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PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION.
seems to be well ascertained that the latest edition of IT
the Exposition of the Creed, to which Bishop Pearson made any additions or alterations, is the third, in folio, 1669. That edition has consequently been here taken as the principal model for the text. I have availed myself, however, of the valuable labours of Dr Burton, in his revision of the text, stating in a note the reading of the third edition, when any deviation from it is made.
The pages of the third edition are printed in the margin; and all the references in the indexes are made to those
pages. To the theological student one of the most valuable parts of the Exposition of the Creed is the rich mine of patristical and general learning contained in the notes. If the passages to which reference is thus made were collected, with the context in which they occur, they would form a complete Catena of the best authorities upon doctrinal points. Even the briefest allusions derived from reading so extensive, and a memory so tenacious as Bishop Pearson's, deserve to be treasured as suggestive of patient investigation and deep thought, and directing the inquirer to the original sources whence information may be obtained. This consideration will, I trust, be a sufficient excuse for a minuteness of reference in the notes, which, under other circumstances, might be regarded as superfluous.
As regards the quotations from the Fathers and other sources, it may be stated that all have been faithfully verified throughout, and the errors of former editions of this work have been carefully corrected.
In those quotations which differ verbally from the original passages, I have followed Dr Burton's example in adopting the reading of the best editions to which I have had access : and I have noted the very few instances in which the general sense of a passage, and not the exact words, are given. I have, also, supplied several additional Notes, and have given a list of the several works which have been consulted.
It is to be regretted that Dr Burton has not given a list of the editions, to the volumes and pages of which he has
roferred. In some instances, and especially in the quotations from St Augustine, I have, however, reprinted those references, together with the references to the editions which I have consulted. Some references have also been taken from Mr Dobson's edition.
I am indebted to the Rev. Henry John Rose, late Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, for a careful collation of the passages from the Rabbinic writings and from the Chaldee paraphrases. All the quotations from the Chaldee and from Jarchi have been compared with Buxtorf's Biblia Rabbinica of Basle, 1618, and with Breithaupt's edition ; some passages have been compared with a MS. in the Library of St John's College, Cambridge: and some also with Bomberg's Biblia Rabbinica.
All the Syriac passages, and some of those from the Chaldee paraphrases, have been compared with Walton's Polyglot.
Some additional notes on these subjects are marked with the initials H. J. R.
My thanks are due also to the Rev. Churchill Babington, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, for collating many passages in authors not contained in libraries which I could consult.
July 6, 1819.
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
corrected, and some additional references have been introduced. There are also inserted a few short but valuable notes, distinguished by the name, M. J. Routh. These notes were written by the late learned President of Magdalen College, Oxford, in a copy of the 11th edition of Pearson on the Creed, now in the Ronth Library, the munificent donation of Dr Routh to the University of Durham.
DUBAAN, June, 1859.
RIGHT WORSHIPFUL AND WELL-BELOVED
THE PARISHIONERS OF ST CLEMENTS,
Mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multiplied. F I should be at any time unmindful of your commands,
you might well esteem me unworthy of your continued favours; and there is some reason to suspect I have incurred the interpretation of forgetfulness, having been so backward in the performance of my promises. Some years have passed since I preached unto you upon such texts of Scripture as were on purpose selected in relation to the CREED, and was moved by you to make those meditations public. But you were pleased then to grant what my inclinations rather led me to, that they might be turned into an Exposition of the Creed itself; which, partly by the difficulty of the work undertaken, partly by the intervention of some other employments, hath taken me up thus long, for which I desire your pardon. And yet an happy excuse may be pleaded for my delay, meeting with a very great felicity, that as faith triumpheth in good works, so my Exposition of the Creed should be contemporary with the reedifying of your Church. For though I can have little temptation to believe that my book should last so long as that fabric; yet I am exceedingly pleased that they should begin together; that the publishing of the one should so agree with the opening of the other. This, I hope, may persuade you to forget my slackness, considering ye were not ready to your own expectation; your experience tells you the excuse of church-work will be accepted in building, I beseech you let it not be denied in printing
That blessed Saint, by whose name your Parish is known, was a fellow-labourer with St Paul, and a successor of St Peter; he had the honour to be numbered in the Scripture with them whose names are written in the book of life; and when he had sealed the Gospel with his blood, he was one of the first whose memory was perpetuated by the building a Church to bear his name. Thus was St Clement's Church famous in Rome, when Rome was famous for the fuith spoken
of throughout the whole world. He wrote an Epistle to the Corinthians infested with a schism, in imitation of St Paul, which obtained so great authority in the primitive times, that it was frequently read in their public congregations; and yet had for many hundred years been lost, till it was at last set forth out of the library of the late King.
Now as, by the providence of God, the memory of that primitive Saint hath been restored in our age, so my design aimeth at nothing else but that the primitive Faith may be revived. And therefore in this edition of the Creed I shall speak to you but what St Jude hath already spoken to the whole Church, Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints. If it were so needful for him then to write, and for them to whom he wrote to contend for the first faith, it will appear as needful for me now to follow his writing, and for you to imitate their earnestness, because the reason which he renders, as the cause of that necessity, is now more prevalent than it was at that time, or ever since. For, saith he, there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. The principles of Christianity are now as freely questioned as the most doubtful and controverted points; the grounds of faith are as safely denied, as the most unnecessary superstructions; that religion hath the greatest advantage which appeareth in the newest dress, as if we looked for another faith to be delivered to the saints: whereas in Christianity there can be no concerning truth which is not ancient; and whatsoever is truly new, is certainly false. Look then for purity in the fountain, and strive to embrace the first faith, to which you cannot have a more probable guide than the Creed, received in all ages of the Church ; and to this I refer you, as it leads you to the Scriptures, from whence it was at first deduced, that while those which are unskilful, and unstable, wrest the words of God himself unto their own damnation, ye may receive so much instruction as may set you beyond the imputation of unskilfulness, and so much of confirmation as may place you out of the danger of instability; which as it hath been the constant endeavour, so shall it ever be the prayer of him, who after so many encouragements of his labours amongst you, doth still desire to be known as
Your most faithful Servant in the Lord,
TO THE READER.
HAVE in this book undertaken an Exposition of the
Creed, and think it necessary in this Preface to give a brief account of the work, lest any should either expect to find that here wbich was never intended, or conceive that which they meet with such as they expected not.
The Creed, without controversy, is a brief comprehension of the objects of our Christian faith, and is generally taken to contain all things necessary to be believed. Now whether all things necessary be contained there, concerneth not an Expositor to dispute, who is obliged to take notice of what is in it, but not to inquire into what is not: whether all truths comprehended in the same be of equal and absolute necessity, we are no way forced to declare; it being sufficient, as to the design of an Exposition, to interpret the words, and so deliver the sense, to demonstrate the truth of the sense delivered, and to manifest the proper necessity of each truth, how far, and in what degree, and to what purposes, it is necessary.
This therefore is the method which I proposed to myself, and have prosecuted in every Article. First, to settle the words of each Article according to their antiquity, and generality of reception in the Creed. Secondly, to explicate and unfold the terms, and to endeavour a right notion and conception of them as they are to be understood in the same. Thirdly, to shew what are those truths which are naturally contained in those terms so explicated, and to make it appear that they are truths indeed, by such arguments and reasons as are respectively proper to evidence the verity of them. Fourthly, to declare what is the necessity of believing those truths, what efficacy and influence they have in the soul, and upon the life of a believer. Lastly, by a recollection of all, briefly to deliver the sum of every particular