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to dissolve the law, but to fulfil it.” (Matt. v. 7.) And so far was he from derogating from the obligation of it, that he extended its application, not only to the actions, but even to the thoughts and words of men.
OF THE THREE CREEDS.
THE THREE CREEDS, NICE CREED, ATHANASIUS'S CREED,
AND THAT WHICH IS COMMONLY CALLED THE APOS
TLES' CREED, OUGHT THOROUGHLY TO BE RECEIVED
CERTAIN WARRANTS OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. As the doctrines contained in these creeds have been already proved, it will be only necessary to consider some few particulars concerning them.
I. As to the Nicene Creed. The article of the procession of the Holy Ghost, with the following words, was not expressed in the original form of this creed as made at Nice. It is, however, found in the creed of Epiphanius, which proves the doctrine to have been held by the Church, before the second General Council of Constantinople. In this Council the creed was reduced
* This Council was held in 381, and condemned Macedonius, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. Mosheim's Hist. p. 2. C, 5. cent. 4.
to it's present state, with the exception of the article relating to the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, which was afterwards added in Spain, (A.D. 447.) whence it spread over the Western Church.a
II. As to the Creed of St. Athanasius. Neither was this creed composed by the person whose name it bears, for 1: It is not found in his works. 2. He, and the rest of the orthodox, always refer to the Nicene Creed. 3. The Macedonian, Nestorian, and Eutychian heresies, are condemned in it, yet it was never urged as an authority in those disputes, whence it is clear that no such creed was then known in the world; and, 4. It never was heard of till the eighth century.
2 Three different states of the creed are here alluded to. In the original Nicene Creed, the Article was simply : " and in the Holy Ghost.” In the Constantinopolitan, “ And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life, wbo proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son, is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets." The creed in its present form, differing from this, only by the insertion of the words filioque, (“ proceedeth from the Father and the Son,") obtained universally in the Western Church, by the sanction of Pope Nicholas I. A. D. 883. See Field, of the Church, B. 3. c. 1. p. 53.
• It was received into the Gallican Psalter about the year 670. For the history of the reception of this creed into the different Churches, see Dr. Waterland's Works, v. 6. p. 229, &c. Ed. Oxford, 1823. For the life of Athanasius, and the persecutions to which he was exposed from the Arian party, see Lardner's Wurks, v. 8. p. 414, and Cave's Lit. Hist. Part. 1. p. 141.
An objection has been made to this creed, from its declaring that whosoever will be saved, must believe it, and such as do not hold it pure and undefiled, must perish everlastingly ; where many explanations of a mystery hard to be understood, are made indispensably necessary to salvation. To this two answers are made; l. That it is only the Christian faith in general that is here meant, and not every period and article of this creed, so that these expressions only import the necessity of believing the Christian religion. But this appears unsatisfactory, for the words,a And the Catholic faith is this, plainly determine the signification of that term to the explanation that follows. 2. Others answer, that these condemnatory expressions only relate to those who, having the means of instruction offered to them, have rejected them, and wilfully stifled their own convictions. Thus, the wages of sin is death, so that every sinner is in a state of damnation, yet a sincere repentance delivers from it. In the same way we may believe that some doctrines are necessary to salvation, as well as some commandments necessary for practice, and, therefore, any who have had the means of conviction, and yet harden themselves against it, cannot be saved, while others who have not had the same means, or have only erred through ignorance, may by repentance escape the ill consequences of their error.a
* See Stillingfleet's Works, v. 4. p. 1. c. 2. pag. 68. Ed. 1709. a In the original, Bishop Burnet expresses a wish that the Church would make some declaration to this purpose. In the Convocation held in 1689, such a declaration was expressed, but it is evident our author did not conceive it authoritative. See Rubric quoted in Waterland's Works, v. 4. p. 305.
III. The Apostles' Creed. It does not appear that any determinate creed was made by the Apostles, for, 1. None of the first writers agree in expressing their faith in a certain form of words; whence it is clear, that no common form was delivered to all the Churches. 2. If there had been any tradition after the Council of Nice of such a creed composed by the Apostles, the Arians would certainly have rested their cause on this, that they adhered to this creed, in opposition to the innovations of the Nicene fathers. 3. It was first published by Ruffin in the fifth century.
This creed has been illustrated by several: Pearson, King, Heylin, Stackhouse, and Barrow.
OF ORIGINAL OR BIRTH SIN.
ORIGINAL SIN STANDETH NOT IN THE FOLLOWING ,
OF ADAM, (AS THE PELAGIANS DO VAINLY TALK)
FLESH, CALLED IN GREEK, Φρονημα σαρκος, WHICH SOME DO EXPOUND THE WISDOM, SOME SENSUALITY, SOME THE AFFECTION, SOME THE DESIRE OF THE FLESH,
IS NOT SUBJECT
THOUGH THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR THEM
AND LUST HATH OF ITSELF THE NATURE OF SIN.
This Article consists of two parts:
I. It asserts the existence of original sin in every person born into the world : and
. By the word naturally our Saviour is excepted, whose birth