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first in my heart really assenting, then in my mouth clearly Psal. cxvi. 10. and sincerely professing with the prophet David, I have
believed, therefore have I spoken. Thus briefly from the second consideration concerning confession implied in the first words 13 I believe, we shall pass unto the third consideration, of the necessity and particular obligation to such a confession.
If there were no other argument, yet being the object of faith is supposed infallibly true, and acknowledged to be so by every one that believeth, being it is the nature of truth not to hide itself, but rather to desire the light that it might appear; this were sufficient to move us to a confession of our faith. But beside the pature of the thing, we shall find many arguments obliging, pressing, urging us to such a profession. For, first, from the same God, and by the same means by which we have received the object of our faith, by which we
came under a possibility of faith, we have also received an 1 Pet. til. 15. express command to make a confession of the same: Be ready
(saith St Peter) always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you; and there can be no reason of hope but what is grounded on faith, nor can there be answer given unto that without an acknowledgment of this. Secondly, it is true indeed that the great promises of the Gospel are made unto faith, and glorious things
are spoken of it; but the same promises are made to the conRom. I. 10. fession of faith, together with it; and we know who it is hath Matt. I. 32. said, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I con
fess also before my Father which is in heaven. Besides, the profession of the faith of one Christian confirmeth and edifieth another in his, and the mutual benefit of all layeth an obligation upon every particular. Again, the matters of faith contain so much purity of doctrine, persuade such holiness of life, describe God so infinitely glorious, so transcendently gracious, so loving in himself, so merciful in his Son, so wonderful in all his works, that the sole confession of it glorifieth God; and how can we expect to enter into that glory which is none of ours, if we deny God that glory which is his ? Lastly, the concealing those truths which he hath revealed, the not acknowledging that faith which we are thought to believe, is so far from giving God that glory which is due unto him, that it dishonoureth the faith which it refuseth or neglecteth to profess, and casteth a kind of contumely upon the author of it, as
if God had revealed that which man should be ashamed to acknowledge. Wherefore he that came to save us hath also said unto us, Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my Luke is. 26. words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. Such a necessity there is of confession of faith, in respect of God, who commanded it, and is glorified in it; in respect of ourselves, who shall be rewarded for it; and in respect of our brethren, who are edified and confirmed by it. Which necessity the wisdom of the Church in former ages hath thought a sufficient ground to command the recitation of the CREED at the first initiation into the Church by baptism?
