صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

lo continetur, quam fe die baptifmatis fervaturum effe promiferat. Id. Com. in Prov. Interrogatus es, Credis in Deum Patrem omnipotentem? dixifti, Credo, & merfifti, hoc eft, fepultus es. Iterum interrogatus es, Credis in Dominum noftrum Jefum Chriftum, & in crucem ejus? dixifti, Credo, & merfifli, ideo & Chrifto es confepultus. Tertiò interrogatus, Credis in Spiritum Sanctum? dixifti, Credo; tertiò merfifti: ut multiplicem lapfum fuperioris ætatis abfolveret trina confeffio. Ambrof. de Sacram. l. 2. c. 7. Leo speaks thus of Eutyches in his Epiftle to Flavianus, Quam enim eruditionem de facris Novi & Veteris Teftamenti paginis acquifivit, qui nè ipfius quidem Symboli initia comprehendit ? & quod per totum mundum omnium regenerandorum voce depromitur, iftius adhuc fenis corde non capitur. And in the 12. Book de Trinitate (formerly attributed to Athanafius, but more probably now thought to belong to Vigilius Tapfenfis,) Nec non & illa magna & beata Confeffio Fidei, imò ipfa Fides Sanctorum, & Teftamentum quod difpofuimus ad Patrem, Filium & Spiritum Sanctum, ad facrum lavacrum regenerationis venientes, Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, & in Jefum Chriftum Filium ejus unigenitum, & in Spiritum Santium, Καθώς παρελάβουν τα πρὸς ἡμῶν ἐπισκόπων ἔν τε τῇ πρώτη xnxnod, ÖTE To λ87egy ixaμbávoμl, Eufeb. of the Confeffion of Faith which he exhibited to the Council of Nice, Socr. 1. 1. c. 8. Theodor. l. 1. c. 12. Abrenuncio, inquis, Diabolo, pompis, fpectaculis, & operibus ejus, & quid poftea? Credo, inquis, in Deum Patrem omnipotentem. Salvianus de Gubern. Dei, lib. 6. And when this Creed was enlarged by the Council of Nice, and after that by others, Epiphanius commends it to the Catechumeni, to be repeated at their Baptifm; ὅτως εκάτῳ ἢ κατηχείων μελλόντων τῷ ἁγίῳ λεξῷ προσίεναι, & μόνον ἐπαγέλλειν ὀφείλεξε τὸ πιςεύειν τοῖς ἑαυτῶν τοῖς ἐν κυρίῳ, ἀλλὰ καὶ διδάσκειν ῥηλῶς, ὡς πάντων ἡ αὐτὴ μήτηρ ὑμῶν τε καὶ ἡμῶν, τὸ λέξειν. πις δύο μου εἰς ἕνα Θεόν, &c. Fpiph. in Ancorato. And when he had yet farther enlarged it by reason of fome new emergent Herefies, he commends it, páλisa τοῖς τῷ ἁγίῳ λεξῷ προσιοῦσιν ἵνα ἀπα[γέλλωσι καὶ λέξωσιν οὕτως. Ib. The firf Council of Conftantinople confirms the Nicene Confeffion, as weeσbuláτl te ovσav x axólov Tu Banioμal. Theodor. lib. 5. cap.9. And the Conncil of Chalcedon of the fame, l, ὡς κοινὸν ἐξ ἁγίων σιώθημα, τοῖς μυς μόνοις προς το μοθησίας παρενΓυώμθμ ἀσφάλειαν. Parte tertia. The Synod at Jerufalem, τὸ ἅγιον σύμβολον εἰς ὃ ἐβαπτίθημι και βαπτίζομαι. The Synod at Tyre, ἐν αὐτῷ βαπλισθέντες καὶ Bawliovles. And the Council of Conftantinople under Menna, to which the former fent their Synodical Letters, ofiar cuμsonov ev a távles Carlin, Concil. Conftantinop. fub Agab. Menna, Act. 5. Bafilifcus and Marcus in two feveral Edits, confirmed the fame Nicene Creed with thefe words, εἰς ὃ ἡμᾶς τε καὶ πάντες οἱ πρὸς ἡμῶν τις ούσαντες ἐβάπrinu. Evagr. 1. 3. cap. 4, and 7. And the Edict of the Emperor Juftinian, Anathematizaverunt eos qui aliam definitionem fidei, five Symbolum, five Mathema, tradunt accedentibus ad fanctum baptifma.

