2 Cor. laft chap. and verfe. Thus faith Tertullian, " It doth "6 appear, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy, Ghoft, are "Three Perfons, yet conflituted but one God in Effence." "therefore that would be faved, must thus think of the Trinity." Athanafius's Creed.

See Ignatius, St. Cyprian, Justin Martyr, St. Bafil, Theophilus, of Antioch. &c. See also Stillingfleet on the Trinity, Pearson on the Creed, Hooper, Prideaux, Bp. Beveridge, Archdeacon Welchman, and the Rev. Mr. Romaine, in his late Discourses on the Creeds.

ART. II. Of the Word or Son of God, which was made. very Man.

HE Son, which is the Word of the Father,


begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, and one fubftance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blef fed virgin, of her fubftance: fo that two whole and perfect natures, that is to fay, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Perfon, never to be divided, whereof is one Chrift, very God, and very Man, who truly fuffered, was crucified dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a Sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual fins of men.

The Son, &c.] The fecond perfon in the bleffed Trinity, is that very Word, which was declared by St. John, chap. i. faying, In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. This is fpoken of Chrift, therefore Chrift is God; See alfo Ifa. ix. 6. Bogotten of the Father from everlasting; and therefore very God, See Pfal. ii. 7. John i. 18. Acts xiii. 33. Heb. i. 5. John xvii. 3. Matt. i. 23. Justin Martyr, faith, "The word being the Firft-begotten of God, is also God." So faith Origin, Irenæus, &c. Thus "The Godhead of the Father, "of the Son, and of the Holy Ghoft, are all one, in power "co-eternal together, and co-equal," Athanafi's Creed.


Very and eternal God.] Not metaphorically, but properly fo called, who is over all, God blessed for evermore. Amen. See Rom. ix. 5. Iía. xl. 3. Hofea i. 7. John xx. 28. Again, Christ faith, I am the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end, Rev. xxii. 30. Again, I and my Father are one. John x. 30. Col. ii. 19.—And St. Peter with the rest boldly declared, faying, Thou art Chrift the Son of the living God. Matt. xvi. 16. and John vi. 69. "The very word, the very truth, and very life." Saith Origin.

Chrift took Man's nature, in the womb of the bleed virgin.] Therefore very man, according to God's promife. The feed of the woman, thall bruise the ferpants head, (i. e. Satan), fee Gen. iii. 15. alfo Gen. xlix. 10. Again, Behold a virgin fhall conceive and bear a Son, Ifa. vii. 14.—And he was found with Child of the Holy Ghoft, Matt. i. 18. Luke i. 27. "That ray of God, "faith St. Cyprian, defcended into a virgin, and put on flesh by "the operation of the Holy Ghoft." Hence the divine and human nature of Chrift were united together in one person according to the holy fcriptures, never to be feparated. For the word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, faith the evangelift, John i. 14. Again, Chrift took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the feed of Abraham, (according to the flesh) "that he might be a merciful and a faithful high priest, in things pertaining unto God; to make reconciliation for the fins of the people, Heb. ii. 16, 17. and to give his life a ranfom for many," 1 Tim. iii. 6. Eph. ii. 16. 17. As St. Peter also hath declared, when the multitude (touched with a fenfe of their fins) cried out, faying, What shall we do? He answered, and faid, Believe on the Lord Jefus Chrift, and ye shall be faved. See A&s ii. 37. and xvi. 30, 31.- -Therefore the true faith is, that we believe and confefs, that our Lord Jefus Chrift, the Son of God, by ineffable generation from eternity, is both God and Man. Athan. Creed. See Heb. i. 5, 6. also Isa. liii. 8.

Who truely fuffered.]" According to the human nature, for as to the divine nature it was impoffible," Matt. xxvii. (Clement of Rome.) That Chrift did truly fuffer in Body, Hunger, Thirfi, Pain, &c. yet not for his own fins, for he knew no fin, neither was guile found in his mouth. 1 Pet. ii. 21. But for our fins, and our ini. quities was he bruised, faith the prophet Ifa. liii. 5. John iv. 7. xix. 28, 29. Luke xix. 41. and Heb. ix. 25, 26. “ Chrift bled

[ocr errors]


" and fuffered all the wrath of God, as faith St. Clement." Again "Chrift gave his blood for us; his flesh for our flesh, and his foul " for our fouls," faith Ignatius.

He was crucified, dead, and buried. See John xix. 18, 20. Matt. xxvii. 35-60. Luke xxiii. 53.] "To reconcile his Father unto "us", or rather, as St. Paul faith, to reconcile us (Gentiles as well as Jews,) unto God, Rom. v. 10. 2 Cor. v. 18, 19. Eph. ii. 16, 17. For he gave himself a ransom for all Men, 1 Tim. ii. 6. 1 John ii. 2. Suffering for our fins, the juft for the unjust, to bring us to God, Peter, 1 Ep. iii. 18. John i. 29. and Ifa. liii. 4, 5, 6. Surely, he hath borne our griefs and carried our forrows"Thus it behoved Chrift to fuffer, to take away or destroy fin; "not only original guilt, but also the actual fins of all believers." For he made himself to be fin for us, who himself knew no fin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. v. 21. See alfo Ads ix. To this gave all the prophets witness, and all the Primitive Fathers, as Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Clemont of Alexandra, St. Cyprian, Origin, Tertullian, &c. &c. See also Bp. Beveridge's Comment, Pearson on the Creed, p. 364. the Rev. Mr. Romaine in his 3d, 4th, and 5th difcourfes on the Creed.

