Page images
PDF
EPUB

Wherefore being we have fhewn that. a Messias was to come into the World; being we have proved that he is already come, by the same predictions by which we believe he was to come; being we have demonstrated that Jefus born in the days of Herod was and is that promised Meffias; being we have farther declared that he was anointed to those Offices which belonged to the Meffias, and actually did and doth still perform them all; and that his anointing was by the immediate effusion of the Spirit, which anfwereth fully to all things required in the Legal and Typical Unction: I cannot see what farther can be expected for explication or confirmation of this Truth; that Jesus is the Chrift. .

The necessity of believing this part of the Article is most apparent, because it were impossible he should be our Jefus, except he were the Chrift. For he could not reveal the way of Salvation, except he were a Prophet; he could not work out that Salvation upon us, except he were a Priest; he could not confer that Salvation upon us, except he were a King; he could not be Prophet, Priest, and King, except he were the Chrift. This was the fundamental doctrine which the Apostles not only testified, as they did that of the Resurrection, but argued, proved, and demonstrated out of the Law and the Prophets. We find S. Paul at Thesalonica three Sabbath-days reasoning Acts 17. 2, 3. with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alledging that Christ must needs have suffered and risen again from the dead; and that this Jefus whom I preach unto you is Christ. We find him again at Corinth presed in Spirit, and testifying to the Jews, that Jesus was Christ. Thus Apol- Chap. 18. . los, by birth a few, but instructed in the Christian Faith by Aquila and Prifcilla, mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, Jhewing by the Verse28. Scriptures, that Jesus was Christ. This was the Touch-stone by which all men at first were tried whether they were Christian or Antichristian. For who foever believeth, faith St. John, that Jesus is the Chrift, is born of God. What greater commendation of the assertion of this Truth? Who is a liar , faith the fame Apostle, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Chrift: this man is the Antichrist, as denying the Father and the Son. What higher condemnation of the negation of it?

Secondly, As it is necessary to be believed as a most fundamental Truth, so it hath as necessary an influence upon our conversations ; because except it hath fo, it cannot clearly be maintained. Nothing can be more abfurd in a disputant, than to pretend to demonstrate a Truth as infallible, and at the fame time to Thew it impossible. And yet so doth every one who professeth Faith in Christ already come, and liveth not according to that profession : for thereby he proyeth, as far as he is able, that the true Christ is not yet come, at least that Jesus is not he. We sufficiently demonstrate to the Jews that our Saviour, who did and suffered so much, is the true Messias ; but by our lives we recal our arguments, and strengthen their wilful opposi

tion. For there was certainly a promise, that when Christ should come, the ' wolf should dwell with the lamb, and the leopard Mould lie down with the 154. 11. 6. kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child should lead them; that is, there should be so much love, unanimity, and brotherly kindness in the Kingdom of Christ, that all ferity and inhumanity being laid aside, the most different natures and inclinations should come to the sweetest harmony and agreement. Whereas if we look upon our selves, we must confess there was never more bitterness of spirit, more rancour of malice, more heat of contention, more manifest fymptoms of envy, hatred, and all uncharitableness, than in those which make profession of the Christian Faith. It was infallibly foretold, that when the law should Chap. 2. 3,4. go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerufalem, they should beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks :

nation

nation should not lift up fword against nation , neither should they learn war any more. Whereas there is no other Art so much studied, so much applauded, fo violently asserted, not only as lawful, but as necessary: Look upon the face of Christendom divided into several Kingdoms and Principalities : what are all these but so many publick Enemies, either exercising or designing War? The Church was not more famous, or did more increale by the first blood which was shed in the Primitive Times through the external violence of ten Persecutions, than now 'tis infamous, and declines through constant violence, fraud and rapine, through publick engagements of the greatest Empires in Arms, through civil and intestine Wars, and, lest any way

of thedding Christian blood should be unassayed, even by Massacres. It was Zach. 13.2. likewise prophesied of the days of the Mejias, that all Idolatry should to