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*OT de Te's diately before the great Solemnity of Eafter) and to require a particular wish it repetition of it publickly as often as the Sacrament of the Eucharift was - adminiftred, and a conftant and perpetual inculcation of the fame by the niédoué-Clergy to the People.

δε ἀπαγγέλ

Bullegis, Con

ferved that

Fidei, and


λεον τῷ ἐπισκό And as this neceffity is great, as the practice useful and advantageous; To fo is the obligation of believing and confeffing particular, binding every fincil. Laodic. gle Chriftian, obfervable in the number and perfon expreffed, I believe. Can.46.Where As if Chrift did queftion every one in particular, as he did him who was it is to be ob- born blind, after he had restored him his fight, (and we are all in his conis is taken dition) a Doft thou believe on the Son of God? every fingle Christian is for the Creed taught to make the fame answer which he made, Lord, I believe. As or Symbolum if the Son of God did promise to every one of them which are gathered togewas fo tran- ther in his name, what he promised to one of the multitude, whofe Son had flated ancient- a dumb Spirit, If thou canft believe, all things are poffible to him that belieeth by the Ca- veth; each one for himself returneth his anfwer, Lord, I believe; Lord, help non preferved my unbelief. Not that it is unlawful or unfit to use another number, and instead in the Canon of 1, to fay, We believe: for taking in of others, we exclude not our felves; dred thus, Ba- and addition of charity can be no difparagement to confeffion of Faith. S. Peptizandos o ter anfwered for the twelve, We believe, and are fure that thou art that Symbolum Chrift, the Son of the living God. For tho' Chrift immediately replied that one difcere, & of them had a Devil, yet is not S. Peter blam'd, who knew it not. But every quintâ feriâ one is taught to exprefs his own Faith, because by that he is to stand or fall. manæ vel E- The effectual fervent Prayer of a righteous man availeth much for the bene

ly, as appear

Law, and ren

portet Fidei

ultimæ fepti

pifcopo vel

Presbyteris reddere. De Confec. dift. 4. cap. 58. Symbolum etiam placuit ab omnibus Ecclefiis unâ die, i. e. ante octo dies Dominicæ refurrectionis, publice in Ecclefia competentibus prædicari. Concil. Agath. capit. 13. Sicut antiqui Canones jubent, ante viginti dies Baptifmi ad purgationem exorcifmi Catechumeni currant, in quibus viginti diebus omnino Catechumeni Symbolum, quod eft, Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, fpecialiter doceantur. Concil. Bracar. 2. cap. I. The Canon of the Laodicean Council, already mentioned, is verbatim rehearsed in the fixth Council in Trullo. Can. 78. It appeareth therefore a general command of the Church, that those who were to be baptized, fhould have a certain time allotted for the learning and rehearsing of the Creed. And in cafe of neceffity, if any were baptized, they were to learn the Creed immediately after their Baptifm, ori de (not, as it is in the Edition of Binius, both in this Canon and in the former mofi abfurdly, "Οτι ἐδεῖ τὰς ἐν νόσῳ του ραλαμβάνοντας τὸ φώτισμα, καὶ εἶτα αναςάντας εκμανθάνειν ἢ πίνα 51y, i wwonen out Deias dwęeus naingiwentar. Conc. Laod. Can. 47. † As appears in the ancient Greek Liturgies, and the Decree of the third Council of Toledo, ut omni facrificii tempore ante cominunionem corporis Chrifti & fanguinis, juxta Orientalium partium morem, unanimiter clarâ voce facratiffimum fidei recenfeat Symbolum. Which custom as they call it of the Oriental parts, is faid firft to be introduced by Petrus Mongus at Alexandria, and after by Timotheus at Conftantinople, as appears out of the fragments of Theodorus Lector. * Concil. Mogunt. cap. 45. Symbolum quod eft fignaculum fidei, & orationem Dominicam difcere femper admoneant facerdotes populum Chriftianum. * Joh. 9.35,38. b Mar. 9. 17, 23, 24. © Joh. 6. 69. d Jam. 5. 16.


