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The Opinion which ascribes the. framing of this Creed to the Apostles in Person, tho' as antient as the firit Account we have of the Creed it self from Rujmus *, is yet render'd highly improbable, as by many collateral Reasons, so especially by this. Argument, That it is not appeal'd to in elder Times as the Sacred and unalterable Standard. And therefore our Excellent Church with due Caution stiles it, that which is commonly called the Apostles Creeds. But tho' it seems not to have been compil'd, or formally drawn up by the Apostles themselves, yet is its Authority of sufficient Strength, since it may still be demonstrated to be the Apostles, or rather the Apostolic Creed, in three several respects : First, As it is drawn from the Fountains of Apostolical Scripture. Secondly, As it agrees in Substance with thex Confessions of all Orthodox Churches, which make up the Apostolic Church, in the extended meaning of the Word. "Thirdly, As it was the Creed of an Apostolic Church, in the restrain'd Sense of that Term, denoting a Church founded by the Apostles, as was that of Rome alone in our Western World. Of these three Particulars, the first will appear from the Body of the Exposition ., the iecond will be evine'd (so far as is necessary,) in our Consideration of the third ., which, being on all hands acknowledge, need only be illustrated by the following Account.
tt The Form antiently requir'd of those that
* Clar. Anno CCCXC. \ Artklt VIII.
ff SeeBishop Bull, Judicium Eccl.Cath. C.VI. S XVIII. See likewise the learned History of the Creed, in tvo, pag.^s, &c. and, The History of Infant Baptism, by the Ktvere td and learned Mr. Wall, P. II. C.IX.
offer'd offer'd themselves to be baptiz'd, was, 1 believe in God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Heresies springing up did not long suffer the Church to enjoy this plain Confession: But, as in the Apostles time, the Followers of Simon Magus, Menander, Cerinthus, &c. had broach'd their impious Opinions, so after the Decease of the Apostles, they more boldly vented and publisiVd them. On which occasion, the Bishops and Governours of the Church were oblig'd to require the Candidates for Baptism to explain more fully their Belief in the Holy Trinity, according to the Doctrine of the Scriptures; with the Addition of other Articles oppugn'd or corrupted by the fame Heretics. The first Heretical Seducers arose in the East, and chiefly, or only, disturb'd the Eastern Church. And therefore in those Parts the Creed was first enlarg'd, and the Antidote prepar'd where the Poyson had been lhed. The antient Eastern Creed, before the Councils of Nice f and Constantinople *, is presumed to be that on which St. Cyril of Jerusalem ** compos'd his Catechetical Lectures j the Enlargements in the Second Article being design'd against the Cerinthians, Ebionites, and other Gnostics, who denied our Lord's Divinity, so long before the time of Arius. From this, probably, the Romans, or Western Creed was form'd; tho' some Particulars were omitted, for the fake of Brevity, and others because the Heresies to which they referr'd were then unknown at Rome, and in the West. As for the Particulars added, of the Descent into Hell, and the Communion of Saints, as they were not in the Eastern Creed, so neither were they originally in the Western. The former was certainly put into the Roman after the time of Rujstnus; and the latter, as it was wanting, in his time, in that of his owrf Church of Aquileia, so he does not mention it to have occurr'd in the Roman, or in the Oriental. When the more General Confession was begun in the Nicene, and finish'd in the Conftantinopolitan Councils, it appears not to have been the Design of the Fathers in those Councils that the Creed, as augmented and setled by them, mould be always us'd in the Form of Baptism, provided it was embrae'd and acknowledg'd by all Churches, and imply'd, at least, in their particular Forms. Wherefore the Roman, and other Western Prelates, who made so eminent a Part of those Venerable Assemblies, tho' they most heartily entertain'd the Confession there established, and renounced all that did not embrace it, yet kept to their Old Form in Baptism, as we learn from the express Words of Rujfinus in his Preface. .
From this Account it not only appears on the one hand, that the Apostles Creed is justly defended in its Name and Authority, but likewise on the other hand, that it is guarded against the late Pretensions of the Soanians, and their Abettors, who, first advancing it extravagantly above all other Forms, are then wont to take refuge in it, as not condemning their Heretical Innovations. For if it was compil'd
out of the Eastern Form, we have seen the Reason why it omitted some Enlargements of that Form; if not, it was yet compil'd by those who embraced the said Eastern Form in its full Perfection, and thought it a larger Explication of their own. Were there no express Terms in the Apostles Creed, which directly and formally preclude the abovesaid Heresies, (the contrary to which has been evinc'd, as. by Bishop Pearson, so since him by another nost learned Prelate*,) yet in as much as this and all other Forms are to be expounded by the Word of God, the Exposition of it must refute all those Opinions which, in any Great and Fundamental Point, are repugnant to the fame Divine Word.
Thus the Church of England with the highest Reason declares f, That the three Creeds, Nice Creed, Athanafius's Creed, and that which is commonly call'd the Apostles Creed, ought throughly to be received and believ'd: The first, as the result of two famous General Councils in the East, in opposition to the two leading Heresies of Arius and Macedonius; the second, tho' not of equal Antiquity, nor so illustrious in its Original, yet as containing a more distinct Explication of the Orthodox Belief, and oppos'd not only to the two great Heresies before nam'd, but to those likewise of Nesto
* si/hop Bull, Judic, Ecd. Cath. C. VI. S. IV. ot. t ArticU VIII.
rius * ritts * and Eutycbes f, concerning the Nature and Person of our Lord the third as the sound and antient Confession of this Western Church; and all three, for that they may be prov'd by most certain Warrant of Holy Scripture.