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JUL 2 3 1996 








TRINITY 3 8 9 







WATEftLAND, VOL. 111. 



SlNCE the publication of my Second Defence in the cause of 
our blessed Lord's Divinity, I have been waiting to see what 
further attempts we were to have from the Arians. I perceive 
they are still resolute in their opposition to the faith of Christ, 
blaspheming his Godhead, impugning his worship, and despising 
every kind offer of instruction, or exhortation, to convince or 
reclaim them. I have the satisfaction however to observe, that 
they daily give ground more and more ; that the defensive part, 
which they begun with, is, in a manner, yielded up ; their main 
scheme appearing so gross, and so untenable, that they themselves 
are afraid or ashamed to own it. As to the offensive, which 
is now all that they are willing to abide by, they hold it on 
still as far as they are able : and yet even here one may observe, 
that, as to matter of argument, their attacks are as harmless as a 
man might wish ; only there is a certain fierceness or bitterness 
of spirit still remaining, and which seems to increase, as their 
strength decreases; and which perhaps may grow upon them 
more and more to the last, as is natural and common in such 
cases. But to come to the point. 

B 2 


Their first effort to renew the contest appeared under the 
title of Remarks, &c. by one Philalethes Cantabrigiensis, 
printed for J. Noon. Having no manner of acquaintance, that 
I know of, with the man under that conceited name ; and find 
ing little in the piece more than tedious repetition and studied 
confusion, I slighted it, as apprehending myself not at all obliged 
to take notice of it. 

Waiting a while longer, there comes out another pamphlet, 
entitled, Observations, &c. and by the Author of the Reply to my 
First Defence, printed for James Knapton, &c. which when I 
saw, I immediately concluded as I had some leisure upon my 
hands, that here was a call to me to set pen to paper once 
more. For however low an opinion I might have of the per 
formance, after reading it, yet the Author of the Reply, when he 
has any thing to say, and while our readers are not quite weary, 
may always command my more especial notice. Whether it be 
Dr. Clarke, or whether it be Mr. Jackson, (for though it be 
doubted which, all agree that it lies between them,) they are 
both men whom I must attend to : one, as he is the principal 
in the cause ; the other, as he is second, and had the first hand 
in committing my Queries to the press, engaging me ever after 
in the public service. Let but either of those two gentlemen stand 
accountable in the opinion of the world, (I mean no more,) for 
any foul play on their side, as I by setting my name am answer 
able for any on mine, and then I shall think myself upon even 
terms with them in that respect : and as to any other, I humbly 
conceive, I have no reason to fear their gaining any advantage. 

The author of the Observations begins with giving us his judg 
ment of his own performance ; assuring his reader, in the most 
solemn manner, that the Observations contain in them no argu 
ment, nor branch of any argument, but what, upon the most 
serious consideration and careful review, appears to him strictly 
and perfectly conclusive. Thus far perhaps may be true : for I 
know not how things may appear to him, nor how defective he 


may be in judgment. But I wish he could have added, no repre 
sentations but what, upon calm examination, he had found to be 
strictly just ; no reports, but what he knew to be true ; no charges 
upon his adversary, but what he believed to be honest and 
upright ; no personal reflections beyond what he had clear and 
sufficient grounds for. But I pass on to his book. 

He has cast his work into fourteen observations ; the weightiest, 
no doubt, that the whole compass of the controversy could afford. 
I shall consider what to say to them, after I have given the 
reader some brief hints of the past and present state of the 
dispute between us. It should be remembered, that this gentle 
man at his first setting out, and all along till now, undertook to 
answer queries, to satisfy objections, to assoil difficulties, to recon 
cile the new scheme to itself, to Scripture, to antiquity, and to 
reason ; that so having first cleared his own doctrine in every 
part, beyond any thing that could be done for the faith received, 
he might then with a better face disturb the peace of the Church, 
and plead the more earnestly (but modestly withal) for a thorough 
change. This was what he undertook : and had he been as able 
to execute, as he was forward to project, I profess sincerely, he 
should not have wanted any encouragement, or even thanJcs of 
mine ; so far should I have been from giving him further moles 
tation. But it hath happened to him, (as it ordinarily must to 
every man, who undertakes a business before he has seen into 
it,) that he has met with many difficulties, more than he at first 
apprehended, and is by no means able to surmount them. 

To mention a few particulars, out of a great number : 

1. He has not been able to clear his scheme of the unsup- 
portable charge of making two Gods, one supreme and another 

2. He has not been able to get over the difficulty of supposing 
God the Son and God the Holy Ghost two creatures*, in direct 

a See my First and Second Defence, Query v. vol. i. and ii. 
b See my First and Second Defence, Query xi. xii. vol. i. and ii. 


opposition to Scripture and antiquity. He has indeed avoided 
giving them the name of creature, which yet can contribute but 
little satisfaction to as many as plainly see how the thing is other 
wise fully and repeatedly owned under other names . 

3. He has not been able to defend or excuse creature-worship, 
so fully condemned by Scripture, and by the ancient Jews and 
Christians, with one voice d . 

4. Nor hath he been able to disprove or elude the proofs 
brought from Scripture and antiquity, of the divine worship due 
to Christ 6 . 

5. He hath not been able to salve, or so much as to colour 
over a notorious flaw in his scheme, relating to the foundation of 
the worship of Christ ; taking up principles there which can suit 
only with the Socinian scheme, at other times espousing the 
Arian, though it be impossible for both to stand together f . 

6. He has not been able to give any tolerable account of 
the divine titles, attributes, and honours being ascribed to a 

7. He has given no satisfaction at all about Christ being 
Creator and creature too ; not being able to elude the proofs of 
the former, nor to reconcile both parts together h . 

8. Though he set out with pompous pretences to antiquity, he 
cannot make them good : but it is proved upon him, nor can he 
elude the proof, that in thirteen instances of doctrine, containing 
the main branches of his scheme, he runs directly counter to all 
Catholic antiquity 1 . 

9. He has not been able to vindicate Dr. darkens quotations 
from the ancients : which have been proved, all of them, to be 

c See my Supplement to the Case, Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 676, &c. 
&c. vol. ii. p. 324. Second Defence, e First and Second Defence, Query 

vol. ii. p. 642, &c. x. xi. vol. i. and ii. Sermons vii. viii. 

d First and Second Defence, Query vol. ii. 
xvi. xvii. vol. i. and ii. h First and Second Defence, Query 

e See my First and Second Defence, xii. vol. i. and ii. 
Query xvi. xviii. vol. i. and ii. 4 First Defence, vol. i. p. 497. 

f First Defence, vol. i. p. 434, &c. Second, vol. ii. p. 729, &c. 


either not pertinent, or not justly quoted, or not fairly translated, or 
not rightly understood^. 

The author of the Reply having* thus failed in the main 
business, I might reasonably decline any further dispute with 
him. He is so sensible of the lameness of his former performances 
in the defensive, that he is now pleased to quit that part entirely, 
and to attempt it no longer. My Queries remain queries still ; 
and the oracle shuts up in sullen silence. All that I contended 
for seems to be tacitly yielded up to me ; and I stand in quiet 
and peaceable possession of it. What room then is there for 
any further dispute? Yes, there is room still, this gentleman 
thinks, to act upon the offensive : and since he has been so un 
happy as to give no satisfaction in respect of his own scheme, he 
hopes however to be even with us in some measure, by declaring 
himself still dissatisfied with ours. He had many objections 
formerly, which he has been pleased to drop one after another 
in the course of the debate : and he has some left still, which he 
resolves to abide by ; though the force even of these few remain 
ing have been already so broken and blunted, that were it not 
for the ignorance of some readers, and the convenient use of mis 
representations, misreports, flouts, and scoffs, and an assuming 
positiveness, in lieu of a just reply, he could do nothing with 

For the benefit therefore of weak readers, who may be moved 
by weak things, and for the sake of truth and godliness, and in 
regard to the character of the men I am engaged with, I proceed 
to examine the Observations. The author has taken his own 
method ; and so will I mine, as to me seems most proper, and 
most convenient for the reader. As his work is a rhapsody of 
independent thoughts, thrown under heads, at discretion : and 
as the author in the composition observes very little coherence, 
but jumps from thing to thing, blending matters together as it 

k First and Second Defence, Query xxvii. vol. i. and ii. 


happened, or as came into his head, I shall not think it necessary 
to follow him all the way in his rambling chase. But some 
method I must have too ; and it shall be this, to rank his most 
material observations under several heads, viz. False Charges, 
Misrepresentations, Flouts and Scoff's, &c. And these heads shall 
make so many chapters. 





False and injurious Charges contained in the Observations. 

i. IN the list of false charges, I shall first place one that stands 
in page 1 1 8th, as being a very remarkable one, and proper to be 
first spoken to, by way of introduction to what shall come after. 
The words of the Observator are, 

" Not so much as one single writer in the three first centuries 

" has presumed to teach, but, on the contrary, they would 

" all have judged it the highest blasphemy either to say or think, 
" (which is the very point in which Dr. Waterland's whole doc- 
" trine centres,) that God the Father Almighty, even the one 
" God and Father of all, who is above all, has no natural and 
" necessary supremacy of authority and dominion at all; has no 
" other supremacy of authority and dominion, than what is founded 
" merely in mutual agreement and voluntary concert ; but has, 
" naturally and necessarily, a priority of order only." 

Here is a high charge, a charge of blasphemy laid to me, and 
in the name too of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, whose memory 
will be ever precious, and whose judgment I respect and reve 
rence. Now, that the reader may the better judge of this ex 
traordinary paragraph of the Observator, I must take care to 
inform him how the case stands between him and me in regard 
to the supremacy. In the preface to my Second Defence, and 
again in the book, I intimated over and over, in as plain words 


as I could speak, that provided the Son's necessary existence be 
secured, that he be acknowledged not to exist precariously, or 
contingently, but necessarily, that his coeternity and consubstantiality 
be maintained, his creative powers, his infinite perfections, his 
being no creature, but one God with the Father, and the like ; 
that then the supremacy shall be no matter of dispute with me. 
Any supremacy of the Father that is consistent with these certain, 
plain, Catholic tenets, always and universally believed by the 
churches of Christ ; I say, any supremacy consistent herewith, 
I hold, assert, and maintain : any that is not consistent, I reject, 
remove, and detest, with all the Christian churches early and 

The case then, betwixt this gentleman and me, lies thus : 
It is agreed, I presume, on both sides, that God the Son is 
either strictly equal with God the Father, as to all essential per 
fections, or that he is infinitely inferior to him, as one that does 
not exist necessarily, must of course be infinitely inferior to 
another that does. 

The equality of nature, it seems, is not consistent with this 
writer's supremacy; and he readily acknowledges that it is not : 
but he will maintain however the supremacy at all adventures ; 
which is directly making God the Son naturally subject to the 
Father, who is therefore his sovereign Lord and Ruler, to reward 
him if he does well, to punish him if he does amiss, to do with 
him according to his will and pleasure, as with any other crea 
ture. The consequence is, making God the Son a creature; the 
Jehovah, the true God, and God blessed for ever, &c. a creature, a 
being that might never have existed, and might cease to exist, 
if God so pleased. These are the plain certain consequences of 
this gentleman's scheme, and such the tendency of his doctrine 
about the supremacy. He urges the supremacy to destroy the 
equality : I stand by the equality, and insist upon it, that it is 
consistent with all the supremacy that either Scripture or Ca 
tholic Fathers taught. And I have this plain reason to offer, 
with respect to the Fathers, that while they maintained the 
supremacy, they maintained also the necessary existence, the co 
eternity, the consubstantiality of God the Son, and his unity of 
Godhead with the Father ; which points once secured, I am very 
ready to admit any consistent supremacy. The consequences which 
Dr. Clarke and his adherents draw from the supremacy, I answer, 
as the Church of Christ has always done from the time such 


consequences were pleaded, by admitting a supremacy of order, 
which is natural, and a supremacy of office, which is economical. 
The consequences, on the other hand, which we draw against 
them, as destroying the equality, (so manifestly taught through 
the whole Scripture and by the primitive churches,) they have 
never answered, nor can they answer them : which they are so 
sensible of, that they do not care to have them mentioned, but 
perpetually disguise, conceal, dissemble them, and keep them out 
of sight. 

I must therefore, in my turn, now tell the objector, that he is 
the blasphemer, upon the avowed principles of the Ante-Nicene 
churches ; in making God the Father naturally sovereign Lord 
and Ruler over God the Son and God the Holy Ghost; in reducing 
both the divine Persons to the condition of creatures, or preca 
rious beings ; brought into existence at pleasure, and reducible 
to non-existence again at pleasure. This is not the doctrine of 
Scripture or Fathers, but diametrically repugnant to both ; is 
derived from ancient heresies, and is false, wicked, and de 

There may be some difficulties objected to the Church's way 
of reconciling (the Church's way I call it, for such it is, not mine) 
the equality and supremacy together : but no greater difficulties 
than what occur in almost every other controversy. They that 
have seen into the heart of the controversy between Jews and 
Christians, or between Atheists and Theists, or between Papists 
and Protestants in some points, or between Calvinists and Ar- 
minians, must acknowledge the same thing in every one of them : 
which is owing to this, that human capacity is finite, and our 
ignorance of wider compass than our knowledge ; and that there 
fore it is much easier to raise doubts and difficulties, than it is 
to solve them. But difficulties are one thing, and demonstrations 
another: and it very ill becomes this gentleman, when he has 
such large scores of his own, and while he bends under the weight 
of many insuperable objections, to grow so exceeding flippant, 
and above measure assuming, upon the strength only of two or 
three stale cavils, borrowed from ancient heresies. 

I should take notice of his wording the charge, about the 
natural and necessary supremacy of dominion. He gives it out 
that I have totally disowned and denied that the Father has 
any, asserting that he has none at all. I think there is a great 
deal of difference between saying, that the Father has a natural 
and necessary dominion over the creatures in common with the 


Son and Holy Ghost, and saying, that he has no natural supre 
macy of dominion at all. And this writer could not be ignorant 
with what iniquity he thus worded the thing, to leave room for 
a false construction, and to shock and astonish every careless 
and ignorant reader. However, thus much may be said, that, 
in strictness, no supremacy of dominion can be natural and ne 
cessary, in such a full sense as God's attributes are natural and 
necessary, eternally and constantly residing in him. All supre 
macy of dominion supposes an inferior, and commences with the 
existence of that inferior ; and is therefore so far, and so much 
voluntary, as the creating of an inferior is. But upon the inferior's 
coming into being, then indeed commences the supremacy; which 
is an extrinsic relation, no essential attribute: only, thus far it 
may be called natural and necessary, as being necessary ex hypo- 
thesi, or, upon that supposition, as being a relation founded upon 
the natural and necessary perfections of the Godhead, which set 
it above the creatures, and make an infinite disparity of nature 
between that and them. So that, after all, this superabundant 
eagerness and vehemence for a natural supremacy over God the 
Son, and God the Holy Ghost, is only contending, in other words, 
for a disparity or inferiority of nature in those two Persons : and 
this is the sole meaning of appointing them a governor. The blas 
phemy I am charged with, is only the denying that they have 
naturally any ruler and governor. I venture once and again to 
repeat, that they have not, nor ever could have : and this I main 
tain upon the clear and undoubted principles of all the ancient 
and modern churches. 

This gentleman may call it, if he pleases, (words are free,) my 
tvonderful fiction, p. 7, my new and unheard of fiction, p. 23, en 
tirely of my inventing, p. 28, my own invention, p. 46, 52, 100. 
If he really thinks so, I should advise him to read the ancients ; 
or if that be too much, to read only Bishop Pearson, or Bishop 
Bull, to inform himself better : or if he does not believe it, and 
yet says it, I should entreat him to correct that evil habit of 
romancing, that outrageous method of reviling, and to learn the 
due government of his mind. I have invented nothing, have 
coined no new notion, but have plainly and sincerely followed 
what the ancients, with one voice, have led me into, and the two 
excellent moderns, just mentioned, have taught and maintained 
upon the same bottom. Bishop Bull may be consulted at large : 
I shall quote one passage of Bishop Pearson, because short : 
" The Word, that is, Christ as God, hath the supreme and uni- 


" versal dominion of the world a ." Which is to all intents and 
purposes denying the Father's supremacy as much as I have ever 
done. But what a pass are things come to, that the known 
standing doctrine of all Christian churches, ancient and modern, 
must be treated as a novelty, as a fiction or invention of mine ! 
If the reader desires a specimen of the ancient doctrine in this 
point, he may turn to the quotations in my First Defence, 
(vol. i. p. 443,) which express the Catholic doctrine, and to which 
all the Fathers are conformable. So much in answer to the 
charge of blasphemy. 

Whether this gentleman can ward off that very charge, or 
prevent its returning on his own head, may deserve his consi 
deration. The good Christians of old would have stopped their 
ears against such blasphemy as his tenets amount to. All reclaim 
against it : some directly and expressly, as often as they pronounce 
any two, or the whole three, to be one God, or one substance, of 
one dominion, of one power or glory : and the rest consequentially, 
by maintaining the necessary existence, consubstantiality, coeternity, 
or other divine attributes of the Son or Spirit. 

I have now done with the first charge; which I have dwelt the 
longer upon, because it runs in a manner through the book ; and 
the answering it here in the entrance will give light to what follows : 

II. A second false charge upon me is in these words: " Neg- 
" lecting therefore the reason upon which the Scripture expressly 
" founds the honour we are to pay to Christ, the Doctor builds 
" it entirely upon another foundation, on which the Scripture 
" never builds it, viz. on this, that by him God created all 
" things, 1 ' p. 7. 

I shall say nothing here of the absurdity of founding the wor 
ship of Christ in the manner this author does, by tacking So- 
cinianism and Arianism together, though entirely repugnant to 
each other, as I have observed elsewhere b : but as to the charge 
brought against me, of founding Christ's worship as is here said ; 
I must beg leave to confute it by producing my own words. 
" I found the Son's title to worship upon the dignity of his 
" Person ; his creative powers declared in John i. and elsewhere ; 
" his being 0e6s from the beginning ; and his preserving and 
" upholding all things, (according to Coloss. i. 16, 17. and 
" Heb. i.c) w 

a Pearson on the Creed, p. 188. Oxf. Defence, vol. ii. p. 676. 
edit. 1847. c Defence, vol. i. p. 434. 

b Defence, vol. i. p. 434. Second 


" I say, his honour is founded on the intrinsic excellency and 
" antecedent dignity of his Person ; whereof the power of judg- 
" ment committed is only a further attestation, and a provisional 
" security for the payment of his due honour. It did not make 
" him worthy, but found him so : and it was added, that such his 
" high worth and dignity might appear, &c. d " 

Is this founding it entirely upon what the author here pre 
tends ? As to his pleading, that his way of founding it is scrip 
tural, and mine not scriptural : both the parts of his pretext are 
abundantly confuted in my First and Second Defence 8 , and in a 
preface to my Sermons f . 

III. Another false charge is in these words, p. u. " Here the 
" Doctor directly corrupts the Apostle's assertion ; not allowing 
" him to say (what he expressly does say) that to us there is one 
" God, the Father, but only on the reverse, to give the Father 
" the style or title of the one God." He grounds the charge upon 
what he finds in my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 527, 694. In the 
first I have these words : " Yes, he (the Apostle) tells us, that 
" the Father, of whom are all things, is the one God, (N.B.) in 
" opposition to false ones, to nominal gods and lords : and it is 
" plain, that he meant it not in opposition to God the Son, be- 
" cause he reckons him God to us." Rom. ix. 5. 

Now where, I pray, is the corruption of what the Apostle 
asserts ? Or how do I refuse to allow him to say what he does 
say ? This gentleman, it seems, will shew it by this wise remark ; 
" It is one thing to say, that the one God is the Father, of 
" whom are all things ; and another thing to say, that the 
" Father (though not the Father only) is the one God. Now it is 
" evident the Apostle in this text is not reciting the characters 
" of the Father, and telling us that he may be styled the one 
" God ; but he is declaring to us who the one God is, viz. the 
" Father." The difference then between us is only this ; that 
I suppose the Apostle to tell us who is the one God, he supposes 
him to tell us who the one God is. A notable criticism, to found 
such a charge, of directly corrupting and disallowing Scripture, 
upon ! Especially considering that the Greek words (ets 0eos 6 
riarfjp) may bear either construction, (if they be really two con 
structions,) and either may equally suit with the context. For 
though the text is not reciting the Father's characters, not all 

1 Second Defence, vol.ii. p. 685. and ii. Query xvi. xvii. xviii. xix. 
First and Second Defence, vol. i. ' Preface to Eight Sermons, vol. ii. 


his characters, yet the design was to point out who is the one God; 
and he fixes that character upon the Person of the Father, as 
being primarily and eminently, though not exclusively, ihe one God. 
I have been considering (longer perhaps than it deserves) where 
the difference lies between asking who is the one God, and asking, 
who the one God is : and to me it appears so very small and im 
perceptible, that I can lay no hold of it. I have tried what I. 
could do in another instance : let it be inquired, Who is the apo 
stle of the Gentiles ? The answer is, Paul of Tarsus, &c. Well, 
but inquire, Who the apostle of the Gentiles is ? The answer is 
still the same, Paul of Tarsus, &c. Put the questions into Latin, 
we are still never the nearer, they are plainly tantamount : at 
least the difference to me is undiscernible ; unless by who, in the 
latter case, be meant what : upon which supposition, the text we 
are concerned with should not be translated, To us there is but 
one God, the Father ; but thus ; To us the one God is a Father, 
&c. Perhaps this ingenious gentleman may be able to clear up 
the matter to satisfaction : but since he has not yet done it, it 
is plain he was too hasty in charging me at all, but very injurious 
in running it up to such an extravagant height. 

IV. " The doctrine of the Trinity delivered in these words 
" (Eph. iv. 3, 5, 6.) by the Apostle, is so expressly contradictory 
" to Dr. Waterland's scheme, and so impossible to be perverted 
" even into any appearance of consistency with it, that the 
" Doctor finds himself here obliged even fairly to tell us, that 
" St. Paul ought not to have writ thus as he did, &c." p. 17. 

This is a charge so malicious and petulant, and withal so 
groundless, that I cannot well imagine what could transport the 
man into such excesses. For supposing I had misinterpreted 
St. Paul, and very widely too, would it amount to a declaration 
that the Apostle ought not to have writ what he did write ? How 
hard would it be with commentators, if upon every misconstruction 
of a text, really such, they were to be thus charged with taking 
upon them to be wiser than the sacred penmen, and to correct 
the Spirit of God ! 

After all, if the reader pleases to look into my Defences, he 
will be surprised to find how innocent the words are, which have 
been wrought up into this high charge. In my Defence, I say, 
" Ephes. iv. 6 has been generally understood by the ancients of 

Defence, vol. i. p. 280. 


" the whole Trinity : above all, as Father ; through all, by the 
" Word; and in all, by the Holy Ghost." I refer to Irenseus, 
Hippolytus, Marius Victorinus, Athanasius, and Jerome, for 
that construction : I conclude, " However that be," (that is, 
whatever becomes of that interpretation, be it just or otherwise,) 
yet " the Father may be reasonably called the one, or only God, 
" without the least diminution of the Son's real divinity *." 

In my Second Defence, all I pretend is, that " I see no 
" absurdity 11 " in the interpretation now mentioned : and I ob 
serve, that " we are not there inquiring into the sense of the 
" text, but into the sentiments of the ancients upon it ;" and I 
exhibit their testimonies at large. And to take off the pre 
tended absurdity of that ancient interpretation, in making the 
one God and Father of all include all the three Persons, I 
observe how Irenaeus (one of the Fathers quoted) reckons the 
Son and Holy Ghost to the Father, as being his very self in a 
qualified sense. And I further add, that " nothing is more 
" common than for a head of a family, suppose Abraham, to be 
" understood in a stricter or larger sense, either as denoting his 
" own proper person, or as denoting him and all his descendants 
" considered as contained in him, and reckoned to him." I shew 
further from the plain and express testimonies of Hippolytus 
and Tertullian, that they also, as well as Irenaeus, sometimes 
considered the Father in that large sense before mentioned'. 

These are the facts; which this gentleman should have con 
futed, instead of bringing against me railing accusations. If 
there be any force (as there is none) in the charge, it falls upon 
the Fathers ; whose interpretation I defended no further than by 
shewing it not to be absurd, nor unsuitable to the language of 
the early times. As to myself, I did not so much as condemn 
the common interpretation, but was content to admit of it : and 
yet if I had condemned it, I should not, I conceive, have been 
therefore chargeable with condemning St. Paul. 

This writer has a further complaint, it seems, in relation to 
the present text. He is positive that the title of Father of all is 
very disagreeable* to me : and he insinuates, that pure decency 
here restrained me from finding fault with St. Paul, for choos 
ing such a Pagan expression. A mean suggestion, and entirely 

s Defence, vol. i. p. 280. See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 

h Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 430. 431, 457. * Observations, p. 18. 


groundless. For neither did I give any the least hint of dislike 
to St. Paul's expression, nor did \find fault with the Fathers for 
adapting sometimes their style to Pagans, but commended them 
rather for doing it, in the cases by me mentioned 1 , as doing 
what was proper. And certainly it was commendable in St. Paul, 
and I acknowledged it to be so m , to adopt the Pagan phrase of 
unknown God, and to apply it in a Christian sense, to lead the 
Pagans into a belief of the true God. 

Before I leave this article, I would take notice of this gentle 
man's affectation, (to call it no worse,) of loading every thing 
beyond measure, in a way uncommon ; and pointing and edging 
his expressions to such a degree as to make them ridiculous, 
It is not enough, with him, to say, as another man would in 
such a case, that a text has been misconstrued, and its sense 
perverted or misapplied ; no, that would sound flat and vulgar : 
but it is to be called corrupting the Apostle's assertion, not 
allowing him to write what he did write ; or, it is finding fault 
with him, or fairly telling us that he ought not to have writ thus 
as he did ; or, it is an attempt to expose and render ridiculous 
the Apostle's doctrine, and arguing, not against Dr. Clarke, but 
against plain Scripture, and against the Evangelists and Apostles 
themselves". This it is to be elegant and quaint, and to push 
the satire home. I can pardon the pedantry, and the false 
sublime, in a man of such a taste : but I desire he may use 
it somewhere else ; and not where he is laying an indictment, or 
making a report, which requires truth and strictness. 

V. " The supreme authority and original independent absolute 
" dominion of the God and Father of all, who is above all; that 
" authority which is the foundation of the whole law of nature, 
" which is taught and confirmed in every page of the New Tes- 
" tament ; which is professed and declared in the first article 
" of every ancient creed, in every Christian church of the world, 
" and which is maintained as the first principle of religion by 
" every Christian writer, not only in the three first centuries, but 
" even in the following ages of contention and ambition : this 
" supreme authority, &c. Dr. Waterland in his last book (merely 
" for the more consistent salving of a metaphysical hypothesis) 
" has, by a new and unheard of fiction, without any shadow of 
" evidence from any one text of Scripture, in direct contra- 

1 See Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 486. m Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 530. 
n See Reply, p. 195, 197. 



diction to tho first article of all the ancient creeds, without the 
" testimony of any one ancient (I had almost said, or modern) 
" writer, very presumptuously (and had he himself been an op- 
" poser of the hypothesis he defends, he would have said, blas- 
" phemously} reduced entirely to nothing." p. 23. 

Here seems to be something of sounding rhetoric in this para 
graph ; which had it been intended only for an exercise, or by way 
of specimen, might have been tolerable : but it was wrong to bring 
it in here, in a grave debate, because there is not a word of 
truth in it. 

To speak to the matter, all this hideous outcry against an 
innocent man means only this, as hath been above hinted ; that 
I have been willing to think, and as willing to say, that God the 
Son and God the Holy Ghost have naturally no Governor, are 
not naturally subject to any Ruler whatever. This gentleman 
is here pleased to intimate that they are, and is very confident 
of it. Let me number up the many palpable untruths he has 
crowded into half a page. One about the foundation of the law of 
nature: a second, about the New Testament: a third, about 
every ancient creed: a fourth, about the first principle of religion, 
and every Christian writer : four vrfive more, about Dr. Water- 
land. There is not a syllable of truth in any of the particulars 
of which he is so positive. For neither does any law of nature, 
nor any text of the New Testament, nor any ancient creed, nor 
any Christian and Catholic writer, early or late, ever assert, or 
intimate, that God the Father is naturally supreme Governor 
over his own Son and Spirit ; or that they are naturally under 
his rule or government. And as to Dr. Waterland, it is no new 
or unheard of fiction in him, to assert one common dominion to all 
the three Persons, and to deny that either the Son or Holy 
Ghost is naturally subject to (that is, a creature of] the Father. 
He has full evidence for his persuasion, from innumerable texts of 
Scripture, from all the ancient creeds, as understood by the Chris 
tian churches from the beginning to this day: and he has 
neither blasphemously nor presumptuously, but soberly, righteously, 
and in the fear of God, stood up in defence of the injured honour 
of the ever blessed Trinity, grievously insulted and outraged by 
tho Arians of these times ; who when they have carried on their 
resolute opposition as far as argument and calm reasoning can 
go, and are defeated in it, rather than yield to conviction, come 
at length to such a degree of meanness, as to attempt the sup- 


port of a baffled cause by the low methods of declaiming and 

VI. " When Dr. Waterland says, that many supreme Gods in 
" one undivided substance are not many Gods, for that very reason^ 
" because their substance is undivided, he might exactly with the 
" same sense and truth have affirmed, that many supreme persons 
" in one undivided substance are not many persons ; for that 
" very reason, because their substance is undivided." p. 51. 

Here I am charged with saying, that " many supreme Gods 
" are not many Gods." Let my own words appear as they 
stand. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 645. 

" I assert, you say, many supreme Gods in one undivided sub- 
" stance. Ridiculous : they are not many Gods, for that very 
" reason, because their substance is undivided." Is this saying, 
that many Gods are not many Gods? No; but they, that is, 
the three Persons, supposed by the objector to be three Gods 
upon our scheme, are not three Gods, not many, but one God 
only. This gentleman appears to be in some distress ; that, in 
order to form his objection, he is forced to invent words for me, 
and to lay them before the reader instead of mine. He seems 
however, in the same paragraph, to aim obscurely at an argument 
which the Author of the Remarks has expressed plainly, and 
urged handsomely enough , though with too much boasting. 

The answer, in short, is this : though the union of the three 
Persons (each Person being substance] makes' them one substance, 
yet the same union does not make them one Person ; because 
union of substance is one thing, and unity of Person is another : 
and there is no necessity that the same kind of union which is 
sufficient for one must be sufficient for the other also. There is 
no consequence from one to the other, but upon this supposition, 
that person and acting substance are equivalent and reciprocal: 
which the Author of the Remarks had acuteness enough to see, 
and therefore fixes upon me, unfairly, that very supposition. If 
he pleases to turn to my definition of person, he will find, that 
though I suppose Person to be intelligent acting substance, yet 
that is not the whole of the definition, nor do I ever suppose the 
terms or phrases reciprocal ; any more than the asserting man to 
be an animal is supposing man and animal to be tantamount, 
or to be reciprocal terms. I have taken this occasion of replying 
to the Remarks upon this head, to let the author see that I do 
Remarks, p. 36. 


not neglect his performance for any strength it bears in it. That 
which I have now answered is, in ray judgment, the best and 
strongest argument in the whole piece : and I believe he thinks 
so too. 

VII. " When the Doctor affirms that the one supreme God 
" is not one supreme God in Person, but in substance : what is 
" this but affirming, that the one supreme God is two supreme 
" Gods in Person, though but one supreme God in substance?" 
p. 51. 

Let the reader see my words upon which this weak charge is 
grounded : they are in my First Defence, vol. i. p. 294. 

" Father and Son both are the one supreme God : not one in 
" Person, as you frequently and groundlessly insinuate, but in 
" substance, power, and perfection." I neither said, nor meant 
to say, not one supreme God in Person ; but, not one in Person : 
the rest is of this writer's foisting in by way of blunder, first to 
make nonsense, and then to comment upon it, and add more to 
it. In the meanwhile, it is some satisfaction to me to observe, 
that in a controversy where it is not very easy to express every 
thing with due accuracy, the keenest adversaries have not yet 
found any offensive or unjustifiable expression to lay hold on, till 
they have first made it so, by artifice and management. 

VIII. " Another method whereby Dr. Waterland attempts 
" to destroy the supremacy of the one God, &c. is by denying 
" any real generation of the Son, either temporal or eternal." 
Observ. p. 56. 

Here are ivro false and injurious charges : one of my denying 
any temporal generation of the Son ; the other of my denying any 
eternal generation. Every body that has seen my books knows 
that I assert, maintain, and inculcate three generations , the first 
eternal, the other two temporal: so that this charge of the 
Observator must be made out, if at all, by inference, or conse 
quence only, and not directly : and therefore he ought not to have 
expressed this article in such general terms as he has, but should 
have said, consequentially, implicitly, or the like, if he had not 
been exceeding prone to set every thing forth in the falsest and 
blackest colours. 

What he advances in support of these two charges betrays 
such confusion of thought, and such surprising forgetfulness of 
ancient learning, (for I am unwilling to impute it all to formed, 
premeditated malice,) that I stand amazed at it. 


1 . One of his first blunders is, his attributing the words before 
all ages (upb TI&VT&V alcovvv) to the Council of Nice : this he 
repeats, p. 67, 70, though every body knows that those words 
were not inserted by the Nicene Council, but the Constantino- 
politan, above fifty years after. It is necessary to remark this, 
because part of the argument depends upon it. There can be no 
doubt but that the Constantinopolitan Council intended eternal 
generation : but as to the Nicene Council, it may be questioned 
whether they did or no. These two our writer, as his way is to 
confound every thing, has blended together, and, I suppose, very 

The use he makes of it is, bringing me in as his voucher 
(p. 67.) for the Nicene Fathers professing no more than a tem 
poral generation, though they expressly say, it was Trpb TTCLVTW 
alatvtov, before all ages. I do indeed offer such a conjecture about 
the Nicene Fathers P; but then I know nothing of the TIO.VKAV 
al>v(DV which this gentleman puts upon them ; nor do I allow 
that either the Nicene or Ante-Nicene Catholics understood 
that phrase in the limited sensed. 

2. Another mistake, or rather gross misreport, is what he 
says of the writers before and at the time of the Nicene Council, 
that using the similitude of light from light, or fire from fire, 
they "always take care to express this one difference in the 
" similitude, that whereas light shineth forth, and is communi- 
" cated not by the will of the luminous body, but by a necessary 
" property of its nature, the Son of God is, by the power, and 
" will, and design of the Father, his substantial image." 

I do not know that any single writer ever expressed this 
before Eusebius ; if it may be said of him. If it be pretended, 
that they meant it at least ; yet neither can that be proved, in 
the full extent of what is here asserted, of any one of them. All 
that is true is, that as many Ante-Nicene Fathers as went upon 
the hypothesis of the temporal ante-mundane generation, so many 
acknowledged such generation to be by will and counsel: but 
none of those writers ever used that similitude upon which Eu 
sebius made the remark now mentioned ; viz. that of light and 

splendor ; but that of one light, or one fire of another, which has 

P Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 595. Socrat. Eccl. Hist. p. 24. ed. Cant. 
Compare Bull. D. F. sect. iii. cap. 9. 1 See my First 'Defence, vol. i. p. 
But see also Lowth's note upon 355, &c. 


a very different meaning r and application. But it is not the 
Observator's talent to think or write accurately. 

I must further add, that Origen, Theognostus, Dionysius of 
Alexandria, and Alexander, making use of the same similitude 
that Eusebius does, give no such account of it s . And none that 
intended to illustrate eternal generation thereby ever intimated 
that it was by will, design, or counsel, in opposition to what is 
natural or necessary, in our sense of necessary. 

3. A third instance of this writer's great confusion, upon the 
present head, is his blending and confounding together what I 
had laid down distinctly upon different subjects. What I say 
of Post-Nicenes only, he understands of Ante-Nicenes too : and 
what I say of one Ante-Nicene writer, he understands of another ; 
and thus, by the confusion of his own intellect, I am made to be 
perpetually inconsistent. It would be too tedious to repeat. All 
may be seen very distinctly, and with great consistency, set forth 
in my Second Defence ; whither I refer the reader that desires to 
see the sentiments of every particular writer fairly considered 4 . 

4. A fourth instance of this author's confusion, is his pretend 
ing that none of the Ante-Nicene writers ever mention any prior 
generation, any other ante-mundane generation, beside that temporal 
one before spoken of. It is true that many, or most of the Ante- 
Nicene writers were in the hypothesis of the temporal generation, 
mentioning no other : but it is very false to say, that none of 
them speak of any higher. Origen, and Dionysius of Alexandria, 
and Methodius, and Pamphilus, and Alexander, are express for 
the eternal generation, or filiation" : and Irenseus, and Novatian, 
and Dionysius of Rome may, very probably, be added to them. 
These together make eight, and may be set against Ignatius, 
Justin, Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, Clemens of Alexandria, 
Tertullian, Hippolytus, who make an equal number for the other 
hypothesis. And I have often observed, and proved, that the 
difference between these writers was verbal only, all agreeing in 
the main doctrines, and differing only about terms, whether this 
or that should be called generation x . 

5. Another instance of his great confusion under this head, is 

1 See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 353, &c. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 

P- 6l4. * Ibid. 598, & C . 

I Ibid, from P/SOO to p. 609. * First Defence, vol. i. p. 266, &c. 

II See my First Defence, vol. i. p. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 442, 617. 


his objecting to me again, as before in the Reply, my appealing 
to the ancients for the understanding of will in the sense of 
acquiescence and approbation, meaning by ancients, Post-Nicene 
writers. This I did to obviate Dr. Clarke's pretences from some 
Post-Nicene writers, such as Hilary, Basil, Marius Victorinus, 
and Gregory Nyssen. And, certainly, in expounding these 
writers, heed must be given to their way and manner of using 
their phrases. And as to calling them ancients, the Author of 
the Reply had done the same twice together y. 

6. This writer discovers his ignorance, or infirmity rather, in 
calling my interpretation of avayKr) ^IXTIKT) ridiculous, as taken 
only from some later Christian writers. I proved my interpreta 
tion from Athanasius, Epiphanius, Hilary, and the history of the 
times in which the Sirmian Council was held, in order to fix the 
meaning of the phrase about that time, which is the first time 
we find it applied in this subject 2 . And I fully answered all 
this gentleman's cavils, which he now repeats. 

7. Another instance of his confusion, is his saying of the pro 
cession, or temporal generation, that it is no generation at all ; and 
that " not one Ante-Nicene writer ever was so absurd, as to call 
" that a generation by which the generated person was no more 
" generated than he was before." As to the fact, that the Ante- 
Nicene writers, in great numbers, called this procession genera 
tion^ I proved it at large ; nor can any scholar make doubt of it. 
And as to the poor pretence, which he here repeats, I answered 
it before in these words, (Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 598.) 
" Though the Logos was the same essentially before and after 
" the generation, he was not the same in respect of operation, 
" or manifestation, and outward economy ; which is what those 
" Fathers meant." And I particularly proved this to be their 
meaning, from the express testimonies of Justin, Methodius, 
and Hippolytus a ; and confirmed it by quotations from Zeno 
Veronensis, Hilary, Phcebadius, and others. And what does it 
signify for the Observator to set his raw conceptions and fond 
reasonings about the meaning of a word, against such valuable 
authorities ? Can any thing be more ridiculous, than to sit down 
and argue about what an ancient writer must or must not have 
said, from pretended reasons ex absurdo ? I assert it to be fact, 

y See Reply, p. 256, 257, and my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 609. 
z See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 601, 607. 
a Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 593, 616. 


that they said and meant what I report of them ; and I have 
produced their testimonies : the author may, if he pleases, go on 
with his dreams. 

This writer having performed so indifferently upon one part 
of the charge, will not be found less defective in regard to the 
other ; wherein he charges me with denying eternal generation, 
or reducing it to nothing. He will not, I presume, pretend that 
I either deny it or destroy it, as he does, by pronouncing all 
eternal generation absurd and contradictory. If I deny it or 
destroy it, it is in asserting it however at the same time : and it 
must be by explaining it, if any way, that I reduce it to nothing. 
If it happens not to be so explained as to fall under this gentle 
man's imagination, it is, according to him, reduced to nothing. 
But before he comes to his metaphysical speculations on this 
head, he gives us a taste of his learning, in respect of the ancients , 
boldly asserting, that they never express the first (or eternal ) 
generation of the Son, \>y filiation, or generation, or begetting, or 
by any other equivalent term. This is a notorious untruth. For 
when Irenaeus reproves some persons as attributing any beginning 
to the prolation of the Son, (prolationis initium donantes,) he uses 
a term equivalent to filiation, or generation^. When Origen de 
clares there was no beginning of the Son's generation, he uses the 
very word c , as also when he speaks of the only begotten, as being 
always with the Father. Dionysius of Alexandria expresses it 
by the word dfiyfvrjs, eternally generated^ ; which surely is very 
express. When Methodius asserts, that he never became a Son, 
but always was so e , what is this, but saying the same thing ? 
And when other writers assert, that the Father was always a 
Father, this is at least asserting an eternal generation in equiva 
lent terms. But this writer's knowledge of antiquity has been 
sufficiently shewn. Let us see whether he can perform any 
thing better in metaphysics. He forms his attack thus : " Dr. 
" Waterland desires, you would by no means understand him 
" to intend eternal generation indeed, but a mere coexistence 
" with, and not at all any derivation from the Father." p. 72. 

And certainly Dr. Waterland is very right in making eternal 
generation to be eternal, amounting to a coexistence with the 
Father, without which it could not be eternal. It is observable 

h See my First Defence, vol. i. p. 353. c j^id. p. 353. 

d Ibid. p. 357. e | bid . . i 


however, that this gentleman opposes derivation to coexistence; 
which shews what kind of derivation he intends; a derivation 
from a state of non-existence, a derivation commencing after the 
existence of the Father, and because later than the Father's 
existence, infinitely later, as it must be if at all later. In short 
then, it is a derivation of a creature from his Creator: this is the 
eternal generation he is contending for, in opposition to mine; 
while he is endeavouring to shew that mine is not generation ; as 
his, most certainly, is not eternal, nor generation, but creation. 
The sum of what he has to advance is, that coexistence is incom 
patible with generation,- that an eternal derivation is absurd, and 
contradictory. No doubt but such a derivation as he is imagining 
(which he explains by a real motion of emission, and growth of 
one out of the other) is incompatible with coexistence. But what 
the primitive Fathers intended, and what the Scripture intended 
by eternal generation, implies no such motion of emission, no such 
growth of one out of the other, but an eternal relation or reference 
of one to the other as his Head. An eternal relation has no 
difficulty at all in the conception of it. All the difficulty lies in 
the supposition of its not being coordinate, though the Persons 
be coexistent. And when it can be shewn that all priority of order 
must of course imply apriority of duration too, then the objection 
may have some weight in it. Till that be done, the notion of 
eternal generation will stand : an eternal Logos of the eternal 
Mind, which is the aptest similitude to express the coeternity and 
headship too; and is the representation given of it both by 
Scripture and antiquity. I proceed to a new charge. 

IX. " Another method by which Dr. Waterland endeavours 
" to destroy the supreme dominion, &c. is his labouring, by a 
" dust of learned jargon, to persuade men that the very terms 
" one God mean nobody knows what." p. 85. To this I answer, 
that one God means one necessarily existing, all-perfect, all-sufficient 
substance, or Being: which substance, &c. consists (according to 
Scripture account) of three Persons, Father, Son, and Holy 
Ghost, one Jehovah. This is one God. Let this gentleman dis 
prove it, when he is able. 

I had said, fu lf Scripture makes the three Persons one God 
" either expressly or by necessary consequence, I know not what 
" men have to do to dispute about intelligent agents and identical 

{ Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 434. 


" I ices, &c. as if they understood better than God himself does, 
" what one God is, or as if philosophy were to direct what shall or 
" shall not be Tritheism.' 1 '' Upon this our Observator remarks ; 
" Better than Dr. Waterland himself does, is all that he means." 
I would allow the justice of his reflection, were we disputing 
what one God is, upon the foot of Scripture: for then it would 
amount only to this difference, that his interpretation leads one 
way, and mine another. But as the competition is made be 
tween Scripture and philosophy, he may easily perceive both the 
impertinence and iniquity of his reflection. While the point is 
removed from Scripture to philosophy for a decision of it, I insist 
upon it, that this is interpretatively, and in effect, though not in 
design, pretending to understand the thing better than God himself 
does. But to proceed with our writer's pretences against the 
account I had before given from the ancients, 

He objects, (p. 86,) that " one substance is not the same as 
" one God ; because two equally supreme, two unoriginate di- 
" vine Persons would be two Gods," by my own confession : for 
I say (vol. ii. p. 537.) that " two unoriginate divine Persons, 
" however otherwise inseparable, would be two Gods according to 
" the ancients." I knew very well what I said, though I per 
ceive this gentleman does not apprehend it. The ancients thought 
this reference of one Person to the other, as Head, was one re 
quisite among others, to make the substance one, being thus more 
closely allied, and, as it were, of one stock. This made me say, 
however otherwise inseparable: that is, whatever other union may 
be supposed, the Persons would not be perfectly inseparable, not 
perfectly one substance, (according to the ancients,} and so not one 
God, but upon the present supposition. And now how does this 
shew that one substance and one God, are not, in this case, tan 
tamount \ To me it seems, that it both confirms and explains it. 

X. The Observator charges me (p. 94.) with making one com 
pound person of many distinct persons. His words are : " He 
" thinks a person may be compounded of many distinct persons." 
He refers to page the 652nd of my Second Defence. If the 
reader can find any such thing there, or any where else in my 
books, let the charge of false doctrine lie upon me: if not, let 
the charge of slander and calumny lie upon the accuser. 

XI. He charges me, p. 62, with referring to a passage in 
Modest Plea, without " pretending to make any the least answer 
" to it."" This is like his other misreports : I abundantly answer 


it, (vol. ii. p. 545,) by allowing necessary existence to be positive, 
but denying it of self -existence. 

From the instances here given, (to which more will be added 
under the next chapter,) the reader may perceive, that speaking 
of the truth, in simplicity and singleness of heart, is none of this 
gentleman's talent. If he hits upon any thing really true, and 
which he might perhaps make some little advantage of, he has 
such a faculty of inventing and straining, that he quite spoils it 
in the telling, and turns it into romance. One would not expect 
such exorbitances as these are from men of their profession and 
character : but it now brings to my mind the Postscript to the 
Reply s : and I shah" wonder at nothing of this kind hereafter. 


Misreports and Misrepresentations contained in the 

EVERY page of the pamphlet is concerned in this charge : 
the whole is, in a manner, one continued misrepresentation from 
beginning to end. But some of the misrepresentations have been 
already shewn in the first chapter, among false charges ; and 
others will fall under a subsequent chapter. I shall select a 
convenient number to fill up this. 

1. Page ir. the author writes thus: "The Doctor is forced 
" further to affirm, that the Son is tacitly included, though the 
" Father be eminently styled the one God: nay, (which is very 
" hard indeed,) tacitly included, though by name expressly ex- 
" eluded, and contradistinguished by a peculiar character of his 
" own, in the very words of the text itself." Thus he leaves the 
remark, without informing the reader in what sense I suppose 
the Son tacitly included. I explain it in my Second Defence, 
vol. ii. p. 720 : 

" I have before shewn what we mean by saying that the Son 
" is tacitly included, though the Father be eminently styled the 
" one God: not that the word God, or the word Father, in such 
" cases, includes Father and Son ; but the word God, is predi- 
" cated of one only, at the same time that it is tacitly understood 
" that it may be predicated of either, or both : since no opposition 
" is intended against either, but against creatures and false gods" 

This gentleman pretends indeed that the one God is opposed to 

See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 765. 


the one true Lord, (in i Cor. viii. 6,) as well as to false gods. 
But this is gratis dictum; and he does not consider that then the 
Son can be no God at all to us, contrary to Rom. ix. 5. besides 
many other places of Scripture. I say therefore that the exclu 
sive term, in this case, is not to be understood with utmost 
rigour, but with such qualifying considerations, as other Scrip 
tures manifestly require to be consistent with this. I gave in 
stances, in good number, of exclusive terms so used, h which this 
laconic gentleman confutes, first, by calling them ridiculous; and 
next, by positively affirming, that " wherever any particular thing 
" or person is by any particular title or character contradistin- 
" guished from any other thing or person mentioned at the 
" same time under another particular title or character, it is 
" infinitely absurd to suppose the latter tacitly included in the 
" former, from which it is expressly excluded." Now allowing 
him the whole of what he here asserts, all that follows is, that 
in i Cor. viii. 6. the Son is excluded from being God in that emi 
nent manner, that unoriginate manner as the Father is ; not from 
being God in the same sense of the word, { nor from being one God 
with him. But it will be difficult for him to prove any thing 
more, than that the Father is there described under the charac 
ter of the one God, of whom are all things, and the Son under 
the character of the one Lord, by whom are all things, in oppo 
sition only to nominal gods and lords, and not to each other. 
For since all things are of one, and by the other, they together 
are one Fountain of all things, one God and Lord : and thus 
may this text stand with verse the 4th of the same chapter, 
which declares that there is but one God; and with Rom. ix. 
and 5, which declares the Son to be " over all, God blessed for 
" ever." 

II. Page the i8th of the Observations, I am found fault with 
for misunderstanding a passage of Athanasius, in his Epistle 
to Serapion k . I had said, that the one God is his subject in 

h Vol. ii. Sermon iv. Second De- KOTO. TO eV oVao-t 8ia TOW Adyou eV av7-a> 

fence, vo). ii. p. 405, 424, 444. tvcpytiv, OVTO> yap KU\ eva 8ia rffs rpid- 

1 See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 8os 6/zoAoyov/iei' dvai TOV Qtbv on 

P-4 2 5- TTJV fiiav ev TpidSi 6(6rrjTa <ppovovfj.fv. 

c Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 430. Athan. Orat. iii. p. 565. 
^ "Ev yapeldos dfOTTjros, ontp ttrrl KOI Els Qtos fv TTJ (KK\r)o-ia KrjpvrrfTcu, 6 

(v ^ rut Aoyo), KOI (is Q(6s. 6 TraTrjp eVt iravruv, KOI oia Trdvrav, KOI eV ira- 

t(p eauTW &K cara TO eVl iravrmv tlvai, <riv' eVt iravrcw p.ev, a>s Trarfjp, a>s ap\f), 

KOI iv TCO vt<5 8 (patvopevos Kara TO oia ical nrjyr) 1 Sta irdvrwv 8( 8ia TOV AoyoiT 

irdvratv 8u]Kttv, KOI f'v TO) TrvtvfMTi 8( tv naa-i 8f tv r< TTixv^aTi rw ' 


that passage ; as is manifest to every one that can read and 

My smart corrector here says, " And yet not only the neces- 
" sary construction of this very passage, but moreover Athana- 
" sius himself declares, on the contrary, in the fullest and most 
" express words, that he is speaking of the Father all the way." 
And to prove this, he refers me to Athanasius's third Oration 
against the Arians ; a prior work, and which therefore could de 
clare nothing about his meaning in the place I had to deal with : 
so far from declaring in the fullest and most express words. It 
would have been sufficient for a cooler writer to have said, that 
Athanasius had explained his meaning in one place by what he 
had said in another: and to have offered it as & probable argument 
to determine a doubtful construction. 

Certain it is, that Athanasius did not, could not in full and 
express words, declare beforehand in his third Oration against 
the Arians, that he should be " speaking of the Father all the 
" way," several months or years after, in an epistle not yet 
written, nor perhaps thought of. I can with better reason 
plead, that since the Epistle to Serapion was written after the 
other, and contained his later, thoughts, that either the former 
treatise should be interpreted by the latter, or at least that his 
second thoughts upon the text should be preferred. However, 
upon a careful review of both the places, and upon considering 
the context, and the argument Athanasius is upon in both, 
(namely, to prove one Godhead in all the three Persons, one God 
in, or by, a Trinity, his express words,) I am so far from think 
ing that the passage in his Oration is at all against me, that it 
rather confirms my construction of the other ; allowing only a 
different pointing ^ from what appears in the prints, such as I 
have here given. And I desire the words, fva 0eoi> 5ia TT}S 
rpiaSos, may be attended to, one God in Trinity. If eva Qtbv 
means the Father only, then the sense is, one God the Father, in 
(or by) FatJier, Son, and Holy Ghost ; which is a sense that this 
writer will call perfectly absurd. I submit this whole matter to 
the judgment of the learned. In the mean while it is evident, 
that our Observator has let his pen run too fast ; has been 
exceeding positive in a thing which he cannot make clear, or so 

OVK eori (uv TO TOIOVTOV vfifav (frpovrjua OVK x' Tf > ftiaipovvrfs Kal cmof-fvovvrfs 
(is eva Qfbv, TOV ri TTOVTW, KOI 8ia OTTO rfjs dtoTrjros TO Tri/cv/xa. Athunas. 
irdvrav, KOI (v nacri. To yap, iv nao-iv ad Scrap, i. p. 677* 


much as probable ; and that he has expressed his positiveness in 
such a manner, and in such words, as cannot be justified by 
common rules. 

I may just note, before I leave this article, that this gentleman 
has not shewn his skill in Greek, by rendering e^' eavrw &v, (as 
if it had been d</>' kavrov, or c eaurou,) existing of himself: nor 
does he apprehend the force of t-nl Trdvrcav, or what Athanasius 
is talking of in that place. When he understands the maxim of 
Irenseus, (invisibile Filii Pater, p. .234,) and considers how God 
the Son was supposed to be let down, as it were, to the creatures, 
while the Father remained in excelsis, and, as it were, within him 
self; he will then know how to construe that passage. 

III. Page 1 9th of the Observations, we meet with another mis 
representation, a very great one. 

" It was further alleged, that Dr. Waterland most absurdly 
" so interprets this phrase, (e^apio-aro) given him a name ; as if 
" it could signify extolling and magnifying in such a sense as 
" men extol and magnify God ; as if men could (yapicra<rdai) 
" graciously grant any thing to God." I had interpreted exalting 
to signify praising, (in such a sense as men exalt God,) in oppo 
sition to the other sense of exalting, which is raising up to a 
higher place or dignity. This is all the objector has to ground 
his weak suggestion upon. As to yapfoavQai, giving, gratifying 
with, or the like, as it may be done by equals to equals, or even 
by inferiors to superiors, as well as by superiors to inferiors ; 
where is the inference that the Father must be superior to the 
Son, because of his giving him a name ? My answer therefore 
was in these words : " I see no absurdity in interpreting giving 
" a name to be giving a name. But it is absurd to imagine that 
" God may not glorify his Son, as well as his Son may glorify 
" him ; by spreading and extolling his name over the whole 
" creation ' : " which this writer transcribes, and leaves as he 
found; not being able to answer it. Nor indeed is there any 
just objection against an equal doing thus to an equal : nor does 
Xaplo-ao-dai intimate any thing more than its being a free and 
voluntary act. But it is trifling in this case to strain the words 
(used in the other case) in such a sense as men exalt God ; which 
were intended only in opposition to another quite different sense 
of exaltation : and are still to be understood with allowance for 
the different circumstances. 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 550. 


IV. Page 34th, this writer cites some words of my Second 
Defence, (vol. ii. p. 516,) which are these: "If you ask why 
" that Person called the Son might not have been Father, I 
" have nothing to say, but that in fact he is not. So it is 
" written, and so we believe : the Father is Father, and the 
" Son is Son." Upon which he is pleased to remark as follows : 
" By the Doctor's hypothesis therefore, there was no impossi- 
" bility in the nature of things, but unoriginate might, have been 
" originate, and originate unoriginate ; underived might have 
" been derived, and derived underived ; the Father might have 
" been begotten, and the Son unbegotten." Such is his malicious 
or thoughtless misconstruction of very plain and very innocent 
words. In the same paragraph, from which he cited my words, 
I assert the- priority of order (that is, the originateness of one, 
and unoriginateness of the other) to be natural, that is, neces 
sary or unalterable, and eternally so : so that one could never 
have been the other ; which is my constant doctrine. But if 
you ask why they could not, which is asking a reason a priori in 
a case which admits of none, I pretend not to it ; being content 
to prove the fact a posteriori, which is all that can be done. 
Will any man give me a reason a priori, why there must have 
been a God, or why it could not have been otherwise ? It is im 
possible. It is sufficient to prove a posteriori, that in fact there 
is a God, and that he could not but be, because we find that he 
exists necessarily, and without a cause. But we shall have more 
of this in the sequel. 

V. Page 35. Observat. " Instead of eternal generation, the Doc- 
" tor, if he was at liberty, had much rather say eternal existence 
" of a real and living Word, &c. And for this reason, I suppose, 
" it is, that instead of the Nicene words, begotten of the Father, 
" and from the substance of the Father, the Doctor, by a new and 
" unheard of expression, affirms the Son to be the substance oftJie 
" Father" First Defence, vol. i. p. 496. 

Answ. ' As to what he is here imagining of what the Doctor 
had rather say, and if he was at liberty, it deserves no answer : 
my sentiments in that article are sufficiently known, and fully 
laid down in my writings. His other remark about a new and 
unheard of expression, betrays his ignorance in antiquity, or some 
thing worse. Ever since the terms substance and person came 
into this controversy, Father and Son have been always believed 
and professed to be one substance : as high as Tertullian, all the 


three have been called one substance. Una substantia in tribus 
cohccrentibtts. What is this but saying, that both the Son and 
Holy Ghost are the Father's substance, since all are one sub 
stance, which one substance is the Father's, as well as theirs ? 
This is all that I say in the place referred to, " that the 
" Son might be justly called the Father's substance, both 
" being one." 

VI. " Tertullian presumes to add, speaking of one of Dr. 
" Waterland's principal assertions, if the Scripture itself had 
" taught it, it could not have been true." Observ. p. 52. comp. 
p. 47. This is misrepresentation both of Tertullian and me. The 
assertion of which Tertullian speaks is, that " the Father was 
" actually incarnate, suffered," &c. the tenet of the Praxeans. 
And he does not say, it could not have been true, but could not 
have been believed, and that with a per/taps, (fortasse non credenda 
de Patre licet scripta,) to shew that it was rather a rhetorical 
figure of speech, than to be taken strictly, and with utmost 
rigour : and his chief reason why he said so much, was because 
such a tenet could hardly, if at all, be reconciled with other 
Scriptures and their description of the Father, and the standing 
economy of the three Persons therein revealed. How does this 
at all affect my assertion that, antecedent to the economy, "there 
" was no impossibility in the nature of the thing itself, but the 
" Father himself might have done the same that the Son did ?" 
This is not the assertion which Tertullian strikes at : nor did he 
say of the other, that it could not be true, nor positively, that it 
could not be believed. Three false reports this gentleman has 
here crowded into one short sentence. And I must remind him 
of what I before told him m , (though he is pleased to forget it,) 
that the same Tertullian, in the same treatise, when, in the 
course of the dispute, he was brought closer up to the pinch of 
the question ; had nothing to say about the natural impossibility 
of the supposition : but he resolves the case entirely into this, 
that Scripture had warranted the assertion in regard to God the 
Son, and had not done so, but the contrary, in regard to God 
the Father. So little reason had this writer to appeal, twice, to 
Tertullian upon this article. 

VII. " The three Persons in the Trinity are (with Dr. Water- 
" land) real Persons, each of them an individual intelligent 
" agent, undivided in substance, but still distinct Persons : so 
m Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 480. 


" distinct, that were they all unoriginated, he himself allows 
" they would be three Gods." [Good reason why, when upon 
that supposition they would be more distinct than they now are : 
but this is one of our author's shrewd remarks.] " Yet at the 
" same time, in a most unintelligible manner, and with the 
" utmost inconsistency, he professes them to be all but one living 
" Person." Where do I profess any such thing? This hasty 
gentleman might better have stayed a while to prove what he 
pretends, instead of fixing upon me a consequence of his own, and 
in such a manner as must make an ignorant reader think he had 
quoted my own words. He brings some passages of mine to prove 
his charge, which yet prove nothing like it. If the reader pleases 
to turn to my definition of person", he will easily perceive that 
the same life may be common to three Persons, and that identical 
life no more infers singularity of Person, than identity of essence. 
When this writer pleases to give us another definition of person, 
or to confute mine, we may give him a further hearing. 

VIII. In the next page, (p. 90,) I meet with a misrepre 
sentation of so odd a kind, that I could never have suspected it, 
and can scarce think he was well awake when he made it. He 
pitches upon a passage of my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 531. 
which runs thus : 

" You have taken a great deal of fruitless pains to shew, that 
" the particular glories belonging to the Son, on account of his 
" offices, are distinct from the glories belonging to the Father. 
" You might in the same way have shewn that the particular 
" glories due to the Father under this or that consideration, 
" are distinct from the glories of the Father considered under 
" another capacity." Now let us come to the remark of this 
acute gentleman upon it. It is thus : " What is this, but 
" saying, that the Persons of the Father and Son differ no other- 
" wise than as capacities of the same Person f I am content to 
put it off, and to refer the reader to my book, which fully ex 
plains the whole thing; hinting only, that the writer might as 
well have said offices, (as capacities,) when his hand was in ; and 
that nothing is more evident than that, if distinct offices in 
different persons are a foundation for distinct worships, then 
distinct offices in the same person will make as many distinct 
ivorships as there are offices. 

n Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 650. 



IX. One noted misrepresentation must not be neglected : the 
author insults mightily upon it. I shall cite part of what he 

" A coordination or subordination of mere order, without 
" relation to time, place, power, dominion, authority, or the like, 
" is exactly the same manner of speaking and thinking, as if a 
" man should say, a coequality or inequality of equality. Dr. 
" Waterland therefore was really much weaker than he imagines, 
" when he wantonly declared, he was so weak as to think, that the 
" words coordination and subordination strictly and properly 
" respected order, and expressed an equality or inequality of order p. 
" Are not things come to a fine pass, if the prime foundation of 
" religion, the first and great commandment, is to be ludicrously 
" placed on such a quic&sand as this ?" p. 33. 

The reader, I suppose, is pretty well acquainted with this 
gentleman's manner, before this time, [so] that I have the less need 
to take notice of his affecting big swelling words, and his running 
out into extravagant exclamations on very slight occasions. It 
is his unhappiness, that he never knows where to stop, nor how to 
be moderate in any thing. It is ludicrous indeed for him to pretend 
a zeal for the first and great commandment, while he is preaching 
up two Gods, and is a friend to creature-worship : but that I 
mention by the way only. As to the point in hand ; had I made 
any mistake in a very nice part of the controversy, he might 
have borne it with temper, as I have many and great ones of his, 
where there was less excuse for them. To come to the business : 
he will not find it easy to confute a very plain thing, that co 
ordination and subordination strictly and properly respect order, 
(to say nothing here what the order respects,) as much as con 
temporary or coeval respects time or age, collateral place, con 
comitant company ; or as any other word of like nature bears 
a signification suitable to its etymology, and to the analogy of 

Against this he objects, that a " coordination or subordination 
" of mere order is exactly the same manner of speaking, as a 
" coequality or inequality of equality :" which happens to be a 
blunder. For as coequality and equality are the same, in this 
case, the expression to answer a coequality or inequality of equality 
would be this ; a coordination or subordination of coordination ; 

P Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 456. 


which is not my expression, nor any thing like my sense. What 
order, abstractedly considered, may signify, or what in this par 
ticular case, are questions which may come in presently. But in 
the mean while it is evident, that there is no solecism nor im 
propriety, but truth and accuracy too, in saying that coordination 
and subordination respect order; not dominion, not dignity, &c. 
as this author pretends ; unless all order implies dominion, as it 
certainly does not. Order is a general word, and is sometimes 
determined to a particular meaning by what it is joined with : as 
order of time, order of situation, order of dignity, order of nature, 
order of conception, order of existence, order of causality, order of 
dominion, and the like. But then order is also frequently used 
simply and absolutely, without any thing further to determine or 
specify its signification : and thus it hath been anciently 3, as well 
as in later times, made use of in our present subject. Thus far 
then, I hope, it may be very excusable to use the word order in 
this subject simply and absolutely. If any word is to be put to 
it, to make the sense more special, I admit order of conception, 
with Tertullian r ; or order of existence, as the Son exists of and 
from the Father: which may be likewise called order of 
causality*, in the old sense of causality respecting emanative 
necessary causes. That I did not use the word order without a 
meaning, may appear from the very passages which this writer 
quotes from me, p. 34, though he is pleased to call them empty 
words ; as every thing here is empty with him that carries not in 
it his crude conceptions about natural dominion. His argument 
to prove them empty, being founded on nothing but his own 
shufflings and mistakes, is answered above, p. 3 1 . 

1 Aeyovras Qebv Trarepa, Kal vlbv ro> irvpl Trpbs TO (peas f'crrt TO e avrov 

Q(bv,KaliTVfvfi.aayiov ) 8fiKvvvTasavTa>v rivos ovv tveKfv ad fret TJ]V rdf-tv 

Kal TTJV ft> IT) fvaxrei 8vvafjiiv, Kal TTJV (v (Tu Qfov \afj.^dvf(r6ai. ; f)fj.els 8f, 

TTJ raei 8iaipf(riv. Athenag. Legat. KaTapevTrjVTmvalricovTrpbsTaf^avTcav 

cap. IO. (rxf<riv, TtpoTe rd^dai rot) viovroviraTepa 

O vibs ra fj.fv 8tvrepos rovrraTpos, <p(ifj.(v' &c. Basil. 1. i. p. 232. 
on aTr'tKfivov' Kal d^tw/itart ort dp^f) Kal r Principaliter determinatur ut 

atria, ra>, flvat avrov nartpa, Kal on 81 prima Persona, quae ante Filii nomen 

avrov 17 irp6(ro8os Kal irpocrayaryf) irpbs erat proponenda, quia Pater ante cog- 

rbv Qtbv Kal irarepa' (pvo-ei 8e ovKtn noscitur, et post Patrem Filius nomi- 

8(i/T(pos, 8ioTt TI dforrjs f'v eVare'pw pia. natur. Tertull. contr. Prax. cap. 18. 
Basil, contr. Eunom. lib. iii. p. 272. 8 Nihil plane differ! in substantia, 

ed. Bened. See my Second Defence, quia verus Filius est : diflfert tamen 

in relation to this passage, vol. ii. p. caMsa/itawgradu;quiaomnispotentia 

646, 723, 751. a Patre in Filio est : et in substantia 

"Eon n Taas (t8os, OVK (K Trap' minor non est Filius ; auctoritate tamen 

TJH&V 6(afa>t arvvi(TTd(jifvov, aXX* avrfj major est Pater. Auct. Queest. utr. 

TTJ KOTO (pixriv aKoXovdia (rvfifia'tvov, ws Testam. apud August. Qiurst. 122. 

D 2 


The meaning however of order, in this case, may be thus in 
telligibly set forth to the meanest capacity. 

While we consider the scale of persons from God the Fatlwr 
down to man, or ascending from man up to God the Father, he 
is the first in the scale from whom all things descend; and he is 
the last, in the way of ascent, in whom all things terminate. The 
Father by the Son and Holy Ghost conveys all his blessings to 
his creatures ; and his creatures in the Holy Ghost and by the 
Son ascend up to the Father. Such is the scale of existences, 
such the order of things : and this, I hope, is intelligible 

If it be next inquired what the foundation of this order is, 
and why the Father, if but equal in nature to the Son or Holy 
Ghost, shall yet be at the top of all, and stand first , we have 
this to say, that both the parts are true and certain ; and that 
the Son and Holy Ghost, though in nature equal, are yet referred 
up to the Father as their head and source, because of him and 
from him, in a mysterious and inscrutable manner, they both are. 
The Father is from none ; they from the Father. This is the 
Catholic doctrine*, and as old as Christianity itself, so far as we 
can find in the primitive records : all acknowledging (conformable 
to Scripture) this order, and reference of the San and Holy Ghost 
up to the Father, and at the same time asserting their consub- 
stantiality, coeternity, necessary existence, equality of nature, and 
unity of Godhead. 

If our ideas of this eternal reference of one Person up to an 
other be no more than general and confuse, not full and adequate; 
what wonder is it that we should find it so in a subject so sub- 

* Udo-a fie TOV nvpiov (vtpyfia eVri Geos fie e'atpe'ro>j Xeytrat, eVeifiij rj 

TOV TravTOKpaTopa Trjv dvafpopav e'^et, fvaxrts, rJTOi avdm-vt-is, Kal dvaKpa- 

Kol foriv, a>s dirdv, iraTpiKrj TIS eVe'p- Aataxrt? TTJS rptdSos 6 TrctT^p e'ort a>s 

ytta 6 vios. Clem. Alex. Strom. 7. (lrr(v 6 6(o\6yos. Theod. Abucar. ap. 

'Hvuo-dai yap dvdyKT} TW 6e<5 TWV Petavium, Trin. lib. iv. cap. 15. p. 

oXcoi/ TOV 6dov A.6yoV e'/iCpiXo^copeti/ 262. 

fie TW 6e<5 KOI eVfiiatTao-tfai fiel TO ayiov " This origination in the divine 

irv(vfjia. fj8ri Kal TTJV 6dav Tpiafia ds (va, " Paternity hath anciently been looked 

a>o-TT(p ds Kopv^v Tiva, TOV Q(bv T>V " upon as the assertion of the unity : 

o\tav TOV navTOKpaTopa Xe'yw, o~vyK(pa- " and therefore the Son and Holy 

\aiovo-6ai T( Kal avvdy(o-6ai ird<ra " Ghost have been believed to be but 

dvdyKrj. Dionys. Roman, ap. Athan. " one God with the Father, because 

vol. i. p. 231. " both from the Father, who is one, 

&VQ-IS fie TO'IS Tpto-i pia Qe6s. (vowis " and so the union of them." Pearson 

fie 6 iraTrjp, c ov, Kal irpbs ov dvdy(Tai on the Creed, p. 40. See also my 

TO. (fjs. Greaor.Nazianz.Orat.xxxii. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 417, 510, 

p. 520. 767. 


lime ? Is it not the tremendous substance or essence of the Divine 
Being that we are here considering ? And who is sufficient for 
these things 2 Let any man try the utmost stretch of his capacity, 
in any thing else immediately pertaining to the divine substance ; 
and he will soon perceive how short and defective all his ideas 
are. He cannot tell us what it is, nor whereunto we may liken 
or compare it : cannot say how it is present every where, or how 
it acts any where. Every thing belonging thereto, as simplicity, 
infinity, eternity, necessary existence*, is all dark and mysterious: 
we see but " through a glass darkly," and cannot " see God as 
" he is." It may therefore become these gentlemen to be a little 
more modest, and less positive in these high matters ; and not to 
insult us. in their manner, as teaching a collocation of words, or 
an order of empty words ; only because we cannot give them, 
what we cannot have, full and adequate ideas of the mysterious 
order and relation of the blessed Three, one among another. We 
might as reasonably object to them an eternity of words, or an 
omnipresence of words, a verbal ubiquity, simplicity, infinity, and 
the like, as often as we perceive that they are not able to give 
us more than general, confuse, and inadequate conceptions of 
those things. 

Such is our answer, such our just defence, after attending to 
every consequence the adversary can object, and after suffering it, 
in the way of fair debate, to be run up to the utmost height. 
We acknowledge God's essence to be inscrutable, as did the ancient 
Catholics in the same cause, against the Eunomians ; who find 
ing themselves thereby pinched, had no way left but to put on 
a bold face, and flatly to deny the incomprehensibility of God's 
essence*. If their successors at this day are of the same mind, 
let them speak out. It should be observed how differently our 
adversaries here behave, from what we do when pursued with 
consequences. They deny the necessary existence of God the Son. 
Eun them down but to the next immediate consequence, preca 
rious existence, and they are amazed and confounded : and in 
stead of frankly admitting the consequence, they fall to doubling, 
shifting, equivocating, in a most childish manner, to disguise a 
difficulty which they cannot ansioerJ. Push them a little further, 
as making a creature of God the Son ; and they fall to blessing 

u See my First Defence, vol. i. p. x Ibid. p. 452. 
456, &c. y Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 545. 


themselves upon it. They make the Son a creature ? No, not 
they ; God forbid. And they will run you on whole pages, to 
shew how many quirks they can invent to avoid giving him the 
name of creature, and at the same time to assert the thing. Carry 
the consequence a little lower, till their whole scheme begins to 
shew itself more and more repugnant to the tenor of Scripture 
and all Catholic antiquity ; and then what do these gentlemen 
do, but shut their eyes and stop their ears : they do not under 
stand a word you say ; they will not be answerable for conse 
quences ; they never taught such things, nor think them fit to 
be mentioned. This is their way of management, as often as we 
go about to pursue the consequences of their scheme down as far 
as they can go ; at the same time that we suffer them to exhaust 
all their metaphysics, in drawing any imaginable consequences 
against the Catholic doctrine, and both attend to them, and 
answer them, with all Christian fairness, openness, and sincerity 2 . 
The meanest reader may here see, by this different conduct, 
where truth, where integrity, where reason is, and where it is 
not : truth does not use to shun the light ; nor is it any sign of 
a good cause to want so much art and colouring. And let it not 
be pretended, that all this shuffling and disguise is only to screen 
their sentiments from the popular odium, and themselves from 
public censure: there may be something in that; and so far 
perhaps their conduct may appear the more excusable. But 
there is certainly more in it than that comes to ; because the 
same men can, upon occasion, discover their low sentiments of 
God the Son very freely a ; and it is chiefly when they are pressed 
in dispute, and when they see plainly how hard an argument bears 
upon them, from Scripture and antiquity, that they have recourse 
to evasion and disguise, and refuse to speak out b . But to proceed. 

X. " The Doctor frequently appeals from reason and Scrip- 
" ture to authority. When his argument is reduced to an ex- 
" press contradiction, a contradiction in itself, as well as to 
" Scripture, then he alleges that the thing he contends for must 
" be so upon the principles of the primitive churches, (Second De- 
" fence, vol. ii. p. 478.) meaning, that it must be so upon his 
" own hypothesis." Observations, p. 115. 

z See my Second Defence, vol. ii. ii. p. 318, &c. 
p. 644, 645. b S ee instances in the Reply, p. 

a See a collection of passages in 45, 175, 223, 224, 237, 319,323, 339, 

my Supplement to the Case, &c. vol. 343, 347, 402. 


Let the reader see my words, upon which this gentleman 
makes his tragical exclamation. 

" One substance with one Head cannot make two Gods upon 
" the principles of the primitive churches : nor are your meta- 
" physics strong enough to bear up against their united testimo- 
" nies, with Scripture at the head of them." How is this ap 
pealing from Scripture to authority ? So far am I from it, that 
in another place , while I commend the ancients for their way of 
solving the unity, as taking the best that human wit could in 
vent or rest upon, yet I declare at the same time, that there is 
no necessity at all for shewing how the three are one : it is suffi 
cient that Scripture bears testimony to ihefact, that so it is ; we 
are not obliged to say how. And there also I obviate what this 
writer here pretends, in his vain confidence of boasting, as if he 
was able to do great things in the way of natural reason ; by 
observing that the adversary can do nothing in this case, unless 
he be able to shew (which is impossible) that " no unity what- 
" ever can be sufficient to make more Persons than one, one 
" Being, one Substance, one God" 

XI. " When an argument is worked up to the evidence even 
" of an identical proposition, (which is the essence of demonstra- 
" tion,) then, it is contrary (he says) to the sentiments of wiser 
" men, who have argued the other way!' Observations, p. 87, 115. 

It is very true that I preface my answer to some big pretences 
of theirs with the words here recited d . I suppose the great of 
fence is in reminding them that there have been men wiser than 
they are. As to the identical proposition, the demonstration here 
talked of, I shew in the same place 6 that it is built upon no 
thing but the equivocal meaning of sameness. Reduce it to syllo 
gism, and it will be found a sophism with four terms in it. 

In page the 8yth, arguing against the supposition of powers 
derived and underived being the same, he says, " If it were 
" possible, it would follow, that the supreme power of all, the 
" power of begetting, or deriving being and powers down to 
" another, would be no power at all." That is to say, if the 
essential powers of the Godhead be the same, then the personal 
properties are lost. But I humbly conceive, that as union of 

e Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 433. d Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 543. 
434. Compare First Defence, vol. i. Compare p. 556, 557. 
p. 464, 465. e fbid. p. 543, 544. 


substance accounts for the one, the distinction of persons may 
account for the other : and this supreme power of deriving, &c. 
amounts to nothing more than a mode of existing, or a relation 
of order f . 

N. B The supreme power otkfttting, which the author here 
speaks of, means with him nothing more nor less than the 
supreme power of creating; which is plainly his sense of beget 
ting, as may appear from what hath been observed above, 
p. 24. 

XII. " Again, when two very different assertions are affirmed 
" not to be the same assertion, then he asks, how do you know ? 
" Or, how came you to le wiser in this particular than all tlie 
" Christian churches early or late ? Who yet never affirmed two 
" such different assertions to be the same assertion ; and if they 
" had affirmed it, still the assertions would not have been the 
" same." Observations, p.i 19. 

Let my words appear ; g " You add, that making one substance, 
" is not making one God: to which it is sufficient to say, How 
" do you know ? &c." The thing here maintained is, that upon 
the principles of the primitive and modern churches, if the three 
Persons be one substance, they are of consequence one God. The 
assertions in this case are equivalent and tantamount. This 
is the plain avowed doctrine of the Church ever since the term 
substance came in. They that impugn this doctrine ought first 
to confute it, if they can. Sometimes indeed I express this pri 
mitive doctrine by one substance with one head, for greater dis 
tinction : but one substance implies both, because the notion of 
headship is taken in with the union of substance, as rendering the 
union closer, and making the substance more perfectly one h . 

XIII. " When he is told, that it is great presumptuousness 
" to call the particularities of his own explication, the doctrine of 
" the blessed Trinity ; then he cries out. Great presumption indeed ! 
" to believe that the Catholic Church has kept the true faith ; which 
" are the very words, and the very argument wherewith the 
" writers of the Church of Rome perpetually insult, and will for 
" ever with justice insult, over all such protestants as endeavour 
" to discourage all serious inquiry," &c. 

This writer, to introduce his weak reflection, is forced to cut 

f See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 8 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 626. 
1>. 545- h See above, p. 26. 


off part of my sentence, which runs thus : " kept the true 

" faith, while Eunomians and Arians made shipwreck of it." 
This shews that I was speaking of the Catholic Church justly so 
called, of the primitive times, and before Popery was in being ; 
which observation would have entirely prevented his sarcasm, or 
have discovered the impertinence of it. As to the Church of 
Rome, I desire no better, no other argument against her, than the 
same I make use of against the Arians, viz. Scripture interpreted 
by primitive and Catholic tradition. Down falls Popery and 
Arianism too, as soon as ever this principle is admitted. But 
this author, I conceive, was a little too liberal to Popery, or did 
not know what he was talking of, when he presumed to intimate, 
that the writers of t/te Church of Rome can, with justice, insult us 
on that head. I hope it was a slip, and he will retract it when 
he comes to consider. But here again his eagerness overcame 
him, and carried him too far. 

XIV. " It had been alleged, that he who never acts in subjec- 
" tion, &c.- and every other person always acts in subjection to 
" his will, is alone the supreme Governor. In reciting this argu- 
" ment twice, Dr. Waterland does twice omit the word always, in 
" which the stress of the argument lies." Observations, p. 24. 

In abridging, not reciting, the argument, I omitted the word 
always; having indeed no suspicion that any stress at all could 
be laid upon it, but thinking rather that it had been carelessly 
or thoughtlessly put in by the author. If the stress of the argu 
ment lies there, the argument is a very poor one, being grounded 
only upon a presumption of a, fact that can never be proved. I 
allow indeed, if God the Son antecedently to the economy, and 
before the world was, acted in subjection to the Father, that then 
the argument will have some force in it : but as I very well 
knew that the author never had, never could prove any such 
thing ; so I could not suspect him to be so weak a man as to 
lay the stress of the argument there. I insist upon it, that 
millions and millions of ages, an eternity, a parte ante, had pre 
ceded, before ever the Son or Holy Ghost are introduced as 
acting in subjection. Let the author disprove this, and he will 
do something. I have read of the glory which our Lord had 
with the Father before the world was : but never heard any thing 
of his then acting in subjection to him : wherefore it does not ap 
pear that he always did it. 

