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The Opinion which ascribes the framing of
But tho' it seems not to have been compil'd, or
* Clar. Anno CCCXC. † Article VIII.
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 publish'd them.
On which occasion, the Bishops and Governours of the Church were obligʻd to require the Candidates for Baptifm 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 same 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 shed. The antient Eastern Creed, before the Councils of Nice t and Constantinople *, is prefum'd to be that on which St. Cyril of Jerufalem ** compos'd his Catechetical Lectures ; 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 sake of Brevity, and others because the Heresies to which they referr'd were
† Anno CCCXXV. Anno CCCLXXXI.
Scripfit Anno CCCLI.
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, fo neither were they originally in the Western. The former was certainly put into the Roman after the time of Ruffinus ; and the latter, as it was wanting, in his time, in that of his own 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 Constantinopolitan Councils, it appears not to have been the Design of the Fathers in those Councils that the Creed, as augmented and setled by them, should be always us'd in the Form of Baptism, provided it was embrac'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 establish'd, and renounced all that did not embrace it, yet kept to their Old Form in Baptism, as we learn from the express Words of Ruffinus in his Preface.
From this Account it not only appears on the one hand, that the Apostles Creed is juftly defended in its Name and Authority, but likewise on the other hand, that it is guarded against the late Pretensions of the Socinians, 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 compild
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 Exflication of their own.
Were there no exfrefs Terms in the Apostles Creed, which directly and formally preclude the abovesaid Herefies, (the contrary to which has been evinc'd, as by Bishop Pearson, so since him by another most 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 higheft Reason declares t, That the three Creeds, Nice Creed, Athanafius's Creed, and that which is commonly called the Apostles Creed, ought throughly to be receiv'd and believ'd: The first, as the refult 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 diftinct Explication of the Orthodox Belief, and oppos’d not only to the two great Heresies before nam'd, but to those likewise of Nesto
* Bishop Bull, Judic. Eccl. Cath. C. VI. S. IV. OC. t Article VIII.
rius * and Eutyches t, 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.
* Condemn'd in the third General Council ar Ephesus, Anno CCCCXXXI.
+ Condemn'd in the fourth General Council at Chalcedon, Anno CCCCLI.