fit of his Brother, but his Faith availeth nothing for the Juftification of another. And it is otherwife very fit that our Faith fhould be manifested by a particular confeffion, because it is effectual by particular application; therefore must it needs be proper for me to fay, I believe, and to make profeffion of my Faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Being then I have defcribed the true nature and notion of Belief, the duty of confeffing our Faith, and the obligation of every particular Christian to believe and to confefs; being in thefe three explications all, which can be imaginably contained in the firft word of the CREED, must necessarily be included; it will now be eafie for me to deliver, and for every particular perfon to understand what it is he fays, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he begins his Confeffion with thefe words, I believe, which I conceive may in this manner be fitly expreffed.

Although thofe things which I am ready to affirm be not apparent to my fense, so that I cannot fay I fee them; although they be not evident to my understanding of themselves, nor appear unto me true by the virtue of any natural and neceffary cause, so that I cannot fay I have any proper knowledge or science of them; yet being they are certainly contained in the Scriptures, the Writings of the bleffed Apoftles and Prophets; being those Apoftles and Prophets were endued with miraculous power from above, and immediately inspired with the Holy Ghoft, and confequently what they delivered was not the word of man, but of God himself; being God is of that univerfal knowledge and infinite wifdom, that it is impoffible he fhould be deceived; of that indefectible holiness and tranfcendent rectitude, that it is not imaginable he should intend to deceive any man, and confequently whatfoever he hath delivered for a truth must be neceffarily and infallibly true; I readily and stedfastly affert unto them as most certain truths, and am as fully and abfolutely, and more concerningly perfuaded of them, than of any thing I fee or know. And because that God who hath revealed them hath done it, not for my benefit only, but for the advantage of others, nor for that alone, but alfo for the manifestation of his own glory; being for those ends he hath commanded me to profefs them, and hath promised an eternal reward upon my profeffion of them; being every particular perfon is to expect the juftification of himself, and the Salvation of his Soul, upon the condition of his own Faith; as with a certain and full perfuafion I affent unto them, fo with a fixed and undaunted resolution I will profefs them; and with this faith in my heart, and confeffion in my mouth, in respect of the whole body of the CREED, and every Article and Particle in it, I fincerely, readily, refolvedly fay, I believe.

I believe in God.

Aving delivered the nature of Faith, and the act of Belief common to all the Articles of the Creed, that we may understand what it is to believe; we fhall proceed to the explication of the Articles themselves, as the most neceffary objects of our Faith, that we may know what is chiefly to be believed. Where immediately we meet with another word as general as the former and as univerfally concerned in every Article, which is GOD; for if to believe be to affent upon the teftimony of God, as we have before declared, then wherefoever belief is expreffed or implied, there is alfo the name of God understood, upon whose testimony we believe. He therefore whofe authority is the ground and foundation of the whole, his existence begins the Creed, as the foundation of that authority. For if there can be no divine Faith without the attestation of God, by which it alone becomes divine, and there can be no fuch at. teftation, except there were an existence of the teftifier, then must it needs


Gal. 2. 20.

Θεός, Θεός,

be proper to begin the Confeffion of our Faith with the agnition of our God. *Orò, és, If his name were thought fit to be exprefs'd in the front of every action, Era even by the Heathen, because they thought no action profpered but by his approbation; much more ought we to fix it before our Confeffion, because without him to believe as we profefs, is no less than a contradiction.