XV. " There is no argument in which Dr. Waterland is more 


M insolent, or with less reason, than in this which follows. There 
" are, he thinks, as great difficulties in his adversary's notion of 
" the divine omnipresence, as there are in his notion of many 
" equally supreme (in nature) independent Persons, constituting 

" one supreme Governor or Monarch of the universe. Upon 

" this weak comparison he seems to build all his hopes and 

" yet the whole of the comparison is as entirely impertinent, as 
" if a man should pretend that to him there are as great difficul- 
" ties in conceiving immensity or eternity, as in conceiving tran- 
" substantiation" &c. Observations, p. 95. 

How just, how civil, how pertinent this representation is, will 
appear, when I shall have given the reader a true and faithful 
account of this whole matter from the beginning, which is as 
follows : 

In the year 1704, Dr. Clarke, then but a young man, published 
his Demonstration (as he is pleased to call it) of the Being and 
Attributes of God : in which work, not content with the common 
arguments for the existence, a posteriori, he^ strikes a note 
higher, and aims at a proof a priori ; which every man of sense 
besides knows to be contradictious and impossible, though he was 
not aware of it. However, to countenance his pretended Demon 
stration, he laid hold of the ideas of immensity and eternity, as 
antecedently forcing themselves upon the minds of all men : and 
his notion of the divine immensity is, that it is infinite expansion, 
or infinite space, requiring an infinitely expanded substratum, or 
subject ; which subject is the very substance of God, so expanded. 
Upon this hypothesis, there will be substance and substance, this 
substance and that substance, and yet but one numerical, indivi 
dual, identical substance in the whole. This part will be one 
individual identical substance with that part : and a thousand 
several parts will not be so many substances, (though every one 
be substance,) but all will be one substance. This is Dr. Clarke's 
avowed doctrine : he sees the consequence, he owns it ; as may 
appear from his own words', in answer to the objection. And 
he must of course admit, that the one individual substance is 
both one in kind, in regard to the distinct parts, and one in 

" No matter is one substance, but " are distinct substances, ununited, 

" a heap of substances. And that I " and independent on each other : 

" take to be the reason why matter is " which (I suppose) is not the case of 

" a subject incapable of thought, not " other substances." Clarke's Answer 

" because it is extended, but its parts to the Sixth Letter, p. 40. 


number also, in regard to the union of these parts in the whole. 
Upon these principles does the Doctor's famed Demonstration 
of the existence proceed ; and upon these does it now stand. 

I must next observe, that the same Dr. Clarke, in the year 
1712, was disposed to publish, and did publish, a very ill book 
against the received faith of the Church ; which he entitled, The 
Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity. He made a pompous show 
of texts, and pretended much to antiquity also : but as many as 
could look through the surface, and penetrate into the work, 
easily saw that the main strength of his performance rested upon 
two or three philosophical principles, by virtue whereof he was to 
turn and wrest Scripture, and Fathers too, to such a sense as he 
wished for ; that is, to the Arian hypothesis. Among his philo 
sophical principles, the most considerable of all, and which he 
oftenest retreated to in distress k , was this; that the defenders 
of the received doctrine, whenever they should come to explain, 
must inevitably split either upon Sabellianism or Tritheism : 
which presumption he grounded upon this reasoning ; that the 
three Persons must be either specifically one, (one substance in 
kind only, while three substances in number,} which is Tritheism: 
or else they must be individually one substance, one in number 
in the strictest sense, which is plain Sabellianism. Which rea 
soning at length resolves into this principle ; that substance and 
substance, however united, must always and inevitably make 
substances ; and that there cannot possibly be such a thing as 
one substance in number and in kind too at the same time. 

And now it could not but be pleasant enough to observe the 
Doctor and his friends confuting the Atheists upon this principle, 
that substance and substance united does not make substances, 
and at the same time confuting the Trinitarians upon the con 
trary supposition. Against Atheists, there might be substance 
one in kind and number too : but against the Trinitarians it is 
downright nonsense and contradiction. Against Atheists, union 
shall be sufficient to make sameness, and numerical substance 
shall be understood with due latitude : but against Trinitarians, 
the tables shall be turned ; union shall not make sameness, and 
no sense of numerical substance shall serve here but what shall 
be the very reverse of the other. In a word, the affirmative 
shall serve the Doctor in one cause, and the negative in the other : 

k See my First and Second Defence, Query xxii. vol. i. and ii. 


and the self-same principle shall be evidently true there, and 
demonstrably false here, to support two several hypotheses. 

I had observed the thing long ago, before I published a syllable 
in the controversy: and that I might be the better satisfied, 
discoursed it sometimes over with friends ; which still confirmed 
me the more in it. Having tried the thing every way, and being 
secure of that point, a point upon which the main cause, as I 
easily foresaw, would at length turn, I then proceeded to engage 
those gentlemen : and as often as they have been retreating to 
their dilemma about fiabellianism and Trit/teism, (their impreg 
nable fortress as they esteemed it,) I have objected to them their 
self-contradiction and inconsistency^ , have retorted upon them 
their own avowed doctrine in another cause ; have reminded 
them of their former (their present) sentiments in that article, 
and have sometimes pretty smartly taxed their notorious pre 
varication and partiality in the cause of the Trinity; while they 
insist upon principles here as of undoubted certainty, though 
they believe not a word of them, though they really disbelieve 
them in any cause else. For this I am called insolent by the 
meek and modest Observator : and by the judicious Author of 
the Remarks my conduct herein has been censured as ridiculous 
and monstrous" 1 : by which I perceive, that the men are stung 
somewhere or other, and have sense enough to know when they 
are hurt ; but have not learned how to bear it. One tells me, 
that I build almost all my hopes upon this discovery: another 
intimates, how happily for me my adversaries had advanced their 
notion, because otherwise I should have had nothing at all to say n . 
It is a great favour in them to allow that I have something at 
last : let us now examine what they have to say : 1 will reduce it 
to heads, for distinction sake. 

i. They are sometimes inclinable to disown any such notion 
as I have charged upon them. The Author of the Remarks, 
being a nameless man, thinks he may safely say, that he " has 
" nothing to do with that notion, one way or other ." And 
even the writer whom I am now concerned with says, that " it is 
" by mere conjecture only that Dr. Waterland has taken it to 
" be his opinion at all P." If it be Dr. Clarke that says this, his 

1 See First Defence, vol. i. p. 371, Second Defence, p. 38. 

372, 374, 446, 448, 479. Second De- n Remarks, p. 36. 

fence, vol. ii. p. 423, 433, 539, 625, 646, Ibid. p. 14. 

689, 697, 698, 708, 709, 713, 714. P Observations, p. 100. 

m Remarks on Dr. Waterland's 


own books confute him : if Mr. Jackson, he knows that I am 
perfectly well acquainted with his real and full sentiments in 
that question. However, if Dr. Clarke's friends meanly desert 
him here, and in a point too on which his famed Demonstration 
very much depends ; I will endeavour to do the Doctor justice 
so far, and shall not suffer him to be run down in a right thing, 
however I may blame him when I find him wrong. 

2. Sometimes they complain of me as very unfair to take an 
advantage of an opinion of theirs, and to plead it as true, at the 
same time that I myself judge it to be erroneous and falser. 
But this is gross misrepresentation. I plead nothing but what 
I take to be very true , namely, that substance and substance in 
union does not always make substances ; which is Dr. Clarke's 
doctrine as well as mine ; and, if true against Atheists, cannot 
be false against the Trinitarians. Indeed, I do not admit (at 
least, I doubt of} their hypothesis about God's expanded substance : 
but their general principle of union being sufficient to make same 
ness, and of united substance, in things immaterial, being one sub 
stance, this I heartily close in with, and make no question of its 
truth and certainty. 

3. They sometimes plead that, at best, this is only argumentum 
ad hominem*, and that it is therefore mean to insist upon it. 
Let them then first condemn Dr. Clarke for leading me into it : 
and when they have done, I will defend the Doctor, so far, by 
the concurring verdict of the whole Christian world, by the 
maxims of common sense, and by the prevailing custom of speech, 
which never gives the name of substances to any thing, but where 
the substance is separate, or separable. And I will further plead, 
that upon the hypothesis of extension this principle must 'be 
true ; or else there is no such thing as one substance, or one being, 
in the world 8 . Further, if I had not such plain and cogent 
reasons for the truth of this principle ; yet since I am here upon 
the defensive only, and am warding off an objection, I have a right 
to suppose it true, till my adversaries can prove the contrary. All 
these considerations put together are more than enough to answer 
the pretence of my arguing ad hominem. 

4. They add further, that their explication of the omnipresence 
is not exactly parallel to my notion of the Trinity*. Nor did I 

i See the Remarks, p. 37, &c. p. 622, 623, 708. 

r Ibid. p. 13. * Remarks, p. 38. 

s See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 


ever pretend that it was exactly parallel : I have myself particu 
larly shewn" wherein and how far the two cases differ. But, 
forasmuch as both agree in one general principle, (which was all 
that I wanted, and all that I insisted upon,) that substance in 
union with substance does not necessarily make substances, they 
are so far parallel : and so long as this principle stands its 
ground, (which will be as long as common sense shall stand,) so 
long will the received doctrine of the Trinity stand clear of the 
most important and most prevailing objection that metaphysics 
could furnish : and the boasted pretence of no medium between 
Sabellianism and Tritheism. which has been in a manner the sole 
support, the last refuge both of Socinians and Arians, is entirely 
routed and baffled by it. Hinc illce lacrymce, &c. that I may 
use now and then a scrap of Latin, as well as our Observator. 
I pass over several remarks of his, relating to this article, be 
cause now the reader will perceive how wide they are of the 
point in hand ; and that they are only the uneasy struggles of a 
man fast bound and fettered ; bearing it with great regret, and 
very desirous, if possible, to conceal it ; though he shews it so 
much the more, by the laborious pains he spends upon it. 

XVI. " What I suppose the Doctor more strictly means 
" is this ; that if, from the highest titles given to Christ in Scrip- 
" ture, he cannot prove the Son to be naturally and necessarily 
" the God supreme over all ; then neither can we, from the 
" highest titles given to the Father in Scripture, prove him to 
" be naturally and necessarily the God supreme over all, so as to 
" have no one above or superior to him in dominion." Observat. 
p. 1 10. 

This representation of the case is pretty fair in the main, had 
but the author in his further process kept close to it, and made 
no change in it. My argument was this x ; that Dr. Clarke and 
his friends, by their artificial elusions of every text brought for 
the divinity of God the Son, had marked out a way for eluding 
any text that could be brought for the divinity of God the 
Father. To make this plain, let it be premised, (as granted on 
both sides,) that there is discoverable, by the light of reason, 
the existence of some eternal, immutable, necessarily existing 
God : and now the question will be, how we prove from 
Scripture that any particular Person there mentioned is the 

u First Defence, vol. i. p. 372. 341. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 

* See my First Defence, vol. i. p. 565, &c. 


eternal God, whose existence is proved by reason. We urge in 
favour of God the Son, that he is God, according to Scripture 
in the true and full meaning of the word ; therefore he is the 
eternal God, and has no God above him. We urge that he is 
Jehovah, which implies necessary existence; therefore, again, he 
is the eternal God, who has no God above him. We plead 
further, that he is properly Creator, since the "heavens are 
" the works of his hands, &c." therefore again he is the eternal 
God, who has no God above him. We further urge, that he is 
" over all, God blessed for ever," Rom. ix. 5. And TravTOKpdrcap, 
Almighty, or God over all, who " is, and was, and is to come," 
Rev. i. 8.7 which expressing necessary existence, and supreme 
dominion too, proves further that he is the eternal God, &c. The 
same thing we prove from several titles, and attributes, and 
honours, being all so many marks and characters of the one true 
and eternal God. These proofs of the Son's divinity are at the 
same time applicable to the Father, and so are proofs of the 
eternal divinity both of Father and Son. Now to come to our 
Arianizing gentlemen : they have found out ways and means, 
artifices, colours, quibbles, distinctions, to elude and frustrate 
them all. God is a word of office only z , not substance : Jehovah 
means only one faithful to his promises a : TravroKpaTvp, God over 
all, and the like, may bear a subordinate sense b . Every title or 
attribute assigned may admit of a limited construction. Well 
then : what remains to prove the eternal Godhead of the Person 
of the Father against any Marcionite, or other heretics that 
should assert another God superior to him ? Here is the pinch of 
the present argument. This gentleman in answer asks, " Does 
" he by whom God created all things claim as much to be the 
" first cause of all things, as he that created all things by him ? 
" Does he who came not to do his own will, but the will of him 
" that sent him, claim as much to have no superior, as he whose 
" will he was sent to fulfil?" And he has more to the same pur 
pose. To which I answer, that when all the proofs before men 
tioned of the Son's having no God above him are set aside, I 
allow that there would remain but very weak and slender pre 
sumptions of the Son's being equal to the Father, or of his 

y See my First Defence, vol. i. p. z Clarke's Reply, p. no, 200, 301. 

S37 538- Sermons, vol. ii. p. 141, Scripture Doctrine, p. 296. ed. ist. 
&c. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. a Collection of Queries, p. 19. 
5 6 2, &c. > Reply, p. 159. 


having no God above him. But suppose (for argument sake) 
the Son thus proved to be inferior to the Father, when the texts 
before mentioned are all set aside ; next shew, that the eternal 
God, known bv the light of reason, is not. or may not be, another 
God above them both. What I assert is, that the same elusions, 
at least the same kind of elusions, will serve to frustrate every 
argument that has been or can be brought. Let us try the ex 
periment upon those which this gentleman (after the last strain 
ing and racking of invention) has been able to produce. He 
builds his main hopes and confidence upon i Cor. viii. 6. " To 
" us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things." To 
which a Marcionite may make answer, that to us may not sig 
nify to the whole compass of beings; neither is there any necessity 
of interpreting all things in an unlimited sense, when it may very 
well bear a limited one. And supposing of whom are all things 
(that is, some things) to be meant of creating; yet since the work 
of creating is allowed not to prove the essential divinity of the 
Creator, here is nothing done still. The words one God prove 
nothing : for God being a word of office, it means little more 
than one King, or one Ruler. And so the whole amounts to this 
only, that to us of this earth, this system, there is one Ruler, who 
made all things in it. How does this prove that our Ruler is 
the eternal and necessarily existing God ? The like may be said of 
Eph. iv. 6. One Ruler over this system, supreme King over all 
the earth, above all, and through all, and in all that belong to it. 
The last thing the gentleman has to offer is, that this Ruler 
claims to have no other God above him. This is not without its 
weight and force, though it has not a tenth part of the force of 
those arguments I have above mentioned, and which this gentle 
man knows how to elude. By a little straining, (as this writer 
knows how to strain much upon occasion,) this may be interpreted 
in a subordinate and limited sense, to signify supreme in these his 
dominions, having no rulers here to control or command him, or, 
no God of this kind, (that is, God by office only,) which does not 
exclude any God of another kind, the supreme God of the uni 
verse : for it would be improper to say, that the supreme God has 
an office c . It is not therefore proved, that there may not be, 
above him, another God; who is really and truly, and in the 
metaphysical sense, the eternal and necessarily existing God. This 

e See Reply, p. 220. 


gentleman adds, speaking still of the Father, that he is sent by 
none, receives power'and authority from none, acts by no one's 
commission, fulfils no one's will. It is true, it is not said that he 
is sent by any, or receives power from any one : and this may 
afford a probable presumption in favour of his being absolutely 
without any superior, and be as good a proof of it, as a mere 
negative proof can be. But as this is not said, so neither is the 
contrary ; or if it were, it might bear a limited construction, so 
that the demonstration at length appears lame and defective. 

I should have been very sorry to engage in an argument of 
this kind, but to convince some persons of the great imprudence, 
as well as impiety, of throwing aside so many clear, solid, and 
substantial proofs, which the holy Scripture affords, of the eternal 
divinity of God the Father, and resting it at last upon so weak 
and so precarious a bottom ; at the same time introducing such 
a icanton way of eluding and frustrating the plainest texts, that 
it looks more like burlesquing Scripture, than commenting upon 
it. I heartily beseech all well-disposed persons to beware of 
that pride of pretended reason, and that levity of spirit, which 
daily paves the way for infidelity, and a contempt of all religion ; 
which has spread visibly, and been productive of very ill effects, 
ever since this new sect has risen up amongst us. 

XVII. " The Doctor cannot possibly express his (notion) in 
" any words of Scripture : and, when called upon to do it, he 
" has only this jesting answer to make, Do you imagine that I 
" cannot as easily, or more easily, find Scripture words for mine? 
" But this is trifling^. And again : You blame me for not ex- 
"pressing my faith in any Scripture position : as if every thing I 
" assert as matter of faith were not as much Scripture position, ac- 
" cording to my way of understanding Scripture, as yours is to you e , 

" &c. Undoubtedly it is just as much so ; that is, not at all. 

" For neither one man's nor another man's interpretation, or 
" way of understanding Scripture, is at all a Scripture position : 
" but the texts themselves only are Scripture positions, with which 
" no man's interpretation can without the greatest presump- 
" tuousness be equalled." Observations, p. 1 13. 

The civility and the sense of this worthy passage are both of 

d Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 706. ' the Doctor's propositions, to see how 

where I add, " Why have you not " far they exceed, or come short ?" 

" laid down your doctrine in Scripture e Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 694. 
" words, that I might compare it with 



a piece. Why is my answer called a jesting answer? I never 
was more serious, nor ever said a thing with better reason, than 
when I called that pretence trifling. If nothing will satisfy but 
exposing his weak reasoning at full length, it must be done. 

1. In the first place, what has he gained by giving us the 
whole of his notion (as he calls it) in the very words of Scripture 2 
The words are, " one Spirit ; one Lord ; one God and Father 
" of all, who is above all." Had Dr. Clarke done no more than 
cited these words, could any man have ever known the whole of 
his notion, or ever suspected him to be an Arian ? His propo 
sitions and replies are the things that contain the whole of his 
notion, and not these words, which do not contain it. 

2. Again, let but a Socinian understand these words as he 
pleases, and they may as well contain the whole of his notion. 
A Sabellian will tell you the same. I shall not despair, reserving 
to myself my own construction, of maintaining my claim also, 
and making the same words contain the whole of my notion. 
Well then, here will be four different or contrary positions, and 
all of them Scripture positions, to their respective patrons and 
abettors. What must we do now ? Oh, says the Arian, but mine 
is the Scripture position, (for it is in the very words of Scripture,) 
yours is interpretation. Ridiculous, says the Socinian; are not 
my words the very same with yours, and as good Scripture as 
yours ? I tell you, yours is interpretation, and mine only is the 
Scripture position. Hold, I beseech you, gentlemen, says a 
Sabellian, or any Athanasian, why do you exclude me ? I tell 
you, the words contain my notion to a tittle, and they are Scrip 
ture words ; mine therefore is the Scripture position. 

Now if this writer can end the dispute any other way than by 
shewing whose is the best interpretation of the four, and by ad 
mitting that best interpretation for the only Scripture position ; he 
shall have the reputation of a shrewd man, and the honour of 
being the author of that sage maxim, that texts themselves only 
are Scripture positions. 

3. I cannot help observing further, what a fine handle he has 
here given for such as adhere to the letter, in any instance, against 
the sense of Scripture. For the letter, in such a case, upon this 
gentleman's principles, must pass for the Scripture position : and 
the other being interpretation only, or drawn out by reason and 
argument, must not be equalled with it, under pain and peril of 
presumjHiiousness. The Quakers must thank him highly. " Swear 


" not at all," say they : Can there be ever a plainer Scripture 
position ? Can the opposite party bring any text like it I Can 
they express their notion in Scripture words like these ? No : their 
notion can be reckoned only as interpretation, and must never 
be set against a plain Scripture position. 

An Anthropomorphite will insult over his adversary on the 
same foot. He will produce many and plain texts, where God 
is represented with eyes, ears, face, heart, hands, or feet. There 
are no texts so plain on the other side. The plainest is where 
it is said, God is irvevpa, which yet is capable of divers construc 
tions, and every one is only interpretation, never to be equalled 
with Scripture position. 

The Apollinarians, or other heretics, will insult. " The Word 
" was made flesh :" was made, not took upon him ; and flesh, not 
man. They will challenge their adversaries to produce any text 
so plain on their side, and will value themselves, no doubt, upon 
the Scripture position , to which the interpretation, however just 
or necessary, must not be equalled. 

To mention one more, the very Papists will assume upon it, 
and even in favour of transubstantiation. " This is my body," 
is a Scripture position : and, " Except ye eat the flesh of the 
*' Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you." 
Let any Protestant produce a text, if possible, as full and 
expressive of his notion, as these are of the other ; or else let him 
confess that his is interpretation only, which is by no means to be 
equalled with Scripture position. 

This gentleman is pleased to say, that transubstantiation has 
some colour in the " bare words of Scripture, though," as he 
adds, " none in the sense." But what is the sense till it be 
drawn out by interpretation ? The words, according to him, are 
the Scripture position ; to which no interpretation must be 

To conclude this head ; if this writer will understand by 
Scripture position, the sense and meaning of Scripture rightly 
interpreted, I shall readily prove to him that my main positions, 
in regard to the ever blessed Trinity, are all Scripture positions. 
But if he means any thing else, let him first answer the Quakers, 
the Anthropomorphites, the Apollinarians, and Papists, as to 
the texts alleged ; and then we shall take care to answer him 
about Ephes. iv. 6. or any other text he shall please to produce. 

He talks much of my putting my " own explications of a doc- 

E 2 


" trine, in the place of the doctrine to be explained ;" and 
spends a whole observation upon it. He certainly aims at some 
thing in it ; though I profess I cannnot well understand what : 
nor do I think that he himself distinctly knows what it is that 
he means. If he means, that I have put what I have collected 
from many texts, or from the whole tenor of Scripture, into a 
narrow compass, or into &few words, as our Church, as all Christ 
ian churches have done ; I see no harm in it. If he means, 
that I substitute my oicn doctrine in the room of the Church's 
doctrine, or of the Scripture doctrine, I deny the charge, and 
leave him to prove it at leisure. If he means that I take upon 
me to call the received doctrine the doctrine of the Trinity, in 
opposition to his doctrine, which is not properly the doctrine of 
a Trinity { , nor true doctrine, but heresy ; I own the fact, and 
have said enough to justify it. And this gentleman will be 
hard put to it, to make good his pretended parallel between 
teaching this doctrine, and asserting transubstantiation ; which 
is a calumny that he has twice repeated, p. 95, 112, and which 
he has borrowed from the Papists, though abundantly confuted 
long ago by learned and judicious hands g. 

XIX. This gentleman represents me (p. 63, 64, and 120.) 
as changing the word dyeWr/ros into dyeVrjTos, in innumerable 
passages of ancient authors, without any pretence of manuscripts ; 
nay, without any pretence of authority for so doing. This is 
great misrepresentation: and he is herein guilty at least of 
fraudulently concealing what I do pretend, and what authority I 
had for it. Let but my Second Defence be consulted 11 , and it 
will there be seen, that I had good reason, and sufficient authority, 
even for correcting the manuscripts in relation to that word ; 
shewing by an historical deduction, and critical reasons, what the 
reading ought to be, and what it anciently was : which is of 
much greater weight than the readings of manuscripts (sup 
posing them to agree, which yet is doubtful) in an instance of 
this kind, where the copyists might so easily mistake, the differ 
ence being no more than that of a single or double letter. I 
laid down rules whereby to judge of the readings in this case. 
If this gentleman can either confute them, or give better, I shall 
stand corrected. In the mean while, he has been acting an 

f See my Second Defence, vol. ii. relating to the Popish Controversy, 
p. 680,. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 572, 

* See the Collection of Pamphlets &c. 


ungenerous and unrighteous part, in the representation here given, 
and ought to make satisfaction to his readers for it. 


Concerning the Author's Flouts, Abuses, declamatory Exclamations, 
Repartees, fyc. in lieu of Answers. 

WE shall meet with many instances of this kind in the 
course of his work : I shall point out some of them in order 
as they occur. 

I. Page 9th, and loth, to the solutions I had given of his 
great objection, wherein he pleads for a natural superiority of 
dominion over God the Son, and to what I had urged about the 
Father and Son mutually glorifying each other*; he is pleased 
only to say, " If any man who, to say no more, reads seriously 
" this chapter, (John xvii,) can believe this to be the doctrine of 
" Christ, I think it can be to no purpose to endeavour to con- 
" vince him of any thing." 

He introduces these words, indeed, with some pretence to 
reasoning ,- though it is really made up of nothing else but his 
own shufflings and mistakes. I have never said that the Father 
might not have disdained to have been incarnate. He might, he 
could not but disdain to be so ; because it was not proper nor 
congruous for the Father, or first Person, to condescend to it. 
And admitting that it was possible for him to have been incar 
nate ; it does not follow that the Father could become a Son, 
or the Son Father ; their relation to each other being natural, 
and unalterable. 

II. Page the 13th, he is pleased to cite, imperfectly, my 
words wherein I answer and obviate k his pretences from i Cor. 
viii. 6. by reasons drawn from the context, and very plain ones. 
He tells us, instead of replying, that " the Doctor endeavours to 
" cover the reader with a thick dust of words, that have no sig- 
" nification ;" and that it could scarce " have been believed, that 
" such a twist of unintelligible words should have dropped from 

1 Expostulatio clarificationis dan- cari se Filius a Patre oret, et clarifi" 

dae, vicissimque reddendae, nee Patri cationem Pater non dedignetur a Filio- 

quidquam adimit, nee infirmat Fili- Hilar. p. 814. 
um ; sed eandem divinitatis ostendit k Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 701 . 
jn utroque virtutem ; cum et clarifi- 


" the pen of a serious writer." I am sorry for his slowness of 
apprehension : but I am persuaded rather, that he understood 
the twist of words too well to attempt any answer. 

III. To the objection about the Son's receiving dominion, I 
had shewn 1 , how both Father and Son may receive dominion, and 
increase of dominion ; intimating that dominion is an external 
relation which may accrue to any of the divine Persons, and is 
no argument against their equal perfection. This gentleman 
turns it off by misrepresentation, (p. 16,) to this purpose; " As 
" if the Father's receiving the kingdom, &c. was as much an 
" argument of the Son's supremacy over the Father, as the 
" Son's receiving," &c. and concludes : " Was ever any thing so 
" ludicrous upon so important a subject T' Which is first making 
a ridiculous blunder of his own, and then, to shew still greater 
indecency and levity, beginning the laugh himself. I did not 
plead for any supremacy of the Son over the Father ; but was 
shewing, that economical conveyance of dominion on one hand, or 
economical reception of dominion on the other, is no bar to 
equality of nature. 

IV. To a reply made by me m , about the sense of exalting, 
(Phil. ii. 9,) which sense I vindicated at large, and then asked, 
where now is there any appearance of absurdity ? to this the 
author here returns me a flout, though in the words of an Apo 
stle : " If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant." This, he 
thinks, is the only proper answer, p. 19. The next time he is 
disposed to jest, or shew his wit, he should be advised to choose 
some other than Scripture words to do it in. I shall endeavour 
however, that he may not be ignorant hereafter, by taking care 
to inform him, that when I interpret exalting in such a sense as 
men exalt God, in opposition to another sense of exalting to an 
higher place or dignity, I could not be supposed to mean, that 
the Father is inferior to Christ, as men are inferior to God : it 
must be great maliciousness to insinuate that I had any such 
meaning. But as inferiors may exalt superiors in the sense of 
extolling, or praising ; so undoubtedly may equals exalt equals 
in the same sense of extolling, or praising ; and thus God the 
Father exalted his coequal Son. 

V. Upon a remark of mine 11 , or rather not mine, in relation 
to the construction of two Greek words, (eis bofav ,) this gentle- 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 445, n Ibid. p. 668. 
44 6 - m Ibid. p. 549. Phil. ii. n. 


man, full of himself, breaks out into " wonder, that some men 
" of great abilities and great learning can never be made to 
" understand grammarP." These men that our writer so insults 
over, as not understanding grammar, are, we should know, such 
men as Beza, Grotius, Schmidius, and the top critics ; who una 
nimously assert that ds is often put for er, and some admit it 
even in this very text. This gentleman is pleased to deny that 
one is ever put for the other. I might very justly decline entering 
into that dispute, because, as it happens, our learned gramma 
rian confirms the construction he finds fault with in this text, 
by the very instance brought to confute it ; which, if it does not 
shew want of grammar, shews want of thought. 

His words are : " If I mean to affirm that a man is in the 
" field, I can with equal propriety of speech say either that he is 
" v dyp<5, or ds aypov, because the sense, in this case, happens 
" to be the same whether I say that he is in the field, or that 
" he is gone, or carried, into the field." Admitting this to be so, 
then I hope ets bogav may as well signify in the glory, because 
the sense, in this case, is the same, whether Christ be said to be 
in the glory, or gone into the glory; that glory which he had 
" before the world was," and into which he reentered after his 
passion and ascension, which is called " entering into his glory," 
Luke xxiv. 26. This is sufficient for me, in regard to the text 
I am concerned with. 

As to this author's new rule of grammar, (which happens to do 
him no service,) I may leave it to the mercy of the critics ; who 
perhaps may take it for a vain conceit in matter of criticism, as he 
has discovered many, both in divinity and philosophy : the same 
turn of mind will be apt to shew itself in like instances in all. 
I know not whether this gentleman will be able, upon the foot 
of his new rule, to give a tolerable account of the use of the pre 
position ds in such examples as here follow : ds TOV KoKvov, John 

1. 18, ds ov tvboKrja-fv, Matt. xii. 18. ds abov, (suppl. oi/cov,) Acts 
ii. 31, ds biarayas dyyeAcor, Acts vii. 53, ds TO yrjpas, Gen. xxi. 

2. He must suppose, at least, something understood (as in his 
other instance, gone into, or carried into,) beyond what is ex 
pressed, to make the preposition ds stand with equal propriety: 
and so he must solve by an ellipsis what others solve by a change 
of prepositions. Which at last is changing one phrase for another 

P Observations, p. 20. 


phrase, or using one form of speech instead of another which 
would be clearer and more expressive. To me it seems, that the 
easier and better account is that which our ablest critics hitherto 
have given ; that one preposition or particle may be, and often 
is, put for another : which may be owing to several accidental 
causes among the different idioms of various languages borrowing 
one from another. To instance in quia, or quoniam, for quod, 
by a Grecism: for since it happens that on may sometimes sig 
nify this and sometimes that, these two renderings by degrees 
come to be used one for the other. The like might be observed 
in many other cases of the same kind : but I am not willing to 
weary the reader with grammatical niceties, of small importance 
to the point in hand. 

VI. To an assertion of mine, namely, that there was no im 
possibility, in the nature of the thing itself, that the Father 
should be incarnate, (an assertion which all that have professed 
a coequal Trinity have ever held, and still hold,) only it is not so 
suitable or congruous to thejirst Person to have been so : to this 
the gentleman replies, " Do not the reader's ears tingle f 1 And 
he goes on declaiming for a whole page of repetition. This is the 
gentleman, who in his preface enters a caveat against making 
" applications to the passions of the ignorant ;" as if he meant 
to engross the privilege entirely to himself. 

VII. In the next page, (p. 29,) he seemed disposed to give 
some answer to an observation of mine, that by voluntary economy 
the exercise of powers common to many may devolve upon one 
chiefly, and run in his nameq. After some fruitless labouring, 
as we may imagine, to make some reply, out comes a scrap of 
Latin, from an old comedy, Quid est, si hcec contumelia non est ? 
which, if the reader pleases, he is to take for an answer. 

VIII. From page 39th to 47th, this writer goes on declaim 
ing about the supposed absurdity of the Father's appearing ac 
cording to the ancients. 

Bishop Bull r , and after him, I have particularly, fully, and 
distinctly considered that whole matter, and have answered every 
thing that has been or can be brought in the way of reason or 
argument, against the divinity of God the Son from that topic 8 . 
Yet this writer, applying only to the passions of the ignorant, and 

i Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 686. 8 Answer to Dr. Whitby, vol. ii. p. 

r Bull. D. F. sect. iv. c. 3. Breves 252. Second Def. vol. ii. p. 479 
Animadv. in Gilb. Cler. p. 1044, &c. to 485. 


roving in generals, displays his talent for eight or nine pages 
together. And among other Fathers, he is weak enough to 
bring St. Austin in, as voucher for the absurdity of the Father's 
being sent, appearing, &c. For verily, if St. Austin, who un 
doubtedly believed there was no natural impossibility *, but only 
great incongruity in the thing, could yet use such a strong ex 
pression of it as absurdissime u , what consequence can be drawn 
from the expressions of other Fathers, which scarce any of them 
come up to this ? But St. Austin was professedly for the Father's 
appearing, and objects only against his being sent; which this 
writer seems not to know. I have remarked upon him before 
in relation to Tertullian in this very matter, nor need I add 
more x . 

IX. There is a sentence in my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 507, 
(repeated, in sense, p. 512, 513,) which has happened to fall under 
the displeasure of this gentleman. My words are : 

" What has supremacy of office to do with the notion of su- 
" preme God ? God is a word expressing nature and substance : 
"he is supreme God, or God supreme, that has no God of a 
" superior nature above him. Such is Christ, even while he 
" submits and condescends to act ministerially." To the former 
part of this passage we have the following smart repartee : 
" What has supremacy of office, or authority and dominion to 
" do with the notion of supreme man. Is not man (in the same 
" way of reasoning) a word expressing nature and substance ? 
" Quam ridicule!" p. 50. Now, for my part, I never heard of 
supreme man. Man is the word upon which the argument turns ; 
for which reason I have thrown out supreme King, or Governor, 
as not pertinent. And as no supremacy of office can make one 
man more truly or more properly man, or man in a higher sense 
of the word man; so it seemeth to me that no supremacy of 
office can make God the Father more truly God, or God in a 

* Solus Pater non legitur missus, enim habet de quo sit, aut ex quo 

quoniam solus non habet auctorem a procedat si voluisset Deus Pater 

quo genitus sit, vel a quo procedat. per subjectam creaturam visibiliter 

Et ideo non propter naturae diversita- apparere, absurdissime tamen aut a 

tern, quae in Trinitate nulla est, sed Filio quern genuit, aut a Spiritu 

propter ipsam auctoritatem, solus Pater Sancto qui de illo procedit, missus 

non dicitur missus. Non enim splen- diceretur. August, de Trin. lib. iv. 

dor, aut fervor ignem, sed ignis mittit c. 28, 32. 

sive splendorem, sive fervorem. Au- x See my Answer to Dr. Whitby, 

gust, contr. Serm. Arian. c. 4. vol. ii. p. 252. Second Defence, vol. ii. 

n Pater non dicitur missus ; non p. 480, &c. 


/tia/icr sense than is God the Son. There was no great reason 
for the gentleman's bursting out into merriment upon it, with 
his quam ridicule : but perhaps his infirmity, as usual, overcame 

X. To a well known plea on our side, that God could not be 
God merely in the sense of dominion, having been God from 
everlasting, and before dominion commenced, the Observator 
thus speaks : " But is it in reality no character of dominion, 
" no relative character, to have in himself an essential power 
" from eternity to eternity, of producing what subjects he thinks 
" fit, and of destroying what subjects he thinks fit, and of pro- 
" ducing new subjects of his government at pleasure ? Was ever 
" such trifling in serious matters?" Truly, I think not, if the 
last part be intended for an answer to the first ; as any stranger 
might judge, who knows not that both come from the same 
hand. This gentleman is so taken up with grammar, it seems, 
that he has forgotten the first elements of logic; which will 
teach him that relate and correlate always rise and fall together. 
Where can the relative character be, while as yet there is sup 
posed to exist but one term of relation ? It is true, God can 
make to himself new relations by making new creatures when he 
pleases : but when he had as yet, for an eternity backwards, no 
relation to any creature at all, none being created, I humbly 
conceive he was under no such relative character, nor had any 
dominion; consequently could not be God in the sense of do 
minion y. This writer therefore might have spared his ridicule 
for a more proper occasion, had the gaiety of his heart permitted 
him to think seriously of the matter. As to what he has further 
upon the same question, it is no more than repetition of what I 
fully answered long ago z . And the main of the question was 
before given up in the Reply a : as I observed also in my Second 
Defence b . 

XI. When this writer comes to the head of worship, (Ob- 
servat. viii.) he repeats some stale pleas used by the party, and 
which have all been particularly considered and confuted in my 
Defences, vol. i. and ii. As to reinforcing the pleas with any 
new matter, or taking off the force of the answers given, he is 

y See my Second Defence, vol. ii. a Reply, p. 119. 

p. 5 1 ?- b Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 510, 

z First Defence, vol. i. p. 302, &c. 539, 566. 
Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 517, 518. 


not solicitous about it. But here a scoff and there a flout he 
flings at his adversary. P. 78, he cites a sentence of mine c in 
a scoffing manner, calling it an excellent commentary upon two 
texts, (i John ii. i. Hebr. vii. 25.) which texts, he conceives, 
teach us to " pray to Christ, to pray in heaven for us :" in the 
mean while taking no notice of what I had said to obviate so 
low and mean a notion of God the Son, and to cut off the pre 
tence of creature-icorship. Having gone on with repetition as far 
as he thought proper, he next vouchsafes to take notice that I 
had made some replies : and one of them he confutes, by saying, 
that there will be found in it a singular dexterity, p. 8 1 . An 
other, by saying, "If any serious reader finds any instruction or 
" improvement in it, it is well," p. 84. A third, by a scrap of 
Latin, from the Comedian, Quid cum isto homine facias ? The 
English of which seems to be, that he has thought every way to 
come at some solution, is disappointed in all, and knows not what 
to do more; except it be to flout and scoff, that whatever reputa 
tion he and his friends had once gained, by beginning like serious 
men, (in which way I was ready to go on with them,) they may 
at length throw up, by ending like 

XII. Page the 86th, this writer comes to speak of individuality 
and sameness/ in which I had been beforehand with him, answer 
ing all his pretences on that head d . Instead of replying, he goes 
on in his way. " Individuality and sameness," says he, " are 
" words, it seems, which signify nobody knows what : " because, 
forsooth, I had exposed his weak pretences to shew what makes it, 
or what its principle it. He refers me to his Reply 6 , to convince 
me of the absurdity of my way of talking. I had seen, I had consi 
dered his Reply long ago, and exposed the weakness of it f : what 
pity is it that he is forced to leave it at last helpless, and entirely 
destitute of any reinforcement. 

XIII. He is further angry with me for calling upon him to 
explain his terms s, particularly supreme and independent. As to 
the first of them, he says, (p. 87,) it is " a term which no man, he 
" believes, before Dr. Waterland, misunderstood." Whether I 
misunderstood it or no, may be a question. I think the English 
of it is highest : and as high or low may have respect to variety 
of things, to place, to dignity, to dominion, to office, to order, to 

c Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 655. f Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 619. 

d Ibid. p. 618, &c. 556, 707, 708. s Ibid. p. 674. 

e Reply, p. 307, 308. 


nature, &c., it was but just in Dr.Waterland to call for an expla 
nation, that so the word supreme might be admitted or rejected 
under proper distinctions. 

Independent is likewise a word variously understood according 
to variety of respects. God the Son, for instance, is dependent 
on the Father, as being of him, and from him, and referred up 
to him : but he is not dependent on the Father's will, or pleasure, 
being necessarily existing as well as the Father. Every Person 
of the Trinity is independent of any thing ad extra ; but none of 
them are entirely independent of each other, having a necessary 
relation to one another, that they must and cannot but exist 
together, never were, never could be separate, or asunder. This is 
sufficient to justify my calling for an explanation of independent. 
Which this gentleman would not have been offended at, but that 
it touches him in a tender part : it is breaking through his 
coverts, letting the world in upon him, when he has a mind to be 
retired, and to lie concealed under equivocal and ambiguous 

The term authority was another equivocal word, which I was 
willing to distinguish upon h . This writer being extremely desirous 
of finding a governor for God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, 
says ; " As if any man, since the world began, ever did or ever 
" could mean, by those terms, not power and dominion." It were 
easy to quote a multitude of writers, ancient and modern, that 
use the word authority, without reference to dominion; and who 
when they ascribe it to the Father, as his peculiar, never mean 
to express any the least dominion over the* other two Persons by 
it. I content myself here with two only, both quoted in my 
Second Defence ', namely, St. Austin and Bishop Pearson. It 
would be endless to instruct this gentleman in all the useful 
things which he wants to know. He does not know, that as 
early as the days of St. Austin, the very distinction which I in 
sist upon, as to the equivocal sense of authority in this case, was 
taken notice of, and pleaded against one of his Arian predeces 
sors, Maximin k : so little is he acquainted with what men of letters 
have been doing since the world began. 

Upon this occasion he drops a maxim, as he takes it to be, 

h Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 417, 13. lib. ii. c. 2. sect. 9. and in Bull. 

5 1 ?- D. F. sect. iv. c. i. p. 254. 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 516, k Augustin. cont. Maxim, lib. iii. 

630. See other testimonies in Peta- c. 5, 14. 
vius, de Trin. lib. v. c. 5. sect, n, 12, 


that " nothing can be the same in kind and in number too."" 
The Author of the Remarks is full of the same thing 1 . I have 
already hinted, how contradictory this pretended maxim is to 
Dr. Clarke's known and avowed principles in another cause. To 
answer now more directly, and to cut off their main argument 
at once ; I observe, that though in finite things, especially things 
corporeal, those that are one substance in kind are more than 
one substance in number ; yet the reason is not, because they 
are one in kind, but because they are really separate, or separable 
from each other: and so it happens, that while they are one 
substance in kind, they are not one in number. But where the 
substance is neither separate nor separable, (as in the divine 
Persons,) there unity of kind and number are consistent, and meet 
in one : and thus the unity is both specific and individual, without 
any the least repugnancy, or appearance of it m . 

XIV. Page the 9^rd, we meet with several little efforts to say 
something, but with a very ill spirit, and shewing more of the 
author's spleen than his abilities. He scoffs at the advice given 
him, not to pretend to be wise in the deep things of God. He 
is positive that an infinitely active Being can, if he pleases, 
entirely cease to act ; that God's loving himself, however it may 
be the prime mover in all the divine acts, is no act at all ; and 
that God never naturally or necessarily exerts any power; for 
this wise reason, because in such a case he can have no power to 
exert : that is, because the will is the original (with this writer) 
of all exerting of power, which was the point in question. He has 
left several very material things I urged upon this head perfectly 
untouched" : but seems to be affronted that any man should 
question whatever he has been pleased to affirm, or should not 
take his dictates for demonstrations. 

XV. There is a place which I have passed over in p. 62. but 
deserves to be mentioned under this chapter. I happened to find 
fault with Dr. Clarke, for pretending to prove the existence of a 
first Cause, a priori : which has no sense without supposing a 
cause prior to the first, which is flat contradiction. This plain 
reasoning is called turning the pretended proof into ridicule , 
though, in my notion, reasoning is one thing, and ridiculing an 
other. However, the gentleman being grievously offended, re- 

1 Remarks, p. 25. n Ibid. p. 623, 624. 

m See my Second Defence, vol. ii. Ibid. p. 695. 
p. 620, 671. 


solves to revenge himself in a note. Repeating some words of 
mine, out of the place 1 have referred to in my Second Defence, 
vol. ii. he enters a remark : " These words shew that Dr. 
" Waterland does not understand what the meaning of a proof 
" a priori is." I should be glad to receive information on this 
head from our great dictator in science : and if he understands 
the thing so well, the reader might have expected some expli 
cation of it at his hands, that it might be seen where Dr. Water- 
land's mistake lay. Till this be done, I will presume to think, 
that what I said was perfectly right ; and that neither Dr. 
Clarke nor his friends can return any reply, more than abuses to 
it. Dr. Cudworth was one that had travelled in the argument 
as far as any man, and had as good an inclination to prove the 
existence a priori, as Dr. Clarke could have. But he was a wise 
man, and saw clearly how that matter stood. Let us hear what 
he says, after many years' thought and meditation. Speaking 
of what he had done in his last chapter, he has these words : 
" We therein also demonstrate the absolute impossibility of all 
" atheism, and the actual existence of a God : we say demon- 
" strate ; not a priori, which is impossible, and contradictious, but 
" by necessary inference from principles altogether undeniable P." 
I do not want Dr. Cudworth's or any man's authority for a 
maxim of common sense, and as plain as that two and two are 
four: but the plainer it is, so much the greater wonder that 
men of parts and abilities could not see it, or are yet ignorant 
of it. 

The most knowing men hitherto have been contented with the 
proofs a posteriori, as being sufficient, and the only ones that are 
so. And they have rightly judged, that to pretend more is 
betraying great ignorance of things, and is exposing the clearest 
and best cause in the world to the insults of atheism and infidelity. 
These gentlemen endeavour to blind this matter by substituting 
ground and reason in the room of cause. Let them say plainly 
what they mean by this cause, ground, or reason, or whatever 
else they please to call it. They will at length find the words 
either to have no sense, or to contain that absurd sense of a cause 
prior to the first. Is this ground, reason, &c. the substance 
itself? The consequence then is, that the substance is the cause 
or ground of itself. Is it any attribute or attributes of that sub- 

P Cudworth's Intellect. Syst. Preface. 


stance ? The consequence then is, that attributes are the cause 
or ground of the subject or substance. Let them turn it which 
way they will, the absurdity still recurs, till they please to allow, 
(what is both sense and truth,) that the first Cause is absolutely 
uncaused ; and that it is nonsense to talk of any ground or cause 
of that substance which is itself the ground and cause of all things. 
But it is pleaded (p. 63.) that if God may " exist absolutely 
" without any ground or reason" (that is, cause) " of existence, 
" it would follow that he might likewise as well without any 
" cause or reason cease to exist." Which is as much as to say, 
that unless there be a cause prior to theirs/, which exists neces 
sarily, it will follow that the first Cause does not exist necessarily, 
but may cease to be. What is this, but making the notion of a 
first Cause repugnant, and contradictory to itself; or in short, 
denying any such thing as a first Cause? I think it sufficient to 
say, that it is the property of the fast Cause to exist necessarily : 
he must, and cannot but exist from eternity to eternity. If 
existence be considered as an attribute of that first Cause, the sole 
ground, reason, or subject of it is the substance itself so existing ; 
which is therefore the support of that and of every other attribute. 
All pretended grounds, reasons, causes, &c. in this case, can re 
solve into nothing but the actual existence of suck a Being. 
Prove first a posteriori, that it is fact that he does exist ; and the 
necessary manner of his existing is proved at the same time. It 
is nonsense to run up higher for an antecedent ground, reason, or 
cause, after we are come to the top, and can go no higher; 
unless this writer is disposed to go on ad infinitum, and never to 
come at a, first Cause at all. But he has been so used, it seems, 
to talk in this way upon other subjects, that he thinks it strange 
he may not do it here too ; and that he may not talk of an ante 
cedent reason for what has not any thing antecedent, as well as for 
what has. Such is his great proficiency in metaphysics. 

I should have been willing to have passed over the Doctor's 
misconduct in this argument, had it not accidentally fallen in 
with our present subject. The cause of Theism, and his good in 
tentions, and, I believe, very honest endeavours in it. might have 
been his protection. But since this matter has at length been 
brought in, and admits of no just defence ; it is good to acquaint 
this gentleman, that it will not be carried through, either by 
confident dictating, or by throwing out abuses. But I proceed. 

XVI. Page the 9151, this gentleman, speaking of me, says as 


follows : " Having been told, that whenever the Deity, or divine 
" nature, [TO 0eioi>,] is spoken of as an object of adoration, it is 
" not by way of accuracy, (as the Doctor had absurdly pretended,) 
" but on the contrary by a mere figurative way of speaking, put 
" for God himself, just as we frequently say the king's majesty, 
" not meaning the majesty of the king, but the king himself; 
" his answer is, that his affirming the contrary is sufficient against 
" our bare affirmation. If the reader thinks it so, I am willing 
" to leave it to him." 

That this writer is offended, one may perceive. I shall en 
deavour to set the matter however in a clear light. In my 
Defences I have these words : 

" God alone is to be worshipped, the Creator in opposition to 
" all creatures whatever, the TO dov, as Clemens of Alexandria 1 " 
" and Origen 5 sometimes accurately express it: which also Ter- 
" tullian* seems to intimate in the words, quod colimus, above 
" cited." 

The Author of the Reply having a fancy, that worship cannot 
be properly said to be paid to the divine, or any nature, but to 
Person only, was pleased to put in his answer" to what I had 
said, in the words he has since repeated. To a bare affirmation 
of his, and positively laid down, only to serve an hypothesis, I 
first returned a counter affirmation, (disputants, as I thought* 
being always upon a level in such cases, and never obliged to 
take each other's word for proof ]) but presently subjoined* some 
remarks and references, about the sense of TO 0eioi> in Greek 
writers, and particularly in Clemens and Origen : from which I 
had reason to conclude, that TO 0eioi> properly signifies the 
divine nature, or substance, or God considered substantially as 
res divina, and not according to personal characters, acts, or 
offices. That this was the sense of Clemens, when he speaks of 
the TO &dov, as the object of worship, might appear plainly from 
the places I referred to ; particularly from those I have again 
noted 7 in my margin. And the reason why both Clemens and 
Origen chose that expression rather than eos, was to be more 

i First Defence, vol.i. p. 420. contr. Cels. p. 189. 

r epjaKtvHv TO Qtlov. Clem. Alex. Quod colimus Deus unus est, &c. 

p. 778. Ox. ed. Tertull. Apol. cap. xvii. 

2*/3f TO eIoi>, &c. Orig. contr. Reply, p. 356. 

Celt. p. 367. x Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 667, 

\va0aivttv (TTt rrjv aytvrjrov roO 6<ov 668. 

fur*, xa'xf I'M* /ufoy tvnpav. Orig. J Clem. Alex. p. 50, 836. 


emphatical and expressive against Pagan worship offered to 
things of a frail and corruptible nature, to created beings. I 
think, it was paying great respect to this gentleman's bare 
affirmation, to trace the sense of TO Qflov so far as I did in oppo 
sition to it; as may appear by my references. And though I 
threw in a parenthesis, saving to myself the just claims of every 
disputant, he need not have been offended at it, as if it were 
intended as an affront to his superior learning or judgment, to 
set mine against it : I had no such thought in it. But however 
raised and extraordinary his abilities may be, and however 
high an opinion he conceives his readers should have of them, he 
ought nevertheless to have taken some notice of what I had 
pleaded ; if not as a critic, yet as an honest man: and I cannot 
but think it too assuming still, to expect that his bare dictates 
shall have more weight than another's reasons, 

XVII. To an observation of mine out of Tertullian, that God 
the Son is an Angel and Messenger, not by nature but by office z , 
he returns me this answer : " Can any man tell what the being 
" a messenger by nature means 3 ?" No : but he may know what 
an angel by nature means, which was the word I designed the 
distinction for, and to which alone it referred ; as my argument, 
and the quotation at the bottom, sufficiently shewed : and all the 
fault was in not throwing the word Messenger into brackets. 
The reason of bringing it in appears from what went before. 
This is low carping : but no doubt the author intended a smart 
repartee. He has such another piece of smartness in the same 
page, relating to the word servility; which he charges me with 
adding deceitfully, as synonymous to subjection**, because of the 
quite different sense of that word in the English language. What 
ever sense it be that he speaks of, as to the English, I am sure 
nobody but himself can mistake my sense of it, in the place where 
I used it, nor think the word improper. But this gentleman 
seems to be so elated upon his skill in language, that he can 
scarce allow others to understand their mother tongue. 

XVIII. He has some ingenious thoughts and smart sayings, 
p. 40, which must not be omitted. They are bestowed upon a 
passage of mine c , where I say, that the Father was not to be 
visible, so much as per assumptas species, by visible symbols, 
because he was not to minister, or be incarnate. The remark 

z Second Defence, vol.ii. p. 479. h See ray Second Def. vol. ii. 11.464. 
a Observations, p. 26. c Ibid. p. 490. 



hereupon is: " It seems from these words, that Dr. Waterland 
' does not suppose the incarnation of Christ to be at all real, 
11 but merely a phantasm, per assumptas species : this being con- 
" fessedly the only way in which there was any natural possibility 
" for the Father to be incarnate. And accordingly in his expli- 
" cation of that text, (Phil. ii. 7,) he tells us that Christ emptied 
" himself in appearance." 

I passed over this uncommon turn of his, when I met with it 
in the Reply d . I saw he was strangely lost and bewildered; 
and I was willing to give him time to recover and recollect. 
But by his repeating it here, he appears to be very fond of it : 
and this, no doubt, is one of the arguments which, (as he tell us 
in his preface,) upon the most careful review, he believes to be 
gtrictly and perfectly conclusive. I am ashamed to answer such 
impertinencies : but sometimes it must be done. His first mis 
take is, understanding per assumptas species of a phantasm : but 
this was to make way for what was to come after, and to answer 
to appearance. His second is, in pretending that this was the 
only way that it was naturally possible for the Father to be in 
carnate. For neither would this way have amounted to any in 
carnation at all, being only prceludium incarnatwnis, as it was 
anciently called : nor is a real incarnation naturally less possible 
than that was. His third is, in not distinguishing between the 
taking up visible symbols for a while to appear by, and being 
personally united to the human nature, which is incarnation. His 
fourth is so gross, (not to perceive the difference between veiling 
the glories of the Godhead, and having no real manhood,} that I 
can hardly suppose his thoughts were at home when he wrote it. 
Hut the word appearance seems to have struck his imagination at 
once, and to have made him jump immediately, without any pre 
mises, into a marvellous conclusion. 

XIX. Page the 74th, &c. he undertakes to shew, that, upon 
his hypothesis, the existence of God the Son is not precarious. 
I could scarce have believed, till I saw the Reply, that any man 
of tolerable parts or discretion would have engaged in so silly an 
argument. But there is a necessity for it, it seems : and this is 
the second time that he has resolved to shut his eyes against 
common tense* in this very article. 

We are to observe, that he denies the necessary existence of 

d Reply, p. 59, 181. See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 545. 


God the Son ; which is directly making his existence contingent, 
which is another word for precarious, and is proper to a creature. 

This gentleman endeavours, p. 75, with a dust of words, to 
obscure this plain state of the question. At last, he comes a 
little closer to the point, and begins the debate. " God, says 
" the Apostle, cannot lie : the only reason why he cannot, is 
" because he will not." [Note then, that the only reason why 
God does not or cannot reduce God the Son to nothing, is 
because he will not.~\ " Is therefore the veracity of God a thing 
" as mutable and precarious, because it entirely depends upon 
" his will, as is the existence of any creature whatever ?" But 
this gentleman should have shewn that God was as much bound 
up by his own attributes to give the Son existence, and to continue 
him in it, as he is bound never to lie, to make the case parallel : 
and upon this supposition, God could no more want his Son one 
moment from all eternity, than he could be ever one moment capa 
ble of lying : which is making the Son as necessarily existing, by 
necessary will, (which this gentleman would call no will,) as God's 
attribute of veracity is necessary and immutable. God's moral 
attributes are founded in the natural perfections, and are indeed 
no other than natural and necessary perfections of the Deity, 
which he can no more cease to have, than he can cease to be. 
And even the rectitude of his will is natural, necessary, and un 
alterable: and the reason why he never wills amiss is because he 
cannot. But not to run further into this point, which is perfectly 
remote and foreign, and brought in only for a blind; what be 
comes of the distinction between the necessary existence proper 
to the divine Being, and the precarious existence proper to crea 
tures? If God may be obliged by any of his moral attributes 
of wisdom, goodness, veracity, &c. to preserve the Son in his 
being; so may he likewise to preserve angels, or men, or any 
other creature : and is this a reason against calling their exist 
ence precarious ? If it be, then there may be creatures, many 
besides God the Son, whose existence is not precarious: and 
thus the distinction between necessary and precarious existence is 
lost. The meaning of precarious existence is, not necessary, of 
what might either never have been, or may cease to be, if God 
pleases. Let this gentleman either affirm this of God the Son, 
or deny it of any creature whatever. 

This writer, who is used to wise questions, asks me, whether 
the supreme dominion of God the Father (that which I found in 

F 2 


voluntary economy) be precarious ? Undoubtedly every voluntary 
office may cease to be, is not necessary, but depending on pleasure, 
and is therefore so far precarious. And even as to natural do 
minion, God might choose whether he would make any creatures ; 
he may choose whether he will continue any : that is, he may 
choose whether he will exercise any such dominion at all ; for all 
such dominion supposes the existence of creatures, over which only 
such dominion is. Supremacy therefore of dominion is as pre 
carious as the existence of the creature : and if that be not pre 
carious, I know not what is so. But, I think, I am over-abun 
dantly civil to this writer to debate a maxim of common sense with 
him. The sum is, that that existence which is not necessary is 
contingent ; and contingent is precarious, or depending on pleasure, 
in opposition to what is naturally immutable, and cannot, but be : 
such is the existence of God the Son with this writer : therefore 
his existence is precarious in the same sense, though perhaps not 
in the same degree, that the existence of any creature whatever is 
called precarious. Q. E. D. 

XX. Page 92nd, this gentleman tells me of "affecting to ex- 
" press a ridiculous seeming repugnancy in maintaining, that the 
" same act is certain as being foreknown, uncertain, as depending 
" on the will of a free agent f ." I should be glad to see the 
difficulty dexterously hit off by this acute writer, to make us 
some amends for his failures in other things. He does it, he 
thinks, in two words ; that what depends on the will of a/ra? 
agent may be certain, though not necessary. But to me it seems 
that the difficulty stands just where it did : for how is that cer 
tain which is not necessary, which may or may not be ; which is 
all the meaning of not necessary, and which seems to amount to 
the same with not certain, in the present case. And how is that 
fixed, or certain, which is yet floating and hanging in suspense, 
either may or may not be ? Possibly, some solution may be found 
for these and the like difficulties : but I am afraid, not by this 
gentleman, who does not appear hitherto to have gone to the 
bottom of the subject, or to have patience or coolness of temper 
requisite to go through with it. 


Concerning Quotations from the Ancients. 
THE i4th observation is spent upon this subject: and I shall 
f See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 692, 693. 


think it worth the while to bestow a chapter upon the same ; 
that as we have seen this gentleman's penetration in matters of 
argument, we may now also see his diligence and accuracy in 
matters of learning. I have had frequent occasion, in both my 
Defences, to take notice of his superficial acquaintance with the 
ancient Fathers. 

1 . Sometimes he has endeavoured to put spurious or worthless 
pieces upon us, as being of considerable value and authority. 
The Apostolical Constitutions?, Ignatius's larger epistles h , the 
Arian Councils of Sirmium', Philippopolis k , and Antioch 1 , (in 
stead of the Catholic and approved synods,) and the tenets of 
Semi-Arians for those of Epiphanius m . See the instances of 
this kind up and down in the Reply". The doing this, unless it 
be done ignorantly, is much the same honesty in the way of writ 
ing, as the putting off bad wares or damaged goods at the price 
of good ones in the way of trading. 

2. Sometimes he has expressed wonder and amazement at me, 
as if I had been teaching some new and strange thing, or some 
thing merely scholastic, when I have been only following the con 
curring judgment of the ancient Fathers . 

3. Sometimes you will find him representing a doctrine as 
unanimously taught by all the ancients, when they were all di 
rectly against it, or none clearly for it P. 

4. False history and misreports of the Fathers have been very 
ordinary and common with himq. 

5. Misrepresentations of the Fathers, as to their real sense and 
meaning, have been numberless : the greatest part of my labour 
has been all the way to lay them open and confute them. 

6. Misquotations, or deceitful translations, I have often had 
occasion to observe and corrects 

Now this gentleman being very desirous, as it seems, to make 

e Second Defence, p. 590, 591,618. 485, 503, 536. Second Defence, vol. 

h lbid - P- 59> 59 1 - " P- 6 > 601, 637, 700, 733, 734. 

1 Ibid. p. 602, 618. i See the same detected : First De- 

k Ibid. p. 604. i Ibid.JdiS. fence, vol. i. p. 328, 382, 389, 428, 497, 

m Ibid - P- 688. 507, 536, 538, 545, 547. Second De- 

" Reply to Dr. Waterland, &c. p. fence, vol. ii. p. 389, 391, 429, 439, 

17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29, 58, 61, 258, 45948 1, 489^49! 495.498, 537>54i> 

260, 274, 275, 276, 299, 404, 410. 563, 564, 618, 714, 717, 728. 

1 See my First Defence, vol. i. p. r See my First Defence, vol. i. p. 

287* 3 2 4. 496, 549. Second Defence, 350, 351, 381, 389, 523, &c. 560. 

vol. ii. p. 422, 541". Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 444, 473, 

P See these fallacies noted: First 485, 595, 597, 618, 641, 674, 737, 

Defence, vol. i. p. 295, 332.. 470, 484, &c. 755. 


reprisals upon me, undertakes to furnish out a whole section of 
/>/*. nhitions made by me in my quotations. He gives 
tin-in for a specimen only, as he says, and calls them some few ; 
being willing the reader should think he had been very tender 
and compassionate. The reader perhaps may really think so, 
when he finds what the sum total of this worthy charge of gross 
misrepresentations amounts to : nothing but an account of some 
very fair and just representations set in a bad light, misreported 
under false colours, and called by a wrong name. I hope every 
intelligent reader will apprehend the difference between making 
a charge and proving one; between a false report and a true 
one; between an unrighteous calumny and 9. just censure. I am 
willing to put the issue entirely upon the justice and merits of 
the case, upon the evidence produced here or there, to justify the 
charges respectively. Let but the reader compare my remarks 
on Dr. Clarke's quotations 3 with what this writer would lay to 
me ; and then the difference betwixt the one and the other will 
be throughly understood. Now to come to particulars: they 
are twelve in number : which were they all faults, it were easy 
to select hundreds greater out of their pieces. But I confined 
myself, in my collection, to such only as betrayed manifest par 
tiality and deceit, or great want of care and exactness. 

I. In the first place, he finds fault with my way of under 
standing a passage of Philo, and gives me his own judgment 
against it: which I have as much regard for, as he has for 
///''/". The very passage which he cites from Philo, to confute 
my construction, confirms it : as it shews that the Logos was 
betwixt the TO ycvo^cvov and 6 iraTTjp, and was therefore neither. 
And if he is not reckoned with the ra yevopfva, he is of course 

II. The second is my reading dye'vijros in two places of Justin, 
where he chooses to read ayevvrjTos. His reasons, it seems, are 
good to him, and mine to me, which is the whole matter. I vin 
dicated my reading against his exceptions in my Second Defence, 
vol. ii. p. 506, 579 : and he has nothing to add by way of rein 
forcement. A mighty business to found a charge of gross misre 
presentation upon : he must have been hard put to it, to strain 
so much for one. 

III. A third article of my gross misrepresentations begins with 
a new invention of his own ; a very forced interpretation of a 

First Defence, vol. i. p. 523, &c. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 737, &c. 


passage in Irenseus *; which interpretation was never, I believe, 
thought on by any man before himself, and rests only in strength 
of imagination. For what if the Father be called Aoyo? in that 
chapter as well as the Son, could Irenseus be there talking of 
the emission or generation of the Father ? If this gentleman will 
but please to look forwards, as far as page 157. and 158. and 
view the whole process of the argument, he will see what Irenseus 
meant by the Logos, namely, the only begotten of the Father, the 
same that Isaiah speaks of chap. liii. 8. 

This writer also tells me of citing two passages of Irenseus, as 
containing the Church's notion, when he is ridiculing the notions 
of the Valentinians : as if a man might not be ridiculing the no 
tion of the Valentinians, and at the same time discover his own. 
Had the author undertaken to vindicate this his new and extra 
ordinary construction, I should have taken care to consider it at 
large : but as he has only given a few dark and obscure hints 
of what he would have, I think it sufficient to refer the reader 
to my Second Defence", and to Irenseus himself x , and to his 
learned editor, who has particularly considered his author's 
meaning y. 

A further complaint against me is for falsely interpreting 
non alius et alius, in Irenseus 2 , of Father and Son , which is so 
trifling and groundless, that nothing can be more so. He has 
invented another imaginary construction, peculiar to himself, 
which he endeavours to help out, by supplying something in 
Irenaeus's text, which the good Father never thought on, and 
which the whole context strongly reclaims against. See my 
Second Defence , where I cite the passage, with another parallel 
place of Tertullian. In this way of charging me with gross mis 
representations, the author may be copious enough ; for invention 
is fruitful. 

As to the fourth place, all the fault is, that I follow the com 
mon reading, (cum Ferbo suo, Iren. p. 183,) though there is one 

* Qui generationera prolativi homi- u Vol. ii. p. 435, 583. 
num Verbi transferunt in Dei aeternum x Iren. p. 132, 139. ed. Mass. 
Verbum, et prolationis initium donan- y Massuet. Dissert. Praev. p. 128. 
tes et genesim, quemadmodum et suo z Non ergo alius erat qui cognosce- 
Verbo. Et in quo distabit Dei Ver- batur, et alius qui dicebat ; nemo cog- 
bum, imo magis ipse Deus, cum sit noscit Patrem, sed unus et idem, om- 
Verbum, a Verbo hominura, si can- nia subjiciente ei Patre, &c. Iren. p. 
dem habuerit ordinationem et emis- 234. Mass. Prtev. Diss. p. 131. 
sionem generationis ? Iren. p. 132. ed. a Vol. ii. p. 436. 


manuscript which leaves out cum: a manuscript scarce above 
400 years old, and of no great authority l) . The manuscript is 
the Arundel, in the library of the Royal Society: I have seen 
;.l find the reading to be as Dr.Grabe represented. But 
that the reading is " without doubt the truer reading,"" as the 
Reply pretends , against the faith of all the other manuscripts, 
about ten in number, several of them much older, and most of 
them more faithful in the whole, will not be taken for granted 
upon a bare affirmation. 

A fifth place of Irenseus by me cited d, I am willing to leave 
with the reader : who may please to consider, whether what this 
writer objects be of any force against what I said ; since I did 
not pretend that the Son did any thing contrary to, or without 
the Father's good pleasure. 

IV. This gentleman proceeds to Clemens Alexandrinus and 
charges me with misrepresenting him. I vindicated my sense of 
that passage at large before 6 , and obviated every pretence to 
the contrary : nor has this writer so much as attempted to reply 
to what I there urged ; except calling a thing monstrous be the 
same with confuting it. His repeating here his former opinion 
about Christ being representative only, (which has been so abun 
dantly answered and baffled in both my Defences f , beyond any 
just reply,) only shews to what a degree of hardiness a man may 
arrive by long opposing the truth. 

There is another place of Clemens?, as to which he insists upon 
his construction, and I also upon mine h ; though it is sufficient 
for me, if mine may be true; he should prove, on the other 
hand, that his must. He appeals to all that understand Greek. 
So do I, and to the context likewise. Bishop Bull, Le Nourry, 
and the learned editor of Clemens, (who, I believe, understood 
Greek,) had declared beforehand for my construction. Let this 
gentleman produce his better vouchers, if he has any, to support 
his pretences about tlie nature of the Greek tongue : which he may 
sometimes happen to mistake, and pretty widely too, as appears 
by his version*. His translation, as he calls it, of this very place 

' See Massuet. praef. p. 8. rovt fie rots fgaiperas 

Reply. P- 103. dnovfipas npds. ov6* ii(p' erepov K<O\V- 

' Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 447. dtirj VOT fo, 6 irdvr<av Kvptot, KOI fj.d- 

Imd. p. 400. Xtora tf-vrrrjptTaiv TO> TOV dyadov icai 

First Defence, vol. i. p. 294, &c. TravroKparopos d(\i)p.aTi ira-rpos. Clem. 

Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 505, &c. Alex. Strom, vii. cap. 2. p. 832. 

* Ofr otv (f>0ovolr) nor i"v ruriv, 6 i> Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 755. 
irdrrns piv fir "irijt KtK\T)Ku>s, faipt- 


of Clemens, is no translation, but a loose paraphrase* ; and such 
a one, that no man could ever imagine from it what the Greek 
words are. Whether I am right or no, he is most certainly 
wrong in taking the liberty he has, of foisting in words, and 
altering the turn of the expression, to help out his construction. 
But besides that, the construction itself appears to me somewhat 
forced and unnatural, as referring KOL /ia\iora to the negative 
going before, and to the first member of the sentence, rather 
than the second ; when in the preceding sentence, of like kind, 
the third part hangs upon the second. The most natural con 
struction therefore seems to be this ; Who is Lord of all, etiam 
maxime serviens^-, &c. even when most subservient, &c. that is, 
even in his lowest condescension, becoming incarnate, which 
Clemens had been speaking of. In the very next page, resuming 
the assertion of the Son's being Lord of all, he again qualifies 
it, in like manner, by referring all up to the supreme Father. 

V. We now come to Tertullian : where he taxes me with a 
misconstruction ; owning however that he had gone before me in 
the same. I must acknowledge I looked upon the construction 
of that place as doubtful, at least ; for which reason I had never 
cited it in my First Defence, or elsewhere, to prove Father and 
Son one God. But finding at length that some learned men so 
understood the place, and observing that the Reply also came 
into it, I thought I might then safely use it. If it be a mistake, 
(as probably it may,) it should not however have come under the 
head of gross misrepresentations. 

He next charges me with a great neglect, as omitting to take 
notice of what the Reply had objected to ray construction of a 
place in Tertullian, though I again quote the place. It is un 
reasonable in the man to expect particular notice of every thing 
that he has any where occasionally dropped, when he has 
slipped over many and more material things of mine : but I 
have accustomed him so much to it, that now he insists upon it. 
After all, his construction of suo jure 1 , in Tertullian 1 ", which he 
makes to be the same with sensu sibi proprio, is so extravagant, 

1 Reply, p. 511. Compare my Se- cur non et nomina? Cum ergo legis 

cond Defence, vol. ii. p. 755. Deum omnipotentem, et altissimum, et 

k As to the like construction of /id- Deum virtutum, et Regem Israelis, et 

X terra in Clemens, see p. 138, 250, 436, qui est ; vide ne per haec Filius etiam 

443,620,759,821. demonstretur ; suo jure Deus omni- 

1 Reply, p. 509. potens, qua Sermo Dei omnipotentis, 

m Omnia, inqxiit, Patris mea sint, &c. Tertull. adv. Prax. cap. 17. 


that it might be safely left with any man that knows Tertullian, 
or knows Latin. What could Tertullian say less, than that God 
the Son was God Omnipotent in his own right, when he so often 
proclaims him to be of the same substance with the Father ? It 
is not said merely suo jure omnipotens, but suo jure Deus omni- 
potens : and as the meaning of suo jure is well known to all that 
know Latin; so are Tertullian's principles well known to as 
many as know him ; and that he makes the Son God in the same 
sente as the Father is, as partaking of the same divine substance. 
Tertullian therefore could not mean, as this gentleman says, 
that the Son is God Almighty, in a sense proper to him, or upon 
a ground peculiar to himself; since Tertullian's principles plainly 
make Father and Son God in the same sense, and upon the same 
ground, as being of the same divine substance. But this he might 
mean, and this he did mean, that the Son is Almighty God 
distinctly, and in his own proper Person and right ; and not con 
sidered as the Person of the Father, which Praxeas pretended. 
This gentleman however, by endeavouring to find out some mis 
interpretations of mine, does nothing else but discover more and 
more of his own. 

He is in the same page (p. 125,) cavilling at a very innocent 
translation of an Arian passage in my book" ; where I render 
nta virtute, by his own power. He will have it, that it does not 
mean the Son's own power, but his Father's, because supposed to 
be given him : which is nothing but equivocating upon the word 
own. The meaning undoubtedly is, that the Son created all 
things by his own natural, inherent power ; though supposed to 
be given him, with his nature, by the Father. And this is all I 
meant in my version of the words: it is observable however, that 
this gentleman never yet came up so high in his doctrine as the 
ancient Arians did. They supposed Christ invested with creative 
poteen by the Father ; which is a great deal more than making 
him merely an instrument in the work of creation. 

As to Tertullian's meaning in some passages which this author 
produced to prove that souls were consubstantial with God , 
(according to that writer,) as much as the Son was supposed to 
bo by the Nicene Council ; it was so mean, and so unworthy a 
suggestion, that I thought it proper to vindicate? Tertullian, as 

" f 2 d P efence ' voL "' P- 68 <- p Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 4*0. 

v* Reply, p. 55, ,., 3a8 . p,^ Compare Pamelii Paradox. Tertullian. 
ice, p.o. n 


falsely charged in that matter. It was of some moment that 
Tertullian had utterly denied it of angels ; or even archangels, 
and of the highest order. This the objector takes no notice of. 
Tertullian denies that the soul comes up usque ad vim divinitatis, 
and explains himself inoffensively on that head ; as I observed. 
Nay, he argues through the whole chapter against Marcion's 
tenet, of the soul being sulstantia Creatoris, the substance of (or 
consubstantial with) its Creator. Yet this writer here goes on 
with the same ridiculous charge, founding it upon words that 
express nothing of it. What the words mean, I intimated at 
large in the place referred to q : and this gentleman makes no 
reply to it. Why he did not, is best known to himself. 

VI. We come next to Origen, whom, it seems, I have greatly 
injured in rendering /uere'8a>/ce yap kavrov KCU rrjs /xeyaAetorrjro?, 
hath imparted even his greatness*, instead of has imparted even of 
his greatness*. But I am sure he has injured Origen a great deal 
more by suppressing the remaining part of the sentence, which 
shews what Origen meant, viz. that the Son is commensurate with 
the Father in greatness. This was not imparting some small 
pittance of his greatness, but equal greatness, or his whole great 
ness : and this gentleman might have considered that jueTaSJSoo/u 
commonly governs a genitive case ; which is sufficient to take off 
the force of his criticism : though I must own I see but little 
difference in the two ways of speaking, nor that either of them 
may not be admitted ; provided only that the whole sense of 
Origen in that passage be taken along with it. 

As to another place of Origen, this writer desires that my 
Defence * and his Reply u may be compared ; which I desire 

The same I say as to a third place K of Origen. 

As to a, fourth place in Origen, this writer is pleased to stand 
corrected in respect of his translation of it, which I found fault 
withy. As to his further endeavours to defeat the meaning of 
that place, I am willing to trust them with the reader, after he 
has seen the passage itself, and what I have said upon it. 

i Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 472. u Reply, p. 83, 84, 85. 

Vid. Tertull. contr. Marc. lib. ii. c. 9. x Compare Reply, p. 295, and Ob- 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 419. servations, p. 63, with my Second De- 

8 Observations, p. 25, 126. fence, vol. ii. p. 587, 677. 

* Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 436, y Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 673, 

465. Reply to Dr. Whitby, vol. ii. 674. 
p. 216. 


Another passage of Origen I shall likewise trust with the 
reader, if he pleases but to look into my Second Defence 2 . 
This writer here (p. 127,) talks of my construction being "con- 
" trary to the nature of all language ;" as if the nature of lan 
guage never admitted any adjective to stand alone, the substan 
tive being sufficiently intimated from the context. But this is 
his forward way of talking : and he seems to think he has a 
right to be believed upon his word. 

VII. This article concerns NovatSan. I have fully expressed 
myself, as to this author, in many places of my Defences, which 
the reader that thinks it of importance may please to consult. I 
forbear any further dispute about the reading of a certain pas 
sage, till the learned Mr. Welchman's new edition of that author 
appears, which may probably give us some further light into it. 

VIII. The eighth article, instead of proving any misrepre 
sentation upon me, only revives the memory of a great one of 
his oion*; which discovered his small acquaintance with the 
ancients. As to this writer's exceptions to Hippolytus, I have 
sufficiently obviated them elsewhere b : and one would think that 
Tertullian's use of the word Persona, in the same sense with 
Hippolytus's TTpoVwnw, might have screened the latter from this 
author's censure in that particular. But supposing I had less 
to plead for my saying that the Sabellian singularity consisted 
in making the Godhead /zoi>o7rpoVo>7ros, and that I had expressed 
it in a phrase that came not into use till the fourth century ; can 
there be a greater mark of pedantry, than for a man to take me 
up, and cavil at the bare expression, and to charge me with an 
untruth upon it \ How would it look to charge Basil, and Chry- 
sostom, and Theodoret, as reporting a thing notoriously untrue, 
when they represent Sabellius as making the Godhead %v Trpoa-- 
a>7roy, just as I do ? Would not the man be taken for & jester, or 
a very ignorant man, in doing it, as cavilling only at a mode of 
expression ? But I proceed. 

IX. The author here censures me for rendering fj.ovap^(as by 
unity, rather than monarchy, in a passage of Pope Dionysius c . 
My reasons for so doing, I conceive, were such as these : i . That 
the same Dionysius had expressed the same thing a little higher 
by the word novdba, which signifies unity : and he seems to have 
chosen twvapxias after, only to vary the phrase. 2. Because in 

7 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 436. a Ibid p 

" Ibid. p. 463, 563. c Ibid. p. 469. 


the words immediately preceding, he is speaking of the union of 
Father and Son ; by which he solves the difficulty objected, and 
not by throwing the oneness of Godhead upon the Father alone, 
exclusive of the other Persons. 3. Because rptas, Trinity, is the 
word opposed to novap\ias in the same sentence ; Dionysius shew 
ing that there must be a Trinity, and withal an Unity (say I) pre 
served. These reasons made me prefer the word unity. When 
this author has better for the word monarchy, and in his sense' 1 , 
I shall be ready to accept it. instead of the other. 

X. Here I am charged with mistranslating a word in Eusebius, 
^pTr]fj.lvr], which I render compacted e , that is, constituted ; which, 
it seems, is wonderfully done. But the wonder may cease, if it 
be considered, i. That in the same place the equality is mentioned 
as belonging to the ternary number, here considered as a figure 
of the Trinity. 2. That the rptas is there also made the one 

n, Source of all things. 3. That the whole rpias is said to be 
, compacted, as I render it. For had the meaning been 
that two Persons were dependent on one, the epithet would not 
have been applied to the whole Trinity. 4. There is a plain 
opposition between the rptas and the T&V yevqr&v. Whether 
these reasons may convince our writer or no, I know not : if he 
pleases, he may go on wondering at very plain things, to shew 
his want of reflection. He will have it that fipT^^vr] there sig 
nifies a connection of things, one depending on or derived from 
another. He has not thought fit to give us any translation of 
the place, according to his own sense of it; but all he says in 
favour of it is only misreport of the use of the word ai>apxs, as I 
shall shew hereafter. 

The second passage f of Eusebius I leave to the reader ; this 
gentleman having no way of eluding my sense of it, but by misre 
presenting it, after his manner. 

XI. The next relates to Gregory NyssenS, where this writer 
has nothing to shew but chicane. I translate some words 
that may be seen in the place referred to, thus : " Neither let 
" us dissolve the immediate connection, by considering the will 
" in the generation." Upon which my acute censor thus 

d It is to be noted, that novapxia, OCOTTJTOS, KCU ov 8vo apxni' odev Kvpias 

in this subject, sometimes signifies, KOI povapxia fvriv. Athan. Orat. 4. 

not monarchy, but unity of headship, init. 

or principle, source, or fountain, as in e Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 475. 
Athanasius. f Ibid. p. 496. 

av KCI\ ourwr /u'a ap\r} 8 Ibid. p. 607, 608. 


remarks : as if the author meant to say, that " considering the 
' trill of the Father in the generation of the Son, would be a dis- 
" solving of the immediate connection." No, neither the author 
nor I meant to say it : the words immediately foregoing shew 
that we did not; nor does my translation imply any such thing. 
But the meaning is, that the notion of will was not to be carried 
so far as to destroy that necessary connection. 

XII. As to the passage of Cyril, and my inference, as he calls 
it, from it, (which is not my inference, but an inference which is 
mentioned as having some colour, and at the same time confuted 
by the late learned Benedictine editor, as I observed 11 ,) this 
writer might as well have let it alone, unless he had known more 
of it. Had not that learned editor given us much better argu 
ments against that inference than the Observator has, it would 
be more considerable than he imagines. The reader that desires 
to know more of this matter may consult the learned Toutee's 
Dissertation 1 , before referred to; and which this writer has 
fraudulently concealed from the reader, in order to make way 
for his charge upon me. 

