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in Balaam's mouth; and not only so, 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. *'ldices izıníten did so proceed from the Prophet which spake or wrote it, that he of him- r6ws. 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 then 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 fame 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. 1. 1 past unto the Father's by the Prophets, and by fo speaking propounded the Object of Faith both to the Prophets and the Fathers, bath in these verfez last days spoken unto us by his Son, and by fo speaking hath enlarged the Object of Faith to us by him, by which means it comes to be the Faith Rev. 14. 11. 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: 3:. that all fulness Mould dwell, he in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Col. 2. 3 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 16.30. God. gave a full and clear aslent unto thole 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 furely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou die Tend me. Besides this delivery of these words by Christ to the Apostles, they received the Promise of the Spirit of truth, which should guide them John 16. 13. into all truth, and teach them all things, and bring all things into their John remembrance what foever Christ had said unto them. So clearly, fo fully, so conítantly 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 lieved. Thus the Faith of the Apostles, as of Mofes 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 Ifraelites 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 blefled Apostles, being so plentifully endued from above with the power of Miracles, gave sufficient 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 whó 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 fame word which they had heard from him, and upon which they 1 Johx I. 1,3. 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 upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life, That which we have feen 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 fpake 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 Afts i 3. 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 speak it. This the Apostle commendeth in the Thessalonians, that I Thelf. 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 fo, 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 fo assenting to it, they believed it, ultimately
upon the testimony of God, immediately upon the testimony of S. Paul, as 2 Theff. 1. 10. he 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 Apoftolical. Which being thus clearly stated, we may at last descend into our own condition, and so describe the nature of our own Faith, that every one may know what it is to Believe.
Although Mofes 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 Ifraelites 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 same truths. 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 God, written with the finger of God; the rest of the divine patefactions
he wrote himself, and so delivered them not a mortal word to die with Ablice av?ce. 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 same 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 Israelites in the Land of Canaan was an Alent 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 lieard before, and discover the thoughts of men they never saw before; who saw the lame to walk, the blind to lee, the dead to revive, and the living to expire at their command: yet 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 thole perlons 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 Prophers while they preached. When Moses 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. 15: believe the Writings of Mofes 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 complete 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 lufferings, 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 : Fohr 20.31.
b Eph. 2. 20. places, by those which succeeded them in their ordinary function, but were Prophetæ & not to come near them in their extraordinary gifts. a These things were Apoftoli, suwritten, faith St. John, the long
nd the latest Writer, the at ye
+ w per quos om
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.
.. menta locan
tur. S. Hieron. 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 ProSt. Paul in the Pulpit, have believed the Writings of Mofes and the Pro-pate
h D phetas ædifi
catur orbis phets, of the Apostles and Evangelists, in which together is fully compre- terrarum,crehended whatsoever inay properly be termed matter of divine Faith; and dens in Domiso b the houshold of God is built upon the Foundation of the Apostles and * Durand.l.z.
no. Ruff: ib. Prophets, who are continued unto us only in their Writings, and by them Dift. 24; 9. 1. alone convey unto us the truths which they received from God, upon whose 22:41des elt
habitus quo 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 otis Scripturæ of the smallest of the * School-men. From whence we may at last con- thoritatem
propter auclude, that the true nature of the Faith of a Christian, as the state of Christ's Dei revelan
Church now stands and shall continue to the end of the World, consists in this, that it is an Assent 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 assent 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 blefled Apostles and Prophets im
mediately inspired, moved and acted by God, out of whose Writings this * Oix wis ido- brief summ of necessary points of Faith was first * collected. And as this is Žev diyopatols properly to believe, which was our first consideration; fo to say I believe, CWETéén tai vistas, is to make a confession or external Expression of the Faith, which is the er warns second confideration propounded. rea pasta Faith is an habit of the intellectual part of man, and therefore of it self καριώτατα wundexpév7ce invisible; and to believe is a spiritual act, and consequently immanent and piccy, avatar internal, and known to no man but him who believeth: a For what man egi 7 min Se os disco knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of a man which is in him ? xanier. 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 salu- union and communion, which principally hath relation to the unity of te soliciti, ex 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 pturarum col
Apostles was to go forth unto the ends of the World, and all Nations to be legerunt tefti- npoilies was to go monia divinis called to the profession of the Gospel, and gathered into the Church of gravidaSacra- Christ; which cannot be performed without an acknowledgment of the mentis. Eufeb. Gall. in sym. truth, and a profession of Faith, without which no entrance into the * 1 Cor. 2. 11. Church, no admittance to Baptism. b What doth hinder me to be bapti
*. 36, zed? faith the Eunuch. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine 37. c Rom. 10. 10. heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Hahes, homo, Christ is the Son of God. So believing with all his heart, as Philip required, unde credere debeas, corde and making profession of that Faith, he was admitted. For with the fit confeffio heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confesion is ad juftitiam; made unto salvation. The belief of the heart is the internal habit resihabes unde debeas confi- ding in the Soul, and act of Faith proceeding from it, but terminated in the teri, ore con- fame. The confession of the mouth is an external signification of the inward feffio fit ad falutem. 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
Seimo creat word, faith cometh by bearing; the ear conveyeth it to the heart, which auditum, auditus 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 litatem parturit fides con- the tongue confession is made; between these two falvation is * completed. feffionem 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 fatrit, confeffio perpetuam ved. This Faith of the heart every one ought, and is presum'd to have ; dat salutem, this confession of the mouth every one is known to make, when he pronounChrysol.Serm.