Afew, ind
Hefych. Lex.

find thefe


do Deo, quam

luti neceffaria

fint. Aliud e

credere illum;

Now these words, I believe in God, will require a double confideration; one, of the phrase or manner of speech; another, of the thing or nature of the truth in that manner exprefs'd. For to believe with an addition of the prepofition in, is a phrase or expreffion ordinarily conceived fit to be given to none but to God himself, as always implying, befide a bare act of Faith, an addition of hope, love, and affiance. An obfervation, as I conceive, prevail† For Ser. 181. ing especially in the Latin Church, grounded principally upon the authority which is upon of S. Auguftine. Whereas among the Greeks, in whofe Language the New t the Creed, we Teftament was penn'd, I perceive no fuch constant distinction in their delivewords: Non ries of the Creed; and in the * Hebrew Language of the Old, from which the dicit, Credo Jewish and Chriftian Greeks received that phrafe of believing in, it hath no Deum, veli-fuch peculiar and accumulative fignification. For it is fometimes attributed vis & hæc fa- to God, the author and original caufe; fometimes to the Prophets, the immediate revealers of the Faith; fometimes it is spoken of Miracles, the motives nim eft crede- to believe; fometimes of the Law of God, the material object of our Faith. re illi, aliud Among all which varieties of that phrase of speech, it is fufficiently apparent aliud credere that in this confeffion of Faith it is most proper to admit it in the last acception, in illum. Credere illi, eft credere vera effe quæ loquitur; Credere illum, credere quia ipfe eft Deus; Credere in illum, diligere illum. And though that collection of Sermons de tempore under the name of S. Auguftine be not all his (divers of them being Tranflations of the Greek Homilies) yet this diftinction may be collected out of other parts of his works. For firft, he distinguisheth very clearly and feriously between credere Deo, and credere in Deum. Nunquam aliquis Apoftolorum dicere auderet, Qui credit in me. Credimus Apoftolo, fed non credimus in Apoftolum, Tract. 54. in Pfalm. And again, Credimus Paulo, fed non credimus in Paulum; credimus Petro, fed non credimus in Petrum. Secondly, he diftinguisheth between credere Deum, and credere in Deum; Multum intereft utrum quis credat ipfum effe Chriftum, & utrum credat in Chriftum. Ille credit in Chriftum qui & fperat in Chriftum, & diligit Chriflum. De verbis Dom. Serm. 61. And, which is the fum of all, he puts a high value upon the prepofition, as if by vertue of the addition of in, the phrafe did properly fignifie fo great an acceffion unto faith. Quid eft credere in Deum? Credendo amare, credendo diligere, credendo in eum ire, & ejus membris incorporari, Tract. 29. in Joh. Which Doctrine of S. Auguftin's being taken notice of by Peter Lombard, hath fince been continued by the Schoolmen; and Aquinas, Sum. 2.22. q. 2. §. 2. ad primum, bringing all three under one aft of Faith hath been contradicted by Durand. in 3. Sent. dif. 23. q.7.§.6. Credere in Deum non eft precisè actus fidei, fed fidei & charitatis fimul; & funt etiam plures, & non unus actus tantum: By whofe fubtile, but yet clear determination (as many of his are beyond the rest of the Schools) whatsoever is added by the prepofition to believe, appears not to be a part of Belief, but an act super-added to the act of faith. *For is fometimes joined with fometimes with: when with, it answers properly to mis TO, credere Deo, ( being nothing else but a fignificator of the cafe; when with it corresponds to misde eis ✈ Ov, credere in Deum, ( being a prepofition of the fame nature with eis or in.) But yet there is fo little, or rather no difference in the Hebrew, that in the first place where it is used, and that of the Father of the faithful, even for the act of justifying faith, Gen. 15. 6. it is tranflated by the LXX. iwis Luger Abegμ TS Dew, not eis Ocòv, and that tranflation warranted by S. Paul, Rom. 4. 3. Gal. 3. 6. and S. James 2. 23. In the fame manner 2 Kings 17. 14. DOVOÝNA UONI NÓ UN is tranflated by the LXX. (as that tranflation is preferved in the Alexandrian and Complutefian Copies) oi oux izis&rav nveių Otã auTwv. Refides, the fame phrase is used in the fame place both to God and to man, as Exode 14. 31. May and they believed in God, and in his fervant Mo

and they believed in והימינו בשום מימרא דיי ובנביאתה רסש,fes; which the Chaldee Paraphrafe explainneth thus .20 .20 .Chron 2 האמינו ביהוה אלהיכם ותאמנו And

the word of God, and in the Prophecy of Mofes his fervant.


