the perfect knowledge and benefit thereof in
heaven. Moreover we must observe the particular offices and operations
of these three persons towards us. The Father is called our creator, by
his power; the Son is our Saviour and Redeemer, by his blood; the
Holy GOst is our sanctifier, by his dwelling in our hearts. This doctrine of the holy trinity, hath
always been defended and maintained by the true church, since the times of the apostles, to this very day, against the
Jews, Mahometans, and some false christians and heretics, as Marcion, Manes, Praxeas, Sabellius, Samosatenus, Arrius, and such like,
who have been justly condemned by the orthodox fathers. Therefore, in this point, we do willingly receive the three creeds, namely,
that of the Apostles, of Nice, and of Athanasius: Likewise that, which, conformable thereunto, is agreed upon by the ancient fathers.
Holy Ghost is our sanctifier, by his dwelling in our hearts. This doctrine
of the holy trinity, haih always 'been defended and maintained by the true
church, since the times of the apostles, to this very day, against the Jews,
Mahometans, and some false Christians and heretics, as Marcion, Manes,
Praxeas. Sabellius, Samosatenus, Arius, and such like, who have been
justly condemned by the orthodox lathers. Therefore, in this point, we do
willingly receive the three creeds, namely, that of the Apostles, of Nice,
and of Athanasius : Likewise that, which, conformable thereunto, is agreed
upon by the ancient fathers.
X. That Jesus Christ is true and eternal God.
We believe that Jesus Christ, according to his divine nature, is the
only begotten Son of God, begotten from eternity, not made nor created,
(for then he should be a creature) but co-essential and co-eternal with the
Father, the express image of his person, and the brightriess of his glory,
equal unto him in all things. Who is the Son of Cod, not only from the time
that he assumed our nature, but from all eternity, as these testimonies,
when compared together, teach us. Moses saith, that God created the world;
andl John saith, that all things were made by that word, which he calleth
God: And the apostle saith. that God made'the worlds by his Son. Likewise,
that God created all things by Jesus Christ. Therefore it must needs
follow, thai he, who is called God, the Word, the Son, and Jesus Christ, did
exist at that time, when all things were created by him. Therefore the
prophet Micah saith; his goings forth hove been from of old, from everlasting.
And the apostle; he hath neither beginning of days, nor end of life: He
therefore is that true, eternal, and almighty God, whom we invoke, worship, and serve.
XI. That the Holy Ghost is true and eternal God.
We believe and confess also, that the Holy Ghost, from eternity, proceeds
from the Father and Son; and therefore neither is made, created, nor
begotten, but only proeeedeth from both; who in order is the third person of
the holy trinity; of one and the same essence, majesty and glory with the
Father, and the Son: and therefore, is the true and eternal Cod, as the
holy scripture teaches us.
XII. Of the Creation.
We believe, that the Father by the word, that is by his Son, hath
created of nothing, the heaveil, the earth, and all creatures, as it seemed
good unto him, giving unto every creature its being, shape, form, and several
offices to serve its Creator. That he doth also still uphold and govern them
by his eternal providence, and infinite power. for the service of mankind,
to the end that man may serve his God. He hath also created the angels
good, to be his messengers, and to serve his elect; some of whom are fallen
from that excellency, in which God created them, into everlasting perdition:
and the others have, by the grace of God, remained steadfast and continued
in their primitive state. The devils and evil spirits are so depraved, that
they are enemies of God and every good thing, to the utmost of their power,
as murderers, watching to ruin the church and every member thereof,
and by their wicked stratagems to destroy all: and are therefore, by their
own wickedness, adjudged to eternal damnation, daily expecting their horrible torments.
Therefore we reject and abhor the error of the Sadducees,
who deny the existence of spirits and angels: and also that of the Manichees,
who assert that the devils hava their origin of themsetves, and that
they are wicked of their own nature, without having been corrupted.
XIII. Of Divine Providence.
We believe thai the same God, after he had created all things, did not
forsake them, or give them up to fortune or chance, hut that he rules and
governs them, according to his holy will, so that nothing happens in this
world without his appointment: nevertheless, God neither is the author of,
nor can be charged with the sins which are committed. For his power and
goodness is so great and incomprehensible, that he orders and executes his
work in the most excellent and just manner, even then, when devils and
wicked men act unjustly. And, as to what he doth surpassing human
understanding, we will not curiously enquire into, farther than our capacity
will admit of; but with the greatest humility and reverence adore the righteous
judgments of God, which are hid from us, contenting ourselves that
we are disciples of Christ, and to learn only those things which he has revealed
to us in his word, without transgressing these limits. This doctrine affords
us unspeakable consolation, since we are taught thereby, that nothing can
befall us by chance, but by the direction of our most gracious and heavenly
Father; who watches over us with a paternal care, keeping all creatures so
under his power, that not a hair of our head (for they are all numbered) nor
a sparrow can fall to the ground, without the will of our Father, in whom
we do entirely trust, being persuaded, that he so restrains the devil and all
our enemies, that without his will and permission, they cannot hurt us. And
therefore we reject that damnable error of the Epicureans, who say that
God regards nothing, but leaves all things to chance.
XIV. Of the creation, and fall of man, and his incapacity
to perform what is truly good.
We believe that God created man out of the dust of the earth, and made
and formed him after his own image and likeness, good, righteous, and holy,
capable in all things to will, agreeably to the will of God. But being in
honour, he understood it not, neither knew his excellency, but wilfully subjected
himself to sin, and consequently to death, and the curse, giving ear
to the words of the devil. For the commandment of life, which he had
received, he transgressed; and by sin separated himself from God, who was
his true life, having corrupted his whole nature; whereby he made himself
liable to corporal and spiritual death. And being thus become wicked,
perverse, and corrupt in all his ways, he hath lost all his excellent gifts,
which he had received from God, and only retained a few remains thereof,
which however, are sufficient to leave man without excuse; for all the light
which is in us is changed into darkness, as the scriptures teach us, saying:
The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not: where
St. John calleth men darkness. Therefore we reject all that is taught repugnant
to this, concerning the free will of man, since man is but a slave to
sin; and has nothing of himself, unless it is given him from heaven. For
who may presume to boast, that he of himself can do any good, since Christ
saith, no man can come to me, except, the Father, which hath sent me, draw
him ? Who will glory in his own will, who understands, that to be carnally
minded, is enmity against God? Who can speak of his knowledge, since
the natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of Gcd! In short, who
dare suggest any thought, since he knows that we are not sufficient of our-
selves to think any thing as of ourselves, but that our sufficiency is of God?
And therefore what the apostle saith ought justly to be held sure and firm,
that God worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure. For there
is no will nor understanding, conformable to the divine will and understanding,
but what Christ hath wrought in man: which he teaches us, when he
saith, without me ye can do nothing.
XV. Of Original Sin.
We believe that, through the disobedience of Adam, original sin is extend-
ed to all mankind; which is a corruption of the whole nature, and an
hereditary disease, wherewith infants themselves are infected even in their
mother's womb, and which produceth in man all sorts of sin, being in him
as a root thereof; and therefore is so vile and abominable in the sight of
God, that it is sufficient to condemn all mankind. Nor is it by any means