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in Balaam's mouth; and not only fo, but a bridle with that word, only the Num. 22. 35. word that I shall speak unto thee, that thou shalt speak. The Prophets, as they did not frame the notions or conceptions themselves of those truths which they delivered from God, so did they not loosen their own tongues of their own instinct, or upon their own motion, but as moved, impelled, and acted by God. So we may in correspondence to the antecedent and subsequent words interpret those words of S. Peter, that no Prophecy of the Scripture 2 Pet. 1. 20, is of any * private interpretation : that is, that no Prophecy which is writ- *'ldias itinéten did fo proceed from the Prophet which spake or wrote it, that he of him- ows. self or by his own instinct did open his mouth to prophecy; but that all prophetical Revelations came from God alone, and that whosoever first delivered them was antecedently inspired by him, as it followeth, for the Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost
. That therefore which they delivered was the Word, the Revelation of God; which they assented unto as to a certain and infallible truth, credible upon the immediate testimony of God, and to which the rest of the Believers assented upon the same testimony of God mediately delivered by the hands of the Prophets.
Thus God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners Spake in times Heb. I. 1. past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, and by fo speaking propounded the Object of Faith both to the Prophets and the Fathers, hath in these verse 2. last days spoken unto us by his Son, and by so speaking hath enlarged the Object of Faith to us by him, by which means it comes to be the Faith Rev. 14. 1ż. of Jesus. Thus the only-begotten Son, who was in the bofom of the Fa- John
1.18. ther, the express Image of his Person, he in whom it pleased the Father Col. 1: 1;. that all fulness Should
, he in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Col. 2. 9. Godhead bodily, revealed the will of God to the Apostles, who being af sured that he knew all things, and convinced that he came forth from John 16.39. God, gave a full and clear assent unto those things which he delivered, and grounded their Faith upon his words as upon the immediate testimony of God. I have given unto them, faith Christ unto his Father, the words John 17.8. which thou gavest me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst
send me. Besides this delivery of these words by Christ to the Apostles, they received the Promise of the Spirit of truth, which fhould guide them John 16. 13. into all truth, and teach them all things, and bring all things into their John 14.26. remembrance what foever Christ had said unto them. So clearly, so fully, fo conitantly were they furnished with divine Illuminations and Revelations from God, upon which they grounded their own Faith ; that each of them might well make that profession of S. Paul, I know whom I have be- 2 Tim. 1. 11, lieved. Thus the Faith of the Apostles, as of Moses and the Prophets, was grounded upon the immediate Revelations of God.
But those Believers to whom the Apostles preached, and whom they converted to their Faith, believed the same truths which were revealed to the Apostles, though they were not so revealed to them as they were unto the Apostles, that is immediately from God. But as the Ifraelités believed those truths which Mofes fpake, to come from God, being convinced by the constant supply of Miracles wrought by the Rod which he carried in his hand : so the blessed Apostles, being so plentifully endued from above with the power of Miracles, gave fufficient testimony that it was God which spake by their mouths, who fo evidently wrought by their hands. They which heard's. Peter call a lame man unto his legs, speak a dead man alive, and strike a living man to death with his tongue, as he did Ananias and Sapphira, might easily be persuaded that it was God who spake by hismouth, and conclude that where they found him in his Omnipotency, they might well expect him in his Ve
racity. These we the persons from whom our Saviour next to the Apostles John 17.20. prayed, because by a way next to that of the Apostles they believed. Neither
pray I for the fe alone, faith Christ, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word. Thus the Apostles believed on Christ through his own word, and the primitive Christians believed on the fame Christ through the Apostles word, and this distinction our Saviour himself hath clearly made ; not that the word of the Apostles was really distinct from the word of Christ, but only it was called theirs, because delivered by their Ministry, otherwise
it was the same word which they had heard from him, and upon which they 1 John s. 193. themselves believed, That which was from the beginning, faith S. John, which
we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked 11pon, and our hands have handled of the word of life, That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you. And this was the true foundation of Faith in all them which believed, that they took not the words which they heard from the Apostles to be the words of the men which spake them, no more than they did the power of healing the sick, or raising the dead, and the rest of the miracles, to be the power of them that wrought them; but as they attributed those miraculous works to God working by them, so did
they also that saving word to the fame God speaking by them. When S. Paul Acts 13. 44. preached at Antioch, almost the whole City came together to hear the word
of God; so they esteemed it, though they knew him a man whom they came
to hear fpeak it. This the Apostle commendeth in the Thessalonians, that 1 Thess. 2. 13. When they received the word of God, which they heard of him, they recei
ved it not as the word of man, but (as it is in truth) the word of God; and receiving it so, they embraced it as coming from him who could neither deceive nor be deceived, and consequently as infallibly true; and by fo imbracing it, they assented unto it, by so assenting to it, they believed it, ultimately
upon the testimony of God, immediately upon the testimony of S. Paul, as 2 Thess . 1. 10. hc speaks himself
, because our testimony among you was believed. Thus the Faith of those which were converted by the Apostles was an assent unto the word as credible upon the testimony of God delivered to them by a testimony
Apostolical. Which being thus clearly stated, we may at last descend into our own condition, and fo describe the nature of our own Faith, that
every one may know what it is to Believe.
