the certainty of this truth, the existence of the Church hath been propounded as an object of our faith in every age of Christianity; and so it shall be still unto the end of the World. For those which are believers are the Church; and therefore, if they do believe, they must believe there is a Church. And thus having shewn in what the nature of a Church consisteth, and proved that a Church of that nature is of perpetual and indefectible existence by virtue of the promises of Christ, I have done all which can be necessary for the explication of this part of the Article, I believe the Church.
After the consideration of that which is the subject in this Article, followeth the explication of the affections thereof; which are two, sanctity and universality ; the one attributed unto it by the apostles, the other by the fathers of the Church: by the first the Church is denominated holy, by the second catholick. Now the Church which we have described may be called holy in several respects, and for several reasons: first, In reference to the vocation by which all the members thereof are called and separated from the rest of the world to God; which separation in the language of the Scriptures is a sanctification: and so the calling being boly, (for “ God hath called us with a holy calling,” 2 Tim. i. 9.), the body which is separated and congregated thereby, may well be termed holy. Secondly, In relation to the offices appointed and the powers exercised in the Church, which by their institution and operation are holy; that Church, for which they were appointed and in which they are exercised, may be called holy. Thirdly, Because whosoever is called to profess faith in Christ, is thereby engaged to holiness of life, according to the words of the apostle, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. ii. 19.) for those namers of the name, or named by the name, of Christ, are such as called on his name; and that was the description of the Church : as when Saul did persecute the Church, it is said he had “authority from the chief priests to bind all that called upon the name of Christ ;" (Acts ix. 14.) and when “he preached Christ in the synagogues, all that heard him said, Is not this he who destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem ?” (Ibid. 20, 21.)+ Being then all within the Church are by their profession obliged to
* "Forte ista Civitas, quæ mundum + See 1 Cor. i. 2. Ori yap tò aspoltenuit, aliquando evertetur. Absit. qua tūv åyiwv TÒ XE opgñs Rotews kai Deus fundavit eam in eternum. Si πολιτείας αρίστης συγκεκροτημένων Εκergo Deus fundavit eam in eternum, κλησία εστί, δηλόν εστι τοίς σοφίας quid times ne cadat firmamentum ?? yevoquévoic. Isid. Pelus. Epist. 246. S. August. in Psal. 47. 9. 7.