My words are these : " If there is any thing to be suspected 
" of Cyril, it is rather his excluding the Father from being 
" Creator, than the Son from being efficient: but the late learned 
" Benedictine editor has sufficiently cleared up Cyril's orthodoxy 
" on that head." Now after I had so plainly declared against 
the inference, is it not very unaccountable in this gentleman to 
charge me with it, and in the manner he does ? " The Doctor's 
" inference," says he, " from the words of Cyril, is as remarkable 
" an instance of the strength of prejudice, as (I think) I ever 
" met with," p. 131. I may much more reasonably say, that 
this representation is as remarkable an instance of the strength 
of malice, as I ever met with. See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 
p. 629, 631, 687, where I take notice of the Father being repre 
sented as issuing out orders for creating, and the Son as creating: 
which is Cyril's notion also, and which affords some colour for 
the inference before mentioned ; but colour only, and not ground 
sufficient for it, as I before intimated, acquitting Cyril of it. 

I have now run through the whole charge of "very gross 
" misrepresentations," of which the foregoing instances are the 
tpecimcn, all that this gentleman could find. Nobody doubts of 

h Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 630. 

1 Dissert, iii. de Doctrin. Cyrilli, p. 139, & c . 


his inclination to have picked out the very worst that my books 
could any where afford ; and these are they. I thank him for 
them. I could not, I think, have desired a fuller testimony from 
an adversary than this is, of my fidelity in the matter of quota 
tions ; I might almost say, care and exactness beyond what I had 
expected. For though I had taken the best care I could, in re 
vising every thing of that kind, and again comparing it with the 
books themselves, as my papers went through the press, and was 
certain not to be wilfully guilty of any mistake ; yet I knew not 
what an able critic might possibly discover after me, in a work 
that had not long time to lie by, nor had passed through the 
hands of my judicious and learned friends. But perhaps our 
Observator has been negligent in examining, or is not very acute : 
and so I shall not assume upon it. 

One thing, I hope, will be observed, that though this writer 
has found no gross misrepresentations of mine, he has made several 
of his own ; which may now be added to the rest above mentioned, 
under my second chapter. And to his former misreports of the 
ancients may be added another great one which he has in p. 130. 
" It is notorious," says he, " that the word avapyos was always 
" appropriated to the Father.' 1 The contrary is notorious to all 
that know antiquity. *Avapxos is very often applied to God the 
Son, by the Post-Nicene Fathers k , of the same century with Eu- 
sebius, though some years later ; and more than once directly by 
the Ante-Nicenes also 1 : as to indirect application of it to him, in 
respect of his generation or existence, as being avapxos or avapx^s, 
nothing more common: Eusebius himself is an evidence for it n . 
But why will this positive gentleman make reports of antiquity, 
till he knows more of it \ 


A summary View of the Judgment of the Ancients upon the question, 
Whether God the Father be naturally Ruler and Governor 
over God the Son. 

SINCE the Author of the Observations has been pleased to 

k Epiphanius passim. Gregor. Na- oirep torlv TJ Xtyovcra ero0i'a, tya rj 

zianz. Orat. p. 421, 563, 630. Greg. 3 Trpoo-e^atpe. Dionys. Alex, apud 

Nyss. contr. Eunom. lib. i. p. 118. Athanas. vol. i. p. 254. 

* To TrpT/3vTpov ev ytvecrti, rrjv n- m Clem. Alex. p. 832. Alexand. 

Xpovov Koi avapxov dp\T)v re Kal dnapxrjv Alex, apud Theod. lib. i. cap. 4. p. 19. 

rcav OVTW, TOV viov. Clem. Alex. p. 829. Cyrill. Hieros. Catech. xi. cap. 13. p. 

'S.VVHTTIV avrta TO aTravyaa-fjia tivap- 155. Athanas. vol. i. p. 99, 526. 

\ov, Kai daytvfs, Trpo(paiv6(j.(voi> avrov, n Euseb. in Psalm, p. 15. 


reduce the controversy to this single question", and to boast 
highly of the ancients as holding the affirmative, charging the 
neqative as being an unheard of fiction and invention of mine, with 
repeated insults, and such a degree of groundless assurance as is 
scarce to be paralleled ; I say, since he has indulged himself in 
these peculiar strains, it may not be improper to lay before the 
reader a summary view of the ancient doctrine upon that head. 
I shall content myself with references, for the most part, to my 
own books : pointing out to the reader such material quotations, 
relating to this question, as lie scattered in several parts, under 
several heads, in the course of our debate. I shall follow the 
chronological order of the Fathers, shewing all the way for what 
reasons I judge that every one respectively was in the same per 
suasion that I defend, and not in the contrary hypothesis. 

A. D. 116. IGNATIUS. 

Ignatius did not believe that the Father is naturally Governor 
over the Son, but the contrary : because he acknowledged the 
consubstantialityv, and coeternity^, and necessary existence 1 of God 
the Son. Any supremacy of the Father, consistent with these 
doctrines of the Son, may be readily admitted. But the adver 
sary has not been able to produce any testimony from him to 
prove the natural dominion of the Father over the Son. What 
he has pleaded may be seen in the Reply 8 , and a confutation of 
it in my Second Defence*. 

I may just take notice of an incidental remark which this 
writer drops (p. 63.) to invalidate some of my testimonies for the 
Son's necessary existence. He says that <uo-ei, or Kara (frvviv, does 
not express necessary existence , for man is <vo-ei, or Kara <f>v<nv 
a>0/>(o7ros. Admitting this, yet <wei a>z> can never be applied to 
any thing but what exists necessarily: and it may always be 
certainly determined from the context, or circumstances, or from 
the author's usual phraseology, what $wei, or Kara (pvtnv, sig 
nifies in any ancient writer : and this gentleman will not be able 
to shew that I have misconstrued the phrase so much as in a 
single testimony. Suppose, for instance, natura bonus may be 

The main thing he lays to my ' See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 

charge is, the denying the alone natu- p. 572. 

ral dominion, p. 8, 9, 15, 24, 27, 32, Reply, p. 261, 294. 

40, 44, 46, 89, 118, 119. t Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 572, 

See Bull. Def. F. N. p. 40. &c. 591, 592. 

P Ibid. p. 174, &c. 


sometimes applicable to a man or an angel; yet it may at other 
times signify necessary existence so plainly, that no one can doubt 
of it : particularly in Tertullian, in this sentence : Bonus natura 
Dem solus: qui enim quod est sine initio habet, non institutione 
habet illud, sed natura, &c. Tertull, adv. Marc. lib. ii. cap. 6. 


Justin Martyr did not believe that the Father is naturally 
Ruler or Governor over the Son. 

1. Because he declares that God the Son is not another God u 
besides the Father ; at the same time acknowledging the Son to 
be God. 

2. Because he asserts the Son's consubstantiality*. 

3. Because he gives to God the Son such high and great titles 
as Scripture appropriates to the one true God of Israely. 

4. Because he teaches the necessary existence of God the Son 2 . 

5. Because he declares for the worship of God the Son, yet 
admitting no worship as due to any but to God alone*. 

Any supremacy of the Father, consistent with these doctrines 
of the Son, may be admitted. But the adversary has not pro 
duced any testimony that may not be fairly accounted for upon 
the foot of voluntary economy, or natural priority of order. The 
principal pretences from this Father's writings may be seen in 
the Reply b , and the answers in my Second Defence . Let this 
gentleman disprove the particulars here asserted ; or if not, let 
him admit them, and then we need not dispute further. 

170. LUCIAN. 

Lucian, or some other contemporary Pagan writer, bears tes 
timony to the faith of the Christians in his time, in Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost : which means there one God supreme^ in 
the whole three. This doctrine is not consistent with any natural 
dominion of God the Father over God the Son: but is rather 

u See my Answer to Dr. Whitby, Defence, vol. ii. p. 438, 666. 

vol. ii. p. 235, &c. Second Defence, b Reply, p. 129, &c. 263, &c. 293, 

vol. ii. p. 439. 375. 

* See Bull. D. F. p. 65, &c. c Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 481, 

y See my Second Defence, vol. ii. &c. 506, 578, 593, &c. 666, 672, &c. 

p. 481. Compare Nourrii Apparat. ad Bibl. 

z Ibid. p. 578. Max. p. 405, &c. vol. i. 

a My Sermons, vol. ii. p. 178. d See my Sermons, vol. ii. p. 179. 

Defence, vol. i. p. 418, 423. Second Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 439. 



a full and clear testimony for one common dominion of all the 
three Persons. 

Athenagoras could not believe any natural rule over God the 


i . Because he asserts his consubstantiality e . 

1. Because he asserts his coeternity*. 

3. Because he makes Father and Son one God". 

4. Because he maintains the Son's necessary existence^. 

5. Because he is express for the common dominion of both'. 
Nothing can be pleaded on the contrary, but what is easily 

reconciled by admitting a temporal procession, generation, or 
manifestation of the Son, and a priority of order in the Father. 
The pretences of the Reply k are all answered in my Second 
Defence 1 . 


For the consubstantiality and coetemity maintained by this 
writer, Bishop Bull may be consulted. Besides which, he gives 
Christ the title of Kuptos 6 0eos, God absolutely so called" 1 : and 
he drops some intimations, by a similitude which he makes use 
of, that Father and Son are one God, and have one dominion*. 
Objections of the Reply have been considered and answered P. 

187. IREN^EUS. 

Irenaeus could never believe that the Father is naturally 
Governor over the Son. 

1. Because he ascribes to God the Son titles and attributes 
peculiar to the God of Israels, God supreme. 

2. Because he asserts his consubstantiality, coetemity, and ne 
cessary existence*. 

3. Because he makes Father and Son one God a . 

4. Because he expressly excludes any inferior God, and clearly 
intimates that God the Son has no God above him 1 . 

e See Bull. D. F. p. 71. Nourrii " Second Defence, vol. 11.0.485. 

AW* ^ ' P- 487. n Ibid . p> 486 . 

&ee Bull. D. F. p. 203. Nourrii <> Reply, p. 114, 142, 270. 

Appar. vol. i. 0.489. P Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 486, 

K bee my Sermons, vol. ii. p. 178. 597, &c. 

Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 439. q Ibid. p. 487. 

Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 580. r ibid. p. 582, &c. 

S P- 442< 8 Sermons, vol. ii. p. 1 79. Second 

i <? y rf P n 5 f 7 ' I05 ' & f' *" Defence ' v l iL P- 436, 443, &o. 

*cond Defence vol. u. p. 439, t See First Defence, vol. i. p. 306. 
&c. 580, &c. 597, 666. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 450. 


There is nothing on the contrary to be pleaded from this 
author, but what may be fairly and easily reconciled upon the 
foot of the economy, and the natural order of the Persons ; as 
hath been particularly shewn u in answer to the Reply x . 

192. CLEMENS of Alexandria. 

This ancient writer could never have a thought of subjecting 
God the Son to the natural rule and governance of God the 
Father. For, 

1. He asserts the necessary existence! of the Son, which is an 
insuperable bar and obstacle to any such subjection. 

2. He makes him to be the Jehovah, the Almighty God z of the 
Jews, who had no God above him. 

3. He even equalizes* the Son, that is, proclaims him equal to 
the Father. 

4. He gives him the titles 6 0eos b , and TravTOKpdrap c , titles 
expressive of dominion supreme, and such as the Observator 
would translate supreme God, and supreme Ruler, whenever 
spoken of the Father. 

5. He makes Father and Son one God of the whole universe 1 ^ : 
which certainly expresses equality and union of dominion. 

6. Lastly, he addresses to both together as one Lord e ; which 
does not look like addressing to a Sovereign and his natural sub 
ject, but to one God and Lord supreme. The Author of the 
Reply shewed his good wishes and endeavours f to elude the 
testimonies : but failed in the performance . 


Tertullian could never think that the Father is naturally the 
Son's Ruler, or Governor. 

1. He admits the necessary existence of the Son l \ 

2. He makes both to be one substance, and one God 1 . 

u Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 430, d Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 435, 

434. 435 &c - 487. 557> &c - 5 82 5 8 3> 45 J - Sermons, vol. ii. p. 180. 
599, 667. e Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 451. 

x Reply, p. 10, 17, 19, 23, 41, 60, f Reply, p. 80, &c. 140, 190, 227, 

61, 62, 93, &c. 140, 239, 283, 295, 377. 
379, 393, 417, 484, 496, 507. s Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 451 to 

y Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 584. 457, 488, 599. 

z Ibid. p. 488. n Ibid. p. 586. 

a Ibid. p. 452. i Sermons, vol. ii. p. 181. Second 

b Ibid. p. 520. Defence, vol. ii. p. 457, 435. Compare 

c Ibid. p. 521, 755. p. 489. 

G 2 


* He rc-ject* with indignation the notion of an inferior God*. 
II,. directly and expressly asserts the empower and dignity 
of both'. The objections made by the Reply are answered at 


This ancient writer could not suppose God the Son to be 
naturally under the rule of God the Father. 

1. Because he makes them both one God , and consequently 

one God supreme. 

2. He asserts the ^substantiality? and necessary existence^ of 

God the Son. 

3. He joins all the three Persons equally in his doxology*, 
which can by no means be suitable to a Sovereign and his 


The objections made by the Reply 5 have been easily solved* 
upon the foot of the economy, and distinction of order. 

249. ORIGEN. 

Origen, in his certainly genuine works, no way favours the 
notion of the Son's being naturally subject to the Father. 

1 . He asserts Father and Son to be one God 11 . 

2. He makes but one object of worship" of both. 

3. He maintains the Son's necessary existence?. 

4. He is very express for the coexistence, coeternity, and consub- 
stantiality of God the Son z . 

5. He asserts that the Son is commensurate to the Father, 
equal in greatness*. 

Any possible supremacy of the Father, consistent with these 

k First Defence, vol. i. p. 306. p. 149. and Hippolytus, vol. ii. p. 18. 

Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 534. Fabric. 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 458, 8 Reply, p. 13, 16, 20, 39, 61, 65, 

535. Bull. D. F. p. 261. Statu ab al- 91, 117, &c. 509. 

tero diversum non esse, idem valet 4 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 413, 

atuue illud ipsi non esse subditum, &c. 430, 462, &c. 599, &c. 

sea par et acquale. Bull. ibid. u See my Sermons, vol. ii. p. 182. 

m Reply, p. 55, 1 1 1, 76. Answer to Dr. Whitby, vol. ii. p. 215. 

n Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 457 to Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 436, 465. 

462, 489. x First Defence, vol. i. p. 424. 

See ray Sermons, vol. ii. p. 182. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 673. 
Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 464, 490. 7 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 586. 
First Defence, vol. i. p. 287. z First Defence, vol. i. p. 286. Ser- 

P First Defence, vol. i. p. 488. mons, vol. ii. p. 148, 149. See also 

1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 414. Bishop Bull. 

r Ibid. p. 586. Sermons, vol. ii. a Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 418. 


plain and avowed doctrines, will not be scrupled. The Reply b 
has boasted much of Origen the other way, and produced 
counter- evidences; but such as are either not to be compared 
with ours for genuineness and certainty, or such as may be recon 
ciled with the doctrine here mentioned, by allowing a superiority 
of office and order. Let him either disprove these particulars, 
or reconcile them with his notion of the alone supremacy. 

250. CYPRIAN. 

Cyprian has nothing in favour of the pretended natural 
dominion over God the Son ; but the contrary. 

1. As including all the three Persons in the one God A . 

2. As applying to God the Son the appropriate titles of the 
one true God e . 

The few things which the author of the Reply f had to offer 
are answered in my Second Defences. 


Novatian looks more favourably to the notion of a natural 
superiority of dominion than any writer before him. But as he 
has several tenets inconsistent with such a notion, so what he 
has that seems most to favour it does not necessarily require 
any such sense, but may very well bear a candid construction. 

1. He maintains equality, and unity of substance^. 

2. He asserts the eternity* of God the Son ; and, as it seems, 
eternal generation k . 

3. He applies such texts to Christ as are intended of the 
Jehovah, and one true God of Israel 1 . 

These tenets are by no means consistent with a natural supe 
riority of dominion over God the Son : neither does Novatian 
assert any subjection but what may reasonably be understood of 
the economy, as I have observed. The pretences of the Reply 
are all distinctly considered in my Second Defence, vol. ii. 
And though the Observator n has since charged me as being 

b Reply, p. 4, 5, 10, 18, 20, 23, 28, f Reply, p. 10, 24, 28, 146. 
31, 42, 49, 56, 69, 70, 84, 85, 187, B Vol. ii. 491, 678. 
219, 242, 272, 20,5, 319, 327, 375, h See my First Defence, vol. i. p. 

380, &c. 442, 446, &c. 282, 295, 486, 527. Second Defence, 

c Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 418, vol. ii. p. 477, 492, 745. 
466, 587, &c. 600, 638, &c. 667, 673, i First Defence, vol. i. p. 354, &c. 
&c. * Ibid. p. 356. 

d See my Sermons, vol. ii. p. 183. 1 Second Defence, vol. ii. p.492,427. 

e Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 490. m Ibid. p. 427, 493. 
Bull. D.F. p. 131. Observations, p. 54. 


too hasty, in saying that the ancients never speak of Christ as a 

,>/;/.//,,/ ( ;<>,!. lu-r.-uisi- of a passairc of Xnvatian, where the 
phrase is Deus constitutes , yet he thought proper to conceal 
from the reader what I had said to obviate his construction of 
that very place. 

259. DIONYSIUS of Alexandria. 

Dionysius of Alexandria could not be in the hypothesis of 
natural rule over God the Son. 

1. Because he asserted the coeternity of God the Son, in very 
full and express words p , and his eternal, beginninglessi generation. 

2. Because he was as express for the consubstantiality, name 
and thing r . 

3. Because he taught the necessary existence of the Son, repre 
senting it as necessary for the Son to coexist, as for the Father 
to exist ; as may be seen at large in Athanasius. Besides that 
in other words 5 he has also expressed the same thing. 

4. He included all the three Persons in the Monad, or the 
one God, as I have shewn elsewhere 1 : which is making all to 
gether one God supreme, directly contrary to the notion of a 
natural superiority of dominion. The Reply has some few 
things to say of this author ; which had been long ago obviated 
by Bishop Bull, and are since answered in my Second Defence". 
I might observe too, how Dionysius particularly guards 7 against 
the notion of the Son's being created by the Father, which is the 
only thing that could be a foundation of natural dominion. 

259. DIONYSIUS of Rome. 

This excellent writer is no less full and plain against the 
hypothesis of natural superiority of dominion. 

i. By declaring it blasphemy to suppose the Son a creature*, 


u Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 555. p. 254. 

See my Sermons, vol. ii. p. 150. * Sermons, vol. ii. p. 185. Second 

1 p ot yt Q(6 S alu>vi6v e'ort (pots, Defence, vol. ii. p. 420. 
ovrt dpdfuvov, ovri A)o/ TTOTC, OVKOVV Reply, p. 71, 331. 
alvvtov npOKtirai, KOI avvfo-rw avna * Vol. ii. p. 419, 420. 
TO anavyaffpa, foapxov ical dtiyfvts ? 'Eav 8e ns rS>v <TVKO<f>avTS>v ( 

irooAaiv6 f uvov avrov. Dionys. ap. T&V andvratv TTOITJTTJV rov Qtov KOI 

Athan vo\. i. p. 254, 258. ^ovpy^v eiW, oirjrai pt K a\ rov \pi- 

ld. ap. Athanas. vol. i. p. 255, arov Aeyeu/, d^ovcrd ^ov np6rtpo V 

irartpa (pfia-avros avrov, tv & Kal 6 vibs 

Moi/or 8c 6 viov ai trvvvv TW narpi, Trpoa-ytypairrai. Apud Athan. p. 25 7 . 
ai rov Zrros ir\r,povn (l ms, Kal avros * First Defence, vol. i. p. q<^7, 487. 

to rov narpos. Apud Athan. Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 468, 634 


understanding creature in the common sense of precarious, or 
temporal existence. 

2. By teaching the necessary existence of God the Son, inas 
much as the Father never was, never could be without him a . 

3. By including all the three Persons in the one tribe Godhead^. 
Some little objections of the Reply to the genuineness of the 
piece are abundantly answered in my Second Defence . 

260. GREGORY of Neocsesarea. 

This celebrated Father is full and express, in his famous 
creed, against any thing created, or servient, in the Trinity A ; 
asserting one undivided glory and dominion of all the three 
Persons. There have been suspicions raised against the genuine 
ness of this creed ; but such as have not been thought of sufficient 
weight by any of the best critics, against the express testimonies 
of Ruffinus and Gregory Nyssen, confirmed, in some measure, 
by Nazianzen 6 . 

Besides what Gregory has in his creed, he has some consider 
able things to the same purpose in another work, written about 
the year 239, and which is of unquestioned authority. The titles 
and epithets he therein gives to the Son are, Creator and Gover 
nor of all things*, really, or naturally, united to the Fathers, the 
most perfect living Word h ; the last expressions very like to 
some in his creed, and a probable argument of their having the 
same author. 

270. ANTIOCHIAN Fathers. 

The synodical epistle of these Fathers gives to God the Son 
such titles as belong to the one true God. But as they have 
nothing express upon our present question on either side, it may 
be sufficient to have mentioned them, and to refer 1 to what has 
been said of them. 

290. Methodius is express against the Son's being a creature, 
and for eternal generation and immutable existence k : tenets 

a See Second Defence, vol. ii. p. { Hdvrwv S^toupyw KOI K 

460. Sermons, vol. ii. p. 149. E TIpos avrbv dre^vas rjv 

Sermons, vol. ii. p. 184. Second h TfActoTarov *cai (S>vra, KOI avrov 

Defence, vol. ii. p. 469. rov wpwrou vov Aoyov titf\rv\ov. Bull. 

c Vol. ii. p. 419, 634. D.F. p. 154. 

d OvTf ovv KTurrov, fj Sot/Xov (v rfi ' Reply, p. 18, 20, 64, 148, 445. 

rpiaSt, &C. Tptar TtXft'a, 8o|i;, cal at- Bull. D.F. p. 158, 199, 263. My Se- 

ftionjTt, Ka\ /3atrtXt'a ftf/ pfpigoptin), cond Defence, vol. ii. p. 491. 

p,rj8( dnaX\oTpiofjL(vrj. Fabric. ed.p.224. k First Defence, vol. i. p. 357,511- 

e Nazianz. Orat. xxxvii. p. 609. Answer to Dr. Whitby, vol. ii. 

Orat. xl. p. 668. p. 223, 224. Bull. D. F. p. 164, 200. 


utterly repugnant to such a natural inferiority as is pretended. 
What the Reply 1 had to object is answered in another place m . 

300. Theognostus is also express against the Son's being a 
creature, &nd for his comubstantiality n . What the Reply has to 
object had been abundantly before answered by Bishop Bull. 

303. As to Arnobius, little has been pleaded on either side 
from him. He has some strong expressions which seem to carry 
the supremacy very high : and he has other expressions very full 
for the true and essential divinity of God the Son. Bishop BullP 
and Le Nourry * may be consulted in respect of both the parts, 
and how to make them consistent. 

318. Lactantius has been largely considered both in the 
Reply r and in my Second Defence. He makes Father and Son 
one God 6 . He makes both one substance*. He describes him 
under the characters of the one true God u . He supposes both 
to be one object of worship*. He joins the Son with the Father 
in the same dominion, and exempts the Son from the necessity of 
obeyingy. These tenets are perfectly repugnant to natural 
superiority of dominion in the Father only. Nevertheless, he 
has some crude expressions, scarce excusable in a catechumen 
of his abilities. 

322. ALEXANDER of Alexandria. 

This venerable Patriarch, defender of the Catholic faith 
against his Presbyter Arius, shews in his two letters the 
Church's doctrine in his time. He could not be a friend to any 
natural subjection of God the Son. For, 

1. He asserts his coeternity, and inseparability with the 

2. He maintains his necessary existence. 

3. His natural divinity, or Godhead, of and from the Father. 

4. His high or supreme Godhead. Proofs of these particulars 
may be seen in my Second Defence 2 ; where also objections are 
answered, such as had been offered in the Reply 3 . Hitherto we 

*9. 334- Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 47 o,&c. 

ucT 6 ' voL - p - 6o - '. ^ p p < ' 

See Bull. D. P.p. 135. * Ibid.' 678.' 

Jkp 1 /. P- 333- y Ibid. p. 474. 

! *&' / P- 169- Ibid. p. 42!. Sermons, vol. ii. 

HUTU Apparat. vol. n. t>. 350. p. 149. First Defence, vol. i. p. 358. 

Reply, p. 49, 55, 63, 86, L. i , 9f & p l y , p . 5?f ^'^ ^^ 


have not found one man full and express for the natural govern 
ment, or natural subjection among the Persons of the sacred 
Trinity. Several have been here cited who were expressly 
against it : and the rest implicitly condemn it ; while none, 
either directly or so much as consequentially, maintain it. But 
now I take leave to name a man who did maintain it, and in 
pretty plain and broad terms. 

323. ARIUS. 

Arius, with his confederates, in a letter to Alexander, delivers 
it for doctrine b , that God the Father rules over God the Son, as 
being his God, and having existed before him. Here may Dr. 
Clarke and his followers see the first lines of their doctrine ; 
which was afterwards filled up and completed by Aetius and 

These were the authors and founders of that natural supremacy 
of dominion over God the Son, that natural subjection and servi 
tude of two of the divine Persons, which these gentlemen are so 
eagerly contending for; and which, with as groundless and shame 
less a confidence as I ever knew, they presume to father upon 
the sacred Scriptures, upon the ancient creeds, and upon the 
venerable Doctors of the Church ; against plain fact, against 
the fullest and clearest evidence to the contrary. I shall proceed, 
a little lower, to shew what reception this Arian conceit met 

I shall say nothing of Eusebius of Csesarea, of this time, 
a doubtful man, and of whom it is difficult to determine in the 
whole . 


Athanasius, about this time, began to write in the cause 
against Arius. His Exposition of Faith is of uncertain date : 
and so I may place it any where from the time he entered the 
list against the Arians. His doctrine is well known from his 
many works. I shall cite but one short sentence of his, speak 
ing of God the Son. He is " Kuler supreme, of Ruler supreme : 

yap avrov, a>s Qfos avrov, Subjectum Patri Filium, non Patris 

*al irpb avrov a>v. Ap. Athan. de Synod, et Filii nomine, ut Sancta et Catholica 

vol. ii. p. 730. dicit Ecclesia, sed creaturae conditione, 

Phcebadius well expresses the Arian profitemini. Phaebad. B. P. P. torn. 

doctrine of natural subjection, at the v. p. 303. 

same time distinguishing it from the c See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 

Catholic doctrine of filial ministration, p. 494 to 504. 


for whatsoever things the Father bears rule and dominion 
" over, over the same does the Son also rule and govern d ." 

348. CYRIL of Jerusalem. 

The elder Cyril was always looked upon as a very moderate 
man, and not so vehement against the Arians as many others. 
Yet 'let us hear how expressly and fully he condemns the doc 
trine of natural subjection in the Trinity, Downing none other 
but voluntary and chosen. 

" f All things," says he, " are servants of his," (of the Father;) 
" but his only Son and his own Holy Spirit are exempt from 
" the all things : and all these servants do, by the one Son, in 
" the Holy Ghost, serve the Master." sin another place the 
same Cyril says, " The Father has not one glory, and the Son 
" another, but one and the same."" So little countenance had 
the alone supremacy of dominion, or natural subjection of two 
divine Persons, at that time. 

358. HILARY. 

Hilary's doctrine on this head is, that the subjection of the Son 
is voluntary, and not by constraint h , that is to say, it is economi 
cal, not natural. ' In another place he directly denies that 
either the Son is servant to the Father, or the Father Lord over 
him, save only in respect of the incarnation of God the Son : 
where he expressly again denies any natural subjection of God 
the Son as such. 

360. Zeno Veronensis's doctrine, to the same purpose, may be 
seen in my First Defence k . 

d HavTOKparopa iravroKpdropos' firmitas. Hilar. de Synod, p. 1*95- 

irdrrtav yap lav ap%ti 6 ira-r^p icat xparet, l Servus enim non erat, cum esset 

"ip\ti Kal Kparfi KO\ 6 vlos. Athan. secundum Spiritum Deus Dei Filius. 

Expos. Fid. vol. i. p. 99. Et secundum commune judicium, ubi 

e Owe di>aycaoT^i' VTTOJCO^I/ e^wv, dXX' non est servus, neque Dominus est. 

avroTTpoaipfTov tvirtidfiav ov yap 8ov- Deus quidem et Pater nativitatis 

Xds e'cTi, tva avdyxr) vrrorayf}' dXXa vl6s est unigeniti Dei : sed ad id, quod 

ioriv, Iva irpoaipforti KOI (piXooropyia servus est, non possumus non nisi 

irturQij. Cyrill. Cat. xv. n. 30. p. 240. tune ei Dominum deputare cum servus 

' To <rvpiravra per doCXa OVTOV' ds est : quia si cum ante per naturam non 

& avrov novas vlos, KO.\ tv TO aywv av- erat servus, et postea secundum natu- 

TOU TTixvpa (KTOS TOVTW TTavTuv, Ka\ ram esse quod non erat co3pit ; non 

rA <rvfjaravra 8ovXa, 8ia TOW iv6s vlov alia dominatus causa intelligenda est, 

eV ayitp irvtvfuiTt dovXrvrt Ttp 8rroT7/. quam quse exstitit servitutis ; tune 

Ibid. Cat. viii. p. 123. habens et naturae dispensatione Domi- 

t Oi> yap a\\rjv ooat> trarfip, KOI num, cum praebuit ex hominis assump- 

oXXi/v VMS (\n, oXXA fuav ical TTJV av- tione se servum. Hilar. de Trim. lib. 

rrjv. Cntech. vi. p. 87. xi. p. 1090. 

h Subjectio Filii naturae pietas, sub- k Vol. i. p. 443. Bull. D. F. p. 

jectio autem caeterorum creationis in- 266. 


370. Basil's also, no less full and express against the pretended 
natural dominion on one hand, and subjection on the other, is 
shewn in my Second Defence 1 . 

375. Gregory Nazianzen's testimony I shall throw into the 
margin m : the same will be a confirmation of the Creed of Thau- 

380. Gregory Nyssen's doctrine may be seen in my Defences , 
very full to the purpose. 

382. I conclude with Ambrose , having thus brought the doc 
trine low enough down. No doubt can be made of the Catholics 
all the way following to this very time. 

These, after Scripture, are my authors for that very doctrine 
which the Observator every where, without the least scruple, 
charges upon me as my fiction and invention. Such is his great 
regard to truth, to decency, and to common justice: such his 
respect to the English readers, in imposing upon them any the 
grossest and most palpable abuses. Let him, when he is dis 
posed, or when he is able, produce his vouchers from Catholic 
antiquity, for the natural subjection of God the Son, or the 
natural superiority of the Father's dominion over him. He may 
give proof of a superiority of order (which I dispute not) or of 
office, which I readily admit : but as to there being any natural 
rule, or natural subjection among the divine Persons, or within 
the Trinity itself, none of the ancients affirm it ; all, either di 
rectly or indirectly, reclaim against it. He may run up his doc 
trine to Eunomius, and so on to Arius, where it began. He, I 
believe, is the first man upon record that ever allowed the 
preexistence and personality of the Logos, and yet made God the 
Son, as such, naturally subject to the dominion of the Father ; 
appointing him a Governor, another God above him : which was 
really Arius's sense, and is the plain sense likewise of his succes 
sors at this day. 

1 Vol. ii. p. 401, 646, 75 1 ' (rrbv,ov8etTrfi(raKTov,fJKOv(raT>v<ro(pa>v 

m Qtov TOV naTfpa, Qtbv TOV vlbv, TIVOS \eyovros. Orat. xl. p. 666. 
Qtov TO TTVfvpa TO ayiov, Tpfls ISiorrj- n Vol. i. p. 443. Vol. ii. p. 401. 
Tas QfOTrjTo. p.iav, 8o%T) Kai Tipy KOI Non sunt enim duo Domini, ubi 

oixria KOI /3ao-tXet'a HTJ p.(piofjL(vr]v, >s Dominatus unus est ; quia Pater in Fi- 

TIS T>V fiiKpm TTpovfev 6fo<j>6pa)v tyi- lio, et Filius in Patre, et ideo Dominus 

\ocro(f)r){Ttv. Orat. xxxvii. p. 609. unus. Ambros. de Sp. S. 1. iii. c. 15. 

Oi>8fv TTJS TpidSos 8ov\ov, ov8( KTI- p. 686. 


I HAVE nothing now to do but to take my leave of these 
gentlemen for this time. If they are disposed to proceed in 
the way they have now taken, it will be no great trouble to me 
(while God grants me life and health) to do myself justice, as 
often as I see needful ; and to support, with God's assistance, 
the cause I have undertaken, as well against calumnies now, as 
against arguments before. But I think, since the argument is in 
a manner brought to an end, it is time for these gentlemen to 
put an end to the debate too ; lest, after exposing the weakness of 
their cause, they may meet with a more sensible mortification, by 
going on to the utmost to expose their own. 

They have done enough for Arianism ; and more a great deal 
than the best cause in the world (though theirs is a very bad 
one) could ever require. They have omitted nothing likely to 
convince, nothing that could be any way serviceable to deceive 
their readers. They have ransacked the Socinian stores for the 
eluding and frustrating the Catholic interpretation of Scripture 
texts. They have gone on to Fathers : and whatever they could 
do there, by wresting and straining, by mangling, by misinter 
preting, by false rendering, and the like, they have done their 
utmost to make them all Arians. And, lest that should not be 
sufficient, they have attempted the same thing upon the ancient 
creeds, and even upon modern confessions ; upon the very Arti 
cles and Liturgy of the Church of England. To complete all, 
having once found out the secret of fetching in what and whom 
they pleased, they have proceeded further to drag me in with 
the rest a , into the very doctrine that I had been largely con 

They have spared no pains, or art, to disguise and colour over 
their wretched tenets, and to give them the best face and gloss 
that they could possibly bear. They will not call the Son a 
creature; nay, it was some time before they would say 

a See Reply, p. 1 16. Second Defence, vol. h. p. 537. 


plainly that he is not necessarily existing, till the course of the 
debate and some pressing straits almost forced it from them ; 
and that not till after some of the plainer and simpler men of 
the party had first blabbed it out. At last, they would seem not 
so much to be writing against the divinity of God the Son, as for 
the honour of God the Father. They do not care to say, they 
are pleading for the natural subjection and servitude of the Son, 
but it is for the natural dominion of the Father over him : and 
they do not commonly choose so much as to say that in plain 
and broad terms ; but they hint it, and mince it, under the words 
" alone supremacy of the Father's dominion." And for fear that 
that should be taken hold on, and wrested from them, in due 
course of argument, they clap in authority with dominion; that 
they may have something at least that looks orthodox, something 
that may bear a colour upon the foot of antiquity, as admitting 
of a double meaning. And they have this further view hi con 
founding distinct things together, to make a show as if we ad 
mitted no kind of authority as peculiar to the Father when we 
deny his alone dominion ; or that if we assert one, we must of 
course, and at the same time, assert both. To carry on the dis 
guise still further, they represent their adversaries as teaching 
that the Father has no natural supremacy of authority and do 
minion at all; without taking care to add, (what they ought to 
add,) over the Son and Holy Ghost, to undeceive the reader ; who 
is not perhaps aware that subjection they are contriving for two 
of the divine Persons, while they put on a face of commendable 
zeal for the honour of the first. Such is their excessive care not 
to shock their young, timorous disciples ; not to make them wise 
at once, but by degrees, after leading them about in their sim 
plicity for a time, with their eyes half open. 

Besides giving a fair gloss and outside to their own scheme, 
they have next studiously endeavoured to expose and blacken the 
faith received. It is Sabellianism, it is Tritheism, it is scholastic 
jargon, it is metaphysical reverie, nonsense, absurdity, contradiction, 
and what not : contrary to Scripture, contrary to all the ancients, 
nay, contrary even to moderns also : and, to make it look as little 
and contemptible as possible in the eyes of all men, it is at length 
nothing more than Dr. Waterland's own novel fiction and in 

Now I appeal to all serious and thinking men, whether any 
thing can be done that these men have not done, in favour of 


their beloved Arianism ; and whether they may not now fairly 
be ejcciued, if they should desist, and proceed no further. A 
great deal less than this, though in ever so good a cause, might 
have been sufficient : and had they sung their liberam animam 
some twelve months backwards, I know not whether any truly 
good and conscientious Arian could have thought them deserters, 
or have condemned them for it. Let the cause be ever so right 
or just, yet who hath required it at their hands that they should 
pursue it to such hideous lengths ? Their design, suppose, is to 
promote truth and godliness : let it then be in God's own way, 
and by truth, and truth only. There can be no necessity of 
deceiving, of betraying, of beguiling any man even into truth, 
(though this is not truth,} by disguises, by misreports, by making 
things appear what they are not, or not suffering them to appear 
what they really are. This is going out of the way, wide and 
far, and defending truth, (were it really truth,) by making fearful 
inroads upon simplicity and godly sincerity, upon moral honesty 
and probity. 

In conclusion, I must be so just to myself as to say, that con 
sidering how I was at first forced, in a manner, into public con 
troversy, and what kind of a controversy this is, and how often 
and how anciently before decided by the churches of Christ ; I 
was civil enough in engaging the men so equally as I did, and 
upon so fair terms. I expected, I aesired nothing, but that 
they would make the best use they could of their own under 
standings, from which we were promised great things. I invited 
them to the utmost freedom, in discussing every point within the 
compass of the question ; only not to exceed the rules of just 
and regular debate b : that every branch of the cause might have 
a new hearing, and be reexamined with all possible strictness and 
severity. In a word, all I required was, to dispute fair, to drop 
ambiguous terms, or define them, to contemn every thing but truth 
in the search after truth, and to keep close to the question; at the 
same time binding myself up to a careful and constant observance 
of the same rules. 

When their Reply appeared, I presently saw how far those 
gentlemen were gone off from just debate ; and how little incli 
nation they had to dispute fairly or regularly. To prejudice 
the readers, they began with charges and complaints; all trifling, 
most false; and some such as they themselves could scarce be 
b See my First Defence, vol. i. p. 557, &c. 


weak enough to believe . I need not say what followed. When I 
found how the case stood, I reminded them of their misconduct, 
sometimes raised my style, and treated them with some sharp 
ness, (though with less than they had me, with much less reason,) 
to let them know that I understood what they were doing, and 
that if I could not be confuted, I would not be contemned. As 
they had taken the liberty of charging me very often, and very 
unfairly, with things that they could not prove ; I made the less 
scruple of charging them with what I could prove. And this, I 
hope, the impartial reader will upon examination find, that all 
the severity on my side lies in the truth of the things proved upon 
them ; while theirs, on the other, lies mostly in invention, and 
abusive words, which, for want of evidence to support them, must 
of course return upon their own heads. They appear, in their 
last pieces especially, to be no great friends to ceremony : so that 
I have reason to believe they will expect the less in return. I 
had hitherto been so tender of Mr. Jackson, as never to name 
him ; though his own friends had done it at full length : parti 
cularly the Author of the Catalogue, &c. and Dr.Whitby twice d , 
promising the world something very considerable from " the ac- 
" curate pen of Mr. Jackson." Accuracy is a thing which I shall 
not complain of, but shall ever receive, even from an adversary, 
with the utmost reverence and respect. I wish this gentleman 
had shewn something of it ; if not in his account of Scripture or 
Fathers, (which his hypothesis perhaps would not permit,) yet in 
his reports and representations, at least, of my words, and my sense; 
which might have been expected from a man of probity. Whether 
his writing without a name has been his principal encouragement 
to take the liberties he has, I will not be positive : but it is highly 
probable ; because common prudence, generally, is a sufficient bar 
against it, in men that have any character to lose, any reputation 
to be responsible for it. The just and proper views, or reasons, 
for a writer's concealing his name are, to relieve his modesty, or 
to screen himself from public censure ; to be frank and open in 
debate, and to discuss every point of importance (though against 
the received opinions) with all due freedom and strictness, like a 
lover of truth. Had the gentlemen I am concerned with gone 
upon these views, or made use of their concealment for these or 
the like laudable purposes, I should have been perfectly well 

c See my Second Defence, vol. ii. p. 396. 

d Whitby's Second Part of his Reply, p. 74, 122. 


satisfied. But while they continue their disguises as before, and 
regard nothing less than frank, fair, and open debate ; while the 
main use they make of their concealment is only to be less soli 
citous about what they think or write ; pelting us from their 
coverts with misreports, and slandering in masquerade : when this 
is the case, it concerns a man in his own defence to intimate to 
these gentlemen, that they are not so entirely under cover as they 
may imagine; but that it is their prudence still to be a little more 
upon their guard, and to write with more decency hereafter, at 
least, for their own credit and reputation. 

After all, if any reasonable man is disposed to examine this 
question, or any part of it, with freedom and plainness, with sin 
cerity and strictness, attending to the argument, and representing 
every thing in a, fair and true light, without misreport or insult; 
such a person, though nameless, would have a just title to all 
tender, and candid, and even respectful treatment, from an ad 
versary ; and, I am very sure, would never find any other than 
such from me. I shall ever think it a much greater disgrace to 
be outdone in civility, than in matter of argument. The first can 
not happen but through a man's own fault : the other may; and 
when it does, there is no real discredit in yielding to the truth 
once made clear. Both sides, if they are good men, are victorious 
in such a case; because both attain the only thing that they aimed 
at, and both share the prize. 










An Account of t/te Manuscripts, Versions, and Comments, and 
such other particulars as are of moment for. tlw determining the 
Age, and Author, and Value of it, and the Time of its Re 
ception in the Christian Churches. 





My Lord, 

JL AM desirous of sending these papers abroad under 
your Grace's name, in confidence you will be a Patron 
to them, as you have been to the Author. I would make 
their way short and easy to the public esteem, by intro 
ducing them first into your Grace's acquaintance and 
good opinion : which if they have once the honour to 
obtain, I may then be assured that they will be both 
useful to the world, and acceptable with all good men; 
the height of my ambition. 

The subject, my Lord, is the Athanasian Creed, the 
most accurate system of the Athanasian, that is, the 
Christian faith ; of which your Grace is, by your station 
and character, by duty and office, and, what is more, by 
inclination and principle, and real services, the watchful 
Guardian and Preserver. 

The happy fruits of it are visible in the slow and in 
considerable progress that the new heresy has been able 
to make within your province; where it died, in a manner, 
as it first arose, and no sooner began to lift up its head, 
but sunk down again in shame and confusion : as if the 
plenty of good seed sown had left no room for tares, or 
they could take no root in a soil so well cultivated. 

H 2 


While your Grace is promoting the honour and inter 
ests of our holy faith, in the eminent way, by the wisdom 
of your counsels, the authority of your precepts, and the 
brightness of your high example ; I am endeavouring, in 
such a way as I can, to contribute something to the same 
common cause, though it be but slight and small, though 
it be only reviewing the fences and surveying the out 
works ; which is the most I pretend to in the history 
here presented. 

What advantage others may reap from the publication 
will remain in suspense : but I am sure of one to myself, 
(and I lay hold of it with a great deal of pleasure,) the 
opportunity I thereby have of returning my public thanks 
to your Grace for your public favours. Though this, my 
Lord, is but a scanty expression for them, and far short, 
where the engaging manner and circumstances, known but 
to few, and not to be understood by many, make so con 
siderable an addition in the whole, and almost double the 
obligation upon, 

My Lord, 

Your Grace's most obliged, 

Most dutiful, and most obedient 

Humble Servant, 

Cambridge, Magd. Coll. 
Oct. 25, 1723. 





WHAT I here present the Reader with, will not require 
much Preface. The introduction intimates the design, and use, 
and partition of the Work. The Appendix, which is an addi 
tional enlargement beyond my first design, gives account of 
itself. I subjoin two Indexes, for the ease and convenience 
of such persons as may be disposed, not only to read these 
sheets, but to study the subject. I should scarce have thought 
of making Indexes to so small a treatise, had I not found the 
like in Tentzelius, upon the same subject, and to a smaller Tract 
than this is. His were of considerable use to me, as often as I 
wanted to review any particular author or passage, or to compare 
distant parts, relating to the same things, one with another : the 
benefit therefore which I reaped from his labours, I am willing 
to pay back to the public by mine. 

As to the subject of the following sheets, I make no question 
of its well deserving the thoughts and consideration of every 
studious reader ; having before passed through the hands of 
many the most learned and most judicious men, and such as 


would not misemploy their time and pains upon a trifle. As to 
the present management of it, it must be left to the reader to 
judge of, as he sees cause. 

For the chronology of the several parts, I have consulted the 
best authors ; endeavouring to fix it with as much accuracy as 
I could. Wherever I could certainly determine the age of any 
Tract, printed or manuscript, to a year, I set down that year : 
where I could not do it, (as in manuscripts one seldom can,) 
I take any probable year within the compass of time when an 
Author is known to have flourished; or for a manuscript, any 
probable year within such a century, or such a king's reign 
wherein the manuscript is reasonably judged to have been writ 
ten : and I generally choose a round number, rather than other 
wise, in such indefinite cases and instances. 

Thus for example, first in respect of Authors : there is a com 
ment of Venantius Fortunatus, upon the Athanasian Creed, which 
I reprint in my Appendix. I cannot fix the age of it to a year, 
no, nor to twenty years. All that is certain is, that it was made 
between 556, when Fortunatus first went into the Gallican parts, 
and 599, when he was advanced to the Bishopric of Poictiers. 
Within this wide compass, I choose the year 570. If any one 
shall rather choose 580, or 590, I shall not dispute it with him, 
nor doth any thing very material depend upon it : but if any 
good reason can be given for taking some other year rather than 
570, I shall immediately acquiesce in it. 

As to manuscripts, it is well known there is no fixing them 
precisely to a year, merely from the hand or character : and there 
are but few, in comparison, that carry their own certain dates 
with them. The best judges therefore in these matters will think 
it sufficient to point out the king's reign, or sometimes the century, 
wherein a manuscript was written : and in the very ancient ones, 
above 1000 years old, they will hardly be positive so much as to 
the century, for want of certain discriminating marks between 
manuscripts of the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries. 

It may be asked then, why I pretend to fix the several mami- 


scripts, hereafter to be mentioned, to certain years in the margin ; 
those that carry no certain dates, as well as the other that do ? 
I do it for order and regularity, and for the more distinct per 
ception of things ; which is much promoted and assisted by this 
orderly ranging them according to years. At the same time the 
intelligent reader will easily understand where to take a thing as 
certain, and where to make allowances. It is something like the 
placing of cities, towns, rivers, &c. in a map or a globe : they have 
all their certain places there, in such or such precise degrees of 
longitude and latitude; which perhaps seldom answer to the strict 
truth of things, or to a mathematical exactness. But still it 
serves the purpose very near as well as if every thing had been 
adjusted with the utmost nicety : and the imagination and me 
mory are mightily relieved by it. Thus much I thought proper 
to hint in vindication of my method, and to prevent any deception 
on one hand, or misconstruction on the other. I have, I think, 
upon the whole, generally gone upon the fairest and most pro 
bable presumption, and according to the most correct accounts 
of knowing and accurate men : but if I have any where through 
inadvertency, or for want of better information, happened to mis 
take in any material part, the best way of apologizing for it will 
be to correct it the first opportunity, after notice of it. 

As to mere omissions, they will appear more or fewer, according 
to men's different judgments or opinions what to call an omission. 
I might have enlarged, considerably, the first chapter, which 
treats of the learned moderns : though some perhaps will think 
it too large already, and that it might better have been con 
tracted. I have omitted several moderns mentioned by Tentzelius, 
whose professed design was to take in all : mine is only to take 
the principal, or as many as may suffice to give the Reader a full 
and distinct idea how this matter has stood, with the learned 
moderns, for eighty-five years last past. 

In this second edition I have considerably shortened my Ap 
pendix, by throwing the several parts of it into the book itself, 
referring them to their proper places. Some few additional 


observations will bo found, here and there interspersed, and some 
corrections, of slight moment as to the main thing, (in which I 
make no alteration,) but contributing in some measure to the 
perfection and accuracy of the Work. 

I conclude with professing, as before, that I shall be very glad 
if what hath been here done may but prove an useful introduction 
to more and larger discoveries. If any thing considerable still 
remains, either in private hands or public repositories ; any thing 
that may be serviceable to clear up some dark part, or to correct 
any mistake, or to confirm and illustrate any important truth 
relating to the subject ; I shall be very thankful to the person 
that shall oblige either me with private notice, or the public with 
new improvements. 

Cambridge, Magd. ColL 
Nov. i, 1727. 






The Design and Use of this Treatise : with the Method and 
Partition of it. 

M.Y design is, to inquire into the age, author ', and value of 
that celebrated Confession, which goes under the name of the 
Athanasian Creed. The general approbation it hath long met 
with in the Christian churches, and the particular regard which 
hath been, early and late, paid to it in our own, (while it 
makes a part of our Liturgy, and stands recommended to us 
in our Articles,) will, I doubt not, be considerations sufficient to 
justify an undertaking of this kind : provided only, that the per 
formance be answerable, and that it fall not short of its principal 
aim, or of the just expectations of the ingenuous and candid 
readers. No one will expect more of me than my present mate 
rials, such as I could procure, will furnish me with ; nor any 
greater certainty in an essay of this nature, than things of this 
kind will admit of. If a reasonable diligence has been used in 
collecting, and due pains in digesting, and a religious care in 
building thereupon, (more than which I pretend not to,) it may, 
I hope, be sufficient with all equitable judges. 


Many learned and valuable men have been before employed 
in the same design : but their treatises are mostly in Latin, and 
some of them very scarce, and hard to come at. I know not 
that any one hitherto has attempted a just treatise upon the 
subject in our own language, however useful it might be to the 
English readers ; and the more so at this time, when the contro 
versy about the Trinity is now spread abroad among all ranks 
and degrees of men with us, and the Athanasian Creed become 
the subject of common and ordinary conversation. For these 
reasons, I presumed, an English treatise might be most proper 
and seasonable: though otherwise, to avoid the unseemly mixture 
of English and Latin, (which will here be necessary,) and because 
of some parts which none but the learned can tolerably judge of; 
it might be thought more proper rather to have written a Latin 
treatise, and for the use only of scholars. However, there will 
be nothing very material but what an English reader may com 
petently understand : and I shall endeavour to lay before him 
all that has been hitherto usefully observed upon the subject, 
that he may want nothing which may be conceived of any mo 
ment for the enabling him to form a true judgment. What I 
borrow from others shall be fairly acknowledged as I go along, 
and referred to its proper author or authors ; it being as much 
my design to give an historical account of what others have 
done, as it is to supply what they have left undone, so far as my 
present materials, leisure, and opportunities may enable me to 
do it. Now to present the reader with a sketch of my design, 
and to shew him how one part is to hang upon another, my 
method will be as follows : 

I. First, in order to give the clearer idea of what hath been 
already done, and of what may be still wanting, I begin with 
recounting the several conjectures or discoveries of the learned 

II. Next, to enter upon the matter itself, and the evidence 
proper to it, I proceed to lay down the direct testimonies of the 
ancients, concerning the age, author, and value of this Creed. 

III. To these I subjoin an account of the ancient comments 
upon the same Creed, being but another kind of ancient testi 

IV. After these follows a brief recital of the most ancient, or 
otherwise most considerable, manuscripts of this Creed, which I 
have either seen myself or have had notice of from others. 


V. After the manuscripts of the Creed itself, I inquire also 
into the ancient versions of it, printed or manuscript ; which 
will be also very serviceable to our main design. 

VI. I come in the next place to treat of the ancient recep 
tion of this Creed in the Christian churches ; as being a point 
of great moment, and which may be more certainly determined 
than the time of its composition, and may give great light into it. 

VII. These preliminaries settled, to introduce to what follows, 
I then fall directly to the darkest part of all ; namely, to the 
inquiry after the age and author of the Creed : which I despatch 
in two distinct chapters. 

VIII. Next, I lay before the learned reader the Creed itself in 
its original language, with the most considerable various lections ; 
together with select passages from ancient writers, either parallel 
to those of the Creed, or explanatory of it. And, lest the 
English reader should appear to be neglected, I subjoin the 
Creed in English with a running English commentary, serving 
much the same purpose with what is intended by the Latin 
quotations going before. 

IX. I conclude all with a brief vindication of our own Church 
in receiving, and still retaining this excellent formulary of the 
Christian faith ; answering the most material objections which 
have been made against us, on that account ; and shewing the 
expediency, and even necessity of retaining this form, or some 
thing equivalent, for the preservation of the Christian faith 
against heresies. The Reader, I hope, will excuse it, if in com 
pliance with custom, and to save myself the trouble of circumlo 
cution, I commonly speak of it under the name of the Athanasian 
Creed ; not designing thereby to intimate, either that it is a 
Creed strictly and properly so called, or that it is of Athanasius's 
composing : both which points will be discussed in the sequel. 

108 THE OPINIONS <>l- 


The Opinions of the learned Moderns concerning the 
Athanasian Creed. 

A. D. 1642. IN reciting the opinions of the learned moderns, 
I need go no higher than Gerard Vossius : who in his treatise 
De Tribus Syrabolis, published in the year 1642, led the way to 
a more strict and critical inquiry concerning this Creed than had 
been before attempted. The writers before him, most of them, 
took it for granted that the Creed was Athanasius's, without 
troubling themselves with any very particular inquiry into it : 
and those few who doubted of it, or ascribed it to another, yet 
entered not closely into the merits of the cause, but went upon 
loose conjectures rather than upon any just rules of true and 
solid criticism. It will be sufficient therefore to begin our ac 
counts from Vossius, who, since the time of his writing, has 
been ever principally mentioned by writers upon the subject, as 
being the first and most considerable man that has entered deep 
into it, and treated of it like a critic. He endeavoured to sift 
the matter thoroughly, as far as he was well able to do from 
printed books : as to manuscripts, he either wanted leisure or 
opportunity to search for them. The result of his inquiries 
concluded in the following particulars, some of them dubiously, 
all of them modestly proposed by him. i . That the Athanasian 
Creed is not Athanasius's. 2. That it was originally a Latin 
composure, and of a Latin author or authors. 3. That it was 
made in the eighth or ninth century, in the time of Pepin, or of 
Charles the Great; and probably by some French divine. 
4. That the first time it was produced, under the name of 
Athanasius, at least, with any assurance and confidence of it 
being his, was in the year 1233, when Pope Gregory the IXth's 
legates pleaded it at Constantinople in favour of the procession 
against the Greeks. 5. That it scarce ever obtained in any of 
the Christian churches before the year 1000. These were his 
sentiments when he wrote his treatise De Tribus Symbolis. 
But in a posthumous piece of his, having then seen what some 
other learned men had written upon the subject, he was content 


to say that the Creed could not be set higher than the year 600 a . 
How far Vossius was mistaken in his accounts will appear in the 
sequel. Thus far must be allowed him, that he managed the 
argument with great learning and judgment, made a good use of 
such materials as he was possessed of; and though he was not 
very happy in determining the age of the Creed, or the time of 
its reception, yet he produced so many and such cogent arguments 
against the Creed^s being originally Greek, or being made by 
Athanasius, that they could never be answered. 

1644. The learned Petavius, who in the year 1622 (when he 
published Epiphanius) had fallen in with the common opinion 
of this Creed's being Athanasius's, did yet afterward in his 
treatise of the Trinity, published in the year 1644, speak more 
doubtfully of it ; in the mean while positive that it was written 
in Latin b . 

1647. The next considerable man, and who may be justly 
called a, first writer in this argument, as well as Vossius, was our 
learned Usher. He had a good acquaintance with libraries and 
manuscripts ; and was able from those stores to pi'oduce new 
evidences which Vossius knew not of. In the year 1647, he 
printed his Latin tract De Symbolis, with a prefatory epistle to 
Vossius. He there appeals to the testimonies of Ratram of 
Corbey, and ^Eneas Bishop of Paris, neither of them at that 
time made public, as also to Hincmar's of Rheims, (which had 
been published, but had escaped Vossius's observation,) to prove 
that this Creed had been confidently cited under the name of 
Athanasius almost 400 years before the time of Pope Gregory's 
legates, the time set by Vossius. And further by two manu 
scripts found in the Cotton Library, he thought he might carry 
up the antiquity of the Creed to the year 703, or even to 600. 
In short, he scrupled not to set the date of it above the year 
447 : for he supposes a council of Spain, held in that year, to 
have been acquainted with it, and to have borrowed the Filioque 
from it c . Thus far he. without any more particular determination 
about either the age or the author. 

a Neque ante annum fuisse sexcen- tion that the words, a Patre, Filioque 

tesimum, fuse ostendimus in libra De procedens, were genuine ; and not 

Symbolis. Voss. Harm. Evang. lib. ii. foisted into the Confession of that 

c. 13. p. 215. Council; as they now appear to have 

b Petavius de Trin. lib. vii. c. 8. been, after a more careful view of the 

P- 39 2 - MSS. of best note, and greatest an- 

c Usser. de Symbolis, pag. 24. tiquity. 
N. B. Usher went upon the supposi- 


1647. About the same time Dr. Jeremy Taylor (afterwards 
Bishop of Down and Connor) published his Liberty of Prophesy 
ing, wherein he expresses his doubts whether the Creed be 
justly ascribed to Athanasius. But as he had never seen Usher's 
treatise, nor indeed Vossius's, nor was at that time furnished with 
any proper assistances to enable him to make any accurate 
inquiries into this matter, it may suffice just to have mentioned 
him, in regard to the deserved name he has since borne in the 
learned world. 

1653. George Ashwell, B. D. published an English treatise 
which was printed at Oxford, entitled, Fides Apostolica, asserting 
the received authors and authority of the Apostles' Creed. At the 
end of which treatise, he has a pretty long Appendix concerning 
the Athanasian Creed; which is well written, and contains a 
good summary of what learned men, before him, had advanced 
upon the subject. His judgment of it is, that it was written in 
Latin, and by Athanasius himself, about the year 340. 

1659. Hamon L 1 Estrange d , in his Alliance of Divine Offices, 
gives his judgment of the Athanasian Creed, that it is not 
rightly ascribed to Athanasius, but yet ancient, and extant ann. 
600 after Christ. 

1659. Leo Allatius, about this year, printed his Syntagma 
de Symbolo S. Athanasii ; which no doubt must be a very use 
ful piece, especially in relation to the sentiments of the Greek 
churches, and the reception of this Creed amongst them : but I 
have never seen it ; only I learn from Tentzelius (who yet could 
never get a sight of it) and Fabricius, that such a piece was 
written by Allatius in modern Greek, in i2mo. published at 
Rome 1658 or 1659. It appears to be very scarce, since none 
of the learned who have since written upon this Creed, have 
either referred to it, or given extracts out of it, so far as I have 
observed : excepting only something of that kind at Borne, A.D. 
1667, by the College de propaganda Fide e . 

1663. Cardinal Bona, some years after, in his book De Divina 
Psalmodia, makes frequent mention of this Creed, touches 
slightly upon the question about its age and author, takes some 
cursory notice of what Vossius had said, but nevertheless ascribes 
it to Athanasius, as being composed by him while in the western 

d Hamon L'Estrange, Annot. in chap. iv. p. 99. 
c Vid. Tentzel. Judic. &c. p. 147. 


parts, teste Baronio ; resting his faith upon Baronius as his 
voucher f . 

1669. Our very learned Bishop Pearson, in his Exposition of 
the Creed, occasionally delivers his opinion, that the Athanasian 
Creed was written in Latin, and by some member of the Latin 
Church s ; and extant about the year 600. Though the last 
particular he builds only upon an epistle attributed to Isidore of 
Seville, and since judged to be spurious. 

1675. Jh- Lud. Ruelius, in his second volume, or tome, 
Conciliorum Illustratorum, has a particular dissertation, about 
thirty pages in quarto, upon this Creed. He follows Vossius^s 
opinion for the most part, repeating the same arguments 11 . 

1675. O UF next man of eminent character is Paschasius Quesnel, 
a celebrated French divine. In the year 1 675, he published his 
famous edition of Pope Leo's works, with several very valuable 
dissertations of his own. His fourteenth contains, among other 
matters, a particular inquiry about the author of this Creed. 
He ascribes it to Vigilius Tapsensis, the African'; and so well 
defends his position, that he has almost drawn the learned world 
after him. He is looked upon as the father of that opinion, be 
cause he has so learnedly and handsomely supported it : but he 
is not the first that espoused it. For Labbe, about fifteen 
years before, had taken notice of some that had ascribed this 
Creed to Vigilius, at the same time signifying his dissent from 
them k . 

1676. The year after Quesnel, Sandius, the famous Arian, 
printed a second edition of his Nucleus, &c. with an Appendix : 
wherein he corrects his former judgment 1 of this Creed, taken 
implicitly from Vossius ; and allows, nay, contends and insists 
upon it, that this Creed was not only known, but known under 
the name of Athanasius, as high at least as the year 7 70 m . He 
ascribes it, upon conjecture, to one Athanasius, Bishop of Spire 
in Germany, who died in the year 642. 

1678. I ought not to pass over our very learned Cudworth, 
though he has entered very little into the point before us. He 
gives his judgment, in passing, of the Creed commonly called 

f Bona de Divina Psalmod. cap. J Quesnel, Dissert, xiv. p. 729, &c. 

xvi. sect. 18. p. 864. k Labbsei Dissert, de Script. Eccles. 

Pearson on the Creed, Art. viii. torn. ii. p. 477. 

p. 324. ed-3. art. v. p. 226. 1 Vid. Sandii Nucl. Histor. Eccles. 

h Ruelii Concil. Illustrat. torn. ii. p. 256. 

p. 639 to 670. " Sandii Append, p. 35. 


Athanasian : that it " was written a long time after Athanasius 
" by some other hand"." 

1680. Henricus Heideggerus, in his second volume of Select 
Dissertations, (published at Zurich,) has one whole dissertation, 
which is the eighteenth, containing near forty pages in quarto. This 
author takes his account of the Creed mostly from Vossius, does 
not allow it to be Athanasius's, only called by his name as con 
taining the Athanasian faith : and he defends the doctrine of the 
Creed at large against the objections of Dudithius and other 
Antitrinitarians; and concludes with a running comment upon 
the whole. 

1 68 1. Wolfgang Gundling, a German writer, the year after, 
published a small Tract, containing notes upon a little piece 
relating to the religion of the Greek churches, written by Eustra- 
tius Johannides Zialowski. What is chiefly valuable in Gund 
ling is his account of the Greek copies of this Creed, (printed 
ones I mean,) giving us six of them together. He occasionally 
expresses his doubts whether the Creed be Athanasius's, or of 
some later writer . 

1683. I may next mention our celebrated ecclesiastical histo 
rian, Dr. Cave ; who about this time published his Lives of the 
Fathers, and particularly of Athanasius. His account of this 
Creed is, that it " was never heard of in the world till above 
" 600 years after Athanasius was dead ; but barely mentioned 
" then, and not urged with any confidence till above 200 years 
" after, when the legates of Pope Gregory the Ninth produced 
" and pleaded it at Constantinople P." The learned Doctor, it is 
plain, took this account from Vossius, and had never seen 
Usher's Treatise ; which one may justly wonder at. Five years 
after, in his Historia Literaria, he allows that this Creed had 
been spoken of by Theodulphus, which was within 436 years of 
Athanasius: but not a word yet of any elder testimony, or 
manuscript, though both had been discovered, and publicly 
taken notice of, before this time. He still contends'that the Creed 
obtained not in the Christian churches before i ooo, nor became 
famous every where before 1233; but inclines nevertheless to 
ascribe it to Vigilius Tapsensis, who flourished about the year 
4 8 4 q. 

n Cudworth, Intellect. Syst. p. 620. P Cave, Life of Athanasius, sect. 

Gundlingii notae in Eustratii Jo- vi. art. 10. 

hannidis Zialowski Delineationem EC- i Cave, Histor. Literar. vol. i. p. 

clesiac Graecsp, p. 68, &c. 146, 371. 


1684. Dr. Comber, in his book entitled, A Companion to the 
Temple, closes in with the old tradition of the Creed being Atha- 
nasius's; repeating the most considerable arguments usually 
pleaded for that persuasion 1 ". 

1684. To him I may subjoin Bishop Beveridge, who perhaps 
about this time might write his thoughts on the Creed, in his 
Exposition of our Articles, published after his death. He was 
so diligent and knowing a man, that had he been to consider 
this matter in his later years, he would certainly have given a more 
particular and accurate account than that which now appears. 
He ascribes the Creed to Athanasius, but with some diffidence ; 
and thinks it might have been originally a Greek composition, 
but that the old Greek copies have been lost, and that the only 
remaining ones are versions from the Latin 8 . 

1685. Cabassutius, in his Notitia Ecclesiastica, hath a short 
dissertation about the author of this Creed J . He contents him 
self with repeating QuesneFs arguments, to prove that Athanasius 
was not the author of it, determining nothing further; save only 
that it was originally a Latin composure, known and cited by 
the Council of Autun about the year 670. 

1687. The celebrated Dupin, in his Ecclesiastical History, 
sums up the reasons usually urged to prove the Creed is none of 
Athanasius's and assents to them. He determines with confi 
dence that it was originally a Latin composition, and not known 
till the fifth century; repeats Father QuesneFs reasons for 
ascribing it to Vigilius Tapsensis, and acquiesces in them, as 
having nothing more certain in this matter". 

1687. About the same time Tentzelius, a learned Lutheran, 
published a little treatise upon the subject x ; setting forth the 
several opinions of learned men concerning this Creed. He is 
very full and accurate in his collection, omitting nothing of 
moment that had been said before him by any of the learned 
moderns, but bringing in some further materials, from his own 
searches, to add new light to the subject. He determines 
nothing ; but leaves it to the reader to make a judgment as he 
sees cause from a full view of the pleadings. 

r Comber, Companion to the Tern- u Dupin, Eccles. Histor. vol. ii. p. 

pie, p. 144. 35. 

8 Beveridge on the eighth Article, p. x Ernesti Tentzelii Judicia Erudi- 

162. torum de Symb. Athanas. studiose 

4 Cabassutii Notit. Eccles. Dissert, collecta. Gotfue, A. D. 1687. 
xix. p. 54. 



1688. I may place here the learned Pagi, who in his Critick 
upon Baronius passes his judgment of this Greedy : which being 
the same with Quesnel's, and little more than repetition from him, 
I need not be more particular about him. 

1693. Joseph Antelmi, a learned Paris divine, first began di 
rectly to attack QuesneFs opinion ; and to sap the reasons on 
which it was founded. He published a particular Dissertation 
to that purpose z , consisting of eighty-five pages in octavo. He 
ascribes the Creed to Vincentius Lirinensis, who flourished in the 
year 434. 

1695. The famous Tillemont wrote after Antelmius; for he 
makes mention of his Treatise, and examines his hypothesis : 
and yet it could not be long after ; for he died in the year 1697. 
He commends Mr. Antelmi's performance as a considerable 
work ; but inclines still rather to Quesnel's opinion. All that 
he pronounces certain is, that the Creed is none of Athanasius's, 
but yet as old as the sixth century, or older a . 

1698. In the year 1698, Montfaucon published his new and 
accurate edition of Athanasius's works. In the second tome he 
has an excellent dissertation upon this Creed ; the best that is 
extant, either for order and method, or for plenty of useful 
matter. The sum of his judgment is, that the Creed is certainly 
none of Athanasius's, nor yet Vigilius Tapsensis's, nor suffi 
ciently proved to belong to Vincentius Lirinensis ; but probably 
enough composed about the time of Vincentius, and by a Gallican 
writer or writers b . 

1698. In the same year, Ludovicus Antonius Muratorius, an 
Italian writer, published a second tome of Anecdota out of the 
Ambrosian Library at Milan. Among other manuscripts there, he 
had met with an ancient Comment upon this Creed, ascribed to 
Venantius Fortunatus, who was Bishop of Poictiers in France 
in the sixth century. He publishes the Comment, together with 
a Dissertation of his own, concerning the author of the Creed : 

y Pagi, Critic, in Baron, an. 340. mur Afro itaque Vigilio nihil est 

n. 6. p. 440. quod symbolum Quicunque tribuatur. 

z Josephi Antelmu Disquisitio de Non aegre quidem concesserim 

bymbolo Athanasiano. Paris. 1693. Vincentii atate editam fuisse illam 

fidei professionem Haud abs re 

* iillemont, Memoires, torn. viii. conjectant viri eniditi in Galliis illud 

P' *l (symbolum) fuisse elucubratum . M ontf. 

oymbolum Quicunque Athanasio Diatrib. p. 723. 
incunctanter abjudicandum arbitra- 


concluding, at length, that Venantius Fortunatus, the certain 
author of the Comment, might possibly be the author of the 
Creed too. He entirely rejects the opinion of those that would 
ascribe it to Athanasius, and disapproves of QuesneFs persuasion 
about Vigilius Tapsensis ; but speaks favourably of Antelmi's, 
as coming nearest to the truth . 

1712. Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Grseca d , (highly valued by 
all men of letters,) gives a summary account of the sentiments of 
the learned relating to this Creed. His conclusion from all is, 
that thus far may be depended on as certain ; that the Creed 
was not composed by Athanasius, but long after, in the fifth 
century, written originally in Latin, and afterwards translated 
into Greek. 

1712. In the same year, the learned Le Quien published a 
new edition of Damascen, with Previous Dissertations to it. In 
the first of these, he has several very considerable remarks, con 
cerning the age and author of the Athanasian Creed. He 
appears inclinable to ascribe it to Pope Anastasius I. (who 
entered upon the Pontificate in the year 398,) because of some 
ancient testimonies, as well as manuscripts, carrying the name 
of Anastasius in the title of the Creed : but he is positive that 
the Creed must be set as high as the age of St. Austin, Vin- 
centius, and Vigilius 6 . And, as Antelmius before had made 
light of the supposition that the internal characters of the Creed 
shew it to be later than Eutyches ; he makes as light of the 
other supposition of the internal characters setting it later than 

1714. Natalis Alexander's new edition of his Ecclesiastical 
History bears date A. D. 1714. He had examined into our 
present question some years before, (about 1676, when his first 
edition came abroad,) subscribing to the opinion of Quesnel : 
and he does not appear to have altered his mind since. He 
takes notice of Antelmi's opinion, and speaks respectfully of it, 
as also of the author ; but prefers the other hypothesis f . 

1715. I ought not here to omit the late learned Mr. Bingham, 

c Haec et similia pluribus pertrac- p. 315. 

tavit eruditissimus Anthelmius, cujus e Omnino fateri cogor Augustini, 

opinion!, quorumnam eruditorum suf- Vincentii, et Vigilii aetate extitisse ex- 

fragia accesserint, me penitus fugit : positionem Latinam fidei, quae post- 

fateor tamen ad veritatem omnium modum Athanasio Magno attribui 

maxime illam accedere. Murator. torn, meruerit. Le Quien, Dissert, i. p. 9. 

ii. p. 222. f Natal. Alexand. Eccl. Hist. torn. 

d Fabricii Biblioth. Graaca, vol. v. iv. p. in. 

i 2 


to whom the public has been highly indebted for his Origines 
Ecclesiastics, collected with great judgment, and digested into 
a clear method. He had a proper occasion to say something of 
the Athanasian Creed, in passing, and very briefly. He observes, 
that it was not composed by Athanasius, but by a later, and a 
Latin writer; and particularly Vigilius Tapsensis; referring to 
such learned moderns as I have above mentioned for the proof 
of it ; and giving no more than short hints of their reasons e. 

1719. Dr. Clarke of St. James's, in his second edition of his 
Scripture Doctrine h , gives us his last thoughts in relation to 
this Creed. Referring to Dr. Cave, he informs us, that " this 
" Creed was never seen till about the year 800, near 400 years 
" after the death of Athanasius," (they are his own words,) 
" nor was received in the Church till so very late as about the 
" year 1000." Yet Cave does not say, was never seen, (for he 
himself ascribes it to Vigilius Tapsensis, of the fifth century,) 
but only that it was not quoted before the year 800, or nearly ; 
which yet is a very great mistake. What the learned Doctor 
intended by saying " about the year 800," and yet only " near 
" 400 years after the death of Athanasius,' 1 or, as he elsewhere' 
expresses it, " above 300 years after the death of Athanasius," 
I do not understand ; but must leave to those that can compute 
the distance between 373 (the latest year that Athanasius is 
ever supposed to have lived) and the year 800. I am persuaded, 
the Doctor was thinking, that if Athanasius had lived to the 
year 400, then the distance had been just 400 years ; but as he 
died 27 years before, the distance must be so much the less, when 
it is quite the contrary. 

1722. The last man that has given his sentiments in relation to 
this Creed is Casimirus Oudinus, in his new edition of his Supple 
ment (now called a Commentary) to the Ecclesiastical Writers. 
I need say no more than that he does not seem to have spent 
much pains in reexamining this subject, but rests content with his 
first thoughts ; ascribing the Creed, with Quesnel, to Vigilius 
Tapsensis k . 

These are the principal moderns that have fallen within my 
notice : and of these, the most considerable are Vossius, Usher, 

K Bingham'sAntiq. of the Christian ! Clarke's Script. Doctr. p. 447. 

Church, vol. iii. p. 546. &c. Oxf. edit, ist edit. 

J 855' * Vid. Oudin. Comraentar. de 

"Clarke's Script. Doctr. p. 379. Script. Eccl. vol. i. p. 345, 1248, 1322. 
2nd edit. 



Quesnel, Tentzelius, Antelmius, Tillemont, Montfaucon, Muratorius, and 
Le Quien ; as having particularly studied the subject, and struck new 
light into it, either furnishing fresh materials, or improving the old by new 
observations. Some perhaps may wish to have the several opinions of 
the moderns thrown into a narrower compass : for which reason I have 
thought it not improper to subjoin the following table, which will repre 
sent all in one view, for the ease and conveniency of every common 



Author of the Creed. 

What Century 
composed in. 

What Year 




A Latin Author. 

Not bef. 600. 





1647. Bishop Usher. 


Before 447. 

Bef. 852. 

1647. Bishop Taylor. 

Not Athanasius. 

1653. G.Ashwell. 




1659. L'Estrange. 

Not Athanasius. 

Before 600. 

1659. Leo Allatius. 




1663. Card. Bona. 

Athanasius Alex. 



1669. Bishop Pearson. 

A Latin Author. 

About 600. 

1675. Ruelius. 

Not Athanasius. 

1675. Paschas. Quesnel. 

Vigilius Tapsensis. 



Bef. 670. 

1676. Sandius. 

Athanasius of Spire. 


Before 642. 

Bef. 770. 

1678. Dr. Cudworth, 

Not Athanasius. 

After the IVth. 



Vigilius Tapsensis. 




Wolf. Gundling. 



Dr. Cave. 

Vigilius Tapsensis. 





Dr. Comber. 

Athanasius Alex. 




Bishop Beveridge. 

Athanasius Alex. 


Bef. 850. 



A Latin Author. 

Bef. 670. 



Vigilius Tapsensis. 








Vigilius Tapsensis. 






Vincentius Lirinens. 


Before 450. 



Not Athanasius. 

Vlth or sooner. 



A Gallican Writer. 


Bef. 670. 


Ant. Muratorius. 

Venant. Fortunatus. 






A Latin Author. 




Le Quien. 

Anastasius I. 

IVth or Vth. 

Before 401. 



Natal. Alexander. 

Vigilius Tapsensis. 




Mr. Bingham. 

Vigilius Tapsensis. 




Dr. Clarke. 






Vigilius Tapsensis. 





Ancient Testimonies. 

HAVING taken a view of the moderns, in relation to the 
Creed, we may now enter upon a detail of the ancients, and 
their testimonies ; by which the moderns must be tried. My 
design is to lay before the reader all the original evidence I can 
meet with, to give any light either into the age or author of the 
Creed, or its reception in the Christian churches; that so the 
reader may be able to judge for himself concerning the three 
particulars now mentioned, which are what I constantly bear 
in my eye, producing nothing but with a view to one or more 
of them. 

Ancient testimonies have been pretended from Gregory Nazian- 
zen, Gaudentius Brixiensis, St. Austin, and Isidorus Hispalensis, 
of the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. But they have been 
since generally and justly exploded by the learned, as being either 
spurious or foreign to the point; and therefore I conceive it very 
needless to take any further notice of them. As to quotations 
from our Creed, or comments upon it, falling within the compass 
of the centuries now mentioned ; if there be any such, they shall 
be considered under other heads, distinct from that of ancient 
testimonies, properly so called, to be treated of in this chapter. 

670. The oldest of this kind, hitherto discovered, or observed, 
is that of the Council of Autun in France, under Leodegarius, 
or St. Leger, the Bishop of the place in the seventh century, 
There is some dispute about the year when the Council was 
held, whether in 663, or 666, or 670. The last is most probable, 
and most generally embraced by learned men. The words of 
this Council in English run thus : " If any Presbyter, Deacon, 
" Subdeacon, or Clerk, doth not unreprovably recite the Creed 
" which the Aposties delivered by inspiration of the Holy 
" Ghost, and also the Faith of the holy Prelate Athanasius, let 
" him be censured by the Bishop V By the Faith of Athanasius 
is here meant what we now call the Athanasian Creed ; as may 
be reasonably pleaded from the titles which this Creed bore in 

1 Si quis Presbyter, Diaconus, Sub- Praesulis irreprehensibiliter non recen- 

diaconu8,velClericusSyn)bolumquod suerit; ab Episcopo condemnetur. 

Sancto inspirante Spiritu Apostoli tra- Augustodun. Synod. Harduin. torn. iii. 

diderunt, et Fidem Sancti Athanasii p. 1016. 


the earlier times, before it came to have the name of a Creed : 
which titles shall be exhibited both from manuscripts and written 
evidences in the sequel. Yet it must not be dissembled that 
Papebrochius, a learned man, and whom I find cited with appro 
bation by Muratorius m , is of opinion, that the Faith of Athanasius, 
here mentioned, means the Nicene Creed, which Athanasius had 
some hand in, and whereof he was the great defender. I can by 
no means come into his opinion, or allow any force to his reason 
ings. He asks, why should the Nicene Creed be omitted, and 
not mentioned with the Apostles' ? And why should the Atha- 
nasian, not then used in the Sacred Offices, be recommended so 
carefully, without a word of the Nicene? I answer, because it 
does not appear that the Nicene Creed was so much taken 
notice of at that time in the Gallican churches, while the Apo 
stolical, or Eoman Creed, made use of in baptism, in the western 
churches, instead of the Nicene, (which prevailed in the east,) 
in a manner superseded it : which no one can wonder at who 
considers how prevailing and universal the tradition had been in 
the Latin Church, down from the fifth century at least, that the 
Apostolical Creed was composed by the twelve Apostles, and 
therefore as sacred, and of as great authority as the inspired 
writings themselves. Besides that it appears from Hincmar, 
who will be cited in his place, that it was no strange thing, even 
so low as his time, about 850, to recommend the Athanasian 
Creed along with the Apostles', without a word of the Nicene. 
And why should it be thought any objection against the Atha 
nasian Creed, that it was not at that time received into the 
Sacred Offices, (supposing it really was not, which may be 
questioned,) when it is certain that the Nicene was not yet 
received into the Sacred Offices in France, nor till many years 
after, about the time of Pepin, or of Charles the Great ? There 
is therefore no force at all in the argument of Papebrochius : but 
there is this strong prejudice against it, that the title there given 
is a very common title for the Athanasian Creed, and not for the 

m Atqui, ut eruditissime adnotavit Apostolico Symbolo commendato Ni- 

Cl. P. Papebrochius, in Respons. ad casnum praetermisissent Augustodu- 

Exhibitionem Error, par. 2. art. xiii. nenses Patres ? Cur Atbanasiani Sym- 

n. 3. verbis illis Fidem S. Athanasii, boli cujus tune nullus erat usus in 

minime Symbolum Athanasium desig- sacris, cognitionem exegissent, Nicae- 

natur, sed quidem Nicaenum, in quo numque ne uno quidem verbo comme- 

elaborando pluriraum insudasse Atha- morassent? Murator. Anecdot. torn, 

nasium verisimile est. Etenim cur ii. p. 223. 


Nicene. Nor would the Fathers of that Council have been so 
extravagantly fond of the name of Athanasius, as to think it a 
greater commendation of the Creed of Nice to call it after him, 
than to call it the Nicene. There is then no reasonable doubt to 
be made, but that the Council of Autun, in the Canon, intended 
the Athanasian Creed ; as the best critics and the generality of 
the learned have hitherto believed. 