Although Moses was endued with the power of Miracles, and conversed with God in the Mount, and spake with him face to face at the door of the Tabernacle: although upon these grounds the Israelites believed what he delivered to them as the word of God; yet neither the Miracles nor Moses did for ever continue with them ; and notwithstanding his death, they and
their Posterity to all Generations were obliged to believe the fame truths. Acts 7. 38. Wherefore it is observable which S. Stephen faith, he received the lively
Oracles to give unto them; the Decalogue be received from the hand of
he wrote himself, and fo delivered them not a mortal word to die with Ablice Güven him, but living Oracles, to be in force when he was dead, and oblige the
people to a belief, when his Rod had ceased to broach the Rocks and divide the Seas. Neither did he only tie them to a belief of what he wrote, himself, but by foretelling and describing the Prophets which should be raised in future Ages, he put a farther obligation upon them to believe their Prophecies as the Revelations of the fame God.' Thus all the Ifrae
lites, in all Ages, believed Mofes, while he lived, by believing his words ; John 5.46,47. after his death, by believing his writings. Had ye believed Mofes, faith our Saviour, ye would have believed me ; for he wrote of me.
But if ye believe not his writings, how shall we believe my words Wherefore the Faith of the Ifraelites in the Land of Canaan was an Affent unto the truths of the
Law as credible upon the testimony of God delivered unto them in the
In the like manner is it now with us. For although Christ first published the Gospel to those who beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten John 1. 14. of the Father ; although the Apostles first converted those unto the
Faith who heard them speak with Tongues they never learn'd, they never leard before, and discover the thoughts of men they never saw before; who faw the lame to walk, the blind to see, the dead to revive, and the living tò expire at their command: yer did not these Apostles prolong their lives by virtue of that power which gave such testimony to their Doctrine, but rather shortned them by their constant attestation to the truth of that Doctrine farther confirmed by their death. Nor did that power of frequent and ordinary miraculous operations long survive them; and yet they left as great an obligation upon the Church in all succeeding Ages to believe all the truths which they delivered, as they had put upon those persons who heard their words and saw their works; because they wrote the same truths which they spake, assisted in writing by the fame Spirit by which they fpake, and therefore require the same readiness of assent so long as the same truths shall be preserved by those Writings. While Mofes lived and spake as a Mediator between God and the Ifraelites, they believed his words, and so the Prophets while they preached. When Mofes was gone up to Mount Nebo, and there died, when the rest of the Prophets were gathered to their Fathers, they believed their Writings, and the whole object of their Faith was contained in them. When the Son of God came into the World to reveal the will of his father, when he made known unto the Apostles, as his friends, all things that he had heard of the father, then did the Apostles John is. is: believe the Writings of Moses and the Prophets, and the words of Christ, and in these taken together was contained the entire object of their Faith, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jefus had said. John 2. 22: When Christ was afcended up into Heaven, and the Holy Ghost came down, when the words which Christ had taught the Apostles were preached by them, and many thousand Souls converted to the Faith, they believed the Writings of the Prophets and the Words of the Apostles; and in these two was comprised the complere object of their Faith. When the Apostles themselves departed out of this life, and confirmed the truth of the Gospel preached by the last of sufferings, their death, they left the fumm of what they had received, in writing, for the continuation of the Faith in the Churches which they had planted, and the propagation thereof in other • John 20,31. places, by those which succeeded them in their ordinary function, but were Prophetæ & not to come near them in their extraordinary gifts. These things were Apoftoli
, finwritten, faith St. John, the longest Liver, and the latest Writer, that ye nium Ecclefimight believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that be- arum fundalieving ye might have life through his name.
