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nounces on all, who disbelieve them. Now the Doctrines are undeniably the same with those, that are contained in the Articles of our Church, in the Beginning of our Litany, in the Conclufions of many of our Collects, in the Nicene Creed, and, as we conceive, in that of the Apostles, in the Doxology, in the Form of Baptism, in numerous Passages of both Testaments: only here they are somewhat more distinctly set forth, to prevent Equivocations. Any one, who examines into the Matter, will easily see it to be fo. Accordingly our Diffenting Brethren, after they had long objected to other parts of our Liturgy, consented readily to subscribe this Creed: the Articles of which are the common Faith of the Catholic Church, or by immediate Consequence deducible from it; and little or nothing more. There are indeed several Things in them, beyond our Comprehension, as to the Manner : but the Scripture hath the same. There are Expressions, which may seem liable to Exception : but it must be for Want of understanding them, or admitting fair Interpretations of them. The Affertion, that there is one Father, not three Fathers, and so on, may appear to the Ignorant, needless and trifling: but was levelled against Heresies, then in Being, which took away all Distinction between the three Persons. That none is before or after other, means, (as the following Words, but the whole three Per fons are coeternal, prove,) that none is so in Point of Time, not that none is so in the Order of our Conceptions : for the Scripture directs us to consider the Father, as first.
That none is greater or less than another, is réconciled to our Saviour's Assertion, The Father is greater, than I", by what follows in the Creed, Equal as touching bis Godhead, inferior as touching bis Manhood. That he is one, altogether, not by Confusion of Substancë, but by Unity of Perfon, means, (for fo the next Words explain it,) that as each of Us is one Man, not at all by blending the Soul and Body into one Substance, for they are fill distinct, but altogether, by a mysterious Union of the two : so he is one Chrift, not at all by blending the Divine and Human Nature into one Substance, but altogether, intirely and solely, by an Union of Them, yet more mysterious than the former is.
The Condemnation, contained in two or three Clauses of this Creed, belongs, (as the most zealous Defenders of our Faith in the holy Tripity agree, and as every one, who reads it conJohn xiv. 28.
fiderately, will soon perceive,) not to all, who cannot understand, or cannot approve, every Expression in it; but only to such, as deny in general the Trinity in Unity, or three Persons, who are one God. This alone is said to be the Catholic Faith. The Words, that follow after, For there is one Person of the Father, and so on, are designed only to set this forth more particularly. And the Conclusion from the whole is, not that in all Things, which are aforesaid, by the Use of every Term above mentioned, but in all Things, As is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity is to be worshipped: meaning, that as at first it was said, that in all Acts of Faith we are to believe in each Person, fo here it is added, that in all Acts of Worship we are to adore each: never considering one, even while addressed distinctly, as separated or separable from the other two. Now this Trinity in Unity we apprehend to have been, ever since it was fully revealed, a fundamental Article of the Christian Faith. And yet those, who believe not even lo much, the Creed no otherwise teaches cannot be saved, or shall without Doubt perish, than as our Saviour teaches concerning the whole of the Gospel: He that believeth, and is baptized, Jhall be saved: but he, that believeth not, Jhall VOL. VI.
be damned. Our Condemnation is no more hard and uncharitable, than His. And neither is fo: because both are to be interpreted with due Exceptions and Abatements. Suppose a Collection of Christian Duties had been drawn tp; and it had been said, in the Beginning or at the End of it, This is the Catholic Practice, which except a Man observe faithfully, be cannot be saved: would not every one understand, that Allowance must be made for fuch Things, as a Man through involuntary Ignorance mistook, or through mere Infirmity failed in, or was truly sorry for, as far as he knew he had Cause? Why then are not the same Allowances to be understood, in speaking of Doctrines ? For when the Creed says, that Whoever will be saved, before all Things it is necessary that be hold the Catholic Faith; it doth not mean, that true Faith is more necesary, than right Practice: but that naturally it precedes it, and is to be first learnt in order to it. The Intention therefore of the Creed, as well as of our Lord in the Gospel, is only to fay, that whoever rejects the Doctrine of it, froin presumptuous Self-Opinion, or wilful Negligence; and doch not afterward's repent of these Faults; particularly, if he is made Maik xvi. 16.
sensible of them; or if not, at least in general, amongst his unknown Sins; the Case of such a one is desperate. But if Want of Information, Weakness of Apprehension, or even excusable Wrongness of Disposition, should make him doubt or disbelieve any or the main Part of this Creed; nay, which is vastly a worse Case, the whole Revelation of Christianity: though we pass Judgement on his Errors without Reserve; and, in general, on all who maintain them; yet personally and singly we presume not to judge of his Condition in the next World. To bis own Master he standeth or falleth'. Much less would we think unfavourably of any one, who takes these condemning Clauses in too rigorous a Sense, and therefore only is afraid, from a Spirit of Charity and Humility, to join in them. Indeed, for the Sake of such, it
may but either they had been originally omitted; (since though defensible, they are not necessary to be inserted in a Profession of Faith ;) or the Limitations, with which they are to be underfood, had been signified in two or three comprehensive Words.
After our Creed, we go on to our Petitions. In these, the Minister and People first recom
p Rom. xiv.