1 Ο τον κανόνα της αληθείας ακλινή quod videatur interrogatione Bapέν εαυτό κατέχων, δν δια του βαπτίσ. tismi a nobis non discrepare: sciat uatos elAnde. Iren. [i. 9. 4, p. 46.] quisque hoc opponendum putat pri. . Cum autem sub tribus et testatio mum, non esse unam nobis et schis. fidei et sponsio salatis pignerentur,
maticis Symboli Legem, neque eannecessario adjicitur ecclesiæ mentio, dem interrogationem. Nam quoniam ubi tres, id est Pater et dicunt, Credis in remissionem pecFilius et Spiritus Sanctus, ibi ecclesia, catorum, et vitam æternam per Sancquæ trium corpus est.' Tertull. de tam Ecclesiam ? mentiuntur interroBaptis. c. 6. 'In quem enim tin. gatione, quando non habeant Ec. gueret? in pænitentiam? quo ergo clesiam.' Idem, Epist. ad Magnum, illi præcursorem? in peccatorum re. [Ep. 69. § 7. p. 756.] “Mos inibi missionem, quam verbo dabat? in [id est Romæ] servatur antiquus, eos, semetipsum, quem humilitate cela qui gratiam Baptismi suscepturi bat? in Spiritum Sanctum, qui non sunt, publice, id est, fidelium populo dum & Patre descenderat? in Eccle. audiente, Symbolum reddere.' Ruffin. siam, quam nondum Apostoli struxe in Symb. & 3. [p. 55.] ‘Cum solemne rant?' Ibid. c. 11. Dehinc ter sit in lavacro, post Trinitatis confes. mergitamur, amplius aliquid respon sionem interrogare, Credis Sanctam dentes quam Dominus in Evangelio Ecclesiam ? Credis remissionem pecdeterminavit.' Id. de Cor. Militis, catorum ?' S. Hieron. Dial. contra e. 3. 'Sed et ipsa interrogatio, quæ Lucifer. § 12. [Vol. II. p. 184 D.] fit in Baptismo, testis est veritatis, Mens Hæretica reliquit Doctorem nam cum dicimus, Credis in vitam a quo fidem Ecclesiæ didicerat, oblita æternam, et remissionem peccatorum est pacti Dei sui, hoc est, fidei ipsius per sanctam Ecclesiam? intellegimus Dominicæ quæ in Symbolo contineremissionem peccatorum non nisi in tur, quam se die baptismatis servatuEcclesia dari.' S. Cyprianus, ep. ad ram esse promiserat.' Id. Comm. in Januarium, &c. [Ep. 70. § 2. p. 768]. Prov. c. ii. v. 17*. 'Interrogatus es, Quod si aliquis illud opponit, ut Credis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem ? dicat, eandem Novatianum Legem dixisti, Credo; et mersisti, hoc est, tenere quam Catholica Ecclesia teneat, sepultus es. Iterum interrogatus es, eodem Symbolo quo et nos baptizare, Credis in Dominum nostrum Jesum eundem nosse Deum Patrem, eundem Christum, et in crucem ejus ? dixisti, Filium Christum, eundem Spiritum Credo, et mersisti: ideo et Christo Sanctum, ac propter hoc usurpare es consepultus, [qui enim Christo eum potestatem Laptizandi posse, consepelitur cum Christo resurgit).
· This work is not Jerome's, though priuted in some of the earlier editions. It is by Bede, see VOL. 11. 447.
(for which purpose it was taught and expounded to those which were to be baptized immediately' before the great 14
Tertio interrogatus es, Credis et in Spiritum Sanctum? dixisti, Credo ; tertio mersisti: ut multiplicem lapsum superioris ætatis absolveret trina confessio.' Ambros. de Sacram. 1. i. c. 7. [Vol. II. p. 359.) Leo speaks thus of Eutyches in his epistle to Flavianus: Quam enim eruditionem de sacris Novi et Veteris Testamenti paginis acquisivit, qui ne ipsius quidem Symboli initia comprehendit? et quod per totum mundum omnium regenerandorum voce depromitur, istius adhuc senis corde non capitur. Ep. xxviii. c. I. (vol. 1. 