But there are other objections of real weight against the evi 
dence built upon this Canon, i . Oudin makes it a question whether 
there was ever any council held under Leodegarius, a suffragan 
Bishop under the Archbishop of Lyons, having no metropolitical 
authority". But it may suffice, if the Council was held at Autun, 
while he was Bishop of the place, a good reason why he should 
be particularly mentioned ; especially considering the worth and 
fame of the man : to say nothing of the dignity of his see, which 
from the time of Gregory the Great had been the second, or next 
in dignity to the metropolitical see of Lyons. Nor do I perceive 
any force in Oudin's objection against St. Leger's holding a di 
ocesan synod, (for a provincial synod is not pretended,) though 
he was no metropolitan. 2. A stronger objection is, that the 
Canon we are concerned with cannot be proved to belong to the 
Council held under Leodegarius. It is not found among the 
Canons of that Council published by Sirmondus from the manu 
scripts of the library of the church of Angers, but it is from 
another collection, out of the library of the monastery of St. 
Benignus of Dijon, with this title only; Canones Augustodu- 
nenses : so that one cannot be certain whether it belongs to the 
Synod under St. Leger, or to some other Synod of Autun much 
later. It must be owned that the evidence can amount to no 
more than probable presumption, or conjecture. Wherefore 
Dupin , TentzeliusP, Muratoriusq, and Oudin r , do not scruple 
to throw it aside as of too suspected credit to build any thing 
certain upon : and even Quesnel 8 expresses some dissatisfaction 
about it ; only in respect to some great names, such as Sirmon 
dus, Peter le Lande, Godfr. Hermantius, &c. he is willing to 
acquiesce in it. To whom we may add, Labbe*, Le Coint n , 

n Oudin. Comment, de Script. EC- * Casim. Oudin. vol. i. p. 348. 

cles. torn. i. p. 348. Quesnel, Dissert, xiv. p. 731. 

Dupm, Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 35. t Labb. Dissert, de Script. Eccles. 

lentzel. Judic. Erud. p. 61, &c. torn. ii. p. 478. 

i Murator. Anecdot. Ambros. torn. u Le Coint, Annal. Franc, ad ann. 

" P- 223- 663. n. 22. 


Cabassutius*, Pagiy, Tillemont 2 , Montfaucon a , Fabricius b , 
Harduin c , and our learned antiquary Mr. Bingham d : who all 
accept it as genuine, but upon probable persuasion, rather than 
certain conviction. Neither do I pretend to propose it as clear 
and undoubted evidence, but probable only, and such as will be 
much confirmed by other evidences to be mentioned hereafter. 

760. Regino, abbot of Prom in Germany, an author of the 
ninth and tenth century, has, among other collections, some 
Articles of Inquiry, supposed by Baluzius the editor to be as 
old, or very nearly, as the age of Boniface, Bishop of Mentz, 
who died in the year 754. In those Articles there is one to 
this purpose : " Whether the clergy have by heart Athanasius's 
" Tract upon the Faith of the Trinity, beginning with Whosoever 
" will be saved 6 , &c." This testimony I may venture to place 
about 760, a little after the death of Boniface. 

794. The Council of Frankfort, in Germany, in their thirty- 
third Canon give orders, that " the Catholic Faith of the holy 
" Trinity, and Lord's Prayer, and Creed, be set forth and 
" delivered to all f ." 

Vossiuss understands the Canon of the two Creeds, Nicene 
and Apostolical. But I know not why the Apostolical, or 
Roman Creed, should be emphatically called Symbolum Fidel, 
The Creed, in opposition to the Nicene ; nor why the Nicene 
should not be called a Creed, as well as the other, after the usual 
way. Besides, that Fides Catholica, &c. has been more peculiarly 
the title of the Athanasian Creed : and it was no uncommon 
thing, either before or after this time, to recommend it in this 
manner together with the Lord's Prayer and Apostles' Creed, 
just as we find here. And nothing could be at that time of 
greater service against the heresy of Felix and Elipandus, (which 
occasioned the calling of the Council,) than the Athanasian 
Creed. For which reasons, till I see better reasons to the con- 

x Cabassut. Notit. Eccl. Dissert. e Si Sermonem Athanasii Episcopi 

xix. p. 54. de Fide Sanctae Trinitatis, cujus ini- 

y Pagi Crit. in Baron, ann. 340. tium est, Quicunque vult salvus esse, 

n. 6. memoriter teneat. Regin. de Discipl. 

z Tillemont, Memoires, vol. viii. Eccles. 1. 1. 

p. 668. f Ut Fides Catholica Sanctae Tri- 

a Montfauc. Diatrib. p. 720. nitatis, et Oratio Dominica, atque 

' Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol.v. p. 316. Symbolum Fidei omnibus praedicetur, 

c Harduin. Concil. torn. iii. p. 1016. et tradatur. Condi. Francf. Can. 33. 

d Bingbam, Origin. Eccl. vol. iii. s Vossius de tribus Symb. Dissert, 

p. 548, Oxf. edit. 1855. iii. c. 52. p. 528. 


trary, I must be of opinion that the Council of Frankfort in 
their thirty-third Canon intended the Athanasian Creed, which 
Charles the Great had a particular respect for, and had pre 
sented in form to Pope Adrian I. above twenty years before ; as 
we shall see in another chapter. 

809. Theodulphus, Bishop of Orleans in France, has a Treatise 
of the Holy Ghost, with a preface to Charles the Great, written 
at a time when the dispute about the procession began to make 
disturbance. He brings several testimonies in favour of the 
procession from the Son, out of Athanasius ; and, among others, 
a pretty large part of the Athanasian Creed, from the words, 
" The Father is made of none, &c." to " He therefore that will 
" be saved must thus think of the Trinity 11 ," inclusive. 

809. An anonymous writer of the same time, and in the same 
cause, and directing himself to the same Prince, makes the like 
use of the Athanasian Creed, in the following words ; " St. 
" Athanasius, in the Exposition of the Catholic Faith, which 
" that great master wrote himself, and which the universal 
" Church professes, declares the procession of the Holy Ghost 
" from the Father and Son, thus saying ; The Father is made of 
" none' 1 , &c." This I cite upon the credit of Sirmondus in his 
notes to Theodulphus. 

809. It was in the same year that the Latin monks of Mount 
Olivet wrote their Apologetical Letter to Pope Leo III. justify 
ing their doctrine of the procession from the Son, against one 
John of Jerusalem, a monk too, of another monastery, and of 
an opposite persuasion. Among other authorities, they appeal 
to the Faith of Athanasius, that is, to the Creed, as we now 
call it. This I have from Le Quien, the learned editor of 
Damascen, who had the copy of that letter from JJaluzius, as he 
there signifies k . 

820. Not long after, Hatto, otherwise called Hetto and Ahyto, 

h Item idem Pater a nullo est Op. torn. ii. p. 978. Conf. p. 967. 

factus, &c. usque ad Qui vult ergo k i n R egu ] a Sancti Benedict! quam 

salvus esse, &c. Theodulph. apud nobis dedit Filius vester Dominus 

Sirmondum Oper. torn. ii. p. 978. Karolus, quse habet fidem scriptam de 

Incertus autor <niem diximus, hoc sancta et inseparabili Trinitate ; Credo 
ipso utens testimonio, Beatus, inquit, Spiritum Sanctum Deum verum ex 
Athanasius, in Expositione Catholicse Patre procedentem et Filio : et in Dia- 
Fidei, quam ipse egregius Doctor con- logo quern nobis vestra sanctitas dare 
scnpsit, et quam universal confitetur dignata est similiter dicit. Et in Fide 
Ecclesia, processionem Spiritus Sancti S. Athanasii eodem modo dicit. Mo 
ra Patre et Filio declarat, ita dicens : nachi de Monte Oliv. apud Le Quien, 
Pater a nullo est factus, &c. Sirmond. Dissert. Damasc. p. 7. 


Bishop of Basil in France, composed his Capitular, or Book of 
Constitutions, for the regulation of the clergy of his diocese. 
Amongst other good rules, this makes the fourth ; " That they 
" should have the Faith of Athanasius by heart, and recite it at 
" the prime (that is, at seven o'clock in the morning) every Lord's 
" Dayi." 

820. Agobardus of the same time, Archbishop of Lyons, wrote 
against Felix Orgelitanus; where he occasionally cites part of 
the Athanasian Creed. His words are : " St. Athanasius says, 
" that except a man doth keep the Catholic faith whole and un- 
" defiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly 10 ." 

852. In the same age flourished the famous Hincmar, Arch 
bishop of Kheims ; who so often cites or refers to the Creed we 
are speaking of, as a standing rule of faith, that it may be need 
less to produce the particular passages. I shall content myself 
with one only, more considerable than the rest for the use that 
is to be made of it hereafter. He directs his presbyters " to 
" learn Athanasius's Treatise of Faith, (beginning with Whoso- 
" ever ivill be saved,) to commit it to memory, to understand its 
" meaning, and to be able to give it in common words n ;" that 
is, I suppose, in the vulgar tongue. He at the same time recom 
mends the Lord's Prayer and (Apostles') Creed , as I take it, 
without mentioning the Nicene : which I particularly remark, 
for a reason to be seen above. It is further observable, that 
though Hincmar here gives the Athanasian formulary the name 
of a Treatise of Faith; yet he elsewhere? scruples not to call 
it (Symbolum) a Creed : and he is, probably, as Sirmondus ob 
serves "J, the first writer who gave it the name it bears at this 
day. Which, I suppose, may have led Oudin into his mistake, 

1 IVto. Ut Fides Sancti Athanasii tiones regulariter, et ex corde, cum 

a sacerdotibus discatur, et ex corde, canticis consuetudinariis pronuntiare 

die Dominico ad primam recitetur. sciat. Necnon et Sermonem Atha- 

Basil. Capitul. apud Harduin. torn. iv. nasii de Fide, cujus initium est, Qui- 

p. 1 24 1 . cunque vult salvus esse, memoriae quis- 

m Beatus Athanasius ait ; Fidem que commendet, sensum illius intel- 

Catholicam nisi quis integram, iravio- ligat, et verbis communibus enuntiare 

latamque servaverit, absque dubio in queat. Hincm. Capit.i. torn. i. p. 710. 

aeternum peribit. Agobard. adv. Felic. ed. Sirmond. 

cap. 3. ed. Baluz. Vid. Hincm. Opusc. ad Hincmar. 

n Unusquisque presbyterorum Ex- Laudunensem, torn. ii. p. 473. 

positionem Symboli atque Orationis P Athanasius in Symbolo dicens 

Dominicae, juxta traditionem ortho- &c. de Praedestin. torn. i. p. 309. 

doxorum patrum plenius discat i Sirmond. Not. in Theodulph. p. 

Psalmorum etiam verba, et distinc- 978. 


that no tenter be/ore Hincmar ever made mention of this Creed r , 
a mistake, which, though taken notice of by Tentzelius 3 in the 
year 1687, he has nevertheless again and again repeated in his 
last edition. 

865. In the same age lived Anscharius, monk also of Corbey, 
and afterwards Archbishop of Hamburgh and Bremen in Germany. 
Among his dying instructions to his clergy, he left this for one ; 
that they should be careful to recite the Catholic Faith com 
posed by Athanasius*. This is reported by Rembertus, the 
writer of his Life, and successor to him in the same see ; who 
had been likewise monk of Corbey : so that we have here two 
considerable testimonies in one. 

868. Contemporary with these was ^Eneas, Bishop of Paris, 
who, in his treatise against the Greeks, quotes the Athanasian 
Creed under the name of Fides Catholica u , Catholic Faith, pro 
ducing the same paragraph of it which Theodulphus had done 
sixty years before. 

868. About the same time, and in the same cause, Eatram, or 
Bertram, monk of Corbey in France, made the like use of this 
Creed, calling it, a Treatise of the Faith x . 

871. Adalbertus of this time, upon his nomination to a bishop 
ric in the province of Rheims, was obliged to give in a profession 
of his faith to Archbishop Hincmar. Among other things, he 
professes his great regard to the Athanasian Creed, (Sermo 
Athanasii,) as a Creed received with great veneration by the Catho 
lic Church, or being of customary and venerable use in itJ. This 
testimony is considerable in regard to the reception of this Creed ; 
and not before taken notice of, so far as I know, by those that 
have treated of this argument. 

7 Oudin, Commentar. vol. i. p. 345, Episcopus, in libello de Fide quern edi- 
I3 22< dit, et omnibus Catholicis proposuit 

8 Tentzel. Judic. Eruditor. p. 144. tenendum, inter caetera sic ait ; Pater 
' Cum instaret obitus, praecepit ut a nullo estfactus, nee creatus, nee ge- 

fratres canerent Fidem Catholicam a nitus, &c. Ratr. contra Gracor, op- 

beato Athanasio compositam. Anschar. pos. lib. ii. cap. 3. 

Vit. apud Petr. Lambec. in Append. y In Sermone Beati Athanasii, 

lib. i. Kenan Hamburg, p. 237. quern Ecclesia Catholica venerando 

Sanctus Athanasius, sedis Alex- usu frequentare consuevit, qui ita in- 

andrinae Episcopus, &c. Item, cipit; Quicunque vult salvus esse, ante 

idem in Fide Catholica, quod Spiritus omnia opus est ut teneat Catholicam 

Sanctus a Patre procedat et Filio, fidem. Professio Adalbert! Episcopi 

Pater a nullo estfactus, &c. JEneas Morinensis futuri. Harduin. Condi. 

Paris, adv. Greec. cap. 19. torn. v. p. 1445. 

1 Beatus Athanasius, Alexandrinus 


889. This Creed is again mentioned in the same age by Ricul- 
phus Bishop of Soissons in France, in his pastoral charge to the 
clergy of his diocese. He calls it a Treatise (or Discourse) of 
Catholic Faith 2 . This I take from Father Harduin's Councils, 
as also the former, with the dates of both. 

960. Ratherius, Bishop of Verona, in Italy in the year 928, and 
afterwards of Liege in Germany in the year 953, and restored 
to his see of Verona in the year 955, did after this time write 
instructions to his clergy of Verona ; in which he makes men 
tion of all the three Creeds, Apostolical, Nicene, and Athanasian ; 
obliging his clergy to have them all by heart : which shews that 
they were all of standing use in his time, in his diocese at 
least a . 

997. Near the close of this century lived Abbo, or Albo, 
Abbot of Fleury, or St. Benedict upon the Loire in France. 
Upon some difference he had with Arnulphus Bishop of Orleans, 
he wrote an Apology, which he addressed to the two kings of 
France, Hugh and Robert. In that Apology he has a passage 
relating to our purpose, running thus: "I thought proper, in 
" the first place, to speak concerning the Faith : which I have 
" heard variously sung in alternate choirs, both in France and 
" in the Church of England. For some, I think, say, in the 
" Athanasian form, the Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the 
" Son, neither made, nor created, but proceeding : who while they 
" leave out, nor begotten, are persuaded that they are the more 
" conformable to Gregory's Synodical Epistle, wherein it is 
" written, that the Holy Ghost is neither unbegotten, nor begotten, 
" but proceeding**." I have taken the liberty of throwing in a 

z Item monemus, ut unusquisque scopi de Fide Trinitatis, cujus initium 

vestrum Psalmos, et Sermonem Fidei est, Quicunque vult, memoriter teneat. 

Catholicae, cujus initium, Quicunque Ratherii Synod. Epist. Harduin. Con. 

vult salvus esse, et Canonem Missae, p. 787. 

et cantum, vel compotum, memoriter, b Primitus de Fide dicendum cre- 

et veraciter et correcte tenere studeat. didi ; quam alternantibus choris et in 

Riculf. Const. 5. Harduin. Condi. Francia, et apud Anglorum Ecclesiam 

torn. vi. p. 415. variari audivi. Alii enim dicunt, ut 

a Ipsam Fidem, idest Credulitatem, arbitror, secundum Athanasium, Spi- 

Dei, trifarie parare memoriter festi- ritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio nonfac- 

netis : hoc est, secundum Symbolum tus, non creatus, sed procedens : qui 

id est Collationem Apostolorum, sicut dum id quod est non genitus subtra- 

in Psalteriis correctis invenitur; et hunt, Synodicum Domini Gregorii se 

illam quae ad Missam canitur; et il- sequi credunt, ubi ita est scnptum; 

lam Sancti Athanasii quae ita incipit ; Spiritus Sanctus nee ingenitus est, nee 

Quicunque vult salvus esse Sermo- genitus, sed procedens. Abbo Floria- 

nem, ut superius dixi, Athanasii Epi- cens. Apol. ad Francor. Reaes. 


word or two to make the sentence run the clearer. What the 
author intends is, that some scrupulous persons, both in France 
and England, recited the Athanasian Creed with some alteration, 
leaving out two words, to make it agree the better, as they ima 
gined, with Gregory's Synodical instructions. As to their scruple 
herein, and the ground of it, I shall say more of it in a proper 
place. All I am to observe at present is, that this testimony is 
full for the custom of alternate singing the Athanasian Creed, 
at this time, in the French and English Churches. And indeed we 
shall meet with other as full, and withal earlier evidence of the 
same custom, when we come to treat of manuscripts in the fol 
lowing chapters. To proceed with our ancient testimonies. 

1047. I* 1 the next century, we meet with Gualdo, a monk of 
Corbey ; who likewise wrote the life of Anscharius, but in verse, 
as Bembertus had before done in prose. He also takes some 
notice of our Creed, ascribing it to Athanasius c . 

1130. In the century following, Honorius, a scholastic divine 
of the Church of Autun, in his book entitled, The Pearl of the 
Soul, (which treats of the Sacred or Liturgic Offices,) reckons 
up the several Creeds of the Church, making in all four : namely, 
the Apostolical, the Nicene, the Constantinopolitan, and the 
Athanasian. Of the last, he observes, that it was daily repeated 
at the prime d . He ascribes it to Athanasius of Alexandria in 
the time of Theodosius : where he is undoubtedly mistaken in 
his chronology. For, if he means the first Athanasius of Alex 
andria, he is too early for either of the Theodosius's ; and if he 
means it of the second, he is as much too late. But a slip in 
chronology might be pardonable in that age : nor does it at all 
affect the truth of what he attests of his own times. 

1146. Otho, Bishop of Frisinghen in Bavaria, may here be 
taken notice of, as being the first we have met with who pretends 
to name the place where Athanasius is supposed to have made 
this Creed ; Triers, or Treves, in Germany 6 . It is no improba 
ble conjecture of M. Antelmi, that the copy of the Creed found 
at Treves, being very ancient, or the most ancient of any, and 

c Catholicamque Fidem quam com- Honor. Augustod. Gemm. Aninue, lib. ii. 

posuisse beatus cap. 5. Bibl. PP. torn. xx. p. 1086. 

Fertur Athanasius Goal- e Ibidem manens in Ecclesia Tre- 

don. Vit. Ansch. apud Lambec. p. 322. virorum sub Maximino ejusdem Ec- 

Quarto, Fidem Quicunque vult, clesiae Episcopo, Quicunque vult, &c. 

quotidieadprimamiterat, quamAtha- a quibusdam dicitur edidisse. Oth. 

nasius Alexandrinus Episcopus, ro- Prising. Chronic, lib. iv. cap. 7. p. 44. 

gatu Theodosii Imperatoris, edidit. al. p. 75. 


from which many others were taken, might first occasion the 
story of the Creed's being made at Treves, and by Athanasius 
himself, who by his exile thither might render that place famous 
for his name to all after-ages. 

1171. Arnoldus, in his Chronicle, informs us of an abbot of 
Brunswick, who attending the Duke of Brunswick, at this time, 
in his journey into the east, had some disputes with the Greeks 
at Constantinople, upon the article of procession, and pleaded the 
usual passage out of this Creed ; whose words are to be seen in 
the margin f . What is most to be noted is the title of Symbolum 
Fidei, which now began to be common to this form, as to the 
other Creeds. 

1 178. Eobertus Paululus, Presbyter of Amiens, in the diocese 
of Rheims, speaking of the Offices recited at the prime, observes 
that the piety of good Christians had thereunto added the 
" Quicunque vult, that the articles necessary to salvation might 
" never be forgotten any hour of the days." 

1 1 90. Beleth, a celebrated Paris divine, is the oldest writer 
that takes notice of this Creed's being commonly ascribed to 
Anastasius; though he himself ascribes it to Athanasius h . 
Tentzelius 1 marks some differences between the prints and the 
manuscripts of this author, and betwixt one manuscript and 
another. But as the difference, though in words considerable, is 
yet very little in the sense, it is not material to our present pur 
pose to be more particular about it. 

1200. I must not omit Nicolaus Hydruntinus, a native of 
Otranto in Italy, who sided with the Greeks, and wrote in Greek 
against the Latins. He understood both languages, and was 
often interpreter between the Greeks and Latins, in their disputes 
at Constantinople, Athens, and Thessalonica k . He wrote several 

f Unde Athanasius in Symbolo Fi- bola ; minimum quod a cunctis com- 

dei : Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio muniter in quotidiana oratione dici- 

non factus, nee creatus, nee genitus, tur, quod Apostoli simul composue- 

sed procedens. Ecce Spiritum Sane- runt. Secundum est quod in prima 

turn a Patre dicit procedere et a Filio. recitatur, Quicunque vult salmis esse .- 

Henric. Abb. apud Arnold. Chron. quod ab Athanasio Patriarcha Alex- 

Slavor. lib. iii. cap. 5. p. 248. andrino contra Arrianos haereticos 

B His addidit fidelium devotio, Qui- compositum est, licet plerique eum 

cunque vult salvus esse, ut Articulorum Anastasium fuisse falso arbitrentur. 

Fidei qui sunt necessarii ad salutem, Beleth. de Divin. Offic. cap. xl. p. 334. 

nulla diei hora obliviscamur. Rob. ed. Venet. 

Paulul. inter Oper. Hugon. de S. Vic- * Tentzel. Judicia Erudit. p. 91. 
tor. de Offic. Eccl. lib. ii. cap. i. p. k Vid. Fabric. Bibl. Grsec. vol. x. 

26 5- P-393- 

1 Notandum est quatuor esse Sym- 


tracts, out of which Leo Allatius has published some fragments. 
There is one relating to the Athanasian Creed, which must here 
be taken notice of ; being of use for the certifying us that this 
Creed was extant in Greek at and before his time. It is this : 
" They (the Greeks) do not know who made the addition to the 
" Faith of Athanasius, styled Catholic ; since the words, and of 
" the Son, are not in the Greek (form,) nor in the Creed 1 ' (of 
Constantinople 1 ). 

From this passage we may learn, that there was a Greek copy 
of the Athanasian Creed at this time ; that it wanted the words, 
of the Son; that it was looked upon as Athanasius's ; and that 
the title was, The Catholic Faith of St. Athanasius : which is 
its most usual title in the Latin copies. I may just hint to the 
reader, that though both TTIOTIS in the Greek, and fides in the 
Latin, might justly be rendered creed in English, rather than 
faith, whenever it stands for a formulary or confession of faith, 
as it does here ; yet because I should otherwise want another 
English word for vvufioKov in the Greek, and symbolum in the 
Latin, I therefore reserve the word creed, in this case, for dis 
tinction sake, to be the rendering of symbolum, or (rvpfioXov, and 
nothing else. But to proceed. 

1 230. Alexander of Hales, in Gloucestershire, may here deserve 
to be mentioned, as shewing what Creeds were then received in 
England. He reckons up three only, not four, (as those that 
make the Nicene and Constantinopolitan to be two ;) namely, 
the Apostles', the Nicene or Constantinopolitan, and the Atha 
nasian : where we may observe, that the Athanasian has the 
name of a Creed, which yet was not its most usual or common 
title in those times : only the Schoolmen, for order and method 
sake, chose to throw it under the head of Creeds. 

1233. I am next to take notice of the famed legates of Pope 
Gregory the IXth, (Haymo, Radolphus, Petrus, and Hugo,) 
who produced this Creed in their conferences with the Greeks at 
Constantinople. They asserted it to be Athanasius's, and made 
by him while an exile in the western parts, and penned in the 

1 "On Kal avToi a-yvoovo-i, nj o irpoa-- Occident. Sec. lib.iii. cap. I. n. 5. p. 887. 
Operas tv TJ) iria-Td TOV ayiov ' A0at>a- m Tria sunt Symbola: primum 
o-t'ov, rfj KadoXtKji \tyop.fvy, <aj tv TW Apostolorum, secundum patrum Ni- 
AAi7K< ov^l TOVTO, oTrep tori Kal Vc ceenorum, quod canitur in Missa, ter 
ror vlov, irfpit'xfTm, ovrt tv rw trvft- tium Athanasii. Alexand. Alans, par. 
/3oA<. Leo Allot, de Consens. Eccl. Hi. q. 69. membr. 5. 


Latin tongue". They had not assurance enough to pretend that 
it was a Greek composition : there were too many and too plain 
reasons to the contrary. 

1240. In this age, Walter de Cantilupe, Bishop of Worcester, 
in his Synodical Constitutions, exhorts his clergy to make them 
selves competent masters of the Psalm called Quicunque vult, 
and of the greater and smaller Creed, (that is, Nicene and Apo 
stolical,) that they might be able to instruct their people . 
From whence we may observe, that at this time the Athanasian 
formulary was distinguished, here amongst us, from the Creeds 
properly so called ; being named a Psalm, and sometimes a 
Hymn, (as we shall see from other evidences to be produced 
hereafter,) suitably to the place it held in the Psalters among 
the other Hymns, Psalms, and Canticles of the Church, being 
also sung alternately in churches, like the other. 

1 250. We may here also take notice of a just remark made 
by Thomas Aquinas of this century ; that Athanasius, whom he 
supposes the author of this formulary, did not draw it up in the 
way of a Creed, but in a doctrinal form , which however was 
admitted by the authority of the Roman see, as containing a 
complete system of Christian faith P. 

1255. Walter de Kirkham, Bishop of Durham, in his Con 
stitutions, about this time, makes much the same order that 
Walter Cantilupe had before done, styling the Creed a Psalm 
also as usual n. 

1 286. Johannes Januensis, sometimes styled Johannes Balbus, 
makes mention of this Creed in his Dictionary, or Catholicon, 
under the word symbolum. He reckons up three Creeds, and in 

n 'O ayios 'A$ai/acrios orav fv rot? festationem Jidei per modum Symholi, 

fifpri TOIS SvTixo'is e6pi(TTos TJV, fv TTJ sed magis per modum cujusdam doc- 

tfofati rrjs nifrreas, TJV rois AOTIVIKO'IS trinae : sed quia integram fidei verita- 

pT)fj.aa-i 8if(rd<})T)(Tv, ovT<as e(pr)' 'O TTO- tern ejus doctrina breviter continebat, 

n)p CLTT ovStvos fa-ri, &c. Definit . Apo- auctoritate summi Pontificis est re- 

cris. Greg. IX. Harduin. torn. vii. p. cepta, ut quasi Jidei regula habeatur. 

157- Thorn. Aqu. Secund. Secundce qu. i. 

Habeat etiam saltern quilibet eo- art. 10. n. 3. 

rum simplicem intellectual, secundum 1 Habeat quoque unusquisque eo- 

quod continetur in Psalmo qui dicitur, rum simplicem intellectum fidei, sicut 

Quicunque vult, et tarn in majori quam in Symbolo tarn majori quam ininori ; 

in minori Symbolo, ut in his plebem quod est in psalmo, Quicunque vult, 

sibi commissam noverint informare. et etiam Credo in Deum, expressius 

Walter Wigorn. Const, apud Spelm. continentur. Spelm. Cone. vol. ii. p. 

Condi, vol. ii. p. 246. 294. 

P Athanasius non composuit mani- 



this order. Apostles', Niccne, and Athanasian. The name he 
gives to the last is Symbolum Athanasii, thrice repeated 1 ". 

1287. In a Synod of Exeter, in this century also, we have 
mention again made of the Athanasian Creed, under the name 
of a Psalm, and as such distinguished from the two Creeds 8 pro 
perly so called : though the name of Psalm was also sometimes 
given to the Creeds and to the Lord's Prayer 1 likewise, since 
those also were sung in the Church. 

1286. William Durants, or Durandus, the elder, Bishop of 
Menda in France, recounting the Creeds, makes their number 
three ; mentioning the Athanasian in the second place, between 
the Apostles'* and Nicene. He follows the same tradition which 
Otho Frisingensis did before, that this Creed was made at 
Triers, or Treves u . It is scarce worth noting that some copies 
here read Anastasius, since the circumstances plainly shew that 
Athanasius is the man intended, and that Anastasius can be 
nothing else but a corrupt reading. 

1330. Ludolphus Saxo, the Carthusian, numbers three Creeds, 
with very brief, but good hints of their uses respectively : the 
Apostles', useful for a short compendious instruction in the faith ; 
the Nicene, for fuller explication ; and the Athanasian, for guard 
or defence* against heresies. 

T Tria sunt Symbola; scilicet Apo- isdepedprnr. This manner of speak- 

stolorum, quod dicitur in matutinis, in ing seems to have been borrowed from 

prima, et in completorio : item Nicae- the Germans : for Otfridus, as is ob- 

num, quod dicitur in diebus Domi- served by Lambecius, gives the name 

nicis post Evangelium : item Atha- of a Psalm to the Apostles' Creed, 

nasii, quod dicitur in prima in Domi- L'tmbec. Catal. vol. ii. p. 760. 

nibis diebus alta voce. Symbolum u Nota, quod triplex est Symbolum. 

autem Athanasii quod contra haereti- Primum est Symbolum Apostolorum, 

cos editum est, in prima dicitur, quasi quod vocatur Symbolum minus 

jam pulsis haereticorum tenebris. Secundum Symbolum est, Quicunque 

Ad id editum est Symbolum Atha- vult salvus esse, &c. ab Athanasio, Pa- 

nasii quod specialiter contra haereticos triarcha Alexandrine, in civitate Tre- 

se oppOKuit. Johan. Januens. in voce viri compositum Tertium est Ni- 

symbolum. caenum quod vocatur Symbolum 

8 Articulorum Fidei Christianorum majus. Gul. Durant. Rational. Divin. 

saltern simplicem habeant intellectual, Offic. lib. iv. cap. 25. 

prout in Psalmo, Quicunque vult. et in * Tria sunt Symbola : primum 

utroque Symbolo continentur. Synod. Apostolorum ; secundum, Nicaeni 

Exon. Spelm. Cone. vol. ii. p. 370. Concilii; tertium, Athanasii. Pri- 

; In a MS. of Trinity College, mum, factum est ad fidei instructio- 

(called Eythmus Anglicus,) written nem. Secundum, ad fidei explana- 

about 1 1 80, is a copy of the Apostles' tionem. Tertium, ad fidei defensio- 

Creed, and another of the Lord's nem. Ludolph. Sax. de Vit. Christi, 

Prayer, with these titles : The Salm cap. Ixxxiii. p. 732. 
the Me Clepeth Crede : The Salm that 


1337. William of Baldensal, or Boldesale, a German knight, 
ought here to be mentioned ; as being the first writer extant 
that ascribes the Creed to Eusebius (of Verceil in Piedmont) 
along with Athanasius. The reason, I presume, was, the better 
to account for the Creed's being originally Latin. BaldensaFs 
treatise, being the History of Piedmont, wherein he makes the 
remark, is not yet published, I suppose : but Cardinal Bona 
informs us that the manuscript was, in his time, in the library of 
the Duke of Savoy at Turin y. 

1360. Manuel Caleca, a Latinizing Greek, wrote a treatise 
upon the Principles of the Catholic Faith, published by Combefis, 
in his new Auctarium to the Bibliotheca Patrum, tome the 
second, where we find some passages to our present purpose ; 
particularly this, that Caleca ascribes the Creed to Athanasius, 
and supposes it to have been presented by him to Pope Julius z . 
I know not whether he be not the first writer that mentions 
that circumstance, nor whether he reports it from others, or 
from his own invention. 

1360. About the same time Johannes Cyparissiota, surnamed 
the Wise, wrote his Decads, which are published in Latin, in the 
Bibliotheques, of Turrianus's version. What we are to observe 
from him is, that he cites this Creed in the name of Athanasius, 
and as if it were made at the Council of Nice a . It seems, after 
it once passed current that Athanasius was the author, there 
was great variety of conjectures about the place where, and the 
time when, he composed or presented this Creed. 

1439. I shall mention but one more, as late as the Council of 
Florence, or a little later; and that is Johannes (afterwards 
Josephus) Plusiadenus, a Latinizing Greek, who wrote a Dialogue 
in Defence of the Latins. W r hat is observable in him is, that 
he makes the Creed to have been presented by Athanasius to 
Pope Liberius, instead of Julius b . 

y In hoc autem Symbolo, sive com- 'A#ara<no? eV rfj jrpbs 'Iov\iov irairav 

ponendo, sive e Greece in Latinum 'Pd>pr)s rfjs nto-reus 6p.o\oyia trpoatdrj- 

traducendo, adjutorem fuisse Athana- KCV. Manuel Calec. de Fid, c. 10. 

sio Eusebium, Vercellensem Episco- Confer eund. contr. Graec. lib. ii. 

pum, refert Gulielmus Baldesanus in c. 20. 

historia Pedemontana, qua? manu- a Magnus Athanasius in Expositione 

scripta Taurini asservatur in biblio- Fidei, in prima synodo, ait, &c. Joan. 

theca Ducis Sabaudia?, ex tabulario Cypariss. Decad. ix. c. 3. Bibl. PP. 

Vercellensis Ecclesise. Bona de Divin. torn. xxi. 

Psalm, cap. xvi. sect. 18. p. 864. b 'O^etor TO> OVTI xal ifpbs '\davd- 

z Tavryv yap tav \ix\ TIS Tricrrus TTI- crtor, tv rfj op.o\oyla rfjs tavTov nicrrtatt, 

OTfuoT/, a-<a6iji>ai ov bvvarai, us o fjityas rjv e'(dfro npbs fuftfptOf Hdirav, rjs fj 


I luive now come low enough with the ancient testimonies, 
it 1 may be allowed so to call those of the later times. A few 
of the first and earliest might have sufficed, had I no other point 
in view but the mere antiquity of the Creed : but, as my design 
is to treat of its reception also, in various places, and at various 
times, and to lay together several kind of evidences which will 
require others, both early and late, to clear up and explain them ; 
it was, in a manner, necessary for me to bring my accounts as 
low as 1 have here done. Besides that several inferior, incidental 
questions will fall in our way, for the resolving of which, most of 
the testimonies I have here cited will be serviceable in their turn ; 
as will appear more fully in the sequel. I have omitted several 
testimonies of the later centuries, such as I thought might con 
veniently be spared, either as containing nothing but what we 
had before from others more ancient, or as being of no use for 
the clearing up any that we have, or for the settling any point 
which will come to be discussed in the following sheets. The 
rule I have set myself in making the collection, and which I 
have been most careful to observe, was to take in all those, and 
none but those, which are either valuable for their antiquity, or 
have something new and particular upon the subject, or may 
strike some light into any doubtful question thereunto relating. 

I shall shut up this chapter, as 1 did the former, with a table, 
representing in one view the sum and substance of what has 
been done in it. The several columns will contain the year of 
our Lord, the authors here recited, the country where they lived, 
and the title or titles by them given to the Creed. The titles 
ought to appear in their original language wherein they were 
written ; which my English reader may the more easily excuse, 
since they have most of them been given in English above, 
where it was more proper to do it. The use of such a table will 
be seen as often as a reader has a mind to look back to this 
chapter, or to compare several evidences of different kinds, 
proving the same thing, one with another. 

iv/3ovXjjTat cr<odi}i/ai rbirvtv- rov vlov, &c. Joan. Plusiad. apud Cam- 
pa TO ayiov 07<rti>, anb rov narpbs KOI befis. not. in Calec. p. 297. 







Council of Autun 



Articles Inqu. Regino 



Counc. Frankfort 









Monks of M. Olivet 



Hatto, or Hetto 












Bertram France 


JEneas Paris. France 











Abbo, or Albo 






Honorius France 


Otho Bavaria 


Duke of Brunswick Germany 


Robertus Paululus France 


Beleth France 

1200 . Nic. Hydruntinus 



Alexander Alens. 



P. Gregory's Legates 


Walter Cantelupe 



Thorn. Aquinas 



Walter Kirkham 



John Januensis 






Exon. Synod 









Man. Caleca 



Joan. Cyparissiota 



Joan. Plusiadenus 


Title of the Creed. 

Fides Sancti Athauasii Praesulis. 
Sermo Athanasii Episcopi de Fide. 
Fides Catholica Sanctse Trinitatis. 

Expositio Catholicse Fidei Athanasii. 
Fides Sancti Athanasii. 
Fides Sancti Athanasii. 

Sermo Athanasii de Fide. 

Athanasii Symbolum. 

Athanasii Fides Catholica. 

Libellus Athanasii de Fide. 

Athanasii Fides Catholica. 

Sermo Beati Athanasii. 

Sermo Fidei Catholicse 

Sermo Athanasii Ep. de Fide Trinitatis. 

Fides secundum Athanasium. 

Fides Catholica Athanasio adscripts. 

Fides Quicunque vult. 

Quicunque vult &c. 

Athanasii Symbolum Fidei. 

Quicunque vult &c. 

Athanasii Symbolum. 

ToC 07/01; ' iriarts i) Ka.0o\inri. 

Athanasii Symbolum. 

J Eit6effis TTJS iriffrtws. 

Psalmus Quicunque &c. 

Athanasii Manifestatio Fidei. 

Psalmus Quicunque &c. 

Symbolum Athanasii. 

Athanasii Symbolum. 

Psalmus Quicunque. 

Athanasii Syrabolum. 

Athanasii Symbolum. 

'H rfjs iriffTfus 6/jio\oyia TOV 'A6ava<riov. 

Athanasii Expositio Fidei. 

'H T^S iriff-rfus ofio\oyta TOV ' 



Ancient Commentators and Paraphrasts upon the 
Athanasian Creed. 

ANCIENT comments, or paraphrases, may be properly men 
tioned after ancient testimonies, being near akin to them, and 
almost the same thing with them. 1 call none ancient but such 
as were made before the year 1500; and therefore shall carry my 
accounts no lower, nor quite so low, as that time. 

A. D. 570. The first comment to be met with on this Creed is 
one of the sixth century, composed by Venantius Fortunatus, an 
Italian by birth, but one that travelled into France and Ger 
many, became acquainted with the most eminent scholars and 
prelates all over the west, and was at length made Bishop of 
Poictiers in France. His comment on this Creed has been 
published from a manuscript about 600 years old x , out of the 
Ambrosian library at Milan, by Muratorius, in his second tome 
of Anecdota, in the year 1698. There can be no reasonable 
doubt but that the comment really belongs to the man whose 
name it bears, i. Because in the same book there is also a 
comment upon the Apostles' Creed 7 ascribed to Fortunatus, 
and which is known to belong to Venantius Fortunatus, and has 
been before printed among his other works. 2. Because it 
appears highly probable from what Venantius Fortunatus has 
occasionally dropped in his other undoubted works 2 , that he 
was really acquainted with the Athanasian Creed, and borrowed 

* Est porro nobis in Ambrosiana Murator. Anecdot. torn. ii. p. 228. 

bibliotheca merabranaceus codex an- y Expositionem quoque continet 

nos abhinc ferme sexcentos inanu de- (cod. Ambrosianus) Apostolic! Sym- 

scriptus ; ut ex characterum forma, boli, cum hac inscriptione : Incipit 

aliisque conjecturis affirmari posse expositio a Fortunato Presbytero con- 

mihi videtur. Heic, praeter alia opus- scripta. Eadem vero est ac edita inter 

cula multa, tres Symboli expositiones Fortunati opera. Turn sequuntur ge- 

habentur. quarum unam tantum nunc minae ejusdem Symboli explicationes. 

publici juris facio. Tres Orationis Dominicae, et duae 

Prima ita inscribitur, Expositio Fi- Athanasiani Symboli expositiones in- 

dei Catholicae. Alteri nullus titulus certis auctoribus scriptae. Tandem, 

praefixus est. Postrema vero hunc uti diximus, Expositio Fidei Catholicae 

prae se fert; Expositio Fidei Catho- Fortunati legitur. Quocirco quin ad 

licte Fortunati. Fortunatus autem, Venantium quoque Fortunatum opus- 

heic memoratus, alius a Venantio For- culum hoc sit referendum, nullus du- 

tunato non est, quern Insulse Pictavi- bito. Murator. ibid. p. 331. 

crisis Ecclesizc, quem Christiana; poe- z Praeclarum in primordio ponitur 

tices ornamenta aeternitate donarunt. caclestis testimonii fundamentum, quia 


expressions from it. 3. Because in the expositions of the Apo 
stles' and Athanasian Creeds, there is great similitude of style, 
thoughts, and expressions ; which shews that both are of the 
same hand, and indeed, the other circumstances considered, 
abundantly proves it. It would burden my margin too much, 
otherwise it were easy to give at least half a dozen plain speci 
mens, where either the expressions or turn of thought, or both, 
are exactly parallel. Such as think it of moment to examine, 
may easily be satisfied by comparing the comment on the Apo 
stles' Creed, in the tenth tome of the last Bibliotheque, with the 
comment on the Athanasian, in Muratorius. 4. I may add, that 
the tenor of the whole comment, and the simplicity of the style 
and thoughts, are very suitable to that age, and more so than to 
the centuries following. These reasons convince me that this 
comment belongs to Venantius Fortunatus, composed by him 
after his going into France, and before he was Bishop of Poic- 
tiers : and so we may probably fix the date of it about the year 
570, or perhaps higher. There is an older manuscript copy of 
this comment (as I find by comparing) in the Museum at Oxford, 
among Junius's manuscripts, number 25 a . I am obliged to the 
very worthy and learned Dr. Haywood, for sending me a tran 
script of it, with a specimen of the character. It is reasonably 
judged to be about 800 years old. It wants, in the beginning, 
about ten or a dozen lines : in the other parts it agrees with 
Muratorius's copy, saving only some slight insertions, and such 
various lections as are to be expected in different manuscripts 
not copied one from the other. From the two copies compared 
may be drawn out a much more correct comment than that which 
Muratorius has given us from one ; as will be shewn at the end 
of this work. 

I intimated above, that Muratorius supposes this Venantius 
Fortunatus to be the author, not of the comment only, but Creed 

salvus esse non poterit, qui recte de Non sua confundens, sibi nostra sed 

salute non crediderit. Fortunat. Ex- omnia nectens. 

pos. Symb. Apost. Bibl. PP. torn. x. 

Non Deus in carnem versus, Deus ac- De Patre natus habens divina, hu- 

cipit artus : manaque matris, 

Non se permutans, sed sibi membra De Patre sublimis, de genetrice 

levans. humilis. 

Unus in ambabus naturis, verus in Venant. Fortun. lib. viii. 

ipsis carm. 5. Bibl. P. torn. x. 

matri hinc, par Deitate a The title, Expositio in Fide Ca- 

Patri. tholica. 


also. But his reasons, which plead strongly for the former, are 
of no force at all in respect of the latter : which he is so sensible 
of himself, that while he speaks with great assurance of the one, 
he is very diffident of the other b . And indeed, not to mention 
several other considerations standing in the way of his conjec 
ture, who can imagine Venantius Fortunatus to have been so vain, 
as, after commenting on the Lord's Prayer and Apostles' 1 Creed, 
to fall to commenting upon a composition of his own? 

This comment of Fortunatus is a great confirmation of what 
hath been above cited from the Council of Autun : for if the Creed 
was noted enough to deserve a comment upon it so early as the 
year 570, no wonder if we find it strongly recommended by that 
Council in the year 670, a hundred years after. And it is ob 
servable that, as that Council recommends the Apostolical and 
Athanasian Creeds, without saying a word of the Nicene ; so 
Fortunatus, before them, comments upon those two only, taking 
no notice of the third. 

I cannot take leave of this comment, without observing to the 
reader, that in Pareus's notes on this Creed, I have met with a 
passage which I am not well able to account for. He cites a 
comment upon this Creed, under the name of Euphronius Pres 
byter c , does not say whether from a print or a manuscript : 
but the words he produces are in this very comment of Fortu 
natus. Who this Euphronius is, I can no where find ; nor whe 
ther an ancient or modern writer. There was an Euphronius 
Presbyter, (mentioned by Gregory of Tours,) who lived in the 
fifth century, and was at length Bishop of Autun : but I never 
heard of any writings of his, more than an epistle ascribed to 
him and Lupus of Troyes. There was another Euphronius, who 
was bishop of Tours, with whom Fortunatus had some intimacy. 
Whether his name, appearing in any manuscript copy of Fortu- 
natus's tracts, might occasion the mistake, I know not. Bruno's 
comment has the very same passage which Pareus cites, only in 
a different order of the words : but neither will this help us to 
account for its being quoted under the name of Euphronius 

b I Injus Symboli auctor esse potuit c Euphronius Presbyter in expo- 

Venantius Fortunatus : saltern fuit sitione hujus Symboli Athanasii, Fi- 

hujus Expositionis auctor. Murator. des, inquit, Catholica, sen universalis, 

p^2i7. dicitur : Hoc est, recta, quam Eccle- 

Non ita meis conjecturis plaudo, ut sia universa tenere debet. David. 

facilius non arbitrer Expositionem po- Parei not. ad Symb. Athan. p. 118. 

tius quam Symbolum huic auctori tri- edit. an. 1635. The words are not in 

buendum. Murator. p. 231. the edition of 1627. 


Presbyter, which has no similitude with the name of Bruno, 
Bishop of Wurtzburgh. I would not however omit the mention 
ing this note of Pareus, because a hint may sometimes lead 
to useful discoveries ; and others may be able to resolve the 
doubt, though I am not. 

852. Our next Commentator, or rather Paraphrast, is Hinc- 
mar of Rheitns : not upon the whole Creed, but upon such parts 
only as he had occasion to cite. For his way is to throw in 
several words of his own, as explanatory notes, so far as he quotes 
the Creed d : and he sometimes does it more than he ought to 
have done, to serve a cause against Gothescalcus : which I may 
hint, in passing ; to say more of it would be foreign to our pre 
sent purpose. 

1033. S. Bruno, Bishop of Wurtzburgh in Germany, has a 
formal comment, and much larger than Fortunatus's, upon the 
Athanasian Creed. It is at the end of his Psalter, and has been 
several times printed with it. Father Le Long reckons up six 
editions e , in this order: I. At Nuremberg, in folio A. 1). 
1494. 2. By Antonius Koberger, in quarto, A. D. 1497. 3. By 
Cochleus, at Wurtzburgh, in quarto, A. D. 1531. 4. At Leipsic, 
in quarto, 1533. In the Cologne Bibliotheque, A. D. 1618. 
torn. xi. 6. In the Lyons Bibl. PP. A. D. 1677. torn, xviii. 
The old editions are scarce, and not easy to be met with. I 
have seen two of them in our public library of Cambridge, 
those of 1494 and 1533. There is an elegant one of the former 
(as I conceive by the description sent me by a learned gentle 
man) in the Bodleian at Oxford : it is in vellum, in a black and 
red letter, reserved among the manuscripts, and marked Laud, 
E. 8 j . The title, at the beginning, Fides Anastasii ; at the end, 
Fides Athanasii. The two editions of 1497 and 1531 I never 
saw. I have seen one by Antonius Koberger, in quarto, bearing 
date A. D. i494 f , in the Bodleian, marked F. 40. Bishop Usher 
makes mention of an edition in 153 1 , and seems to have known 

d Vid. Hincmari Oper. torn. i. p. f Per Antonium Koberger im- 

452, 464, 469, 552, 553. pressum anno incarnationis Deitatis 

e Commentarii in totum Psalterium millesimo quadringentesimo, nonage- 

et in Cantica Vet. et Nov. Testamen- sirao quarto, finit feliciter. 

ti, in fol. Norembergse, 1494. In 410. & Psalterii editio vulgata Latina, 

per Antonium Koburger 1497. Idem obelis et asteriscis distincta, cum Bru- 

a Joan. Cochleo restitutum in 410. nonis Herbipolensis Episcopi com- 

Herbipoli 1531. Lipsise 1533. Bibl. mentariis, anno 1531. a Johanne 

PP. Coloniensis et Lugdunensis. Le Cochlaeo in lucem est emissa. 

Long, Bibl. Bibl. torn. ii. p. 654. editione LXX Interpr. p. 104. 


of none older. I should have suspected 1531 to be a false print 
for 1533, had not Le Long confirmed it, that there is such an 
edition as 153 1 , and named the place where it was printed : though 
I cannot but observe that he makes & folio of it in his first tome h , 
and a quarto in the second ; which is to me an argument that 
he had never seen it, but perhaps took the hint from Usher. 
But leaving the printed editions of this comment of Bruno's, let 
us next say something of the manuscripts of it, and their dif 
ferences from the prints, or from each other. There are many 
manuscript copies, which I shall mention in order. 

1. The first and most valuable manuscript is in the library of 
Wurtzburgh, as old as the author, left by him as a legacy to 
that church. The first printed edition (if I mistake not) was 
taken from that very original manuscript 1 ; which at the lowest 
computation must be 680 years old. The title of the Creed, 
Fides Catholica S. Athanasii Episcopi. 

2. There is a second, which I have seen in Trinity College in 
Cambridge, annexed to a Psalter described at large by the 
learned Mr. Wanley, in his Catalogue k , and judged by him to 
have been written about the time of King Stephen. So that 
this is about a hundred years later than the former, or about 
580 years old ; no title to the Creed. 

3. There is a third, of much the same age with the former, 
of some years older, in the Bodleian at Oxford, marked Laud. 
H. 61. the title of the Creed, Fides Catholica Sancti Athanasii 

4. In the Bodleian also is another, (Laud. E. 71. Catal. N. 
994.) Athanasii Symbolum cum Glossa. This, as I am certified 
by a learned gentleman, is Bruno's comment. The title of the 
Creed, Fides Sancti Athanasii Episcopi. 

5. In Merton College is another, an ancient copy of Bruno's 
comment. Catal. N. 675-208. 

h Psalterium vetus obelis et aste- Preciosum istum thesaurum poste- 

riscis (listinctum, cum commentariis ritati post se reliquit, et quidem insigni 

S. Brunonis, studio Joannis Cochlaei scriptura sumptuose descriptum 

editum, in fol. Herbipoli, 1531. in extat donum illud raemorabile et con- 

4to. Lipsise 1533. Le Long, torn. i. spicuum in locuplete antiquorum 

P- 2 74- voluminum bibliotheca Herbipolensis 

1 Posteris filiis suis (S. Bruno) Ecclesiae : quod sane religiosa pietate, 

memorabilem et sanctum Psalmorum velut hsreditas qusedam hujus Sancti 

librum, ex quoilleimpressusest, sump- Patris custoditur. Joan. Coch. pro- 

tuose scriptum, quasi haereditatis spin- log. ad edit. an. 1533. 
tualisnonminimamportionem reliquit. k Wanleii Catalog. MSS. Septentr. 

Prolog, ad editionem anni 1494. p. 168. 


6. In St. John Baptist's College, Oxon. (Catal. N. 1874. G. 
42. Commentarius in Symbolum Athanasii. By the beginning 
and concluding words, (a transcript of which has been sent me 
by a worthy member of that society,) 1 am well assured that it 
is Bruno's comment. 

7. There is another in Balliol College, (Catal. N. 210. marked 
B. I.) Athanasii Symbolum cum Commentario. 

8. Another I have seen in the Cathedral library at York, 
which may be 500 years old. No title. 

9. There is another, in the library of St. German de Prez, 
about 500 years old. Montfaucon, having met with it, published 
it 1 as an anecdoton; not knowing that it was Bruno's comment. 
It is not indeed quite BO full, nor any thing near so correct as the 
printed copies : but still it is plainly Bruno's comment. The 
title, Tractatus de Fide Catholica. 

10. There is also, in my Lord Oxford's library, a modern 
manuscript of this comment, written at Augsburg in the year 
1547, copied from Bruno's original .manuscript, (by order of 
Charles Peutenger, son to the famous Conrad,) where the title 
is, Fides Catholica Sancti Anastasii Episcopi. The mistake of 
Anastasii for Athanasii, we find, had crept into the German 
copies some centuries before : wherefore this is not to be won 
dered at. All the older copies, as well as the original manu 
script, have Athanasii in the title, where there is a title, and 
Athanasius in the beginning of the comment. 

The manuscripts which I have here recited, all but the first, 
seem now to be of no great use ; if it be true, as I suppose, that 
the first prints were taken from the very original at Wurtz- 
burgh. It is certain that they are very imperfect and incorrect, 
(I have collated three of them,) in comparison of the printed 
copies : I could not observe above two or three places, and 
those not very material, where the printed copies seem to have 
followed a false reading, or may be corrected by those manu 
scripts. One thing I a little wondered at, that the three manu 
scripts of St. German's, Trinity College, and York, should all 
leave out some paragraphs, which appear in the printed copies, 
and the same paragraphs : but I have since found, that those 
very paragraphs were taken out of Fortunatus's comment, and 
belong not properly to Bruno's. This, I presume, the first 

1 Montfaucon, Athanas. Oper. torn. ii. p. 735. 


copiers understood, and therefore omitted them. Probably 
Bruno's own copy might at first want them, (though they must 
have been added soon after,) or if Bruno himself inserted them, 
yet he had left some mark of distinction, which was understood 
at that time ; though not by the editors of this comment so many 
years after. But to proceed. 

1 1 20. In the next age, the famous Peter Abelard wrote com 
ments upon this Creed : which are printed amongst his other 
works. The title in the prints is, Petri Abaelardi Expositio 
Fidei, in Symbolum Athanasii. I suspect that the editor has 
added the latter part, in Symbolum Athanasii, as a hint to the 
reader. The comment is a very short one, scarce three pages in 
quarto, and, for the age it was wrote in, a pretty good one; 
though, as I conceive from some flaws in it, printed from a copy 
not very correct. 

1170. Of the same century is Hildegarde, the celebrated 
Abbess of St. Rupert's Mount, near Binghen, on the Rhine. She 
wrote explications of St. Benedict's Rule, and of the Athanasian 
Creed : which may be seen, Bibl. PP. torn, xxiii. p. 596. 

1210. Simon Tornacensis, Priest of Tournay, in the beginning 
of the thirteenth century, taught divinity at Paris, with great 
reputation. His manuscript works are in many libraries : and, 
among his other writings, there is an Exposition of the Atha 
nasian Creed m . Oudin reckons up four manuscript copies of it, 
in as many distinct libraries, and acquaints us where they are to 
be found, and of what age they probably are. 

1215. Contemporary with the former is Alexander Neckham, 
an Englishman, Abbot of Cirencester, or Circeter, in Gloucester 
shire. He wrote a comment on the Athanasian Creed, which is 
extant in manuscript in the Bodleian at Oxford, (marked E. 7. 
8. Catal. N. 2339.) coeval probably with the author. 

There is another copy of the same comment, in the Bodleian 
also, E. 6. ii. n. 2330. The title, Expositio Fidei Catholicse a 
Magistro Alexandro edicta. This copy is about fifty years 
later than the former. It may be of use to note down the first 
words of the comment". It is drawn up in the scholastic way, 

^ ^ m Expositio Symboli, per Simonem rationem. Oudin. torn. iii. p. 30. 

Tornacensis Ecclesiap Canonicum, et n Hsec est enim victoria qua? vin- 

Parisiensem Dpctorem, quae sic inci- cit mundum, fides nostra. Signanter 

pit: Apml Aristotelem argumentum dicit vult, et non dicit, Quicunque sal- 

est ratio faciens fidem, sed apud Chris- vns erit. 
turn argumentum est fides faciens 


and is pretty large, making ten folio leaves with double columns, 
in E. 7, 8. and four folio leaves with three columns, and a very 
small hand, in E. 6. n. 

1230. Not long after, Alexander Hales, before mentioned, 
wrote comments upon the same Creed, which are published in 
his Summa, part the third, under Quaest. 69. His method of 
commenting is, to raise doubts and scruples all the way he goes, 
and to answer them in the scholastic form : referring sometimes 
to the Fathers of the Church, and particularly to St. Austin : to 
whom he ascribes Gennadius's treatise De Ecclesiasticis Dog- 
matibus, according to the common error of that time. But I 

1340. There is another commentary upon this Creed, written, 
as is said, by Richardus Hampolus, Richard Rolle of Hampole, 
a native of Yorkshire, and a monk of the order of St. Austin. 
It contains, in a manner, Bruno's comment entire, with several 
additions and insertions either of the author's own, or such as he 
had borrowed elsewhere. It has been twice printed, first at 
Cologne in the year 1536, and afterwards in the Bibliotheca 
Patrum, Lugdun. torn. xxvi. p. 624. 

I am in doubt concerning the author of that comment, having 
reason to believe that the three copies mentioned by Tentzelius , 
preserved in the Gotha, Basil, and Leipsic libraries, are so many 
copies of this very comment which passes under the name of 
Hampole : and yet one of them is judged to be above 500 years 
older? than 1686, which is 150 years before Hampole's days. 
It is possible that Joachim Fellerus, the compiler of the catalogue 
of the Leipsic library, might mistake in judging of the age of 
the manuscript : but it appears much more probable that the 
editors of that comment were mistaken in ascribing it to Ham- 
pole. However that be, I would here observe, that there is in 

Tentzel. Jud. Eruditor. Praefat. Rubricam autera Symboli nostri ita 

et p. 224. se habere ; Fides Anastasii Papa. In 

P Tentzelius writes thus : dextro primse paginae haec legi verba : 

Opportune ad manus meas pervenit Heec ratio Fidei Catholicce traditur 

Responsio Ampl. Felleri, qua ratio- in veteribus codicibus, et reliqua, qua? 

nem codicis Latini Lipsiensis in prse- antea ex MS. bibliothecae ducalis at- 

fatione a me citati prolixius exposuit. tuli. Unde patet, easdem plane glossas 

Ait enim, membranaceum istum codi- in utroque codice reperiri ; praesertim 

cem ante CCCCC annos et ultra, ele- quum in sinistro alterius margine, haec 

ganter scriptum videri ; additas etiam etiam verba legi referat Fellerus : Hie 

esse non interlineares tantum notas, beatus Anastasius liberum arbitrium 

sed et marginales utrinque; in dextro posuit, &c. Tentzel. p. 225. 
videlicet et sinistro paginarum latere : 


Magdalen College, in Oxford, a comment entitled, Expositio in 
Syinbolum Athanasianum per Januensem, (N.Catal.2256 1 15.) 
which is no other than this very comment that passes in the 
prints under the name of Richard Hampole. The Catalogue's 
ascribing it to Januensis was owing, I suppose, to an occasional 
passage in that manuscript, relating to the Athanasian Creed, 
cited from Johannes Januensis's Catholicon, or Dictionary, under 
the word symbolum. The comment however, I say, is the same 
with that which passes for Hampole's, as may plainly appear 
from the beginning of it, which I have transcribed into the 
margin 4; only filling up an omission in it, occasioned, as is very 
common, by the repetition of the same word. There may be a 
good use made of that manuscript in Magdalen College, for 
correcting the printed copy, which is very faulty, both in words 
and order. The comment ought to begin as it begins in that 
manuscript ; and not with the words, Hie beatus Athanasius, as 
in the prints. The editors did not understand, or did not 
consider, the nature and composition of that comment. The 
author, whoever he was, had made two columns, one on each 
hand, with the Athanasian Creed in the middle. On the left 
hand, which is the first place, he set Bruno's comment, and on 
the right hand, in the other column, he carried down another 
comment either of his own or borrowed. The first note on the 
right hand was plainly designed for an introduction to the rest, 
and therefore ought to be set first ; though the editor's consider 
ing only the position of the notes, began from the left hand, with 
the first words of Bruno's comment. The Oxford copy observes 
the true natural order, and may very probably be of good use 
all the way through, for the better digesting and methodizing 
that comment, or comments, being in reality two comments 
mixed and blended together. 

I should observe of the Oxford copy, that after the comment 
there is, in the same hand, this note ; Hcec conscripta sunt a quo- 
dam antiguo libro. Possibly this may be of some use for the deter 
mining whether that comment be really Hampole's or no. For if 

<i Hsec ratio Fidei Catholics traditur hoc est, Diabolus, excitavit per Ar- 

etiam in veteribus codicibus a beato rium ; quam tempestatem] qui fugere 

Athanasio Alexandrine conscripta. desiderat, hanc fidei unitatem (al. ve- 

Et puto, quod idcirco tarn piano et ritatem) integram et inviolabilem 

brevi sermone tradita sit, ut omnibus teneat. Ita enim incipit ipsum opus- 

Catholicis, et minus eruditis, tutamen culum, dicens, Quicunque vult salvus, 

defensionis praestaret adversus illam &c. Hie beatus Athanasius liberum 

tempestatem [quam contrarius ventus, arbitrium posuit, &c. 


the manuscript be not much later than 1415, (it must be so late, 
since it fixes that very date to Dr. Ullerston's Exposition of the 
Six Psalms,) it may be probably argued that any thing of Ham- 
pole's, who flourished but about eighty years before, would not 
have been called antiquus liber, an ancient book. But this I leave 
to further inquiries, not insisting upon it, since the argument is 
but probable at the best ; and I do not know but the manuscript 
may be several years later than 1415, though hardly later than 
the middle of that century. Ullerston is undoubtedly the latest 
author in that collection. Petrus Florissiensis, or Floreffiensis, 
(otherwise called Petrus de Harentals,) wrote in 1374 r : Janu- 
ensis Gorrham, Lyra, and Hampole are all older than he : the 
last therefore is Ullerston, who was probably still living when 
that manuscript was written. But enough of this. 

1380. To the Latin comments here mentioned I may add an 
English one, which I may suppose to be WicklifTs. If it be not 
his, yet certainly it is of his time, and not far from the middle 
of the fourteenth century. I will first give some account of 
this English comment, and then shew both why I ascribe it to 
Wickliff, and why I do it not with full assurance, but with some 
degree of diffidence. I first met with it in a manuscript volume 
(in i2mo) belonging to the library of St. John's College in 
Cambridge. The volume contains an English version of the 
Psalms and Hymns of the Church, with the Athanasian Creed 
produced paragraph by paragraph in Latin, interspersed with an 
English version of each paragraph, and commented upon quite 
through, part by part. After the comment, follow Proverbs, 
Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus, all in 
old English, without gloss or comment. Now the reasons why 
I incline to ascribe the comment to Wickliff are these : 

i. Dr. Langbaine, of Queen's College in Oxford, in a letter to 
Bishop Usher, bearing date A. D. 1647, testifies that he had 
seen such a comment, and that he found it to be WicklifTs, by 
comparing the beginning of it with Bale 8 . This, very probably, 
is the same comment ; though there is no such manuscript 
now in Magdalen College, Oxon, as was in Dr. Langbaine's time. 

z See Oudin, torn. iii. p. 1218. nasius's Creed; which I presently con- 

8 While I was there, (in Magdalen jectured (though there be no name to 

College Library,) tumbling amongst it)to be Wickliff's. And comparing the 

their books, I light upon an old beginning with Bale, found that I had 

English comment upon the Psalms, not erred in the conjecture. Lang- 

the Hymns of the Church, and Atha- baine, among Usher's Letters, p. 513. 


2. All those parts of Scripture which go before and after this 
comment, in the same volume, are of the same version with that 
of Wickliffs Bible in the library of Emanuel College, without 
any difference, (except that St. John's copy, being older, retains 
the more ancient spelling,) as I am well assured by comparing 
them together : so that if those parts be Wickliffs, it may 
appear very probable that the comment is his too. Indeed, our 
very learned Wharton was of opinion, that the version commonly 
ascribed to Wickliff ' was really John Trevisa's ; who flourished 
in the time of Richard the Second, was a Cornish man by birth, 
and Vicar of Berkely in Gloucestershire, about the year 1387 u : 
in which year he finished his translation of the Polychronicon. 
But Mr. Whartons reasonings in this matter have appeared to 
others not satisfactory x , and have in part been confuted y. I 
shall not enter far into that dispute, being almost foreign to my 
purpose : and it is not very material whether Wickliff or Trevisa 
(if either) be judged the author of the comment. This only I 
may observe, by the way, that Mr. Wharton's argument drawn 
from the Norfolk manuscript of the Gospels, (Cod. 254,) which 
he is positive belongs to Wickliff, appears to be of some weight, 
so far as concerns the New Testament ; and the inference may 
reach to several parts of the Old Testament also. Either Mr. 
Wharton must have been mistaken in ascribing the Norfolk 
copy to Wickliff, or else, for any thing I see, his argument will 
stand good. The characteristic which he lays down whereby to 
distinguish Wickliffs version (namely, the frequent insertion of 
synonymous words) will by no means agree with the common ver 
sion : and then the specimen he gives of the two different render 
ings of Luke ii. 7- is directly contrary 2 . But a fuller discussion 
of that point may be left with those who have more leisure, and 

* Wharton Auctarium Histor. Dog- " tide him in a cratche; for place was 
mat. p. 425, 426. " not to him in the comyn stable." 

u In that year he finished his ver- Alter interpres sic: "And leide him 

sion of Higden's Polychronicon, as the " in a cratche ; for there was no place 

manuscripts testify ; and as is plain " to him in no chaumbre." Wharton, 

from its being finished in the thirty- p. 426. 

fifth year of Thomas Lord Berkley, I have a manuscript of the New 

the fourth of that name, which agrees Testament, belonging to our college 

exactly with that year, and with no library, which reads Luke ii. 7. ac- 

other. cording to the first reading, and which 

x Oudin. Comment, de Scriptor. has many instances of synonymous in- 

Eccles. vol. iii. p. 1044. sertions every where : it is a different 

y Vid. Le Long, Bibl. Bibl. vol. i. version from that which is commonly 

P' 426. ascribed to Wickliff. 

* Wicklefus sic reddit : " And put- 



have more particularly studied it. I am content to suppose that 
the common version ascribed to Wickliff is really his : perhaps 
he might give two editions of it a ; or else Trevisa's may be little 
more than WicklifPs version, corrected and polished with great 
liberty, both as to sense and expression, where it appeared 
needful. That Trevisa really did translate the whole Bible into 
English is positively asserted by Caxton, in his preface to Tre- 
visa's Translation of Higden's Polychronicon b ; and by Bale c , 
who gives us the first words of the preface to it. To proceed. 

3. A third reason I have for the ascribing the comment to 
Wickliff is, that some parts of it seem to suit exactly with his 
humour, and manner, and way of thinking ; particularly the gird 
upon popes and cardinals in the close d . 

Nevertheless, I am far from being positive in this matter: 
much may be offered to take off the force of these reason s, or to 
counterbalance them. i. This very comment is annexed to a 
manuscript commentary upon the Psalms and Hymns of the 
Church, now in Trinity College library in Cambridge : which 
commentary appears not to be WicklifFs, though supposed to 
be his by Mr. Wharton 6 . The English version of the Psalms 
going along with that commentary is not the same with that of 
WicklifFs Bible : I have compared them. The commentary, and 
version too, are reasonably judged to be Hampole's. I find by 

a Patet,aut antiquiorem fuisse quan- 
dam S. Scripturae translationem An- 
glicara, aut duplicem fuisse transla- 
tionis Wiclevianae editionem. Whar- 
ton. Auctor. Hist. Dogm. p. 436. 

b Ranulph raonke of Chestre first 
auctour of this book, and afterward 
Englished by one Trevisa Vicarye of 
Barkley ; which atte request of one Sr. 
Thomas Lord Barkley translated this 
sayd book, the Byble, and Bartylmew 
de Proprietatibus Rerum out of Latyn 
into Knglysh. Caxton. Prohemye to 
his edit. 1482. 

c In Anglicum idioma, ad petitio- 
nem praedicti sui Domini de Barkeley, 
transtulit totum bibliorum opus : 
utrumque Dei Testamentum lib. ii. 
(His preface beginning) "Ego Jo- 
" hannes Trevisa Sacerdos." Bal. 
cent. vii. c. 18. p. 518. 

N. B. Bale seems to be mistaken 
in saying that- Trevisa continued the 
Polychr. to 1397. For Trevisa ended 
with 1357. And Caxton declares that 


himself continued the history for 103 
years further, to 1460. 

d And algif this Crede accorde unto 
Prestis, netheles the higher Prelatis, 
as Popis and Cardynals, and Bisshops 
shulden more specially kunne this 
Crede, and teche it to men undir 
hem. Comm. on the Athan. Creed. 

Compare some words of WicklifPs 

I suppose, over this, that the Pope 
be most oblishid to the keping of the 
Gospel among all men that liven here; 
for the Pope is highest Vicar that 
Christ has here in erth. Collier, Eccl. 
Hist. vol. i. p. 728. 

e Commentarius in Psalmos, alios- 
que Sacrae Scripturae ac Liturgiae 
Ecclesiasticae Hymnos. MS. in Col- 
legio S. Trinitatis Cantab. F. Com 
mentarius in priores 89 Psalmos ha- 
betur MS. in Bibliotheca Lambethana. 
Wharton. sub Wicklef. Append, ad 
Cav. H. L. p. 54. 


a note left in a blank page at the beginning, (signed J. Russel,) 
that there is a copy of this commentary in the Royal library, 
(B. 15. i 2.) but imperfect ; the prologue the very same, and ex 
pressly ascribed to Richard of Hampole: from whence it maybe 
justly suspected, that the comment upon the Athanasian Creed 
at the end, appearing in part, (for two leaves are cut out,) is 
Hampole's, as well as the rest. There is in Bennet library, in 
Cambridge, another manuscript copy of the same commentary, 
(marked i i. Catal. p. 69,) with the comment upon the Creed 
entire. The prologue I found to be the same as in the other, as 
also the comment on the first Psalm ; by which I judge of the 
rcst f . The comment on the Canticles at the end is likewise the 
same ; only the Canticles are not all placed in the same order. 
At the bottom of the second leaf of the commentary, there is 
left this note, by an unknown hand : Author hujus libri, Richardus, 
Heremita de Hampole. Now, if this commentary really be 
HampoleX of which I can scarce make any question, it will 
appear highly probable that the comment on the Creed is his too. 
2. What favours the suspicion is, that here the comment is 
annexed to other comments in like form with itself, and not to 
mere versions, as in the manuscript of St. John's library. Nay. 
further, this comment on the Creed, as it appears in St. John's 
copy, has the several parts of the Creed in Latin, and in red 
letter, prefixed to the respective version and comment ; just as 
we find, in Hampole, the several parts of each Psalm exhibited 
first in Latin, and in red letter : which circumstance is of some 
weight. 3. Add to this, that there are some expressions in the 
comment on the Creed very like to those which are familiar with 
the author of that commentary on the Psalms : such as these ; 
" It is seid comunly, that ther ben &c. clerkis sein" thus and 
thus; so that from similitude of style an argument may be 
drawn in favour of Hampole, as well as for Wickliff. These 
considerations suffer me not to be positive on the other side. 
The comment may be Hampole's ; or it may be Wickliff 's ; 
which latter opinion I the rather incline to for the reasons before 
given, appearing to me something more forcible than the other. 
And I may further observe, that there is in Sidney College in 
Cambridge, a very old copy of Hampole's commentary, which 

f Q. Whether there be not one or scripts, in the General Catalogue, N. 
two more copies of the same in the 2438. 3085. 
Jtodlrian. See the Bodleian Manu- 


runs through the Psalms, and all the ordinary Hymns and 
Canticles, but has no comment upon the Athanasian Creed 
annexed, though the manuscript appears very whole and entire. 
This makes me less inclinable to suspect the comment upon the 
Creed being Hampole's ; it is more probably Wickliff's, as I be 
fore said. However it be, the comment may be useful : and if 
it should prove Hampole's, it must be set forty years higher 
than I have here placed it. The distance of thirty or forty years 
makes no great alteration in any language : so that merely from 
the language, especially in so small a tract, we can draw no 
consequence to the author ; excepting such peculiarities as may 
have been rather proper to this or that man, than to this or 
that time. 

1478. To the comments before mentioned I may add one more, 
a Latin one, printed, as I suppose, about the year 1478, though it 
carries not its date with it. The author is Peter d'Osma, called 
in Latin Petrus de OsomaS, or Petrus Oxomensis, or Uxomensis. 
The comment makes about seventy pages in quarto, and is drawn 
up in the scholastic way, with good judgment and accuracy, 
considering the age it was written in. The book was lent me 
by Mr. Pownall of Lincoln, a gentleman of known abilities, and 
particularly curious in searching out and preserving any rare 
and uncommon pieces, printed or manuscript. I do not find 
that this comment has been at all taken notice of in any of our 
Bibliotheques, or in any of the catalogues of the books printed 
before 1500. Even those that give account of the author, yet 
seem to have known nothing of the printing of this piece. 
Probably there were but very few copies, and most of them soon 
destroyed upon the author's falling under censure in the year 
1479. The author, if I judge right, was the same Peter Osma 
who was Professor of Divinity in Salamanca, and adorned the 
chair with great reputation for many years. He began to be 
famous about the year 1444, and at length fell under the censure 
of a provincial synod, held under Alphonsus Carrillus, Archbishop 
of Toledo, in the year 147 9 h . He was condemned for some 
positions advanced in a book which he had written upon the 
subject of Confession. The positions, nine in number, are such 

K Commentaria Magistri Petri de cognomento Gering. 

Osoma in Symbolum Quicunque vult, " Nicol. Antonii Bibliotheca His- 

&c. finiunt feliciter. Impressaque pana Vetus, torn. ii. p. 203. 
Parisiis per Magistrum Udulricum, 

L 2 


as every Protestant professes at this day 1 , being levelled only at 
the corruptions of Popery in doctrine and discipline : but the 
good man was forced to submit and abjure, and to profess an 
implicit belief in whatsoever was held for faith by the then Pope 
Sixttis IV. Such, in short, is the account of our author, one of 
the most learned and valuable men of his time, by confession 
even of his enemies. At what particular time be composed his 
comment on the Athanasian Creed, I cannot say ; only that it 
was between 1444 and 1479. ^ nave placed it according to the 
time it was printed, as nearly as I am able to judge of it. 

These are all the ancient comments upon the Athanasian 
Creed that I have hitherto met with or heard of; excepting only 
such as have no certain author, or none mentioned. 

Muratorius informs us of two comments without names, which 
are in manuscript, in the Ambrosian library, near six hundred 
years old. One of them bears for its title, Expositio Fidei 
Catholicre; the other has no title. By the age of the manu 
scripts (if Muratorius judges rightly thereof) one maybe assured 
that they are distinct and different from any of the comments 
below Abelard : and that they are neither of them the same with 
Bruno's or Fortunatus's may reasonably be concluded, because 
Muratorius was well acquainted with both, and would easily 
have discovered it. Whether either of them may prove to be 
Abelard's, which has for its title Expositio Fidei, and may suit 
well with the age of the manuscripts, I know not. Muratorius, 
while he makes mention of Bruno and Hildegardis, whose com 
ments he had seen, says nothing of Abelard's : so that possibly 
one of his manuscript comments may prove the same with that. 
Hut if neither of them be the same with Abelard's, nor with each 
other, they must be allowed to pass for two distinct comments, 
whose authors are not yet known. 

Nothing now remains, but to close this chapter with a table, 
as I have the former, representing in one view a summary of 
what is contained in it. 

1 See the positions and censure in Carranza. Summ. Condi, p. 880, &c. 







Venant. Fortunatus 









MS. Ambrosian. 



MS. alter Ambros. 



Pet. Abaelardus 



S. Hildegardis 



Simon Tornacensis 



Alex. Neckham. 



Alexander Hales 



Rich. Hampolus 



John Wickliff 



Petr. cle Osoma 


Title of Creed. 

Fides Catholica. 

Symbolum Athanasii. 

Fides Catholica S. Atliau. Episc. 

Fides Catholica. 

Symbolum Athanasii. 

Symbolum Athanasii. 
Fides Catholica. 
Athanasii Symbolum. 
Athanasii Symbolum. 
Crede, or Salm, of Attanasie. 
Athanasii Symbolum. 



Latin Manuscripts of the Athanasian Creed. 

I CONFINE myself in this chapter to the Latin manuscripts, 
since the Creed was undoubtedly written originally in Latin; 
and therefore the manuscripts in any other languages will be 
more properly treated of in another chapter, among the versions. 
None of the learned at this day make any question but that the 
Creed was originally a Latin composure. This they pretend to 
be certain of, and unanimously agree in; however doubtfully 
they may speak of other things, or however they may differ in 
their opinions about the age or author. Even those, many of 
them, who have ascribed the Creed to Athanasius, have yet 
been obliged by plain and irresistible evidence to acknowledge, 
with the legates of Pope Gregory IXth, that it was originally 
Latin. The style and phraseology of the Creed ; its early recep 
tion among the Latins, while unknown to the Greeks ; the anti 
quity and number of the Latin manuscripts, and their agreement 
(for the most part) with each other, compared with the lateness, 
scarceness, and disagreement of the Greek copies, all concur to 
demonstrate that this Creed was originally a Latin composure, 
rather than a Greek one : and as to any other language besides 
these two, none is pretended. 

I proceed then to recount the Latin manuscripts as high as 
we can find any extant, or as have been known to have been 
extant ; and as low as may be necessary or useful to our main 

A. D. 600. The oldest we have heard of is one mentioned 
by Bishop Usher, which he had seen in the Cotton library, and 
which he judged to come up to the age of Gregory the GreatJ. 
This manuscript has often been appealed to since Usher's time, 

1 Latino-Gallicum illud Psalterium recentius, turn ex antiquo picturge 

in Bibliotheca Cottoniana vidimus : genere colligitur, turn ex literarum 

sicut et alia Latina duo, longe majoris forma grandiuscula, Athanasianum 

antiquitatis ; in quibus, prseter Hym- quidem, Fidei Catholicae, alterum 

num hunc (sc. Te Deum) sine ullo au- vero Symboli Apostolorum prsefert 

tons nomine, Hymni ad Matutinas, titulum. In posteriore, quod Regis 

titulo inscriptum, et Athanasianum ./Ethelstani aliquando fuit, Apostoli- 

habebatur Symbolum, et Apostolicum cum, vice versa, Symbolum simpli- 

totidem omnino quot hodiernum no- citer, alterum autem Fides Sancti 

-tram continens Capitula. In priore, Athanasii Alexandrini nuncupatur. 

quod Gregorii I. tempore non fuisse Usser. de Symb. praef. p. 2, 3. 


and upon the credit of Usher, by the learned on this subject : 
as particularly by Comber, L'Estrange, Tentzelius, Tillemont, 
Le Quien, Muratorius, Natalis Alexander, and perhaps several 
more. Montf'aucon takes notice of Usher's manuscript ; but 
observes that Usher himself allowed the character to be much 
later than the time of Gregory k . Which would have been a 
strange inconsistency in Usher, who forms his argument for the 
antiquity of the manuscript from the character itself, and from 
the ancient kind of picture. But Montfaucon is plainly mistaken, 
confounding what Usher had said of another manuscript, in 
Bennet library at Cambridge 1 , with what he had said of the 
Cotton manuscript at Westminster. The two manuscripts are 
very distinct, and different as possible ; nor has the Bennet 
manuscript any Athanasian Creed in it: only its being called 
Gregory's Psalter occasioned, I suppose, the mistake of making 
it the same with the other. Tentzelius 1 " seems first to have con 
founded them together : and probably Montfaucon followed him 
implicitly, not having Usher at hand to consult ; which would 
immediately have discovered the fallacy. Were there no other 
objection against Usher's manuscript beside what hath been 
mentioned, all would be well. But it is of greater weight to 
observe, that there is not, at this day, in the Cotton library any 
such manuscript copy of the Athanasian Creed ; nor indeed any 
Latin Psalter that can come up to the age of Gregory, or near 
it. There is an ancient Psalter (marked Vespasian A) written 
in capitals, and illuminated; and which might perhaps by the 
character be as old as the time of Gregory the Great ; were it 
not reasonable to think, from a charter of King Ethelbald, 
written in the same hand, and at the same time, and formerly 
belonging to it n , that it cannot be set higher than the date of 
that charter, A. D. 736. But I should here observe, that 

k Codicura omnium qui hactenus Usser. de Symb. p. 9. 

visi memoratique sunt, antiquissimus m Tentzelii Judic. Eruditor. p. 49. 

ille est qui ab Usserio laudatur, aevo Et Exercit. Select, p. 29. 

