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rank, to come into this opinion, that this Creed was not composed by Athanasius, but by a later and a Latin writer. Dr. Cave thinks the first that mentions it under the name of Athanasius is Theodulphus Aurelianensis, who lived about the year 794, in the reign of Charles the Great. But in this he is a little mistaken; for the Council of Autun, which was held above an hundred years before, anno 670, not only mentioned it under that name, but ordered 16 every presbyter, deacon, subdeacon, &c., to read it, together with the Apostles' Creed, or be liable to the bishop's censure for his omission : which implies that it was then esteemed the genuine work of Athanasius, and as such had for some time been received in the Church. But whoever was the author of it, there never was any question made of its orthodoxy, except by the Samosatenians and Arians in these later ages of the Church. Only, as Bp. Usher and others have observed, the modern Greeks now use it with some additions and alterations. For whereas it is said in the Latin copies that the Holy Ghost proceedeth ‘from the Father and the Son,' the Greeks now read it, 'from the Father,' or the Father only;' as Paræus 17 has remarked in his exposition of this Creed. And in the Greek copy lately brought out of the East, and published by Bp. Usher, there is a long interpolation by way of addition, and explication of those words, 'He was man of the substance of his mother, perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh
versia durasset annis prope quin- nus, vel clericus, Symbolum, quod gentis. Denique scriptores omnes, inspirante Sancto Spiritu Apostoli ante septimum ecclesiæ sæculum, tradiderunt, vel Fidem Sancti Athaante Augustodunensem in Gallia nasii præsulis irreprehensibiliter non Synodum, sub S. Leodegario epi- recensuerit, ab episcopo condemnescopo habitam anno 670, de hoc tur. Symbolo Athanasiano silent. In eo 17 Not, in Symbol. Athanas. ad vero Concilio hic canon legitur : calc. Ursin. Catechism. p. 124. (SeSi quis presbyter, &c. See the paratim, Heidelbergæ, 1619. 4to. p. next note.
I5) Gr. 'Amò roo latpos, a Patre: 15 Cent. 4. (Paris. 1690. t. 2. p.41.) ut Joh. 15, 26. Ο παρά του Πατρός Le symbole, qui porte le nom de éKiropeúetai, Qui a Patre procedit. S. Athanase, &c. [Stillingfleet, Orig. Non vero dicit Athanasius åMÒ TOÙ Britann. ch. 4. (Lond. 1685. fol. p. póvov Ilarpòs, a solo Patre, sicut dix227.) says, the first author that men- erat de Filio, από του μόνου Πατρός. tions it is Abbo Floriacensis, anno quam exclusivam cum posteriores 970: but in this he is a little mis- Græci contra mentem Apostoli et taken. Ed., from a MS. note byJ.B.] Athanasii tandem adderent, Latina
16 Can. ult. (t. 6. p. 536'd.) Si Ecclesia ad explendum Scripturæ quis presbyter, diaconus, subdiaco- sensum dixit, A Patre et Filio.
subsisting,' with some other additions of lesser note, which the curious reader may find marked out in the forementioned tract of that learned author 18.
To all the Creeds that have been related in this chapter, I think it not improper to add the short account which Eusebius 19 gives of the first preaching of St. Thaddæus to King Agbarus and the people of Edessa, which I had from the information of my learned and judicious friend Mr. Lowth 20, to whose useful conversation I owe many other curious remarks and observations, that lie scattered throughout the Antiquities of the Church. This is not indeed properly a Creed, but a .
, summary of his first sermon, or the heads of his first catechetical institution to the people ;-Concerning the coming of Jesus into the world, after what manner it was; and concerning his mission, for what reason he was sent by the Father; concerning his power, and the mysteries which he spake in the world, and by what power he did these; then of his new way of preaching ; of his meanness and abject estate, and the humility of his outward appearance as a man; after what manner he humbled himself, and submitted to death, and made a diminutive appearance in his divine nature; what things he suffered of the Jews, and how he was crucified,
18 De Symbolis, Oxon. τ66ο. p. 29. όχλου προς τον Πατέρα αυτού και (Works, ν. 7. pp. 328, seqq.) Sym- πώς κάθηται εν δεξια του Θεού και bolum Athanasianum a Grecis in- Πατρός μετά δόξης εν τοις ουρανούς terpolatum.
