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“ I believe in the Holy Ghost,”-without any specification : and, that both these articles may be proved from the Scriptures, was shewn in a former Lecture upon this subject.

That the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, as well as from the Father, is perhaps a doctrine not very necessary to be insisted upon, as essential to salvation ; nor does it appear from this Creed, or elsewhere, that our Church means to represent it as such ; but merely, as what was considered by our spiritual fathers to be the sense of the Scriptures upon this point. We shall do well, however, to recollect, in favour of this opinion, that our blessed Lord, who, at one time, speaks of “the Comforter, the Holy Ghost,”: whom the Father would send in his name, soon afterwards, thus mentions him ;_" the Comforter, whom I will send unto you from the Father:"2 assertions easily reconciled, by those who reflect that the same divine Person does not hesitate to say—“I and my Father are one :


“he, that hath seen me, hath seen the Father;" and again,

John xiv. 26.

2 Ibid. xv. 26.

3 Ibid. xiv. 9.

“believe that I am in the Father, and the Father

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The declarations, made in the Nicene Creed, of the purpose, for which Christ came down from heaven, and was crucified ;—pamely—“ for us, and for our salvation;" and of the institution of

baptism for the remission of sins," were noticed on a former occasion. They contain a point of doctrine, which must ever be regarded as the main pillar of Christianity, though not directly asserted in the Apostles' Creed; having probably been considered as obviously deducible from the expressed particulars of the advent and sufferings of Christ; and what no sincere believer in the Gospel-history could hesitate to acknowledge.

The third of our Creeds; which passes under the name of St. ATHANASIUS, and is much longer and more particular than the others; is

appointed to be read only on certain days, being thirteen in number, during the course of the year: namely, on the Nativity of Christ, the Epiphany, Easter-Sunday, Ascension-day, Whitsunday, and

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1 John v. 11.

Trinity-Sunday; and on seven of the Festivals of the Apostles.

It is doubtful, by whom, or at what time, this Creed was composed: though a very judicious and laborious divine' of our Church conceived that it might be attributed with great probability to Vigilius, an African Bishop of the fifth century. The design, however, with which it was compiled and promulgated, is not the less evident; having undoubtedly been directed, like the Nicene Creed, against certain heretical notions then prevalent, respecting both the eternity and the personality of the second and third persons of the sacred Trinity: and this is a circumstance, of which no person, who wishes to put a just and correct interpretation upon this Creed, should be ignorant or forgetful; because it will account for some clauses, unlikely to have been inserted on any other supposition.

It is indeed necessary, for various reasons, to consider this ancient confession of faith at some length. First, because it is so much more minute and particular than either of the other Creeds.

1 Dr. Cave. Histor. Literar.

Secondly; because, at a period, when so many forms and practices of the Christian Church were either abolished or reformed, as being unsupported by the Scriptures, the wisdom of our forefathers thought proper to retain this Creed ; undeterred by those scruples and objections, which they could not but anticipate, and satisfied of its conformity with the primitive faith. Thirdly; because such objections and scruples have actually arisen, and are known to have prevailed extensively in members of our communion, of whose general piety and good dispositions no doubt could reasonably be entertained. And, lastly ; because, the use of this Creed being still sanctioned and enjoined by the Church to which we belong, we owe at least such a degree of submission to her authority, as must forbid us, on our private judgment, to reject or misprize any of her ordinances, unless through a conviction, founded upon conscientious and diligent research, that in her own words)' they cannot “ be proved by certain warrants of Holy Scripture.”

1 In the 8th Article.

With respect to the minute and perhaps too laboured distinctions, which are found in some parts of this Creed ; it may suffice to observe, that they were pointed against errors, into which, at the present day, no Christian is likely to fall; but which, no doubt, at the time when it was written were so prevalent, as to create a necessity for guarding against them in the most explicit terms.' In fact, though the whole account here given, both of the doctrine of the Trinity, and of the Incarnation, enlarges greatly upon the simple and general language of the Apostles' Creed, yet is it by no means contradictory either to that Creed, or to the Scriptures. If some passages, then, may be deemed unnecessary, at least, they present no new difficulty to our faith ; and, in that respect, whoever gives his assent to the other Creeds, cannot well withhold it from this. And so much for the doctrinal Articles of this Creed,

It is an obvious remark, that such clauses might bave been omitted, as useless and superfluous : but then it must be considered, that, when it was determined to retain this Creed, it might have appeared more hazardous, to omit any part of it, than to reject it entirely.

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