tally cease, that all false Teachers should be cut off, and unclean Spirits restrained. And can we think that the Jews, who really abhor the thoughts of worshipping an Image, can ever be persuaded there is no Idolatry committed in the Christian Church? Or can we excuse our felves in the least degree from the Plague of the Locusts of Egypt, the false Teachers ? Can fo many Schisms and Sects arise, and spread, can so many Heresies be acknowledged aud countenanced without falfe Prophets and unclean Spirits ? If then we would return to the bond of true Christian Love and Charity, if we would appear true lovers of Peace and Tranquillity, if we would truly hate the abominations of Idolatry, false Doctrine and Heresie, let us often remember what we ever profess in our Creed, that Jesus is the Christ, that the Kingdom of the Mefias cannot consist with these Impieties.

Thirdly, The necessity of this Belief appeareth in respect of those Offices which belong to Jesus as he is the Christ. We must look upon him as upon the Prophet anointed by God to preach the Gospel, that we may be incited to hear and embrace his Doctrine. Though Mofes and Elias be to

gether with him in the Mount, yet the Voice from Heaven speakerh of none Mat. 17. 5.

but Jefus, Hear ye him. He is that Wisdom, the delight of God, crying in the Prov. 8. 34.

Proverbs, Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, Luke 10.42, waiting at the posts of my doors. There is one thing needful, faith cur Sa39.

viour ; and Mary chose that good part, who fate at Jefus feet, and heard his word. Which devout posture teacherh us, as a willingness to hear, fo a readiness to obey: and the proper effect which the belief of this Prophetical Office workech in us, is our Obedience of Faith. We must farther con

fider him as our High Priest, that we may thereby add Confidence to that Heb. 10. 19,

Obedience. For we have boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus; yea, having an High Priest over the house of God, we may draw near with a true heart in full assurance of Faith. And as this breederh an adherence and assurance in us, so it requireth a resignation of us. For if

Christ have redeemed us, we are his; if he died for us, it was that we should 1 Cor. 6. 20. live to him: if we be bought with a price, we are no longer our own; but

we must glorifie God in our Body and in our Spirits, which are God's. Again,

an apprehension of him as a King is necessary for the performance of our true 1fa. 16.1. and entire allegiance to him. Send the Lamb of the Ruler of the earth, do him

homage, acknowledge him your King, shew your felves faithful and obedient

subjects. We can pretend, and he hath requir’d, no less. As soon as he let the Mat. 28.18, Apostles understand that All power was given unto him in heaven and in

earth, he charged them to teach. all nations, to observe all things whatfoever he commanded them. Can we imagine he should so strictly enjoin fubjection to higher powers, the highest of whom are below, and that he doth not expect exact obedience to him who is exalted far above all principalities and powers, and is set down at the right hand of God? It is observable, that in the Description of the coming of the Son of man, it is

faid,

21, 22.

20.

taid, The King shall say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you : which title as it fecures hope, in respect of his power; as it magnifies our reward by the excellency of our inheritance ; lo also teacheth us the indispenfable condition of Obedience.

Fourthly, The belief of Jesus the Christ is necessary to instruct us what it is to be a Christian, and how far we stand obliged by owning that name. Those who did first embrace the Faith were stiled * Disciples, (as when the astro

be Afts 6. 1, 7. number of the Disciples was multiplied,) or Believers, or Brethren, or * For when + Men of the Church, or Callers upon the name of Christ, or $ Men of the our Saviour way; or by their Enemies, Nazaræans, and Galilæans. But in a thort time mand to his they gained a name derived from their Saviour, though not from that name Apofiles, woof his which signifieth Salvation ; for from Christ they were called Christi-soudbres s'y

i uccontourate ans. A title to honourable, and of such concernment, that S. Luke hath wév) a ta itun, thought fit to mention the City in which that name was first heard. * And 30 make all the Disciples were called Christians first at Antioch, as the Scriptures af- ples. They

r nations discisure us, so named by Euodius the Bishop of that place, as Ecclesiastical Hi- which delive story informs us. A name no sooner invented, but embraced by all Believers, red the Gospel