Gregorii Magni conscriptus ; si tamen n Constat vero ex Historia et Sy- 

ea vere sit ejus MS. aetas : nam addit nopsi Biblioth. Cottonianae, quam in 

Usserius,script\iTam(BvoGregoriilonge ingens reipublicae literariae beneficium 

esse posteriorem. Montf.Diatr.p."j2i. edidit, amplificandis bonis literis na- 

1 In Psalterio Grseco Papae Gre- tus, doctissimus Thomas Smitbus 

gorii, ut praefert titulus (scriptura noster, et indiculo Psalterii Latini in 

enim aevo Gregorii longe est posterior) majusculis script! cum versione Sax- 

Psalterio videlicet Graeco et Romano, onica interlineari, quod notatur Ves- 

Latinis utroque literis descripto, quod pasian. A. I. Chartam hanc (^Ethel- 

in Benedictini, apud Cantabrigienses, baldi R. Australium Saxonum) ex isto 

collegii bibliotheca est reconditum. MS. exscissam esse. Quod ctiam il- 


that charter is not in the larger capitals, as the Psalter itself is, 
but in the smaller capitals, the same hand that the several 
pieces in that manuscript, previous to the Psalter, are written 
in : and how far this may affect our present argument, I cannot 
say. Possibly the Psalter itself being in a different hand may 
be older than those previous pieces ; as it is certainly much 
older than the additional pieces at the end, which are not in 
capitals great or small. 

This Psalter has the Te Deum annexed to it, with the title of 
Hymnus ad Matutinum, as Usher's had; and also the Atha- 
nasian Creed, with the title of Fides Catholica ; but both in a 
very different and much later hand than that of the Psalter 
itself; later by several centuries, as the very learned Mr. Wan- 
ley judges, who sets the age of the Psalter about 1000 years, 
but of the Athanasian Creed, &c. at the time of the Norman 
Conquest. A suspicion, however, may from hence arise, that this 
very Psalter, with what belongs to it, might be the Psalter. &c. 
which Usher spake of; especially since there is none other in 
the Cotton library at all like it. But, on the contrary, it is to 
be considered, that this manuscript has no Apostolical Creed at 
all in it, which Usher affirms his to have had : nor has it the 
Hymnus Matutinus, beginning with Gloria in excelsis Deo, which 
Usher's also hadP : nor is the Creed in capitals, as one would 
imagine Usher's to have been by what he says of it. Neither 
is it at all probable, that, if Usher had intended the Psalter 
now extant in the Cotton, he should give no hint of the Saxon 
version going along with it ; especially considering that it might 
be made an objection to its antiquity. Nor do I think that 
so inquisitive a man as Usher could either have been ignorant 
of the age of Ethelbald, or of his charter having been once 
a part of that manuscript. In his Historia Dogmatical, he 
takes notice of this very Psalter, (now marked Vespasian A,) 

lius quum mensura qua? cum foliis (sc. Gloria &c.) habetur adjectus. In 

illius MS. quadrat, turn etiam manus antiquissimo Cottoniano avciriypafyos 

in utroque prorsus eadem, turn deni- est ; in ^Ethelstaniano proximo, Hym- 

que locus MSS. unde scissa est, inter nus in die Dominico ad Matutinas, 

folia x et xi. codicem vertentibus inscribitur. Usser. de Symbol, p. 33. 
ostendit. Hickes, Dissert. Epist. in Q In Bibliotheca D. Roberti Cotton 

Lingu. Septentr. Thesaur. p. 67. extat Psalterium Romanum vetustis- 

Vid. Wanleii Catal. MSS. Sep- simum, cum versione interlineari Sax- 

tentrion. p. 222. onica : character idem cum charta 

P Ad finem veterum Psalteriorum ^Ethilbaldi Anglorum Regis, anno 

Latinorum, cum Apostolico et Atha- 736 data. Usser. Histo. Dogmat. p. 

nasiano Symbolo, etiam Hymnus iste 104. 


and of the Saxon version in it, and likewise of its being in the 
same hand with Ethelbald's charter : and there he sets the age of 
it no higher than the year 736, (that is, above 130 years later 
than Gregory I,) without the least hint that he had ever mistaken 
the age of it before, or had thought otherwise of it than he did 
at the time of his writing this later treatise. These consider 
ations persuade me that Bishop Usher had seen some other 
manuscript, which has since that time, like many more r , been 
lost, or stolen from the Cotton library. He that was so accu 
rate in every tittle of what he says of King Athelstan's Psalter, 
(mentioned at the same time,) could never have been so negligent, 
or rather plainly careless, in respect of the other. I conclude 
therefore, that there really was such a Psalter as Usher de 
scribes, with the Athanasian Creed in it ; such as he judged to 
be of the age of Gregory I. from more marks than one : and how 
good a judge he was in those matters is well known to as many 
as know any thing of that great man. But how far his judgment 
ought to sway, now the manuscript itself is lost, I must leave 
with the reader. 

660. Next to this of Bishop Usher we may place the famous 
manuscript of Treves, from which the Colbert manuscript (to be 
mentioned hereafter in its place) was copied. Mr. Antelmi sets 
it as high as the year 450, upon a presumption that the Colbert 
manuscript is as old as the year 600, and that 150 years may 
reasonably be allowed between the Colbertine copy and that 
from which it was copied. Tillemont, supposing, or admitting 
the Colbertine to be near the age that Antelmi mentions, yet 

7 V 

thinks fifty years' difference might be sufficient ; and that there 
fore the age of the Treves manuscript might be fixed at 550, or 
thereabout 3 . But since the Colbert manuscript cannot reason 
ably be set much higher than 760, as we shall see in its proper 
place ; I shall not pretend to set the Treves manuscript above 
660 ; and that only under the favourable allowance of a proba 
ble conjecture. The authority of this manuscript of Treves 
stands upon the credit of a passage prefixed to the Colbertine 
copy 1 , which declares that the latter was copied from a manu 
script found at Treves. It was not a copy of the entire Creed, 

r Vid. Tho. Smithi Praefationem scriptum, sic incipiente, " Domini 

ad Catalog. MSS. Bibl. Cotton. " nostri Jesu Chrisliet reliqua. Do- 

8 Tillemont, Memoires, torn. viii. " mini nostri Jesu Christi fideliter cre- 

p. 670. " dat." Apud Montf. Diatrib. p. 728. 

1 Haec inveni Treviris in uno libro 


but began at the second part which relates to the incarnation. 
For after the words, "believe rightly the incarnation of our 
" Lord Jesus Christ," (being only part of the foregoing sen 
tence,) follows ; " For, the right faith is, that we believe/' and 
so on to the end of the Creed. This remaining part of the 
Creed is very different from the common copies, and seems to 
have been so contrived with design, as I shall have occasion to 
observe more at large in the sequel. And it is to me an argu 
ment that the manuscript was written while the Eutychian con 
troversy was at the height, about the end of the fifth century, or 
beginning of the sixth ; though I here set it a great deal lower, 
because this is not the place to explain that matter fully, nor 
would I too far indulge a bare conjecture. It is sufficient to sup 
pose it written in the seventh century, as it was undoubtedly 
copied from, as early, if not earlier, than the eighth. 

700. After the manuscript of Treves, may justly follow the 
Ambrosian manuscript, which is in the Ambrosian library at 
Milan ; a copy of which has been published by Muratorius, in 
his second tome of Anecdota. It was brought thither from the 
famous monastery of Bobbio, (of High Lombardy, in the Mila 
nese,) founded by Columbanus, A. D. 613. The character of the 
manuscript is Langobardic ; and it is judged by Muratorius 
(who has more particularly examined it) to be above 1000 years 
old u . By his account then, who wrote in the year 1698, we 
ought to set the age of this manuscript higher than 698. Yet 
because Montfaucon, who in his travels through Italy had also 
seen it, puts it no higher than the eighth century x , we shall bo 
content to place it between the seventh and eighth, or in the year 
700, to make it a round number. There are in this manuscript 
some readings different from the common copies ; which shall be 
carefully noted hereafter. It is without any title. 

703. We may next set down K. AthelstarTs Psalter, of which 
Bishop Usher had taken notice, making it next in age to the 

u In alip etiam vetustissimo Am- Celebris monasterii Bobiensis, et ex 

brosianae biblotbecae codice ante mille illo in Ambrosianatn translates a 

ctplures annos scripto,Symbolum idem magno Card. Frederico Borromzeo, 

sum nactus. Murator. torn. i. p. 16. &c. Murator. torn. ii. p.8. item p. 224. 

Caeterum opusculum hoc (Bachi- x Codex VIII. Sasculi, charactere 

arn Fides) mihi depromptum est ex Langobardico, in quo Gennadii liber 

antiquissimo Ambrosianae bibilotheca; de Ecclesiasticis Dogmatibus, Bachi- 

codice; quern ante annos minimum mille arii Fides, Symbolum Athanasii, om- 

conscriptum, characterum forma non nia eadem manu. Montfauc. Diati. 

dubitanter testatur. Fuit autem olim Ital. p. 18. 


other most ancient one of the age of Gregory I. He and Dr. 
Grabe both fix the date of it to the year 703, from the rule of 
the calendar found in it?. Dr. Smith, in his Catalogue of the 
Cotton manuscripts, inclines to think that the manuscript is 
later than that time, but taken from one that was really as 
early as the year 703 ; the later copyist transcribing (as some 
times has been) the book and the rule word for word, as he found 
them 2 . Allowing this to have been the case here, (though it be 
only conjecture,) it may still be true that there was a manuscript 
of the age of 703, with this Creed in it ; from whence the later 
one, now extant, was copied : which serves our purpose as well, 
and the rest is not material. But it should not be concealed, 
that the Psalter (in this manuscript) is in small Italian, and the 
above mentioned rule in a small Saxon hand ; which may in 
some measure weaken the argument drawn from the age of one 
to the age of the other : so that at length our evidence from this 
manuscript will be short of certainty, and will rise no higher than 
a fair, probable presumption. I have nothing further to observe, 
but that the Psalter, wherein this Creed is, is the Gallican 
Psalter, not the Roman ; and the title is, Fides Sancti Athanasii 
Alexandrini, The Faith of St. Athanasius of Alexandria. 

760. We may now take in the Colbertine copy, of which 
I have before spoken, referring the date of it to the year 760, 
or thereabout. Montfaucon sets it above the age of Charles the 
Great a , allowing it to have been written about the time of Pepin, 

y Psalterium illud anno aerse nos- citer, ante tempora ^Ethelstani de- 

trae Christians 703, longe ante ^Ethel- scriptus, vix pro certo prsestarem ; 

stani regnantis tempora, ex Regulis ad posteriorem sententiam faventiori 

Kalendario in libri initio subjunctis animo inclinaturus. Smith. EibL 

scriptum fuisse deprehendi. Usser. Cotton. Histor. p. 44. 
de Symb. p. 6. a Nongentos superatannos Colber- 

Quod regis ^Ethelstani fuisse dici- tinus codex 784. Saxonicis descrip 
tor, atque anno 703 scriptum est. tus literis, et, mea quidem sententia, 

Grabii Prolegom. in Psalt. Alexandr. ante aetatem Caroli Magni editus 

cap. 3. Sunt qui codicem ilium 1 100 annorum 

z Hie vero venerandae antiquitatis esse aafirmarunt : verum periti quique 

liber fere ante mille annos descriptus ; aevo circiter Pipini exaratum arbitran- 

ut quibusdam ex Calendario, quod tur. Montf. Diatr. p. 721. 
annum Christi 703, certo designat, Nee tamen codicis Colbertini aucto- 

illic praefixo videtur. Sed cum libra- ritate nititur ha?c opinio, quern arbi- 

rios eandem temporis adnotationem, tratur Antelrnius noo annorum. 

qua3 ad vetustissimos codices proprie Etenim (quod pace viri eruditissimi, 

et peculiariter spectat, suis exemplar- mihique amicissimi dicatur) multo 

ibus apposuisse saepissime observa- minoris aetatis codex esse compro- 

verim an sit ille ipse codex auto- batur ; nemo enim peritus cui librum 

graphus qui tantam prae se ferat aeta- exhibuerim, octavo eum saeculo anti- 
tern, vel annon potius saeculo, aut cir- quiorem aestimavit. Montf. ib. p. 724. 


who began to reign in the year 752. So that I cannot be much 
out of time in placing it as I have done. It is written in Saxon 
character, and is imperfect ; wanting the first part, above one 
half of the Creed, just as the manuscript of Treves from which it 
was copied. 

760. The manuscript of St. Germans, at Paris, is entire, and of 
the same age with the former b . It is marked num. 257, and 
written in a Saxon letter, as well as the other. A specimen of 
the hand, with the three first paragraphs of the Creed, may be 
seen in Mabillon c . The title, Fides Sancti Athanasii Episcopi 
Alexandria?. It differs in some places from the common copies, 
(as shall be noted hereafter,) though not near so much as the 
Colbert manuscript before mentioned. 

772. Next to these is the famous manuscript of Charles the 
Great, at the end of a Gallican Psalter, written in letters of gold, 
and presented by Charlemagne, while only King of France, to 
Pope Adrian I. at his first entrance upon the pontificate, in the 
year 772. Lambecius in his Catalogue of the Emperor's library 
at Vienna, where this manuscript is, gives a large account of it d . 
The title is, Fides Sancti Athanasii Episcopi Alexandrini. 

800. There is another manuscript in the Royal library at 
Paris marked 4908, which Montfaucon judges to be near 900 
years old 6 . He wrote in the year 1698. So if we place it in 
the year 800, we shall want a little of 900 years from that time. 
He supposes it of very near the same age with the Vienna manu 
script. It bears no title, nor any name or note of the author. 
It contains no more than the first part of the Creed, as far as 
the words, et tamen non tres ceterni ; sed units the rest is torn 
off and lost. 

850. I may here place a manuscript of Bennet College library 
in Cambridge, whose age I cannot certainly fix to a year ; but 
by all circumstances it cannot well be supposed later than this 
time. It is at the end of a Psalter, which by comparing I find 

b Paris saltern antiquitatis est San- Pontifici Hadriano I. dono misisse ; et 
germanensis nosier, num. 257. Saxo- quidem, ut ego arbitror, illo ipso anno 
nicis pariter literis exaratus, qui titu- 772. cujus die decimo Februarii jam 
lum habet, Fides Sancti Athanasii memoratus Hadrianus in summum 
Episcopi Alexandria:. Montf. p. 721. Pontificem electus est. Lambec. ibid. 
B Re Diplom. p. 351. e Regius Codex, num. 4908. an- 
1 Lambecii Catal. Biblioth. Vindo- norum pene nongentorum, nullum 
bonens. lib. ii. cap. 5. p. 261, 296, habet titulum, nullumque auctoris no- 
Ac. Carolus Magnus proprio carmine men. yEqualis ipsi est, qui memoratur 
suo testatur se ilium codicem summo a Lambecio &c. Montf. ibid. p. 721. 


to be a Gallican Psalter. Bishop Parker left a remark in it 
about its being in the possession first of one of the Archbishops 
of Canterbury, and at length conveyed down to the hands of 
Becket f , who was Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 1162. 
The great antiquity of the manuscript appears from the martyrs, 
confessors, and virgins addressed to in it ; all of the early times s. 
There are some few variations in this copy, such as are also 
found in the most ancient manuscripts of this Creed ; particularly 
the word et, frequently inserted before Spiritus Sanctus, which 
has been since erased by some officious hand. The title is 
observable; Fides Sancti Anasthasii Episcopi: Anasthasii for 
Athanasii, by a transposition of syllables. 

860. Montfaucon informs us of a manuscript in the Colbert 
library, num. 1339, which once belonged to Charles the Bald h , who 
died in the year 877 ; began to reign 840. It cannot therefore 
be much amiss to fix upon 860 for the date of it. The title it 
bears is, Fides Athanasii. 

883. There is a second manuscript copy of the Athanasian 
Creed, in the library of Bennet (or Corpus Christi) College, 
marked N. O. V. It is at the end of a Gallican Psalter, in 
the same hand, and carrying its certain date with it. It was 
written in France by order of Count Amadeus, or Achadeus* ; 
and in the year 883, as appears from the Litany k . The title is, 
Fides Catholica. 

9]o. Mr. Wanley gives us an account of a Roman Psalter in 
the Royal library, (formerly of St. James's,) with an interlinear 
Saxon version to it, written about the time of King Athelstan 1 . 

f Hoc Psalterium [N. X.] laminis Karoli Calvi imperatoris, inscribitur ; 

argenteis deauratum, et gemmis orna- Fides Athanasii. Montfauc. Diatrib. 

turn, quondam fuit N. Cantuar. Ar- p. 721. 

chiep. tandem venit in manus Thomae ' Ad finem Psalterii, " Achadeus, 

Becket quondam Cant. Archiep. quod " misericordia Dei comes hunc Psal- 

testatum est in veteri scripto. Matth. " terium scribere jussit." Vid. CataL 

Cant. Vid. Catal. MSS. C. C. C. C. MSS. p. 46. 

p. 43. k Oratur, "utmarinumapostolicum 

e In Litaniis, Orate pro nobis, " in sancta religione conservare dig- 

Sancte Contestor, Sancte Herasme, " neris, ut Karlomannum Regera per- 

Sancte Oswolde, &c. martyres. Sancte " petua prosperitate conservare dig- 

Cuthberte, Sancte Germane, Sancte " neris : ut reginam conservare dig- 

Placide, Saqcte Columbane, Sancte " neris : ut fulconem episcopum cum 

Caurentine, &c. confessores. Sancta " omni grege sibi commisso in tuo 

Brigida, Sancta Eugenia, Sancta Eu- " apto servitio conservare digneris." 

lalia, Sancta Petronella, &c. virgines. Vid. Catalog. MSS. C. C. C. C. p. 47. 

Et non sunt hisce recentiores. CataL l Wanfeii Catal. MS. Septentr. p. 

MSS. Bibl. C. C. C. C. p. 43. 182. 

h Colbertinus N. 1339. Qui fuit 


Among the Canticles at the end, there is also this Creed, under 
the title of Hymnus Athanasii de Fide Trinitatis, quern tu conce- 
lebrans disculienter intellige : this is in red ink. The title seems 
to have been then customary in England, as may be probably 
argued from a Saxon version (to be hereafter mentioned) of the 
same age, or very near, and bearing the same title. 

957. In the Archbishop's library, at Lambeth, there is a 
Gallican Psalter, written, according to Mr. Wanley 11 , in the 
time of King Edgar, or a little before. At the end, there is the 
Athanasian Creed in the same ancient hand, with an interlinear 
Saxon version. The title, Fides Catholica Sancti Athanasii 

970. There is another manuscript copy of this Creed, much 
of the same age with the former, in my Lord Oxford's elegant 
library, richly furnished with all kinds of curious and valuable 
manuscripts. This Creed is at the end of a Gallican Psalter, 
and has an interlinear Saxon version to it. Mr. Wanley, who 
was so kind as to acquaint me with it, and to favour me with a 
sight of it, refers it to the time of King Edgar ; who began his 
reign in 959, and died in 975. The title is, Fides Catholica 
Athanasii Alexandrini Episcopi. 

1031. In the Cotton library there is a Gallican Psalter, with 
Saxon interlined, (marked Vitellius, E. 18.) which Mr. Wanley 
refers to the year 1031 . The Athanasian Creed at the end, as 
usual, among the other Canticles, bears the title of Fides Ca 
tholica Athanasii Episcopi Alexandrini. 

1050. In the Norfolk library, now belonging to the Royal 
Society at London, there is also a Gallican Psalter, whose age is 
fixed by Mr. WanleyP to the time of Edward the Confessor. 
The Creed is in it, and has an interlinear Saxon version running 
along with it. The title, Fides Catholica Athanasii Alex. 

1064. In Bennet College library is a manuscript copy of this 
Creed without any title. The Psalter wherein it is, is called 
Portiforium Oswaldi, and is marked K. i o. An account of the 
book may be seen in Mr. Wanley, and in the Catalogue. 

m Hymnus Athanasii de Fide Tri- maticae, p. 374. Alfredo parum recen- 

nitatis. Vid. Wottoni Conspectum Bre- tior videtur. 
vem Operis Hickesiani, p. 77. Wanleii Catal.p.222,224. Smith. 

n Wanleii Catal. p. 269. Eadgari Catal. Cotton, p. 101. 
regis Anglosaxonum temporibus, aut P Wanleii Catal. MSS. Septentr. 

paulo ante, ut videtur, exaratus. p. 291. 

Wharton. Auctarium Historic Dog- 


1 066. I may here place the Cotton manuscript before men 
tioned, bound up with the Ancient Roman Psalter, marked 
Vespasian, A ; though of a very different and much later hand. 
The Creed has an interlinear Saxon version, as usual; and its 
title is, Fides Catholica. Mr. Wanley judges it to be as old as 
the coming in of the Normans 9. 

1066. Of the same age is the Roman Psalter in our public 
library r at Cambridge, with the Latin text in black letter, a 
Saxon version in red, and the titles in green. The Creed is inter 
lined with Saxon, as well as the Psalter, but has no title : for, 
from this time, I conceive, the title began to be left out in some 
copies, for brevity sake, or because it was thought superfluous. 

It will be needless to take notice of any manuscripts below 
this time, excepting only such as contain something particular. 

1087. Quesnel 8 , and after him Pagi 1 , speaks of a manuscript 
copy of this Creed in a Breviary and Psalter for the use of the 
monks of mount Cassin, judged to be about 600 years old. This 
is the same Breviary that Quesnel has made observations upon 
in another work u . And there he fixes the age a little below 
1086; paulo post annum 1086. The title of the Creed is, Fides 
Catholica edita ab Athanasio Alexandrinse sedis Episcopo. 
There is the like title to the Creed in the Triple Psalter of St. 
John's College Cambridge, about the same age, or older, (marked 
B. 1 8.) Jncipit Fides Catholica edita ab Athanasio Archiepi- 
scopo Alexandrinse civitatis. And there is such another title in 
a Psalter of the Norfolk library, (N. 155,) Fides Catholica edita 
a Sancto Athanasio Episcopo. But the hand is modern. 

1 1 20. In my Lord Oxford's library I had a sight of a manu 
script written in Germany about 600 years ago, for the use of the 
Church of Augsburg ; which bears for its title, Fides Anastasii 

1150. In the Norfolk library is a Psalter (marked N. 230.) 
with an interlinear version Normanno-Gallican : the Psalter is 
Gallican, and the title of the Creed at the end, Fides Catholica. 
1 240. Usher takes notice of a copy of this Creed then in the 
Royal library at St. James's, (formerly belonging to Lewis the 
Ninth,) the title, Fides Catholica. 

i Wanleii Catal. p. 222. Smith. e Pagi, Critic, in Baron, vol. i. 

Bihl. Cotton. Histor. p. 35. p. 441. 

r Wanleii Catal. p. 152. u Quesnel, Observat. ad Breviarium 

* Quesnel Dissert, xiv. ad Leon. &c. in Theodor. Po?nitentiale, p. 327. 

Oper. p. 732. 


1 300. Montfaucon informs us of a Latin and a French copy 
of this Creed found in a manuscript about 400 years old ; placed 
in opposite columns. What is remarkable is, that the Latin has 
for its title Canticum Bonifacii, and the French over against the 
other, Ce chant St. Anaistaise qui Apostoilles de Rome*. 

1400. In the Bodleian at Oxford there is a manuscript copy 
of this Creed, (Num. 1204.) which has for its title, Anastasii 
Expositio Symboli Apostolorum. It is about 300 years old, and 
belonged once to the Carthusian monks at Mentz. The Car 
thusians are particularly noted for their more than common ve 
neration for this Creed, reciting it every day at the prime, as 
Cardinal Bona testifies both of them and the Ambrosiansy; 
which I remark by the way. I observe that the German copies 
of this Creed, for five or six hundred years upwards, have most 
commonly Anastasius instead of Athanasius. I make no ques 
tion but that this first arose from a mistake of the copyists, and 
not out of any design. One may perceive that Anastasius is 
sometimes written where Athanasius of Alexandria must have 
been intended. I suppose, at first, some copies had accidentally 
Anasthasius for Athanasius, (as one in Bennet College library 
mentioned above,) by a transposition of letters or syllables ; as 
easily happens in writing or speaking: thus Phrunutus for 
Phurnutus, Marivadus for Varimadus, and the like. Now when 
the copyists had thus introduced Anasthasius, (Anas-tha for 
Atha-nas) those that came after left out the A, to make it Ana 
stasius, that being a common name, which the other was not. 
This I thought proper to hint, that it may appear how little 
reason there is for ascribing this Creed to Anastasius, whether 
of Rome, or of Antioch, or any other. 

I have now run through the manuscripts of greatest note, or 
use, either for antiquity, or for any thing particular, to give 
light to our further inquiries. Two only I have omitted, which 
have been thought considerable ; not so much in themselves, as 
upon account of the other tracts they were found to be joined 
with. The one is the manuscript found in the library of Thuanus 
(Codex Thuaneus) annexed to some tracts which were once sup 
posed to belong to Vigilius Tapsensis, though now certainly 
known to be none of his. Quesnel was much pleased with the 
discovery of this manuscript, as favouring his hypothesis about 

* Montfaucon, Diatrib. p. 722, " Bona de Divin. Psalraod. cap. 

xviii. p. 897, 900. 


Vigilius Tapsensis 2 . And Antelmius has taken some pains in 
confuting him ; shewing that the supposed works of Vigilius are 
none of his a , and that if they were, yet no certain argument 
could be drawn from thence to make Vigilius author of the 
Creed ; since it is a common thing for tracts of several authors, 
especially if they relate to the same subject, to be tacked to each 

The second manuscript is one that was found annexed to the 
Fragments of Hilary of Poictiers b ; which circumstance was 
thought a reason for ascribing this Creed to Hilary. Vossius 
first, and after him many others, throw it off as a very slight 
argument, since the manuscript pretended is very modern, nor is 
the Creed ascribed to Hilary in that manuscript, but only bound 
up with his Fragments, as any other work might be, however 
little akin to them. Montfaucon takes notice of this matter in 
few words , Tentzelius more at large d . It is sufficient for me 
just to have hinted it. 

Having now given as particular account as was needful of the 
more ancient Latin manuscripts of this Creed, I may just ob 
serve that as to modern ones, they are innumerable, there being 
scarce any manuscript Latin Psalter of modern date but what 
has the Creed in it, and generally without a title. I may next 
subjoin a table of the manuscripts here recited, representing in 
one view the age, the title, the country where written, and the 
kind of Psalter wherein found : all which circumstances will be 
of use to us in our following inquiries. Particularly, as to the 

z Absoluta dissertationum nostra- a Vid. Montfauc. Athan. Op. torn, 

rum editione, inveni Codicem Thua- ii. p. 603, 724. 

neum, in quo Dialogus Vigilii Tap- b Invenitur id similiter in Frag- 

sensis adversus Arianos, Sabellianos, mentis Hilarii historicis in cod. veteri 

et Photinianos legitur, sub hoc titulo : part. 2. sub finem. Felckman. Var. 

Incipit Altercatio Athanasii cum Hce- Lect. Oper. Athan. p. 83. 

resibus. Post hunc tractatum habetur c Hilario nonnulli adscriptum vo- 

Symbolum Nicaenum, et formula fidei luerunt, quia nimirum in codice quo- 

Ariminensis Concilii, quam proximo dam exstat post Hilarii Fragmenta. 

sequitur Symbolum Athanasianum Quasi vero id non vulgo et in plerisque 

cum hac epigraphe : Fides dicta a codicibus observetur, ut multa diver- 

Sancto Athanasio Episcopo. Porro, sorum opera consequenter in manu- 

conjecturae nostrae de auctore hujus scriptis describentur. Cum autem in 

symboli non parum suffragatur, quod ejusmodi codice post Hilariana opera, 

in antiquissimo codice illigatum repe- nullo prsemisso auctoris nomine com- 

riatur opusculo cui nomen Athanasii pareat ; hinc, uti jam supra diximus, 

pariter praefixum legitur, sed quod inferendum, turn exaratum fuisse cum 

Vigilii Tapsensis esse indubitatum pro Athanasiano nondum vulgo ha- 

habetur &c. Qutsnel in Addend, beretur. Montf. Diatrib. p. 723. 

p. 913. d Tentzel. Judic. Enid. p. 2, 3, &c. 



Psalters, it will be of moment to observe whether they be Roman 
or Gallican ; because from thence we may be able to discover in 
what places or countries this Creed was first received, according 
to their use of this or that Psalter. But because, perhaps, some 
readers may be at a loss to know what we mean by those 
different names of Roman and Gallican Psalters ; it may not be 
improper here to throw in a few previous instructions relating 
to the different kinds of Latin Psalters, and the names they have 
gone under. 

There are four kinds, or sorts, of Latin Psalters ; which have 
passed under the names of Italic, Roman, Gallican, and Hebraic. 
One of them was before Jerome's time : the three last are all 
Jerome's ; as he had a hand, more or less, in every one of them. 
I shall treat of them distinctly, in their order, as follows : 

i . The Italic Latin Psalter is of the old translation, or version, 
such as it was before Jerome's time. I shall not enter into the 
dispute whether it were one version or many. The common 
opinion is, that there were several Latin versions before Jerome 6 , 
but one more eminent than the rest called Italic f , as being re 
ceived into common use in ItalyS. However that be, it is become 
customary, with such as treat of this subject, to speak of all that 
was extant before Jerome, as of one version, under the name of 
Vetus Vulgata, or Versio Italica. There are entire Psalters of 
this old version, printed and manuscript h , though now no where 
in use in divine Offices, except such parcels of it as, having been 
anciently taken into the Roman Missals, or other old Liturgies, 
remain there still, the people being accustomed to them, and 
there being no great necessity for changing them : but all the 
entire Psalters in use are of another kind. Martianay, in his 
edition of Jerome's works, once intended to give us an entire 
and correct Psalter (with some other of the sacred books) of the 
old Italic version. But the various lections were so many, and 

e Qui enim scripturas ex Hebraea verborum tenacior cum perspicuitate 

lingua in linguam Graecam verterunt sententiae. August, ibid. p. 27. 
numerari possunt, Latini autem in- e Ecclesia Latina a principio, vel 

terpretes nullo modo : ut enim cuique ferme a principio, usa est versione 

primis fidei temporibus in manus Latina Testament! Vet. ex Graeca T&V 

venit codex, et aliquantulum facultatis 6 translation facta, quae Itala vulgo 

sibi utriusque lingua? habere videba- dicebatur, quoniam in Italia prius 

tur, ausus est interpretari. August, de usitata in alias inde Latinorum Eccle- 

Doctr. Christian, lib. ii. cap. u. p. sias recipiebatur. Humphr. Hodius, 

25. torn. iii. De Biblior. Text. Origin, p. 342. 

f In ipsis autem interpretationibus h Le Long, Biblioth. Bibl. vol. i. 

Itala caeteris praeferatur : nam est p. 243. 


so different, that the work appeared too laborious and difficult, 
for which reason he then laid it aside'. This version, or versions, 
is what all the Latins used before Jerome ; and many also after 
him, the Africans especially, down to the sixth century at least, 
or beginning of the seventh. 

3. The Roman Psalter is not very different from the old 
Italic. It is nothing else but that old version cursorily, and in 
part, corrected by Jerome, in the time of Pope Damasus, A. D. 
383. It has had the name of Roman, because the use. of it 
began the soonest, and continued the longest in the Roman 
Offices. It obtained in Gaul near as soon as at Rome, but was 
laid aside in the sixth century, when Gregory of Tours k intro 
duced the other Psalter, since called Gallican. The Roman 
Psalter however still obtained at Rome till the time of Pope 
Pius 1 the Fifth : and it is still used in the Vatican church, and 
some few churches besides. 

3. The Gallican Psalter is Jerome's more correct Latin trans 
lation made from Origen's Hexapla m , or most correct edition of 
the Greek Septuagint, filled up, where the Greek was supposed 
faulty, from the Hebrew; distinguished with obelisks and asterisks, 
denoting the common Greek version in those places to be either 
redundant or deficient. Many of the old manuscripts 11 still retain 
those marks: but more have left them out, I suppose, to save trouble. 
This more correct Psalter was drawn up by Jerome in the year 

1 Appendicem sacrorum aliquot partibus Romanis mutuatam, in Gal- 

voluminum, juxta Veterem Vulgatam liarum dicitur Ecclesias transtulisse. 

usu receptam ante Hieronymum, hoc Walafrid. Strab. de Reb. Eccles, cap. 

loco edendam statueramus : sed quum xxv. p. 690. 

operi manus jamjara accederet, tan- * Vid. Card. Bona Rerum Liturgic. 

tarn inter MSS. Codices hujus ver- lib. ii. cap. 3. Humphr. Hod. p. 383. 

sionis Latince deprehendimus disso- Mabillon. de Curs. Gallican. p. 398. 
nantiam, ut impossibile esset vel solas m Vid. Hieron. Epist. ad Sunn, et 

variantes horum codicum lectiones Fretel. p. 627. ed. Bened. torn. 2. 
adnotasse nisi maximo temporis in- n The Cotton manuscript of 703, 

tervallo. Quare ne in sequentem and the Benet of 883, Lambeth of 

annum differretur editio hujus Divinae 957, Lord Oxford's of 970, and Bru- 

Bibliotheca?, appendicem prredictam no's own manuscript of 1033 : besides 

latiori operi, ac majori otio reservavi- many more in France, England, and 

mus. Martian. Not. ad Hieronym. other countries. Quanta porro fuerit 

vol. i. p. 1419. diligentia nostratium in describendo 

k Psalmos autem cum secundum hocce Psalterio, cum asteriscis et obe- 

LXX Interpretes Romani adhuc ha- lis, non aliunde testatum volumus 

beant; Galli et Germanorum aliqui quam ex infinita copia Codicum MSS. 

secundum emendationem quam Hiero- qui cum talibus distinctionibus super- 

nymus Pater de LXX editione com- sunt in Gallicanis Bibliothecis. Mar- 

posuit, Psalterium cantant : quam tin. Hieronym. Op. vol. i. Prolegom. 

Gregorius, Turonensis episcopus, a ii. c. 5. 

M 2 


389, and obtained first in Gaul about the year 580 ; or however 
not later than 595 : from which circumstance it came to have 
the name of Gallican, in contradistinction to the Roman. From 
Gaul, or France, it passed over into England before the year 
597, and into Germany, and Spain, and other countries. The 
popes of Rome, though they themselves used the other Psalter, 
yet patiently connived at the use of this in the western churches, 
and even in Italy ; and sometimes privately authorized the use 
of it in churches and monasteries ; till at length it was pub 
licly authorized in the Council of Trent, and introduced a 
while after into Rome itself by Pius the Fifth. It was admitted 
in Britain and Ireland before the coming of Augustine the 
monk, and prevailed after, except in the church of Canterbury P, 
which was more immediately under the Archbishop's eye, and 
more conformable to the Roman Offices, than other parts of the 
kingdom. It has been said, ithat this very Gallican Psalter is 
what we still retain in our Liturgy ; called the reading Psalms, 
in contradistinction to the other Psalms in our Bibles, of the 
new translation. But this is not strictly true : for the old trans 
lation, though it be taken in a great measure from the Gallican, 
has yet many corrections from the Hebrew, (where they were 
thought wanting,) first, by Coverdale in 1535, and by Coverdale 
again, 1539, and last of all by Tonstall and Heath, in 1541 : 
according to which edition is the Psalter now used in our 
Liturgy, as I have learned by comparing : and it had been 
before taken notice of by Durell r . But this in passing. 

4. The Hebraic Latin Psalter means Jerome's own translation, 
immediately from the Hebrew, made in the year 391. This, 
though otherwise of great esteem, was never used in the public 
Church Offices 8 . There are but few copies of it, in comparison, 

Anno 1369. Urban! V. autoritate Sed loco illius invaluit tandem, per 

sancitum, ut Cassinenses Psalterio omnes ecclesias Anglicas, usus Galli- 

Gallicano uterentur. Montfauc. Diatr. cani. Hodius, de Text. Bibl. Origin. 

Ital. p. 331. P. Adrian, long before, p. 384. 

had recommended the Gallican Psal- <i Hodiernum in Liturgia Ecclesise 

ter to the Church of Bremen. See Anglicanae retinetur editio Gallicana : 

below in ch. vi. and C. Bona, p. 506. at versio ilia quse habetur in Biblio- 

P Ante adventum Augustini mo- rum voluminibus, quseque pro authen- 

nachi, primi Archiepiscopi Cantua- tica agnoscitur, ex Hebraeo est. Hod. 

riensis, in Angliam, i. e. ante annum ibid. p. 384. 

597, Ecclesiae Britannicae et Hiber- r Durell. Eccles. Anglican. Vindic. 

nicae Psalterium Gallicanum recepe- p. 306. 

rant. Augustinus hue a Gregorio M. s Tertium est de Hebraeo in Lati- 

missus Romanum secum advexit, et num quod leronymus transtulit de 

Ecclesiae suae Cantuariensi tradidit. Hebraeo in Latinum. Sed non est in 


because this Psalter, as before hinted, having never been in com 
mon use, like the Roman and Gallican, has been confined to a 
few hands. We are not to expect an Athanasian Creed in this 
Psalter, as not being intended for the use of the choir: neither 
are we to expect to meet with it in the Italic Psalters, which 
are few, and which were grown, or growing, out of use before 
the Athanasian Creed was brought into the public Offices. But 
in the Roman and Gallican Psalters we may find it : and it 
will be of moment to observe in which of them it is found. 
Indeed, some manuscript Psalters there are, which have the 
Roman and Gallican together in opposite columns, the Gallican 
always set first*. Others have the Hebraic and Gallican set 
column-wise as the former : and some have all the three versions 
of Jerome placed in the like order. Dr. Hody informs us of 
two such manuscripts, to which may be added a third now in 
Trinity College in Cambridge, which has the Athanasian Creed 
with'Bruno's comment in it ; as intimated above. Another such 
triple Psalter there is in St. John's College of the same Univer 
sity, as before hinted ; and in my Lord Oxford^s library is a fine 
old Latin Bible, where the Psalms appear under all the three 
versions. Nay, some manuscripts have the Greek also with the 
other, making a, fourth column : an account of this last sort may 
be seen both in Dr. Hody and Le Long u . These double, triple, 
or quadruple Psalters came not in, I presume, before the end of 
the tenth century, or beginning of the eleventh. For Berno Au- 
giensis of that time acquaints us with the occasion and use of 
them, and how they came to be so contrived x . When the Ro 
man way of singing, first adapted to the Roman Psalter, had 

usu Ecclesise, sed viri studii literati et num Psalterium appellavit, Romania 

sapientes eo utuntur. Roger. Bacon, adhuc ex corrupta vulgata editione 

apudHodium de Text. Original, p. 384. Psalterium canentibusj ex qua Ro- 

Hsec autem (versio ex Hebraeo) ideo mani cantum composuerunt, nobisque 

recepta non fuit, quia duae priores, usum cantandi contradiderunt. Unde 

quotidiano usu in ecclesiis frequen- accidit quod verba, quse in diurnis vel 

tata?, sine magna divini officii pertur- nocturnis officiis canendi more modu- 

batione non poterant abrogari. Bona, lantur, intermisceantur, et confuse 

Rerum Liturg. lib. ii. cap. 3. p. 506. nostris Psalmis inserantur ; ut a mi- 

Vid. etiam Hodium, p. 385. nus peritis baud facile possit discerni 

* Hody de Text. Bibl. Original, quid nostrce, vel Romana conveniat 

p. 385. editioni. Quod plus pater ac peritus 

u Le Long, Bibliotb. Bibl. vol. i. magister intuens, tres editiones in uno 

p. 244. volumine composuit : et Gallicanum 

x Inter caetera, ex emendata LXX Psalterium, quod nos canimus, ordi- 

Interpretum translatione Psal. ex navit in una columna; in altera Ro- 

Graeco in Latinum vertit (Hierony- manum, in tertia Hebraeum. Berno 

mus) illudque cantandum omnibus Augiens. Epist. inedit. apud Mabill. 

Galliae, ac quibusdam Germaniae ec- de cursu Gallicano, p. 396. Hodius 

clesiis tradidit. Et ob hoc Gallica- de Text. Original, p. 382. 



been introduced into France and Germany, (which was first 
done in the eighth century,) in process of time it bred some 
confusion in the two Psalters, mixing and blending them one 
with the other ; that it was difficult to distinguish which words 
belonged to this, and which to that. To remedy this inconveni 
ence, a way was found out to have both the Psalters distinctly 
represented to the eye together, in two several columns : and 
thus came in the kind of Psalters before mentioned. We easily 
see why the Gallican used to be set in ihe first column ; namely, 
because those Psalters were contrived by the French and Ger 
mans, who made use of the Gallican, and so gave the preference 
to their own. If I have detained my reader a little too long in 
this digression about the Psalters ; I hope the usefulness of the 
subject may make him some amends, and be a just apology for it. 
I now return to our Creed, and what more immediately belongs 
to it ; closing this chapter, as I promised, with a table representing 
a summary, or short sketch of what hath been done in it. 

Titles of the Creed. 
Fides Catholica. 

Fides Sancti Athanasii Alexandrini. 

Fides Sancti Athanasii Episcopi. 

Fides Sancti Athanasii Episc. Alexandr. 

Fides Sancti Anasthasii Episcopi. 
Fides Athanasii. 
Fides Catholica. 
Hymnus Athanasii. 
Fides Catholica S. Athanasii Episcopi. 
Fides Catholica Athanasii Alexand. Episc. 
Fides Catholica Athanasii Alexand. Episc. 
Fides Catholica Athanasii Alexandrini. 

Fides Catholica. 

Fides Catholica edita ab Athanasio &c. 

Fides Anastasii Episcopi. 

Fides Catholica. 

Fides Catholica. 

Canticum Bonefacii. 

Ce Chant fust St. Anaistaise qui Apo- 

stoilles de Rome. 
Anastasii Expositio Symboli Apostolorum. 




Bp. Usher's 







Cotton 1 



Colbert 1 


St. German's 





Regius, Paris 


Benet Coll. Cant. 1 



Colbert 2 


Benet C. 2 



St. James's 1 






Harleian 1 



Cotton 2 



Norfolk 1 



Benet C. 3 


Cotton 3 







Harleian 2 


Norfolk 2 



St. James's 2 


Friars Minors 






Ancient Versions, printed or manuscript. 

SOME account of the ancient versions of the Athanasian 
Creed may be of use to shew when and where it has been re 
ceived, and what value hath been set upon it, at several times, 
and in several countries. I shall note the time in the margin, 
when the first version into any language appears to have been 
made : and I shall rank the versions of the several countries 
according to the chronological order of those first versions re 


850. Under the name of French versions, I comprehend all 
versions made at any time into the vulgar language then cur 
rent in France, whatever other name some may please to give 
them. I beg leave also to comprehend under the same name all 
oral versions delivered by word of mouth, as well as written 
ones : otherwise I am sensible that I ought not to have begun 
with French versions. I do not know that the Gauls or French 
had any written standing version of this Creed so early as 850, 
or for several centuries after. Their oldest versions of the 
Psalter are scarce earlier than the eleventh century Y, and of 
the entire Scripture scarce so early as the twelfth Y : and we are 
not to expect a written version of the Athanasian Creed more 
ancient than of their Psalter. But what I mean by setting the 
French versions so high as I here do, is that the Athanasian 
Creed was, as early as is here said, interpreted out of Latin 
into the vulgar tongue for the use of the people, by the clergy 
of France, in their verbal instructions. This is the same thing, 
in effect, with a written standing version, as supplying the place 
of it ; and is as full a proof of the general reception of the Creed, 
at that time, as the other would be. Now, that the Athanasian 
Creed was thus interpreted into the vulgar tongue in France as 
early as the year 850, or earlier, I prove from the words of 
Hincmar, above cited z , giving orders to the clergy of his pro 
vince to be able to express this Creed communibus verbis, that 
is, in their vulgar, or mother tongue. What that mixed kind of 
language which they then used should be called, is of no great 

y See Le Long, Biblioth. Bibl. vol. i. p. 313, &c. z See above, p. 123. 


moment to our present purpose to inquire. Some perhaps, with 
Vitus Amerbachius and Bishop Usher a , will call it Teutonic, or 
German, because Franks and Germans, being originally the same, 
spake the same language. But I see no consequence that because 
Franks and Germans used the same language, therefore Franks 
and Gauls mixed together must still keep the same ; any more 
than that a mixed nation of Normans and Saxons must all agree 
either in Norman or Saxon. One would rather expect in such a 
mixed people, a mixed language too, as usually happens in such 
cases. As to France in particular, at that time, Mr. Wharton 
has plainly shewn that the language there spoken was very widely 
different from the Teutonic, or German. 

The Concordate between the two brothers Lewis and Charles, 
at Strasburg, puts the matter out of dispute : where one ex 
pressed himself in the Teutonic, the other in the language then 
current in France, called Bomanensis, or Bustica Bomana, cor 
rupt Boman, or Latin b ; nearer to the Latin than to the German, 
but a confused mixture of both. Such was the language then 
vulgarly spoken in France, as appears from the specimen of it 
given by Wharton from Nithardus. And this I presume is the 
language into which our Creed was interpreted in Hincmar's 
time ; for which reason I have set the French versions first. If 
any one shall contend that the Teutonic prevailed then in the 
diocese of Bheims, though not in the other parts of Gaul more 
remote from Germany, I shall not think it of moment to dispute 
the point, since it is not material to our present purpose. 

As to the French versions, properly so called, written standing 
versions, I have said that none of them reach higher than the 
eleventh century. Montfaucon gives us one, though imperfect, 
600 years old c ; that is, of the eleventh century, and very near 
the end of it, about 1098, six hundred years before the time of 
his writing : and this is the oldest that I have any where found 
mentioned. Next to which, perhaps we may reckon that in 
Trinity College in Cambridge ; I mean the interlinear version 
which Mr. Wanley d calls Normanno-Gallican, about 580 years 
old. And next to that, the Norfolk manuscript (N. 230.) before 
mentioned, about the same age with the other : and Mr. Wanley 

Usser. Histor. Dogmat. pag. c Montfaucon, Diatrib. p. 7 21, 727, 
in. 733. 

* Vid. Wharton. Auctar. Histor. a Wanleii Catal. MSS. Septentr. p. 
Dogmat. p. 34 4. 168. 


informed me of two more in my Lord Oxford's library. There 
is one in the Cotton library (Nero, C. 4.) above 500 years old, 
according to Mr.Wharton 6 . Montfaucon give us another above 
400 years old f . But it is needless, and foreign to my purpose, 
to number up all the versions : the first in its kind is what will 
be chiefly serviceable to our following inquiries. 


870. As to written and standing versions, the German, so far 
as we find any records, ought to have the first place. There is 
in the Emperor's library at Vienna s, a German, or Teutonic 
version of this Creed made by Otfridus, monk of Weissenberg, 
in the ninth century : the manuscript, as Lambecius assures us, 
is coeval with the author. There have been several later German 
versions, a brief account of which may be seen in Lambecius h , 
Tentzelius', and Le Long k ; but more particularly in Tentzelius. 
It is sufficient to my purpose to have taken notice of the first, 
and most considerable in its kind. 


930. There have been Anglo-Saxon versions of this Creed 
as early as the time of K. Athelstan; as appears from the 
manuscript of the Royal library with an interlinear version, 
noted above ; and which I place in 930. The Lambeth manu 
script of 957 has also an interlinear Saxon version : both which 
manuscripts confirm the account given of an Anglo-Saxon copy 
of this Creed printed from a Latin manuscript, interlined with 
Saxon, out of the Church of Salisbury. The version itself seems 
to have been made about the middle of the tenth century, or 
about 950 ; which suits very well with the age of the manuscripts 
before mentioned. Only, this we may expect, that the Saxon 
copies of those manuscripts will be found much more correct 
than the Sarum copy, (and so I find that of Lambeth is, having 
a copy of it by me, which I owe to the civility of the very learned 
Dr. Wilkins,) being written at a time when the Saxon language 
was less corrupted, and retained more of its primitive purity ; 

e Wharton. Auctar. Histor. Dog- h Lambec. Catal. lib. ii. p. . 
mat. p. 390. * Tentzel. Judic. Erudit. Praef. et 

f Montf. Diatr. p. 722. p. 226. 

e Lambec. Catal. Biblioth. Vindo- k Le Long. Biblioth. Biblic. vol. i. 

bon. lib. ii. p. 460, 760. p. 376. 


whereas the Sarum copy was written 1 , as is conjectured, after 
Loth Danes and Normans had much altered the language. I 
before observed, that the title in Dr.Wotton's copy is Hymnus 
Athanasii, as in St. James's copy : and there is something further 
worth the noting, which is the rubrick following the title,directing 
the Creed to be sung alternately m ; which confirms the account 
given by Abbo Floriacensis of the custom of the Gallican and 
English churches in that age. But to proceed ; from the time 
we have had any version of this Creed into our country language, 
we may reasonably conclude that such versions have varied, by 
little and little, in every age, in proportion to the gradual alter 
ation in our language ; till at length the version became such as 
it stands at this day. Such as are desirous of having a specimen 
of the Creed in very old English verse, may find one in Dr. 
Hickes's Thesaurus". And they may see a good part of a prose 
version in old English, (though considerably later than the other,) 
in Wickliff 's comment, before mentioned : or an entire version 
into the English of that time, in a manuscript of Pepys's library 
now belonging to our College, N. 2498. p. 368. I may here note, 
that all our Saxon and English versions down to the time of the 
Reformation, or to the year 1548, were from the Latin only, 
and not from any Greek copy : and after that time, upon the 
return of Popery, the old version from the Latin came again 
into use for a while, as appears by the Primmer set forth by 
Cardinal Pole in Queen Mary's days, A. D. 1555. But these 
and the like observations are out of the compass of my design, 
and so I pass on. 


I have before intimated that this Creed was originally Latin, 
and therefore the Greek copies can be no more than versions : 
and they appear to be very late also, in comparison to the former, 

1 Versionem istam circiter medium Conspect. Operis HicJcesiani, p. 75. 

decimi saKCuli esse factam ipsius ser- Hymnus Athanasii, de Fide Tri- 

monis cum puritate (ubi non halluci- nitatis. 

natur interpres) conjuncta proprietas * Quern tu concelebrans, discutien- 

ostendit. Recentius vero descriptam ter intellige. Incipit de Fide, 

fuisse, sub Nortmannorura in Angliam On which Dr. Wotton makes this 

adventum, non tantum librarii linguae note. 

Saxonicae baud gnari recentior manus * Ita MS. hoc est, quern tu anti- 

in qua exaratur, sed pravum illud phonatim, vel alternatim psallens, 

Anglo Danicum, vel forsan Anglo animo percipe, p. 77. 

Nortmannicum, scribendi genus de- Hickes. Thesaur. Linguar. Sep- 

monstrat. Wotton. Not. ad Brevem tentr. p. 332. 


However, since the Greek is one of the learned languages, since 
the Creed has been ascribed to a Greek author, and has been 
also supposed by many to have been written in Greek ; it will 
therefore be proper to give as particular and as distinct account 
as is possible of the Greek version, or versions. Our inquiries 
here will lie within a little compass : for the Greek copies are 
neither many nor ancient. Montfaucon, a very diligent searcher 
into these matters, frankly professes that he had never seen any 
Greek copy of this Creed so old as 300 years ; nor ever heard 
of any that was ancient . He scruples not to say further, that 
there had not been yet seen any Greek record, of certain and 
undoubted credit, whereby to prove that this Creed had been 
known to the Greek Church for more than 500 years upwards?. 
He speaks only of Greek records : as to Latin ones, they afford 
sufficient proof that this Creed was pleaded against the Greeks 
in the dispute about the procession, in the eighth or ninth century 
at latest, and therefore must have been in some measure known 
to them. The Greeks and Latins had some dispute on that 
head in the Synod of Gentilly, not far from Paris, in the year 
767, under King Pepin. But perhaps this Creed was not pleaded 
at that time : at least it does not appear that it was. 

It cannot be doubted but that the Greeks had heard some 
thing of this Creed from the Latins, as early as the days of 
Ratram and ^Eneas Parisiensis ; that is, above 850 years ago, 
when the dispute about the procession between the Greeks and 
Latins was on foot: this the testimonies above cited plainly 
shew. But this is not enough to prove that the Greek Church 
had yet any value for this Creed, or that there was then extant 
any Greek copy of it. 

i zoo. Nicolaus Hydruntinus, cited above, who flourished under 
Alexius IV. emperor of the east, and Pope Innocent the Third, 
that is, in round numbers about 1200, he gives us the first notice 

Sane nullum vidimus Graecum hu- bari. Montf. ibid. p. 72 1 . 
jus Symbol! codicem qui trecentorum To the same purpose speaks Corn- 
sit aimorum; nee antiquum alium a befis of this Creed, 
quopiam visum fuisse novimus. Mont- Vix enim extat praeterquam in re- 
faucon, Diatrib. p. 727. centiorumcollectaneis,librisqueeorum 

P Adjicere non pigeat non visum polemicis, quibus ipsum vel impug- 

hactenus fuisse Graecorum quodpiam nant, vel etiam defendunt ; idque vo- 

monumentum (certum scilicet ac in- lunt illi qui aiunt non haberi in Grte- 

dubitatum) quo ab annis plus quin- corum librisj non enim sic stupidi 

gentis notum Ecclesiae Graecae fuisse videntur ut negent Graece haberi. 

Symbolum, Quicunque, possit compro- Combef. Not. ad Man. Calec. p. 297. 


of this Creed being extant in Greek in his time. He observes, 
that the article of the procession from the Son was not in the Greek 
copy of this Creed, as neither in the Nicene, blaming the Latins, 
as I apprehend, for interpolating both. The censure was just 
with respect to the Nicene Creed, but not with respect to the 
Athanasian, which certainly never wanted that article; as is 
plain from the agreement of the Latin copies, and the earliest of 
them, those of a thousand years' date : which I remark by the 
way. As to our present purpose, this is certain, that some time 
before Nicolaus of Otranto wrote, the Creed had been translated 
into Greek, by a Greek, or at least by one that took part with 
the Greeks in the question about the procession. It can hardly 
be imagined that Nicolaus had translated it himself, and that 
he appealed to his own version. There must have been a ver 
sion before undoubtedly : and one can scarce suppose less than 
50 or i oo years before, since both the time and autlwr of it 
were forgotten, and this Greek version passed with Nicolaus for 
Athanasius's original. Manuel Caleca ( i, who wrote about the 
year 1360, intimates that there had been Greek copies long 
before his time, and that the most ancient of all had the article 
of the procession from the Son ; and that the older Greeks who 
wrote against the Latins did not pretend to strike out that 
article, as those did that came after. Could we depend upon 
this report, we might then be certain that the Greek copies of 
the time of Nicolaus Hydruntinus were late in comparison, and 
that there had been other Greek copies much more ancient. 
But this I leave to the consideration of the learned. However 
this fact be, one thing is certain, that the oldest Greek copy 
could be only a version, whether sooner or later. 

As to Greek copies now extant in manuscript, they are but 
few, and modern : I may here give a short account of them, of 
as many as I have hitherto found mentioned in books, or cata 
logues of manuscripts. 

i. There is one in the Emperor's library at Vienna, said to be 
in paper, ancient, and of good value 1 . These words are too 

i Testantur autem hanc ipsam Fidei ad contradicendum facti, omnino au- 

Confessionem sancti viri (Athanasii) ferre voluerunt : etsi modo nihilomi- 

esse, atque id dictum ita se habere, nus curiose inquirentibus raro, licet in 

qui contra Latinos multo ante scripse- vetustissimis codicibus, ita habere in- 

runt ; quam sibi ut adveream frustra venitur. Man. Calec. contr. Greec. lib. 

labefactare nituntur. Atque, ut in- ii. B. PP. torn. xxvi. p. 414. 

telligi datur, tune quidem adhuc ser- r CCXIV. codex MS. theologicus 

vabatur;/><wfrnodttmveropertinaciores Graecus est chartaceus, antiquus, et 


general to fix any certain date upon : one may guess from the 
paper that the manuscript is not very ancient ; since paper came 
not into frequent or common use before the thirteenth century. 
But not to insist upon a disputable argument, (since cotton paper, 
though not common, was however sometimes used as early as 
the tenth century,) one may judge more certainly from what is 
written in the same volume, and, I suppose, in the same hand, 
(for Nesselius makes no distinction,) that the copy of the Creed 
is not earlier than the middle of the fourteenth century. 
Maximus Planudes makes a part of the manuscript : he flou 
rished about the year 1340. 

2. There is another Greek manuscript of this Creed in the 
same library, a paper one too, and said to be pretty ancient, by 
Nesselius, who gives account of its. From the mention therein 
made of the Creed's being presented to Pope Julius, I should be 
apt to conclude that the manuscript is not earlier, nor copied 
from any earlier than Manuel Caleca's time, or the fourteenth 
century : but there are other marks, particularly some pieces of 
Julianus Cardinalis, which demonstrate that the manuscript 
cannot be much older than the middle of the fifteenth century. 

3. Felckman had a manuscript copy of this Creed in Greek, 
without any title to it, or any author named*. I can say nothing 
to the age of it, for want of further particulars. 

4. Felckman had another manuscript out of the Palatine 
library, (which library is since transferred partly to the Vatican, 
the rest to Munich, &c.) with a title to it, <n>fji(3o\ov rov ayiov 
'AdavaaCov, St. Athanasius's Creed u . The title alone is a suffi- 

bones notes, in 4to. constatque foliis scopi Alexandrini, Confessio Catholica 

341. Fidei, ad S. Julium Pontificem Roma- 

Continentur eo haec. num ; cujus et titulus et principium, 

Imo, &C. Toi) fv ayiois Trarpbs rjp.)v 'Adavaaiov 

2do et quidem a fol. 77- a( ^ fl- 79- T v ptyaXov 'Qpokvyia rf/s KadoXixrjs 

S. Athanasii Archiepiscopi Alexan- TriaTeoos fjv e&o/ce irpos 'lov\iov nd-irav 

drini Symbolum Fidei, cujus titulus 'Pwp/s. Tw deXoim a-udfjvai &c. 

et principium, Tot) ayiov Adavaa-iov Nessel. Catal. vol. i. p. 281. 

TOV fjifyaXov. "O<TTIS 8' av /SovA^rai * Ex tat hoc Symbolum in nostro 

o-tadfjvai, npo irdvTa>v xpi) Kparelv iri- codice 2 anonymo, sed absque titulo 

cm/, &c. Nessel. Catal. vol. i. p. 344. et nomine auctoris ; unde et sic edi- 

8 CXCmus codex MS. est char- turn. Felckman. ed. Athanas. Comme- 

taceus, mediocriter antiquus, et bones lin. p. 83. 

notes, in 4to. constatque nunc foliis Incipit; Ei TIS 6f\oi <ra>6ijvat, Trpo 

332, et ad Johannem Sambucum olim irdvruv xp*l avrm TT/V Kado\u(f)v KpaTrj- 

pertinuit. Continentur eo heec. I. <rai TTIO-TIV, &c. 

primo, &c. u Invenimus id ipsum etiam post 

18 Et quidem a fol. 303. ad fol. in codice quodam Palatinae bibliothe- 

304. S. Athanasii magni, Archiepi- cae, expresse Athanasio inscriptum 


cient argument of its being modern, to any that consider what 
were the more usual and ancient titles, represented above. It 
is to be noted that those two manuscript copies are so nearly 
the same, that they make but one copy in print, which has been 
inserted in al) the editions of Athanasius's works after Felckman's, 
as well as in his, and makes the fifth in Gundlingius*, who gives 
us six Greek copies of this Creed. It is observable, that this 
copy owns not the procession from the Son : from whence we 
may infer that it was not made by the Latins, or however not 
by any who were not friends to the Greeks. 

5. Lazarus Baifius's copy 7, which he had from Venice, in the 
time of Francis I. in the year 1533, was published by Genebrard, 
anno 1569. This copy probably was contrived by a Latin, 
(having the procession from the Son in it,) or at least by some 
honest Greek, who would not vary from the original. I conclude 
this Greek copy to be modern, from the title , for a reason before 

6. There was another manuscript copy 2 of this Creed, which 
Nicolaus Bryling first printed at Basil, and afterwards H. Ste 
phens in France, in the year 1565. This also must, in all 
probability, be very modern, because of (n>npo\ov in the title. 
It acknowledges the procession from the Son, conformable to the 

7. In the Royal library at Paris, (Numb. 2502,) there is an 
other manuscript Greek copy of this Creed a, written in the 
year 1562, published by Genebrard 1569, and said by him to 

(licet id recentiores Graeci nolint, ut a De Grsecis autem codicibus pauca 

videre est ex epistola Meletii Constan- suppetunt dicenda, cum unum tantum 

tinopolitani Patriarch* ad Douzam) nobis inspicere licuerit, scil. Reg. 

ex quo etiam discrepantias quasdam 2502. In quo extat Symbolum supe- 

notabimus. riore saeculo exaratum. Montf. Dia- 

Incipit; Ei TIS tfeXei o-a>dijvai, irpo trib. p. 722. 

Xpei'a ftrriv Iva TTJV Ka6o\iKT)v Secunda, quam edimus formula, 

iriaTiv, &c. Felckman. ibid. jam olim publici juris facta per Gene- 

Gundlingii not. ad Eustrat. et p. brardum anno 1569, quam ait ille esse 

76. Ecclesise Constantinopolitanae, extat in 

y Titulus; 'Etdftris oftoXoylas rrjs regio codice num. 2502. olim ex biblio- 

KadoXiKTJs JTi'oretts ToO /^eyaXou ' A&ava- theca Johannis Huralti Boistallerii a 

cri'ov irarpidpxov 'AXeai/8pfi'ay irpbs Carolo IX. Venetias legati, in qua 

'lovXiov Ildirav. codice ha?c leguntur, ante Dialogum 

Incipit ; "OOTIS &v ^ovXrjrai o-w&Jj/at, S. Athanasii cum Ario " transcrip- 

irpb Trdvruv xp*l xpurtlv rf)v KadoXiKrjv " tus et recognitus liber hie est, ex 

iriarw. " vetustissimo exemplar! cretico ; Ve- 

; Titulus; 2v/ij3oXov rov ayiov " netiis anno 1562, impensa facta au- 

'AQavaaiav. " reorum X. Zacharias Sacerdos tran- 

Incipit ; "Oortr ftovXtrai o-udrjvai, " scripsit et habuit." Montf. Diatrib. 

&c. P. 727. 


belong to the Church of Constantinople. This was taken from 
an older manuscript, but how much older cannot certainly be 
known b . One may imagine from the title and beginning of it, 
that the form is the same with one of those in the Emperor's 
library, and that they were copied one from the other, or both 
from a third copy. This manuscript acknowledges the pro 
cession from the Son. I had understood, from Montfaucon's 
general way of expression, that Genebrard had published his 
copy from this very manuscript of the Royal library, Num. 2502. 
But observing that Genebrard's wants some words (dt'Stos 6 TTCITTJP, 
atbios 6 vibs, atbiov TO irvevna TO ayiov) which Montfaucon's copy 
has, I conclude that he meant only the same form, as to matter 
and words, for the most part, not the same manuscript. 

8. There is another manuscript Greek version, or rather 
paraphrase of this Creed, having several interpolations, pub 
lished by Bishop Usher anno 1647, from a copy sent him by 
Patrick Young. It has been often since printed; in the Coun 
cils, in Gundling, and in Montfaucon. 

It leaves out the article of procession from the Son ; from 
whence we may judge that it was composed by a Greek, or 
Grecizing Latin. The title insinuates that the Creed was drawn 
up in the Nicene Council d : an opinion entertained by Johan. 
Cyparissiota, about the year 1360, as observed above. When 
this story or fiction first came in, I cannot pretend to determine. 
Bishop Usher speaks of a very ancient manuscript, partly in 
Irish and partly in Latin, which hints at the same thing : but 
he fixes no date to the manuscript; the words, very ancient, 
are too general to give satisfaction in it. The Creed is there 
said to have been composed in the Nicene Council, by Eusebius 
and Dionysius, and a third left nameless e , as not' being known. 
The author of that book of Hymns must have been very ignorant, 
not to know Athanasius, who was undoubtedly the third man, 

b Incertum autem utrum ex illo d 'EK TT/S ayias KOI oiKovfifvtKrjs rfjs 

quod memorat vetustissimo exemplari ev NtKm'a, Trepl Trurrtws Kara truiro/uai/, 

Symbolum etiam sit mutuatus ; codex KOI ir>s 8et TTurrtveiv rov dXjj&j Xpt- 

quippe amplse molis multa et varia ariavov. Usser. de Symb. p. 26. 

complectitur, quse dubitare licet ex e In hymnorum, partim Latino 

unone codice exscripta fuerint, an ex partim Hibernico sermone scriptorum, 

compluribus. Montf. ibid. codice vetustissimo notatum re- 

c Titulus ; Tot) tv ayiois Tlarpos peri, trium Episcoporum opera, in ea- 

THJL&V 'Adavao-iov rov peyd\ov 6/zoAoy/a dem Nicsena Synodo illud fuisse com- 

TTJS KadoXiKrjs TrtWewf f\v eScoKe irpos positum, Eusebii, et Dionysii, et nomen 

'lovXtoi/ TlaTrav 'P&IJUJS. tertii (sic enim ibi legitur) nescimus. 

Incipit; T^i ^'Xoj^rt a-cadr/voi, &c. Usser. de Symb. preef. 


and for whose sake (to account for the Creed's being written in 
Latin) the whole story seems to have been contrived. By 
Eusebius must have been intended Eusebius of Verceil in Pied 
mont, a Latin, and a great friend and intimate of Athanasius : 
by Dionysius undoubtedly is meant Dionysius Bishop of Milan, 
of the same time and of the same principles, and well acquainted 
with Eusebius f . Had the contrivers of the fable laid their scene 
at Alexandria, where Athanasius and this Eusebius, with several 
other Latins, met together in the year 362, they had made it 
the more plausible. But let us return to our Greek copies, from 
which we have a little digressed. 

This is observable of the Greek copies in general, that they 
differ very widely from each other, and therefore cannot be 
copies of one and the same version. Possibly, three or four of 
them may be thrown into one, admitting however many various 
lections : but still there will be as many remaining, which cannot 
be so dealt with, but must be looked upon as distinct and differ 
ent versions. Such as desire to see all the copies together may 
find them in Gundling and Montfaucon ; four at large, the rest 
exhibited only by various lections. I do not know whether the 
manuscripts of the Vienna library have been collated for any of 
the printed editions : perhaps not ; I do not remember that I 
have met with any mention of them in any of the editors of the 
printed copies. 

It may be of use to set the printed editions, after our account 
of the manuscripts, in chronological order, as distinctly as may 
be, since we cannot fix the dates of the manuscript copies. 

1540. i. The first printed edition was by Nicolaus BrylingS, 
a printer of Basil. My authors have been deficient in not 
setting down the date of it. I have endeavoured to fix the year, 
but have not yet been so happy as to come to a certainty in it. 
Wherefore, I hope, my reader will excuse it, if, rather than set 
no year at all, I choose one which I know cannot be very much 

f It seems highly probable, that the lavit." Ambros. ad Vercellens. Ep. 

whole fable about Eusebius and Dio- Ixiii. p. 1039. 

nysius was first raised out of a pas- e Quod olim evulgavit Basileae Ni- 

sage of St. Ambrose, which might be colaus Bryling ; deinde in Gallia anno 

thought to hint some such thing. 1565, Henricus Stephanus. Gene- 

The words are ^ brard. in Symb. Athanas. p. 8. 

" Itaque ut Eusebius Sanctus prior Quam post Nic. Brylingium, et 

" levavit vexillum confessionis, ita Mich. Neandrum, H. Stephanus in 

" beatus Dionysius in exilii locis, lucem edidit. Fabric. Bibl. Grccc. 

" priori martyribus titulo vitam exha- vol. v. p. 315. 


over or under, because of other pieces printed by the same Bry- 
ling about that time. Fabricius mentions Michael Neander as 
editor of the same copy after Bryling, and before Stephens : but 
what year is not said. Sebastian Lepusculus's h edition of the 
same was in 1559*; and Stephens's in 1565. 

1569. 2. The second printed copy was taken from the manu 
script of Lazarus Baiffius, which he received from Dionysius k , a 
Greek, in the year 1533, as before hinted. This was first printed 
by Genebrard in the year 1569, again in 1585, and oftentimes 
since. This copy is sometimes called the Dionysian copy : and 
it is observed by Gundling to differ from the first copy but in 
seven places ; and therefore these two have been commonly 
thrown into one, by the editors of both. 

1569. 3. The third copy was also first printed by Genebrard, 
at the same time with the other. It has gone under the name 
of the Constantinopolitan copy, because Genebrard supposed it 
to have been in use at Constantinople 1 . It differs considerably 
from both the other, and is never thrown into one with them, 
but kept distinct by itself. 

1 600. 4. The fourth is the Commeline, or Felckman's copy, 
from the Palatine manuscripts, often reprinted with Athana- 
sius's works. This also stands by itself as a distinct version. 

1647. 5- The fifth was first published by Usher, in the year 
1647. This differs extremely from all the rest, having, besides 
many variations and slight insertions, one very large interpola 
tion. It hath been often reprinted since Usher's time. 

1671. 6. The sixth and last was first published by Labbe and 
Cossart in the second tome of Councils. This copy comes the 
nearest to the two first, and therefore is sometimes thrown into 

h Sebastian. Lepusculi compendium lit Dionysius Grsecus, Episcopus Zie- 

Josephi Gorionidis, cum Collectaneis nensis et Firmiensis anno 1533. Ge- 

quibusdam, p. 49. Basil. 1559. nebr. Comm. in Symb. Athanas. p. 8. 

1 Nic. Serarius, who wrote in the In manus meas pervenit liber qui- 

year 1590, speaking of that first copy dam Grsecus, de processione Spiritus 

printed by Bryling and Stephens, says Sancti, oblatus Lazaro Baiffio claro 

as follows : regis nostri Francisci I. apud Venetos 

" Quarum prima vulgata dici potest, oratori, anno Christi 1533. Quern 

" eo quod hactenus ea sola hie apud manu sua elegantissime pinxerat Ni- 

" nos, Germania et Gallia, typis evul- colaus Sophianus Patrum nostrorum 

" gata fuerit." Nicol. Serar. de Symb. sevo vir valde doctus. Genebr. ibid. 

Athanas. Opusc. Theoloa. torn. ii. p. 9. p. 2. 

k Hoc Symbolum reperi in libro 1 Superius Symbolum, Atbanasii 

Graeco MS. de processione Spiritus verbis aliquantulum immutatis, Con- 

Sancti, quern Lazaro Baiffio oratori stantinopolitani sic Grsece legunt, et 

regis Francisci I. apud Venetos, obtu- recitant. Genebr. ibid. p. 14. 



ono with them : but it differs from both in about forty places, 
according to Gundling's computation. 

These are all the printed copies ; which are sometimes called 
four, and sometimes six: four, because the first, second, and 
sixth may be tolerably thrown into one ; six, because they may 
also be kept distinct, and may be reckoned as so many copies 
at least, if not so many several versions. So much for the Greek 
versions of our Creed. 

To the versions already mentioned may be added the Sclavo- 
nian, of several dialects, and, as I conceive, pretty ancient : but 
we have little or no account of them ; only, as I shall shew in 
the sequel, we may be certain that there have been such. There 
are Italian, Spanish, Irish, and Welsh versions ; but whether any 
that can justly be called ancient, I know not. Future searches 
into libraries may perhaps produce further discoveries. Fabri- 
cius makes mention of an Hebrew version of late date, and of an 
Arabic one still later m : but these or the like modern versions will 
be of no use to us in our present inquiries. 


Of the reception of the Athanasian Creed in the 
Christian Churches. 

FROM the materials here laid down, we may now be able 
to determine something about the reception of the Creed, espe 
cially in the western Churches ; among which the Churches of 
France, or Gaul, ought undoubtedly to be named first. 


A. D. 550. This Creed obtained in France in the time of 
Hincmar, or about 850, without all dispute. We may advance 
higher up to 772 : for it was then in Charles the Great's Psal 
ter, among the Hymns of the Church. The Cotton manuscript 
Psalter, with this Creed in it, will carry us up to 703 : and the 

m Hebraice versum a Julio Mar- GeorgiusNisseliusSymbolumAtha- 

cello Romano MS. in bibliotheca Va- nasii Arabico idiomate cum Cantico 

ticana memorat Imbonatus in bibl. Canticorum ^Ethiopice et Arabice 

Latino Hebraica, p. 149. Sed omitto edito Lugd. Bat. anno 1656, conjunxit 

recentiores versiones, ut Arabicam a id tamen non hausit ex codice 

Nisselio editam Lugd. Bat. 1656. 410, MS. sed ipse in Arabicum sermonem 

una cum Cantico Canticor. Fabric, transtulit. Tentzel. p. 125. 
Bibl. Grtec. v. 5. p. 315. 


Canon of the Council of Autun to 670 ; at which time the Galli- 
can clergy, at least of the diocese of Autun, in the province of 
Lyons, were obliged to recite this Creed together with the 
Apostles' 1 , under pain of episcopal censure. Which shews of how 
great value and esteem the Creed was at that time, and affords 
a strong presumption (as Quesnel and Pagi n well argue in the 
case) that it had been in use there long before. There will be 
some doubt, as I intimated above, about the supposed Canon of 
the Council of Autun ; which will in some measure abate the 
force of our evidence, and of the argument built upon it. But 
as it is certain from other evidence, that this Creed was received 
in the Gallican churches as high as 772 or 703; so it must be 
owned that this very much confirms the supposition of the 
Council of Autun : and the concurring circumstances give very 
great light and strength to each other. But what most of all 
confirms the foregoing evidence, and the reasoning upon it, is, 
that Venantius Fortunatus, a full hundred years before the 
Council of Autun, had met with this Creed in the Gallican parts, 
and found it then to be in such esteem as to deserve to be com 
mented upon, like the Lord's Prayer, and Apostles' Creed: ac 
cordingly he wrote comments upon it, as well as upon the other. 
This wonderfully confirms the reasoning of Quesnel and Pagi, 
that this Creed must have been in use there near a hundred 
years before the Council of Autun, that is, as high as 570, 
about which time Fortunatus flourished and wrote. And con 
sidering that this Creed must have been for some time growing 
into repute, before it could be thought worthy to have such honour 
paid it, along with the Lord's Prayer and Apostles' Creed ; I may 
perhaps be allowed to set the time of its reception, in the Gallican 
churches, some years higher : reception of it, I mean, as an ex 
cellent formulary, or an acknowledged rule of faith, though not 
perhaps admitted into their sacred Offices. Upon the whole, and 
upon the strength of the foregoing evidences, we may reasonably 

n Dubium non est quin multis ante et illam e regione cum Symbolo Apo- 

Synodum illam Augustodunensem an- stolico ponerent, nisi jam longo usu 

nis compositum esset, et jam olim per recepta, approbata, et inter germanas 

totam Ecclesiam celebre evasisset : Magni Athanasii lucubrationes nume- 

nunquam enim sapientissimi praesules rata fuisset ; quod nisi post plurium 

id commisissent, ut istam fidei formu- annorum seriem fieri vix potuit. Ques- 

lam omnium ordinum clericis amplec- nel, Dis. xiv. p. 731. 
tendam, et irreprehensibiliter, ut aiunt, Quare jam ante centum fere annis 

recensendam, Synodali edicto sub con- opus illud Athanasio attributumfuerat. 

demnationis patna praecroerent ; imo Pagi, Critic, in Baron, vol. i. p. 441. 

N 2 


conclude, that the reception of this Creed, in the Gallican 
churches, was at least as early as 670; understanding it of 
its reception into the public Offices: but understanding it of 
its reception as a rule of faith, or an orthodox and excellent 
formulary and system of belief, it may be justly set as high as 
550, which is but twenty years, or thereabout, before Fortuna- 
tus commented upon it. Le Quien scruples not to set it as high 
as 500. 


630. Next to France, we may mention her near neighbour 
Spain, which seems to have received this Creed very early, and 
within less than a hundred years after the time before fixed for 
its reception in France. As to the truth of the fact, it may be 
argued two several ways, i . From the near affinity and relation 
between the Spanish and Gallican Offices, before either France 
or Spain had received the Eoman. 2. From the fourth Council 
of Toledo, their quoting passages from this very Creed. 

i. As to the first argument, though a general one, it must 
appear of great weight. If the Sacred Offices in France and 
Spain were in those times the same, or very nearly so ; then the 
reception of this Creed in France will afford a very considerable 
argument of its reception in Spain also. 

Cardinal Bona is very large and diffuse in setting forth the 
argreement and harmony of the old Gallican Offices with the 
Spanish, in sundry particulars P. And he supposes this uni 
formity of the two Churches to have been as early, at least, as 
the days of Gregory Bishop of Tours, who died in the year 595. 
Mabillon, after him, frequently asserts the same things, and 
with greater assurance than Bona had done ; having met with 
new and fuller evidences to prove it : only, he dates the agree 
ment of the Spanish Mosarabick Offices with the Gallican, from 
the third and fourth Councils of Toledo 1 ", the latter of which was 
in the year 633. Mr. Dodwell, speaking of the same matter, 
says, " Nor does Mabillon himself judge it probable that the 
" innovations attempted by Pope Vigilius in Spain held long, of 
" what kind soever they were. All Spain was soon after united 
" in one form, and that different from the Romans, and agreeing 

Non nisi ex eodem Symbolo, quod 12. p. 372. 
i ante receptum esset, Avitus Vien- 

jam ante reception esset, Avitus Vien- Q Mabillon, de Liturg. Gallican. 

nensis alicubi scribebat &c. Le pra?f. et lib. i. cap. 3. p. 20, 23. 

Quien, Dissert. Damascen. p. 98. r Mabillon, lib. i. c. 4. p. 32. 
P Bona, Rerum Liturg. lib. i. cap. 


" with the Gallican 5 ." It is therefore a plain case, that the 
Gallican and Spanish Offices were very much the same in the 
beginning of the seventh century, and so continued for some 
time. If therefore the Gallican churches received the Athana- 
sian Creed into their public Offices before the year 670, it will 
appear extremely probable that the Spanish received it also, 
and about the same time. I here make a distinction, as I did 
before, between receiving the Creed as a rule of faith, and 
receiving it into the solemn Offices, to be recited or sung in 
churches. The reception of it, in the first sense, I conceive 
to have been somewhat earlier in Spain, as well as in France, 
than its reception in the latter sense. But as different churches 
in France had anciently different customs, so also was it in 
Spain : and therefore it is probable that the reception of this 
Creed into the public Offices was in some churches sooner, and 
in others later, according to the various rites, customs, and cir 
cumstances of the several churches. 

But I proceed to the second article, whereby we are to prove 
the reception of this Creed in Spain. 

2. The fourth Council of Toledo cites a considerable part of 
this Creed, adopting it into their own Confession*. We may be 
confident that the Creed did not borrow the expressions from 
them, but they from the Creed ; since we are certain that this 
Creed was made long before the year 633. The reference to 
this very Creed appears so plain in the words of that Council, 
that most of the learned have concluded from thence, that the 
Spanish Fathers had both seen and approved this Creed. Ba- 
ronius is positive that the Council took their expressions from 
it u . Calvisius dates the publication of the Creed from that Council x : 

8 Dodwell of Incense, p. 190. missime custodierit, perpetuam salu- 

1 Nee personas confundimus, nee tern habebit. Condi. Tolet. IV. Ca- 

substantiam separamus. Patrem a pitul. i. 

nullo factum, vel genitum dicimus : u Ex eodem Athanasii Symbolo ea 

Filium a Patre non factum, sed geni- verba primi Capituli Toletani quarti 

turn, asserimus : Spiritum vero San- Concilii deducta noscuntur, quibus 

ctum nee ereatum, nee genitura, sed dicitur, Patrem a nullo factum, &c. 

procedentem a Patre et Filio profile- Baron. Annul, torn. iii. p. 436. 
mur, ipsum autem Dominum Jesum x Repositum fuit in archivis, nee 

Christum ex substantia Patris publicatum, nisi, quantum ex historiis 

ante saecula genitum aequalis conjicere licet, post trecentos fere 

Patri secundum divinitatem, minor annos, ubi in Concilio Toletano quar- 

Patre secundum humanitatem. to quaedam ex eo translata verba re- 

Haec est Ecclesiae Catholicae Fides : censentur. Seth. Calvis. Op. Chro- 

hanc confessionem conservamus, at- nolog. p. 396. 
que tenemus. Quam quisquis fir- 



so also Alstediusy. Gavantus, in his comments upon the 
Roman Breviary, concludes from thence that this Creed had 
been read in the Church, as high as that time 2 . Helvicus" falls 
in with the opinion of Calvisius and Alstedius, grounded upon 
the expressions of this Council being parallel to those of the 
Creed. These authors have perhaps carried the point too far, 
in supposing this a sufficient proof of any public reception of the 
Creed in Spain, at that time, or of its being read in their 
churches : but it is clear enough, that the Spanish Fathers had 
both seen and approved it ; otherwise they could not, or would 
not, have borrowed so plainly from it. Thus much is allowed by 
most of the learned moderns, as Quesnel b , Natalis Alexander^ 
Montfaucon d , Tillemont 6 , Muratorius, Oudin f , and others, that 
the expressions of that Council and this Creed are parallel, and 
one borrowed from the other, and the words of the Council from 
the words of the Creed : only, Muratorius hints as if a doubt 
might be made whether the Council took from the Creed, or the 
Creed from the Councils; which may seem strange in him, who 
supposes the Creed to have been made by Fortunatus, many 
years before that Council was held. But, I suppose, he is there 
speaking of the argument drawn from the words of that Council 
alone, abstracting from the other circumstance, and previous to 
the consideration of Fortunatus's comment : otherwise he is 
guilty of a very great oversight. It appears then, that this 

y Symbolum Athanasii ab illo 
scriptum est in Romse itidem contra 
Arium. Publicatum est post 300 fere 
annos in Concilio Toletano, et inde 
usque ad nostra tempora in Ecclesia 
usurpation!. Alsted. Thesaur. p. 178. 

