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The Creed Expounded.
A. That is uncertain ; some very ancient writers state that it was composed by the Apostles before they separated to przach the Gospel throughr at the world. It has been in use from the beginning.
Q. What doth the Creed contain ?
A. All those chief things which we are bound to believe concerning God and his Church.
Q. What is the first article of the Creed ?
A. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.
Q. What means, I believe in God?
A. It means, not only that I firmly believe there is a God, but also that I believe his Word, avd am piously affected to him, as to my chiefest good and last end.
Q. What signifies the word Father?.
A. It signifies the first person of the most blessed Trinitv. who by nature is the Father of his own only begotten Sor. and who is also our Father, having adopted us as his children. ou account of the love he bore our Saviour.
Q. What means the word Almighty?
A. It means that God is able to do all things as he pleaselh: that he sees all things, koows all things, and governs all things.
Q. Why is he called Almighty in this place ?
A. They signify that God made heaven and earth, and all creatures in them, of nothing, by his word only, Gen. 1.
Q. What moved God to make them ?
A. His own mere goodness, that so he might communicate himself to angels, and to men, for whom he made all other creatures.
Q. For what end did God create angels ?
A. Out of St. Matt. xviii. 10. where Christ saith : " See that you despise not one of these little ones: For I say unto you, their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father who is in heaven"
Q. Do the angels know our necessities, and hear our prayers?
A. Doubtless they do, since God 'has deputed them to be our guardians; which is also proved out of Zach. i. 12. where an angel prays for whole cities; the words are, “ Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on the cities of Judah and Jerusalem, against which thou hast had indignation these seventy years.” • Q. What Scripture have you for praying to angels ?
A. Gen. xlviii. 16, where Jacob on his death-bed prayed to an ange! for Ephraim and Manasses, saying, “ The angel of the Lord that delivered me from all evils, bless these children.” So St. Basil, lib. 3. cont. Dunon, sub initio : and St. Chrysostom 7. in laudem Sancti Pauli.
Q. How did Lucifer and his fellow angels fall from their dignity in heaven?..
A. By the rebellious sin of pride.
Q. In what is man like to God ? + A. In his Soul; which is a spirit that can never die, having understanding. liberty, and power.
Q. How do you prove that the soul can never die ?
A. Out of Matt. x. 28. where Christ saith, Fear not them that kill the body, and cannot kill the soul.” As also from the last judgment, where men will be sentenced to everlasting happiness or misery.
Q. In what state did God create man?
A. In the state of original justice, and perfection of all natural gifts.
Q. Do we owe much to God for our creation ?
A. Very much ; seeing he made us in such a perfect state, creating us for himself, and all things else for us. * Q. How did we lose original justice ?
A By Adam's disobedience to God, in eating the forbid
Q. In what state are we now born ? '
A. In the state of original sin, and prone to actual sin, subject to death,
Q. How prove you that ?
A. Out of Rom. v. 12. “ By one inan sin entered into the world, and by sin death; and so unto all men death did pass, in whom all have sinned."
Q. Had man ever died, if he had never sinned ?
A. No, he had not; but had been preserved by the tree of life, and been translated alive into the fellowship of the angels.
The Second Article.
Q. SAY the second article. · A. And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord.
Q. Of what treats this article ?
A. Of the second person of the blessed Trinity, in whom we also believe and put our trust.
Q. What is the Second Person ?
A. ()ut of St. John's gospel, i. 1. “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, AND THE WORD WAS God, &c. . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among
Q. What other proof have you?
A. Out of Phil. i. 6, 7. where St. Paul saith, “ That Christ, when he was in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but he hath lessened himself, taking the form of a servant, made unto the likeness of men; and found in habit as a man." And Rom, ix. 5, where he calls him “God above all blessed for ever."
Q. Why did he become man?
A. In a manner it was ; because our offences against Goud were in some sort infinite, as being against his infinite good. ness; and therefore required an infinite satisfaction; which no one could make but God.
Q. What signifies the name of Jesus ?
A. There is, because it is the highest title of God made man.
Q. How prove you that?
given unto Christ, because he hath humbled himself unto the death of the cross, a name which is above all names, the name Jesus."
Q. What other proof have you ?
A. Because there is no other name under heaven given to man, in which we must be saved. Acts iv. 12.
Q. How prove you that we must bow at this name?
A. Out of Phil. ii. 10. That at the paine of Jesus every knee shall bow, of those that are in heaven, or upon the earth, or under the earth.
Q. What signifies the name Christ?
A. Because he hated iniquity and loved justice, Ps. xliv. 8, and was a priest, a prophet, and a king ; to all which unction appertains.
Q. With what was Christ anointed ?
A. They mean that Jesus Christ is the only natural Son of God the Father; begotten of the same Father from all eternity, without a mother; and therefore is coequal and consubstantial to his Father.
The Third Article.
Q. WHAT is the Third Article ?
A. Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, bora of the Virgin Mary.
Q. What means, Who was conceived of the Holy Ghost ?
A. It means that the Second Person of the blessed Trinity took flesh of the Virgin Mary, not by a human generation, but by the work of the Holy Ghost.
Q. How prove you that ?
A. Out of St. Luke i. 31, 35. Behold,” saith the angel, *thou shalt conceive and bear a Son," &c." The Holy Ghost shall coinc upou thee, and the virtue of the Most High shall overshadow thee."
Q. What understand you by the words, born of the Virgin Mary?
Ai I understand that Christ was born of her at midnight, in a poor stable at Bethlehem, betwixt an ox and an ass.
Q. Why at midnight?.
A. To signify that he came to remove the darkness and shade of death in which men were seated. Isaias ix, 2.
Q. Why in Bethlehem ?
A. Because it was the head city of David's family, and Christ was of David's race.
Q. Why in a poor stable ?
A. To fulfil that of the prophet, “ thou shalt be known, o Lord, betwixt two beasts.” Abacuc. xii. juxta Sept.
Q. What signifies, born of the Virgin Mary?
A. It signifies that our Lady was a virgin, not only before, but also in, and after, child-birth.
The Fourth Article. Q. WHAT is the Fourth Article ?
A. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.
Q. What understand you by suffering under Pontius Pilate ?
A. I understand that Christ, after a painful life of thirtythree years, suffered most bitter torments under the wicked president Pontius Pilate,
Q. Where did he begin those sufferings?
A. In the garden of Gethsemani; that as sin began in the garden by the first Adam, so might grace also, by the second.
Q. What are those torments ?
A. His bloody sweat, his whipping at the pillar, his purple garment, his crown of thorns, his sceptre of a reed, his carry. ing the cross, and many others.
Q: What understand you by the words, was crucified ?
A. I understand, he was nailed to a disgraceful cross, betwixt two thieves, for our offences, and to save us.
Q. Is it lawful to honour the cross ?
A. Yes, with a relative honour it is; because it is a special memorial of our Saviour's passion, and is called the siga of the Son of Man. St. Matt. xxiv. 30.
Q. What other reason have you?
A. Because the cross was the sacred altar, on which Christ offered himself as a bloody sacrifice for our sins.
Q. What Scripture have you for it?'
A. Gul, vi. 11. “God forbil," saith St. Paul, “ that I should glory, but in the cross of our Lord Jasus Corist."
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