» were padnouas bearing the most proper signification of their Profession, and relation to less they the Author and Master whom they served. In which the Primitive Christi- which were ans so much delighted, that before the face of their enemics they would ac-received it**

de taught it and knowledge f no other Title but that, though hated, reviled, tormented, mar- were at that tyred for it. Nor is this 'name of greater honour to us, than obligation. time was not

T. Déves, and afThere are two parts of the Seal of the foundation of God, and one of them is ter by a name

habitual nam Onai, transated by Tertul. Discentes, ordinarily Discipuli. Mæbnais Sy isiy, as peceno vonele caz' arg Kveis, wäs • Tad Kveiw wegtig xómsvc, so. arodsdétv awty, 7876sov, áróey T nółw awtõ, WISÓÚHY TI x wide as a Te ws decórn, rj Bao σιλά και ιατρώ, και διδασκάλω αληθείας, επ' ελπίδι ζωής αιωνίε. Thus then, in the language of the Scriptures μαθησιν τι, is to make a Disciple; as ucebn7660arles, ixccue's, Afts 14. 21. pabal 666 Tui, to be a Disciple; as Joseph of Arimathæa, inabýtore TW 'inog, Mat. 27. 57. Mick On Golūc the same; as requuclous nadm] BuBeis oi's Batindar segvāv, Mat. 13. 52. Thus uab ml ce lw or te Kehw, is often used by S. Bafil de Baptismate, whole title is "Oto do wzãtov radnoBlwa to Kuero, xj Tótk xalšiwaliñas ügyis Baptiouala, according to our Saviour's method. Hence those which were first converted to the faith, were called padna, as the Disciples of Christ their Doétor and Master. foi dad invanoides, as when Herod stretched forth his hand texūras tince's Táto che ancices to mischief some of those which were of the Church. As when Saul went down to Dainascus with a Commission awg iáv trvaç olisin şöds 17 as ordeges te xj ywrcia xas, dede fúss álárn eis 'leg 80shnu, Acts 9. 2. we translate it, any of this way, when there was no way mentioned to which the Pronoun this pould have relation; nor is , odos in the Greek any more than the way. So when S. Paul went to the Synagogue at Corinth, divers were hardned and believed not, xnxo Roy veg fin odoy cvatnoy sý88s, Acts 19. 9. here we translate it, spake evil of that way; tut Beza has left his Articulus pronominis vice fungitur, which he had from Erasinus, and hath otherwise supplied it; male loquentes de via Dei : and the old Translation, which in the former bad hujus viæ, in this hath simply maledicentes viæ: and certainly s odos is nothing but the way. Again, at Ephesus, ézfósto Ž x 1 xoa egy nővor tá@gx ox órán o nei ş idē, Acts 19.23. de via, V. Transl. Beza again ob viam Dei, but it is nothing but the way. Thus Fælix put off S. Paul, úxereissegy ridois tá ach of odo, till he had a more exact knowledge of the way, V. Translat. de via hac; Beza ad sectam iftam. Whereas then the phrafe is so simply and so frequently the same, it can be nothing else but the word then in use to signify the Religion which the Christians professed. And so some also of the Ancients seem to have spoken, as appears by the language of the Melchizedecians, Xessos igenén, luce nãs rarion er wordãy ödāv ris pidev tour thu mua grárov, it höcn árésery a hmãs útò vidawy, j inédugev apliv na odòv, and in that description of the Gallican Persecution, "Enevæv je Ti En oi undt ixros 4707 wisews, unde dictron dodúuclos youporó, minde é volev 66x fg ixórios, cand se Alge övas egoñs ou twv Braronu yes em odor. Euseb. Hif.l. 5. 6.1. * S. Luke noteth the place, but neither the time when, nor person by whom this name was given. Tertullian seems to make it as ancient as the reign of Tiberius, Apolog. c.5. Tiberius ergo, cujus tempore nomen Christianuin in seculum introivit. But I conceive indeed he speaks not of the name, but of the Religion: for so he may well be thought to expound himself, saying soon after, Census istius disciplinæ, ut jam edidimus, à Tiberio est, c.7. However the name of Christian is not so ancient as 'Tiberius, nor, as I think, as Caius. Some ancient Author in Suidas asures us, that it was firft named in the reign of Claudius, when S. Peter bad ordained Euodius Bishop of Antioch. Istov je Ti ini Kravdio Baoskóws 'Pasuris, nie Tex tý dorsóny xheglovńcan los 'Evódios, Mélovoucía noav. oi acrou deyó for Nasaegror sy rakindor, Xersicios. Suid. in New saegios and in Xessievol. And Johannes Antiochenus confirms not only the time, but tells us that Euodius the Bishop, was the Author of the name. Kai iri wtf (Klaudis) Xerslevoi avokátnoar, autê éticxófr Evodix segroveste arlos wtons ry itioncmos autois só ovome at Tģto weálu 78 Nagusgñol we rancãos erano 7o oi Xelsiavol. Thus the name of Chri