1 Athanasius dura esset Romae, 

scripsit Latine Symbolum et reci- 

tavit coram Pontifice et ei assidentibus, 
anno 340, ut scribit Baronius ; et est 
illud idem, non mutatum, legique soli- 
turn in Ecclesia, ante annos nongentos 
sexaginta. Vide Annales ad Annum 
preedictum. Barthol. Gavant. Com- 
mentar. in Rubric. Breviarii Romani, 
p. 106. 

a Athanasius Symbolum scribit Ro- 
rnae, et Concilio offert; non tamen 
publicatur, nisi post 300 ferme annos 
in Concilio Toletano. Helvic. Theatr. 
Histor. ad an. 330. 

b Imo et jam ao anno 633 aliqua ex 
isto Symbolo descripta raihi viuentur 

in ea Confessione Fidei, quse edita est 
a Concilio Toletano 4. habeturque 
Capit. i. ejusdem. Quesnel, Dissert. 
xiv. p. 731. 

c Natal. Alexand. torn. iv. p. 109. 

d Montfauc. Diatrib. p. 720. 

e Tillemont, Memoires, torn. viii. 
p. 670. 

f Oudin. Comment, de Script. 
Eccl. p. 348. 

8 Verum ne majoris quidem mo- 
menti sunt verba ilia, quae in Concilii 
Toletani quarti professione leguntur : 
quamvis enim phrases nonnullae ibi 
dem inveniantur Symboli phrasibus 
oppido similes, attamen ejusmodi non 
sunt ut iis patribus Symbolum jam 
innotuisse demonstrent. Quin ex eo- 
dem Concilio has formulas quis deli- 
basse videri potest, ut inde Symbolum 
istud conflaret. Muratorii Anecdot. 
Ambros. torn. ii. p. 223. 


Creed was known and approved in Spain as early as 633 : and it 
is observable how exactly this falls in with the time, when the 
Spanish churches are supposed to have received the Gallican 
Offices, according to Mabillon's account. Wherefore it is ex 
tremely probable, that about this time they received this Creed 
from the Gallican churches ; received it as an orthodox formu 
lary, and an approved rule of faith. As to their taking it into 
their public Service and Psalmody, I pretend not to set it so 
high, having no proof -that they did receive it, in that sense, so 
early : but as soon as the Gallican churches made it a part of 
their Psalmody, we may reasonably think that the Spanish did so 
too ; or within a very short time after. 


787. Next to France and Spain, we may mention Germany ; 
not only because of their nearness of situation to France, but 
also because of their mutual intercourse and affinity with each 
other. This Creed, very probably, was received in some parts 
of Germany, soon after it obtained in the Gallican Church. 
The mutual intercourse of the German and Gallican Churches 
makes it probable: and the ancient manuscript of the Creed 
found at Treves, or Triers, in Germany, may persuade the same 
thing. Our positive evidence is however clear and certain for 
the reception of the Creed, as early as 870, being then translated 
by Otfridus into the German or Teutonic language. Anscha- 
rius's Instructions to his Clergy (above mentioned) will afford 
an argument for the reception of this Creed in Germany, from 
the time of his holding the see of Hamburg, or from 830 : and 
it was received at Basil, as we learn from Hatto, Bishop of the 
place, before 820. Indeed, I have above referred Basil to 
France, considering how it stood in Hatto^s time, and that it 
was part of ancient Gaul : but then it was upon the confines of 
Germany, and has in later times been reckoned to it ; and we 
have good reason to think that the customs of the German 
churches in the ninth century were nearly the same with those 
of the Church of Basil in 820. What passed in the council of 
Frankfort (if I mistake not in my construction of it) may 
warrant the carrying it up as high as 794. And it was seven 
years before that, namely in the year 787^ that Pope Adrian 
sent to St. W r illehad, Bishop of Breme, the famous Psalter 

h Mabill. Act. Sanct. saec. iii. part. 2. p. 409. 


of Charles the Great', with this Creed in it, the same that I 
have spoken of above. No wonder therefore that Anscharius 
and Rembertus, afterwards Archbishops of Hamburg and Breme, 
so very highly valued this Creed. The particular regard paid 
to this Creed by Charles the Great, in the year 772, may plead 
perhaps in favour of a more early date : at least, no doubt can 
be made but as soon as he came to be emperor, if not a great 
deal sooner, the German churches (as well as the Gallican before) 
admitted this Creed, even into their public Offices. It is of this 
time that an anonymous author cited above, in a tract directed 
to Charlemagne, then Emperor, says, that this Creed was 
" professed by the universal Church." We cannot however 
be mistaken in setting the reception of it in Germany, as 
high as the year 787. So high may pass for certain fact : and 
there is great probability for the running it up many years 


800. As to our own country, we have clear and positive 
proof of the Creed's being sung alternately in our churches in 
the tenth century, when Abbo of Fleury, an ear-witness of it, 
was here ; and when the Saxon versions, still extant, were of 
standing use for the instruction and benefit both of Clergy and 
people. These evidences alone will prove the reception of this 
Creed in England to have been as early as 950 or 930, or the 
time of Athelstan, whose Latin Psalter, with the Creed in it, 
remains to this day. The age of the manuscript versions will 
warrant us thus far : but, possibly, if those versions were 
thoroughly examined by a critic in the Saxon, it might appear 
that the version or versions were some years older than the 
manuscripts. But it may be worth the observing further, that 
among several other ancient professions of faith drawn up by 
our bishops of the Saxon times there is one of Denebert Bishop 
of Worcester, presented to Archbishop Athelard in the year 
799, which contains in it a considerable part of the Athanasian 

4 Codex iste in bibliotheca quern ipse in principle pontificatus sui 

cubiculari summi pontificis Hadri- tanquam munus gratulatorium a Ca- 

ani I. permansit usque ad annum rolo Magno acceperat, eadem ratione 

DCCLXXXVIII. quo S. Willehadus donavit S. Willehado, ut ille, in novo 

ab eodem, cum consensu Caroli M. Episcopatu suo, frueretur usu sacri 

primus Episcopus Bremensis decla- istius muneris. Lambec. Catal. EM. 

ratus est. Tune videlicet P. P. Hadri- Vindob. lib. ii. cap. 5. p. 297. 
anus eundem ilium codicem Psalterii, 


Creed k . From whence may be concluded, that this formulary 
was well known here and well approved, among the learned at 
least, in those times. Wherefore, upon the whole, and all 
circumstances considered, I may presume to name the year 800, 
or thereabout, for the reception of this Creed in England. 
Further inquiries may perhaps carry it up higher : but it cannot 
reasonably be brought lower, and so there T leave it. 


880. We learn from Ratherius, above cited, that this Creed 
was in common use in some parts of Italy, particularly in the 
diocese of Verona in Low Lombardy, in his time ; that is, about 
960. He then speaks of it as a man would do of a formulary 
that had been customary amongst them, and of long standing. 
He exhorts his clergy to make themselves masters of the three 
Creeds, Apostles 1 , Nicene, and Athanasian; without the least 
intimation of the last of them being newly introduced. I incline 
to think that from the time that Lombardy became a province 
of the French under Charles the Great, (about the year 774,) 
this Creed obtained there by means of that prince, who had so 
great a value for it, and whose custom it was to disperse it 
abroad wherever he had any power or influence. He presented 
it to the pope himself in 772 : he delivered it, about the same 
time, or before, to the monks of Mount Olivet in Jerusalem, of 
his foundation. And it appears to have been with his consent, 
or perhaps at his request, that pope Adrian conveyed it to 
Willehad, the first Bishop of Breme, in 787. These circum 
stances make it highly probable, that the same Charles the 
Great introduced this Creed into Lombardy soon after his 
conquest of it. And indeed nothing could be more serviceable 
at that time, in a country which had so long before been cor 
rupted with Arianism. Add to this, that it appears highly 
probable that the Gallican Psalter was introduced 'into the 
churches of Italy soon after Lombardy became a province under 
the kings of France : and if their Psalter came in, no doubt 
but their Creed, then a part of their Psalter, came in with it. 
Cardinal Bona observes, and seems to wonder at it, that the 
Gallican Psalter obtained in most parts of Italy in the eleventh 

k Orthodoxam, Catholicam Apo- Quicunque vult salvus esse &c. Pro- 
stolicatn Fidem, sicut didici, paucis fess. Deneberti Ep. Wigorn. apud 
exponara verbis, quia scriptura est, Text. Roff. p. 252. 


century 1 . He might very probably have set the date higher, 
as high perhaps, or very near, as the conquest of Lombardy by 
Charlemagne. Thus far at least we may reasonably judge, that 
those parts which were more immediately subject to the kings 
of France, Verona especially, one of the first cities taken, re 
ceived the Gallican Psalter sooner than the rest. However, 
since I here go only upon probabilities, and have no positive 
proof of the precise time when either the Creed or the Psalter 
came in, and it might take up some years to introduce them, 
and settle them there, (new customs generally meeting with 
difficulties and opposition at the first,) these things considered, 
I am content to suppose the year 880 for the reception of this 
Creed in Italy ; which is but eighty years higher than Ratherius, 
and is above one hundred years from the entire conquest of 
Lombardy by Charles the Great. There may be some reason to 
suspect that this Creed had been known in Italy, and received, at 
least in some of the monasteries there, near two hundred years 
before. The manuscript of Bobio, in Langobardick character, 
and written about the year 700, or sooner, will afford a very 
strong presumption of it. And if we consider how from the 
year 637, in the time of Rotharis, one of the Lombard kings of 
Italy, there had been a constant struggle between the Catholics 
and Arians, and a succession of bishops on both sides kept up, 
in almost every city of his dominions, for many years together; 
I say, from these considerations, one might reasonably presume 
that the Catholics had about that time procured this Creed, 
together with Bachiarii Fides, and Gennadius's tract, out of the 
Gallican parts, to arm themselves the better against the spread 
ing heresy. But as this does not amount to a public reception 
of it, nor is the fact so clear as not to be liable to dispute, I 
pretend not to insist upon it. 


930. Rome is of distinct consideration from the other parts of 
Italy, and was always more desirous of imposing her own Offices 
upon other churches, than of receiving any from them. The 
Filioque, in the Constantinopolitan Creed, had been long admitted 
into all the other western churches before Rome would accept it ; 
which was not (at least it does not appear that it was) till the 
middle of the eleventh century, or about 1050. The custom of 
1 Bona, Rerum Liturg. lib. ii. c. 3. p. 506. 


reciting the Nicene, or Constantinopolitan Creed, in the Com 
munion Service, had prevailed in Spain, France, and Germany, 
for several centuries ; and was at length but hardly admitted at 
Rome in the year 1014. It was thought civil enough of the 
Popes of Rome to allow the other western churches to vary from 
the Roman customs in any thing : and those other churches 
could not enjoy that liberty and privilege in quiet, without com 
plying with the Roman Offices in most things besides. The use 
of the Athanasian Creed was one of those things wherein they 
were beforehand with the Church of Rome, and in which they 
were indulged ; as was also the use of the Gallican Psalter, 
which the western churches in general were allowed" 1 to have, 
while the Romans were tenacious of their own. But though the 
Romans retained their own Psalter all the way down to the 
middle of the sixteenth century ; yet they had long before bor 
rowed this Creed from the Gallican, and received it into their 
Offices. This is certain fact ; but as to the precise time when it 
was first done, it may not be easy to determine. It was, without 
all question, before Thomas Aquinas' s day ; who tells us, (as 
above cited,) that this Creed was " received by the authority of 
" the Pope :" 1 wish he had told us what Pope. That it was 
not received into the Roman Offices so soon as the year 809 
may be probably argued from a case that then happened, which 
has been hinted above. The Latin monks of Mount Olivet, 
(founded by Charles the Great,) in their Apologetical Letter to 
Pope Leo III, made the best defence they were able of their 
own practice in their public professing that the Holy Ghost 
proceeds from the Son. They pleaded the open acknowledgment 
of the same doctrine in Charles the Great's own chapel ; and 
that the same doctrine had been taught them, in St. Gregory's 
Homilies, and in the Rule of St. Benedict, and in the Athanasian 
Creed, and in a Dialogue given them by Pope Leo himself 11 . 

m Alexander IV. in sua Constitu- Officium secundum ordinem sanctee Ro- 

tione quae est sexta in Bullario ordinis manee Ecclesiee, exceptoPsalterio. Hod. 

Eremitarum Sancti Augustini, mandril de Text. Bibl. p. 383. Vid. etiam su- 

Priori Generali et reliquis fratribus in pra p. 134. 

Tuscia, ut recitent Officium juxta mo- n Benignissime pater, dum essem 

rem Romanae Ecclesiae, excepto Psal- ego Leo, servus vesler, ad sancla ves- 

terio. Bona, Rer. Liturg. lib. ii. c. 3. tigia vestra, el ad pia vestigia Domni 

P- 56- Karoli, piissimi Imperatoris, filiique 

Sic quoque S. Franciscus, ut tes- vestri, audivimus in capella ejus dici 

tatur Frassenius (Disqu. Bibl. c. vi. s. in Symbolo Fidei, qui ex Patre Filio- 

i.) illius ordinis frater, in regula suo- que procedit. Et in Homilia S. Gre- 

rum praecipit : Clericifaciant divinum gorii, quam nobis films vester Dom. 



Now, had the Athanasian Creed been at that time recited in 
the public Offices at Rome, those monks who were so particular 
in every little circumstance pleadable in their favour, could not 
have failed (especially upon their mentioning the Athanasian 
Creed) to have pleaded a thing so notorious, and which would 
have given the greatest countenance and authority possible to 
them and their doctrine ; and must have been of the greatest 
weight and force with Pope Leo, to whom they were writing, 
and whose protection they were then seeking, and humbly im 
ploring. From hence then one may reasonably infer, that this 
Creed was not received into the Roman Offices so early as the 
year 809. Let us now inquire whether we can fix upon any 
later time for its coming in. 

Genebrard testifies, that in the oldest Roman Breviaries he 
could meet with or hear of, this Creed always made a part of 
the Service . But this is too general, nor can we be certain 
how ancient those oldest Breviaries were, nor whether they 
belonged to the Roman Church, strictly so called, or to other 
western churches. And indeed I know not how we can come to 
any certainty in this matter, unless it be by examining into the 
Roman Psalters which have this Creed in them. Whenever 
the Creed came into the Roman Psalters, we may justly con 
clude, that at the same time it came into the Roman Offices. 
We have in our public library at Cambridge a Roman Psalter, 
written for the use of the Church of Canterbury, (as our judicious 
Mr. Wanley reasonably conjectures?,) and about the time of 
the Conquest, or a little before, suppose 1060. The church of 
Canterbury more especially used the Roman Psalter, as hath 
been observed above, and was in all things conformable, of old 
time, to the Roman Offices. Now if this Creed, which had 
long before been introduced into the Gallican Psalters, did at 

nus Karolus Imperator dedit, in para 
bola Octavarum Paschae, ubi dixit : 
Sed ejus missio ipsa processio est, qui 
de Patre procedit et Filio. Et in 
Regula S. Benedicti, quam nobis dedit 

filius vester Domnus Karolus, et 

in Dialogo quern nobis vestra sanc- 
titas dare dignata est, similiter dicit. 
Et in Fide S. Athanasii eodera modo 
dicit. Epist. Monach. Montis Olivet, 
apud Le Quien, Damasc. Dissert. Pr^v. 
p. 7. 

In vetustissimis Romanae Ecclesiae 

(haec nunc vocamus Brevi- 
aria) sub Athanasii nomine ejus ad 
primam recitatio usu recepta est. Ge- 
nebr. in Symb. Athanas. p. 3. 

P Notandum vero in Litania extare 
haec verba : Ut archiepiscopum nos 
trum, et omnem congregationem illi 
commissam, in sancta religions constr- 
vare digneris, te rogamus : quibus pene 
inducor ut credam hunc cod. olim 
pertinuisse ad ecclesiam Christi Sal- 
vatoris Cantuariae. IVanleii Catal. 
p. 152. 


this time obtain in the Roman also ; it is obvious to conclude, 
that it at the same time made a part of the Roman Offices, even 
at Rome itself, as well as Canterbury, since one was conformable 
to the other. This argument may carry us up some years 
higher : for there is another, an older Roman Psalter, taken 
notice of above, which has this Creed in it ; written about the 
year 930, in the time of King Athelstan. It is said to have 
belonged formerly to Archbishop Cranmer. Perhaps this also 
might have been written for the use of the Church of Canterbury : 
I know of no Church, amongst us, which at that time used the 
Roman Psalter, but the Church of Canterbury. However, it is 
highly improbable that any church which complied so far with 
Rome, as to use the Roman Psalter, should take this Creed into 
that Psalter before such time as Rome itself had done the same 
thing. Upon the strength of this argument, though it be not 
demonstrative, but probable only, (such as the case will admit 
of, and such as may very well pass till we can fix upon something 
more certain,) I say upon the strength of this, I incline to date 
the reception of this Creed at Rome from the tenth century, and 
the beginning of it, about the year 930. From this time for 
wards, I presume, the Athanasian Creed has been honoured with 
a public recital, among the other sacred Hymns and Church 
Offices, all over the west. The way has been to recite it at the 
prime, or first hour, (one o'clock in the Latin account, with us 
seven in the morning,) every Lord^s day 9; and in some places 
every day r . But as the custom of making it only a part of the 
Sunday Service is the most ancient, so has it likewise been the 
most general and prevailing ; and is at this day the common and 
constant usage of the churches within the Roman communion. 
And let this suffice so far as concerns the western churches. 


AS to the Greek, or Oriental Churches, I reserved this place for 
them, that I might not entirely omit them. It has been ques 
tioned, whether any of them ever received this Creed at all. 

1 Die Dominico ad primam recite- ad priraam iterat. Honor. August. Ad 

tur. Halt. Basil. A. D. 820. primam dicunt quotidie Symbolum 

Per omnes occidentis ecclesias Do- Athanasii. Bona de Carthusianis, p. 

minicis semper diebus psallitur in 897. Psalmod. 

cunctis ecclesiis publice card praecepta. Ad primam quotidie subditur 

Manuel. Calec. Bibl. PP. torn. xxvi. Symbolum Athanasii. Bona de Am- 

p. 414. brosianis, p. 900. Divin. Psalmod. 

1 Fidem, Quicunque vult, quotidie 



Vossius 3 seems to have thought that they never have : and so 
also Combefisius c . And Dr. Smith, in his account of the Greek 
Church, is positive that "as to the Creed of Athanasius, the 
" Greeks are whdly strangers to it^."" 

Nevertheless, I find some very considerable men of a contrary 
persuasion, and not Romanists only, as Baronius, Spondanus*, 
Muratoriusy, Renaudot 2 , and others, but Protestants also ; as 
particularly Gundling, whose words I have put into the margin 8 . 
We may observe however, that thus far is agreed on all hands, 
that this Creed is not received in all the Greek churches ; and 
if it is in any, yet it is there differently read in the article of 
procession. It is not pretended that any of the African churches, 
Alexandrian, Nubian, or Ethiopian, (which are, most of them, 
of the Jacobite or Eutychian sect,) have received it. So far 
from it, that they have not (at least the Ethiopian or Abassine 
churches have not) so much as the Apostles' Creed amongst 
them, if we may believe Ludolphus b : so little are they ac 
quainted with the Latin forms or confessions. Nor is it pre 
tended that the more eastern Christians, belonging to the 
Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem, have any acquaintance 
with the Athanasian Creed : no not the Maronites, though they 

8 Nee qui nostrasetate Patriarcha 
Alexandrinus, et Prases Constantino- 
poleos fuit, pro germane illud Symbo 
lum habuit. Sic enim Meletius litte- 
ris suis Constantinopoli, anno 1597, 
ad Johannem Douzam, Nordovicem 
datis, et a filio Georgio Douza editis. 
" Athanasio falso adscriptum Symbo- 
" lum, cum appendice ilia Romanorum 
" Pontificum adulteratum, luce luci- 
" dius contestamur." Voss. de Trib. 
Symb. Dissert, ii. c. 20. p. 521. 

* Combef. not. ad Calec. p. 297. 
et notatione 48 in vitam Basilii Pseu- 

do-Amphiloch. Symbolum Atha- 

nasii Greed ut ejus non recipiunt. 

u Smith, Account &c. p. 196. 

x Spondanus epitomizing the words 
of Baronius, as I find quoted by 
Tentzelius, p. 152. 

Cum autem e Romanae Ecclesise an- 
tirjuis monumentis, veluti eruderatum 
emersit in lucem, turn a Latinis om 
nibus, turn a Graecis aeque susceptum 
est : non ab Ecclesia Constantinopo- 
litana tantum, sed Serviana, Bulga- 
rica, Russica, Moscovitica, et aliis; 
licet ab eis dempta inde pars ilia fue- 

rit, qua Spiritum Sanctum a Patre Fi- 
lioque procedere expressum habetur. 

y Re vera, non Ecclesia tantum 
Constantinopolitana, sed Serviana, 
Bulgarica, Russica, Moscovitica, aliae- 
que ritui Graeco addictae, etsi Athana- 
siano Symbolo in sacris Liturgiis utan- 
tur, hanc tamen particulam, et Filio, 
inde exclusere. Murator. torn. ii. p. 

z Quod dicitur Domini Filius as- 
sumpsisse hominem &c. rectum est, 
Symbolo quod Athanasii dicitur, et a 
Greeds Latinisque redpitur, con- 
forme. Renaud. Orient. Liturg. vol. ii. 
p. 643. 

a Mirari quis possit cur Graeci pro- 
cessionem Spiritus Sancti a Filio ne- 
gent, additionem ad Symbolum Nicae- 
num tarn aegre ferant, cum tamen 
Symbolum Athanasii redpiant. Gund* 
ling. Not. ad Eustrat. &c. p. 68. 

D Ludolph. Histor. ^Ethiop, lib. 
iii. c. 5. Symbolo Fidei Catholicae 

Nicaeno communiter utuntur illo 

quo nos utimur, uti caeteri orientales, 
carent: haud levi indicio Apostolos 
illius autores non esse. 


formerly submitted to the see of Rome, and are still supposed to 
hold communion therewith, and to acknowledge the Pope for 
their head. All that is pretended, with respect to this Creed, 
is, that the churches of Constantinople, Servia, Bulgaria, Russia, 
and Muscovy, acknowledge it as Athanasius's, or make use of it 
in their common and sacred Offices. And for proof of this, it 
has been usual to appeal to a passage of Cazanovius, a Polish 
knight, in a letter of his to Calvin : which letter I have not 
seen, but find quoted both by Grenebrard c and Vossius d , men 
of opposite principles, and therefore the more safely to be relied 
on where they agree. But what does Cazanovius confess ? That 
the Greek, Servian, Russian, and Muscovite churches acknow 
ledge the Athanasian Creed as Athanasius's ; only curtailed (or, 
as they would say, corrected) as to the point of the procession. 
A confession from a Socinian adversary, in this case, is of some 
weight ; and especially if it can be enforced by any corroborating 
evidence. Let us see then what may be further learned concern 
ing the several churches here named, and the reception of this 
Creed in them. I may take them one by one. 

i . To begin with Muscovy, where the matter of fact seems to 
be most fully attested of any. In the account given of the Lord 
Carlisle's embassy from King Charles II. to the great Duke of 
Muscovy, in the year 1663 e , I meet with this passage, relating 
to the Muscovites, and their divine Service : " The whole Service 
" is performed by reading of certain Psalms, or chapters in the 
" Bible : sometimes the Priest adds Athanasius's Creed, or sings 
" certain hymns, and St. Chrysostom's Homily." In another 
treatise entitled, Of the Ancient and Modern Religion of the 
Muscovites, written in French, and printed at Cologne 1698, 
and since translated into English, there is this account of the 
Muscovites : that " they receive the Creed of the Apostles, and 
" that of Nice and Athanasius f ." These two testimonies are 
undoubtedly sufficient, so far as concerns Muscovy. Now the 

c Si Athanasii est, cujusnam illud non in Latina solum Ecclesia, sed 

eritquod mine Graecorum, Serviorum, etiam in Constantinopolitana, Servi- 

Russorum, et Moscorum ecclesiae sub ana, Bulgarica, Moscovitica. Voss. de 

ejusdem Athanasii titulo retinent, ac Symb. Diss. ii. c. i. p. 516. 

pro genuino agnoscunt ? Cazanov. ad e Harris's Complete Collection, &c. 

Calvin. Symbol, vol. ii. p. 181. See also the Duke of 

Athanas. p. 7. Holstein's Travels, ibid. p. 36. 

d Cazanovius sarmata etsi mul- f Harris's Collection of Travels, 

turn ei hoc Symbolum displiceat, ag- vol. ii. p. 238. See also p. 240, 

noscit tamen Athanasianum vocari, 241. 



Muscovites received their religion and their orders from the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, about the tenth century, or begin 
ning of the eleventh : and their receiving of this Creed will be a 
presumptive argument in favour of its reception at Constantinople 
also, if there be no evident reason against it. That the Mus 
covites did not receive the Creed from the Latins, but from the 
Greeks, is very plain, because their copies of the Creed are with 
out the article of the procession from the Sons. For they pretend 
that the Latins have interpolated the Creed, appealing to their 
own uncorrupted copies ; and they blame the Latins, further, 
for inserting the Filioque into the Nicene h . From what hath 
been said, it appears to be certain fact, that the Muscovites re 
ceive the Athanasian Creed : how long they have had it, or how 
far short of seven hundred years, (reckoning from the time that 
Christianity was received, or restored amongst them,) I cannot 
say. I should observe, that the Muscovites always perform their 
Service in their own vulgar tongue, as is allowed on all hands * : 
since then the Athanasian Creed is a part of their Service, they 
must have had a version of it in the Muscovite language, which 
is a dialect of the Sclavonian. Wherefore this also, after our 
proof of the thing, may now be added to the other versions above 

2. Russia, as distinguished from Muscovy, must mean Russia 
Minor, or the Black Russia, a province of Poland. As many as 
there follow the Greek rites are of the same account with the 
Muscovites before spoken of: and therefore what has been said 
of the former, with respect to the use of the Athanasian Creed, 
will be applicable to these also ; and so I need not be more 
particular about them. The Patriarch of Muscovy ordains their 
Archbishop, who is therefore subject to him, and follows the same 
rites and customs : and their language is also a dialect of the 
Sclavonian, like the other. 

f Vid.Tentzel. Judic. Erudit. p. 151. 

h See Harris, ibid. p. 240. 

1 In caeteris autem regionibus, vide 
licet in Servia, Mysia, Bosnia, Bulga 
ria, Russia Minori regi Poloniae sub- 
dita, in Vplhinia, Podolia, et parte 
quadam Lituaniae, aliisque finitimis 
provinciis, ritu Graeco divinum pera- 
gitur officium, translatis Grascorum 
typicis in Sclavonicam linguam. Eos- 
dem Graecos ritus, eadem lingua, ser 
vant Moscovitae, quorum regio Russia 

Major, sen Roxolania nuncupatur &c. 
Bona de Divin. Psalmod. cap. xviii. 
sect. 17. p. 911. Vid. etiam Usser. 
Histor. Dogmat. p. 246. 

Armeni suo quoque nativo sermone 
dudum sacra celebrant, turn qui ortho- 
doxam fidem retinuerunt, turn Jaco- 
bitae, ut Moscovitae seu Rutheni, Con- 
stantinopolitanse sedi subjecti, Rus- 
sico ; et alii quidam de quibus pauca 
scimus. Renaudot. Liturg, Orient. 
vol. i. Dissertat. 6. p. 43. 


3. Servia, now a large province of the Turkish empire, part of 
Northern Turkey in Europe, first received Christianity about 
the year 860, by the means of Cyrill and Methodius, who are 
said to have invented the Sclavonian letters, and to have trans 
lated the Scriptures into the Sclavonian tongue. Cyrill was a 
Greek, and came from Constantinople : and Methodius was a 
Greek too, both sent by the Greek emperor to convert the 
country ; which therefore became instructed in the Greek rites 
and religion. It is not improbable that they should have the Atha- 
nasian Creed, as well as the Muscovites and Russians ; or perhaps 
before them, being converted sooner : and they also must have 
received it from the Greeks, and not from the Latins, because of 
their varying, in the article of the procession, from the western 

4. Bulgaria is likewise part of Turkey in Europe, and has 
been so from the year 1396. Christianity was planted there in 
the year 845. There were of old great disputes between the 
two Bishops of Rome and Constantinople, upon the question to 
whose Patriarchate the Bulgarians did of right belong. In con 
clusion, about the year 870, the Greek Patriarch prevailed over 
the Roman, by the interest of the then Emperor of Constanti 
nople. The Bulgarians of consequence fell to the share of the 
Greek Church, and so have been educated in their rites and 
customs. Their language is a dialect of the Sclavonian, in which 
they perform their sacred Offices : and therefore, if they make 
use of the Athanasian Creed, they must be supposed to have 
it in their own vulgar tongue. I have no particular evidence of 
their using it, beyond what has been mentioned from Cazanovius 
and the Romish writers ; which yet seems to be sufficient, since 
it has been fully proved that it is used in Muscovy, and in 
Russia, to whom the Bulgarians ai*e neighbours, and with whom 
they conform in their other religious rites derived from the same 
fountain, namely, the Constantinopolitan Greeks. 

5. It remains then that we consider the fact in respect of 
Constantinople itself, and the Greek church there : for this also, 
as we have seen, has been named with others, as receiving the 
Athanasian Creed. Genebrard is positive in it, and gives us the 
very Creed itself, which the Constantinopolitans, as he says, use 
and recite k . He wrote in the year 1569. The truth of his 

k Superius Symbolum, Athanasii stantinopolitanisicGraecelegunt,etre- 
verbis aliquantulum immutatis, Con- citant. Genebrard.inSymb.Athan.p.i^. 




report is very much doubted, because the form, which he ex 
hibits, acknowledges the procession from the Son, which the Con- 
stantinopolitans admit not : and even those who, as before seen, 
assert or allow that they receive this Creed, yet at the same time 
intimate that it is not the entire Creed, but curtailed in that ar 
ticle. However, Genebrard might be in the right, as to the main 
thing, that the Constant] nopolitans do receive the Creed, though 
mistaken in the particular form: or possibly some Latinizing 
Greeks at Constantinople might have one form, and the rest an 
other, and thus all will be well. But let us inquire what further 
evidence there is of this Creed's having been ever received at 
Constantinople, and by the Greeks properly so called. An ar 
gument thereof may be drawn from the Greek copies that vary 
from the Latin, in the article of procession. For who should 
draw up and curtail the Greek copies but the Greeks ? And why 
should they be at the trouble of correcting (as they will call it) the 
Creed, if they did not receive it ? A second argument may be 
drawn from the Creed's being found in the Horologia belonging 
to the Greeks ; that is, in their Breviaries, (as we should call 
them,) their books of Service for the canonical hours. How 
should the Creed come in there, unless the Greeks received it 
into their sacred Offices ? As to the fact, Bishop Usher's copy 
found in such a Breviary is a sufficient evidence : and it is plain 
from the copy itself, that it was no Latinizing Greek that made 
it, or used it ; since the procession from the Son is struck out. 
Further, this Horologion belonged to a monk of Constantinople 1 ; 
which argues the reception of the Creed in that very city : and, 
as a token of their esteem of it and value for it, it is ascribed 
to the Nicene Council itself, which all the Greeks receive and 
respect with the greatest veneration. From hence then it is 
plain, that the Constantinopolitan Greeks (some of them at 
least) receive, or have received this Creed, but with some altera 
tions proper to their peculiar tenets in opposition to the Latins. 
This fact of the Constantinopolitans their receiving this Creed 
might be further proved from the Confession of Metrophanes 
Critopulus, (in the year 1620, published in 1667,) who admits 

1 In Thecarae, Constantinopolitani Symb. p. i. 

monachi, Graecorum Hymnorum Ho- m Metrophanis Critopuli, Proto- 
rologio (a Ravio nostro ex oriente eyngeli Constantinopolitani fyoAoyt'a 
hue advecto) Symbolum hoc, eo quo rrjs dvaroXtK^s fKK\7)<rias edit. Helm- 
post finem hujus diatribse cernitur in- stad. in 410 a Joann. Horneio: vid. 
terpolatum modo, Nicajnae Synodo ad- cap. i. p. 18. apud Tentzel. p. 150. 
scnptum reperi &c. Usser. de 


the Creed, and looks upon it as owing to a very particular pro 
vidence, that the Greek copies (as he supposes) have been pre 
served pure and entire, while the Latin ones have been corrupted 
or interpolated. We find by Nicolaus Hydruntinus, above 
cited, that such had been the general persuasion of the Greeks, 
five hundred years upwards, in relation to this Creed ; not re 
jecting the Creed, but the Latin interpolation only, as they take 
it to be. 

Which when I consider, reflecting withal how the Muscovites, 
Russians, &c. (who derived their religion from the Greeks since 
the ninth century,) have all come into this Creed, and that no 
good account has been given of such agreement, except it be 
that they all received the same form when they first received 
their religion ; I say, when I consider and compare these things 
together, it cannot but give me a suspicion, that this Creed had 
been received by the Greeks soon after their first disputes with 
the Latins about the procession ; only they took care to strike 
out a part of it, hoping to solve all by charging the Latins with 
interpolation. Or possibly, the Latin Patriarchs of Constanti 
nople, between the years 1205 and 1260, might first introduce 
the Creed there. They made use of it, as it seems, then and 
there in their Offices for the instruction of catechumens ; as I 
learn from a Pontifical of the church of Constantinople, about 
five hundred years old, published in part by Martene, who gives 
an account of it", and also an extract of the Office relating to 
catechumens, which I have transcribed into the bottom of the 
page. It is not improbable that the use of the Creed at Con 
stantinople might first come in such a way : and when it had 
prevailed there for forty or fifty years, the returning Greeks 
might think it not improper to continue its use, only taking out 
the article which concerns the procession. 

However this be, one thing is certain, and, I think, hath been 

n Con stan tinopolitanae Ecclesiae cerdos Fides autem est, ut unum 

Pontificate vetus, ad Latinos ritus ac- Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in 

commodatum, cujus character ad annos Unitate venereris, neque confundendo 

500 accedit ; scriptum proinde eo tern- Personas, neque substantiam sepa- 

pore quo urbe a Gallis occupata, La- rando. Alia est enim Persona Patris, 

tinis ritibus serviebat. Ex bibliotheca alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti : sed ho- 

R. R. P. P. praedicatorum majoris con- rum trium una est, et non nisi una 

ventus Parisiensis. Martene Syllab. Divinitas. Exeat ergo de te spiritus 

Ritual. malignus &c. Martene de Antiq. Eccl. 

Interrogatio. Fides quid tibi prse- Ritibus, p. 44, 45. 
stat ? R. Vitam aeternam. Ait ei sa- 

O 2 


proved abundantly, that the professed Greeks, even under the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, have in former times received and 
still do receive this Creed, with such alterations or corrections 
as are proper to their principles : and so I understand Dr. 
CovelP, where he says, speaking of what is done amongst the 
Greeks, that " Athanasius's Creed is owned as corrupted;" that 
is, with such corruptions as the Greeks have made to it. Upon 
the whole, therefore, I cannot but close in with those many 
learned Romanists who have affirmed, and still do affirm, that 
this Creed is received both by Greeks and Latins. If the 
expression be thought too general, since it is certain that the 
Creed is rejected by innumerable Greeks, or more properly 
Orientalists, in Asia and Africa; as the Cophtes, and Nubians, 
and Abassines, and Maronites, Armenians, Nestorians, &c., I 
say, if this be objected, it is to be considered, that the Roman 
ists, under the name of Greeks, mean generally the orthodox 
Greeks only, the Melchite Greeks, or as many as hold commu 
nion with the Patriarch of Constantinople ; making no account 
of the rest, as being by their heresies cut off from the Church, 
and therefore of little or no consideration^. Now, in this sense, 
it is excusable enough to say, that the Creed is received both by 
Greeks and Latins. 

To sum up what hath been said of the reception of this Creed : 
from the foregoing account it appears that its reception has been 
both general and ancient. It hath been received by Greeks and 
Latins all over Europe : and if it hath been little known among 
the African and Asian churches, the like may be said of the 
Apostles' Creed, which hath not been admitted, scarce known, 
in Africa, and but little in Asia r , except among the Armenians, 

P Covel, Account of the Greek enim illius religionis homines, tan- 
Church, prsef. p. 9. to which I may quam a se disjunctos, atque improbis- 
add a remark of the learned Dr. simos, arcent, et detestantur. Leo 
Hickes, that " this Creed, though of Allot, de perpet. Consens. Eccl. Occid. 
" an uncertain author, was, for its et Orient, p. 9. 
" excellent composure, received into * Illo quo nos utimur, uti caeteri 

the Greek and Latin Churches." orientales, carent (Habessini) haud 

Hickes's Serm. vol. ii. p. 235. levi indicio, Apostolos illius autores 

i Attamen hoc aevi sub Orientalis non esse, quam vis doctrinse ratione 

lx;clesiag nomine diversarum natio- Apostolicum recte vocetur. Ludolph. 

num prientalium ecclesiae veniunt; Hist. JEtUop. lib. iii. c. 5. n. 19. 

quae hcet a Graeca suam cognoscant 'U^ls ovrf ( X ontv ovre ftSo/if i> o-v/*/3o- 

ongmem, propter tamen variarum \ov rS>v ' \7rotTTo\uv. Marc. Ephesius 

heeresium colluviem et alia prater in Condi. Florent. ann. 1439. Sylv. 

mores Chnstianos pessima introducta Syurop. Hist. sect. vi. c. 6. p. 150. 

a Graeca longissitne absunt. Graci Symbolum nee ab Apostolis, nee a 


who are said to receive it a . So that, for generality of reception, 
the Athanasian Creed may vie with any, except the Nicene, or 
Constantinopolitan, the only general Creed common to all the 
churches. As to the antiquity of its reception into the sacred 
Offices, this Creed has been received in several countries, France, 
Germany, England, Italy, and Rome itself, as soon, or sooner 
than the Nicene ; which is a high commendation of it, as gaining 
ground by its own intrinsic worth, and without the authority of 
any general council to enforce it. And there is this thing further 
to be said for it, that while the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds 
have been growing up to their present perfection in a course of 
years, or centuries of years, and not completed till about the 
year 600, this Creed was made and perfected at once, and is 
more ancient, if considered as an entire form, than either of the 
other ; having received its full perfection, while the others 
wanted theirs. No considerable additions or defalcations have 
been made to it (it has needed none) since its first compiling, 
till of late years, and in the Greek Church only ; which yet are 
so far from correcting or amending the form, that they have 
rendered it so much the less perfect : and the only way of re 
storing it to its perfection is to restore it to what it was at the 
first. But I pass on. 


Of the Time when, and Place where, the Creed was composed. 

HAVING observed when and where this Creed hath been 
received, we may now ascend higher, and consider when and 
where it was made. Our inquiries here will be in some measure 
dark and conjectural ; strong probabilities will perhaps be as 
much as we can reach to : which made it the more necessary 
for me to begin, as I have, at the lower end, where things are 
more plain and clear, in hopes to borrow some light to conduct 
our searches into what remains still dark and obscure. What 
ever we have to advance in this chapter must rest upon two 
things. i. Upon external testimony from ancient citations, 
manuscripts, comments, versions, and the like, such as have been 
previously laid down. 2. Upon the internal characters of the 

Synodo ulla general! factum est : sia Romana. Suicer. Thesaur. p. 1093. 
adhaec, nee in Graec. nee in Orient. 8 Sir Paul Ricaut, Present State of 
ullis Ecclesiis obtinuit, sed in Eccle- the Greek Church, p. 409. 


1 . To begin with the external evidence ; our ancient testimonies, 
above recited, carry up the antiquity of the Creed as high as 
the year 670, if the first of them be admitted for genuine ; as it 
reasonably may, notwithstanding some objections. Our manu 
scripts, now extant, will bring us no higher than 700 ; but such 
as have been known to be extant may reach up to 660, or even 
600. This must be thought very considerable to as many as 
know how great a rarity a manuscript of eleven hundred, or of a 
thousand years date is ; and how few books or tracts there are 
that can boast of manuscripts of such antiquity. The injuries 
of time, of dust, and of moths, and above all, the ravages of war 
and destructions of fire> have robbed us of the ancient monu 
ments, and left us but very thin remains ; that a manuscript of 
the fourth century is a very great rarity, of the fifth there are 
very few, and even of the sixth not many. So that our want of 
manuscripts beyond the sixth or seventh century is no argument 
against the antiquity of the Creed, however certain an argument 
may be drawn from those we have, so far as they reach. But, 
beyond all this, we have a comment of the sixth century, of the 
year 570, or thereabout ; and this certain, and unquestionable: 
which may supersede all our disputes about the ancient testi 
monies or manuscripts of more doubtful authority. Here then we 
stand upon the foot of external evidence : the Creed was, about 
the year 570, considerable enough to be commented upon, like 
the Lord's Prayer and Apostles 1 Creed, and together with them. 
Here is certain evidence for the time specified ; and presump 
tive for much greater antiquity. For who can imagine that this 
Creed, or indeed any Creed, should grow into such repute of a 
sudden, and not rather in a course of years, and a long tract 
of time ? Should we allow one hundred or one hundred and 
fifty years for it, though it would be conjecture only, yet it 
would not be unreasonable or improbable conjecture. But we 
will let this matter rest here, and proceed to our other marks of 

2. The internal characters of the Creed. The Creed contains 
two principal doctrines ; one of the Trinity, and the other of the 
incarnation. Possibly from the manner wherein these doctrines 
are there laid down, or from the words whereby they are ex 
pressed, we may be able to fix the true date of the Creed, or 
very nearly at least ; certain however thus far, that it must be 
somewhere above 570. 


From the doctrine of the incarnation, as expressed in this 
Creed, we may be confident that it is not earlier than the rise of 
the Apollinarian heresy, which appeared first about the year 360, 
and grew to a head about 370, or a little later. This Creed is 
so minute and particular against those heretics, (without naming 
them, as it is not the way of the Creed to name any,) obviating 
every cavil, and precluding every evasion or subterfuge, that 
one cannot suppose it to have been written before the depths 
of that heresy were perfectly seen into, and the whole secrets of 
the party disclosed : which we have no reason to think could be 
before the year 370, if so soon. This consideration alone is to 
me a sufficient confutation of those who pretend that Athanasius 
made this Creed either during his banishment at Treves, which 
ended in the year 338, or during his stay at Rome in the year 
343 ; or that he presented it to Pope Julius, or Pope Liberius, 
who were both dead before the year 367. 

I must add, that Epiphanius 4 marks the very time when the 
Creeds first began to be enlarged in opposition to the Apollinarian 
heresy ; namely, the tenth year of Valentinian and Valens, and 
the sixth of Gratian, (it should be seventh,) which falls in with 
A. D. 373, the very last year of Athanasius's life, according to 
those that place his death the latest ; some say he died a year 
or two sooner. If therefore he made this Creed at all, it must 
be about that time. And, indeed, were there no stronger ob 
jections against the antiquity of the Creed, or against its being 
made by Athanasius, than the common objection about the sup 
posed condemnation of the Nestorian and Eutychian heresies ; I 
should scarce think it at all improbable that Athanasius should 
be the author, admitting that he lived to the year 373. For 
Epiphanius's larger Creed, made about that time, appears to me 
as full and express against both those heresies, as the Athanasian 
can be supposed to be, and in some respects more so : and yet 
neither of those heresies were then in being, nor for many years 
after. But there are many other reasons which convince me 
that the Athanasian Creed must be placed lower than this time. 
I take Epiphanius's larger Creed to have been the first that en 
larged the article of the incarnation, in opposition chiefly to the 
Apollinarians : and that Creed being drawn up, as Epiphanius 
expressly testifies, by the joint advice of all the orthodox bishops, 
and the whole Catholic Church, became a kind of rule, or model, 

1 Epiphan. Ancorat. c. 121. p. 123. 


for most of the Creeds that came after ; among which I reckon 
the Athanasian. 

For, from the doctrine of the Trinity, as particularly and 
minutely drawn out in that Creed, it is to me very plain, that it 
must be some years later than the Creed of Epiphanius : which 
will evidently appear to any man who will but be at the pains to 
compare the two Creeds together. 

One very observable particular is the manner of expressing 
the Unity by a singular adjective ; unus eeternus, unus immensus, 
&c. one eternal, one incomprehensible, &c. and the condemning the 
expression of tres ceterni, tres immensi, &c. The Greeks never 
laid down any such rule of expression, never observed or followed 
it, but have sometimes run counter to it u ; meaning indeed the 
very same thing, but not so expressing it. As to the Latins, 
we shall find none of them (at least I have not observed any) 
coming into that way of expression before Ambrose* and Faus- 
tinusX, (in the years 381 and 384,) who are the first that use it, 
and that but once, or very sparingly; not repeating and incul 
cating it, like the Athanasian Creed, nor leaving it destitute of 
explication. But St. Austin, afterwards, in his books of the 
Trinity, in the fifth especially, enlarges in justification of this 
rule of expression, and is full and copious upon it. His proofs, 
illustrations, example, and authority gave new strength and 
credit to this rule, which might then pass current, and become 
fit to appear, without further explication, in a Creed. For this 
reason, principally, I incline to think that this Creed was not 
made before St. Austin's books of the Trinity were public, (which 
was not till 416,) or not before 420, or thereabout, to allow 
some time for his works to be read, considered, approved, and to 
gain a general esteem. If it be said, that St. Austin might as 
well copy from this Creed as the Creed from him ; I say, no : 
for the reason is different. Creeds and other the like formularies, 
which are to be put into every one's hands, and spread round 

u TpiS>v dirdpav imtipov ffvfufrvtar. prsecavendum est : licet enim et Pater 

Nazianz. in Bapt. Orat. xl. p. 668. sit omnipotens, et Filius, tamen unus 

* Ergo sanctus Pater, sanctus Filius, est omnipotens, sicut et unus est Deus : 

eanctus et Spiritus Sanctus : sed non quia Patris et Filii eadem omnipoten- 

tres Sancti, quia unus est Deus sane- tia est, sicut et eadem deitas &c. 

tus, unus est Dominus. Una est et- Osteuditur Unitas divinitatis in Patre 

enim vera sanctitas, sicut una est vera et Filio, sicut et omnipotentite, et quic- 

divinitas, una ilia vera sanctitas natu- quid omnino divinae substantite est ; 

ralis. Ambros. de Sp. S. lib. iii. c. 16. hoc solo differens a Patre Filius, quod 

P- 688. ille Pater est, et hie Filius. Faustin. 

y Sed ne duos omnipotentes intelligas, de Trinit. c. 3. p. 123, 124. 


about, ought, not to contain any thing till it has been maturely 
weighed, long considered, and fully explained, as well as proved, 
and generally acknowledged by the churches of Christ. It is 
therefore much more reasonable to believe that St. Austin's 
writings should go first, and a general approbation of them in 
that particular ; and then the Creed might conveniently follow, 
the way being now opened for it z . 

I may observe the like of another article of the Athanasian 
Creed ; namely, the procession from the Son : a doctrine enter 
tained indeed both by Greeks and Latins, (as may appear by 
the testimonies commonly cited for that purpose,) and expressed 
frequently in sense, though rarely in terms; but such as came 
not to be much inculcated or insisted upon, till St. Austin under 
took to assert and clear it, and to render it less liable to any 
dispute hereafter. For which reason the modern Greeks have 
looked upon him, in a manner, as the Father of that doctrine, 
being at least the principal man that brought it into vogue; 
however weakly they may pretend that he invented it. Thus 
far is certain, that his elaborate arguments, and solid proofs 
from Scripture, of the truth and of the importance of the doc 
trine, made it pass the more readily; and gave it credit and 
authority enough to have a place in a standing Creed or Con 
fession : which is to me another argument of the Creed's being 
made after St. Austin's writings were well known in the world ; 
in that place, at least, where the Creed was made. From the 
premises then I presume to infer, that the Athanasian Creed is 
not earlier than the year 420. 

I will next endeavour to shew, that it cannot reasonably be 
set lower than the Eutychian times, nor later than the Council 
of Chalcedon, or than the year 45 1 : and this also I shall attempt 
from the internal characters of the Creed, in like manner as 

i . There is not a word in the Creed directly and plainly ex 
pressing two natures in Christ, or excluding one nature : which 

z Cotnbefis, speaking to this point, 
seemed inclinable to suppose that St. 
Austin had borrowed from the Creed ; 
but correcting himself afterwards, he 
supposes rather that the Creed bor 
rowed from him. His words are these : 

" Ejus Symboli, seu Formulae Fidei, 

' gust, in libris de Trinitate et alibi, 
' quos non aliunde desumpsisse vi- 

' deatur quain ex eo Symbolo 

Quanquam nihil vetat dicere ipsum 
potius Symboli auctorem ex Augus- 
tino, aliisque P. P. sua consarci- 
nasse." Combefis. not. in Man. 

" antiquitatem produnt illi ejus versi- Calec. Auctar. torn. ii. p. 296. 
" culi quos totidem verbis habet Au- 


critical terms, against the error of Eutyches, are very rarely or 
never omitted in the Creeds drawn up in the Eutychian times, 
or the times immediately following. It is true, there is, in the 
Athanasian Creed, what may be sufficient to obviate or pre 
clude the Eutychian heresy ; as there is also in the larger Creed 
of Epiphanius, A. D. 373, and in the works of Nazianzen and 
Ambrose, about the year 380; and in Pelagius's Creed, A. D. 
417; and in the writings of Austin, and Vincentius of Lirins, 
both before the year 435, many years before Eutyches. The 
strongest expression of the Creed against the Eutychians, and 
which has been most frequently urged in this case, is, Unm 
omnino, non confusione substantice, sed unitate Persona- : One al 
together, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of Person : 
which yet is used by Vincentius a , and by Austin b too almost in 
terms. And if this be no reason for making either of those 
authors, or the tracts ascribed to them, later than Eutyches ; 
why shall the like expression be of any force in respect to the 
Athanasian Creed ? There is nothing in the Creed but what was 
common and ordinary in Catholic writers before the Eutychian 
times : but there are wanting those critical, distinguishing terms 
of two natures, or one nature, necessary to be inserted in the 
Creeds after these times, and never, or very rarely, omitted ; 
which is one reason, and a very considerable one, for setting the 
date of the Creed higher than 451. 

2. Another argument of the same thing, near akin to the 
former, is, that this Creed makes no mention of Christ being 
consubstantial with us in one nature, as he is consubstantial with 
the Father in another : a tenet expressly held by some of the 
ecclesiastical writers before Eutyches's time: but seldom or 
never omitted in the Creeds or Confessions about that time, or 
after. To be convinced of the truth both of this and of the 
preceding article, one need but look into the Creeds and Formu 
laries of those times : namely, into that of Turribius of Spain in 
447, of Flavian of Constantinople, as also of Pope Leo in 449, 
of the Chalcedon Council in 451, of Pope Felix III. in 485, and 
Anastasius II. in 496, and of the Church of Alexandria in the 
same year: as also into those of Pope Hormisdas, and the 

a Unus autem, non divinitatis b Idem Deus qui homo; non con- 

et humanitatis confusione, sed fusione naturae, sed unitate Persona. 

unitate Person*. Vincent . Lirin. c. August, torn. v. p. 88s. 
19- P- 58. 


churches of Syria, and Fulgentius, and the Emperor Justinian, 
and Pope John II. and Pope Pelagius I. within the sixth cen 
tury. In all which we shall find either express denial of one 
nature, or express affirming of two natures, or the doctrine of 
Christ's consubstantiality with us, or all three together, though 
they are all omitted in the Athanasian Creed. This is to me 
a second reason for setting our Creed higher than the Eutychian 

3. I may argue this point further from a passage of the Atha 
nasian Creed, running thus : " One, not by conversion of the 
" Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the manhood into God." 
This would not, I conceive, have run in these words, or in this 
manner, in the Eutychian times. For though the Eutychians 
were sometimes (as well as the Apollinarians often) charged with 
the doctrine of a conversion of the Godhead into flesh ; yet nothing 
more certain than that the generality of them absolutely dis 
owned and detested any such tenet, teaching rather a conversion 
of the manhood into God, just the reverse. And, by the way, I 
would here offer it to the learned reader to consider, whether we 
may not from hence give a probable account of a very noted 
variation observable in many of the most ancient copies of this 
Creed, which run thus ; Unus autem, non conversione divinitatis 
in carne, sed assumptione humanitatis in Deo: where there is 
carne for carnem, and Deo for Deum. A slight alteration in the 
words, but a very great one in the sense. A change of the 
Godhead in the flesh the Eutychians admitted, by making the 
two natures become one ; though they allowed not a change into 
flesh : so that by this little alteration of carne for carnem, the 
Creed would strike more directly at the Eutychian principles. 
Then again as to Deum, if that reading was to stand, the Creed, 
instead of confuting the Eutychians, would seem rather to favour 
them ; for they taught that the manhood was assumed into God, 
and that in so literal and strict a sense as really to become 
God, or to be absorbed and lost in the divine nature, both na 
tures becoming one divine nature. Such a construction might 
the words of the Creed be liable to. But put Deo for Deum, 
and it is entirely defeated : for then the sense is not that the 
manhood is assumed into God, but that God assumed the human 
nature ; which is true, and not liable to any such misconstruc 
tion as the other. However this be, as to the variation of 
the copies, and the reason here assigned for it, (which I offer 


only as a probable conjecture to be further inquired into,) yet 
this is certain, that these words of the Creed, according to the 
common copies, are not so cautiously or accurately chosen as 
they might or would have been, had the Creed been drawn up 
after the Eutychian times. 

4. A fourth argument may be drawn from the similitude in 
the Creed, running thus : " As the reasonable soul and flesh is 
" one man ; so God and man is one Christ." This familiar and 
easy comparison was much made use of by the Catholics, down 
from the Apollinarian times to the time of Eutyches : by Nazi- 
anzen, Austin, Vincentius, Claudianus Mamertus, and others. 
But no sooner did the Eutychians wrest the comparison to their 
own sense, pleading for one nature in Christ, like as soul and body 
make one nature in man, but the Catholics grew strangely averse 
to the similitude, and rarely made use of it : or when they did, 
it was either to dispute against it, and condemn it, or else 
to guard and qualify it with proper cautions and restrictions. 
Wherefore it is by no means probable that this similitude would 
have been inserted, at such a time, in a Catholic Creed, and 
there left without guard or caution, for the Eutychians to make 
an ill use of. This fourth argument I take from the learned and 
acute Le Quien, whose words may be seen in the margin . And 
may we not from hence give a probable guess at the reason why 
the ancient manuscript of Treves, and the Colbertine copied from 
it, have entirely omitted this similitude, throwing in a few words, 
both before and after, to salve the breach in some measure, and 
to preserve a connection : which shews that it was no casual 
omission, but made with design. But I pass on. 

These reasons convince me that the Creed was not made so 
late as the Council of Chalcedon, but before the year 45 1 . It 
cannot therefore be ascribed to Vigilius Tapsensis in the year 
484 : not to mention that the phraseology of it agrees not with 
that writer's usual manner of expression, as Le Quien hath 

c Quod quidem simile, quo theolo- ex Deitate et humanitate compositam 

yus etiam, ahique patres Apollinaristas evincerent. Quinimo omnes ingenii 

confutarunt, tanti postbac non fece- vires explicare coacti sunt, ut varias 

runt insequentis seu quinti saeculi de- discrepantias reperirent inter unionem 

sinentis Doctores, ut illud in Expo- Deitatis cum humanitate in Christo, 

eitione Fidei insererent ; cum Mono- et unionem anima? cum corpore in 

physitae, Severo praesertim duce, eo homine. Le Quien, Dissert. Damasc. 

vehementius contra Catholicos pugna- p. 10. Confer. Petav. Dogm. Theol. 

rent, ut unam in Christo naturam esse torn. v. lib. iii. cap. 9, 10, &c. 


observed d . Besides that the principal reasons, on which Quesnel 
rested his opinion in regard to that author, are now found to 
have been grounded on a false presumption of certain works 
being Vigilius's which are none of his e . And I may add, that 
to me there does not appear in Vigilius^s pieces any thing of that 
strength, closeness, and acuteness, which we find in the Athana- 
sian Creed. 

But I proceed to shew that this Creed is earlier than even the 
times of Nestorius, or the Ephesine Council of the year 431. It 
is certain that this Creed does not condemn the Nestorian 
heresy in such full, direct, critical terms, as the Catholics found 
to be necessary against the wiles and subtilties of those men. 
There is not a word of the mother of God, or of one Son only, in 
opposition to two Sons, or of God^s being born, suffering, dying : 
which kind of expressions the Creeds are full of after Nesto- 
rius's times, and after the Council of Ephesus, to guard the 
more certainly against equivocations, and to express the Catholic 
doctrine in strong terms, such as could not be eluded. As to 
what the Athanasian Creed really does express, and is conceived 
to strike directly at the Nestorian heresy ; it is demonstration 
that the words are not more full, or expressive, than may be 
found in elder Creeds, and in the Fathers that wrote against 
the Apollinarians and others, before ever Nestorius was heard 
of f . I know not how to give my reader a clear and just idea 
of this whole matter, but by setting down in chronological order 
the doctrine of the Incarnation, as expressed in Catholic writings 
from the Apollinarian times down to the Nestorian, from the 
year 373 to the year 431. One thing only I would remark be 
forehand, to make the following account the clearer, that the 

d Sunt qui suspicentur expositio- titur. Le Quien, Dissert. Damasc. p. g. 

nem istam fidei fuisse concinnatam a e Vid. Montf. Diatrib. p. 724. An- 

Vigilio Tapsensi, qui scripsisse existi- thelm. Disquis. p. 33, 34. 

matur libros tres contra Varimadum f Le Quien is beforehand with me 

Arianum : sed ab illoruin opinione in the observation, whose words I 

me deterruit versus iste, Unus omnino, may here cite : 

non confusione substantiee, sed unitate " Nee cuiquam negotium facessat, 

Persona. Nam Vigilius in libris " quod Nestorii et Eutychis hsereses 

quinque contra Eutychem nusquam ea (Formula) prius pessundatae es- 

unitatem Persona dicit, sed passim, et sent, quam ipsarum autores emer- 

frequentissime unionem Personee gerent : alibi siquidem ostensum fuit 

Cumque variae supersint hodie Vigilii SS. Patres, qui contra Apollinarium 

Tapsensis Confessiones Fidei de Tri- calamum strinxerant, disertissiima 

nitate et incarnatione, nulla earum si- etiam verbis amborum impietates 

militudo et convenientia cum Symbolo proscripsisse." Le Quien, Dissert. 

Athanasiano, quoad stylum animadver- Damasc. p.p. 


Apollinarians really held a doctrine very near akin to that which 
afterwards was called Eutychian ; and they maliciously charged 
the Catholics with that very doctrine which was afterwards called 
Nestorian : so that the Catholics, in their charge upon the Apol 
linarians, condemned the Eutychian doctrine long before Eu- 
tyches ; and, in their defence of themselves, they also condemned 
the Nestorian tenets before Nestorius. I shall first justify the 
truth of this remark in both its parts, and then shall proceed 
further to what I intend. 

As to the first part, that the Apollinariaus held a doctrine 
very near akin to that which was afterwards called Eutychian, it 
is a thing so well known, that I need not cite many testimonies 
for it. It was one of the commonest charges against the Euty- 
chians, that they had revived the heresy of the Apollinarians s in 
some considerable branches of it : Petavius briefly shews what 
those branches were h . 

As to the other part of my remark, that the Apollinarians 
charged the Catholics with the opposite extreme, afterward 
called Nestorian, that has not been so much observed, but is 
no less true than the other; as may abundantly appear from 
the testimonies in the margin J ; besides others that will occur 
as we pass along. This also is observed by Le Quien in his Notes 
to Damascen k , whereupon he rightly infers, that it will be a false 

s Eutyches per impios veterum heeresis calumniatur, sed eundem, et 

haereticorum volutatus errores, tertium ante saecula, et post ssecula, et ante 

Apollinaris dogma delegit ; ut negata mundum et post Mariam ; imo, ex 

humamr carnis atque anima? veritate, Maria magnum Deum appellainus. 

totum Dominum nostrum Jesum Hieronym. in Tit. cap. 3. p. 431. 
Christum unius asserat esse naturae, Qui Apollinarii dogmata defendunt, 

tanquatn verbi Deltas ipsa se in car- per querimoniam quam adversus nos 

nem animamque converterit. Leon, faciunt sua confirmare conantur, car- 

Epist. xcvii. p. 633. Quesnel. ed. nale Verbum et Dominum saeculo- 

confer Ep. 134. p. 699. rum, hominis Filium immortalem Fi- 

h Sane cum et multiplex, et ab lii Deitatem construentes. Proferunt 

autore suo interpolata saepiua Apolli- enim quod aliqui quasi Ecclesiae Ca- 

naris haeresis fuerit, ut capite sexto tholicas existentes, duos colunt Filios 

docuimus ; ea parte cum isto consen- in dogmate ; unum quidem secundum 

sit Eutyches, qua carnem Christi non naturam, alterum atitem secundum 

ex utero sumptam B. Virginis sed e adoptionem postea acquisitam ; nescio 

caelo delapsam Apollinaris credidit : a quo talia audientes nondum enim 

turn quatenus uterque unicam naturam novi eum qui haec subloquitur. Gre- 

asseveravit, et utriusque permistam gor. Nyssen. cit. Condi. V. Collat. vi. 

ac confusam substantiam. Petav. p. 106. Harduin. Vid. etiam Ambros. 

Doamat. Theol. torn. v. lib. i. c. 16. de Incam. c. 7. p. 721. Athanas. 

P- 37- Epist. ad Epictet. p. 907. 

1 Neque vero alium Jesum Chris- k Le Quien, Not. in Damascen. 

turn, alium Verbum dicimus, ut nova vol. i. p. 95. 


conclusion to argue that such or such writings must belong to 
the Nestorian times, only because of their treating of an unity of 
Person in Christ. 

These things premised, I now proceed to lay down the doctrine 
of the incarnation, as expressed in Catholic writers from the year 
373 down to the year 431, inclusive. 

I begin with the larger Creed of Epiphanius, which sets forth 
the incarnation in the following terms : 

373. " The Word was made flesh, not by undergoing any 
" change, nor by converting his Godhead into manhood, but by 
" co-uniting it into his one holy perfection and Godhead. For 
" there is one Lord Jesus Christ, and not two ; the same he is 
" God, the same he Lord, the same he King 1 ." 

Here we may observe that the Creed guards, just as the 
Athanasian does, against the two extremes ; against the Apol- 
linarian notion of the Godhead being converted into flesh, and 
against the Apollinarian calumny that the Catholics made two 
Christs instead of one. 

380. Gregory Nazianzen, not long after, expresses himself in 
terms to the like effect : " We divide not the man from the 

" Godhead, but we make them one and the same (Person) 

" If any one imagines Mary not to be the mother of God, he has 

" no part with God. If any man introduces two Sons, one of 

" God and the Father, and a second of the Virgin-mother, and 
" not one and the same him, let him forfeit the adoption of sons 
" promised to true believers. For God and man are indeed two 
" natures, like as soul and body: but they are not two Sons, nor 
" (two) Gods." 

Here again we find the Nestorian tenets very fully obviated, 
while Nazianzen is answering the Apollinarian calumny against 
the Catholics : and at the same time, the Eutychian heresy 
(afterwards so called) is as plainly precluded, while Nazianzen 

1 'O yap Xdyoj <rap eyevfro, ov rpo- TT/V Maptav vTroXa/i/Sai/ei, X 6 */ 3 '* rri 

nrjv vTTOcrTas, ovSe /ieraj8aXa>j/ TTJV eat;- rfjs 6(OTT)TOS. d TIS tlo~dy(i 8vo 

TOV d(6rr)Ta fls dvdpamoTTjTa' (Is p.iav vlovs tva [lev TOV eVc GeoC KOI Tlarpos, 

<rvv(vu>o-avTa tavrov ayiav reXeioTTjra 8(VT(pov 8( TOV etc rrjs p.T)Tpbs, dXX' 

re KOI 6(6rt)Ta' (Is yap (a-riv Kvpios ov^l eva KOI TOV avrbv, ical TTJS vlod(- 

Irjaovs Xpterros xal ov dvo, 6 avrbs (rias t'/crreVoi TTJS (irrjyy(\fj,fvr]s rdis 

6f6y, 6 avrbs Kvpios, 6 avrbs BacrtXcvr. opGtos iricrTcimvtn. &v<rfis f*(t> yap 

Epiph. Ancor. p. 124. Petav. 8vo Q(bs KU\ avdparros, firti Kal ^vx 7 ? 

m OiSe yap TOV avdpomov ^wp/fo/iiff icat crw/xa, viol 8e ov $vo, ov8f 6(oi. 

6(OTT)Tos, aXX' eva /cat TOV a\>rbv Gregor. Nazianz. ad Cledon. Ep. i. p. 

^ofji(v. i TIS ov GfOTOKov 738, 739. 


is laying down the Church's faith in two natures against the Apol- 
linarians, who made but one. 

382. Ambrose, in like manner, confutes the Apollinarians with 
out naming them. " We ought also to condemn those who, in 
" another extreme, teach not one and the same Son of God, but 
" that he who is begotten of God the Father is one, and he that 
" is generated of the Virgin another : when the Evangelist saith, 
" that the Word was made flesh, to instruct us that there is but 
" one Lord Jesus, not two. There are others risen up who pre- 
" tend that our Lord's flesh and Godhead are both of one nature. 

" And when they say that THE WORD was converted into 

" flesh, hairs, blood, and bones, and changed from its own nature; 
" after such a pretended change of the divine nature, they may 
" take the handle to wrest any thing to the weakness of the God- 
" head, which belongs to the infirmity of the flesh "." 

Ambrose seems here to intimate as if there were really some 
at that time who had run into that very error which the Apol 
linarians charged upon the Catholics, and which was afterwards 
called Nestorian. However that be, he condemns it in the name 
of the Catholics ; as he condemns also the Apollinarian extreme, 
which afterwards became Eutychian. There is another passage 
of Ambrose cited by Theodoret, seemingly so full and express 
against the Nestorian and Eutychian heresies, that one can hardly 
be persuaded to think it really Ambroes's. But, on the other 
hand, it appears to be so well attested, that the late learned 
editor of Ambrose could not but yield to place it among his 
genuine works. Tom. ii. p. 729. 

417. There is a Creed of Pelagius (as learned men now agree) 
inserted among the works both of Jerome and Austin P. It 
was made several years before the Nestorian controversy. Our 
learned Dr. "Wall has translated it into English 9, subjoining 
some excellent notes of his own to it : I shall transcribe as much 

n Et illos condemnare debemus qui ossa conversum est, et a natura propria 

ad versa errpris linea, non unum eun- mutatum est, datur illis locus ut in- 

demque Filium Dei dicunt, sed alium firmitatem carnis ad infirmitatem Di- 

esse qui ex Deo Patre natus sit, vinitatis, quadam facta divinae na- 

tiliuin qui sit generatus ex virgine ; turse mutatione, detorqueant. Ambros. 

cum Evangelista dicat quia Verbum de Incarn. c. 6. 

caro factum est, ut unum Dominum Hieronym. Oper. torn. v. p. 123. 

Jesum non duos crederes emer- Bened. ed. 

gunt alii qui carnem Domini dicant P Augustin. Oper. torn. v. Append. 

et divinitatem unius esse natura p. 388. 

Deinde, cum isti dicant quia Verbum q Wall's History of Infant Baptism, 

in carnem, capillos, sanguinem, et p. 200. 


as is to our purpose. " We do in such manner hold that there 
" is in Christ one Person of the Son, as that we say there are 
" in him two perfect and entire substances, [or natures,'] viz. of 
" the Godhead and of the manhood, which consists of body and 

" soul. We do abhor the blasphemy of those who go 

" about by a new interpretation to maintain that since the time 
" of his taking flesh, all things pertaining to the divine nature 
" did pass into the man, [or manhood,] and so also that all things 
" belonging to the human nature were transferred into God, 
" [or the divine nature.'] From whence would follow, (a thing 
" no heresy ever offered to affirm,) that both substances, [or 
*' natures,] viz. of the divinity and humanity, would by this con- 
" fusion seem to be extinguished, and to lose their proper state, 
" and be changed into another thing : so that they who own in 
" the Son an imperfect God and imperfect man, are to be ac- 
" counted not to hold truly either God or man." 

Dr. Wall hereupon judiciously remarks, that " there wanted 
" only the accuracy of speaking, which Pelagius had here used, 
' to clear and settle the dispute between the Nestorians and 
" Eutychians." I would remark further, that if Pelagius's Creed, 
in the year 417, had so plainly obviated both the Nestorian and 
Eutychian heresy, before Nestorius or Eutyches was known ; it 
may easily be conceived that the Athanasian Creed might do 
the same thing, at or about the same time. 

422. I might next shew how St. Austin likewise has expressed 
himself in as strong terms against both those heresies, as the 
Athanasian Creed has done : but, because I shall have another 
occasion to cite the passages, where I draw out a select number 
of expressions parallel to those of the Creed ; I may spare my 
self the trouble of doing it here. 

426. I might go on to observe what passed in the case of 
Leporius, a man of the same principles, in the main, with Nes 
torius, but some years before him. His recantation treatise, 
(Libellus Satisfactionis,) supposed to be drawn up by St. Austin 
in the year 426, would furnish me with many full and strong 
expressions against the Nestorian principles, beyond any to be 
met with in the Athanasian Creed; so that there is no just 
argument to be drawn from any expressions in that Creed, for 
setting it so low as the Nestorian times. 

43 1 . I shall conclude this account with the recital of a Creed 
made about the same time, or in the same year that the Council 



of Ephesus was held against Nestorius. It is the Creed of John, 
Patriarch of Antioch, approved by Cyril of Alexandria, and 
thought sufficient to wipe off all suspicion of Nestorianism from 
the author of it. It runs thus : " We confess then that Jesus 
" Christ our Lord, the only begotten Son of God, is perfect God 
" and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and body ; born of the 
" Father before the worlds, as touching his Godhead ; the same 
" also in the end of days, for us and for our salvation, (born) of 
" the Virgin Mary, as touching his manhood, consubstantial with 
" us according to his manhood. But there was an union made 
" of tico natures, on which account we profess one Christ, one 
" Lord, one Son. Conformable to this sense of an union without 
" confusion, we acknowledge the holy Virgin as mother of God, 
" because that God the Word was incarnate and made man, 
" and from the very conception united to himself a temple which 
" he had taken of her r ." 

Here we may observe several expressions nearly resembling 
those of the Athanasian Creed ; but withal several others more 
particular and explicit against the Nestorian principles than that 
Creed is : one Son, and him consubstantial with us, in respect of 
his manhood ; the Virgin, mother of God, and the like. Such is 
the constant strain and tenor of the Creeds, and Confessions, 
and Catholic writings, treating of the incarnation, at this time 
and after : as might be shewn at large from Cassian about 431, 
and Vincentius in the year 434, and from Flavian, and Pope 
Leo I. and others before the Council of Chalcedon. We have 
therefore very great reason to believe, that the Athanasian Creed 
was drawn up either before the Nestorian controversy had made 
much noise in the world, or at least before the compiler had 
notice of it. The sum then of my argument is this ; there is 
nothing in the Athanasian Creed but what might have been said, 
and had been said by Catholic writers before the time of Nes 
torius : but the Creed wants many of those particular and critical 

T Confitemur igitur Dominum nos- unitio facta est ; propter quam unum 

trum Jesum Christum, Filium Dei Christum, unum Dominum, unum Fi- 

unigenitum, Deum perfectum et homi- Hum confitemur. Secundum hunc 

nem perfectum, ex unima rational! et inconfusae unionis intellectum, confi- 

corpore ; ante saecula quidem ex Patre temur sanctam Virginem Dei genitri- 

natum secundum Deitatera : in fine cem, propter quod Deus Verbum in- 

vero dierum eundem propter nos et carnatus est et inhumanatus, et ex 

propter nostram salutem de Maria ipsa conceptione subimet univit tem- 

Virgine secundum humanitatem, core- plum quod ex ipsa suscepit. Johan. 

substantiate nobis secundum huma- Antioch. Harduin. torn. i. p. 1558. 
nit at cm. Duarum vero naturarum 


expressions, which came into use after that time: therefore, 
since the internal characters of the Creed suit exactly with the 
Apollinarian times, and not with the Nestorian, it ought to be 
placed somewhere between Apollinarius and Nestorius, not lower 
than 430, or 43 1 at the utmost. And it is some confirmation 
of what hath been said, that Venantius Fortunatus, who lived in 
the Eutychian times, and commented upon this Creed about the 
year 570, as before observed, yet in his comment takes not the 
least notice of any part of this Creed being opposed to the errors 
of Nestorius or Eutyches, but only to those elder heresies of 
Sabellius, Arius, and Apollinarius ; whom he specially makes 
mention of. I persuade myself therefore, that this Creed ought 
not to be placed lower than 430, or thereabout ; and I have 
before shewn why it should not be set higher than 420 ; so that 
now we have brought it within the compass of ten years ; where 
we may let it rest a while, till we consider further what place, or 
country, the Creed was most probably composed in ; which may 
help us to settle the time of its date within somewhat stricter 
and narrower limits than before. 

There is great reason to believe that this Creed was made in 
Gaul. The considerations which persuade us thereto are these 
following, i. Its early reception in the Gallican Church, so far 
as appears, before all other churches. 2. The great esteem and" 
regard anciently paid to it by the Grallican Councils and Bishops 3 . 
3. The Creed's being first admitted into the Gallican Psalter, 
and first received in those countries where that Psalter was 
received, as in Spain, Germany, and England. As the Gallican 
churches delivered their Psalter to other churches, so is it 
reasonable to believe that the Creed was received from them 
likewise. 4. The oldest version we hear of is Gallican, in the 
time of Hincmar. 5. The oldest authors that make mention of 
it are likewise Gallican : for proof of which I refer to the ancient 
testimonies above. 6. The first that cite the words of it (as it 
seems) are likewise Gallican. I will here mention two ; Avitus 
of Vienne in Gaul*, and Caesarius of Aries u : I have set their 

8 Tanti namque apud Gallos Sym- * The words of Avitus Viennensis, 

bolum hoc fuit ut una cum Symbolo who was Bishop in 490, died in 523. 

Apostolorum memoriae commendari De divinitate Spiritus Sancti, quern 

Presbyteris praecipiat Hincmarus idem necfactum legimus, nee creatum, nee 

in capitulis, clericis omnibus Synodus yenitum Nos vero Spiritum dis- 

Augustodunensis. Sirmond. Oper.vol. cimus ex Patre et Filio procedere 

ii. p. 978. Conf. Anthelm. p. 30. Sicut est proprium Spiritui Sancto a 

P 2 



words in the margin. 7. The oldest commentator upon it, 
though an Italian by birth and education, had yet travelled into 
France, and was at length Bishop of Poictiers. 8. The number 
and antiquity of the manuscripts of this Creed found in France 
confirm the same thing : which has made several very learned 
men subscribe to this opinion v , that the Athanasian Creed came 
first from Gaul. And it is certain, that no other country or 
church in the world has so fair, I may now say, so clear a pre 
tence to it : many circumstances concur to make good their title, 
as we have already seen ; and more will appear in my next 
chapter, when I come to inquire who was the author. 

Let it be allowed then, for the present, that our Creed was 
originally Gallican, and made between 420 and 430 : we may 
next consider, whether we cannot come a little nearer towards 
fixing the time of its composition. We must point out some 
season when St. Austin's works were known, and studied, and 
well esteemed of in Gaul ; and when the circumstances of the 
place might the most probably give occasion for the compiling 
such a Creed. Now it is observable that about the year 426 
St. Austin held a very close and intimate correspondence with 

Patre Filioque procedere, istud Fides 
-Catholica etiamsi renuentibus non per- 
suaserit, in suse tamen Discipline 
Regula non excedit. Sirmond. Op. 
Vid. Le Quien, Panopl. contr. Schism. 
Grcec. p. 241. 

Non nisi ex eodem Symbolo, quod 
jam ante receptum esset, Avitus Vien- 
nensis alicubi scribebat De Divinitate 
Sp. S. &c. Le Quien, Dissert. Da- 
mascen. p. 98. 

u The words of Csesarius, who was 
Bishop in 503, died in 543. 

Rogo et admoneo vos, fratres caris- 
simi, ut Quicunque vult salmis esse, 
Fidem rectam et Catholicam discat, 
firmiter teneat, inviolatamque conser 
ve!. Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus 

et Spiritus Sanctus : sed tamen non 
tresDii, sed unus Deus. Qualis Pater, 
talis Filius, talis et Spiritus Sanctus. 
Attamen credat unusquisque fidelis 
quod Filius eequalis est Patn secundum 
divinitatem, et minor est Patre secun 
dum humanitatem carnis, quam de 
nostro assumpsit. Ceesar. Arelat. apud 
August. Op. torn. v. App. p. 399. 

N. B. The editors of St. Austin 
adjudge this to Caesarius ; as does also 

Oudinus. Comment, de Script. Eccl. 
vol. i. p. 1348. 

v Cceterum cum ex allatis supra 
testirnoniis videatur in Galliis primum 
celebrari coepisse hoc Symbolum, 
haud abs re conjectant eruditi viri, in 
Galliis illud fuisse elucubratum. Quod 
idem forte suadeat antiquissimus ille 
in Galliis et in Anglia mos Symboli 
alternatim concinendi ; itemque MSS. 
Gallicanorum copia et antiquitas. 
Montfauc. Diatrib. p. 726. 

E Gallis prim am prodiisse Sym 
bolum Athanasianum animadverti- 
mus, turn quod a Gallis scriptoribus 
ante omnes celebratum, a synodis epi- 
scopisqueGalliarum receptum, et com- 
mendatum antiquitus fuerit,tum etiam 
quod Treviris in Galliarum metropoli 
illud lucubratum fuisse opinio incre- 
buerit. Quapropter Pithoeus, ac Vos- 
sius, aliique eruditissimi viri Gallum 
hominem Symboli parentem opinati 
sunt; Antelmius vero, hac potissimum 
ratione ductus, non Vigilium in Africa 
Episcopum, sed Vincentium Lirinen- 
sem opusculi hujus auctorem affirma- 
vit. Lud. Murator. torn. ii. p. 229. 


the Gallican churches. Leporius had for some time spread 
false doctrine in Gaul, chiefly relating to the incarnation. His 
heresy was much the same with what Nestorius's was afterwards. 
The Gallican bishops censured him ; and he was forced to quit 
his country, having given general offence to all there. He took his 
leave of Gaul, and passed over into Africa, with several others 
of the same party and principles : where lighting upon Aurelius, 
Bishop of Carthage, and St. Austin, he was by them brought to 
a sense of his error, and induced to sign a full recantation, 
called Libellus Satisfactionis ; whereupon St. Austin, and Au 
relius, and other African bishops became intercessors with the 
bishops of Gaul, in favour of Leporius, that he might be again 
received and restored by them. One can scarce imagine any 
more likely time, or more proper occasion, for the compiling 
such a Creed as the Athanasian is. All the lines and charac 
ters of it suit extremely well with the place, the time, the 
occasion, and other circumstances ; which concur to persuade us 
that the Creed was, in all probability, composed in Gaul, some 
time between the year 426 and the year 430; so that now 
we are confined to the narrow compass of four or five years, 
upon the most probable conjecture, and upon such evidences 
as a case of this nature can admit of, where more cannot be 


Of the Author of the Creed. 