και πως ελεύσεσθαι μέλλει πάλιν, 19 L. Ι. c. 13. (ν. 1. p. 41. 3.)... μετά δόξης και δυνάμεως, κρίναι ζώνΣπερώ εν αυτοίς τον λόγον της ζωής, τας και νεκρούς.-It is worth our περί τε της ελεύσεως του Ιησού, observation to compare the Apoκαθώς εγένετο, και περί της αποστο- atle's expression, Phil. 2, 7. Εαυτόν λής αυτού, και ένεκά τινος απεστάλη έκένωσε, He made himself of no reυπό του Πατρός και περί της δυνά- putation, or He emptied himself, μεως των έργων αυτού, και μυστη- with this expression of Thaddeus, ρίων, ών ελάλησεν εν τω κόσμωκαι Εσμίκρυνεν αυτού την θεότητα, He ποία δυνάμει ταύτα εποίει και περί lessened, or made a diminutive show της καινής αυτού κηρύξεως και περί αnd appearance of his Godhead. For της σμικρότητος και ευτελείας, και these places mutually explain one περί της ταπεινώσεως του φαινομένου another, and are a solid proof that έξωθεν ανθρώπου και πως εταπείνω- the Divinity of Christ was one of σεν εαυτόν, και απέθανε, και εσμίκρυ- the principal articles of the Christian νεν αυτού την θεότητα όσα τε υπό Faith in the apostolical age. Ιουδαίων έπαθεν, και πως εσταυρώθη, 20 (The Rev. Wm. Lowth, M. A. και κατέβη εις τον άδην, και διέσχισε Born in London, 1661. Prebendary φραγμόν τον εξ αιώνος μη σχισθέντα, of Winchester, 1696. Rector of Buκαι ανέστη, και συνήγειρε νεκρούς τους riton, Hants, 1699. Died 1732. He απ' αιώνων κεκοιμημένους και πως was the father of Dr. Robert Lowth, κατέβη μόνος, ανέβη δε μετά πολλού bishop of London in 1777. ED.]
and descended into hell, and brake down the partition that had been kept up in former ages; how he arose from the dead, and raised with himself those that slept in preceding generations; how he descended from heaven alone, but ascended with a mighty company to his Father ; how he sits at the right of God the Father, and shall come again with glory and power to judge both the quick and the dead.
Here are two things very remarkable in this ancient account of the first principles of Christian doctrine, viz. the divinity of our Saviour, and the descent into hell, both which are here expressed in terms, for which reason I thought it might deserve a place among the Creeds of the Church. Eusebius says, he had the account in the Syriac tongue, as it was preserved in the archives of the Church of Edessa, signed in the year 340, which, according to the computation of time then used by the Syrians of Edessa, reckoning from the first year that Seleucus began to reign in Asia, falls in with the same year that Christ suffered and arose from the dead, as Valesius 20 and Pagi 21 after him have rightly computed in their observations upon this passage of Eusebius.
in concealing the sacred mysteries of the Church from the
catechumens. The errors
1. That which makes this inquiry a little more necessary,
is the several vain pretences of the Romanists concerning the the Roman- original and reasons of this discipline. Bellarmin and others this point.
20 [In Euseb. I. 1. c. 13. (v. 1. quo tempore usque ad initium Olymp. 41. n. 4.) Ait ... Eusebius Acto- piadis secundæ ac ducentesimæ anni rum illorum, quæ in archivis Edes- sunt trecenti ac quadraginta. Porro sæ repererat, hujusmodi fuisse sub- initium Olympiadis 202. incidit in scriptionerm: 'Επράχθη ταύτα τεσσα- annum 15. Tiberii Cæsaris, qui duoρακοστα και τριακοσιοστω έτει. Ιd bus Geminis consulibus est insigest : Acta sunt hæc anno quadra- nitus. Quo quidem anno et pasgesimo ac trecentesimo. Annus hic sionem et ascensionem Domini contrecentesimus et quadragesimus jux- tigisse, plerique veterum credideta Edessenos cadit in annum pri- runt. Inter quos est Tertullianus, inum Olympiadis 202. Etenim Augustinus, atque Victorius. GrisEdesseni annos suos numerabant chov.] ab Olympiadis 117. anno primo, quo
21 Crit. in Baron. an. 41. n. 3. Seleucus regnare orsus est in Asia, (t. 1. p. 34.) Ad num. 18. Baronius, ut scribit Euscbius in Chronico: a qui, &c.
