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ing Monuments of the Primitive Ages of the Church, from whence only all Learning of this Kind can be fetched and derived.
Whether the Author hath fucceeded in this Attempt, muft be left to others to judge; he can only fay in his own excufe, that he hath done his beft; and that it will be very acceptable to him to fee it better done by others of more Leifure, and greater Abilities and Learning, efpecially if any thing hit upon by him, may be of ufe to advance and improve this Design.
If the Author hath not explained every thing alledged by him to that degree of Clearnefs and Certainty, as may be expected by an inquifitive Rea
der, or hath in any Point been mistaken, it is excufable in him, not only on the account of the general Uncertainty of ancient and distant Matters, but also on the account of the affected and ftudied Obfcurity of the Primitive Writers in relation to this Particular; fo that it is not the Author's Fault, if at any time his Proofs are not fo copious or direct as might be wished for and defired: If he had found any thing in the Primitive Writers to have made any fuch Point clearer and ftronger, he would not have omitted it.
If the Explication given by the Author, of any Article or part of the Creed, should happen to be difliked or not approved by any one, the Reader must remember, That the Author only acts the part of an A 4
Hiftorian, his Defign being only to collect and difcover the Senfe and Meaning of the firft Makers and Compofers of the Creed, what it was that the Introducers of the feveral Articles purpofed and intended thereby; and, if in any place he feems to fpeak his own Senfe, that is only for the better carrying on the Thread of his Difcourfe, and in the Quality and Perfon of an Hiftorian, as having collected the Senfe or Explication in fuch place mentioned, to be the intended Meaning of the Framers of that Part or Claufe of the Creed; the only intent of the Author, being to fhew the Senfe and intended Meaning of the Composers of the Creed, and not at all to enter into an Examination of the Juftness or Truth of fuch Senfe and Meaning; the Author leaving that to every
Man's private Judgment, to be tried and determined by the Holy Scriptures, the only perfect and infallible Rule of Faith; by which, even this Creed its felf and every explication thereof, must be tried and judged, and is no farther to be received or believed, than as it is confonant and agreeable thereunto; which is according to the Sixth Article of the Church of England, That whatsoever is not read in the Holy Scripture, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any Man, that it fhould be believed as an Article of the Faith, or be thought requifite or necessary to Salvation.