Page images

The FIRST CREED is that of the APOSTLES; which excels all the others in beauty and conciseness: because, it embraces in the most brief and compendious manner all the articles of the Christian Faith, and can therefore be the more easily learnt and understood by children and the more simple ones.

The SECOND CREED is that of ATHANASIUS; which is somewhat longer, and designed to confute the Arian heretics. It more fully asserts and illustrates the article concerning the divinity of Christ Jesus: whom it proves to be, the only and true Son of God, and our Lord: whom we worship and call upon with the same faith as that whereby we worship and call upon the Father himself: as we confess in the first Creed, 'I believe in God the Father Almighty, and, in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord,' &c. For if he were not the true God equally with the Father, it would not become us to ascribe unto him the same honour of faith, worship, and prayer, as that which we ascribe unto the Father. This is the article, therefore, which Athanasius contends for, and enforces, in his Creed; and it is, as it were, a pillar of the first Creed, that of the Apostles!

The THIRD CREED is ascribed to Ambrose and Augustine; and is said to be that which was sung after the Baptism of Augustine. But, whether that be so or not, I consider it of no consequence at all. It is a very beautiful Creed or Confession, (whoever was its author,) composed in the manner of a hymn: in which, there is not only a beautiful Confession of the Faith, but God is therein, wonderfully proclaimed and celebrated.

[ocr errors]



Is that generally and well-known confession of the Apostles in which is laid down the foundation of the Christian Faith. It is thus,

I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty Maker of heaven and earth

AND, in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord; who was conceived of the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead, and buried; He descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I BELIEVE in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic church; the communion of Saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.



Is called the Creed of Athanasius; because it was drawn up by him against the Arian heretics. It is thus,

WHOSOEVER will be saved; before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith.

Which Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the Catholic Faith is this: that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.

Neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated; but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.

And yet, they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet, they are not three Gods, but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.

And yet, not three Lords, but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity, to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord;

So are we forbidden by the Catholic religion, to say, there be three Gods, or three Lords.

The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after other: none is greater, or less than another.

But the whole three Persons are co-eternal togegether: and co-equal.

So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved; must thus think of the Trinity.

FURTHERMORE, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly, the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and Man, of the substance of his Mother, born in the world.

Perfect God, and perfect man: of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead: and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood. Who although he be God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ.

One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God.

One altogether; not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man : so God and Man is one Christ.

Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies; and shall give account for their own works.

And they that have done good, shall go into life everlasting; aud they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic Faith: which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.


WHICH is generally ascribed to Ambrose and Augustine, is that well-known hymn-"Te Deum.”—


WE praise thee, O God: we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.

All the earth doth worship thee; the Father everlasting.

To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all

To thee Cherubin and Seraphin, continually do cry,
Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Sabaoth;

Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of thy

[ocr errors]



The glorious company of the Apostles, praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs praise thee.

The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge thee.

The Father of an infinite Majesty. Thine honourable, true, and only Son. Also the Holy Ghost the comforter. Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ. Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father. When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.

When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death,, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers. Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.

« PreviousContinue »