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The Creed founded on Scripture.


LECT. in profession, which is by the Church delivered to thee, and is established from all Scripture. For since all cannot read the Scripture, but some as being unlearned, others by business, are hindered from the knowledge of them; in order that the soul may not perish for lack of instruction, in the Articles which are few we comprehend the whole doctrine of the Faith. This I wish you to remember even in the very phrase, and to rehearse it with all diligence among yourselves, not writing it on paper, but by memory graving it on your heart as on a monument: being watchful, during your exercise, lest haply some of the Catechumens overhear the things delivered to you. This I wish you to keep all through your life as a provision for the way, and besides this to receive no other ever: whether we ourselves should change and contradict what 2 Cor. we now teach; or some opposing Angel, transformed into an Angel of light, should aim at leading you astray. For though we, or an Angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. And for the present, commit to memory the Faith, merely listening to the words; and expect at the fitting season the proof of each of its parts from the Divine Scriptures. For the Articles of the Faith were not composed at the good pleasure of men: but the most important points chosen from all Scripture, make up the one teaching of the Faith. And, as the mustard seed in a little grain contains many branches, thus also this Faith, in a few words, hath enfolded in its bosom the whole knowledge of godliness (8.) contained both in the Old and New Testaments. Behold, 2 Thess. therefore, brethren, and hold the traditions which ye now 2, 15. receive, and write them on the table of your hearts.

11, 14. Gal. 1, 8. 9.

Prov. 7,


13. This keep with godly fear, lest haply any of you being puffed up, be spoiled by the enemy; lest some heretic pervert any of the things delivered unto you. For Faith is like casting down money on the table: and this we have now done; but God requires of you an account of the deposit. 1 Tim. 5, I charge thee before God, saith the Apostle, who quickeneth

21. and

6, 13.14. all things, and before Jesus Christ, who before Pontius Pilate

witnessed a good confession, that ye keep this Faith delivered

The Nicene Creed follows here in some MSS.

The Articles of Faith a deposit.

unto thee without spot, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. The treasure of life hath now been committed to thee, and the Master will seek His deposit at His appearing, which in His own times He shall shew, Who is the Tim. 6, blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 15. 16. lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; Whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to Whom be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.



VI. 2 Cor.

1, 3.



ISAIAH xlv. 16, 17.

They shall go to confusion together that are partakers of idols; but Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation, ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

1. BLESSED be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and blessed also be His only-begotten Son. For in the idea of God, let the idea of Father be included; that glory may be ascribed indivisibly to Father and Son with the Holy Ghost. For there is not one glory to Father, and another to Son, but one and the same with the Holy Ghost. Since the Son is the Only-begotten of the Father, and when the Father receives, the Son shares the glory; for the Son's glory is from His Father's honour: and again, when the Son is glorified, the Father of that infinitely good Gift is honoured mightily.

2. Now, though the motions of the intellect are most rapid, yet the tongue requires words, and the medium of discussion drawn out at full length. For the eye takes in at once a great company of stars; but if one wishes to tell of each in particular, which is the morning star, and which the evening, and so of each single star, there is need of many words. In like manner, the mind in the shortest moment of time compasses earth and sea, and all the bounds of the world; but that which is thought of in an instant, takes many words to express. Yet forcible as is the instance I have given, still it is after all weak and inadequate. For we speak, not what we ought concerning God, (for to Him only is this known,) but what man's nature can, and our weakness is equal to. For we explain not what God is; but we honestly confess that

a пigi soũ μovagxias, i. e. that God is ence, power, authority, &c. the sole principle of all things, of exist

Immensity of God contrasted with man's littleness. 61


we have no exact knowledge of Him; for on the subject of God, it is great knowledge to confess our want of knowledge". Magnify, then, the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name Ps. 34, together. All of us jointly; for one is unequal to it; yea' rather, though all of us united, we should not even then do it adequately; not only not you who are present, but not even if all the nurslings of all the universal Church, present and to come, should meet together, could they, worthily, sing the praises of the Shepherd.

3. Abraham was great and honourable,-but great in com- (2.) parison of men; but when he drew nigh to God, then honestly avowing the truth, he saith, I am earth and ashes. He said Gen. 18, not, "Earth" only, and then was silent, lest he should call himself by the name of that mighty element: but he added, "and ashes;" that he might represent his mouldering and frail nature. "Is there, saith he, any thing smaller or lighter than ashes?" Take, he saith, the comparison of ashes with a house, of a house with a city, of a city with a province, of a province with the Roman empire, of the Roman empire with all the earth, and all its bounds; then compare all the earth with the embosoming heaven, the earth, which holds such proportion to the heaven, as the centre of the wheel to all its circumference, (for such is the proportion between earth and heaven;)—think then that this first heaven which we see, is smaller than the second, and the second than the third, (for thus far hath Scripture named them, not that they are so many only, but so many only was it expedient for us to know,)—and when thou hast in thought surveyed all the heavens, yet not even shall the heavens be able to praise God according to what He is, no, not though they should resound with a voice louder than thunder. But if the spheres of heaven, being so many, cannot worthily sing God's praise, how shall earth and ashes, that least and smallest of things existing, succeed in sending up a worthy song to God, or worthily to speak of God, that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and Is. 40, the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers.



4. If any take in hand to speak concerning God, first let (3.) him declare the bounds of the earth. Thou dwellest on the

b Vid. Hooker, Eccles. Pol. i. 2. §. 2. of man," &c. "Dangerous it were for the feeble brain


God is incomprehensible.



LECT. earth, and knowest not the limit of the earth which is thy dwelling; how then wilt thou be able worthily to think of its Creator? Thou beholdest the stars, but their Maker thou beholdest not count the stars, which are seen, and then set Ps. 147, forth Him who is not seen; Who telleth the number of the stars, and calleth them all by their names! The pouring rains, which lately came down on us, well nigh destroyed us: number the drops which fell in this city only: nay, on thine own house in one hour, if thou canst; but thou canst not. Know thou thine own weakness; and thence know the power Job 36, of God; for by Him are numbered the drops of rain, which 27.Sept. have been poured down on the whole earth, not only now, but ever. The sun is the workmanship of God, great indeed, yet but a spot in comparison of the whole of heaven; first gaze stedfastly on the sun, and then curiously scan his Lord. Ecclus. Seek not that which is deeper than thou, and that which is 3,21.22. stronger than thou search not out; but what is appointed

thee, that consider.

(4.) 5. But some one will say, If the Divine Nature is incomprehensible, why then dost thou discourse concerning these things? Shall I then, since I cannot drink up all the river, not take in due measure even what is expedient for me? Because I cannot sustain with these eyes of mine the whole sun, shall I not behold even as much of him as suffices for my wants? or, when I have entered into a great park, because I cannot eat all the fruits, wouldest thou have me depart actually hungry? I praise and glorify Him who hath made Ps. 150, us for it is a Divine call which says, Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. I am attempting now to glorify the Lord, not to declare Him; knowing indeed right well that I must fall short of worthily glorifying Him, but deeming it a work of godliness even to attempt it at all. For the Lord John 1, Jesus encourages my infirmity, saying, No one hath seen God



at any time.


6. What then, some one will say, means the text, The Mat. 18, Angels of the little ones always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. Yes, but the Angels behold, not according to what God is, but as they are able. For it is Jesus John 6, Himself who saith, Not that any hath seen the Father, save He which is of God: He hath seen the Father. The Angels


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