« PoprzedniaDalej »
AN A D DITIO N.
FIVE things to be the meanest Chriftian's ferious Study, Viz. Section 1. First, CF the Trinity of Perfons in the Unity of the Godhead; 11, CF the Creation of Man and his Fall; III, OF the Nature and Offices of Chrift, and Redemption by Faith in his Death. These three described, and implied in the three Creeds, and in the Question and Answer after the Belief mourChurch Catechism, as follows. See more P. 1. ch.5, §.3.ch. 6. §. 3. =P.2, ch.2, §. 29.
§. 2. The Creed of S. Athanafius.
WHOSOEDE will be faved: before all things it is neceffary that he hold the Catholick Faith. Which Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perith everlastingly. And the Catholick Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Perfons: nor dividing the fubftance. For there is one Perfon of the Father, another of the Son: and another of the Holy Ghoft. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft is all one: the Glory equal, the Majefty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, fuch is the Son; and fuch is the Holy Ghoft. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate: and the Holy Ghoft uncreate. The Father incomprehenfible, the Son incomprehenfible: and the Holy Ghost incomprehenfible. The Father eternal, the Son eternal: and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three Eternals: but one eternal. As alfo there are not three incomprehenfibles, nor three uncreated: but One uncreated, and One incomprehenfible. So likewife the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty: and the Holy Ghoft Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty. So the Father is God, the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet They are not three Gods:but One God. So likewife the Father is Lord, the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Chriftian verity: to acknowledge every Perfon by Himfelf to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the Catholick Religion: to fay, There be three Gods, or three Lords. The Father is made of none: neither created,nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created: but begotten. The Holy Ghoft is of the Father, and of the Son, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. So there is One Father, not three Fathers; One Son, not three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
And in rhis Trinity none is afore or after other: none is great` er, or less than another; But the whole three Perfons are co-eternal together: and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforefaid: the Unity in Trinity, aud the Trinity in Uuity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be faved: must thus think of the Trinity.Further-more it is neceffary to everlasting Salvation: that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jefus Chrift. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confefs: that our Lord Jefus Christ, the Son of God, is God, and Man; God of the fubftance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and Man of the substance of his Mother, born in the World. Perfect God, and perfect Man: of a reasonable foul,and humane flesh subfifting; Equal tothe Father,as touching his Godhead : and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood. Who altho' He be God and Man: yet He is not two, but One Chrift; One; not by converfion of the Godhead into flefh: but by taking of the Manhood into God; One altogether; not by confufion of Subftance: but by unity of Perfon. For as the reasonable Soul and Flesh is one Man: fo God and Man is One Chrift. Who fuffered for our falvation: defcended into hell, rofe again the third day from the dead. He afcended into heaven, He fitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from whence He fhall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whofe coming all men fhall rife again with their bodies: and fhall give account for their own works. And they that have done good,fhall go into life everlafting:and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire. This is the Catholick Faith which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be faved.
§. 3. THE Doctrine of this Creed is pure, and contradicts ex prefly all thofe Herefies which the Catholick Church condemn'd in the Primitive Councils: as of Sabellius, Arrius and Eunomius. Macedonius, Samofatenus and Photinus, Apollinaris, the Valentinians, Neftorius and Eutyches. And the very words of this Creed are frequently found in the Writings of th' OrthodoxFathers, as S. Ignatius, S. Augiftine, Boethius, and Council 4. af Toletan c. I. And has been receiv'd as Orthodox by all Chriftian Churches for many Centuries. And the Reverend Bishop Ufher O, tells us of an old Pfalter, written at least a thousand years ag in which is this Creed, with the Title of the Catholick Faith. And the Catholick Church, differing in fome other points » a
grees intirely in thefe. And those who deny thefe Doctrines are condemned in Scripture, and the Hereftes here oppofed are call'd damnable Herefies. Therefore there is fufficient reafon for me to fay this excellent Creed with a firm Faih, and to admire and believe it, tho' Icannot fully comprehend it and t'improve it as directed after
§. 4. Th' Apoftles Creed, in twelve Articles. 1. Believe in God the Father Almighty. Maker of heav en and earth: and 2, In Jefus Chrift his only Son, our Lord; 3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghoft, Born of the Vir. gin Mary; 4, Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; 5, He defcended into hell: The third day He rofe again from the dead; 6, He afcended into heaven, And fitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; 7, From thence He fhall come to judge the quick and the dead. 8, I believe in the Holy Ghoft 9, The holy Catholick Church; The Communion of Saints; 10, The forgiveness of Sins; 11, The refurrection of the Body; and 12, The lite everlafting. Amen. See Part 1, ch, 10. §.55.