851.] And in the 12th Book de Trinitate, p. 304, (formerly attributed to Athanasius, but more probably now thought to belong to Vigilius Tapsensis); “Nec non et illa magua et beata Confessio Fidei, imo ipsa Fides Sanctorum, et Testamentum quod disposuimus ad Patrem, Filium, et Spiritum Sanctum, ad sacrum lavacrum regenerationis venientes, Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, et in Jesum Christum Filium ejus unigenitum, et in Spiritum Sanctum.' Καθώς παρελάβομεν παρά των προ ημών επισκόπων και εν τη κατηχήσει, και ότε το λουτρόν έλαμBávojev. Eusebius of the Confession of Faith which he exhibited to the council of Nice, Socr. l. i. c. 8. Theodor. 1. i. c. 12. •Abrenuntio, inquis, Diabolo, pompis, spectaculis, et operibus ejus. Et quid postea ? Credo, inquis, in Deum Patrem omnipotentem.' Salvianus dc Gubern. Dei, lib. vi. c. 6. And when this Creed was enlarged by the council of Nice, and after that by others, Epiphanius commends it to the Catechumeri, to be repeated at their baptism: ούτως έκαστον των κατηχουμένων των μελλόντων τώ αγία λουτρώ προσιέναι, ου μόνον απαγγέλ. λειν οφείλετε το πιστεύειν τους εαυτών υιοίς εν κυρία, αλλά και διδάσκειν ρητώς, ώς πάντων ή αυτή μήτηρ υμών τε και ημών το λέγειν, Πιστεύομεν εις ένα Oebv, &c. Epiphan, in Ancorato,
[S 119. Vol. II. p. 122 c.] And when he had yet farther enlarged it by reason of some new emergent heresies, he commends it: uálcota τοις τώ αγίω λουτρό πρoσιoύσιν, ίνα απαγγέλλωσι και λέγωσιν ούτως. Ιbid. (S 121. p. 123 c.] The first council of Constantinople confirms the Nicene confession, as: πρεσβυτάτην τε ούσαν kai dkblovov tý Bartlouati. Theodor. lib. v. cap. 9. And the council of Chalcedon of the same: ήν, ως κοινόν εξ αγίων σύνθημα, τοις μυουμένοις προς την της υιοθεσίας παρεγγυώμεν ασφάdelav. Parte tertia. [Labbe, vol. iv. p. 819 D.] The Synod at Jerusalem: το άγιον σύμβολον εις ο εβαπτίσθημεν Kal Bantifouer. The Synod at Tyre: εν αυτώ βαπτισθέντες και βαπτίζοντες. . And the Council of Constantinople under Menna, to which the former sent their gynodical letters: το άγιον σύμβολονείς και και πάντες εβαπτίσθημεν, . Concil. Constantinop. sub Agap. et Menna, Act. 5. [I.abbe, vol. v. p. 165.] Basiliscus and Marcus in two several edicts, confirmed the same Nicene Creed with these words: είς και ημείς τε και πάντες οι προ ημών πιστεύσαντες εβαπτίσθημεν. . Evagr. l. iii. cap. 4 et 7. And the edict of the emperor Justinian: •Anathematizaverunt eos, qui aliam definitionem fidei, sive Symbolum, sive Mathema, tradunt accedentibus ad sanctum baptisma.' [Dr Burton refers to Bishop Bull, Jud. Eccles. Cath. vi. 4, to shew that the Nicene Creed was not intended to be recited at Baptism: and to Bingham's Antiquities, x. 4. 17, and quotes Heb. X. 22, 23; 1 Pet. iii. 21, as containing apparently some allusion to the recitation of a Creed at Baptism.]
1 “Ότι δεί τους φωτιζομένους την πίστιν εκμανθάνειν, και τη πέμπτη της εβδομάδος απαγγέλλειν το επισκόπη η Toîs at peoßutépous. Concil. Laodic. can. 46. [Labbe, vol. 1. p. 1504.] Where it is to be observed that IILOTIS is taken for the Crecd or Symbolum
solemnity of Easter), and to require a particular' repetition of it publicly, as often as the sacrament of the Eucharist was administered, and a constant and perpetual inculcation of the same by the clergy to the people”.
