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That God so loved the world, as of his tender mercy to give his only son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption.
4. The Jews believed that the Messiah would come in a triumphant manner, and release them from subjection to the Roman yoke: and even the disciples were so fully possessed with this idea, that after our Lord's resurrection, they immediately enquired—“ Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel ?”
Thus “by teaching for doctrines the commandments of men,” did the Jews, notwithstanding all the instruction of their prophets, and successive preceptors in duty, in spite of miracles the most astonishing, and evidence the most conclusive, reject their Messiah, and with wicked hands, crucify the Lord of life and glory.
Of the general tendency of traditions, to pervert the plain and obvious meaning of scripture, our Saviour himself has given us a striking example, by expressly stating the text first, the commandment of the law, “Honour thy father and mother"- then the Jewish doctrine derived from tradition, that if any man should say, It is Corban, or a gift, to his father or mother, it had the force of a vow, and he was released from any obligation, to contribute to their support, it being unlawful
convert to private use, that which was consecrated to God,
Many of the errors of the Roman Church, originate from the same source as those of the Jews, viz, -a misplaced confidence in the authority of traditions, the whole of her religion being conceived, or pretended to have issued from the fountain of apostoliç purity;
That our blessed Lord willingly left the glory of the Father, was conceived by the Holy Ghost, was born of the Virgin
whereas it is evident to every man who reads ecclesiastical history, that many of her doctrines were originally derived from decrees of councils, many from Papal definitions, and many from the authority of some great man, so that we may apply here what Gregory Nazianzen said of Athanasius-—“What pleased him was a law to men--what did not please him, was as a thing prohibited by law." From whence, for instance, does the Roman church derive her authority for the idolatrous use of images, the invocation of saints, the worship of the blessed virgin, the celibacy of the clergy, the vows of her monastic orders, male and female, and the performance of divine service, in a language which the people cannot understand? a practice plainly repugnant to the word of God, and the custom of the primitive church. I am confident, that the most learned antiquary, in the catholic communion, nay that Baronius himself, were he now alive, could not produce one example, of any church, city, or parish, in all the world, for 500 years after Christ, where the sermons to the people were in one language, and the service in another. Even the Lateran council, held in the year 1225, makes this decree"Quoniam in plerisque," " because, in many parts, within the same city and diocess, people are mixed, and of divers languages, having, under one faith, different rites and ceremonies, we strictly command that the bishop of the said cities or diocess, provide fit and able men, who, according to the diversities of their rites and lan
Mary, and at length, humbled himself, even to the death of the cross, for us, miserable sinners, to the end that all, who with hearty repentance and true faith, should come to him, might not perish but have everlasting life.
That he descended into hell, (the place of the dead) and rose again the third day
guages, may celebrate divine services, and administer the sacraments of the church.”
“ Whatever is first,” says Tertullian, “is true, whatever is more recent, is spurious.” To the severe test of this primitive canon, we must bring the pretensions of the Roman traditions, rejected by the Protestant church. The question is not, whether many of the Popish doctrines and practices be not of very remote antiquity, but the real question is, whether they can claim such antiquity, as reaches to the age of approving apostolic authority–Unless a chain can be constructed, which shall bind the modern church of Rome, to the primitive church of Christ, the mere comparative antiquity of its peculiar tenets, will avail nothing. The connecting link will be wanted ; and let such tenets be introduced when they may, (since they cannot be shewn, to have existed from the beginning,) they stand convicted of novelty, and on that specific ground, they must be rejected as spurious. Against God and truth, there can lie no prescription, it is therefore the duty of every man, to forsake ancient errors, for more ancient truths.
that he is now at the right hand of God, making intercession for his people.
That being reconciled to God, by the death of his son, we may come boldly to the throne of grace, to obtain mercy, and find grace to help in every time of need.
That our heavenly Father will surely give his Holy Spirit, to them that ask him.
That the Spirit of God must dwell in us, and that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
That by this divine influence we are to be renewed in knowledge after the image of him who created us, and to be filled with the fruits of righteousness, to the praise of the glory of his grace.
That being thus made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, “ we shall sleep in the Lord,” and that when the last trumpet shall soạnd, this corruption shall put on incorruption, and that those who have done good, shall inherit eter
nal life, and those, who have done evil, shall go into everlasting punishment.
These are the leading doctrines which the Church requires us to believe, as they are set forth in the Holy Bible, which, that they may be the more easily remembered, are brought together, into one short account, which is called the apostles' creed, or belief. It is called the creed of the apostles, because the things contained in it, were believed and taught by the apostles, and because the creed was composed, part in the time of the apostles, and part, very soon afterwards.
An enlightened and correct faith, is the true and only firm foundation on which men can rest their hopes of pardon for sins, and acceptance with God. They must know and believe in God the Father, as a just and holy God, angry with sinners, and able to inflict the severest punishment, yet remembering mercy, and holding out pardon and reconciliation, by a wonderful means of his own providing
They must know and believe in God