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CRITICAL HISTORY

OF THE

ATHANASIAN CREED.

BY

DANIEL WATERLAND, D.D.

FORMERLY MASTER OF MAGDALEN COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE; CANON

OF WINDSOR; AND ARCHDEACON OF MIDDLESEX.

A New Edition,

REVISED AND CORRECTED BY THE

REV. J. R. KING, M.A.

LATE FELLOW AND TUTOR OF MERTON COLLEGE, OXFORD.

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Oxford and London :
JAMES PARK ER AND CO.

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EDITOR'S PREFACE.

THE
THE “Critical History of the Athanasian Creed”

had its origin in Dr. Waterland's controversy with Dr. Clarke, and other Anti-Trinitarians, on the subject of the blessed Trinity. First published in 1723, in the interval between his “Second Vindication of Christ's Divinity," and his “Farther Vindication,” both of them directly controversial works, it yet is singularly free from polemics ; and it is only in the last chapter that he thinks it well to answer the objections of Dr. Clarke, who “out of his abundant zeal to promote Arianism had taken upon him to disparage this excellent Form of Faith."

After an Introduction, in which the Author explains the scope and method of the work, disclaiming any pretence at originality, and declaring that it professes to be nothing more than a careful digest, in a form convenient for the English reader, of all that he had been able to discover written on the subject, the treatise is divided into eleven chapters, of which eight are concerned with the history of the Creed, and the remaining three with its substance, and its use in the Church of England.

The first chapter sets forth the opinions of the chief modern authorities as to the date and authorship of

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the Creed, beginning with Gerard Voss, who published his treatise, De tribus Symbolis, in 1642, and ending with Casimir Oudin, whose Commentary on the Ecclesiastical Writers appeared in its final form in 1722. The great majority of the thirty-two authors whom he cites are agreed that the Creed is not the work of Athanasius; and most of them would assign to it an origin in the Western Church, not earlier than the fifth century. Eight of them ascribe it to Vigilius Tapsensis, whilst no two are agreed in upholding the claims of any other Latin writer to its authorship. Dr. Clarke is alone in bringing it down to so late a period as the eighth or ninth century, though Voss and Dr. Cave agree with him in supposing it not to have been generally received till about the year 1000.

In the second chapter, Dr. Waterland considers the testimony of more ancient writers to the existence and authority of the Creed. Rejecting the evidence adduced from writers earlier than the seventh century as spurious or irrelevant, he attaches some importance to that afforded by a Canon which is attributed to the Synod of Autun, in 670. The first unquestionable testimony, however, is supplied in certain articles of enquiry, preserved by Rhegino, Abbot of Prom in Germany, and referable to the middle of the eighth century. Thenceforward quotations from the Creed

. are not uncommon, though the title Symbolum is not applied to it by any author before Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims in the middle of the ninth century,

and the appellation was not generally in use for some three centuries more. Dr. Waterland quotes in all thirty-six authorities in this chapter, ending with Johannes Plusiadenus, in 1439. Most of them ascribe the Creed to Athanasius, and none to any other author, though Beleth mentions as a common view the theory that it was written by Anastasius.

The third chapter is taken up with the consideration of the ancient commentators on the Athanasian Creed, beginning with Venantius Fortunatus in the sixth, and ending with Peter d'Osma of Salamanca, in the fifteenth century. The first of these is the most important, proving the existence of the Creed at an earlier period than any other evidence which we possess : insomuch that Muratori erroneously supposed Fortunatus to have been himself the author.

The fourth chapter contains an account of the various manuscripts of the Athanasian Creed which Dr. Waterland could trace. The earliest of these is quoted by Bishop Usher as belonging to the end of the sixth century; but this, as well as the Manuscript of Trêves, referred to the middle of the seventh century, was already lost in the time of Dr. Waterland ; so that the earliest manuscript then known to exist was that in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, belonging to the end of the seventh century. Between that time and the end of the eleventh century, twenty-two manuscripts are described, most of them being attached to Psalters, mainly of the Gallican version. This chapter closes

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