And as this necessity is great, as the practice useful and advantageous; so is the obligation of believing and confessing particular, binding every single Christian, observable in the number and person expressed, I believe. As if Christ did question every one in particular, as he did him who was born blind, after he had restored him his sight (and we are all in his condition), Dost thou believe on the Son of God? Every John Lk 85, single Christian is taught to make the same answer which he Fidei, and was so translated ancient. εκμανθάνειν την πίστιν, και γινώσκειν ly, as appeareth by the Canon pre ότι θείας δωρεάς κατηξιώθησαν. Conc. served in the Canon-law, and rendered Laod.can. 47. [Labbe, vol. 1. p. 1505.] thus: 'Baptizandos oportet Fidei 1 As appears in the ancient Greek Symbolum discere, et quinta feria Liturgies, and the Decree of the third ultimæ septimanæ vel Episcopo vel council of Toledo: Ut omni sacrificii Presbyteris reddere.' De Consec. tempore [ante] communicationem dist. 4, cap. 58. "Symbolum etiam corporis Christi vel sanguinis, juxta placuit ab omnibus Ecclesiis una die, Orientalium patrum (al. partium) id est, ante octo dies Dominicæ resur morem, unanimiter clara voce sacrarectionis, publice Ecclesia compe
tissimum fidei recenseant Symbolum.' tentibus tradi.' Concil. Agathens. [Labbe, vol. V. p. 1009.] Which cap. 13. [can. 13. Labbe, vol. iv. custom as they call it of the Oriental p. 1385.] Sicut antiqui Canones parts, is said first to be introduced jabent, ante viginti dies Baptismi ad by Petrus Mongus at Alexandria, purgationem exorcismi Catechumeni and after by Timotheus at Constanti. currant: in quibus viginti diebus nople, as appears out of the fragomnino Catechumeni Symbolum, ments of Theodorus Lector. [Tube quod est, Credo in Deum Patrem θεος το των τριακοσίων δέκα και οκτώ omnipotentem, specialiter doceantur.' πατέρων της πίστεως Σύμβολον, καθ' Concil. Bracarens. 3. (can. 1. Labbe, εκάστην σύναξιν λέγεσθαι παρεσκεύασεν, , vol. v. p. 896.] The Canon of the επί διαβολή δήθεν Μακεδονίου, ως Laodicean Council, already men αυτού μη δεχομένου το Σύμβολον" tioned, is verbatim rehearsed in the άπαξ του έτους λεγόμενον πρότερον sixth council in Trullo, Can. 78. It εν τη αγία παρασκευή του θείου πάθους,
, appeareth therefore a general com. τω καιρώ των γινομένων υπό του επιmand of the Church, that those who OKOTOU KATnXNoew. Frag. 32, p. 563.) were to be baptized, should have a [Bingham, x. 4. 17, here quoted by certain time allotted for the learning Dr Burton, shews that the Creed was and rehearsing of the Creed. And not repeated in the daily service in the in case of necessity, if any were Greek Church, till about the middle baptized, they were to learn the of the fifth century; and not till a CREED immediately after their bap later period in the Latin Church.] tism: öti dei (not as it is in the edi. 3 Symbolum, quod est signacution of Binius, both in this canon lum fidei, et Orationem Dominicam and in the former most absurdly, "OTU discere, semper admoneant sacerdotes ου δει) τους εν νόσω παραλαμβάνοντας populum Christianum. Concil. Μοτο φώτισμα, και είτα αναστάντας, gunt.can. 45. [Labbe, vol. vii. p. 1251.]
made, Lord, I believe. As if the Son of God did promise to
every one of them which are gathered together in his name, Mark ix. 17, what he promised to one of the multitude, whose son had a
dumb spirit, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth ; each one for himself returneth his answer, Lord, I believe; Lord, help my unbelief. Not that it is unlawful or unfit to use another number, and instead of I, to say We believe : for taking in of others, we exclude not our
selves; and addition of charity can be no disparagement to John vi. 69. confession of faith. St Peter answered for the twelve, We
believe, and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. For though Christ immediately replied that one of them had a devil, yet is not St Peter blamed, who
knew it not. But every one is taught to express his own James v. 16. faith, because by that he is to stand or fall. The effectual
fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much for the benefit
proper for me to say, I believe, and to make profession of my Gal il 20. faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Being then I have described the true nature and notion of belief, the duty of confessing our faith, and the obligation of every particular Christian to believe and to confess; being in these three explications all, which can be imaginably contained in the first word of the CREED, must necessarily be included; it will now be easy for me to deliver, and for every particular person to understand what it is he says, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he begins his confession with these words, I believe, which I conceive may in this manner be fitly expressed.
Although those things which I am ready to affirm be not apparent to my sense, so that I cannot say I see them; although they be not evident to my understanding of themselves, nor appear unto me true by the virtue of any natural and necessary cause, so that I cannot say I have any proper knowledge or science of them; yet, being they are certainly contained in the Scriptures, the writings of the blessed apostles and prophets; being those apostles and prophets were endued
i (Having then described, 3rd Edition.]