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der me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
15. Q. What is that summary of which you speak, and which you account to comprehend all the most necessary articles of our Christian faith?
A. It is commonly called the Apostles' Creed : not that the Apostles themselves composed it; (at least not in the very form in which we now have it;) but because it seems to come the nearest of any, to the Apostles' times, and does, with the greatest simplicity of expression, comprehend a short summary of the Apostles' doctrines.
16. Q. What mean you by the word creed?
A. It is the same in Latin, as belief in English, and it is so called in both, from the first words of it, I believe, which in sense, though not in expression, run through every article of it.
Of the Summary of our Faith—the Apostles' Creed.
Catechist. Rehearse the articles of your Belief.
2. Q. You said that those words, I believe, were not only the first words of your creed, but the most material, as running in effect through every branch of it. Tell me, therefore, what do you mean when you say, I believe ?
A. To believe, in general, is to assent to the truth of any thing, upon the sole authority of the person who delivers it; who, if he be a man only, the assent which I give to what he says, produces in me a human faith; if, as here, he be God, then the assent, which I give to what is delivered by him, is properly a divine Faith.
3. Q. What is the difference, with respect to us, between these two?
A. It is very great; for because a man, though never so wise and careful himself, may yet not be honest, and so impose upon me; or should he be never so upright, may yet, after all his care, be mistaken himself, and thereby lead me into error; therefore, in assenting to what such a one proposes, I can at the most but give such a belief to it as is suitable to a mere humane testimony. I may believe what he says to be true, but yet so as not to exclude a possibility of its being otherwise. Whereas God, being neither capable of being deceived bimself, nor of imposing upon any other; when I give my assent to what he has revealed, I do it, not only with a certain assurance that what I believe is true, but with an absolute security that it cannot possibly be false.
4. Q. But why do you say, I believe, and not, we believe, as when you pray, you say, Our father, &c. ?
A. Because, though one man may pray, yet one man cannot believe for another, and however in charity I may suppose every Christian to believe what is here delivered, yet since 'tis certain there are many infidels and hypocrites scattered up and down among the faithful, and I cannot certainly distinguish who are indeed believers, and who not; neither can I with an assurance of faith, say, We believe, because I cannot certainly tell, whether another man does truly believe those articles or no. Besides, that this creed being intended to be the form, upon the confession whereof persons should be admitted to baptism; and in that case, every one was to make a distinct profession of his faith in order thereunto, it was fitting the Creed itself should be penned after such a manner as was most proper for the main end for which it was composed.
5. Q. Are all the things contained in this Creed to be proved by Divine revelation ?
A. They are all plainly delivered to us in the Holy Scriptures, which being confessed by all Christians to be the word of God, what is delivered by them, must be looked upon as delivered to us by God himself.
6. Q. What are the general parts of which this Creed consists ?
A. They are these four: First, it shews us what is most needful to be believed and professed by us concerning God the Father; secondly, concerning our Lord Jesus Christ; thirdly, concerning the Holy Ghost ; and, fourthly, concerning the Church of Christ; its duties and privileges here, and the blessings and glory which God has prepared for it hereafter.
7. Q. Do you think it necessary not only to believe all these things, but also, upon occasion, to profess the belief of them?
A. I do think it necessary, whenever our duty to God, or the edification of our neighbour, or the honour of our religion shall require it of any of us. Matt. x. 32. Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever, shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Rom. x. 9. If thou shalt confess with thy
mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thy heart, that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. See 1 Pet. ïïi. 15. Be ready alway to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.
Of God the Father, and what we are to believe con
cerning Him. 1. Q. What is the first article of your Creed ?
A. J believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.
2. Q. What is God?
A. He is an eternal, "infinite, incomprehensible d spirit'; immortal, invisible, alınighty; most perfect himself, and the giver of all that perfection which is found in any others.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.— * Isaiah, xli. 4. Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the first, and with the last ; I am he. xliv. 6. Thus saith the Lord, the King Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no Gód. Psalm xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. i Kings, viii. 27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded ? Psalm cxxxix. 7, 8, 9. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning', and remain in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. “Job, xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know ? d John, iv. 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. 2 Cor. iii. 17. Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of 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 power from everlasting. Amen. Jeremiah, xxxij. 27. Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Matt. xix. 26. But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Jer. xxiii, 23, 24. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
3. Q. How do you profess to believe in God?
A. I do firmly believe that there is such a Being as God. Heb. xi. 6. He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. And that there is but 'one such Being; so that besides him there neither is, nor can be, any other. 1 Cor. viii. 4, 6. We know that there