urge it as a mighty argument for transubstantiation in particular, as if the concealing the mystery of the eucharist from the catechumens, was an indication of the belief of the Church concerning the real presence of Christ's body and blood, which they were so studiously careful to hide from the knowledge of the catechumens. But this is abundantly refuted by a more accurate observation of Albaspinæus, a learned bishop of the same communion, who in his Book of the Ancient Polity of the Church 22 relating to the Eucharist, as I find him cited by others 23, rejects this as an incompetent proof of the Romish doctrine of the real presence. For he rightly observes, 'that the Ancients concealed not only the mystery of the eucharist, but also the sacrament of baptism, from the catechumens; yea, and almost all other their sacred rites and ceremonies, which in a large sense are called sacraments, as the oil of chrism or confirmation, and the ordination of priests, which were as studiously concealed from the knowledge or inspection of the uninitiated, as the elements of the holy eucharist were.' So that the bare concealing that mystery from the catechumens, could no more be an argument of transubstantiation in the bread and wine in the eucharist, than it was in the waters of baptism, or any other ceremony where the same silence and caution was used.
The learned Schelstrate with a subtle invention has made a
22 Liv. 1. chap. 2. p. 47. (ad calc. core cette police passoit plus outrè: Optat. p. 198 c.) Tout le monde al- car les catechumènes ne voyoient legue cette discipline pour preuve jamais les exorcismes, ny les imdu corps de nostre Seigneur, et positions des mains qu'on faisoit pour confondre nos adversaires : sur les pénitens du troisième degrè; mais jamais ils n'ont pris garde et toutefois ils estoient estrangers que ces anciens pères de l'église comme les catechumènes, et ces exapportoient beaucoup de soin et de orcismes n'estoient pas choses ausdiligence à cacher les autres sacra- quelles il y eut quelque sécret ou ments aux catechumènes et aux quelque mystère, qui pût tomber estrangèrs ; voir mesme que leur dans le mépris après avoir esté crainte et leur religion alloit jus découvert. ques là, que de leur refuser non 23 Albertin. de Eucharist. 1. 2. seulement intelligence, mais aussi (p. 703. ad calc. sinistr.) Sic enim la seule prononciation de l'Oraison Gabriel Albaspinæus ... Omnes adDominicale et du Symbole des Apo- ducunt hanc disciplinam ad probastres. Quant aux cérémonies de tionem corporis Domini nostri. ... l'église, de quelque qualité qu'elles Verum non deprehenderunt veteres fussent, toute connoissance leur en ecclesiæ patres multum studii et estoit interdite; comme aussi des diligentiæ adhibuisse ut alia sacraoraisons qu'ils faisoient pour quel- menta catechumenis et extraneis ocque chose que ce pût estre.
more general use of this ancient practice, to palliate and excuse all the novel doctrines and practices of his own Church. He wrote a book, which he intituled Disciplina Arcani, a book highly magnified by Pagi 24 and others of his own communion, as stopping the mouths of the Protestants, when they ask the Romanists, · Why no footsteps of their modern doctrines and practices appear in the earliest writers of the Church ?' The answer is ready upon all occasions, from this Disciplina Arcani,' that it was because these doctrines and practices were kept secret, and only handed down by tradition, not committed to writing, lest they should come to the knowledge of the uninitiated Jews and Gentiles, and the catechumens of the Church.' This is the reason, he tells us, why there is no account of the seven sacraments, nor of the worship of saints or images, in the first writers of the Church. The things were really believed and practised from the days of the Apostles, as he will have it, but kept secret as the hidden mysteries of religion, which were not to be divulged to any but such as were initiated and prepared to know them.
This is an artifice that would justify as many errors and vanities as any Church could be guilty of: it is but working a little with this admirable instrument and tool, called Disciplina Arcani, and then all the seeming contradictions between the ancient doctrines and practices of the Church universal, and the novel corruptions of the modern Church of Rome, will presently vanish and disappear. So that we need not wonder why men, whose interest it serves so much, should magnify this as a noble invention : when yet in truth it is only a veil and a mist cast before the reader's eyes, which may easily be dispelled by giving a true account of that ancient piece of discipline and practice, first in its original, and then in the nature,
use, and reasons of it. This disci.
2. As to its original, the learned Albaspinæus has rightly pline not strictly ob- observed, that in the apostolical age, and some time after, they
24 Crit. in Baron. an. 118. n. 4. adducunt, exponi posse docte de(t. 1. p. 119.) Aliquot sæculis disci- monstrat Schelstratius, in dissertaplinam arcani, seu occultationem tione singulari de Disciplina Arcani. quorundam mysteriorum religionis – Ibid. n. 9. (p. 120.) Quæ omnia Catholicæ viguisse, et ex ea disci- ex Schelstratio in egregia dissertaplina complures Patrum sententias, tione de Disciplina Arcani excerpta quas Protestantes contra Catholicos sunt.