Those Christians then which have lived since the Apostles death, and in Psal. 17. never obtain’d the wish of St. Augustin, to see either Christ upon Earth, or Super Pro
phetas ædifiSt. Paul in the Pulpit, have believed the Writings of Moses and the Prophets, of the Apostles and Evangelists, in which together is fully compre- terrarum,crehended whatsoever may properly be termed matter of divine Faith; and dens inDomi
no. Ruff: ib. fob the houshold of God is built upon the Foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, who are continued unto us only in their Writings, and by them Dist
. 24. 9. 1. alone convey unto us the truths which they received from God, upon whose bittides
. eft testimony we believe. And therefore he which put their Writings into affentiinus dithe definition of Faith, considering Faith as now it stands with us, is none ctis Scripturæ of the smallest of the * School-men. From whence we may at last con- thoritatem clude, that the true nature of the Faith of a Christian, as the state of Christ's Dei revelan
menta locantur. S. Hieron.
egi şi pe aia SEWg didaan
Church now stands and shall continue to the end of the World, consists in this, that it is an Asent unto truths credible upon the testimony of God delivered unto us in the Writings of the Apostles and Prophets.
To believe therefore as the word stands in the front of the CREED, and not only so, but is diffused through every Article and Proposition of it, is to afsent to the whole and every part of it, as to a certain and infallible truth revealed by God (who by reason of his infinite knowledge cannot be deceived, and by reason of his transcendent holiness cannot deceive) and delivered unto us in the Writings of the blessed Apostles and Prophets im
mediately inspired, moved and acted by God, out of whose Writings this * Orix a's ido- brief summ of necessary points of Faith was first * collected. And as this is ξεν ανθρώποις
properly to believe, which was our first consideration; so to say I believe, wisiw, arx is to make a confession or external Expression of the Faith, which is the
second consideration propounded.
Faith is an habit of the intellectual part of man, and therefore of it self suddextév7ce invisible; and to believe is a spiritual act, and consequently immanent and Miær avanın internal, and known to no man but him who believeth: * For what man
knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him?
Wherefore Christ being not only the great . Apostle, sent to deliver these Cyril. Catech.
revealed truths, and so the Author of our Faith, but also the Head of the Patres de po- Church, whose Body consisteth of faithful Members, and so the Author of pulorum falu- union and communion, which principally hath relation to the unity of diverfis volu- Faith, he must needs be imagin’d to have appointed some external expresminibus Scri- fion and communication of it: especially considering that the sound of the legerunt tefti- Apostles was to go forth unto the ends of the World, and all Nations to be monia divinis called to the profession of the Gospel, and gathered into the Church of gravida Sacra- Christ; which cannot be performed without an acknowledgment of the Gall. in syn. truth, and a profession of faith, without which no entrance into the
Cor: 2. 11. Church, no admittance to Baptism. b What doth hinder me to be bapti9. Act. 8. 36, zed? faith the Eunuch. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine * Rom. 10. 10. heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Habes,homo, Christ is the Son of God. So believing with all his heart, as Philip required, debeas, corde and making profession of that Faith, he was admitted. c For with the fit confeffio heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is ad justitiam; made unto salvation. The belief of the heart is the internal habit residebeas confi- ding in the Soul, and act of Faith proceeding from it, but terminated in the teri; ore con- fame. The confesion of the mouth is an external signification of the inward
habit or act of Faith, by words expressing an acknowledgment of those Chrysol
. s. 56. truths which we believe or assent to in our Souls. The ear receiveth the +
Sermo creat word, faith cometh by hearing ; the ear conveyeth it to the heart, which ditus concipit being opened receiveth it, receiving believeth it; and then dout of the abunfidem, credu- dance of the heart the mouth speaketh. In the heart Faith is feated; with lita fe es paron: the tongue confession
is made; between these two falvation is * completed. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe credulitas nu- in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be fa
ved. This Faith of the heart every one ought, and is prefum'd to have ; dat falutem, this confession of the mouth every one is known to make, when he pronoun
ceth these words of the CREED; I believe ; and if true, he may with Mat. 12. 34. comfort say, fthe word of Faith is nigh me, even in my mouth and in my 1. Magnum fi- heart : first in my heart really assenting, then in my mouth clearly and finfidei noftræ cerely professing with the Prophet David, 8 I have believed, therefore compendium, quando inter cor & linguam totum falutis humanæ versatur & geritur Sacramentum. Chrysol. Serm. 56. Quod à te & pro te reposcitur, intra te est, i. e. oris famulatus & cordis affectus. Eufeb. Gall. Rom. 10. 8. De hoc fine dubio legimus per Prophetam, propè eft, inquit, in ore tuo, & in corde tuo. Eufeb. & Pfal. 116. 10.
e Rom. 10. m.
have I spoken. Thus briefly from the second Consideration concerning Confession implied in the first words I believe, we shall pass unto the third Consideration, of the necessity and particular obligation to such a Confession.
