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Some observations follow on the
32 Constitution and Liturgy of the Lutheran Church; 32 On the difference between the Roman-Catholic and Lutheran Churches on the Doctrine of Justification;
And on the 36 Communications between the Divines of Wirtem
burgh and the Patriarch of Constantinople on the Cunfession of Augsburgh.
Some account is then given of the
V. 39 Symbolic Books of the Reformed Churches;
3 42 The Confession of Faith or Catechism of Heidelberg;
6 45 The Canons of the Synod of Dort; -
55 The Symbolic Books of the Arminians. X.' 59 The Symbolic Books of the Socinians.
67 The Symbolic Books of the Church of England.
72 The Thirty-nine Articles;
Presbyterians and the Independents;
100 The Confession of Faith of the Eastern Churches.
of the Church of Rome, -.-.-.-' - 120 Observations on the Restriction imposed by the
Church of Rome on the general reading by the
Laity of the Bible in the vulgar tongue, .- - - 141 The principles of Roman-catholics in regard to God and the King, first published in 1684, and since '
repeatedly published, ......... 161 On the Reunion of Christians, - ... - - - 175
A Translation of Fénélon's Letter, mentioned in the Second of these Essays, has lately been published, by the Reverend Edward Peach, Pastor of St. Chad's Chapel, Birmingham; printed for Andrews, Orange Street, Red Lion Square.
CHAPTER I. '
The Symbolic Books received by all Christian
Churches, and some Observations on the Symbol of St. Athanasius.
All Christian Churches receive the Symbol of the Apostles, and the Nicene Symbol.
As the Symbol of St. Athanasius is received by the RomanCatholic, and many other Christian Churches, some mention of it, in this place, seems proper.
The Symbol of the Apostles. The first of the Christian Creeds in antiquity,, confessedly is, the Symbol of the Apostles. On the origination of it, there are different opinions : some writers have supposed, that the Apos tles, before their dispersion, agreed on its several articles. An ancient tradition, recorded by Rufinus, mentions, that each of the Apostles contributed to it a sentence; and a writer, under the name of St. Austin, proceeds so far as to assign to each Apostle, the article, which he contributed. This tradition, and still more the improvement on it, have greatly the air of a fable: and even the opinion, which generally attributes the symbol to the Apostles, 'is open to serious objection. If it were their composition, it seems unaccountable, that it should not be
mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles; that no reference to it should be found in any of the apostolic epistles; that it was not included among the cauonical writings ;' and that, when the Council of Ephesus, and afterwards the Council of Chalcedon, proscribed all creeds, except the Nicene, neither of them excepted the Symbol of the Apostles from the general proscription. Without discussing any of these opinions, it is sufficient for the present purpose to state, in the words of Mr. Grabe, adopted by Mr. Bingham, (Ecc. Ant. Book x. 1. 4.) “ that the Symbol of the Apostles unquestionably contains the Articles of Faith solemnly professed by the first Christians, in their Confessions, in the Apostles' days, by their authority, or at least with their approbation.” It has been called by several titles. In the course of time, it acquired the name, both in the Eastern and in the Western Churches, of the Symbol of the Apostles ; but in England it is more frequently called the Apostles' Creed.
The Nicene Symbol.
This ancient and important document of Christian Faith, in its original form, was published by the Council of Nice. It was enlarged by the second general Council of Constantinople. As it was settled at that Council, the form of it is the same as that, which is used in the Roman-Catholic and Protestant liturgies. At an early period, the word Filioque, to express the procession of the Holy Ghost, both from the Father and the Son, was inserted in it, by the Latin Church. It is recited in the first Council of Bracara, in 411; and in the third Council of Toledo, in 589.
The Symbol of St. Athanasius.
The Symbol, which bears the name of St. Athanasius, has its place in the Roman-Catholic and some Protestant liturgies.