ART. III. Of the going down of Chrift into Hell.



S Chrift died for us, and was buried: fo alfo it is to be believed that he went down into

"That Chrift died for us, and was buried] has been fully "proved in the foregoing article, from many texts of fcripture." "So alfo it is to be believed that he went down, or defcended into hell," Eph. iv. 9. To this article moft of the ancient Fathers have given their affent; fome fay for one thing, and fome for another: I fhall cite a few of them here. Ignatius fays, "Chrift "defended into hell alone, but that he afecnded with a multi"tude," Irenæus faith, "That Chrift was in the middle of the "fhadow of Death, where the fouls of the dead are; then he "rofe again with his body," agreeable to the words of the royal Pfalmift:-Thou wilt not leave my Soul in hell, (Hades, the place



of the dead) nor fuffer thine Holy One to see corruption." Pfal. xvi. 10. This was spoken of Chrift, as appears by 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4. and Acts ii. 27, 31. Alfo Athanafius, St. Ambrose, St. Bafil, St. Jerome, Fulgentius, and St. Auguftine, all fay, "that the foul of "Christ was in the place of hell."* St. Peter faith, "That Chrift "Suffered for fins; being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by "the Spirit; by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in

prifon: which fome time were disobedient; 1 Pet. iii. 18, 19, 20. And again, that he loofed the pains of hell, or death; Acts ii. 24. -Yet many of our modern divines are not fo well reconciled to this article of Chrift going down into hell. Because our Lord faid unto the Thief on the Crofs (who confeffed him to be the Son of God,) To-day fhalt thou be with me in Paradise, Luke xiii. 43. compare this with St. Paul's words concerning paradife, 2 Cor. xii. 4. and St. John's revelation, chap. ii. 7. Then Christ's Soul muft needs pass through the regions of Hell, into paradife; or else through paradife into hell.-But, as an eminent and learned divine juftly observed, in difcourfing on that article, "Chrift entered immediately into Hell while he hung 66 on the Cross; for he gave his foul an offering for fin, or as St. "Peter affirms, Himself bare all our fins in his own body on the tree," 1 Pet. ii. 24. That he endured all the fiery wrath of God, all the pain, all the agony, and curfe (represented by the pains of hell,) which were due for our fins, both original and actual, for he trod the wine-prefs of God's wrath alone," and "drank up all the dregs of that bitter cup." See Ifa. Ixiii. 3, 4. Matt. xxvi. 38.-xxvii. 46. And having Spoiled principalities and powers, he made a fhew of them openly, triumphing over them, Col. ii. 15. That all who believe in him, might be fet free from all the powers of fin, death, and hell, for ever and ever. Rom. v. 1, 2.-viii. 1, 2. See Bp. Beveredge's Comment,

ART. IV. Of the Refurrection of Chrift.


HRIST did truly rife again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man's


nature, wherewith he afcended into heaven, and there fitteth until he return to judge all men at the laft day.

Chrift did truly rife again.] This is a moft bleffed truth, and worthy of all acceptation ;-Thou wilt not leave my Soul in Hell, faid David, nor fuffer thine Holy One to fee corruption, Pfalm xvi. 10. That Chrift did rife again from the dead with the fame body, is fhewn by many plain texts of fcripture, which were recorded for the confirmation of our Faith. This our Lord himself had declared to his disciples, Matt. xx. 19. and to the Pharafees by the fign of Jonah being three days and nights in the whale's belly, See alfo Hofea vi. 2. John xx. 19. Matt. xxviii. 6. Acts x. 41. And St. Paul boldly affirms, That he died and was buried, and that he rofe again the third day according to the fcriptures; and was feen of many brethren, besides all the Apostles. 1 Cor. xv. 4, 5, 6. Acts ix. 4. Col. i. 18.-Irenæus faith, "I knew him alive in the flesh, even after his refurrection, and I believe " in him; and when he came to those who were with Peter, he "faid to them, Take hold on me; feel me, and fee that I am no "imbodied spirit." So Tertullian faith, "Chrift rofe again in the "fubftance of the flesh, and fhewed his difciples, with Thomas, "the marks of the nails, and spear, that they might believe," Luke xxiv. 38, 39. John xx. 19.

"Andhaving taken again his own body," he afcended into heaven, where he now fitteth at the right hand of God. See Pfalm cx. 1. xii. 36. Mark xvi. 19. "And he will come again," faith Irenaeus," with the fame flesh in which he suffered on the

cross, at the last day, to judge both the quick and the dead;" fo faith Peter, Acts i. 11.—x. 41. God fhall judge the world in righteousness by Jefus Chrift. A&s xvii. 31, 32. Rom. ii. 16. Tim. iv. 1, 8. James v. 9. And we shall all appear before the judgment feat of Chrift. Rom. xiv. 10. "And then will he ren"der unto every man according to his works." See Matt. xxv 23, 29, 30, 33—46. 2 Cor. v. 10. And the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal, Dan. xii. 2. John v. 29. See also Sherlock on Judgment, and Scott's Chriftian's Life; alfo Mr. Romaine's difcourfe.


« VorigeDoorgaan »