ftian was first brought into use at Antioch, by Euodius the Bishop of the place, and bath ever since been continued as the most proper appellation which could be given unto our profession, being derived from the Author and finisher of our Faith. At nunc Secta orditur in nomine utique fui Autoris. Quid novi li aliqua difciplina de Magiftro cognomentum Sectatoribus suis inducit ? Nonne Philosophi de Autoribus suis nuncupantur Platonici, Epicurei, Pythagorici? Etiam à locis conventiculorum & ftationuin suarum Stoici, Academici ? Neque Medici ab Erafistrato, & Grammatici ab Aristarcho, coci etiam ab Apicio? Neque tamen quenquam offendit profeflio nominis cum inftitutione transmiffa ab inftitutore. Tertul. Apolog. 6.3. † As we read of Sanctus a Deacon at Vienna, in a bot per securion of the French Church, who being in the midst of Tortures, was troubled with several Questions, which the Gentiles usually then asked, to try if they could extort any confeffion of any wicked actions practised secretly by the Ckristians; yet would not give any other answer to any

Question,

[ocr errors]

a 2 Tim. 2.

this, - Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from Iniquity. this, "Let every on

It was a common answer of the ancient Martyrs | I am a Christian, and so Blandina withi us no evil is done. The very name was thought to speak something perfecurion. of * emendation; and whosoever put it on, became the better man. Excepe lui có râns avá- fuch Reformation accompany our Profession there is not advantage in the Antos se duced

diyen appellation ; nor can we be honoured by that title, while we dishonour him mewors i civeas acimento that gives it. If he be therefore called Christ, because anointed ; as we deCumbaróvav. rive the name of Christian, so we do receive our Unction, from him. For To aile ots Kesimeses, as bthe precious ointment upon the head ran down upon the beard, even my was sueño Aaron's beard, and went down to the skirts of his garments : fo the Spirit Se on no which without measure was poured upon Christ our head, is by him diffused Hift. Eccl. 1. 5. through all the members of his * body. For God hath established and a

. nointed us in Chrift: We have an unction from the Holy One", and the * Alii quos ante hoc no- anointing which we have received from him abideth in uş. Necessary then men vagos, • it cannot chufe but be, that we should know Jesus to be the Christ: be. viles, impro- cause as he is Jesus, that is, our Saviour, by being Christ, that is anointed; bos noverant, ex ipfo deno- so we can have no share in him as Jefus, except we become truly Christians, fant quod and fo be in him as Christ, f anointed with that Unction from the Holy laudant, ce

C.I.

citate odii in One.

