« ZurückWeiter »
where God has placed it: There is a Classis of Necs: Jary Articles, and that is the Apostles Creed, which Tertulliani calls [ regulam fidei ] the Rule of Faith; and according to this, we must reach Necelli ties: But what comes after This, is not so necessary; and be that purs upon his own Doctrines a Weight equal to this of the Apostles declaration, either mult have an Apostolical Authority, and an Apostolical Infallibility, or else hë transgresses the proportion of Faith, and becomes a falje Apostle. Catholick Church hath been too much, and too soon divided imam We are only fallen ont about That, of which if we had been ignorant, we had not been much the worse; But in things fimply necessary, God haihi preserved us still unbroken; All Nations, and all Ages recite the [Apostles] Creed, and all pray the Lords Prayer, and all pretend to walk by the Rule of the Commandments': Second Visitation-Sermon Tit. 2, 7. Again. Which (viz. the Apostles] Creed, saith he, unless it had contained all the entire object of Faith, and the Foundation of religion; it cannot be imagined to what purpose it foould serve : And that it was so esteemed by the whole Church of God in all Ages, appears in This, that since Faith is
necessary predisposition to Baptism in all persons capåble of the use of reason, all Catechumens in the Latin Church coming to Baptism were interrogated concerning their Faith, and gave satisfaction, in the reCitation of this Creed: And in the East they professed exaltly the same Faith. This was that [ óptit και αμώμητο σίρις, ήνσες κηρύτle ή αγία σε θεά καβολική υπης ολική εκκλησία, καθ' ένα τρόπον καινισμών det aukin] right and unblamable Faith, which the Holy Catholick and Apoftolick Church of God preaches, and which can in no wife receive any Innovation. Now since the Apostles and Apostolical Men and Churches, in these their Symbols,
did recite particular Articles to a considerable Num. ber; and were so minute in their recitation, as to descend 10 Circumstances; it is more than probable, that they omitted Nothing of Necessity; and that these Articles are not general Principles, in the bofom of which many more Articles equally necessary to be believed explicitely, and more particular, are infolded; but that it is as minute an explicntion of those [prima credibilia] Fundamentals I before reckoned, as is necesary 10 Salvation.
But if This was sufficient to bring men to Heaven Then, why not Now? If the Apostles admitted all to their Communion, that believed this Creed; why sball We exclude Any, that preserve the same entire ? Why is not our Faith of these Articles of as much Efficacy for bringing us to Heaven, as it was in the Churches Apostolical, who had guicks more infallible, that might without Error have taught them Superstructures enough, if they had been necesjary? And so They did: But that they did not insert them into the Creed, when they might have done it with as much certainty as these (the rest of the] Articles; makes it clear to my understanding, that other things were not necessary, but these were; that whatever profit and advantages might come from other Articles, yet These were sufficient ; and however certain persons might accidentally be obliged to believe much more, yet This was the one and only Foundation of Faith upon which All persons were to build their Hopes of Heaven. -- Neither are we obliged to make these Articles more particular and minute, than the Apostles ] Creed. For although whatsoever is certainly
deduced from any of these Articles made already to explicit, is as certainly true, and as much to be believed as the Article itself; because [ex veris poffunt non nisi vera sequi] from Truth, nothing but Truth can follow : yet, because it
is not certain that our deductions from them are certain ; and what One calls evidext, is so obscure to Another, that he believes it is false ; it is the best and only Jafe course, to rest in that explication the Apostles have made. - For no Age can, by declaring any point, make That be an Article of Frith, which was not so in all ages of Christianity before such declarution: Libert. of Proph. Sect. I, $ 7, 10, 11, 12, Again!: If it were considered (faith hi ) concerning Athanasius's Creed, how many people understand it not, how contrary to natural reason it seems, buvo little the Scripture says of those curiosities of Explication, and how Tradition was not clear on his fide for the Article itself, much less for those forms and minutes ; it had not been amiss if the final judge ment had been left to Jesus Chrift: And indeed to Me it seems very hard, to pui Uncharitableness into the Creed, and so to make it become as an Article of Faith : Sect. II, § 36. And again, speaking even of the Nicene Creed itself; Some wije persons (saith he) consider it in all circumstances, and think the Church had been more happy, if Me had not been in some sense constrained to alter the fimplicity of her Faith, and make it more curious and articulate, so much that he had need be a subtle man to understand the very Words of the New Determinations. It is another confideration, whether or no it might not have been better determined, if with more Simplicity; and another yet, whether or no, fince many of the Bishops who did believe this thing, yet did not like the nicety and curiosity of expreshing it, it had not been more agreeable to the Practice of the Apostles to have made a determia nation of the Article by way of Exposition of the Apostles Creed, and not to have inlarged the Creed with it: For since it was an Explication of an Article of the Creed of the Apostles, as Sermons are of places of Scrie pture ; it was thought by fome, that Scripture might
with good profit and great Truth be expounded, and yet
If the Nicene Fathers bad done
The Lita. O God the Father of Heaven, have ny.
upon us miserable Sinners.
O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding
O Holy, Blessed, and Glorious Trinity, three persons, and One God, have mercy upon us miserable Sinners.
O God the Father of Heaven, bave mercy upon us miserable Sinners.] Forgiving our Sins, and beftowing all Blessings upon us, by thy absolute and fupreme Authority, as Father and Governour of the Universe; and out of thy infinite Goodness and Compassion, through the Mediation and Intercession of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the World, bave mercy upon us miserable Sinners.) Applying to us the Redemption purchased by thy Blood, and proeuring us Pardon of our Sins, and all other Blef fings, through thy meritorious Interceffion and Mediation on our behalf.
O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from (both by Derivation of Being, and by being continually Sent forth from) the Father and the Son, have mercy upon us miserable Sinners.] Sanctifying our Hearts; comforting us with thy perpetunl Afiftance and Fellowship, and conferring all Spiritual Gifts and Graces upon us, according to the Will and good Pleasure of our Heavenly Father, through Christ our Saviour.
Three Per fons, and One God.] Not One compound Being, constituted or made up of Three Parts: Not One Species, consisting of Three coordinate Individuals : Not One Perfon, conGidered only under Three different Denominations. For the first of these Notions, is repuge nant to the Simplicity and Perfection of the Divine Nature: The second, entirely destroys the Unity of God: The tbird, either wholly takes a way the very being of the Son and Holy Spirit, or at least introduces such a total Confusion of Perfons, that the Father might as truly have been laid to be incarnate, as the Son; and the Holy Ghost to be our Creator and Redeener, as properly as our San&tifier; and the Father to have been sent by either of Them, as They by Him: All which, are absolutely contrary to the Doctrine of Scripture, and to the whole Oeconomy of the Gospel. But the Meaning of these Words, [Three Persons and yet but One God, ] understood consistently, muft bes that the Power and Divine Authority of each of the three Persons in their several Operations, being distinctiv acknowledged; there is yet nevertheless but One God, or One Supreme unoriginated independent absolute Governour of all things, viz. God the Father Almighry governing all things by bis Son and by bis Spirit.
It is absolutely neceffary (faith Dionyfius Roma