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nificat.

The Magnificat bears a strong resemblance The Magto the song of Hannah, 1 Sam. ii. 1. And we may well suppose that the Blessed Virgin had meditated that Psalm, before she burst forth into her own hymn of praise.

"The lonliness of his handmaiden,' i. e. the low estate, not humility of mind, which the Virgin was too humble to ascribe to herself.

'Hath magnified me,' i. e. hath done to me great things. The phrase in the original (éπoiησέ μοι μεγαλεία) is not quite the same as that translated 'doth magnify' (ueyaλvve) at the (μεγαλύνει) beginning of the hymn.

The Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis, being hymns of a contemplative and quiet character, are, as Bishop Jebb has observed, peculiarly suitable to be used in our evening devotions; while the Te Deum and Jubilate express the active joy which befits us in the morning.

The second and third collects are as follows in the Breviary of Sarum:

Deus a quo sancta desideria, recta consilia, et justa sunt opera; da servis tuis illam, quam mundus dare non potest, pacem; ut et corda nostra mandatis tuis dedita, et hostium sublata formidine, tempora sint tua protectione tranquilla. Per &c. Illumina, quæsumus, Domine Deus, tenebras nostras; et totius hujus noctis insidias tu a nobis repelle propitius. Per &c.

Origin of the Creed.

THE

CHAPTER VI.

The Creed of St Athanasius.

HE name of St Athanasius, the illustrious defender of the doctrine of the Trinity, has long been given to this creed or hymn, which is also known as the Quicunque vult. He was Bishop of Alexandria in the fourth century; and after undergoing many conflicts and much persecution in defence of the faith, he died in the year 375. Several creeds and confessions are extant, which are undoubtedly his; but it is generally agreed among the learned that he was not the author of that which is used in the public service of the Church. Its history has been most ably investigated by Dr Waterland, who concludes that it was originally written in Latin, and shews that as early as 1233, the legates of Pope Gregory IX. (who quoted it at Constantinople as an authority in favour of the double procession of the Holy Ghost) were obliged to acknowledge that this was the case.

The style,' he says, 'and phraseology of the creed; its early reception among the Latins, while unknown to the Greeks; the antiquity and number of the Latin MSS. and their agreement for the most part with each other, com

pared with the lateness, scarceness, and disagreement of the Greek copies, all concur to demonstrate that this Creed was originally a Latin composure, rather than a Greek one.'

composed

The same learned author further argues that Probably the Creed was probably composed in France, in France. alleging as reasons for this opinion, 1 That it was received in the Gallican Church, so far as appears, before all Churches. 2 That it was greatly esteemed by Gallican Councils and Bishops. The priests in that Church were commanded to learn it by heart. 3 That the Creed was first admitted into the Gallican psalter, and first received in those countries in which that psalter was received, viz. Spain, Germany, and England. 4 That the oldest version of it, and the oldest writers who notice and comment upon it, are Gallican. 5 The occasion which brought it into note, may also be found in the history of the Gallican Church. For upon the revival of the Arian controversy in Gaul, under the influence of the Burgundian kings, it was obvious to call one side Athanasians, and the other Arians; and the Creed, being a summary of the orthodox and catholic faith, might in process of time acquire the name of the Athanasian faith or fides Athanasii, in opposition to the contrary scheme

which might as justly be called the fides Arii; just as the title of Apostolical given to the Roman Creed occasioned the mistake about its being made by the Apostles.' Dr Waterland has given reason for thinking that it was composed by Hilary, Bishop of Arles, in 430 A.D. He concludes that it was recognised as a rule of faith in 550, and received into the public offices of the Gallican Church not later than 670. He fixes upon the year 800 as the date of its reception in England. It was presented to the Pope by Charlemagne (who valued it highly, and dispersed it wherever he went) in 772; but as the Church of Rome was always tenacious of her own offices, and looked coldly upon formularies which were not of her framing, it was probably not received there till a later period, though still earlier than 930 A.D. In the Greek Churches it was received in the 7th century, the requisite alteration having first been made respecting the procession of the Holy Spirit, to adapt it to the dogma of the Greeks on that subject.

'From the foregoing account,' says Dr Waterland, it appears that its reception has been both general and ancient. It hath been received by Greeks and Latins all over Europe; and if it hath been little known among the

African and Asian Churches, the like may be said of the Apostles' Creed, which hath not been admitted, scarce known, in Africa, and but little in Asia, except among the Armenians, who are said to receive it. So that for generality of reception, the Athanasian Creed may vie with any, except the Nicene or Constantinopolitan, the only general Creed common to all the Churches. As to the antiquity of its reception into the sacred offices, this Creed has been received in several countries, France, Germany, Italy, and Rome itself, as soon, or sooner, than the Nicene; which is a high commendation of it, as gaining ground by its own intrinsic worth, and without the authority of any general council to enforce it. And there is this thing further to be said for it, that while the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds have been growing up to their present perfection in a course of years, or centuries of years, and not completed till about the year 600, this Creed was made and perfected at once, and is more ancient, if considered as an entire form, than either of the other; having received its full perfection, while the others wanted theirs.'

natory

The Creed was framed at a time when the The 'damChurch was disposed to shew little tenderness clauses.'

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