Juvenis ! quanivitur, ut qui Chrildie Provi

fuffragium impingunt. Quæ mulier ! quam lasciva ! quam festiva ! qui Juvenis ! quam lascivus ! quam amasius ! facti sunt Christiani: ita nomen emendationis imputatur. Tertull. † Totum in id revolvitur, ut qui Chriftiani nominis opus non agit, Christianus non esse videatur. Nomen enim fine actu atque officio suo nihil eft. Salvian, de Provid.; l.4. 'Eco 715 Tò ovoux doc Sony Tý xeisimulară crubelsn Xpisór, so ev 0620s a TWS arò pwegontoeias. S. Bafil. ad Amphiloch. # Christianus verò, quantum interpretatio est, de unctione deducitur. Tertul. Apolog.c. 3. b Pfal. 133. 2. * Inde apparet Chrifti corpus non esse, qui omnes ungimur, & omnes in illo & Christi & Christus sumus, quia quodammodo totus Christus caput & corpus eft. S. Auguft. in Pfal. 26. 2 Cor. 1.21. dr John 2. 20, 27. t Tollapór odpeis 7678 Ávexe xxn6pcBz Xgisiavoi, ötı xgióne del Trakov Orõ. Theophilus ad Autol. l. 1. :

Thus having run through all the particulars at first designed for the explication of the title Christ, we may at last clearly express, and every Christian easily understand, what it is we say when we make our Confession in these words, I believe in Jesus Christ. I do assent unto this as a certain truth, that there was a man promiled by God, foretold by the Prophets to be the Mesias, the Redeemer of Israel, and the expectation of the Nations. I am fully assured by all those predictions that the Messias so promised is already come. I am as certainly persuaded, that the Man born in the days of Herod. of the Virgin Mary, by an Angel from Heaven called Jesus, is that true Messias, fo long, so often promiled: that, as the Mefias, he was anointed to three special Offices, belonging to him as the Mediator between God and Man : that he was a Prophet, revealing unto us the whole will of God for the Salvation of ma that he was a Priest, and hath given himself a Sacrifice for sin, and so hath made an atonement for us ; that he is a King, ser down at the right hand of God, far above all Principalities and Powers, whereby, when he hath subdued all our enemies, he will confer actual, perfect, and eternal Happiness upon us. I believe this Unction by which he became the true Mesias was not performed by any material Oil, but by the Spirit of God, which he received as the Head, and conveyeth to his Members. And in this full acknowledgment, I believe in Jesus Christ.

His

[ocr errors]

His Dnly Son. Fter our Saviour's Nomination immediately followeth his Filiation : and A justly after we have acknowledged him to be the Chrift, do we confefs him to be the Son of God; because these two were ever infeparable, and even by the Jews themselves accounted equivalent. Thus Nathanael, that true

aketh his confession of the Mefias; Rabbi, thou art the Son of John I. 49. God, thou art the King of Israel. Thus Martha makes expression of her Faith ; I believe that thou art the Christ the Son of God, which should come John 11. 27. into the world. Thus the High-priest maketh his Inquisition; I adjure thee Mat. 26. 63, by the living God that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God. This was the famous Confession of S. Peter; We believe and are sure John 6. 69. that thou art that Christ the Son of the living God. And the Gospel of S. John

ritten, that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son John 20. 31. of God. Certain then it is that all the Jews, as they looked for a Messias to come, so they believed that Messias to be the Son of God: (although since the coming of our Saviour they have * denied it) and that by reason of a con- * For when stant interpretation of the second Pfalm, as appropriated unto him. And the Celfus, in the Primitive Christians did at the very beginning include this filial Title of our person of a

ur Jew, had sport Saviour together with his names into the compass of tone word. Well there- ken these fore after we have expressed our Faith in Jesus Christ, is added that which al- words, og eltern

εμος προφήτης ways had so great affinity with it, the only Son of God.