65. SOME afcribe the Penning of the 1ft Article to S. Peter. The 2d to S. John, the beloved Disciple, Evangelift and Divine, Son of Zebedee. The 3d to S. James Major, Bishop of Jerufalem, Brother of John, Zebedee's fon. The 4th to S. Andrew.The sth to S. Philip. The 6th to S. Thomas. The 7th to S. Bartholomew. The 8th to S. Mathew. The 9th to S. James Minor, our Lord's Brother. The 10th to S. Simon Zelotes, the Canaanite. The 11th to S. Judas, or S. Jude, the Brother of S. James minor. The 12th to S. Matthias.
§. 6. In our Church Catechism.
Question. WHAC doft thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Belief? Answer. First, I learn to believe in God the Father, who hath made me, and all the World. Secondly, in God the Son, who hath redeemed me, and all mankind. Thirdly, in God the Holy Ghost, who fanctifieth me, and all th' elect people of God.
S, 7. THIS Creed may Firft. direct and affift my Prayers, (Faith being neceflarily prefuppofed in all that pray. Web, 11.6.)by contemplating the Power of an Almighty Father; :he Love of his most Merciful Son, our Redeemer; and the Grace of the Holy Spirit, our Sanctifier; Which will teach me reverence and fear, fincerity, and longing defires, hope and chearful expectations. When I have profefs'd my Belief in the
Father Almighty (maker of heaven and earth; how readily fhall Irun to him for the fupply of my Wants? When I've declared my Affurance that Jesus Christ the Son of God was made man, born among us, lived with us, and died forus, rising again and returning to heaven to plead our cause, and prepare a place to receive us; can I then forbear to cry unto God thro' Him for Pardon and Peace, and all the Benefits of his Paffion? When I have protefted my Belief in the Holy Ghost which in the Catholik Churrh gives e mission of Ding, and after this life fhall raife up our Bodieg to life eberlafting; then 1 fhall feel my heart ftrongly mov'd to petition God for th' aid of his Holy Spirit to work these Graces in me, and prepare thefe Benefits for me. The premifing my Faith to my Prayers removes my Fears, and quickens my defires, inftructs me what to ask, of whom to ask, and in what manner to make acceptable Addreffes. Secondly, It may Regulate my Life: for I DO not enongh believe any thing; until I act according to my Belief. Every man's natural Logick will inable him to argue thus; He that believes God to be Almightp,and that He didmake,and doth preferve him,and all the World;muft love and fear Him: But believe in God the Father Almightp &c; Therefore I ought to love and tear Him. Or thus, The poor finner who believes in Jes fus Christ, and is perfuaded He was made Man, and wag czucified / dead/ and buried&c.,to redeem all men that repents cannot but apply himself to Him with penitence and importunity for Salvation: But I believe all this: Therefore I am obliged to apply my felf to Him with penitence and importunity for my Salvation. The most ignorant, with a little Confideration, and without any Rules of Art, may easily find in this manner, what will be the natural refult of every article, and what effect it would produce in all that heartily imbrace it. Who is jo rude, but he can tell what manner of perfons they ought to be, who believe in an All-fecing and moft Holy God; who confefs a Refurrection of the Body; a univerfal and dreadful Day of Doom; and an eternal State of Joy, or Mifety to follow after it? I fear God will account thofe Chriftians among ft Unbelievers, who say their Creed daily, yet live as if they did not believe one fyllable of it. Good men anciently advised all Chriftians to repeat the reed every morning, not as a Prayer, or a Prefervative from fin, meerly by the force of the Words, but to put them in mind that they
357 were followers of Jefus, who had done and fuffered fo much for 'em, and to quicken themselves to Love and good Works, which are the natural Fruits of Faith in Chrift, &c. and so it must me; and as a further help I confider
§. 8. The Conftantinopolitan, sometimes call'd the Nicene Creed.
I Believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things vifible and invifible: And in one Lord Jefus Chrift, the only begotten Son of God, Begotten of his Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, Begotten, not made, Being of one fubftance with the Father, By whom all things were made: Who for us men, and for our falvation came down from heav en, And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man, And was crucified alfo for us under Pontius Pilate. He fuffered and was buried, And the third day He rofe again according to the Scriptures, And afcended into heaven, And fitteth on the right hand of the Father. And He fhall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: Whofe kingdom fhall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Ghoft, the Lord and giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who fpake by the Prophets.' And I believe one Catholick and Apoftolick church. I acknowledge one Baptifm for the remiffion of fins. And I look for the refurrection of the dead, And the life of the world to come. Amen.
§. 9. THIS Creed was compofed in the 2d. General Coun cil at Conftantinople, probably by the famous Nazianzen, Anno Dom. 383, io the time of Gratian and Theodofius the great, approv'd of by 150 Bishops, and confirm'd by the Imperial Authority. It is fometimes call'd the Nicene Creed, because it differs very little from that which was compofed in the first General Council at Nice: nor did this Council, intend it for a new Creed, but only a fuller explication of fome Articles, in order to a more particular confutation ef the Arrians, the Macedonian Photinian, and Eunomian Heretickes. This may be recited every day with a new devotion and improved as directed above; But especially in order to the holy Communion: for there the leaft doubt or hesitancy in thefe