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But another difficulty is here brought forward'must a man understand all the deep mystery of the Trinity, and be able to define the nature and the office of each Person, as these things are laid down in that Creed? and unless he thus understands, is he to be lost?' It is not said that he is to understand, but to believe. For, if none should be saved but those who understood any one mystery, not one would be saved; a mystery (and God's nature must be a mystery to all but Himself) is not to be understood, but believed in the simple Word of God. "Without controversy (i. e. without any question) "great is the mystery of Godliness"-(the great and chief truth of our religion is a great mystery, and can never be understood) "God was manifest in the flesh"(for Christ, the Son of Man, was God with us)—— "justified in the Spirit" (for, he was declared to be the Son of God, by the Spirit, which lighted on and dwelt in Him,)" he was seen of angels

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"believed on in the world, and received up into glory." Who can understand this? and yet whosoever doth not believe this with his heart, is not a Christian, and that same merciful Saviour who says, "Come unto me, all that are weary and heavy laden," and "Him that cometh I will in no wise cast out;' and mourns, "Ye will not come unto me, that ye might have life," says also, "He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him."

But some one may still say, 'Are we to believe those points concerning the nature of God, which we cannot understand, and which seem contrary to reason." "I speak as a man "-I am using the words of an objector. We are not asked to believe one thing contrary to reason, (and this is most important to be observed), though we are

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required to believe many things above our reason. I know, for example, that every man has a body, made of dust, that is one thing-a soul, the breath of God, that is another and, if he is a Christian, he has also the Spirit of God dwelling in him, that is a third, and each of these three things differs from the other. Since the body is not the soul-nor are either body or soul like the Spirit-and yet, different as they are, they make but one man and, different as they are, they agree in one.' Do you believe this?-Nay, you know it, and yet two of these things you have never seen, (for no man hath seen a soul, and no man can see the Spirit.) This, too, is a mystery! impossible to understand, and yet we believe it. So likewise, the nature of God's Being is a great and deep mystery, but if we believe that God hath revealed it in His own true Word, then to doubt the whole, or doubt any part of what he hath thus declared (whether set forth in His Word, or gathered out of His Word into a Creed) is not to doubt a Creed, but to "make God a liar."

And in plain truth, the real root of all such cavils and objections, is unbelief- the natural infidelity of our heart. We will not take God's own plain declarations-his own clear words, which cannot be mistaken:-the Scripture deals too plainly with us-the terms of the Gospel are too decided for us-the free mercy of God to all that repent and believe is not free enough for us. We would fain persuade ourselves, that even if we do not believe all that is revealed to us-even if we do not leave all sinGod is so merciful that he will accept us as we are-and shorten his measure to our dwarfish stature-and open his strait gate to our weak

nesses-and make his narrow way broad enough for us and our half faith (but real unbelief), pardonable infirmities, as we call them, but real sins as God calls them, to travel on quietly together. The real (though often unperceived) spring of all such objections is an uneasy conscience, or a mind not persuaded of the truth-that would hate the truth which is too strict for it, (as Ahab hated Micaiah the Prophet of the Lord) because, whenever it is heard, it "prophecieth no good to the unbelieving heart, but only evil."

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Having thus endeavoured to explain the difficulties which a candid and sincere enquirer would probably find in this Creed, and having also tried to follow up, to their real source and spring, the objections of those who dislike this Creed, because it is too strict for them, we would observe to you, that this very Creed has been preserved in the Liturgies of every Church, that has not openly denied, or secretly explained away, the great doctrines of the Trinity' and 'Christ's Incarnation;' that is, His becoming man to atone for our sin. The Church of Rome, and the Greek Church (both, on other points, in grievous error, the one being worshippers of dolls and pictures, the other picture worshippers) yet both kept this Creed safe, though, like other things drawn from God's Word, it lies buried under the rubbish of their own traditions. Luther calls it 'the bulwark to the Apostles' Creed' at the Reformation, every Protestant Church preserved it-the Puritans in England, (who are the forefathers of most of our Protestant Dissenters) embraced it as readily as the Church of England itself.

If any one, then, should doubt as to this

Creed, let him first diligently search the Scriptures, and if, after a careful and prayerful consideration, he finds that those Holy Writings declare what is contrary to this Creed, then he may reject it--but this he will not have to do, because every word of the Creed may be proved by most certain warrants of Scripture.

Before we leave this important subject let me observe, that the word hell' in the Apostles' Creed, means 'the place of departed spirits'not the place of torment-the same place of which David, speaking in the person of the Messiah, says, "Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."(Ps. xvi.) By the quick' is meant, those who shall be found alive on earth at Christ's second coming.

In the Nicene Creed, (i. e. that which is read in the Communion Service) the words, by whom all things were made,' are spoken of Christ, who is "the Word of God, by whom God made the worlds."

The words 'whose kingdom shall have no end,' were added to the Nicene Creed, because there was a sect of heretics, who said, 'that Christ's kingdom shall end at the Day of Judgement. Whereas, when St. Paul (in 1 Cor. xv. 24,) says, that "Christ shall, at the end, deliver up the kingdom to God," he means his kingdom, as "Mediator between God and man;" which office will not be needed, because the redeemed of the Lord shall be then delivered from sin for ever whereas now, when any man' (i.e. any believer) 'sins, he needs an advocate,' (one to plead his cause) with the Father, "Jesus Christ the Righteous."

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When it is said, that the Holy Ghost is 'the Lord and Giver of life,' there is wanted a stop after the word 'Lord,' (i. e. Jehovah) who is also (in his office) "the Giver of all Spiritual life; and we should read it thus, 'I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord: and Giver of life.'

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Such are those Confessions of our Christian Faith, which we publicly make in our Church of England, in which we declare our own belief, on the one hand, and hold out a shield of defence against the errors of false teachers and false brethren, on the other.

These Confessions of Faith are to be made by each one for himself-it must be I believe—I believe for myself-I believe, in my heart, this is true-I set to my seal, that God is true in His Word, and that this is drawn from that true Word of God.

SIN is a personal thing-my sins are mine, and not another's-the sins I have done in thought, word, and deed, are written down on that page of God's Book of reckoning, wherein my name is written. "All have sinned" beside me-but this general acknowledgement of sin will avail nothing for me-I must acknowledge my transgression, and my own sin must be ever before me.

So also FAITH must be personal-I must believe for myself-another cannot believe for me-FAITH is never done by deputy. I must take home to myself the great general truth, that Christ died to save sinners-I believe that he died to save me

if I would have my "Faith counted unto me for righteousness," and obtain from the mercy of God, through Faith, a free, full, and perfect

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