á 'legoconés

μοις ποτέ ότι gd of g jos on oriw xexlas, sej o idixw xodesas, Origen says they were most improperly attributed to a Jezu, who did look indeed for a Mesias, but not for the Son of God, i. e. not under the notion of a son. 'Isdaq ö óx är ókodenincas 770 weg@hons Tig STEV Bey Oes yjor oi gS aéreoir isov otoñs o Xessòs iš Ocõ• rj wonnexis ö 5m7őou aregis mua's indéas mer yš Ofő, mis ódevos 17 a tossr8 sidè w e907 666 év7G. Adv. Çelf. 1. 1. † That is, IXOYE. Nos pifciculi fecundùm induõ nostrum Jesum Chriftum in aqua nascimur. Tertul. de. Bapt. c. I. which is thus interpreted by Optatus, Cujus piscis nomen secundùm appellationem Græcam in uno nomine per singulas literas turbam sanctorum nominum continent, izcdo's, quòd est Latinè Jesus Christus Dei Filius Salvator, Lib. 3.

- In these words there is little variety to be observed, except that what we translate the * only Son, that in the phrase of the Scripture and the Greek * The Latines Church is the only begotten. It is then sufficient for the explication of these indeed genewords, to fhéw how Christ is the Son of God, and what is the peculiarity woorde unit

rally use the of his Generation; that when others are also the Sons of God, he alone cum. So should fo be his Son, as no other is or can be fo; and therefore he alone Ruffinus. Et

in unico filio should have the name of the only begotten.

ejus : which

is so far from being in his apprehension the same with unigenitus, that he refers it as well to Lord as Son. Hic ergo Jesus Christus, Filius unicus Dei, qui est & Dominus noster unicus, & ad Filium referri & ad Dominum poteft. So S. Auguft. in Enchiridio, c. 34. and Leo Epift. 10. Which is therefore to be observed, because in the ancient Copies of those Epistles, the word unicum was not to be found; as appeareth by the Discourse of Vigilius, who, in the fourth Book against Eutyches, hath these words, Illa primitùs uno diluens volumine quæ Leonis objiciuntur Epiftolæ, cujus hoc fibi primo capitulum ifte nescio quis proposuit; Fidelium Universitas profitetur credere se in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, & in Jesum Chriftum, Filium ejus, Dominum noftrum. That which he aims at is the tenth Epistle of Leo, in which those words are found, but with the addition of unicum, which as it seems, then was not there; as appears yet farther by the words which follow: Miror tamen quomodo hunc locum ifte notavit, & illum prætermisit, ubi unici filii commemorationem idem beatus Leo facit, dicens, Idem verò sempiterni genitoris unigenitus fempiternus, natus de Spiritu S. ex Maria Virgine; which words are not to be found in the same Epistle. How foever it was in the first Copies of Leo; both Ruffinus and s. Augustine, who were before him, and Maximus Taurinenfis, Chrysologus, Etherius and Beatus who were later, read it, & in Jesum Chriftum filium ejus unicum. But the word used in the Scriptures, and kept cons ftantly by the Greeks is morogfons, the only begotten.

First then, it cannot be denied that Christ is the Son of God, for that reason, * For the oribecause he was by the spirit of God born of the Virgin Mary; for that which super heroende

ginal is to co is conceived (or * begotten) in her, by the testimony of an Angel, is of the Holy and 'tis the Ghost; and because of him, therefore the Son of God. For fo fpake the An- obfervation of

kace s. Bafil, ' ága ), cò xunbév dinace to gluvydév. Indeed the vulgar translation renders it, quod in ea natum est, and in S. Luke, quod nascetur sanctum; and it must be confessed this was the most ancient Translation. For fo Tertullian read it, Per virginem dicitis natum non ex virgine, & in vulva, non ex vulva, quia & Angelus in fomnis ad Joseph, Nam quod in ea natum

eft,

« PreviousContinue »