imbymi rada u Believe in the Lord your God, fo fhall ye be ftablished; believe in his Prophets, fo fhall ye profper. For although the vulgar Latin, which our tranflation followeth, hath made that distinction which the Hebrew maketh not, Credite in Domino Deo veftro & fecuri eritis; credite Prophetis ejus, & cuncta evenient_profpera: yet the Septuagint acknowledgeth no neceffity of receding from the original phrafe iurisoαTE IN Xver TH DEW ὑμῶν, καὶ ἐμπις αυθήσεθε· ἐμπιςεύσατε ἐν προφήταις αὐτῶ, καὶ συοδωθήσεθε. Nor is it only attributed to Mofes as joined with God, and fo taken as it were into the fame phrase, but separately by himself, as Exod. 19. 9. The Lord said unto Mofes, Lo I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I fpeak with thee, Dyb O' TË DAI and believe in thee for ever. And therefore when it was objected to S. Bafil that they did believe in Mofes, as well as that they were baptized into Mofes and generally, zísis wμodóyn) non x eis ra's diveęános verfuñas, the Father doth not deny the language, but interprets it, eis AUTOY TISIS ÉTÌ Inverov úva¤ége. De Sp. S. c. L4. Neither is this only spoken of Mofes and the Prophets, that the Ifraelites believed in them, but of David, not as a Prophet, but as a bare relater of his own actions, 1 Sam. 27. 12. ON JON", &) irisden Dabid cv to Alx8s, Vulg. Et credidit Achis in David. Eft ergo fides noftra primò quidem omnium in Dominum noftrum Jefum Chriftum, confequenter verò etiam in omnes fanctos Patriarchas, vel Prophetas, vel Apoftolos Chrifti. Orig. in Apol. Pamphil. To conclude, this general phrafe of believing in, is generally attributed fometimes to the fupreme Author of our Faith, as to God; fometimes to the intervenient meffengers, as the Prophets; fometimes to the motives of our Faith, Pfal. 78. 32. 1NbDɔɔ VIDNO NYI LXX. iñisssoar cu rois dowμariois avrou, and they believed not in his wondrous works; fometimes to the object of it, or that which is believed, as Pf. 119. 66. DIDNT THIYA, I have believed in thy Commandments, as Mar. Ι. 15. πισούετε ἐν τῷ ἀναγγελία.


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Ev Móvor καὶ ἐν μόνον πνεῦμα ἅδιον. Arius and

