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to the fecond edition.
HE fubftance of this effay was tranfcribed for the prefs before the author had feen a book, published in the year 1734, intituled: A profeffion of catholic faith, extracted out of the council of Trent, by pope Pius IV, and now in use for the reception of converts into the church; with the chief grounds of the controverted articles, by way of question and answer. The Profeffion itself is the creed of pope PIUS:
the Vindication of it makes up the reft of the book; and in the following remarks is, for brevity's fake, quoted in the words of the running title, The grounds of catholic doctrine. 'Tis the anfwering of this Vindication, which bas fwell'd the following effay fo much beyond its intended bignefs. Which however could not well be avoided, without giving occafion of triumph, as if the Romish creed had been attacked by one, who was able to fay nothing against the arguments alleged in its defence.
A View of POPERY:
taken from the Creed of Pope Pius the IVth.
Very small treatise, intituled, The Creed of pope Pius the IV: or a Profpect of Popery, taken from that authentic Record, was printed in the year 1687, on occafion of the vifible growth of popery at that. time, and the danger of its increafing farther. It is upon the apprehenfion that zealous endeavours are now employed by Romish emiffaries, in many parts of this nation, to gain profelytes to popery, that this effay is fent abroad; at
tended with earnest defires that it may be of some use towards preventing fo great an evil.
The author of that treatife laid his plan very judiciously, when he determined to take his account of the Romish doctrine, not from any fingle doctor of that church, though ever fo celebrated; but from the authentic acts of their church. For it is certain, that how good ground foever proteftants have to charge particular perfons among them with monftrous abfurdities and corruptions; yet it will not thence follow, that thofe abfurdities and corruptions are to be charged upon their church in general. But those things, which the church of Rome requires to be believed as articles of faith, on pain of damnation, and which her clergy are upon oath obliged to maintain and defend, may very fairly and justly be looked on as the avowed doctrine of that church. And fuch is the creed of pope Pius IV as appears by his bull concerning the form of the oath of the profeffion of faith, dated in November 1564, and printed with the acts of the council of Trent. For in that bull the creed itself is thus introduced: I N.N. do with a firm faith believe and profefs all and every thing which is contained in that fymbol of faith, which the holy Roman church ufeth: that is to Jay---Then, after recital of the creed, it is added: This is the true catholic faith, without which no man can be faved: and a form is provided, whereby the fuperior clergy promife, vow and fwear, that to the last breath of their lives they will most stedfastly, with the help of God, retain and confefs it intire and
and unviolated; and take care, as much as in them lies, that it be held, taught and preached by all perfons fubject to them, or whom by their office they are obliged to take care of.
The creed itself contains the fubftance of the decrees and canons of the Trent Council: and being usually divided into twenty-four articles, is fo plaufible as to exprefs the first twelve in the very words of that creed which is * commonly called the Nicene; the greatest part whereof all protestants believe and acknowledge. But there is this great difference between the manner, wherein the Nicene creed is impofed in popish countries, and wherein they who adhere to the true proteftant principle receive it or any part of it: that the one require it to be received upon an equal foot of authority with the holy scriptures; the other believe and acknowledge the things contained in it, not because the fathers of the Nicene council fo believed or fo decreed; but because they are fatisfied that the things themselves are contained in the holy fcriptures, and fo far only as they are therein contained: fo that their faith is ultimately refolved into the word of God, and not into the commandments of men. Herein they
* That what is vulgarly called the Nicene Creed, is not the creed made by the council of Nice in the year 325, appears from the copies produced by Socrates in his ecclef. hift. pag. 176. edit. Rob. Steph. 1544, and by Labbé, in his collection of councils, tom. II. pag. 27. From the fame collection of councils, tom. II. pag. 951. it appears, that what is now commonly called the Nicene Creed, is that which was made by the council of Conftantinople in the year 381; or at leaft has a much nearer likeness to that than to the other. However, as both creeds contain for fubftance the fame doctrine, I fhall make no fcruple to call that the Nicene Creed, which ufually goes by that name.