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THE ATHANASIAN CREED.
1. REPEAT the Rubric which precedes the Creed of Saint Athanasius.
Upon these Feasts; Christmas-day, the Epiphany, Saint Matthias, Easter-day, Ascension-day, Whit-Sunday, Saint John Baptist, Saint James, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Saint Andrew, and upon Trinity Sunday, shall be sung or said at Morning Prayer, instead of the Apostles' Creed, this Confession of our Christian Faith, commonly called the Creed of Saint Athanasius, by the Minister and people standing.
2. Why is this called the Creed of Saint Athanasius?
Because it is supposed to have been composed from the writings of Saint Athanasius, though it was not written by him.
3. When does Dr. Waterland think it was composed? About the year 450.
4. Who was Saint Athanasius ?
He was a deacon attending the Patriarch of Alexandria at the Council of Nice, in the year 325; and he afterwards became Patriarch of Alexandria himself. He maintained the true doctrine of the Trinity against the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ.
5. What is the design of this Creed?
It was written to furnish the Church with a plain and clear account of the blessed Trinity, and the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in opposition to the gross errors and heresies which had been maintained by the enemies of the true faith.
6. What are Dean Vincent's remarks concerning this Creed?
The doctrine of the Trinity, as it is here proposed, has been the doctrine of the Gospel, the doctrine of the Primitive Church, the doctrine of almost every thing that can be called a Church in all ages. In the Greek and Roman Church, it survived amidst all the corruption which arose. Upon the Reformation there was not a Protestant Church but what had received it in its fullest extent. Luther, Calvin, Beza, foreign reformers, acknowledged the Athanasian Creed, and made it their profession of faith. The Puritans in our own country, the parent stock of all modern dissenters, embraced it as readily as the Church of England itself.
7. If this Creed has been so generally received in all ages, is it not dangerous to reject it?
Certainly if we do reject it, we deny the combined wisdom of the learned and pious of all ages; we despise the teaching of antiquity, and set up our own opinion above that of the universal Church.
8. But are there not some who believe the truths asserted in the Creed, but who still reject it on account of the condemnation it pronounces against those who refuse to embrace the doctrine it contains?
There are; but it should be remembered, that the condemnation mentioned in the two first clauses relates only to those who deny the truth of the Catholic Faith concerning the Trinity, which is this, "That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance." All that follows, from hence to the twenty-sixth verse, is only brought as a proof and illustration of this doctrine, and therefore requires our assent no more than a sermon does which is made to prove or illustrate a text. The text is God's Word, and must be believed; but no person is bound to believe every part of the sermon deduced from it on pain of damnation, though every word of it may be true: so every one is bound to believe the doctrine of the Trinity, though possibly they may not in every particular assent to the reasoning used in illustration of it.
9. Repeat the Athanasian Creed.
1. WHOSOEVER will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith.
2. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
3. And the Catholick Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;
4. Neither confounding the Persons: nor dividing the Sub
5. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son and another of the Holy Ghost.
6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. 7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son and such is the Holy Ghost.
8. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible : and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal and the Holy Ghost eternal.
11. And yet they are not three eternals: but one eternal. 12. As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.
13. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty : and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
14. And yet they are not three Almighties: but one Almighty.
15. So the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Ghost is God.
16. And yet they are not three Gods but one God.
17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Sou Lord and the Holy Ghost Lord.
18. And yet not three Lords: but one Lord.
19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity: to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;
20. So are we forbidden by the Catholick Religion to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.
21. The Father is made of none : neither created, nor begotten.
22. The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten.
23. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son : neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.
25. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other : none is greater, or less than another;
26. But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together : and co-equal.
27. So that in all things, as is aforesaid the Unity in Tri
nity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
28. He therefore that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity.
29. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting_salvation : that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
30. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess : that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;
31. God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;
32. Perfect God, and perfect Man of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting;
33. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead : and inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood.
34. Who although he be God and Man: yet he is not two, but one Christ;
35. One; not by the conversion of the Godhead into flesh : but by taking of the Manhood into God;
36. One altogether; not by confusion of Substance but by unity of Person.
37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man so God and Man is one Christ;
38. Who suffered for our salvation: descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
39. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
40. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works.
41. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
42. This is the Catholick Faith which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
10. Prove from Scripture that whosoever will be saved before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith, which Faith, except every one keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
"Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God." (John ii. 9.) "Preach the Gospel to every creature, he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Matt. xvi. 15, 16.) If any man preach unto you any other gospel than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Gal. i. 8.)
11. What is the Catholic Faith concerning the Trinity?
The Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity: neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
12. Prove this to be scriptural doctrine.
"God is one." (Gal. iii. 20.) And yet "there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one." (1 John v. 7.) "Go ye therefore teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. xxviii. 19.)
13. Prove that there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
"Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and lo! the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo! a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matt. iii. 16. 17.)
14. Prove that the Godhead of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is all one: the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.
"I and my Father are one." (John x. 30.)
"There are three
that bear record in heaven; the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." (1 John v. 7.)
15. Prove that such as the Father is such is the Son, and such the Holy Ghost.
They are each in Scripture said to be true.
The Father is true," He that sent me is true." (John viii. 28.) The Son true," These things saith he that is true." (Rev. iii. 7.) The Holy Ghost true." The Spirit is truth." (1 John v. 6.)
Again, they are each said to quicken.
"The Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." (John v. 21.) "It is the Spirit that quickeneth." (John xi. 63.)
16. Prove the Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
Father," Before me there was no god formed." (Isa. xliii. 10.) Son," He is before all things." (Col. i. 17.) Holy Ghost,-"The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." (Gen. i. 2.)
17. What is the meaning of the word incomprehensible?
The word is not used here in its usual sense, that is, "above our comprehension;" but it means here not to be comprehended, or confined within bounds, or limits, or that each Person of the Holy Trinity is omnipresent.
18. Prove that the Father is incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
The Father,-"Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord." (Jer. xviii. 24.) Son,-" Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. xviii. 20.) Holy Ghost,-"Whither shall I go from thy Spirit." (Ps. cxxxix. 7.)
19. Prove the Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
Father," Thou, O Lord, art our Father; thy name is from everlasting." (Isa. lxiii. 16.) Son,-" Unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever!" (Heb. i. 8.) Holy Ghost,— "Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself to God." (Heb. ix. 14.) And yet there are not three eternals, but one eternal: as also there are not three incomprehensibles, or three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible: "for these three are one." (1 John v. 7.)
20. Prove that the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.
The Father, "I am the Almighty God." (Gen. xvii. 1.) Son,"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Rev. xx. 8.) Holy Ghost," Through mighty acts and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God." (Rom. xv. 19.)
21. Prove that the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God.
The Father," I am the Lord thy God." (Exod. xx. 2.) The Son, "God was manifest in the flesh." (1 Tim. iii. 16.) Holy Ghost,"Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God." (Acts v. 3, 4.)
22. Prove that the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.
Father," At that time Jesus answered, and said, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth!" (Matt. xi. 25.) Son,-"And none of his disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord." (John xxi. 12.) Holy Ghost,-" Now the Lord is that
Spirit." (2 Cor. iii, 17.)
23. Prove the twenty-first verse, that the Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.
"The Father hath life in himself." (John v. 26.)
24. Prove that the Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
"He taht believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not