Euzoius in

by which it is attributed to the material object of belief. For the Creed being nothing else but a brief comprehenfion of the most necessary matters of Faith, whatsoever is contained in it befide the firft word I believe, by which we make confeffion of our Faith, can be nothing else but part of those verities to be believed, and the act of belief in refpect to them nothing but an affent unto them as divinely credible and infallible truths. Neither can we conceive that the ancient Greek Fathers of the Church could have any farther meaning in it, who make the whole body of the Creed to be of the fame nature, as fo many truths to be believed, acknowledge and confeffed; infomuch as fometimes they use not * believing in, neither for the Father, Son, nor Holy Ghoft; fometimes ufing it as to them, *s. Bafil. they continue the fame to the following Articles of, the Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints, &c. and * generally speak of the Creed as no- va μvov thing but mere matter of Faith, without any intimation of hope, † Love, or θινὸν καὶ ἀδα θὸν Θεὸν, καὶ any fuch notion included in it. So that believing in, by virtue of the phrafe or manner of speech, whether we look upon the original use of it in the Hebrew, or the derivative in the Greek, or the fenfe of it in the firft Chriftians in the Latin Church, can be of no farther real importance in the Creed in refpect of God, who immediately follows, than to acknowledge their Confessiand affert his being or existence. Nor ought this to be imagin'd a flender on notion or small part of the first Article of our Faith, when it really is the Conftantine, foundation of this and all the reft; that as the Creed is fundamental in Πισσνορθμ εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν παλέτ refpect of other truths, this is the foundation even of the fundamentals, ,કું લંડ yea a For he that cometh to God muft believe that he is. And this I take for a ve Inc, καὶ τὸ ἅγιον fufficient explication of the phrafe, I believe in God, that is, I believe that is to con πνεῦμα καὶ εἰς God is. (αρκός ανάσας ery,♠ લંડ Kalo το μέλλον Ο αἰῶν, καὶ εἰς βασιλείαν ἔρανῶν, καὶ εἰς μίαν καθολικὰ ἐκκλησίαν το Θε. Socrat. Hift. Eccl. 1. 1. c. 26. Sozomen. 1. 2. c. 27. S. Cyril. Hierofol. Κατήχησις τῶν φωτιζομθύων χεδιασθεῖσα εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα ἅγιον, καὶ εἰς μίαν ἁγίαν καθολική εκε κλησίαν, καὶ εἰς (αρκὸς ἀνάσασιν, καὶ εἰς ζωλῷ αἰώνιον. Epiph. in Anc. εἰς τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἄξιον, εἰς μίαν ἁγίαν καθολικ καὶ ἀποςολικὺ ἐκκλησίαν· and in a larger Confeffion τις δύο μπω εἰς μίαν καθολικὼ καὶ δπιςολικώ εκκλησίαν, καὶ εἰς ἐν βάσε τισμα μετανοίας, καὶ εἰς ἀνάςασιν νεκρῶν, καὶ εἰς βασιλείαν κρανῶν, καὶ εἰς ζωίω αιώνιον. * Greg. Nyf. calls them ευσεβείς πε sy ávásaσivvengãy, ei O18 wodness And Eufebius in his Confeffion exhibited to the Council of Nice, concludes, soul is in πνεῦμα ἅγιον, τέτων έκασον εἶναι καὶ ὑπάρχειν πιςεύοντες: ignifying that every particular which he had rehearfed he believed to be. And that was all in the Confeffion intended. Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, after a long declaration of the former Articles concerning the Father and the Son, draws to a conclufion on the latter Articles thus ; Пgs de τῇ εὐσεβεία (1. οὐσεβεῖς) ταύτῃ δεὶ πατρὸς καὶ δ δόξῃ ἐν πνεῦμα ἅγιον ὁμολογάριθμο wei μίαν καὶ μόνίω καθολικμό * Σπιςολικώ εκκλησίαν - TOTOV (Vel Tõтo) cuvexgāv ávásaow oidapp. Theodor. Hift. Eccl. l. 1. c. 4. So Tertul. de Prafer. adv. Haret. Regula eft fidei illa qua creditur Unum omnino Deum effe: and adv. Praxeam, cap. 2. where he makes another rehearsal of his Creed, he begins with Unicum quidem Deum credimus. Non eft amor Dei Articulus, neque etiam amor proximi, quia etiamfi fint præcepta generalia activa, tamen cum actio contineatur, non oportet eum conftituere articulum: fed ifta funt fidei dogmata quæ funt columnæ & fundamenta legis divinæ. If. Abravanel de cap. fidei, c. 11. Primus eft deorum cultus, Deos credere. Sen. * Maimonides de Fundam. Le

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delivered to

the foundation of foundations יסוד היסודות עמוד החכמות לידע שיש שם מצוי ראשון והוא ממציא כל נמצא ,gis

and pillar of wisdom is to know that the firft Being is, and that it giveth existence to every thing which is. Heb. 11.6.


As for the matter or truth contained in these words fo explained, it admits a threefold confideration, first of the Notion of God, what is here understood by that name; fecondly, of the Existence of God, how we know or believe that he is; thirdly, the Unity of God, in that though there be Gods many, 1 Cor. 8. 5. and Lords many, yet in our Creed we mention him as but one. therefore we shall have clearly delivered what is the true notion of God in whom we believe, how and by what means we come to affure our felves of the existence of fuch a Deity, and upon what grounds we apprehend him of fuch a tranfcendent nature that he can admit no competitor; then may we be conceived to have fufficiently explicated the former part of the first Article; then may every one understand what he fays, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he profeffeth, I believe in God.