IF we have hitherto gone upon sure grounds about the time 
and place, we cannot long be at a loss for the author of this 
Creed. Who were the most considerable men, and best quali 
fied for such a work, at that time in Gaul? Antelmius will 
point out Vincentius Lirinensis. But I have several reasons to 
persuade me that it was not, or could not be Vincentius. No 
contemporary of his, nor any ancient writer, ever gives the least 
hint of his composing such a work. Antelmius supposes it to 
be after his Commonitory, that is, after 434 ; which if it had 
been, we should undoubtedly have found the Creed more 
particular and explicit against the Nestorian heresy : we should 
have read in it Mother of God, one Son only, and something of 
God's being born, suffering, dying, or the like ; it cannot there 
fore be justly ascribed to Vincentius. Not to mention, that 


such a work appears to have been much fitter for a bishop of u 
church, than for a private presbyter ; inasmuch as bishops gene 
rally were obliged to give an account of their faith, upon their 
first entrance upon the episcopate : and they had the privilege 
likewise of making Creeds, and Forms of Prayer, for their 
respective dioceses: for which reasons, cceteris paribus, this 
Creed ought rather to be ascribed to some bishop of that 
time than to an inferior presbyter. And who more likely 
to compose such a Creed than Hilary, Bishop of Aries, a 
celebrated man of that time, and of chief repute in the Gallican 
Church? His title to it will stand upon the following circum 
stances : 

i. He was made Bishop in Gaul within the time mentioned, 
about the year 429. 2. He is allowed to have been a man of 
great parts and capacity, of a neat wit, and elegant style for the 
age he lived in ; insomuch that Livius, a poet, and a celebrated 
writer of that time, did not scruple to say, that if Austin had 
come after Hilary, he would have been judged his inferior*. 3. 
Gennadius's character of Hilary's writings, that they were small 
tracts?, but extremely fine, suits well with our present supposition : 
but what most of all confirms and strengthens it, is what Hono- 
ratus of Marseilles, the writer of his life, tells us ; that Hilary 
composed an admirable exposition [Symboli Expositio ambienda] 
of the Creed 2 . He calls it an Exposition of the Creed, (not a 
Creed,) which is the proper title for it, and more proper than 
that of Symbolum, or Creed, which it now bears. And so we 
find that it was but very rarely called Symbolum by the ancients; 
once, I think, by Hincmar, and never after for several centuries : 

* Quid plura dicam ? Nisi dicendi z Gratia ejus ex his operibus, qua? 

pausa desuper eidem advenisset, ser- eodem dicendi impetu concepit, ge- 

monem finire non potuerat, tanta nuit, ornavit, protulit, possit absque 

gratia exundante, et miraculo et stu- haesitatione dignosci : Vita scilicet 

pore crescente, ut peritissimis despe- antistitis Honorati, Homilia? in Totius 

rationem tune autoribus saeculi ejus Anni Festivitatibus expedita?, Symboli 

inferret oratio : in tantum ut Livius Expositio ambienda, epistolarum vero 

temporis illius poeta, et autor insignia, tantus numerus, &c. Honorat. Vit. 

publice proclamaret; Si Augustinus Hilar. p. 740. 

post te fuisset, judicaretur inferior. N. B. There is some doubt whether 
Honoratus, in Vita S. Hilarii, p. 740. Ravennius of Aries, successor to Hi- 
edit. Quesnel. lary, or Honoratus of Marseilles be 

y Ingenio vero immortali, aliqua et the author of this life : but there is 

parva edidit, qua? eruditae aninue, et good reason to ascribe it to the latter. 

fidelis lingua indiciosunt; in quibus See Quesnel, vol. ii. p. 730. and 

praecipue &c. Gennad, de Hilario Antelmius, de veris Operibus Leon. 

Arelat. cap. Ixix. p. 32. M. p. 367. 


and when it was, yet it was observed, by Thomas Aquinas, that 
that was not so proper a name for it, not being composed per 
moduni Symboli, in the way of a Creed ; as indeed it is not. 
What the more ancient and usual titles were may appear in one 
view in the tables above. Among others, we sometimes find 
the title of Expositio Catholicae Fidei, or yet nearer, Expositio 
Symboli Apostolorum, An Exposition of the Apostles 1 Creed, 
which is as proper a title as any, and not unlike to this of 
Honoratus. 4. I may further observe, that this Hilary of Aries 
was a great admirer and follower of St. Austin 3 , and had 
studied his writings ; which may account for his often following 
St. Austin's thoughts in the compiling of the Creed, and some 
times his very expressions; and indeed forming the whole 
composition, in a manner, upon St. Austin's plan, both with 
respect to the Trinity and Incarnation, He did not indeed come 
heartily in to St. Austin's doctrine about Grace, Predestination, 
Free-will, &c. any more than the other Gallican bishops : but 
for other points, as Prosper observes, Hilary was entirely in 
Austin's sentiments. 5. Hence likewise we may account for 
the similitude of thoughts and expressions between Vincentius 
Lirinensis, and the author of the Creed ; which Antelmius 
insists much upon to justify his ascribing it to Vincentius. 
Hilary and Vincentius were contemporaries and countrymen, 
both of the same monastery in the isle of Lerin, much about 
the same time : so that it is natural to suppose that they should 
fall into the like expressions, while treating on the same things ; 
or that Vincentius might affect to copy from so great a man as 
Hilary, (first Abbot of Lerin, and then Archbishop of Aries,) 
when writing on the same subject. 6. As to the style of Hilary, 
though we have but little of his left to compare the Creed with, 
yet what there is answers very well to the idea one should have 
of a man that might be able to draw up such a piece. His life 
of the elder Honoratus, who was his predecessor in the see of 
Aries, is an excellent performance, and comes nothing short of 
the character he had raised for wit and eloquence. The style is 
clear and strong, short and sententious, abounding with anti- 

a Unum eorura prsecipuae auctori- tuse esse doctrinae : et de hoc quod in 

tatis, et spiritualium studiorum virum, querelam trahit, jam pridem apud 

Sanctum llilariuin, Arelatensera Epi- sanctitatem tuam sensum sutim per li- 

scopum, sciat beatitudo tua admira- teras velle conferre. Prosper ad Augus- 

torem, sectatoremque in aliis omnibus tin. Ep. ccxxv. p. 825. Bened. ed. 


theses, elegant turns, and manly strokes of wit. He does but 
touch a little, in that piece, upon the subject of the Trinity .- so 
that one cannot from thence discover how he would have 
expressed himself upon that head. Only, that little there is 
there, is very like to a paragraph in the Athanasian Creed, both 
for turn and expression. Speaking of Honoratus, or rather 
to him, in the way of a rhetorical apostrophe, he observes b how 
clear and expressive he had been in his discourses concerning 
the Trinity in the Godhead; making the Persons distinct, but 
co-uniting them in Glory, Eternity, and Majesty. Which may 
remind us of the words of the Athanasian Creed, " there is one 
" Person of the Father, &c. but the Godhead of the Father, and 
" of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the Glory equal, 
" the Majesty coeternal" However that be, this we may learn 
from it, how great a commendation it was, in Hilary's account, 
to be able to speak clearly and accurately upon the subject of 
the Trinity, and how ambitious he might be of so doing himself : 
and we know, from his dying instructions c to his friends about 
him, how much he had the subject at heart. These, I confess, 
are but little circumstances : yet they are of some weight along 
with others more considerable, and therefore ought not to be 
entirely omitted. What weighs most with me is, that he was, 
in his time, a man of the greatest authority in the Gallican 
Church d , without whose advice, or privity at least, such a Creed 
would hardly have passed ; and that he actually was the author 
of such a work as this is, and which must either be this, or else 
is lost. This Creed has been sometimes ascribed to the elder 
Hilary of Poictiers, though neither the diction, nor the matter, 

b Quotidianus siquidem in sincer- sacerdote, multimoda virtute pretioso : 

issimis tractatibus confessionis Patris, erat enim Fidei igneus torrens, cae- 

ac Filii,ac Spiritus Sancti testis fuisti: lestis eloquii, et praeceptionis divinae 

nee facile tarn exerte, tarn lucide quis- operarius indefessus. Quesnel, p. 

quam de Divinitatis Trinitate disse- 543. 

ruit, cura earn Personis distingueres, To which may be added one line of 

et gloria? (gloria) seternitate, ac majes- his epitaph : 

tate sociares. Hilar. Vit. Honorat. Gemma Sacerdotum, plebisque, or- 

p. 770. Quesnel. ed. bisque Magister. Quesnel, ibid. 

c Among which this is one, and the Tanta fuit ejus in dicendo vis, ut 

first. Silvius Eusebius, Domnulus, auctores 

Fidem Trinitatis immobiliter reti- coaevi, admiratione succensi in hasc 

nete. Vit. Hilar. p. 747. verba proruperint: Non doctrinam, 

d Quesnel quotes this eulogium of non eloquentiam, sed nescio quid super 

him, from Constantius Presbyter of homines consecutum. Natal. Alexand. 

the same time. sec. v. cap. 4. art 19. ex Honorati 

Illustrabatur haec civitas Hilario Vit. Hilar. cap. u. 


nor the manner of it look any thing like his ; only, it seems, this 
Creed in one manuscript was found tacked to some pieces of 
that Hilary. I pretend not to draw any argument from hence 
in favour of our Hilary : though had the manuscript been a very 
ancient one, or copied from one that was, (neither of which 
appears,) I should have thought it of some moment; since the 
similitude of names might possibly have occasioned it. 

Having considered such reasons as seem to favour the conjec 
ture about Hilary of Aries ; it will next be proper to consider 
also what may be objected against it. 

1. It may be objected, that this Hilary lived to the year 449, 
saw the rise, progress, and condemnation of the Nestorian 
heresy, and the beginning at least of the Eutychian. May it not 
therefore be reasonably presumed that, had he been to compile a 
Confession of Faith, he would have made it more full and par 
ticular against both those heresies than I have supposed the 
Creed to be ? To this I answer, that the objection would be of 
weight, if I supposed this Creed to have been made by him in 
the last years of his life : but as I take it to have been made 
a little after his entrance upon his episcopate, (to be a rule to 
his clergy all his time, as well as to satisfy his colleagues of 
his own orthodoxy,) the objection affects not me. Admit the 
Creed to have been drawn up by him about the year 429 or 430 ; 
and then it is just what it should be. exactly suited to the cir 
cumstances of time and place : and as to his enlarging or alter 
ing it afterwards, upon the rise of the two heresies, it might not 
be in his power when once gone out of his hands : nor would it 
be necessary, since both these heresies are sufficiently obviated in 
this Creed, though not so explicitly condemned as in many that 
came later. 

2. It may be asked, how the author's name came to be so 
studiously concealed even by those that received and admired the 
Creed ; and how it came to take at length the name of Athana- 
sius, rather than of Hilary ? I answer : this objection will equally 
lie against any other author assignable whatever, except Atha- 
nasius himself, whom we cannot, with any colour of reason, 
ascribe it to. It will be as easy to account for the studious con 
cealment of the author's name, supposing it Hilary, as for any 
other, or perhaps easier. This Hilary had stoutly defended the 
rights of his see against Pope Leo's encroachments, in the matter 
of appeals and other branches of jurisdiction. This brought the 


good man under disfavour and disrepute ; as must happen to the 
best of men when they have persons of greater figure and author 
ity than themselves to contend with, however righteous and clear 
their cause may be. Besides this, Hilary had entertained a dis 
like to some of St. Austin's prevailing doctrines about grace, 
growing much in vogue ; so that St. Austin's more zealous disci 
ples had a pique against him on that account, and had the less 
value for his name. The way then to have this Creed pass cur 
rent, and make it generally received, was to stifle as much as 
possible the name of the author, and to leave it to stand by its 
own intrinsic worth and weight. As to the name of Athanasius, 
I take it to have come thus. Upon the revival of the Arian 
controversy in Gaul, under the influence of the Burgundian 
kings, it was obvious to call one side Athanasians, and the other 
side Arians ; and so also to name the orthodox faith the Atha- 
nasian Faith, as the other Arian. This Creed therefore, being 
a summary of the orthodox and Catholic Faith, might in process 
of time acquire the name of the Athanasian Faith, or Fides 
Athanasii, in opposition to the contrary scheme, which might as 
justly be called Fides Arii, or the Arian Faith. The equivocal- 
ness of the title gave a handle to those that came after to under 
stand it of a form of faith, composed by Athanasius ; just as the 
equivocal title of Apostolical given to the Roman Creed occa 
sioned the mistake about its being made by the Apostles. This 
appears to me the most probable account of the whole matter : 
and it is very much confirmed by what we see of several tracts, 
wrote in the fifth and sixth centuries dialogue-wise, where Atha 
nasius is made the mouth of the Catholic side, and Arius of his 
party, and Photinus of his : not meaning that Athanasius, Arius, 
and Photinus were really the speakers in those conferences, but 
the readers were to understand the Athanasian, Arian, and 
Photinian principles, as being there fairly represented under 
those leading names. 

3. If it be asked further, why this Creed was not cited during 
the Nestorian and Eutychian controversy, when there was so 
frequent occasion for it; I answer, partly because the Creed 
was not particular and explicit enough to have done much ser 
vice; but chiefly, because the author had been eclipsed, and his 
reputation obscured by greater names than his, so that his au 
thority had weighed little ; and to produce it without a name 
would have signified less. This objection therefore, though it 


might be of great force in the question about Athanasius, is of no 
weight at all against our present supposition about Hilary of Aries. 

These are all the objections which to me occur : and they 
seem to be so far from weakening the grounds upon which I pro 
ceed, that they rather tend to strengthen and confirm them. 
And though I do .not pretend to strict certainty about the 
author of the Creed ; yet I persuade myself that none that have 
been hitherto named have any fairer, or so fair a claim to it as 
the man I have mentioned. Not Athanasius, nor Hilary of 
Poictiers, not Eusebius of Verceil, not Pope Anastasius I, nor 
any of that name ; not Vincentius Lirinensis, nor Vigilius Tap- 
sensis, nor Athanasius of Spire, nor Fortunatus, nor Bonifacius, 
nor any other that has been thought on. From the many con 
jectures heretofore advanced by learned men, one may perceive 
that it has been judged to be a thing worth the inquiring after : 
and as others have taken the liberty of naming such author or 
authors as to them appeared most likely to have made the 
Creed, so have I, in my turn, not scrupling to add one more to 
the number. 

The sum then of what I have presumed to advance upon 
probable conjecture, in a case which will not admit of full and 
perfect evidence, is this : that Hilary, once Abbot of Lerins* 
and next Bishop of Aries, about the year 430 composed the 
Exposition of Faith which now bears the name of the Athana- 
sian Creed. It was drawn up for the use of the Gallican clergy, 
and especially for the diocese or province of Aries. It was es 
teemed, by as many as were acquainted with it, as a valuable 
summary of the Christian Faith. It seems to have been in the 
hands of Vincentius, monk of Lerins, before 434, by what he 
has borrowed from it ; and to have been cited in part by Avitus 
of Vienne, about the year 500, and by Csesarius of Aries before 
the year 543. About the year 570, it became famous enough 
to be commented upon like the Lord's Prayer and Apostles' 
Creed, and together with them. All this while, and perhaps for 
several years lower, it had not yet acquired the name of the 
Athanasian Faith, but was simply styled the Catholic Faith. 
But before 670, Athanasius's admired name came in to recom 
mend and adorn it ; being in itself also an excellent system of 
the Athanasian principles of the Trinity G and incarnation) in 

e Romanae ego Ecclesiae quasi Sym- Athanasii [dictum et putatum quod 
bolum, incerto autore, existimem , hinc dilucide Catholicam, ipsamque Atha- 


opposition chiefly to Arians, Macedonians, and Apollinarians. 
The name of the Faith of Athanasius, in a while, occasioned the 
mistake of ascribing it to him, as his composition. This gave it 
authority enough to be cited and appealed to as standard, in the 
disputes of the middle ages, between Greeks and Latins about 
the procession : and the same admired name, together with the 
intrinsic worth and value of the form itself, gave it credit enough 
to be received into the public Service in the western churches ; 
first in France, next in Spain, soon after in Germany, England, 
Italy, and at length in Rome itself; while many other excellent 
Creeds drawn up in Councils, or recommended by Emperors, yet 
never arrived to any such honour and esteem as this hath done. 
The truly good and great author, (as I now suppose him,) though 
ill used by the then Pope of Rome, and not kindly treated, with 
respect to his memory, in after-ages, has nevertheless been the 
mouth of all the western churches, and some eastern too, for a 
long tract of centuries, in celebrating the glories^of the coeternal 
Trinity. And so may he ever continue, till the Christian 
churches can find out (which they will not easily do) a juster, or 
sounder, or more accurate form of faith than this is. 


The Creed itself in the Original Language with Parallel Passages 
from the Fathers. 

MY design in this chapter is, 

1. To exhibit the Creed in its native language, that is, in 
Latin, according to the most ancient and most correct copies. 
The various lections will be placed at the bottom, under the 
Creed : the manuscripts therein referred to shall be denoted 
by such names or marks as appear above in the table of manu 

2. Opposite to the Creed, in another column, I place parallel 
passages, selected from authors that lived and wrote before 
43' principally from St. Austin : and this with design to enforce 
and illustrate my main argument before insisted on ; namely, 

nasii Fidem (de Trinitate, maxime) Nicsenae et Catholicse Fidei ejuratio; 

complecteretur ; cuius inter Catho- uti se res habuit in Liherio Romano 

licos sic spectata fides, ut ejus com- antistite &c. Combefis. not. in Calec. 

munio velut tessera Catholici esset ; Nov. Auctar. fair. torn. ii. p. 296. 
censereturque ejus condemnatio ipsa 


that the Creed contains nothing but what had been asserted, in 
as full and express words as any words of the Creed are, by 
Church writers before the time specified. 

3. I subjoin under these, at the bottom of the page, some 
further select passages from Church writers before or after the 
time mentioned ; partly to serve as comments upon some places 
of the Creed, and partly to shew how some writers of the fifth 
century, Vincentius especially, expressed themselves on the same 
heads, that the reader may from thence judge whether they 
appear prior to the Creed, or the Creed prior to them. 

I ought to ask my English reader's pardon for this part ; which 
he may please to pass over, and to go on to the next chapter, in 
tended chiefly for his satisfaction, and to make him some amends 
for the present interruption : for my design in subjoining an 
English commentary is to serve much the same purposes with 
what is here intended by the Latin ; though not all of them, but 
as many as the nature of the thing will allow. 

Loca parallela excerpta ex Va- 


i . Quicumque vult salvus esse, 
ante omnia opus est ut teneat 
Catholicam Fidem. 

2. Quam nisi quisque inte- 
gram inviolatamque servaverit, 
absque dubio in a?ternum per- 

Variantes Lectiones. 

1. (salvus esse) esse salvus. Cod. 
Ambros. et Fortunat. in MS. Am- 

2. (quisque) quis. Cod. Ambros. 
(inviolatamque) inviolabilemque. Cod. 
San-germ, (absque dubio) deest in 
Cod. Reg. Paris, (ire teternum peribit) 
peribit in seternum. San-germ. 

ms ; ante an. 430. 

1. Catholicce disciplines nia- 
jestate institutum est, ut acceden- 

tibus ad Religionem Fides per- 
suadeatur ante omnia. August, 
torn. viii. p. 64. 

Hcec est Fides nostra, quoniam 
licec est Fides recta, quce etiam 
Catholica nuncupatur. Tom. viii. 

2. Hceretici Simplici Fide 

Catholica contenti esse nolunt ; 
quce una parvulis salus est. Au 
gust, torn. iv. p. 60. 

Excerpta ex Patribus. 

1 . Credamus ergo fratres : hoc est 
primum prseceptum, hoc est initium re- 
ligionis et vita? nostrae, fixum habere 
cor vafide. August, torn. v. p. 195. 

2 . Catholicorum hoc fere proprium, 
deposita sanctorum Patrum et com- 
missa servare, damnare profanas novi- 
tates : et sicut dixit, et iterum dixit 
Apostolus : si quis annunciaverit, pr<e- 
terquam quod acceptum est, anathe- 
mare. Vincent, cap. xxxiv. p. in. 



3. Fides autem Catholica hsec 
est, ut unum Deum in Trinitate, 
et Trinitatem in Unitate vene- 
remur : 

4. Neque confundentes Per- 
eonas, neque Substantiam se- 

5. Alia est enim Persona 
Patris, alia Filii, alia Spiritus 

6. Sed Patris, et Filii, et 
Spiritus Sancti, una est Divi- 
nitas, sequalis Gloria, coseterna 

7. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, 
talis et Spiritus Sanctus. 

5. (alia Fi/u)alia Persona Filii. Cod. 
Ambros. item Fortunat. (a/ia Spiritus) 
alia Persona Sp. Sanct. Cod. Ambros. 

6. (coeetema)CodA. nonnulli habent 
et coaeterna. Deest et in Cod. Ambros. 
et in Fortunat. et Brunon. aliisque 

7. (talis et Spiritus Sanctus.) Ita 
Codd. Ambros. Reg. Paris. C.C.C.C. 
i. Cotton. i.Jacob. i . Fortunat. item 
CaesariuH Arelat. antiquissimus.MSS. 
recentiores, et editi omit tun t et. 


NCy 8 bibaa-Kf TOVOVTOV 
i> p.ovdbi 


biaiptcnv Kai rr]V ev&criv. Greg. 
Nazianz. Orat. xxiii. p. 422. 

4. Et hcec omnia nee confuse 
unum sunt, nee disjuncte tria 
sunt. Augustin. torn. ii. p. 609. 

5. Impietatem Sabellii decli- 
nantes, ires Personas expressas 
sub proprietate distinguimus 
Aliam Pair is, aliam Filii, aliam 
Spiritus Sancti Personam . 
Pelagii Symbol, p. 274. apud 
Lambec. Catal. Bibl. Vindob. 

6. Confutantes Arium, unam 
eandemque dicitnus Trinitatis 
esse substantiam. Pelag. Syrab. 

Patris, et Filii et Spiritus 
Sancti unam, Virtutem, unam 
Substantiam, unam Deitatem, 
unam Majestatem, unam Glo- 
riam. August, torn. viii. p. 744. 

7. Qualis est Pater secundum 
Substantiam, talem genuit Fi- 

3. Catholica Ecclesia unum Deum 
in Trinitatis plenitudine, et item 
Trinitatis aequalitatem in una Divi- 
nitate veneratur. Vincent, cap. xxii. 
et c. xviii. 

4. Ut neque singularitas substan- 
tiae Personarum confundat proprieta- 
tem, neque item Trinitatis distinctio 
unitatem separet Deitatis. Vincent. 
cap. 22. 

5. Quia scilicet alia est Persona 
Patris, alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti. 
Vincent, cap. 19. 

6. Sed tamen Patris et Filii, et 
Spiritus Sancti non alia et alia, sed 
una eademque natura. Vincent, cap. 

7. Qualis immensus est Pater, talis 
est et Filius, talis est Spiritus Sanc 
tus. Et Philastr. Hcer. li. p. 106. 
Conf. p. 178. 



8. Increatus Pater, increatus 
Filius, increatus et Spiritus 

9. Immensus Pater, immen- 
sus Filius, immensus et Spiritus 

10. ^ternus Pater, aeternus 
Filius, aeternus et Spiritus 

1 1 . Et tamen non tres seter- 
ni, sed unus seternus. 

12. Sicut non tres increati, 
nee tres immensi, sed unus in 
creatus, et unus immensus. 

13. Similiter, Omnipotens 

8. (et Spiritus Sanctus.) Deest vo- 
cula et in recentioribus codicibus : 
retinent plerique antiquiores hoc in 
loco, et similiter in subsequentibus, 
ante Spiritus Sanctus. Quae lectio, 
opinor, vera est, ab autore Symboli 
profecta; scilicet, ad majorem em- 
phasim, propter haeresim Macedo- 
nianam nondum penitus exstinctam, 
nostrum autem est Symbolum exhi- 
bere quale se primitus habuit. 

12. (unus increatus, et unus immen 
sus.) Unus immensus et unus in 
creatus. Cod. Ambros. 

Hum: et Spiritus Sanctus es 
ejusdem et ipse Substantiee cum 
Patre et Filio. Faustini Fid. 

8. Quicquid ad seipsum dici- 
tur Deus, et de singulis personis 
singulariter dicitur, et simul de 
ipsa Trinitate. August, torn. viii. 
p. 838. 

9. Magnus Pater, magnus 
Filius, magnus Spiritus Sanc 
tus. August, torn. viii. p. 837. 

10. Hoc et de bonitate, et de 
seternitate, et de omnipotentia 
Dei dictum sit. August, ibid, 
p. 839. 

jEternus Pater, coceternus 
Filius, coceternus Spiritus Sanc 
tus. August, torn. v. p. 543. 

1 2. Non tamen tres magni, 
sed unus magnus. Aug. torn. viii. 

P- 837- 

13. Itaque Omnipotens Pater, 

8. Illud praecipue teneamus, quic- 
quid ad se dicitur prsestantissima ilia 
et divina sublimitas, substantialiter 
dici ; quod autem ad aliquid non 
substantialiter, sed relative: tantam- 
que vim esse ejusdem substantiee in 
Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto, ut 
quicquid de singulis ad seipsos dicitur, 
non pluraliter in summa, sed singu 
lariter accipiatur. Augustin. torn. viii. 

P- 837- 

12. Nec magnos tres dicimus, sed 
magnum unum, quia non participa- 
tione magnitudinis Deus magnus est, 
sed seipso magno magnus est, quia 
ipse sua est magnitude. August, de 
Trin. lib. v. cap. 10. 

13. Sed ne duos Omnipotentes in- 
telligas praecavendum est : licet enim 
et Pater sit Omnipotens, et Filius, ta 
men unus est Omnipotens, sicut et 
unus est Deus, quia Patris et Filii 
eadem Omnipotentia est, sicut et ea- 
dem Deltas. Faustin. p. 123. 



Pater, Omnipotens Filius, Om- 
nipotens et Spiritus Sanctus. 

14. Et tamen non tres Omni- 
potentes. sed unus Omnipotens. 

15. ItaDeus Pater. Deus Fi 
lius, Dens et Spiritus Sanctus. 

1 6. Et taraen non tres Dii, 
sed unus est Deus. 

17. Ita Dominus Pater, 
Dominus Filius, Dominus et 
Spiritus Sanctus. 

1 8. Et tamen non tres Do 
mini, sed unus est Dominus. 

19. Quia sicut singillatim 
unamquamque Personam et 

14. (Et tamen) deest tamen in Cod. 

16. (est Deus) deest est in MS. 

18. (est Dominus) deest est. Cod. 

19. (et Deum et Dominum) Ita MS. 
Ambros. et MS. Oxon. Fortunat. 
rectissime. Cod. Fortunat. Ambros. 
aliique, turn MSS. turn impressi, ha- 
bent Deum et Dominum. Brunonis 
Cod. et Coll. Job. MS. Deum ac Do 
minum. San-germanensis, Dominum 

Omnipotens Filius, Omnipotens 
Spiritus Sanctus. Aug. de Trin. 
lib. v. cap. 8. 

14. Nee tamen tres Omnipo- 
tentes, sed unus Omnipotens. 
August, ibid. 

15. Deus Pater, Deus Filius, 
Deus Spiritus Sanctus. August. 
Trin. lib. viii. c. i. et Serm. 105. 
p. 542. torn. v. 

1 6. Nee tamen tres Dii sed 
unus Deus. Aug. ibid. 

j 7. Sic et Dominum si quceras, 

singulum quemque respondeo 

August, torn. viii. p. 729. 

1 8. Sed simul omnes non tres 
Dominos Deos, sed unum Domi 
num Deum dico. August, ibid. 

19. Cam de singulis qucBritur, 
unusquisque eorum et Deus. et 

14. Sicut simul illi tres unus Deus, 
sic simul illi tres unus Omnipotens est, 
et invisibilis unus, Deus Pater et Filius 
et Spiritus Sanctus est. Augustin. 
torn. viii. p. 654. Vid. p. 865. 

1 6. Unus Deus propter insepara- 
bilem Divinitatem; sicut unus Om 
nipotens propter inseparabilem Omni- 
potentiam. August, de Civit. Dei, p. 

In ilia summa Trinitate, quae in- 
comparabiliter rebus omnibus ante- 
cellit, tanta est inseparabilitas, ut cum 
Trinitas hominum non possit dici 
unus Homo, ilia unus Deus et dicatur 
et sit. August, de Trin. lib. xv. cap. 

2 3- 

18. Non sunt enim duo Domini 
ubi Dominatus unus est; quia Pater 
in Filio, et Filius in Patre, et ideo 
Dominus unus. Ambros. de Sp. S. 
lib. iii. cap. 15. p. 686. 


Deum et Dominum confiteri 
Christiana veritate compelli- 
mur ; ita tres Decs, aut Domi- 
nos, dicere Catholica religione 

20. Pater a nullo est factus, 
nee creatus, nee genitus. 

21. Filius a Patre solo est, 
non factus, nee creatus, sed 

22. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre 
et Filio, non factus, nee creatus, 
nee genitus est, sed procedens. 

23. Unus ergo Pater, non 
tres Patres; unus Filius, non 

Omnipotens esse respondeatur ; 
cum vero de omnibus simul, non 
tres Dii, vel tres Omnipotentes, 
sed unus Deus Omnipotens. Au 
gust, de Civit. Dei, lib. xi. c. 24. 
p. 290. 

20. Dicimus Patrem Deum 
de nullo. August, toin. v. p. 

Non enim habet de quo sit> aut 
ex quo procedat. Aug. torn. viii. 
p. 829. 

2 1 . Filius Patris solius 
hunc quippe de sua substantia 
genuit, non ex nihilo fecit. Aug. 
Ep. 170. alias 66. 

22. De Filio Spiritus Sanctus 
procedere reperitur. August, de 
Trin. lib. xv. c. 17. 

Neque natus est sicut unigeni- 
tus, neque factus, &c. Id. lib. v. 
0.15. p. 841. 

23. Unus est Pater ', non duo 
vel tres ; et unus Filius, non duo 

el Deum. Plerique editi, Deum aut 
Dominum. Quae lectio, me judice, 
omnium pessima est. (aut Dominos) 
Ita plerique MSS. et editi : sed non- 
nulli, ac Dominos. (prohibemur} MS. 
Ambr. legit prohibemus male. 

22. (sed procedens) Cod. Arabros. 
adjecta habet ista ; Patri et Filio co- 
teternus est. Glossa, uti videtur, ex 
margine in textum immissa : nisi 
forte librarius verba ilia ex Bachiarii 
Fide, quam simul descripserat, hue 
transtulerit ; eive oscitanter, sive 
majoris elucidationis gratia. Vid. 
Bachiar. Fid. apud Murator. torn. ii. 
p. 16, 18. 

22. Spiritus quoque Sanctus non, 
sicut creatura, ex nihilo est factus; 
sed sic a Patre Filioque procedit, ut 
nee a Filio, nee a Patre sit factus. 
August, ep. 170. 

To aytov 7rv(Vfi.a ovrc yfwrjrov 

ovre KTHTTOV d\\' e'/c irarpbs e'/cTro- 

Epiphan. p. 742. 

23. Ovrt ovv Tpfls irarfpts, ovrt rptis 
viol, ovre fods 7rapaK\r)TOi' dXX* eis 
irarrip, Kal eis vlos, KCU (Is irapax\T)TOs. 
Pseud. Ignat. ad Philipp. c. ii. p.n8. 
Cotel. ed. Vid. Epiphan. H. 69. p. 



tres Filii ; unus Spiritus Sanc- 
tus, non tres Spiritus Sancti, 

24. Et in hac Trinitate nihil 
prius aut posterius, nihil majus 
aut minus, sed totse tres Per- 
sonse coseternae sibi sunt, et 

25. Ita ut per omnia, sicut 
jam supra dictum est, et Unitas 
in Trinitate, et Trinitas in Uni- 
tate veneranda sit. 

36. Qui vult ergo salvus esse, 
ita de Trinitate sentiat. 

27. Sed necessarium est ad 
seternam salutem, ut Incarna- 
tionem quoque Domini nostri 
Jesu Christi fideliter credat. 

vel tres; et unus amborum Spi 
ritus, non duo vel tres. August, 
contr. Maxim, p. 729. 

24. In hac Trinitate, non est 
aliud alio majus, aut minus. 
August, torn. v. p. 948. 

Nee enim prorsus aliquis in 
Trinitate gradus : nihil quod 
inferius, superiusve did possit. 
Pelagii Symb. 

25. Vid, supra, in articulo 3. 

26. Vid. supra, artic. 2. 

27. Dominus autem manens 
cum discipulis per quadraginta 
dies, signijicare dignatus est quia 
per istud tempus necessaria est 
omnibus Fides Incarnationis 

24. (Et in hac} deest et in Cod. 

24. Increata et insestimabilis Tri 
nitas, quee unius est aeternitatis et 
gloriae, nee ternpus nee gradum vel 
posterioris recipit vel prioris. Am- 
bros. de Fid. lib. iv. c. n. p. 547. 

25. Ita tola Deitas sui perfectione 
aequalis est, ut exceptis vocabulis 
quse proprietatem indicant Persona- 
rum, quicquid de una Persona dici- 
tur, de tribus dignissime possit intel- 
ligi. Pelag. Symb. 

26. Si quis hanc Fidem non habet, 
Catholicus dici non potest, quia Ca- 
tholicam non tenet Fidem ; et ideo 
alienus est ac profanus, et adversus 
veritatem rebellis Fides. S. Ambros. 

rd Lambec. Catalog. Bibl. Vindob. 
ii. p. 268. 

27. Ideo conversatio ipsius in carne 
post resurrectionem per quadraginta 
dies erat necessaria, ut demonstraret 
tamdiu esse necessariam Fidem In 
carnationis Christi quamdiu in ista 
vita docetur area in diluvio fluctuare. 
August, torn. v. p. 1078. 



28. Est ergo Fides recta, ut 
credamus et confiteamur, quia 
Dominus noster Jesus Christus, 
Dei Filius, Deus pariter et 
Homo est. 

29. Deus est ex substantia 
Patris ante ssecula genitus : 
Homo ex substantia Matris in 
saeculo natus. 

30. Perfectus Deus, perfectus 
Homo ex anima rationali et 
humana carne subsistens. 

31. JEqualis Patri secundum 
Divinitatem : minor Patre se 
cundum Ilumanitatem. 

Christi ; quce infirmis est neces- 
saria. August. Serm. 264. torn, 
v. p. 1077. 

28. Proinde, Christus Jesus, 
Dei Filius, est et Deus et Homo, 
August. Ench. torn. vi. p. 210. 

29. Deus ante omnia scecula : 
Homo in nostro sceculo unus 
Dei Filius, idemque Hominis 
Filius. August, ibid. 

30. Confitemur in Christo 
unam esse Filii personam, ut 
dicamus duas esse perfectas at- 
que integras sulstantias, id est, 
Deitatis, et Humanitatis quce 
ex anima continetur et corpore. 
Pelag. Symb. 

3 1 . ^Equalem Patri secundum 
Divinitatem, minorem autem 
Patre secundum carnem, hoc est, 

28. (confiteamur, quia) Cod. Am- 
bros. atque editi nonnulli legunt 
quod. Plures habent quia. (Deus 
pariter et Homo est) Ita Codd. 
Bened. i. Colbertin. Jacob. I. et 
Fortunat. Ambros. et San-germ, le 
gunt, et Deus pariter et Homo est. 
Editi, Deus et homo est. 

29. (ex substantia) Colbertin. de 
substantia .- et infra, de substantia 
Matris. (Homo) Ambros. Cod. legit et 
Homo est. Fortunat. et Homo. Post 
Matris, San-germ. Cod. habet, in sae 
culo genitus perfectus Homo. 

30. (rationali) rationabili. Codd. 
Ambros. Colbert, et San-germ. 


i. (minor Patre) minor Patri. 

29. Idem ex Patre ante saecula ge 
nitus, idem in saeculo ex matre gene- 
ratus. Vincent, c. 19. 

30. Adversus Arium, veram et per- 
fectam Verbi Divinitatem ; adversus 
Apollinarem, perfectam Hominis in 
Christo defendimusveritatem. August. 
Op. torn. v. Append, p. 391. 

Perfectus Deus, perfectus Homo : 
in Deo summa Divinitas, in Homine 
plena humanitas : quippe quae ani- 
mam simul habeat et carnem. Vin 
cent, c. 19. 



32. Qui licet Deus sit et 
Homo, non duo tamen, sed 
unus est Christus. 

33. Unus autem, non conver- 
sione Divinitatis in carnem, sed 
adsumptione Humanitatis in 

34. Unus omnino, non con- 
fusione Substantise, sed unitate 

35. Nam sicut anima ratio- 
nalis et caro unus est Homo ; 
ita Deus et Homo unus est 

36. Qui passus est pro salute 

32. Deest et Colb. 

33. (in carnem) in carne. MSS. 
Ambros. Colbert. San-germ, aliique 
plurimi, et vetusti. Habent etiam 
in Deo, pro in Deum. At multi 
etiam Codices, cum Fortunati Cod. 
Ambrosiano, receptam lectionem prae- 
ferunt ; quae utique praeferenda vide- 
tur. Cod. San-germ, pro conversione 
habet conversation. Cod. Colbert, 
totam hanc pericopen sic exhibet : 
Unus autem, non ex eo quod sit in carne 
conversa Divinitas, sed quia est in Deo 
adsumpta dignanter humanitas. 

34. (Unus omnino) unus Christus 
est. Colbert. 

35. (Nam sicut Sic.) Totum omittit 
Cod. Colbertinus. Scilicet, uti credo, 
ne simile illud in erroris sui patroci- 
nium arriperent Monophysitae. (ratio- 
nalis) rationabilis. Ambros. 

36. (Qui passus est pro salute no- 

secundum Hominem. Aug. Epist. 
137. p. 406. 

32. Agnoscamus geminam sub- 
stantiam Christi ; divinam scili 
cet qua cequalis est Patri, huma- 
nam qua major est Pater: 
utrumque autem simul non duo, 
sed unus est Christus. Aug. 
Tract, in Joh. p. 699. 

33. Verbum caro factum est, 
a Divinitate carne suscepta, non 
in carnem Divinitate mutata. 
August. Enchirid. c. 35. 

34. Idem Deus qui Homo, et 
qui Deus idem Homo : non con- 
fusione natures, sed unitate Per- 
sonce. Aug. torn. v. p. 885. 

35. Sicut enim unus est Homo 
anima rationalis et caro ; sic 
unus est Christus Deus et Homo. 
Aug. Tract, in Joh. p. 699. 

36. Descendit ad inferna, ter- 

32. Caro Christus, et anima Chris 
tus, et Verbum Christus : nee tamen 
tria hsec tres Christi, sed unus Chris 
tus. August, in Johan. p. 612. 

33. Nemo ergo credat Dei Filium 
conversum et commutatum esse in 
Hominis Filium ; sed potius creda- 
mus, et non consumpta divina, et 
perfecte assumpta humana substan- 
tia, manentem Dei Filium factum 
Hominis Filium. August, torn. v. 
p. 887. 

Deus ergo Hominem assumsit, Ho 
mo in Deum transivit : non naturae 
versibilitate, sicut Apollinaristae di- 
cunt, sed Dei dignatione. Gennad. 
Eccl. Dogm. c. 2. 

34. Unus autem, non Divini 
tatis et humanitatis confusione, sed 
unitate Personae. Vincent. Lir. c. xix. 

36. Quis ergo, nisi infidelis, ne- 



nostra, descendit ad inferos, 
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis. 

37. Adscendit ad ccelos, sedet 
ad dexteram Patris ; inde ven- 
turus judicare vivos et mortuos. 

38. Ad cujus adventum ora- 
nes homines resurgere habent 
cum corporibus suis, et reddi- 
turi sunt de factis propriis ra- 

39. Et qui bona egerunt, 
ibunt in vitam seternam, qui 
vero mala, in ignem seternum. 

tia die resurrexit a mortuis. 
Symb. Aquileiae, apud Ruffin. 

37. Ascendit ad ccelos, sedet 
ad dexteram Patris ; inde ven- 
turus judicare vivos et mortuos. 
Symb. Roman. Vet. 

38. Resurrectionem etiam car- 
nis confitemur et credimus, ut di- 
camus nos in eadem qua nunc 
sumus veritate membrorum esse 
reparandos. Pelag. Symb. 

39. Et procedent qui bonafe- 
cerunt in resurrectionem vitce, qui 
vero mala egerunt in resurrectio 
nem judicii. Joh. v. 28. 

Ibunt hi in suppllcium ceter- 
num, justi autem in vitam ester- 
nam. Matt. xxv. 46. 

stra) Qui secundum fidem nostrum 
passus et mortuus. Colbert. 

(ad inferos) ad infernos. Cod. San- 
germ, ad inferna. Fortunat. MS. 
Oxon. ad inferna descendens. Cod. 

(tertia die,) deest in Cod. Ambros. 
San-germ. Cotton, i. Jacob, i. (re 
surrexit) surrexit. Cod. Ambros. 

37. (sedet) sedit. Cod. Ambr. (dex 
teram Patris) Ita Codd. Ambros. et 
Fortunat. et Symb. Roman. Vet. dex 
teram Patris Omnipotentis. Cod. San- 
germ, dextram Omnipotentis. Cod. 
Brunonis. dexteram Dei Patris sedet, 
sicut vobis in Symbolo traditum est. 
Cod. Colbert, dexteram Dei Patris 
Omnipotentis. Codd. recentiores, cum 

38. (resurgere habent cum corpo 
ribus suis, et) desunt in Cod. Ambros. 
Colbertinus legit : ad cujus adventum 
erunt omnes homines sine dubio in suis 
corporibus resurrecturi. Sed nihil 

39. (egerunt) egerint. Cod. Ambros. 
Totum hunc articulum sic legit Col 
bertinus : Ut qui bona egerunt, eant 
in citam aeternam ; qui mala, in ignem 

(qui vero) Cod. Ambros. et Cot- 

gaverit fuisse apud inferos Chris 
tum ? 

Quamobrem teneamus firmissime 
quod fides habet fundatissima aucto- 

ritate firmatum et csetera qua? de 

illo testatissima veritate conscripta 
sunt ; in quibus etiam hoc est, quod 
apud inferos fuit. August, ep. clxiv. 
P- 574. 578- 

38. Si id resurgere dicitur quod 
cadit, caro ergo nostra in veritate 
resurget, sicut in veritate cadit. Et 
non secundum Origenem, immutatio 
corporum erit &c. Gennad. Eccl. 
Dogmat. c. 5. 

39. Post resurrectionem et judi- 
cium, non credamus restitutionem 
futuram, sicut Origenes delirat, ut 
daemones vel impii homines post tor- 
menta quasi suppliciis expurgati, vel 
illi in angelicam qua creati sunt re- 



40. Haec est Fides Catholi- 
ca, quam nisi quisque fideliter, 
firmiterque crediderit, salvus 
esse non potent. 

ton. i. omittunt vero. Codices non- 
nulli legunt, et qui vero : alii, et qui 

40. (quisque) Cod. Ambros. unus- 
quisque. Colbertinus pergit: Htec 
est Fides sancta et catholica, quam 
omnis homo, qui ad vitam eeternam 
pervenire desiderat, scire integre de- 
bet, etfideliter custodire. 

4O.Cavete, dilectissimi, ne quis 
vos ab Ecclesise Catholicse Fide 
ac unitate seducat. Qui enim vo- 
bis aliter evanaelizaverit prceter- 
quam quod accepistis, anathema 
sit. Aug. torn. v. p. 592. 

deant dignitatem, vel isti justorum 
societate donentur. Gennad. ibid. 


40. O ravra TTtorevcrar toy <X ft u>s 
paKapios' 6 ravra /JLT] iri- 
fvayrjs ovx r\rrov ran/ rbv Kvpiov 
. Pseud. Ignat. ad Phi- 
. p. Il8. 


A Commentary on the Athanasian Creed*. 

1. WHOSOEVER will be saved, before all things it is necessary 
that he hold the Catholic Faith. 

By the words, before all things, is meant in the first place. 
Faith goes before practice ; and is therefore first in order, though 
practice may be, comparatively, more considerable, and first in 
value, as the end is above the means. 

2. Which Faith, except every one do keep whole** and undefiled, 
without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. 

Which faith, that is, the Catholic Faith before spoken of, which 
is another name for the true and right faith as taught in Scrip- 

a In the Primmer of 1539, and 
another of 1555, where the version is 
made from the Latin, and joined with 
the Popish Service of that time, the 
English title of the Creed was, The 
Symbole or Crede of the great Doc- 
tour Athanasius, dayly red in the 

In King Edward's Prayer Book, 
A. D. 1549, it is barely entitled, This 
Confession of our Christian Faith : 
and it was ordered to be song, or sayed, 
upon six feasts in the year. At the 
revisal of the Common Prayer, in 
1552, it was appointed to be used on 
several feasts in the year, the whole 
number thirteen. But the title still 
continued the same, till the last review 

under Charles the Second ; when were 
added thereto, commonly called the 
Creed of St. Athanasius : from which 
time the running title has been S. 
Athanasius's Creed, as before Qui- 
cunque vult, in our Prayer Books. 

b In King Edward's Prayer Books, 
and so down to the year 1627, holy 
was read for what is now whole. 
Which I suppose was intended for 
wholly : as one may reasonably ima 
gine from Queen Elizabeth's of 1561, 
where it is wholy : and from the me 
trical version, which plainly meant 
wholly, by holy, answering to unde- 
filedly : and it is certain that holy was 
the ancient spelling for what we now 
write wholly. 


hire , called Catholic, or universal, as being held by the universal 
Church of Christ, against which the gates of hell shall never pre 
vail. The meaning then is, that every one is obliged, under 
pain of damnation, to preserve, as far as in him lies, the true and 
right faith, in opposition to those that endeavour to corrupt it 
either by taking from it, or adding to it. That men shall perish 
eternally for unbelief, for rejecting the faith in the lump, cannot 
be doubted; when it is expressly said, (Mark xvi. 16.) "He 
" that believeth not shall be damned :" and as to rejecting any 
particular branch, or article of it, it must of consequence be 
a sin against the whole ; against truth and peace, and therefore 
damnable in its own nature, as all wilful sins are without repent 
ance. As to the allowances to be made for invincible ignorance, 
prejudice, or other unavoidable infirmities; as they will be 
pleadable in the case of any other sin, so may they, and will 
they also be pleadable in this : but it was foreign to the purpose 
of the Creed to take notice of it in this case particularly, when 
it is common to all cases of like nature, and is always supposed 
and understood, though not specially mentioned. 

3. A nd the Catholic Faith is this ; That we worship one God in 
in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. 

One of the principal branches of the Catholic Faith, and 
which is of nearest concernment, (since our worship depends 
upon it, and the main body of the Christian religion is bound up 
in it,) is the doctrine of a Trinity in Unity, of three Persons and 
one God, recommended in our baptism as the object of our/a^A, 
hope, and worship. He that takes upon him to corrupt or deprave 
this most fundamental part of a Christian's faith cannot be inno 
cent , it being his bounden duty to maintain and preserve it, as 
he will answer it another day. 

4. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. 
Here would be no need of these particular cautions, or critical 

terms, in relation to this point, had men been content with the 
plain primitive faith in its native simplicity. But as there have 
been a set of men, called Sabellians, who have erroneously 
taught, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are all one Person, 
who was incarnate, and suffered, and rose again; making the 
Father (and Holy Ghost) to have suffered, as well as the Son, 
(from thence called Patripassians,) hence it becomes necessary 
to caution every pious Christian against confounding the Per 
son?, as those men have done. And as there have been others. 


particularly the Arians, who have pretended very falsely, that 
the three Persons are three substances, and of different kinds, 
divided from each other, one being before the other, existing 
when the other two were not, as also being present where the 
other two are not present; these false and dangerous tenets 
having been spread abroad, it is become necessary to give a 
caution against dividing the substance, as these have done, very 
much to the detriment of sobriety and truth. 

5. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and 
another of the Holy Ghost. 

The Sabellians therefore were extremely to blame in confound 
ing the Persons, and running them into one, taking away the 
distinction of Persons plainly taught in Scripture. 

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. 

The Arians therefore were equally to blame for dividing the 
substance and Godhead, in the manner before hinted. To be a 
little more particular on this head, we may go on to open and 
explain this Unity of Godhead, equality of Glory, and coeternity 
of Majesty. 

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy 

That is, as to their substance and Godhead, there is no differ 
ence or inequality amongst them ; though there is a difference 
in respect of some personal acts and properties, as shall be ob 
served in its place. In real dignity and perfection they are equal 
and undivided, as in the instances here following : 

8. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost 

These three Persons were never brought into being by the 
will of another ; they are no creatures, nor changeable, as creatures 
are ; they are all infinitely removed from dependence or precarious 
existence, one as much as another, and every one as much as 
any one : they exist in the highest and most emphatical sense of 
existing, which is called necessary existence, opposed to contingent 
or precarious existence, In a word; every Person must, and 
cannot but exist ; and all must exist together, having the same 
unchangeable perfections. 

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and 
the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. 

These words are not a just translation of the Latin original, 


though containing as true and just a proposition as the Latin 
words do. Immensus signifies omnipresent, rather than incompre 
hensible in the modern sense of incomprehensible. But if by in 
comprehensible be understood, not to be comprehended within 
any bounds, it will then answer to the Latin pretty nearly. The 
translator here followed the Greek copy c , taking perhaps the 
Greek to be the originall&ngu&ge wherein the Creed was written. 
However, some Latins have understood by immensus, incompre 
hensible^, in such a sense as has been hinted. 

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost 

None of the Persons ever began to be, nor shall ever cease to 
be ; they always were, they always will be, and must be ; the 
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. 

n. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal. 

Some account ought to be given of this manner of speaking, 
because it often occurs in the Creed, and may be thought most 
apt to offend the malicious, or to mislead the unwary. The 
way of speaking came in a little after the middle of the fourth 
century, and then only into the Latin Church ; for the Greeks 
never used it, but taught the same things under a different form 
of expression. What Greeks and Latins both intended was, 
that as the three Persons are one substance and one God, so 
every divine perfection, and every substantial attribute, belonging 
to any one Person, is common to all ; and there is nothing peculiar 
to any one but the divine relations : to the Father, paternity, 
and whatever it implies or carries with it; to the Son, filiation ; 
to the Holy Ghost, procession. In this account, eternity, immens 
ity, omnipotence, and the like, being substantial attributes, are 
common to all the three Persons ; who have therefore one eter 
nity, one immensity, one omnipotence, and so on, as one substance 
and one Godhead : thus far Greeks and Latins agreed both in 

c There are two printed Greek versions exactly follow the Latin 

copies which read d<ard\r]jrTos, original. As does also the Primmer 

Stephens's, first printed by Bryling, of 1539, set forth by John Bishop of 

and Baifius's, first printed by Gene- Rochester ; and the other later one of 

brard : which two copies are in the 1555, by C.Pole. The first has un- 

main one. Our translators, in 1548, measurable, (where we have incom- 

could have seen none but Bryling's, prehensible,) the other has without 

that is, Stephens's copy. The Con- measure. 

stantinopolitan copy published by d Immensus Pater: non mole, sed 

Genebrarcl reads airetpot; the Palatine potestate omnia concludente. Vel 

copy, by Felckman, antrpos. The immensus, id est, incomprehensibilis. 

Saxon, French, and old English Abtclard. in Symb. Athanas. p. 368. 


doctrine and expression. But the Latins, building hereupon, 
thought it very allowable to go a little further, (which the 
Greeks did not,) and to express the same thing by saying, of the 
three Persons, that they are one eternal, one immense, one omni 
potent, one holy, one uncreated, &c. And this was the current 
language at the making, and before the making of this Creed. 
The Arians were the sole occasion of introducing both kinds of 
expression, which must therefore be interpreted accordingly. 
Two things were designed by them : one, to obviate the Arian 
tenet, that the three Persons were differing in bind, and in de 
gree, as being of unequal perfections ; the other, to obviate the 
Arian charge, or calumny, upon the Church, as making three 
Gods. In regard to the former, when the Catholics speak of 
one Divinity, they intend equal Divinity, not Divinities differing 
in kind or degree : and in regard to the latter, they further mean 
undivided and inseparable Divinity, not many Divinities. The 
true meaning then, and the full meaning of the expressions of 
the Creed will be very clear and obvious. The three Persons 
are equal in duration, and undivided too ; one eternity (one, 
because undivided, and inseparable) is common to all, and there 
fore they are not three eternals, but one eternal. 

The oldest writers who have used this way of expression are, 
so far as I have observed, Ambrose, Faustinus, and Austin : 
and their meaning in it is very plain and certain from the 
places themselves where they make use of it. Fulgentius, who 
came not long after them, sometimes falls into the same manner 
of expression ; but sparingly, as if he either did not fully attend 
to it, or had some scruple about it : for his general way is to say, 
" not three eternal Gods, but one eternal God f ," instead of the 

* Relativa nomina Trinitatem fa- f ^Eternus est sine initio Pater, 

ciunt, essentialia vero nullo modo tri- aeternus est sine initio Filius, seternus 

plicantur. Deus Pater, Deus Filius, est sine initio Spiritus Sanctus : nee 

Deus Spiritus Sanctus. Bonus Pater, tamen tres Dii seterni sed unus aeter- 

bonus Filius, bonus Spiritus Sanctus. nus Deus. Fulgent, ad Ferrand. p. 234. 

Pius Pater, pius Filius, pius Spiritus Immensus est Pater, sed immensus 

Sanctus. Justus Pater, Justus Filius, est Filius, et immensus est et Spiritus 

Justus et Spiritus Sanctus. Omnipo- Sanctus: nee tamen tres Dii immensi, 

tens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omni- sed unus Deus immensus. Fulgent. 

potens et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen ibid. p. 232. 

non dicimus nee tres Deos, nee tres Omnipotens est Pater; sed omni- 

bonos, nee trespios, nee tresjustos, nee potens est Fib'us, omnipotens est Spi- 

tres omnipotentes, sed unum Deum, ritus Sanctus : nee tamen tres Dii 

bonum, pium, justum, omnipotentem, omnipotentes, sed unus Deus omni- 

Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sane- potens est Pater, et Filius, et Spiritus 

turn. Fulgent, de Trin. c. ii. p. 330. Sanctus. Fulgent, ibid. 


other in the Creed ; and so in the like cases. Which indeed is 
a very insipid and dull way of expressing it, and if applied to 
every article in the Athanasian Creed, would make it a very flat 
composition in comparison to what it is. It is true, that all at 
length resolves into this, that the three Persons are not three 
Gods, but one God: this is the ground and foundation, and the 
other is the superstructure. But then it is a fine and elegant, 
as well as a solid superstructure ; improving the thought, and 
carrying on a train of new and distinct propositions, and not 
merely a jejune and sapless repetition of the same thing. 

12. As also there are not three incomprehemibles, nor three un 
created ; but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible'. 

Not three incomprehensibles, &c. as not differing either in kind 
or degree of incomprehensibility, nor yet divided in those per 
fections : but one incomprehensible, and one uncreated, one as 
to the kind and degree of those attributes, or perfections ; and 
one in number too, as much as union and inseparability, infinitely 
close and perfect, can be conceived to make, or do really make 

13. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and 
the Holy Ghost Almighty. 

Equally Almighty every one, without any difference or in 
equality in kind or degree. 

14. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty. 
One omnipotence, or almightiness, is common to all three ; 

one in kind as being of equal extent, and equally reaching over 
all ; and one also in number, because of the inseparable union 
among the three, in the inward perfection, and outward exercise, 
or operation. 

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost 
is God. 

The whole three persons equally divine, and enjoying every 
perfection belonging to the Godhead. 

1 6. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God. 

Because the Godhead, or Divinity, which belongs to one, 

K Here again, one may perceive prehensibles, but one uncreated, &c. 

what copy our translators followed, Only the Ambrosian Latin copy reads, 

namely, Bryling's Greek copy. All not three uncreated, nor three incom- 

the other copies, Greek and Latin, prehensibles, (immense,) but one incom- 

place the words in a different order : prehensible (immense) and one un- 

not three uncreated, nor three incom- created. 


belongs to all : the same in kind because of the equality, and 
the same in number because inseparably one. 

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy 
Ghost Lord. 

Having the same right of dominion, and of equal dominion ; 
and equally exercising it, when and where they please. 

1 8. And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. 

Because one dominion is common to all three, jointly possess 
ing, and jointly exercising every branch of it ; undividedly and 
inseparably bearing supreme rule over all. 

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to ac 
knowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord ; so are we 
forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, There be three Gods or 
three Lords. 

That is to say, the whole foundation of what hath been before 
taught rests upon this, that the same Christian verity, or truth, 
laid down in Scripture, obliges us to acknowledge every Person 
distinctly considered to be God and Lord; and at the same 
time to reject the notion of three Gods or three Lords: which 
being so, all that has been here taught must of course be 
admitted as true, right, and just. And now, having considered 
the equality and union of the three sacred Persons, it may next 
be proper to consider their distinction, as it is set forth to us in 
Scripture by the several personal characters belonging to the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

20. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. 
Were I at liberty to make conjectural emendations, I would 

here read, Pater a nullo est: neque factus, nee &c. The Father 
is of none: neither made nor created, &c. And thus the next 
article ( TJie Son is of the Father alone) would better answer, 
and the whole would be more elegant. But having met with no 
copy h to countenance such a correction, I must not pretend to 
it, lest it should appear like correcting the author. However, 
the sense is very plain and obvious. All the three negatives here 

h Lazarus Baifius's copy, in Gene- Indeed, the first Greek copyin Labbe's 

brard, reads 6 -narrfp air ov8tv6s tan. Councils, and third in Montfaucon, 

But then it entirely omits ITOUJTOS, run in such a way as I suppose : but 

which, as is plain from what follows then I take them to have been patched 

in the Creed, ought not to be omitted, up from several distinct copies, at the 

Had the copy run thus, dif ovStvos pleasure of the editor or editors : and 

ttrn, ovTt fjifjv TTOIIJTOS, ovTf KTivT&s &c. none of the Latin copies will warrant 

it would have answered my meaning, such a reading. 


predicated of the Father amount to this one, that he is abso 
lutely of none : this is his peculiar property, his distinguishing 
character, to be first in order, and the head of every thing ; to 
whom even the Son and Holy Ghost are referred, but diversly 
and in different manner. 

2 1 . The Son is of the Father alone ; not made, nor created, but 

The Son is here said to be of the Father alone, in contra 
distinction to the Holy Ghost, to be named after, who is not of 
the Father alone, but of both. The Greeks that struck out the 
words, and of the Son, below, and left the word alone here, were 
not aware of it. This conduct of theirs betrayed a shortness of 
thought, and at the same time served to shew that the Latins 
had not been interpolators of the Creed, but that the Greeks had 
been curtailers. It must however be owned, that the Greeks 
who drew up that form which Bishop Usher printed from Junius 
were wise enough to observe how this matter stood ; and there 
fore struck out the word alone here, as well as and of the Son, 

22. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son ; neither 
made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding. 

The peculiar and distinguishing character of the Holy Ghost 
is to proceed, and to proceed both from Father and Son. Indeed, 
the Son and Holy Ghost are both of the Father, but in a different 
manner, to us inexplicable ; one by the way of generation, the 
other by procession, though the word procession, in a lax sense, 
has been sometimes applied to either. However, to proceed 
from the Father and the Son, or, as the Greeks will needlessly 
cavil, from the Father by the Son ; that is peculiar to the Holy 
Ghost. The Greeks and Latins have had many and tedious dis 
putes about the procession. One thing is observable, that though 
the ancients, appealed to by both parties, have often said that 
the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, without mentioning 
the Son, yet they never said that he proceeded from the Father 
alone ; so that the modern Greeks have certainly innovated in 
that article, in expression at least, if not in real sense and 
meaning. As to the Latins, they have this to plead, that none 
of the ancients ever condemned their doctrine ; that many of 
them have expressly asserted it; that the Oriental churches 
themselves rather condemn their taking upon them to add any 
thing to a Creed formed in a general council, than the doctrine 


itself; that those Greek churches that charge their doctrine as 
heresy, yet are forced to admit much the same thing, only in 
different words ; and that Scripture itself is plain that the Holy 
Ghost proceeds at least by the Son, if not from him ; which yet 
amounts to the same thing. 

I should here observe, that some time before the compiling of 
this Creed, the usual Catholic way of speaking of the Holy 
Ghost was to say, that he was nee genitus, nee ingenitus, neither 
begotten nor unbcgotten, while this Creed, by barely denying him 
to be begotten, seems to leave room to think that he is unbegotten. 
This raised a scruple in the minds of some, here in England, 
concerning that part of the Creed, above seven hundred years 
ago ; as we learn from Abbo Floriacensis of that time. For 
Gregory's Synodicon admitted here, as well as this Creed, had 
the very expression concerning the Holy Ghost, nee ingenitus, 
nee genitus. It might have been easy to end the dispute, only 
by distinguishing upon the equivocal meaning of the word 
ingenitus. It had been taken from the Greek dyenjTos, which 
signifies not barely unbegotten, but absolutely underived: in 
this sense the Holy Ghost could not be said to be ingenitus. 
But if it barely means not begotten, it may be applied to him, as 
it is in the Creed. The whole difficulty then arose only from 
the scantiness of the Latin tongue, in not affording a single 
word which should fully express the Greek, ayevrjTos, unoriginate. 
Ingenitus might tolerably do it ; but the word was more com 
monly taken in a narrower construction. Peter Abelard has 
hit off the whole difficulty very clearly ; whose words therefore 
I have thrown into the margin *. 

23. So there is one Father, not three Fathers ; one Son, not three 
Sons ; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. 

Whether this paragraph be borrowed from St. Austin, or 
from an elder writer under the name of Ignatius, I know not. 
The foundation of it was laid in i Cor. viii. 6. " One God the 
" Father," and " one Lord Jesus Christ ;" to which it was 

1 Solum itaque Patrem ingenitum tamen ideo est ingenitus, cum ipse ab 

dicimus, hoc est, a seipso non ab alio : alio sit, tarn a Patre scilicet quam a 

unde Augustinus adversus Felicianum Filio procedens. Solns itaque Pater 

Arianum; Patrem ingenitum dico, quid ingenitus dicitur, sicut solus Filius 

non processit ab altero Aliud ita- genitus : Spiritus vero Sanctus nee 

que dicere est Patrem ingenitum, aliud genitus est, nee ingenitus, sed, ut 

nongenitum Spiritus vero Sanctus dictum est, non genitus. Abeelard. 

ipse quoque est non genitus Nee Introd. ad Theolog, lib. i. p. 983. 


usual to add, after reciting it, and one Holy Ghost, to complete 
the whole number of the divine Persons. The intent and pur 
port of the words, in this Creed, is to set forth the distinction of 
the three Persons, and their several offices and characters : that 
there is one father, and that he alone is unoriginate, is first 
Person, is Head, &c. and neither the Son nor Holy Ghost have 
any share in these titles or characters, to make three Unori~ 
ginates, three Heads, &c. That there is one Son, and he alone 
begotten, and afterwards incarnate, &c. which characters and 
offices belong not to the other two, but are distinct, and appro 
priate to one. And there is one Holy Ghost, whose character is 
to proceed, and whose office is to sanctify, which character and 
office are not to be ascribed, in the same sense, to the other 
two : for that would be confounding the personal characters and 
offices, and making three Holy Ghosts, instead of one. 

34. And in this Trinity, none is afore or after other ; none is 
greater or less than another ; but the whole three Persons are co- 
eternal together, and coequal. 

The compiler of the Creed now returns to the equality and 
unity of the Persons ; that he may at length sum up and throw 
into a short compass what he had said upon the Trinity, before 
he should pass on to the other great article, the Incarnation. 
When it is said, none is afore or after other, we are not to under 
stand it of order ; for the Father \sfirst, the Son second, and the 
Holy Ghost third in order. Neither are we to understand it of 
office; for the Father is supreme in office, while the Son and 
Holy Ghost condescend to inferior offices. But we are to 
understand it, as the Creed itself explains it, of duration 
and of dignity ; in which respect, none is afore or after, 
none greater or less, but the whole three Persons coeternal and 

25. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity 
and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. 

In all things, (per omnia,) as is aforesaid. One of the Greek 
copies tacks these words to the former article, making them 
run thus ; coequal in all things, as aforesaid. Another Greek 
copy reads them thus, coequal in all things : so that in all things, 
as is note said, &c. Both interpret the all things of the coequal- 
ity in all things. And indeed Venantius Fortunatus, in his 
comment, long before, seems to have understood per omnia in 
the same way, to signify that the Son is what the Father is, in 


all essential or substantial perfections. And it is favoured both 
by what goes before and after: for from speaking of the 
coeternity and coequality, the author proceeds to say, So that in 
all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in 
Unity is to be worshipped ; namely, on account of their perfect 
coeternity and coequality : to which he subjoins, He therefore that 
will le saved, &c. Wherefore I incline to the moderate opinion 
of those who think that the author here does not lay the stress 
upon every little nicety of explication k before given, but upon 
the main doctrine, of a coequal and coeternal Trinity. Which is 
the very construction given by Hincmar, nine hundred years 
ago, or nearly 1 . And Wickliff's comment upon the same pas 
sage, when put into a modern dress, may appear not contempti 
ble. " And so we conclude here, as is before said, that there is 
" both an Unity of Godhead, and a Trinity of Persons ; and 
" that the Trinity in this Unity is to be worshipped above all 
" things ; and whosoever will be saved must thus think of the 
" Trinity, if not thus explicitly, (or in every particular,) yet 
" thus in the general, or implicitly." 

26. He therefore that loill be saved must thus think of the 

Thus, as consisting of three Persons, coeternal and coequal, and 
all one God; distinct enough to be three, united enough to be 
one ; distinct without division, united without confusion. 

27. Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he 
also believe rightly m the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Much depends upon our having true and just sentiments of 
the Incarnation, in which the whole economy of our salvation is 
nearly concerned. To corrupt and deprave this doctrine is to 

k Le Quien's ingenuous and hand- l Et in hac Trinitate nihil est prius, 

some reflection, upon the conduct of nihil posterius ; nihil majus, aut 

Pope Gregory the IXth's Legates, minus ; sed totae tres Personse coae- 

may deserve a recital here. terna? sibi sunt et coseqiiales : ita ut 

Quamquam non possum quin in- per omnia, et Unitas Deitatis in 

genue fatear nuncios apostolicos con- Trinitate Personarum, et Trinitas 

sultius facturos fuisse, si ab ejusmodi Personarum in Unitate Deitatis vene- 

sententia pronuntianda sibi temperas- randa est. Hincm. de non Trin. Deit. 

sent; Qui credit Spiritum Sanctum tom.i. p. 540. 

non procedere ex Filio, in via per- m 'Op6a>s TrtorevoT?. So Bryling's 

ditionis est .- tune quippe temporis Greek copy. The Latin copies have 

Ecclesia Catholica in nulla synodo jideliter credat. Some Greek copies 

generali hoc de capite judicium de- read Trtoroir, or /3/3<uW, though two, 

finitprium tulerat. Panopl. contr. besides Bryling's, have also op0>s. 
Schism. Gracor. p. 360. 


defeat and frustrate, in a great measure, the gospel of Christ, 
which bringeth salvation ; wherefore it is of great moment, of 
everlasting concernment to us, not to be guilty of doing it our 
selves, nor to take part with those that do. 

28. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. 

There have been heretics who would not allow that our 
Saviour Christ was man, but in such a sense as a shadow, or a 
picture of a man, may be called a man : and there have been 
others who would not allow that Christ is God, but in such a 
sense as any creature whatever might be called or may be made 
a God. But all good Christians have ever abhorred those vile 
tenets, and conformably to Scripture, rightly and justly inter 
preted, have believed and confessed that Christ is both really 
God and really man, one God-man. 

29. God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the 
worlds ; and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the 

We are forced to be thus particular and expressive, in the 
wording of this article, because of the many wiles, equivocations, 
and disguises of those who endeavour to corrupt the faith. 
The Arians make of Christ a created God, and call him God on 
account only of his office, and not of his nature or unchangeable 
substance. For this reason, we are obliged to be particular in 
expressing his substance, as being not frail, mutable, perishing, as 
the substance of creatures is, but eternal and unchangeable, and 
all one with the Father's. On the other hand, the Apollinarians 
and other heretics have pretended, either that Christ had no 
human body at all, or that he brought it with him from heaven, 
and took it not of the Virgin- Mother : we are therefore forced 
to be particular in this profession, that he was man of the sub 
stance of his mother : which, though it be not taught in express 
words, yet is very plainly the sense and meaning of holy Scrip 
ture on this article ; and was never questioned, till conceited 
men came to pervert the true doctrine of sacred Writ by false 
glosses and comments of their own. 

30. Perfect God, and perfect Man of a reasonable soul and 
human flesh subsisting. 

Here again, the perverseness of heretics has made it necessary 
to guard the faith by strong and expressive words that cannot 
easily be eluded. Christ is perfect God, not such a nominal im- 



perfect God as Arians and Photinians pretend. He is moreover 
perfect man, which it is necessary to insist upon against the 
Apollinarians, who pretended that he had a human body only 
without any rational soul ; imagining the Logos to have supplied 
the place of the rational or reasonable soul : whereas in reality 
he had both soul and body, as all men have, and was therefore 
perfect man. 

31. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead : and inferior 
to the Father, as touching Ms Manhood. 

Which needs no comment. 

32. Who although lie be God and Man, yet he is not two, but one 

This is said, to guard against calumny and misconstruction. 
For because the Church asserted two natures in Christ, whereby 
he is both perfect God and perfect man, the Apollinarians, having 
an hypothesis of their own to serve, pretended that this was 
making two Christs, a divine Christ as to one nature, and a 
human Christ in the other: which was a vain thought, since 
both the natures joined in the one God-man make still but one 
Christ, both God and man. 

33. One, not by conversion of the Godhead intojksh, but by taking 
of the Manhood into God. 

The Apollinarian way of making one Christ by confounding 
the two natures in one, and by subjecting the Godhead to change, 
is here condemned. There is no need of running these injudi 
cious and absurd lengths for solving the difficulty how the two 
natures make one Christ : he did not change his divine nature, 
or convert it into flesh, though he be said to have been made 
flesh ; he took flesh upon him, he assumed human nature, took 
man into an union with God, and thus was he one Christ. 

34. One altogether, not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of 

We are thus forced to distinguish, with the utmost nicety 
and accuracy, to obviate the cavils and pretences of heretics. 
Christ then is one altogether, entirely one, though his two natures 
remain distinct. He is not one by confounding or mingling two 
natures or substances into one nature or substance, (as the 
Apollinarians pretended,) but by uniting them both in one Person; 
one I, one He, one Christ, as Scripture every where represents. 

35. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man ; so God and 
Man-is one Christ. 


That is to say, there are two very distinct and different sub 
stances in man, a body and a soul ; one material, the other 
immaterial, one mortal, the other immortal ; and both these 
substances, nevertheless, make up but one man. Not by con 
founding or mingling those two different substances, (for they 
are entirely distinct, and different, and will ever remain so,) but 
by uniting them in one Person. Even so may the two distinct 
natures, divine and human, in Christ, make one Person ; and this 
is really and truly the case in fact. 

36. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose 
again the third day from the dead. 

The author having finished his explication of the great article 
of God incarnate, now goes on to other parts of the Creed, such 
as were commonly inserted in the Creeds before. The article of 
the descent into Jiell had not indeed, at this time, come into the 
Roman, otherwise called the Apostles' Creed ; but it had been 
inserted in the Creed of Aquileia, and had been all along the 
standing doctrine of the Church. I shall leave it, as our Church 
has left it, without any particular interpretation ; referring the 
reader to those who have commented on the Apostles 1 Creed, 
and particularly to the much admired author of the history of it, 
who hath exhausted the subject. 

37. He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the 
Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the 
quick and the dead. 

These are all so many articles of the Roman Creed, and pro 
bably taken from it : excepting only, that the words God Al 
mighty appear not in the most ancient manuscripts ; and, very 
probably, were not originally in this Creed, any more than in 
the ancient Roman. 

38. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, 
and shall give account for their own works. 

Here are two very expressive phrases, all men, all that have 
died, or shall die, to obviate the false opinion of a partial resur 
rection ; and with their bodies, to obviate the notion of those, who 
either thought that the soul only should continue for ever, while 
the body should be left to perish, or that the resurrection-body 
should be quite of another matter, form, or kind, than what our 
bodies are here. I have hinted in my Latin notes above, that 
some words are wanting in the Ambrosian manuscript ; and I 
may here observe further, that in the words of the Creed, as 


they commonly run, there is not all the accuracy that might 
have been : for all men shall not rise, but only all that die. 
However, it seems that about that time there was some variety 
of sentiments in respect of that article, as we may learn from 
Gennadius"; which was owing to the different reading of i Cor. 
xv. 5 1 . from whence probably arose some variation in the copies 
of this Creed. See Pearson on the Apostles 1 Creed, Artie. 7. 

39. And they tJiat have done good shall go into life everlasting, 
and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. 

This is the express doctrine of Scripture, and appears almost 
in the same words, John v. 28. Matt. xxv. 46. to say nothing of 
many other texts to the same effect. Yet this article, or rather 
these two articles, had not gained admittance into the Apostles' 
Creed so early as the fourth century, the latter of them not at 
all. But, I suppose, the opinion said to have been started by 
Origen, that wicked men, and even devils, after a certain revo 
lution, should have their release and restoration, might make it 
the more necessary, or convenient at least, to insert these articles 
in the Creeds, and to express the punishment of the damned by 
the words eternal fire : for the Origenists, at that time, denied 
both the eternity of the fire, and also its reality, as appears from 
Orosius in St. Austin . 

40. This is the Catholic Faith, ichich except a man believe faith 
fully r P, he cannot be saved. 

This is to be understood, like all other such general propo 
sitions, with proper reserves and qualifying constructions. As 

n Omnium hominum erit resur- clesias lege, carnis resurrectionem 

rectio; si omnium erit, ergo omnes credere futuram de morte. Gennad. 

moriuntur, ut mors ab Adam ducta Eccles. Dogm. c. 7. 

omnibus filiis ejus dominetur, et ma- Ignem sane aeternum, quo pecca- 

neatillud privilegium in Domino, quod tores puniantur, neque esse ignem ve- 

de eo specialiter dicitur : Non dabis rum, neque eeternum praedicaverunt, 

sanctum tuum videre corruptionem. dicentes dictum esse ignem propriae 

Hanc rationem, maxima patrum conscientiae punitionem, eeternum au- 

turba tradente, suscepimus. Verum tern, juxta etymologiam Grgecam, non 

quia sunt et alii, aeque Catholici et esse perpetuum, &c. Epist. Orosii 

cruditi viri, qui credunt, anima in ad August, inter Aug. Op. torn. viii. 

corpore manente, mutandos ad incor- p. 607. 

ruptionem et immortalitatem eos qui P Hurras irio-Ttvay. So Bry ling's 

in adventu Domini vivi inveniendi copy, which our translators followed, 

sunt, et hoc eis reputari pro resurrec- The Latin copies havefideliter^fir- 

tiane ex mortuis, quod mortalitatem miterque crediderit. And the other 

immutatione deponant, non morte; Greek copies, TTIO-T&S re KOI /3f/3m'9 

quolibet quis adquiescat modo, non iria-Ttixrr]. Or, '*c iriffrcas fiffialuts m- 
est hsereticus, nisi ex contentione 
baereticus fiat. Sufficit enim in EC- 


for instance, if after laying down a system of Christian morality, 
it be said, This is the Christian practice, which except a man faith 
fully observe and follow, he cannot be saved ; it would be no more 
than right and just thus to say : but no one could be supposed 
hereby to exclude any such merciful abatements, or allowances, 
as shall be made for men's particular circumstances, weaknesses, 
frailties, ignorance, inability, or the like ; or for their sincere in 
tentions, and honest desires of knowing, and doing the whole will 
of God ; accompanied with a general repentance of their sins, 
and a firm reliance upon God's mercy, through the sole merits of 
Christ Jesus. There can be no doubt, however, but that men 
are accountable for their faith, as well as for their practice : and 
especially if they take upon them to instruct and direct others, 
trusting to their own strength and parts, against the united 
judgment and verdict of whole churches ancient and modern. 


The Church of England vindicated,, both as to the receiving and 
retaining the Athanasian Creed. 

THERE would be no occasion for this chapter, had not a 
late author^ of name and character, out of his abundant zeal to 
promote Arianism, taken upon him to disparage this excellent 
form of faith ; nay, and to apply, with some earnestness, to the 
governors of our Church, to get it laid aside. He thinks " it 
" may well deserve the most serious and deliberate consideration 
" of the governors of the Church, whether it would not be more 
" advantageous to the true interest of the Christian religion, to 
" retain only those more indisputable forms q ;" that is, to have 
this wholly taken away, or at least not imposed in our Articles 
or Liturgy. Then he subjoins his reasons : which because they 
may be presumed to be the closest and strongest that can be 
offered on that side, and because they have hitherto stood with 
out any particular confutation on one hand, or retractation on 
the other, I shall here take upon me to answer them, as briefly 
as may be. 

The first is, that " this Creed is confessed not to be Athana- 

i Clarke's Script. Doctr. edit, ist, p. 446, 447. 


" sius's, but the composition of an uncertain obscure author, 
" written in one of the darkest and most ignorant ages of the 
" Church ; having never appeared till about the year 800, nor 
" been received in the Church till so very late as about the year 

" 1OOO." 

Axsw. As to the false facts contained in this article, I need 
only refer to the preceding sheets. As to the Creed being none 
of Athanasius's, which is certainly true, it is to be considered, 
that our Church receives it not upon the authority of its com 
piler, nor determines any thing about its age or author: but we 
receive it because the truth of the doctrines contained in it 
" may be proved by most certain warrants of holy Scripture," 
as is expressly said in our eighth article. I may add, that the 
early and general reception of this Creed by Greeks and Latins, 
by all the western churches, not only before, but since the Re 
formation^ must needs give it a much greater authority and 
weight than the single name of Athanasius could do, were it ever 
so justly to be set to it. Athanasius has left some Creeds and 
Confessions, undoubtedly his, which yet never have obtained the 
esteem and reputation that this hath done : because none of 
them are really of the same intrinsic value, nor capable of doing 
the like service in the Christian churches. The use of it is, to 
be a standing fence and preservative against the wiles and equi 
vocations of most kinds of heretics. This was well understood 
by Luther, when he called it, a bulwark to the Apostles' Creed* ; 
much to the same purpose with what has been above cited from 
Ludolphus Saxo s . And it was this and the like considerations 
that have all along made it to be of such high esteem among all 
the reformed churches, from the days of their great leader. 


The second reason assigned for flaying this form aside is, 
" that it is so worded, as that many of the common people cannot 

1 Athanasii scilicet Symbolum est Causa multiplicationis Symbolorum 

paulo prolixius, et ad confutandos fuit triplex : instructio fidei, veritatis 

Arianos haereticos, aliqnanto uberius explanatio, erroris exclusio. Erro- 

declarat et illustrat articulum alterum ris exclusio, propter haereses multi- 

de divinitate Christi Jesu estcjue plices pullulantes, causa fuit Symboli 

hoc velut propugnaculum prirai illius Athanasii, quod cantatur in prima. 

Apostolici Symboli. Luther, de Trib. Alexand.Al<ms.y!arLi\i.Q.6().Membr. 

Symbol. Oper. torn. vii. 0.138. ii. p. 541. Johan. Januensis in his 

8 Thus also Alexander of Hales, Catholicon, (an. 1286.) under symbo- 

100 years before Ludolphus. him, says the same thing. 