Serm. ceth these words of the CREED; I believe ; and if true, he may with d Mat. 12. 34. comfort say, the word of Faith is nigh me, even in my mouth and in my * Magnum fi- hea
ng, then in my mouth clearly and sinlioli, per hoc fidei noftræ cerely professing with the Prophet David, : I have believed, therefore videmus effe compendium, quando inter cor & linguam totum falutis humanæ versatur & geritur Sacramentum. Chryfol. Serm. 56. Quod à te & pro te reposcitur, intra te est, i. e, oris famulatus & cordis affectus. Eufeb. Gall. e Rom. 10.99
Rom. 10. 8. De hoc fine dubio legimus per Prophetam, propè eft, inquit, in ore tuo, & in corde tuo. Eufeb. Gal. & Pfal. 116. 10.
y heart res
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, yer being the Object of Faith is suppofed infallibly true, and acknowledged.to be fo by every one that believeth, being it is the nature of Truth not to hide it self, 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 same 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 : a Beri 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 spoken of it ; but the same promises are made to the Confession of Faith b 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 confefs also before my Father which is in Hea
elides, the profeflion of the Faith of one Chriltian confirmeth, and edifieth another in his, and the mutual benefit of all layeth an obl upon every particular. Again, the Matters of Faith contain so much purity of Doctrine, persuade such holiness of life, describe God so infinitely glorious, so transcendently gracious, so loving in himself, fo merciful in his Son. so 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 fave us hath also faid unto us, dWhofoever shall be ashamed of me and a Luke 9. 26. of my words, of him all the Son of Man be ashamed, when he Mall
all. * 'o' xavóve
'σ αληθείας αcome in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy Angels. Such namnet Bow Tiel a necessity there is of Confession of Faith, in respect of God, who com- xc76xar er altijd manded it, and is glorified in it; in respect of our felves, who shall be re-T
- T8 Bazziege
I De IC p ecanoe. warded for it; and in respect of our Brethren, who are edified and con- Iren. I. 1.C.1. firmed by it. Which necessity the Wisdom of the Church in former Ages Cum fub tri
bus & testatio have thought a sufficient ground to command the recitation of the CREED fidei & fponat the * first initiation into the Church by Baptism, (for which purpose fio falutis pig
"norentur, neit was taught and expounded to those which were to be baptized imme. ceffania
citur Ecclefiæ mentio, quoniam ubi tres, id eft, Pater, Filius, & Spiritus Sandus, ibi Ecclefia, quæ trium corpus est. Tertul. de Baptis. In quem tingere? in pænitentiam ? quo ergò illi præcursorem? in peccatorum remiffionem quam verbo dabat? in semetipsum, quem humilitate celabat ? in Spiritum Sanctum qui nondum à Patre descenderat? in Ecclefiam, quam nondum Apostoli struxerant ? Id. Dehinc ter mergimur, amplius aliquid respondentes quàm Dominus in Evangelio determinavit. Id. de Cor. Militis. Sed & ipsa interrogatio quæ fit in Baptismo teftis eft veritatis, nam cum dicimus, Credis in vitam æternam, Gremiffionem peccatorum per fanctam Ecclefiam? intelligimus remissionem peccatorum non nifi in Ecclesia 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 poffe quod videatur in interrogatione Baptifmi à nobis non discrepare : sciat quisquis hoc opponendum putat, non efle 4nam nobis & schismaticis Symboli Legem, neque eandem interrogationem. Nam cum dicunt, Credis remiffionem peccatorum, c vitam æternam per Sanctam Ecclefiam? mentiuntur in interrogatione, quando non habeant Ecclesiam. Idem Epift. ad Magnum. Mos ibi (id eft Rome) servatur antiquus, eos qui gratiam Baptifmi suscepturi sunt, publicè, i. e. fidelium populo audiente, Symbolum reddere. Ruffin in Symb. Solenne eft in lavacro, poft Trinitatis confessionem interrogare, Credis in Sandtam Ecclefiam? Credis remifsionem peccatorum ? S. Hieron. contra Lucifer. Mens Hæretica reliquit Doctorein à quo fidem Ecclefiæ didicerat, oblita eft pacti Dei fui, hoc eft, fidei ipfius Dominicæ quæ in Symbo