If there were no other Argument, yet being the Object of Faith is fuppofed infallibly true, and acknowledged.to be to by every one that believeth, being it is the nature of Truth not to hide it felf, but rather to desire the light that it might appear ; this were sufficient to move us to a Confession of our Faith. But besides the nature of the thing, we shall find many Arguments obliging, pressing, urging us to such a profession. For first, from the fame God, and by the same means by which we have received the Object of our Faith, by which we came under a possibility of Faith, we have also received an express command to make a Confession of the fame : * Be - 1 Pet. 3. 15. ready, faith St. Peter, always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you ; and there can be no reason of hope but what is grounded on Faith, nor can there be an Answer given unto that without an acknowledgment of this. Secondly, 'tis true indeed that the great promises of the Gospel are made unto Faith, and glorious things are ipoken of it; but the same promises are made to the Confession of Faith to-b Rom. 10.10. gether with it ; and we know who it is hath faid, Whosoever shall confess c Mat. 10. 32. me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven. Besides, the profession of the Faith of one Christian confirmeth, and edifieth another in his, and the mutual benefit of all layeth an obligation upon every particular. Again, the Matters of Faith contain so much purity of Doctrine, persuade fuch holiness of life, describe God so infinitely glorious, fo transcendently gracious, fo loving in himself
, fo merciful in his Son, só wonderful in all his works, that the fole confession of it glorifieth God; and how can we expect to enter into that glory which is none of ours, if we deny God that glory which is his ? Lastly, the concealing those truths which he hath revealed, the not acknowledging that Faith which we are thought to believe, is so far from giving God that glory which is due unto him, that it dishonoureth the Faith which it refuseth or neglecteth to profess, and casteth a kind of contumely upon the Author of it, as if God had revealed that which man should be ashamed to acknowledge. Wherefore he that came to save us hath also said unto us, a Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and d Luke 9. 26. of my words, of him shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he shall* Oi xavóvą come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy Angels. Such warm in iow To a necessity there is of Confession of Faith, in respect of God, who com- xalézavôr zil se
τ8 βαπ7ίσμαmanded it, and is glorified in it; in respect of our felves, who shall be re
@ Manoe. warded for it; and in respect of our Brethren, who are edified and con- Iren. l. 1. c. 1. firmed by it. Which necessity the Wisdom of the Church in former Ages Cum fub tri; have thought a sufficient ground to command the recitation of the CREĚD idei & fponat the * first initiation into the Church by Baptism, (for which purpose fio falutis pigit was taught and expounded to those which were to be baptized imme- cellariò adji
citur Ecclefiæ mentio, quoniam ubi tres, id eft, Pater, Filius, & Spiritus San&us, ibi Ecclefia, quæ trium corpus eft. Tertul. de Baptis. In quem tingere? in pænitentiam ? quo ergo illi præcursorem? in peccatorum remiffionem quam verbo dabat? in femetipsum, quem humilitate celabat ? in Spiritum Sanctum qui nondum à Patre descenderat? in Ecclesiam, quam nondum Apoftoli ftruxerant? Id. Dehinc ter mergimur, amplius aliquid respondentes quàm Dominus in Evangelio determinavit. Id. de Cor. Militis. Sed & ipfa interrogatio quæ fit in Baptismo teftis eft veritatis, nam cum dicimus, Credis in vitam aternam, eremissionem peccatorum per Sanctam Ecclefiam? intelligimus remiffionem peccatorum non nifi in Ecclefia dari. S. Cyprianus, Ep. ad Januarium, &c. Quod fi aliquis illud opponit, ut dicat eandem Novatianum Legem tenere quam Catholica Ecclefia teneat, eodem Symbolo quo & nos baptizare, eundem nôffe Deum Patrem, eundem Filium Chriftum, eundem Spiritum Sanctum, ac propterea usurpare eum poteftatem baptizandi posse quod videatur in interrogatione Baptismi à nobis non discrepare : sciat quisquis hoc opponendum putat, non esse unam nobis & schismaticis Symboli Legem, neque eandem interrogationem. Nam cum dicunt, Credis remifsionem peccatorum, c vitam æternam per Sanctam Ecclefiam? mentiuntur in interrogatione, quando non habeant Ecclesiam. Idem Epift. ad Magnum. Mos ibi (id eft Roma) servatur antiquus, eos qui gratiam Baptismi suscepturi sunt, publicè, i. e. fidelium populo audiente, Symbolum reddere. Ruffin in Symb. Solenne ett in lavacro, poft Trinitatis confeffionem interrogare, Credis in Sanctam Ecclefiam? Credis remiffionem peccatorum ? S. Hieron.contra Lucifer. Mens Hæretica reliquit Doctorem à quo fidem Ecclefiæ didicerat, oblita eft pacti Dei fui, hoc eft, fidei ipfius Dominicæ quæ in Symbo