The name of God is attributed unto many, but here is to be understood of him who by way of eminency and excellency bears that name, and therefore



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Dan. 2.47.

19, 20, 22.

ceffe eft con

Deum &

vinitatis qui


2 Deut. 10.17. is styled a God of gods; The Lord our God is God of gods, and Lord of lords: Pfal. 136.2. and in the fame refpect is called the most high God, (others being but inferiand 11. 36. our, or under him,) and God over or above all. This eminency and excelb Gen. 14. 18, lency, by which thefe titles become proper unto him and incommunicable to Rom. 9.5. any other, is grounded upon the divine nature or effence, which all other who Ephef. 4.6. are called gods have not, and therefore are not by nature gods. Then Imprimis ne- when ye knew not God, faith S. Paul, ye did fervice to them which by nacedatis effe ture are not gods. There is then a God by nature, and others which are aliquem fubli- called Gods, but by nature are not fo: for either they have no power at all, miorem because no being, but only in the falfe opinions of deceived men, as the mancipem gods of the Heathen; or if they have any real power or authority, from quendam di- whence fome are called gods in the Scripture, yet have they it not from ex hominibus themselves or of their own nature, but from him who only bath immortality, Deos fecerit. and confequently only Divinity, and therefore is the only true God. So that Tertul. adv. the Notion of a Deity doth at laft expreffly fignify a Being or Nature of inGal. 4. 8. finite perfection; and the infinite perfection of a Nature or Being confifteth *Ego dixi Dii in this, that it be abfolutely and effentially neceffary, an actual Being of it co indulti no-felf; and potential or caufative of all Beings befide it felf, independent from minis fignifi- any other, upon which all things elfe depend, and by which all things elfe catio eft : & are governed. 'Tis true indeed, that to give a perfect definition of God is ego dixi, lo- impoffible, neither can our finite reafon hold any proportion with infinity : quentis eft po- but yet a fenfe of this Divinity we have, and the firft and common notion quam rei no- of it confifts in these three particulars, that it is a Being of it felf, and indemen. S. Hilar. pendent from any other; that it is that upon which all things which are de Trin. l. 7. made depend; that it governs all things. And this I conceive fufficient as + Deus plenæ ac perfectæ to the first confideration, in reference to the Notion of a God. divinitatis eft nomen. Hilar.


eftis; fed in


ubi refertur,

tiùs fermo

men, id eft,


As for the existence of fuch a Being, how it comes to be known unto us, or by what means we are affured of it, is not fo unanimously agreed upon, as Deus fubftan- that it is. For although fome have imagined that the knowledge of a Deity tiæ ipfius no- is connatural to the Soul of man, fo that every man hath a connate inbred Divinitatis.' notion of a God; yet I rather conceive the Soul of man to have no connaTertul. adv. tural knowledge at all, no particular notion of any thing in it from the beginning; but being we can have no affurance of its pre-existence, we may more rationally judge it to receive the first apprehenfions of things by fente, and by them to make all rational collections. If then the Soul of man be at the first like a fair finooth Table, without any actual characters or knowledge imprinted in it; if all the knowledge which we have comes fucceffively by fenfation, instruction, and rational collection; then must we not refer the apprehenfion of a Deity to any connate notion or inbred opinion; at least we are affured God never chargeth us with the knowledge of him upon that account.

Again, although others do affirm, that the existence of God is a truth evident of it felf, fo as whofoever hears but thefe terms once named, that God is, cannot chufe but acknowledge it for a certain and infallible truth upon the first apprehenfion; that as no man can deny that the whole is greater than any part, who knoweth only what is meant by whole, and what by part: fo no man can poffibly deny or doubt of the existence of God, who knows but what is meant by God, and what it is to be; yet can we not ground our knowledge of God's exiftence upon any fuch clear and immediate evidence: nor were it safe to lay it upon fuch a ground, because whofoever should deny it, could not by this means be convinced; it being a very irrational way of instruction to tell a man that doubts of this truth, that he must believe it because 'tis evident unto him, when he knows that he therefore only doubts of it, because it is not evident unto him.


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