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CONCLUS 10 N.
HUS far then we fee, what is meant
First, It is a Church, which is only in (24)
Secondly, It is a Church, which is (25) ALWAYS IN BEING, from its Eftablishment and Foundation by Chrift, to the end of the World.
Thirdly, It is a Church, which is (26) ALWAYS A VISIBLE and KNOWN SOCIETY, being, in a limited Senfe, the (27) CHURCH OF ALL NATIONS.
Fourthly, It is a Church, which is (28) ALWAYS ORTHODOX, both in the chief and in the secondary Articles of Religion.
And confequently it is a Church, whose Doctrine, in Matters of Religion, cannot be reform'd.
If these Points have been duly and rationally prov'd (as, I prefume, they have) I need not fay any more on this Head. But to fet the Subject in a more extenfive View, and to apply the Principles, already prov'd, a few Questions may be added.
(24) See the first and fecond Question of this Chapter. (25) Quest. 3d. (26) Quest. 4th. (27) Quest. 4th. Proof the firft. (28) Quest, 5th.
Are not new Terms of Communion, new Definitions of Faith, and new Creeds, a manifeft Proof of the Church's Unorthodoxy?
HIS is no better, than a vulError. Falfe or doubtful Definitions of Faith, falfe or doubtful Creeds, falfe or doubtful Additions to the ancient Creeds, and unreasonable Terms of Communion (or any of thefe) would make the Church to be Unorthodox: but new Definitions of Faith, new Creeds, new Additions to the ancient Creeds, and new Terms of Communion, cannot do it. Because a new Declaration of the ancient and Apoftolical FAITH cannot make her Unorthodox. Unless She be Unorthodox, because She does her Duty.
NY Truth, which is certainly reveal'd, may be put into the Creed, whenfoever the Catholick Church pleases : which Church, if it be always Orthodox (as was prov'd in the last Question) is an unexceptionable Judge of all reveal'd Truths. She might therefore (if new Herefies requir'd it) lawfully make a Creed of 39 Articles. Be cause new Creeds, and new Additions to them (if true, and certain) are neither commanded, nor forbid, by the Word of God: but are
1eft to the Prudence and Discretion of the H. Chap. 3 Catholick Church. Tho' She feldom or ne- Quest.o. ver uses this Power, but when the Defence of Truth, against new Herefies, requires it.
III. The two firft general Councils, an. 325, and 381, made a new Creed. The first inferted the Confubstantiality of the Son, against Arians; and concerning the eighth Article of the Baptifmal Creed, faid only, I believe in the Holy Ghost.
The latter added against the Macedonians, 1 believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father; who together with the Father and the Son, is ador'd and glorify'd; who spoke by the Prophets, &c. The Claufe, who proceeds from the Son was added after the fourth Century: tho' read in that, which we call S. Athanafius's Creed.
Of these the Church of England, in her 39 Articles, fays: (1) The three Creeds, Nice Creed, Athanafius's Creed, and that, which is commonly call'd the Apostles - Creed, ought THROUGHLY to be receiv'd,and believ'd: for they may be prov'd BY MOST CERTAIN WARRANTS of Holy Scripture. She reads the Nicene Creed (with the Additions made at Conftantinople, and with the Claufe concerning the Holy Ghoft proceeding from the Father and the Son) in her Communion Service. And S. Athanafius's Creed, on Christmas-day, on the Epiphany, on S. Mathias, on Eafter-day, on Afcenfion-day, on Whitfunday, on S. John Baptist, on Trinity Sunday, &c.
(1) Art. viii.
Chap. 3. Her fifth Article is: The Holy Ghoff, proceed Queft.6.ing from the Father AND THE SON, is of one Subftance, Majefty and Glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
IV. The third and fourth general Councils added nothing to the Creed. But the fourth against a new Herefy of Eutyches, not yet extinct, publifh'd a new (2) Definition of Faith. A Method, which the Catholick Church has us'd against all new Herefies, whenever there feem'd to be an Occafion for it, in all Ages fince.
V. These new Creeds, and Definitions of Faith, the Arians, the Macedonians, the Eutychians call'd INNOVATIONS, and new ARTICLES OF FAITH. Not that they contain any Doctrine, but what was reveal'd to the Apostles: but because all Diffenters form it are Innovators, and Reformers of the Faith once deliver'd to the Saints.
VI. The Catholick Church, against the late Herefies, has made no Creed. But Pope Pius the fourth publish'd a Profeffion of the Cathofick Faith, which our Adverfaries are pleas'd to call his Creed. And by the fame Rule all the Profeffions of Faith, which Proteftants have made, will be fo many Proteftant Creeds. Thus the Proteftants of (3) Bohemia, an. 1535, give us a new Creed of xx Articles.
Thofe of (4) Saxony, an. 1551, furnish us with another Proteftant Creed of xx Articles. Thofe
(2) AF. v. Tom. 4. Conc. Labb. pag. 566, 567. Et in Alloc. ad Imper. p. 819, &c. (3) In Syntag. Confefs. Par. 2. pag. 177. (4) Ibid. pag. 520
Thofe of (5) Scotland an. 1568, give us a Chap. 3. Scotch Creed of xxv. Articles. Queit.6.
Thofe of (6) Germany, an. 1530, fent us the first Proteftant Creed from Augsburg of xxviii
Besides, we have a Creed from (7) Swisserlandan. 1566, of xxx Art.a (8) WirtembergCreed, an. 1552, of xxxii Articles: a (9) Dutch Creed, confirm'd at Dort an. 1619, of xxxvii Articles: and a (10) Huguenot Creed of xl Articles, approv'd in their Synod at Rochelle an. 1561.
The 39 Articles of the Church of England were certainly defign'd to be a Profeffion of Faith, and fo they are call'd by (11) Protestants abroad. But her Faith in 1727 is not altogether the fame, that it was in 1562. For now fome of the 39 Articles are esteem'd no better by her dutiful Sons, than probable and pious Opinions. But if a Profeffion of Faith may be call'd a Creed; we shall still find Matter enough in the 39 Articles for a Prote ftant Creed.
And why may we not reckon the following Articles in it?
1. (12) Holy Scripture containeth all things neceffary to Salvation. Hence (13) befides the Scripture, the Church ought not to enforce any thing to be believ'd for neceffity of Salvation.
2. (14) Concupifcence (after Baptifm) bath of itfelf the nature of Sin. M 2
(5) Ib. Par. 1. pag. 111. (6) Ib. Par. 2. pag. 9. (7) 1b. Par. 1 pag. 1. (8) lb. Par. 2. pag. 102. (9) Par. I. pag. 129. (10) Ibid. pag. 77. (11) Anglicana Confeffio Fidei, in Articulis, de quibus convenit inter Archiepifco pos & Epifcopos utriufq; Provincie in Synodo Londinenfi an. Dom. 1552. Syntag. Par. 1. p. 99(12) Art. vi. (13) Art. xx. (14) Art. ix,