" but be too apt to understand it in a sense favouring either 
" Sabellianism or Tritheism" 

Axsw. This objection is not particularly levelled against this 
Creed, but against all Creeds containing the doctrine of a coetemal 
Trinity in Unity : it is therefore an objection rather against the 
faith of the Church, (which those gentlemen endeavour con 
stantly to run down, under the notion of Sabellianism or Tri 
theism,) than against this particular form of expressing it. 

I may further add, that the common people will be in no danger 
of running either into Sabellianism or Tritheism, if they attend 
to the Creed itself, (which fully obviates and confutes both those 
heresies,) instead of listening to those who first industriously 
labour to deceive them into a false construction of the Creed, and 
then complain of the common people's being too apt to misunder 
stand it. This is not ingenuous nor upright dealing with the 
common people. 


A third reason is, that " there are in this Creed many phrases, 

" which may seem to give unbelievers a needless advantage 

" of objecting against religion ; and among believers themselves, 
" cannot but to the vulgar have too much the appearance of 
" contradictions : and sometimes (especially the damnatory 
" clauses) have given offence to the piousest and most learned 
" men, insomuch as to have been the principal reason of Mr. 
" Chillingworth's refusing to subscribe the XXXIX Articles." 

ANSW. As to unbelievers and their objections, the Church has 
been always able and willing to answer them ; sorry at the same 
time to find that any, who call themselves Christians, should 
join with the unbelievers in the same trifling objections, thereby 
giving the unbelievers a very needless advantage, and the most 
pernicious encouragement. As to vulgar believers, they suspect 
no contradictions, till some, who think themselves above the 
vulgar, labour to create such a suspicion in them. Leave the 
vulgar to their better guides, and their true orthodox pastors, 
without endeavouring to corrupt or seduce them ; and then all 
will be safe and easy. 

As to Mr. Chillingworth, he had for a while, it is owned, some 
scruples upon him, about the Fourth Commandment as apper 
taining to Christians, and about the damnatory clauses in the 
Athanasian Creed ; and therefore refused to subscribe for a time. 
This was in the year 1635. But within three years after, upon 


more mature consideration, he happily got over his difficulties, 
and subscribed, July the 2oth, in the year 1638 ; as stands upon 
record in the Office of Sarum, where he was instituted Chan 
cellor of the Church 1 . 


A fourth reason offered, not for laying aside this Creed, I 
suppose, but for the governors' taking it into consideration, is, 
that " the preface to the Book of Common Prayer declares that 
" particular forms of divine worship, and rites and ceremonies 
" appointed to be used therein, being things in their own nature 
" indifferent and alterable, may, upon the various exigency of 
" times and occasions, be changed or altered." 

ANSW. No doubt but the Church may, if it be thought proper 
or expedient, throw out all the Creeds out of her daily Service, 
or Articles, and retain one only, in the Office of Baptism, as for 
merly. But, I suppose, the authors of the preface to the Book 
of Common Prayer had no thought of excluding any of the three 
Creeds amongst their alterable forms of worship, or rites and 
ceremonies: nor will the revival of Arianism be ever looked upon 
as one of those exigencies of times that shall make it expedient 
to part with our Creeds ; but a reason rather for retaining them 
the more firmly, or even for taking them in again, had any of 
them ever been unhappily thrown out. 


A further reason pleaded is, that "Scripture alone is suffi- 
" cient; that the primitive Church was very cautious about 
" multiplying Creeds ; that the Council of Ephesus forbad, under 
" the penalty of an anathema, any other Creed after that of Nice 
" to be proposed or received in the Church." 

ANSW. The whole design and end of Creeds is to preserve 
the rule of faith, as contained in the holy Scriptures, and not in 
the false glosses and corrupt inventions of men u . And when 
endeavours are used to poison those fountains of truth by ill com- 

' Ego Gulielmus Chillingworth, contentis volens et ex anirno subscribe, 

Clericus, in Artibus Magister, ad Can- et consensum meum eisdem prabeo, 

cellariatum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Bea- vicesirao die Julii, 1638. Gulielmus 

tae Mariae Sarum. una cum Preebenda Chillingworth. 

de Brinworth, alias Bricklesworth, in Ou y b p i y Z8ofv dvdpunois avvt- 

comitatu Northampton Petriburgensis re'fy ra rfjs mWw XX' eV ndarjs ypa- 

diceceseos in eadem ecclesia fundata, 0^ T a KatpioWa <rv\\f X 0fVTa 

et eidem Cancellariatui annexa, ad- ava-K\rjpoi rr^v T^S mo-recur diSavK 

mittendus et instituendue, omnibus Cyrill. Catech. V. c. 12. p. 78. 
hisce Articulis, et singulis in eisdem 



n/etits and forced constructions, preservatives must be thought 
on to keep the fountain pure, and the faith sound and whole. 

As to the primitive churches, their constant way was to en 
large their Creeds in proportion to the growth of lieresies ; that 
so every corruption arising to the faith of Christ might have an 
immediate remedy : without which prudent and wise caution, the 
faith would have been lost, in a little time, through the wiles 
and artifices of subtle, intriguing men. 

The Council of Ephesus made no order against new Creeds, 
that is, Creeds still more and more enlarged, if there should be 
occasion, but against a new faith, (trepav nivriv,) a faith different 
from and repugnant to that of Nice, such as was offered by the 
Nestorians in that Council. This is the literal construction, and 
real intended meaning of that decree of the Ephesine Council x : 
though, had they intended it against the receiving any other form 
but the Nicene, all that follows from it is, that they thought no 
more necessary at that time ; or that definitions in councils, (as 
in the Council of Chalcedon afterwards,) or condemnation of 
heretical tenets, might suffice, leaving the baptismal Creed (all 
Creeds were such at that time) just as was before. However, 
the practice of the Church afterwards, in multiplying Creeds as 
need required, at the same time that they acknowledged the 
Ephesine Council, shews fully how they understood it. Nay, the 
constant reception of the Constantinopolitan Creed (which is the 
Nicene interpolated, and yet was never understood to be ex 
cluded by the Ephesine Canon) shews plainly the sense of the 
Synod in that matter. It is to be noted, that the Ephesine 
Council, by Nicene Creed, meant the Nicene strictly so called?, 
and which had already been interpolated by the Constantino 
politan Council. 


z Another plea offered is, that in the year 1689 many wise 

* Md. Stephan. de Altimura (i. e. 
Le Quien) Panopliam contra Schism. 
Graec. p. 230, 158. et Dissertat. Da- 
mascen. p. 14, &c. 

y Vid. Le Quien, ibid. p. 230. et 
Dissert. Damascen. p. 18. 

z Since writing the above, I have 
received a copy of that very Kubrick, 
which I shall here add, for the in 
formation of the reader, and to put an 
end to all further dispute upon that 

" Upon these Feasts, Christmas- 
Day, Easter-Day, Ascension-Day, 
Whit-Sunday, Trinity-Sunday, and 
upon All-Saints, shall be said at 
Morning Prayer, by the minister 
and people standing, instead of the 
Creed, commonly called the Apo 
stles' Creed, this confession of our 
Christian faith, commonly called the 
Creed of St. Athanasius : the arti 
cles of which ought to be received 
and believed as being agreeable to 


and good prelates of our own (commissioned to review and 
correct our Liturgy) u unanimously agreed, that the use of the 
" Athanasian Creed should no longer be imposed." 

ANSW. There may be reason to question the truth of this 
report. There are two accounts which I have seen of this 
matter ; one of Dr. Nichols, the other of Dr. Calaray, which he 
received of a friend. Dr. Nichols's account runs thus : " Atha- 
" nasius's Creed being disliked by many, because of the damna- 
" tory clauses, it was left to the minister's choice, either to use it, 
" or to change it for the Apostles 1 Creed a ." Dr. Calamy's 
account is thus : " About the Athanasian Creed they came at 
" last to this conclusion : that lest the wholly rejecting it should 
" by unreasonable persons be imputed to them as Socinianism, 
" a Rubrick shall be made, setting forth or declaring the curses 
<4 denounced therein not to be restrained to every particular 
" article, but intended against those that deny the substance of 
" the Christian religion in general b ." Now, from these two 
accounts compared, it may be reasonable to believe that those 
wise and good prelates had once drawn up a scheme to be 
debated and canvassed, in which scheme it was proposed to leave 
every minister at liberty with respect to the Athanasian Creed : 
but, upon more mature consideration, they came at last to this 
conclusion: to impose the Creed as before, and to qualify the 
seeming harshness of the damnatory clauses by a softening 
Rubrick. They were therefore, at length, unanimously agreed 
still to retain and impose this Creed ; quite contrary to the 
Objector's report. And indeed it must have appeared very 
astonishing in the eyes of all the reformed churches, Lutheran 
and Calvinist, (who have the greatest veneration for this Creed,) 
to have seen it wholly rejected by the English Clergy, when 
there had been no precedent before of any one Church in Chris 
tendom that had done the like. All that ever received it have 
constantly retained it, and still retain it. It is further to be 
considered, that what those very worthy prelates at that time 

" the holy Scriptures. And the con- as it stands in the original book now 

" demning clauses are to be under- in the hands of my Lord Bishop of 

" stood as relating only to those who London. Novemb. 7, 1727. 
" obstinately deny the substance of a Nicholsii Apparat. ad Defens. 

" the Christian faith." Eccl. Angl. p. 95. 

This, word for word, is the Rubrick t> Calamy's Life of Baxter, vol. i. 

as it was settled and finally agreed p. 455. 
on by the commissioners in 1689, and 


intended, sprung from a just and becoming tenderness towards 
the Dissenters, because of their long scruples against the dam 
natory clauses : but there is not the same reason at this day. 
The wiser and more moderate part of the dissenting ministers* 
seem very well reconciled to the damnatory clauses, modestly 
expounded,- as Dr. Wallis particularly has expounded them, 
justly and truly, as well as modestly. And I am confident the 
soberer Dissenters would not, at this time, wish to see so excel 
lent and so useful a form of faith laid aside, only to serve the 
interests of our new Arians. However, since the damnatory 
clauses were the main difficulty, a better way might have been 
contrived than was then thought on ; namely, to have preserved 
the whole Creed, except those clauses which are separable from 
it. But the best of all, as I humbly conceive, is what has 
prevailed, and still obtains, to let it stand as before ; since the 
damnatory clauses have been often and sufficiently vindicated 
by the Reformed Churches abroad d , as well as by our own 


It is pleaded further, mostly in the words of Bishop Taylor, 
that the " Apostles' Creed is the rule of faith," that this only is 
u necessary to baptism," that what was once " sufficient to 
' bring men to heaven must be so" now ; that there is no occa 
sion for being so minute and particular in the matter of Creeds ; 
with more to the like purpose. 

c This Creed, by whomsoever " Creed, the hest explication of it I 

framed, hath been long received in the " ever read." Doctrine of the Trinity 

Church, and looked on as agreeable to stated, &c. by some London Ministers, 

the Scriptures, and an excellent expli- p. 62, 63. 

cation of the Christian faith. Con- d Tentzelius, a Lutheran, is very 

stantinople, Rome, and the Reformed smart upon this head against the Ar- 

Churches have owned it our pious minians, for their objecting to the 

and excellent Mr. Baxter, in his damnatory sentences. 

Method of Theol. p. 123. speaks thus Verum injuste, atque impudenter 

of it: " In a word, the damnatory sen- accusant initium Symboli, quod pri- 

" tences accepted, or modestly ex- dem vindicarunt nostrates theologi. 

" pounded," (such a modest explica- Dannhawerus in Stylo vindice, p. 200. 

tion of the damnatory clauses see in Hulsemannus de Auxiliis Gratise, p. 

Dr. Wallis, &c.) " I embrace the 218. Kromayerus in Theologia posi- 

" Creed commonly called Athana- tivo polemica, p. 98, 99. et in Scru- 

" sius's, as the best explication of the tinio Religionum, p. 205. aliique pas- 

" Trinity." And in vol. ii. of his sim. Tentzel. p. no. To these which 

Works, p. 132. says he, " I unfeign- Teutzelius has mentioned, I may add 

" edly account the doctrine of the David Pareus, (a Calvinist,) in his 

" Trinity, the sum and kernel of the comment upon this Creed, published 

" Christian religion, as expressed in at the end of Ursinus's Catechism, 

" our Baptism, and Athanasius's A. D. 1634, by Philip Pareus. 


ANSW. i . Dr. Taylor goes upon a false supposition that the 
Creed called the Apostles' was compiled by the Apostles. 

2. He has another false presumption, appearing all the way 
Jn his reasonings on this head, that the Apostles' Creed has 
been always the same that it is now : whereas learned men know 
that it was not brought to its present entire form till after the 
year 600 e ; is nothing else but the baptismal Creed of one 
particular church, the Church of Rome, and designedly short for 
the ease of those who were to repeat it at baptism. Now when 
we are told of the Apostles 1 Creed containing all that is necessary 
to salvation, and no more than is necessary ; we would gladly know 
whether it be meant of the old short Roman Creed f , or of the 
present one, considerably larger : and if they intend the old one, 
why application is not made to our governors to lay the new one 
aside, or to curtail and reduce it to its primitive size ; by leaving 
out the Belief, or profession of God's being Creator of heaven and 
earth, and of Christ's being dead, and of his descent into hell, and 
of the Church being Catholic, and of the communion of saints*, 
and life everlasting, as unnecessary articles of faith. For why 
may not that suffice now, which was once sufficient ? Or how can 
any thing be necessary at this day, that was not so from the 
beginning ? 

3. To set this whole matter right, it ought to be considered, 
that Creeds were never intended to contain, as it were, a certain 
quantity of faith, as necessary to bring men to heaven, and no 
more than is necessary. Were this the case, all Creeds ought 
precisely to have consisted of an equal number of articles, and 
the same individual articles : whereas there are no two Creeds 
any where to be found which answer to such exactness. A plain 
argument that the Church, in forming of Creeds, early and late, 

e I know not whether the words, 
Maker of heaven and earth, can be 
proved, by any certain authority, to 
have come into that Creed before the 
eighth century: for after the best 
searches I have been hitherto able to 
make, I can find no copy (to be de 
pended upon) higher than that time, 
which has that clause. 

1 The old Roman (or Apostles') 
Creed was no more than this, as may 
be seen in Bishop Usher, de Symbol. 
p. 6 and 9. 

" I believe in God the Father 

Almighty : and in Jesus Christ his 
only Son our Lord ; who was born 
of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin 
Mary ; crucified under Pontius 
Pilate, and buried, rose again the 
third day from the dead, ascended 
into heaven, sitteth at the right 
hand of the Father, from whence 
he shall come to judge the quick 
and dead. And in the Holy Ghost, 
the holy Church, the remission of 
sins, the resurrection of the body. 


went upon no such view, but upon quite another principle. The 
design of all was, to keep up as strictly as possible the whole 
compares, or fabric of the Christian faith as it stands in Scriptures: 
and if any part came to be attacked, they were then to bend all 
their cares to succour and relieve that part, in order still to 
secure the whole. Some few of the main stamina, or chief lines, 
were taken care of from the first, and made up the first Creeds : 
particularly the doctrine of the Trinity briefly hinted, and scarce 
any thing more, because the form of baptism led to it. As to 
other Articles, or larger explications of this, they came in oc 
casionally, according as this or that part of the Christian faith 
seemed most to be endangered, and to require present relief. 
And as this varied in several countries or churches, (some being 
more disturbed than others, and some with one kind of heresy, 
others with another,) so the Creeds likewise varied ; some in 
sisting particularly upon this article, others upon that, as need 
required, and all still endeavouring to keep up and maintain one 
whole and entire system of the Christian faith, according to the 
true and full meaning of sacred Writ. There is nothing more 
in it than the very nature and circumstance of the thing neces 
sarily leads to. I may illustrate the case a little further by an 
easy parallel between matters of faith and matters of practice. 
The sum of Christian practice is contained in two brief rules ; to 
love God, and to low one's neighbour; which comprehend all. 
No one needs more than this ; nor indeed can there be any 
thing more. But then a perverse man may possibly understand 
by God, not the true God, the God of Jews and Christians, but 
some other of his own devising, or such as has been received by 
Pagans or heretics : and he may understand by neighbour one of 
his own country only, or tribe, or sect, or family. Well then, to 
obviate any such method of undermining Christian practice, it 
will be necessary to be a little more particular than barely to 
lay down in brief to love God and one's neighbour : we must add, 
the true God, the God of Jews and Christians, that very God 
and none else : and as to neighbour, we must insist upon it, that 
it means, not this or that sect, tribe, party, &c. but all mankind. 
And now our rule of practice begins to extend and enlarge itself 

ov Travrts SvvavraiTas ({; dfiadias airo\(rdai, tv oAi'yots rots 

ypa<pay avayivuxrKttv, aXXa TOVS (*fv <rri\ois TO irnv 8dy/za rrjs irltrrtfas iff- 

(OMtma, TOVS 8f a(T\o\ia TIS f/i7ro8if ptXa/xjSai/o/xfi/. Cyrill. Catech. V. n. 

irpbs TTJV yvoxriv' vrrep TOV ^17 TT^V ^\rv\riv 1 2. p. 78. 


beyond its primitive simplicity ; but not without reason. To 
proceed a little further : mistakes and perverse sentiments may 
arise in the interpreting the word love, so as thereby to evacuate 
and frustrate the primary and fundamental rule : to correct and 
remove which, it may be necessary still further to enlarge the 
rule of practice, and to branch it out into many other particulars ; 
which to mention would be needless. Now if such a method as 
this will of course be necessary to preserve the essentials of 
practice , let it not be thought strange if the like has been made 
use of to preserve the essentials of faith. There is the same 
reason and the like occasion for both : and if due care be taken 
in both, to make all the branches hang naturally upon the 
primary and fundamental rules, and to adopt no foreign ones, as 
belonging thereunto when they really do not ; then there is 
nothing in this whole affair but a just and prudent care about 
what most of all deserves it, and such as will be indispensably 
required in every faithful minister, or steward of the mysteries 
of God. To return to our point in hand : as more and more of 
the sacred truths, in process of time, came to be opposed, or 
brought in question ; so Creeds have been enlarged in propor 
tion ; and an explicit profession of more and more articles re 
quired of every candidate for baptism. And because this was 
not security sufficient, since many might forget, or not know, or 
not attend to what they had professed in their baptism, (by 
themselves or by their sureties,) it was found highly expedient 
and necessary to insert one or more Creeds in the standing and 
daily Offices of the Church, to remind people of that faith which 
they had solemnly engaged to maintain, and to guard the un 
wary against the wily attempts of heretics to pervert them. 
This is the plain and true account of Creeds, and of their use in 
the Christian churches. And therefore, if any man would talk 
sense against the use of this or that Creed in any Church, he 
ought to shew either that it contains such truths as no man ever 
did, or in all probability ever will oppose, (which will be a good 
argument to prove the Creed superfluous,) or that it contains 
articles which are not true, or are at best doubtful; which will 
be a good argument to prove such a Creed hurtful. Now, as to 
the Athanasian form, it will hardly be thought superjluous, so 
long as there are any Arians, Photinians, Sabellians, Macedo 
nians, Apollinarians, Nestorians, or Eutychians in this part of 
the world : and as to its being hurtful, that may then be proved 


when it can be shewn that any of those forementioned heresies 
were no heresies, or have not been justly condemned. 

If it be pleaded that the vulgar, knowing little of any of thoso 
heresies, will therefore know as little of what the Creed means ; 
and so to them it may be at least dry and insipid, if not wholly 
useless : to this I answer ; that there are no kinds of heretics but 
hope to make the vulgar understand their tenets respectively, and 
to draw them aside from the received faith of the Church : and 
therefore it behoves the pastors of the Church to have a standing 
form, to guard the people against any such attempts. The vul 
gar will understand, in the general, and as far as is ordinarily to 
them necessary, the main doctrines of a Trinity in Unity, and 
of God incarnate : and as to particular explications, whenever 
they have occasion to look further, they will find the true ones 
laid down in this Creed ; which will be useful to prevent their 
being imposed upon at any time with false ones. If they never 
have occasion to go further than generals, there is no hurt done 
to them by abundant caution : if they have, here is a direction 
ready for them to prevent mistakes. It is not pretended that 
all are capable of seeing through every nicety, or of perceiving 
the full intent and aim of every part of this form, and what it 
alludes to. But as many as are capable of being set wrong in 
any one branch, (by the subtilty of seducers,) are as capable of 
being kept right by this rule given them : and they will as easily 
understand one side of the question, as they will the other. The 
Christian churches throughout the world, ever since the multi 
plication of heresies, have thought it necessary to guard their 
people by some such forms as these in standing use amongst 
them. The Oriental churches, which receive not this Creed into 
their constant Offices, yet more than supply the want of it, 
either by other the like Creeds h , or by their solemn stated 
Prayers in their Liturgies, wherein they express their faith as 
fully and particularly (or more so 1 ) as this Creed does : and they 
are not so much afraid of puzzling and perplexing the vulgar by 
doing it, as they are of betraying and exposing them to the 
attempts of seducers, should they not do it. For which reason 
also they frequently direct their prayers to God the Son, as well 

h See the Creed of the Armenians lib. iii. c. 5. and Renaudot's Orient, 
in Sir P. Ricaut, p. 411, &c. Liturg. passim. 

1 Ste Ludolphus Histor. 


as to God the Father; being in that case more solicitous than the 
Latin churches have been, because they have been oftener dis 
turbed by Arians, and other impugners of Christ's divinity k . 

Upon the whole, I look upon it as exceeding useful, and even 
necessary, for every church to have some such form as this, or 
something equivalent, open and common to all its members; 
that none may be led astray for want of proper caution, and 
previous instruction in what so nearly concerns the whole 
structure and fabric of the Christian faith 1 . As to this par 
ticular form, it has so long prevailed, and has so well answered 
the use intended, that, all things considered, there can be no 
sufficient reason for changing any part of it, much less for laying 
the whole aside. There are several other Creeds, very good 
ones, (though somewhat larger,) which, had they been made 
choice of for common use, might possibly have done as well. 
The Creeds I mean (of which there is a great number) drawn up 
after the Council of Chalcedon, and purposely contrived to obviate 
all the heresies that ever had infested the Christian Church. But 
those that dislike this Creed would much more dislike the other; 
as being still more particular and explicit in regard to the Nes- 
torian, Eutychian, and Monothelite heresies and equally full 
and clear for the doctrine of the Trinity. 

To conclude ; as long as there shall be any men left to oppose 
the doctrines which this Creed contains, so long will it be expe 
dient, and even necessary to continue the use of it, in order to 
preserve the rest: and, I suppose, when we have none remain 
ing to find fault with the doctrines, there will be none to object 
against the use of the Creed, or so much as to wish to have it 
laid aside. 

k Nam cum omnes orationes Latini 
Canonis, ex vetustissima traditione, 
ad Deum Patrem dirigantur ; in Ori- 
ente plures ad Filium.- nempe, quia 
magis conflictata est Arianorum, et 
aliorum qui ejus divinitatem impug- 
nabant, contentionibus Orientals, 
quam Occidental Kcclesia. Re- 
naudot. de Orient. Liturg. vol. i. p. 

1 To this purpose speaks Johannes 
Pappus, in the name of the Lutheran 
churches, commenting on the Augs 
burg Confession. 

Semper in Ecclesia scriptorum quo- 

rundam publicorum usus fuit, quibus 
doctrines divinitus revelata? de certis 
capitibus summa comprehenderetur, 
et contra haereticos, aliosque adver 
saries defenderetur. Talia scripta, 
licet perbrevia, sunt Symbola ilia 
totius Ecclesiae, omnium hominum 
consensu recepta, Apostolicum, Ni- 
caenum, Athanasianum. Joan. Papp. 
Comm. in Confess. August, fol. 2. 

I take this upon the credit of Nic. 
Serarius, who quotes the passage from 
Pappus. Serar. in Symb. Athanas. 
p. 9. torn. 2. 



570. I INTIMATED above, p. 136. that Fortunatus's com 
ment upon the Athanasian Creed, though before published, 
might deserve a second publication, and be made much 
more correct than it appears in Muratorius's second tome of 

I have made frequent use of it in the preceding sheets : and 
now my design in reprinting it is, to let the reader see what the 
comment is which I so frequently refer to; that so he may 
judge for himself whether it really be what I suppose, and I 
think with good reason, a comment of the sixth century, and 
justly ascribed to Fortunatus. I have endeavoured to make it 
as correct as possible, by such helps as I could any where 
procure ; which are as follow : 

1. The printed copy of it, published by Muratorius from a 
manuscript of the Ambrosian library, about 600 years old. 

2. A manuscript copy from Oxford, found among Franciscus 
Junius's manuscripts, which appears, by the character, to be 
about 800 years old. As it is older than Muratorius's, so is it 
also more faithful ; and though it has a great many faults both 
in the orthography and syntax, owing either to the ignorance of 
the age or of the copyist, yet it does not appear to have been 
interpolated like the other, or to have been industriously altered 
in any part. 

3. Besides those two copies of the entire comment, I have had 
some assistance from such parcels of it as are to be met with in 
writers that have borrowed from it. Bruno's comment furnishes 
us with some parts which he had taken into his own. But there 
is, among the supposititious works ascribed to St. Austin, a 
treatise entitled Sermo de Symbolo, which has several scattered 
fragments of this very comment in it. The whole treatise is a 
farrago, or collection from several other writers; as Ruffinus, 
Csesarius, Pope Gregory I, and Ivo Carnotensis. By the last 
mentioned, one may be assured that the collection is not older 
than the close of the eleventh century; it may be later. It 

m Augustin. Oper. torn. vi. in Appendice, p. 278. ed. Bened. 



will be serviceable however, so far as it goes, for restoring the 
true readings where our copies are corrupt ; which is the use I 
make of it. 

Nothing now remains but to lay before the learned reader 
Fortunatus's comment in its native language, and therewith to 
close up our inquiries concerning the Athanasian Creed. 

The various lections, all that are properly such, are carefully 
noted at the bottom of the page ; that so the reader may judge 
whether the text be what it should be, or correct it, if it appears 
otherwise. But I should hint, that there are several little varia 
tions in the Oxford manuscript, which I take no notice of, as 
not being properly various lections. 

i. Such as are merely orthographical: as a permutation of 
letters ; using d for t, in capud and reliquid, for caput and 
reliquit ; e for z, in trea for tria ; and i for 0, in calit for calet, 
and the like : o for u in servolis, p for b in optenit for obtinet ; v 
consonant for b, in enarravit for enarrabit ; though such as this 
last is might be noted among various lections, in cases more 

To this head may be referred some antique, and now obsolete 
spellings : inmensus for immensus, inmortalis for immortalis, inlesus 
for illcesus, conlocavit for collocavit, dinoscitur for dignoscitur, and 
the like. 

a. Active terminations of verbs, for passive: as finire for 
finiri, cogitare for cogitari ; though these may be referred to 
the former head, being only changing the letter for the letter 
e. Dominat for dominatur I take notice of among the various 

3. Faults in the formation of verbs: as abstuleret for tolleret, 
vivendos for viventes ; to which may be added morsit for momordit, 
having been long out of use. 

4. Manifest faults in concord : as humani carnis, for humane? ; 
eodem captivitate, for eadem. But where there can be any doubt 
of the construction, I mark such among the various lections, 
leaving the reader to judge of them. 

These and other the like niceties are generally neglected in 
editions of authors ; it being both needless and endless to note 
them. But I was willing to hint something of them in this place, 
because they may be of use to scholars for the making a judg 
ment of the value of a manuscript ; and sometimes of the time or 
place ; as also of the manner how a copy was taken, whether by 


the ear or by the eye, from word of mouth, or merely from a 
writing laid before the copyist. Besides that if we can distinguish 
in the present case, as perhaps a good critic may, the particulari 
ties of the author from those of his transcribers; they may 
possibly afford some additional argument for the ascertaining 
the author of the comment. 


no circitei 

vult salvus esse b , ante omnia opus est ut teneat 
Catholicam Fidem : quam nisi quisque integram, inviolatamque ser- 
vaverit, absque dubio in ceternum peribit c . 

Fides dicitur credulitas, sive credential [Primo ergo omnium 
Jides necessaria est> sicut Apostolica docet auctoritas dicens ; sine 
fide impossibile est placere Deo. Constat enim neminem ad veram 
pervenire posse beatititdinem, nisi Deo placeat ; et Deo neminem 
placere posse, nisi per Jidem. Fides namque est bonorum omnium 
fundamentum, fides humance salutis initium. Sine hac nemo ad 
Filiorum Dei potest consortium pervenire ; quia sine ipsa nee in 
hoc seculo quisquam justificationis consequitur gratiam, nee infuturo 
vitam possidebit esternam. Et si quis heic non ambulaverit per 
fidem, non perveniet adspeciem beatam Domini nostri Jesu Christi e .~\ 
Catholica universalis dicitur, id est, recta, quam Ecclesia uni- 
versa f ten ere debet. EcclesiaS dicitur congregatio Christiano- 

a Ita se habet titulus in Codice Trin. lib. i. cap. 2. p. 707.) Alcuinus 

Muratorii. Aliter in Oxoniensi, viz. vero maximam partem mutuatus est 

Expositio in Fide Catholica: pro in a Fulgentio. (De Fid. ad Petrum 

Fidem Catholicam, ex corrupta lo- Prolog, p. 500. ed. Paris.) Sed varia 

quendi ratione apud Scriptores setatis exeraplaria varie sententiam claudunt. 

mediae. Fulgentius legit, non perveniet ad spe- 

b Esse salvus. Cod. Murat. ciem ; nee quicquam ultra. Alcuinus, 

c Posterior haec Symboli clausula, non perveniet ad speciem beatce visionis 

incipiens a quam nisi, non habetur in Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Ab utris- 

Cod. Oxoniensi. que abit lectio Muratorii. 

d Ita Cod. Oxon. prima hsec peri- f Universa Ecclesia. Cod. Mur. et 

cope deest in Murator. Conf. Brun. Brunonis. 

in Symb. B t Cod. Muratorii habet quippe, 

e Quas uncinulis includuntur, non post Ecclesia : quam voculam, utpote 

comparent in MS. Oxoniensi. Nee ineptam, saltern otiosam, expunximus, 

enim Fortunati videntur esse, sed fide Cod. Oxoniensis. Conf. Brunon. 

Alcuini potius ; apud quern eadem in hoc loco, 
fere verbatim leguntur. (De Fid. 



rum, sive conventus populorum. [Non enim, sicut conventicula 
hfcreticorum, in aliquibus regionum partibus coarctatur, sed per 
totum terrarum orbem dilatata diffiinditur^J] 

Ut unum Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in Unitate veneremur: 
et credamus, et colamus, et confiteamur [Trinitatem in Personis, 
unitatem in substantia. Hanc quoque Trinitatem Personarum, 
atque unitatem natures propJieta Esaias revelatam sibi non tacuit, 
cum se dicit seraphim vidisse clamantia, Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, 
Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Ubi prorsus in eo quod dicitur tertio 
Sanctus, Personarum Trinitatem ; in eo vero quod semel dicimus 
Dominus Deus Sabaoth, dimnce naturae cognoscimus unitatem' } .] 

Neque confundentes Personas: ut Sabellius errat, qui ipsum 
dicit esse Patrem in Persona quern et Filium, ipsum et Spiritum 
Sanctum. Non ergo confundentes Personas, quia tres omnino 
Personse sunt k . Est enim gignens, genitus, et 1 procedens. 
Gignens est Pater, qui genuit Filium ; Filius est genitus, quern 
genuit Pater ; Spiritus Sanctus est procedens, quia a Patre et 
Filio procedit. Pater et Filius coseterni sibi sunt et cosequales ; 
et cooperatores, sicut scriptum est ; Verbo Domini coeli firmati m 
sunt, id est, a Filio Dei creati, Spiritu* oris ejus, omnis virtus 
eorum. Ubi sub singulari numero, Spiritus ejus dicit P, [unitatem 
substantiae Deitatis ostendit; ubi sub plurali numero, omnis 
virtus eorum dicit 9,] Trinitatem Personarum aperte demonstrat, 
quia tres unum sunt, et unum tres. 

Neque substantiam separantes : ut Arius garrit, qui sicut tres 

h Uncis hie inclusa non habentur 
in Codice Oxoniensi. Verba nimi- 
rum sunt, non Fortunati, sed Isidori 
Hispal. Orig. lib. viii. cap. i. 

1 Quae uncis comprehensa hie le- 
gere est, non comparent in Codice 
Oxoniensi. Verba sunt Alcuini (de 
Trin. lib. i. cap. 3. p. 709.) in quo 
eadem plane, similique ordine inve- 
nias. Sunt porro eadem, uno voca- 
bulo dempto, apud Fulgentium (de 
Fid. ad Petrum, p. 503.) ordine etiam 
tantum non eodem. Verba autem ilia 
introductoria ; (viz. Trinitatem in 
Personis, unitatem in substantia) non 
leguntur in Fulgentio, nee quidem in 
Alcuino. Interpolator ipse, uti vide- 
tur, ex proprio ilia penu deprompta 
praemisit caeteris. Connexionis forte 

aliqualis conservandae gratia. 

k Tres PersontB omnino sunt. Murat. 

1 Deest et in Cod. Oxon-. 

m Formati. Cod. Oxon. Vid. Symb. 
Damasi dictum (apud Hieronym. 
torn. v. p. 122.) unde haec nosier, 
mutatis mutandis, desumpsisse vide- 

n Spiritus. Cod. Oxon. 

Leg. Spiritu, uterque vero Codex 
habet Spiritus. 

P Dicitur. Cod. Murat. 

1 Lacunam in Muratorio mani- 
festam (quippe cum desint ea verba 
uncis inclusa) ex Codice Oxoniensi 
supplevimus. Scilicet, vox dicit prox- 
ime recurrens librarii oculos (uti fit) 


Personas esse dicit, sic et tres substantias esse mentitur 1 ". Fi- 
lium dicit minorem quam Patrem, et creaturam esse ; Spiritum 
Sanctum adhuc rainorem quam Filium, et Patri et Filio eum 
esse administratorem 5 adserit. Non ergo substantial separantes, 
quia totse tres Personse in substantia Deitatis* unum sunt. 

Alia est enitn Persona Patris: quia Pater ingenitus est, eo 
quod a nullo est genitus. Alia Persona Filii, quia Filius a Patre 
solo est u genitus. Alia Spiritus Sancti, quia a Patre et Filio 
Spiritus Sanctus x procedens est. 

Sed Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti una est Dimnitas : id est, 
Deitas. JEqualis Gloria : id est, claritas. Coceterna Majestas : 
Majestas gloria est, claritas, sive potestasy. 

Qualis Pater, tails Filius, talis et Spiritus Sanctus. Id est, in 
Deitate, et Omnipotentia. 

Increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus et Spiritus Sanctus. 
Id est, a nullo creatus 2 . 

Immensus Pater, immensus Filius, immensus et Spiritus Sanctus. 
Non est mensurabilis in sua natura, quia inlocalis est, a incircum- 
scriptus, ubique totus, ubique praesens, ubique potens. 

JEternus Pater, ceternus Filius, ceternus et Spiritus Sanctus. 
Id est, non tres seterni, sed in tribus Personis unus Deus seter- 
nus, qui sine initio, et sine fine seternus permanet. 

Similiter Omnipotens Pater, Omnipotens Filius, Omnipotens et 
Spiritus Sanctus. Omnipotens dicitur, eo quod omnia potest, et 
omnium obtinet potestatem b . Ergo, si omnia potest, quid est 
quod non potest ? Hoc non potest, quod Omnipotenti non corn- 
petit posse c . Falli non potest, [quia veritas est ; infirmari non 

r Ita clare Cod. Oxon. Aliter Mu- a Muratorii exemplar insertum ha- 

ratorius ex vitioso Codice; quia tres bet et, quod delendum esse censui, 

Personas esse dicit, si et tres substan- cum absit a Codice Oxon. et otiosum 

tins esse mentitur. Sensus impeditus, videatur. 

aut nullus. b Fortunatus, in sua Exposit. 

8 Et Patris et Filii eum administra- Symb. Apostolici, haec habet; Omni- 

torem esse adserit. Cod. Murat. Conf. potens vero dicitur, eo quod omnia 

Brunon. possit, et omnium obtinet potentatum. 

* Divinitatis. Cod. Oxon. ed. Basil, obtineat potestatem. ed. 

u A Patre est solo. Cod. Oxon. Lugd. Praeluserat Ruffinus, in Sym- 

x Desunt Spiritus Sanctus in Cod. bolum. 

Murat. quae tamen retinuimus, turn c S. Bruno, hunc opinor locum 

fide Cod. Oxoniensis, turn quia in prae oculis habens, his verbis utitur : 

antecedentibus Pater, et Filius bis Ergo, si omnia potest, quid est quod 

ponuntur, sicut et hie Sp. Sanctus. non potest ? Hoc non potest, quod non 

y Cod. Oxoniensis legit claritatis, convenit omnipotent^ posse. Brun. in 

sive potestas. Symb. Athanas. 

z Cod. Oxoniensis legit creati. 


potcst,] quia sanitas est d ; mori non potest, quia immortalis vita 
est ; finiri non potest, quia infinitus et perennis est. 

Ita y Dem Pater, Dew Filius, Deus et Spiritus Sanctus. 
[Deus nomen est potestatis, non proprietatis 6 ]. Proprium no-, 
men est Patris Pater ; et proprium nomen est f Filii Filius ; et 
proprium nomen est Spiritus Sancti Spiritus Sanctus. 

Ita, Dominus Pater, Dominus Filius, Dominus et Spiritus Sanc 
tus. Dominus dicitur, eo quod omnia dominat, et omnium est 
Dominus dominator*. 

Quia sicut singillatim (id est, sicut distinctim h ) unamquamque 
Personam et' 1 Deutn et Dominum confiteri Christiana veritate com- 
pellimur. Quia si me interrogaveris quid sit k Pater, ego re- 
spondebo; Deus, et Dominus. Similiter, si me interrogaveris 1 
quid sit m Filius, ego dicam; Deus, et Dominus. Et si dicis n , 
quid est Spiritus Sanctus ? Ego dico ; Deus, et Dominus. Et 
in his tribus Personis, non tres Deos, nee tres Dominos, sed inP 
his tribus, sicut jam supra dictum est,l unum Deum, et unum 
Dominum confiteor. 

Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres : id est, quia r Pater semper 
Pater, nee aliquando Filius. Unus Filius, non tres Filii : id est, 
quia Filius semper Filius, nee aliquando Pater. Unus Spiritus 

d Muratorius sententiam mancam, 
vitiatamque exhibet : Falli non potest, 
quia Sanctus est; omissis intermediis. 
Scilicet, vocabulum proxime repeti- 
tum describentis oculum delusit : et 
ne nullus hide eliceretur sensus, pro 
sanitas substitutum est sanctus. Haec 
porro sibimet adoptavit S. Bruno, 
pauculis mutatis, vel interjectis, ad 
hunc modum : Falli non potest, quia 
verilas et sapientia est ; eegrotari out 
infirmari non potest, quia sanitas est ; 
mori non potest, quia immortalis est , 
finiri non potest, quia infinitus et per 
ennis est. 

e Deest haec clausula in Codice 
Murator. sed confer Symbolum Da- 
masi dictum, quod Gregorii Boetici 
creditur, apud August, torn. v. p. 387. 
Append, item apud Hieronym. torn. v. 
p. 122. 

f Deest est. Murator. Conf. Brun. 

* Dominat, pro dominatur, et cum 
accusative, ex vitiata inferioris eevi 
Latinitate, vel ex scribae imperitia. 
Aliter Codex Muratorii, ex Isidori 
Origin, (lib. vii. cap. i.) Dominus 
dicitur, eo quod dominetur creatura 

cunctce, vel quod creatura omnis domi- 
natui ejus deserviat. 

h Distinctum. Oxon. distincte. Mu- 

1 Deest et. Cod. Murator. 

k Quid est. Murator. Eandem sen 
tentiam expressit S. Bruno, his ver- 
bis : Qaia si me interrogaveris quid 
est Pater, ego respondeo; Deus, et 

1 Et si me rogaveris. Cod. Oxon. 

m Est. Murator. Locum sic exhibet 
S. Bruno : Similiter, si interrogaveris 
quid est Filius, ego dico, Deus et Do 

n Dicas. Murator. 

Dicam. Murator. Apud Bnmonem 
sic legitur : Et si dicis, quid est Spi 
ritus Sanctus ? Ego respondeo .- Deus, 
et Dominus. 

P Deest in. Oxon. 

1 Supra dixi. Cod. Oxon. Sed Bru- 
nonis lectio Muratorii lectionem con- 

r Codex Oxon. pro quia habet qui, 
in hoc loco, et in duobus proxime se- 
quentibus. Utrumlibet elegeris, eo- 
aem fere res redit. 


Sanctus, non ires Spiritus Sancti : id est, quia Spiritus Sanctus 
semper est 8 Spiritus Sanctus, nee aliquando Filius, aut Pater. 
Hsec est proprietas Personarum. 

Et in hac Trinitate nihil prius, aut posterius, Quia sicut nun- 
quam Filius sine Patre, sic nunquam fuit Pater sine Filio, sic 
et nunquam fuit Pater et Filius sine Spiritu Sancto*. Coseterna 
ergo Trinitas, et inseparabilis Unitas, sine initio et sine fine u . 

Nihil majus, aut minus. ^Squalitatem Personarum dicit, 
quia x Trinitas sequalis est, et una? Deitas, Apostolo docente 2 , 
et dicente : Per ea, quce facta sunt, intellecta conspiciuntur ; et 
per creaturam Creator intelligitur, secundum has comparationes, 
et alias quamplures. Sol, candor, et calor, et tria sunt vocabula, 
et tria unum a . Quod candet, hoc calet, et quod calet, hoc can- 
det: tria hsec vocabula res una esse dignoscitur b . Ita c Pater 
et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, tres Personse in Deitate, substan 
tial unum sunt ; et individua unitas recte creditur. Item de ter- 
renis, vena, fons, fluvius, tria sunt 6 vocabula, et tria unum f in 
sua natura. Ita trium Personarum, Patris et Filii et Spiritus 
Sancti, substantia et Deitas unum ests. 

Est ergo Fides recta, ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus 
noster Jesus Christus^. Jesus Hebra'ice, Latine Salvator dicitur. 
[Christus Graece, Latine unctus vocatur. Jesus ergo dicitur 1 ] 
eo quod salvat populum : Christus, eo quod Spiritu Sancto divi- 

s In Cod. Oxon. deest est. hac vocabula res una cognoscitur. 

t Paulo aliter huncce locum expres- c Et post ita. Oxon. 

sit auctor Sermonis, inter Augustini d Codices habent substantia, (quod 

opera, (Append, torn. vi. p. 281.) tamen in Appendice praedictaomittitur 

Quia sicut nunquam Pater sine Filio, prorsus) et comma interponunt post 

nee Filius sine Patre ; sic et nunquam Persona. Prava interpunctio corri- 

fuit Pater et Filius sine Spiritu Sane- genda est, et levicula mutatione legen- 

to. Sed nihil mutandum contra fidem dum substantia: quod et vidit et mo- 

exemplarium. nuit vir quidam amicissimus simul et 

u In Appendice praedicta, sic legi- perspicacissimus. 

tur : Coeeterna ergo est Sancta Trinitas e Appendix legit hac, non sunt, 

&c. Oxon. tria itemque sunt. 

x Sancta Trinitas. Append. f Oxoniensis, res una. Append. 

y Una est Deitas. Append, una Dei- cum Muratorio, unum. 

tatis. Oxon. male. e Ita Murat. et Append. Oxonien- 

z In Cod. Oxoniensi desunt ilia sis legit, substantia, Deitas una est. 

docente et. Sed Append, lectionem h Oxoniensis adiicit, Dei Filius et 

Muratoriituetur, aliotamen verborum homo est. Inepte hoc loco, quod ex 

ordine ; dicente, atque docente. sequentibus patebit. 

a Ita Muratorius cum Appendice 1 Muratorii Codex omittit verba ilia 

praedict. Aliter MS. Oxon. viz. tria intermedia, uncis inclusa. Scilicet, 

sunt nomina, et res una. Quae eodem illud dicitur proxime repetitum ama- 

recidunt. nuensi hie iterum fraudi fuit. 

b In Appendice sic se habent ; tria 



nitus sit k delibutus, sicut in ipsius Christ! 1 Persona Esaias ait; 
Spintus Domini super me, propter quod unxit me, &c. Ita et 
Psalmista do Christo Domino dicit, m unxit te Deus, Deus turn, 
oleo l&titice prcB consortibus tuis. 

Dei Filius, Deus pariter et homo est. Filius a felicitate pa- 
rentum dicitur : homo ab humo dicitur ; id est, de humo n factus 

Deus est ex substantia Patris ante scecula genitus. Id est, Deus 
de Deo, lumen de lumine, splendor de splendore, fortis de forti, 
virtus de virtute, vita de vita, seternitas de seternitate : per oin- 
nia, idem? quod Pater in divina substantia hoc est eti Filius, 
Deus enim r Pater Deum Filium genuit, non voluntate, neque 
necessitate, sed natura. Nee quseratur quomodo genuit Filium 8 , 
quod et angeli nesciunt, prophetis est incognitum : unde teximius 
propheta Esaias dicit ; Generationem ejus quis enarrabit ? Ac si 
diceret u , angelorum nullus, prophetarum nemo x . Nee inenarra- 
bilis, et insestimabilis DeusF a servulis suis discutiendus est, sed 
fideliter credendus 2 , et pariter diligendus. 

Et homo* ex substantia, matris, in sceculo natus. Dei Filius, 
Verbum Patris, b caro factum. c Non quod Divinitas mutasset 
Deitatem, sed adsumpsit humanitatem. Hoc est, Verbum caro 
factum est, ex utero Virginis veram humanam carnem traxit. 
Et de utero virginali verus homo, sicut et verus Deus, est in 
saeculo natus, salva virginitatis gratia ; d quia mater, quse genuit, 
virgo ante partum, et virgo post partum permansit 6 . 

k Divinitus sit desunt in Cod. Oxon. 

1 Deest Christi. Murator. 

m Oxoniensis breviter, Item in P sal- 
mo, unxit &c. Notandum porro, quod 
qusedam habet Fortunatus noster, in 
commentario suo in Symbol. Apostol. 
hisce jam proxime descriptis perquam 
similia. Confer etiam Ruffin. in Sym 
bol, inter Oper. Hieronym. (torn. v. 


n De humo terra. Murator. 

Non habetur est in Murat. 
P Pro idem, id est. Murator. 

1 Deest et Cod. Oxon. His quoque 
gemina fere habes in Exposit. in Sym 
bol. Apostolicum. 

r Deest enim Cod. Oxon. Confer 
Symb. Damasi dictum. 

8 Quomodo genitus sit, quod angeli 

Oxon. At Muratorii lectioni asti- 

pulatur Appendix ad Augustin. (torn, 
vi. p. 279.) et Fortunatus ipse, Expos. 

in Symb. Apostol. 

* Unde et isdem. Cod. Murat. Conf. 
Fortunat. in Symb. Apostolicum. 

u Muratorius habet dixisset. 

x Angelorum nemo, prophetarum 
nullus. Cod. Oxon. 

y Deest Deus. Oxon. 

z Confer Fortunat. in Symb. Apo 
stol. et Append, apud August, p. 279. 
et Ruffin. Symb. 

a Homo est. Cod. Oxon. 

b Dei Filius, Verbum caro. Murat. 
Dei Filius Verbo Patris caro. Cod. 
Oxon. Ex utrisque veram, opinor, 
lectionem restituimus. 

c Et non. Cod. Murator. Expunxi- 
mus illud et, fide Codicis Oxon. 

d Salva virginitatis gratia desunt in 
Cod. Oxoniensi. 

e Ita Cod. Oxon. Muratorius, quia 
mater genuit, et virgo mansit ante par 
tum, et post partum. 


In sceculo. Id est, in isto sexto miliario, in quo nunc sumus, 
\secula enim generationibus constant, et inde secula, quod sequantur; 
abeuntibus enim aliis, alia succedunt f ]. " Deus et homo Christus 
" Jesus, unus Dei Filius et ipse Virginia Filius. Quia dum Deitas 
" in utero Virginis humanitatem adsumpsit, et cum ea per por- 
" tarn Virginis integram, et illsesam, nascendo mundum ingressus 
" est Virginis Filius ; et hominem (leg. homo) quern adsumsit, 
" id (leg. idem) est Dei Filium (leg. Filius) sicut jam supra dixi- 
" mus ; et Deitas et humanitas in Christo ; et Dei Patris pariter 
" et Virginis Matris Filius." 

Perfectus Dem, perfectus homo. Id est, verus Deus, et verus 
homo. s Ex anima rationali : et non ut Apollinaris h heereticus 
dixit prirnum, quasi Deitas pro anima fuisset in carne Christi ; 
postea, cum per evangelicam auctoritatem fuisset * convictus, 
dixit : Habuit quidem animam qufe vitificamt corpus, sed non 
rationalem. k E contrario, dicit qui Catholice sentit ; ex anima 
rationali et humana carne subsistens 1 : id est, plenus homo, atque 

uEqualis Patri secundum Divinitatem; minor Patre secundum 
humanitatem. Id est, secundum formani servi quam adsumere 
dignatus est. 

Qui licet m Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. 
Id est, duee substantise in Christo, Deitas et humanitas, non duse 
Personse, sed una est Persona ". 

Unus autem, non conversione Divinitatis in carnem , sed adsump- 

f Non comparent in Codice Oxoni- a quo solenne est nostro (quippe qui 

ensi. Verba sunt Isidor. Orig. lib. et ipse Aquileise olim doctnna Chris- 

v. cap. 38. Quae sequuntur proxime, tiana initiatus fuerat) turn verba, turn 

Deus et homo &c. usque ad matris sententias mutuari. 
Filius, desunt omnia in codice Mura- & Deest hsec clausula in Cod. Oxon. 

torii : ex Oxoniensi solo descripta ob vocabulum repetitum. 
dedimus. Videntur mihi Fortunati h Paulinaris. Cod. Oxon. Lectio 

re vera esse, sed librarii culpa (ut alia nata ex sermone simplici et plebeio. 
multa) mirum in modum vitiata; qua? 4 Fuit. Cod. Oxon. 
quidem ex conjectura aliquatenus cor- k Et e contrario iste dicit. Murat. 

rigere volui, ut Syntaxis saltern sibi Delevimus ilia et, atque iste quae 

constet, donee certiora, et raeliora ex sententiam turbant, fide Codicis Ox- 

Codicibus (si forte supersint aliqui) oniensis. 

eruantur. Caeterum, ut Fortunato ! Subsistit. Cod. Oxon. 

nostro haec ascribarn, illud suadet m Certe, loco TOV licet. Cod. Oxon. 

maxime, quod in expositione sua in n Est Persona desunt in Cod. Oxon. 

Symbolum Apostolicum gemina fere Cod. Oxoniensis habet carne, et 

habet de porta Virginis, eisdemque ibi Deo : errore, uti credo, pervetusto, 

nonnullis phrasibus utitur quibus hie multisque et antiquissintis exemplari- 

usus est. Confer Symbolum Ruffini, bus communi. Quod si verbis in 


tiow humanitatis in Deum . Id est : non quod Divinitas, quae 
immutabilis est, sit conversa in carnem P; sed ideo unus, eo quod 
humanitatem adsumsit, ccepitq esse quod non r erat, et non amisit 
quod erat ; coepit esse homo 8 quod antea non fuerat, non amisit 
Deitatem quae incommutabilis in seternum permanet *. 

Units omnino, non confusione substantite^ sed imitate Personce. 
Id est; Divinitas incommutabilis u cum homine, quern adsumere 
dignata x est, sicut scriptum est ; Verbum tuum, Doming, in ceter- 
num permanet. Id est, Divinitas cum humanitate ; ut diximus 
duas substantias unam Personamy esse in Christo : ut sicut ante 
adsumptionem [carnis, seterna fuit Trinitas, ita post adsumptio- 
nem z ] humanse naturae, vera maneat Trinitas ; ne propter ad 
sumptionem humanse carnis dicatur esse quaternitas, quod absit 
a Fidelium cordibus, vel sensibus, dici, aut cogitari, cum, ita a 
ut supradictum est, et Unitas in Trinitate, et Trinitas in Unitate 
veneranda sit. 

Nam sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo; ita Deus et 
homo unus est Christus. Etsi Deus b , Dei Filius, nostram luteam 
et mortalem carnein, nostrae redemptionis conditionem c adsump- 
serit, se tamen nullatenus d inquinavit, neque naturam Deitatis 
mutavit. Quia si sol, aut ignis aliquid immundum tetigerit, 
quod tangit purgat, et se nullatenus coinquinat : ita Deitas sar- 
cinam quoque e nostrse humanitatis adsumpsit, se nequaquam 

commentario immediate sequentibus 
(ex Muratorii lectione) steterimus, 
Fortunatus ipse nobis auctor erit, ut 
et Deum, et carnem, pro genuina lec 
tione habeamus. 

P Qua immutabilis et inconvertibilis 
est, caro; sed &c. Cod. Oxon. 

i Incipit. Cod. Oxon. 

r Deest non. Cod. Murat. male. 

8 Deest homo in Cod. Oxon. perpe- 
ram, item, incipit pro ccepit. 

* Muratorius legit, quia incommu 
tabilis in (sternum permanet : Cod. 
Oxoniensis, qua immutabilis in ater- 
num permansit. Ex utrisque tertiam 
lectionem confecimus ; quae, opinor, 
caeteris et venustior est, et aptior. 

u Immutabilis. Cod. Oxon. 

* Dignatus. Cod. Oxon. 

y Personam perperam omittit Cod. 

z Desunt in Codice Oxoniensi : prse- 
termissa scilicet festinantis librarii in- 

curia, ob vocem iteratam. 

a Pro cum ita, habet Cod. Oxon. 
nisi ita. 

b Murator. Cod. omittit Deus. 

c Cod. Oxoniensis, nostri redemp 
tionis conditionis adsumpsit. Nescio 
an melius Muratorius ; nostram lu 
team, et mortalem carnem nostree con 
ditionis adsumserit. Sed levi muta- 
tione, recte incedunt omnia. Conditio, 
apud Scriptores quinti et sexti saeculi, 
est servile onus, opusve. 

d Cod. Oxon. legit se nullatenus. 
Murator. Sed tamen se nullatenus. 
Noster vero in Exposit. in Symb. 
Apostol. in simili causa, hac utitur 
phrasi, se tamen non inquinat. 

e Oxoniensis habet, Deitas sarci- 
namque nostree humanitatis adsumpsit, 
se nequaquam &c. Muratorius hoc 
modo, Deitas sarcinam, quam ex nos- 
tra humanitate adsumpsit, nequaquam 
coinquinavit. Lectio frigida prorsus, 


coinquinavit, sed nostram naturam carnis, f quam adsumpsit, 
purgavit, et a maculis, et sordibus peccatorum, ac vitiorum 
expiavit : sicut Esaias ait ; Ipse infirmitates nostras accepit, 
et cegrotationes portavit. Ad hoc secundum humanitatem natus 
est, ut infirm itates nostras acciperet, et segrotationes portaret : 
non quod ipse infirmitates, vel aegrotationes in se haberet, quia 
salus mundi est; sed ut eas a nobis tolleret, dum suse sacrse 
passionis gratia, et sacraraento, chirographo adempto, redemp- 
tionem pariter et salutem animarum nobis condonaret. 

Quipassus est pro salute nostra. Id est, secundum id quod pati 
potuit : quod est, secundum humanam naturam ; nam secundum 
Divinitatem, Dei Filius impassibilis est. 

Descendit ad inferos* 1 . Tit* protoplastum Adam k , et patri- 
archas, et prophetas, et omnes justos, qui pro originali peccato 
ibidem detinebantur, liberaret; et de 1 vinculis ipsius m peccati 
absolutes, de eadem captivitate, et n infernali loco, suo sanguine 
redemptos, ad supernam patriam, et ad perpetuse vitse gaudia 
revocaret. Reliqui,P qui supra originale peccatum^ priricipalia 
crimina r commiserunt, ut adserit Scriptura, in poanali Tartaro 
remanserunt : sicut in Persona Christi dictum est per prophetam ; 
Ero mors tua, o Mors ; id est, morte sua Christus humani generis 
inimicam Mortem interfecit, et vitam dedit. Ero morsus tuus, 
inferne. Partim 5 momordit infernum, pro parte eorum quos 
liberavit : partem reliquit, pro parte eorum qui pro principalibus 
criminibus in tormentis remanserunt. 

Surrexit a mortuis primogenitus mortuorum : et alibi Aposto- 

et inepta. Juvat hue conferre quae J Qui, loco TOV ut. Cod. Oxon. At 

Fortunatus noster ad Symb. Apost. in Sermo de Symbolo, in Append, ad 

eandera sententiam breviter dictavit. August, (torn. vi. p. 281.) legit, cum 

" Quod vero Deus Majestatis de Muratorio, ut. 

Maria in carne natus est, non est k Adam protoplastum. Append. 

' sordidatus nascendo de Virgine, qui J Et ut de. Append. 

' non fuit pollutus hominem condens m Ipsius deest. Append. 

' de pulvere. Denique sol, aut ignis, n Deest et Cod. Oxon. 

' si lutum inspiciat, quod tetigerit Inferni. Append. 

' purgat, et se tamen non inquinat." P MuratoriushabettJeropostreZi^ai. 

Conf. Ruffin. Symb. p. 133. Oxon. non agnoscit. nee Append. 

* Nostree natures carnem. Murat. 1 Ita legitur in Appendice. Oxoni- 

s Muratorius legit, dum suce sacra ensis, supra originale peccato. Mura- 

passionis gratiam, et sacramenta .- torius, supra originali peccato. 

nullo sensu. Oxoniensis, dum sues sa- * Principalem culpam. Append. 

crce passionis gratice (pro gratia) ac s Muratorius, et Oxoniensis, in 

Sacramento. utroque loco, Partem. Appendix, in 

ll Adinferna. Cod. Oxon. Q. annon utroque, Partim. Media mihi lectio 

vetustissima haec fuerit lectio in Sym- maxime arridet. 
bolo Athanasiano, sicut in Apostolico? 



lus dicit ; Ipse primogenitus ex multis fratribus. Id est, primus 
a mortuis resurrexit. Et multa corpora** sanctorum dormientium 
cum eo surrexerunt) sicut evangelica auctoritas u dicit: Sed ipse, 
qui caput est, prlus, deinde qui* membra sunt continue. 

Postea ascendit ad ccelos: sicut Psaluiista ait; AscenditY in 
altum, captivam duxit captivitatem : id est, humanam naturam, 
quse prius sub peccato venundata fuit, et captivata ; eamque 
redemptam captivam z duxit in ccelestem altitudinem ; et ad 
ccelestis Patrise a regnum sempiternum, ubi antea non fuerat, 
eam b collocavit, in gloriam sempiternam. 

Sedet ad dexter am Patris: id est, prosperitatem paternam, et 
in c eo honore, quod d Deus est. 

Inde venturus e judicare vivos et mortuos. Vivos dicit eos quos 
tune adventus Doniinicus in corpore viventes invenerit ; [et mor 
tuos, jam ante sepultos. Et aliter dicit f ,] \\vmjustos, et mor 
tuos peccatoress. 

Ad cujus adventum omnes homines resurgere hdbent cum corpori- 
bus suis ; et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem : et qui bona 
egerunt, ibunt in vitam oeternam ; qui vero, mala, in ignem (sternum. 
Hcec est Fides Catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter, firmiterque 
crediderit, salvus esse non poterit. 

* Deest corpora in Cod. Oxon. 

11 In evangelica autoritate. Cod. 

x Qua membra. Cod. Oxon. 

y Ascendens. Murator. 

z Conf. tractatum anonymi apud 
Hieronym. torn. v. p. 130. et apud 
Augustin. torn. viii. p. 69. Append, 
et Isid. Hisp. p. 560. ed. Paris. 

a Cosiest em Patriam. Cod. Oxon. 

b Et pro earn. Murator. 

c In deest. Cod. Oxon. 

d Mallem quo, si per codices liceret; 
sed et quod, adverbialiter hie positura 
pro quia, sensurn non incommodum 
prae se ferre videtur. 

e Venturus est. Murator. 

f Quantum hie uncis includitur, 
omittit Codex Oxoniensis. Delusus 
est fortean librarius per binas literulas 

it bis positas: vel, simili errore de- 
ceptus, integram lineam prseterierit, 
dum in proxime sequentem occulos 

Operae pretium est pauca hie sub- 
jicere, quae noster habet in expositione 
sua in Symb. Apostolicum, " judica- 
' turns vivos et mortuos. Aliqui di- 
' cunt vivos, justos ; mortuos vero 
' injustos : aut certe, vivos, quos in 
' corpore invenerit adventus Domini- 
cus, et mortuos, jam sepultos. 
' Nos tamen intelligamus vivos et 
' mortuos, hoc est animas et corpora 
' pariter judicanda." Confer Ruffin. 
Symb. p. 140. et Method, apud Phot. 
Cod. 234. p. 932. Isid. Pelus. epist. 
222. lib. i. p. 64. Pseud. Ambros. de 
Trin. p. 331. 



ABBO, or Albo (Floria- 

censis) 125, 170, 184, 

Abelard 140, 148, 233, 


Adalbertus 124. 
Adrian I. (Pope) 156, 183, 

-<Eneas Parisiensis 109, 


Agobardus 123. 
Alcuinus 259, 260. 
Alexander (of Hales) 128, 

Alexander (Natalis) 115, 

151, 182, 216. 
Allatius (Leo) no, 128, 


Alstedius 182. 
Ambrose (St.) 176, 200, 

206, 208, 224, 225, 226. 
Amerbachius 168. 
Anastasius I. (Pope) 115, 


Anastasius II. (Pope) 202. 
Anastasius (Antioch.) 160. 
Anscharius 124, 183, 184. 
Antelmius 114, 126, 153, 

161, 213, 214. 
Antonius (Nicol.) 147. 
Aquinas 129, 187, 215. 
Arnoldus 127. 
Ashwell (George) no. 
Athanasius (Alex.) 199. 
Athanasius (of Spire) in. 
Augustinus (S.) 118, 162, 

aoo, 201, 202, 204, 208, 

209, 212, 215, 221, 222, 
22 9 , 257. 

Avitus Viennensis 180, 

| Autun (Council of) 118, 

136, 179. 

Bacon (Roger) 165. 
Baifius (Lazarus) 174, 177. 
Baldensal (William) 131. 
Bale 145. 
Baluzius 121. 
Baronius in, 114, 181, 


Beleth 127. 
Berno (Augiensis) 165. 
Beveridge 113. 
Bingham 115, 121. 
Bona (Cardinal) no, 131, 

160, 163, 180, 185, 186, 

189, 192. 
Bruno (Bp. of Wurtzb.) 

136, 137- 

Brunswick (Abbot) 227. 
Bryling (Nicol.) 174, 176. 
Cabassutius 113, 121. 
Csesarius (of Aries) 211, 

212, 257. 

Calamy (Dr.) 250. 

Caleca (Manuel) 131, 172, 


Calvisius 182. 
Cantilupe (Walter) 129. 
Carranza 148. 
Cassian (John) 212. 
Cave (Dr.) 112, 116. 
Caxton 145. 
Cazanovius 191. 
Chalcedon (Council of) 

Charles the Great 122, 155, 

178,184, 185,187. 
Chillingworth 247, 248. 
Clarke (Dr.) 116, 245. 
Claudianus Mamertus 204. 
Cochleus (Joh.) 137, 138. 

Le Coint 120. 

Combefis 131, 132, 190, 

201, 219, 220. 
Comber 113, 151. 
Covel 196. 
Cudworth in. 
Cyparissiota (Johannes) 

i?'. 175- 

Cyril (of Jerus.) 248, 253. 
Danhawerus 25 1. 
Denebertus (Bp.) 184. 
Dionysius (Milan ) i 76. 
Dodwell 1 80. 
Dupin 113, 1 20. 
Durants (William) 130. 
Dwell 164. 
Ephesine Council, 248, 


Epiphanius, 199, 207. 
Euphronius Presbyter 136. 
Eusebius (Verceil) 131, 


Exeter (Council of) 130. 
Fabricius no, 115, 121, 

127, 176, 178. 
Faustinus 200, 223. 
Felckman 161, 173, 177. 
Felix III. (Pope) 202. 
Fellerus (Joachim) 141. 
Flavian (Constantinop.) 

202, 210. 
Fortunatus (Venant.) 114, 

i34> i?9 2II > 2 57- 
Frankfort (Council of) 121, 

Fulgentius 203, 234, 259, 


Gavantus (Bartholm.) 182. 
Gaudentius (Brix.) 118. 
Genebrard 174, 177, 188, 




Gennadius Massil. 141,214, 

228, 229, 230. 
Gentilly (Council of) 171. 
Gorrham 143. 
Grabe (Dr.) 155. 
Gregory I. (Pope) 150, 238, 

Gregory IX. (Pope) 108, 

128, 150. 
Gregory (Nazianz.) 118, 

2OO, 204, 2O7, 222. 

Gregory Nyssen 206. 
Gregory of Tours, 136, 163. 
Gualdo Corbeiens. 126. 
Gundling (Wolfg.) 112, 

174, 175, 176, 190. 
Hampole (Rich.) 141, 142, 

Harduin 118,121,124,129, 

206, 210. 

Harris (Dr.) 191, 192. 
Hatto (Basil) 122, 183, 189. 
Heideggerus 112. 
Helvicus 182. 
Hermantius (Godfr.) 120. 
Hickes(Dr.) 151,152,170, 


Hilary (of Aries) 214, 215. 
Hilary (Poictiers) 161, 216. 
Hildegarde 140. 
Hincmar 109, 119, 123, 

137. 167, 240. 
Hody (Dr.) 162, 163, 164, 

165, 187. 

Honoratus (of Aries) 215. 
Honoratus (of Marseilles) 


Honorius (Autun) 1 26. 
Hormisdas (Pope) 202. 
Hulsemannus 251. 
Hydruntinus (Nic.) 127, 

I 7 I > *95- 
Januensis (Johan.) 129, 

142, 246. 

Jerome (St.) 163, 206, 208. 
Ignatius 230. 
John (of Antioch) 210. 
John II. (Pope) 203. 
Isidorus (Hisp.) 118, 260, 

262, 265. 

Isidorus (Pelus.) 268. 
Julianus (Cardin.) 173. 
Ivo Carnotensis 257. 
Justinian (Emp.) 203. 
Kirkham (Walter) 129. 
Kromayerus 251. 
Labbe (Phil.) i n, 1 20. 

Lambecius 156, 169, 184, 


Le Lande (Peter) 120. 
Langbaine (Dr.) 143. 
Leo I. (Pope) 202, 206, 


Leo III. (Pope) 122, 187. 
Leodegarius 118, 120. 
Leporius 209, 213. 
Lepusculus ( Sebastian ) 


Livius (Poet) 214. 
Le Long 138, 144, 162, 

165, 169. 
Ludolphus (Job) 190, 196, 


Ludolphus Saxo 1 30. 
Lupus (Troyes) 136. 
Luther 246. 
Lyra 143. 
Mabillon 156, 180. 
Marcus Ephesius 196. 
Martene 195. 
Martianay 162, 163. 
Methodius 268. 
Metrophanes Critopulus 

Montfaucon 114, 121, 139, 

iSi, 154. i55> '56, i57 

160, 161, 171. 
Muratorius 114, 120, 135, 

151, 182. 

Neander (Mich.) 177. 
Neckham (Alex.) 140. 
Nesselius 173. 
Nichols 250. 
Nisselius 178. 
Nithardus 168. 
Olivet Mount (Monks of) 

122, 185,187. 
Orosius 244. 
Otfridus 130, 183. 
Otho (Prising.) 126, 130. 
Oudin (Casim.) 116, 120, 


Pagi 114,121,159,179. 
Papebrochius 119. 
Pappus (Johan.) 256. 
Pareus (David) 136, 251. 
Paululus (Rob.) 127. 
Pearson (Bp.) in, 244. 
Pelagius I. (Pope) 203. 
Pelagius (Monk) 208, 209. 
Petavius 109, 206. 
Petrus de Harentals 143. 
Petrus de Osoma 147. 
Planudes (Max.) 173. 

Plusiadenus 131. 

Prosper 215. 

Quesnel (Paschal.) in, 

Le Quien 115, 122, 151, 

204, 206. 
Ratherius (Verona) 125, 


Ratram (Corb.) 109, 124. 
Regino 121. 
Rembertus 124. 
Renaudot 190, 255. 
Ricaut (Sir Paul) 197, 255. 
Riculphus (Bp. Soiss) 125. 
Ruelius (Johan. Lud.) in. 
Ruffinus 257, 261, 264, &c. 
Sandius in. 
Serarius (Nic.) 256. 
Simon (of Tournay) 140. 
Sirmondus 122, 123, 211. 
Smith (Dr.) 155, 190. 
Spondanus 190. 
Stephens (H.) 174, 177. 
Strabus (Walaf.) 163. 
Suicer (Casp.) 197. 
Taylor (Bp.) no, 251, 252. 
Tentzelius no, 113, 120, 

'5 1 - 

Textus Roffensis 185. 
Thecaras (Monachus) 194. 
Theodolphus 122. 
Tillemont 114, 121, 151, 


Toledo III. Council 180. 
Toledo IV. Council 181. 
Trevisa (John) 144. 
Turribius 202. 
Vigilius Tapsensis 111,112, 

Vincentius Lirin. 114, 204, 

213, 215. 
Ullerston 143. 
Vossius (Gerrard) 108, 121, 

Usher 109, 137, 150, 152, 

168, 175, 177, 192, 194, 


Wall (Dr.) 208. 
Wanley 138, 152, 158. 
Wharton 144, 158, 168, 


Wickliff 143, 240. 
Willehad 183, 184, 185. 
Wotton (Dr.) 158, 170. 
Zialowski (Eustrat. Jo- 

hannid.) 112. 



AMBROSIAN I. Athanasian Creed 154, 166, 202, 221. 

Ambrosian II. Anonymous Comments on the Creed 148, 149. 

Ambrosian III. Fortunatus's Comment 114, 134. 

Baifius. Greek Copy of the Creed 174, 177. 

Balliol. Oxon. Bruno's Comment 138. 

Basil. Bruno's and Hampole's Comment 141. 

Benet Camb. (N. X.) Athanasian Creed 156, 227. 

Benet (N. O. V.) Athanasian Creed 157, 163. 

Benet (K. 10.) Athanasian Creed 158. 

Benet (i-i.) Wickliff's Comment 146. 

Benet (N. 15.) Gregory's Psalter 151. 

Bodleian. (Junius 25.) Fortunatus's Comment 135, 257. 

Bodleian. (Laud. H. 61.) Bruno's Comment 138. 

Bodleian. (Laud. E. 71.) Bruno's Comment 138. 

Bodleian. (G. 39.) Athanasian Creed 160. 

Bodleian. (E. 7. 8.) Neckham's Comment 140. 

Bodleian. (E. 6. n.) Neckham's Comment 141. 

Bryling. Greek Copy of the Creed 1 74. 

C. C. C. C. Vid. Benet. 

Cambridge. Athanasian Creed 159, 188. 

Cassinensis. Athanasian Creed 159. 

Colbert I. Athanasian Creed 153, 155, 204, 227, &c. 

Colbert II. Athanasian Creed 157. 

Constantinopolitan. Greek Copy of the Creed 175, 177. 

Cotton I. Athanasian Creed in Athelstan's Psalter 154, 155, 163, 178, 229. 

Cotton II. (Vitell. E. 18.) Athanasian Creed 158. 

Cotton III. (Vespas. A.) Athanasian Creed 151, 159. 

Cotton IV. (Nero. C-4.) Gallican Version 169. 

Dionysian. Greek Copy. See Baifius. 

Emanuel Cambr. Wickliff's Bible 144. 

Felckman. Greek Copy of the Creed 1 73. 

Friars Minors. Latino- Gallican Creed 160. 

Germans (St.) Athanasian Creed 156, 221, &c. 

German de Prez. Bruno's Comment 139, 140. 

Gotha. Bruno's with Hampole's Comment 141, 142. 

Harley I. Athanasian Creed 158, 163. 

Harley II. Athanasian Creed 159. 

Harley III. Bruno's Comment 139. 

Harley. Triple Psalter 165. 

Hilarian. Athanasian Creed 161. 


James (St.) Hampole's Comment 145. 

James II. Athanasian Creed 157, 170. 

James III. Athanasian Creed 159. 

John's (St.) Cambr. Triple Psalter 159, 165. 

John's (St.) Cambr. Wickliff's Comment 143. 

John's (St.) Oxon. Bruno's Comment 139. 

Lambeth. Athanasian Creed 158, 164, 169. 

Leipsick. Bruno's with Hampole 141. 

Magd. Cambr. Wickliff's N. Testament 144, 145. 

Magd. Cambr. Athanasian Creed old English 144. 

Magd. Oxon. Hampole's Comment 142. 

Merton. Oxon. Bruno's Comment 138. 

Norfolk I. Athanasian Creed 158. 

Norfolk II. Athanasian Creed 159, 168. 

Norfolk III. English Gospels 144. 

Palatine. Greek Copy of the Creed 173, 177. 

Patrick Young. Greek Copy of the Creed 1 75. 

Regius Paris I. Athanasian Creed 156. 

Regius Paris II. Greek Copy of the Creed 174. 

Sarum. Saxon Version of the Creed 169. 

Sidney. Cambr. Hampole's Comment on the Psalms, English 146. 

Thuanus. Athanasian Creed 160. 

Treves. Athanasian Creed 153, 204. 

Trinity Coll. Cambr. Bruno's Comment 138, 139, 165, 168. 

Trinity Coll. Cambr. Wickliff's Comment 145. 

Trinity Coll. Cambr. Rythraus Anglicus 130. 

Trinity Coll. Cambr. Hampole's Comment on the Psalms 145. 

Vienna I. Athanasian Creed 156, 184. 

Vienna II. Greek Creed 172. 

Vienna III. Greek Creed 173. 

Vienna IV. German Version 169, 183. 

Usher I. Athanasian Creed 150. 

Usher II. Book of Hymns 175. 

Wurtzburgh. Bruno's Comment 138, 163. 

York. Bruno's Comment 139. 











QUERY I. Whether the term GOD in the singular number 
can be proved to be used, in any one place of the Scripture, 
to denote more persons than one ? 

ANSW. i. It is not necessary for the defenders of the received 
doctrine of a coessential Trinity to assert, that the term GOD, in 
the singular number, can be proved to be used in Scripture to denote 
more Persons than one : for as the Arians suppose Father and 
Son to be two Gods, though they are never called two Gods, or 
Gods in the plural number, through the whole Scripture : so the 
Catholics may as well suppose that Father and Son are one God, 
though the term GOD could not be proved to be used to denote 
more Persons than one. Or if it be said, that the Arians do not 
suppose Father and Son to be two Gods, whatever pleas they 
allege to clear themselves of Ditheism will as effectually clear the 
Catholics of Tritheism ; so that the Catholics will stand at least 
upon as good a foot as the Arians. 

3. It is not necessary even so much as to suppose that the 
term GOD is ever so used. For admitting that the term GOD in 
Scripture is always used to denote one Person only, all that 
follows is, that one Person only is spoken of, whenever the term 
GOD is used. Not that there are not other Persons essentially 
and coeternatty included in him and with him. It may be the 
method of Scripture, and generally is, when it speaks of GOD, to 
mean it of one Person, yet not excluding, but only abstracting 
from, the consideration of the other two persons included in the 
same Godhead. 


3. They may reasonably suppose it, after proof of their general 
doctrine, since the doctrine of a coessential Trinity of three 
Persons being divine, and being one God, is demonstrable from 
Scripture, (though too long a subject to be here considered,) \ve 
may reasonably suppose, that when GOD is spoken of, and neither 
the context nor any other circumstances do confine the signifi 
cation of the word, in that place, to one Person only ; I say we 
may reasonably suppose, that not one Person only, but all the 
three Persons are denoted by it. And, 

4. They have moreover grounds for it from some particular 
texts. Gen. i. 26. one God is spoken of, and yet the words run, 
LET us (in the plural) make, and IN OUR image. Gen. iii. 22. one 
Lord God is spoken of, and yet it is said, " the man is become 
" as one of us." The like may be observed of Gen. xi. 7. In 
Isaiah vi. 3. mention is made of the true God, the Lord of hosts, 
who, by confession of all, is the Father ; and that the same Lord 
of hosts is also the Son and Holy Ghost, appears from John xii. 
40, 41. and Acts xxviii. 25, 26. which is also intimated even 
by the Prophet himself introducing the Lord speaking both 
in the singular and plural. "I heard the voice of the 
" Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us T 
Ver. 8. 

QUERY 2. Whether we have not the same evidence from the 
Scripture, that God is one Person, that we have, that either the 
Father, or the Son, or the Holy Ghost, is one Person. 

A NSW. We have the same evidence, that the word GOD is 
sometimes used to denote one Person, that we have, that either the 
Father, or Son, or Holy Ghost, is one Person. But to conclude 
from thence, that the word GOD always denotes one divine Person 
only, is just as if we should conclude, that the word man always 
denotes one human person only, purely because it does so some 
times, or most commonly. It is desired by the Querist, that 
" some Scripture argument may be alleged to prove any one of the 
" Trinity to be one distinct Person, which may not with equal 
" evidence be applied to prove that GOD is one distinct Person." 
I suppose the Querist means, that the personal characters, /, 
thou, he, if they prove any one of the TRINITY to be one distinct 
Person, do equally prove God to be one distinct Person. To 
which it is answered, that the personal characters, /, thou, he, 
do not certainly prove, that whatever they are applied to is one 
Person, and no more ; for they are often applied in Scripture to 


a whole city, tribe, or family, or to the head of a family con 
sidered with his whole seed or race. But the personal characters 
are a good proof of one distinct Person, where there are not plain 
reasons to be given why we should believe they are to be under 
stood of more. Now, since plain reasons may be given, why 
GOD is more Persons than one ; and no plain reasons can be 
given why any one of the Trinity is more Persons than one ; 
therefore it is, that the Scripture argument to prove any one of 
the Trinity to be one Person does not equally prove that GOD is 
one Person. 

QUERY 3. Whether there be any one text of Scripture, which 
treats of the unity of God, and places it in any other Person than 
the Father ? It is humbly desired, that some text may be alleged 
where it is said, the one God is the FATHER, SON, and HOLY 

ANSW. It is written, " Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the 
" ends of the earth : for I am God, and there is none else. I 
" have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in 
" righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee 
" shall bow, every tongue shall swear." Isaiah xlv. 22, 23. 
Compare the New Testament. " We shall all stand before the 
" judgment-seat of Christ ; for it is written, As I live, saith the 
" Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall 
" confess to God." Rom. xiv. 10, n. "At the name of Jesus 
" every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in 
" earth, and things under the earth ; and that every tongue 
" should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God 
" the Father." Phil. ii. 10, u. The application of Isaiah xlv. 
23. to Christ is manifest from these two passages of St. Paul. 
It is as manifest, that the Person spoken of in Isaiah is the only 
God, (" I am God, and there is none else.") Therefore Scripture 
treating of the unity of God, places it in another Person besides 
the Father, namely, in God the Son. Again, it is plain, in the 
Old Testament, that the unity is placed in the Jehovah: but 
Christ is Jehovah, as may be proved from numerous passages, 
and is now generally confessed. Therefore the unity is not 
placed in the Person of the Father only, Isaiah vi. i, 9. with 
John xii. 

The Querist desires some texts where it is said, that the one 
God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

This is no where said in one single text, but it is in many 


compared together. That Jehovah is the one God, and that the 
one God is Jehovah, is often said in the Old Testament : but the 
Father is Jehovah, the Son Jehovah, and the Holy Ghost Jehovah ; 
therefore Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one Jehovah. Or 
the one God is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Again ; it may 
be proved from Scripture, that God is one; and from the same 
Scripture, that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy 
Ghost is God. Therefore again, the one God is Father, Son, 
and Holy Ghost. Compare Isaiah vi. i, 9, with John xii. 40, 
41, and Acts xxviii. 25, 26. 

N. B. It is unreasonable to demand any particular text, where 
it is said, that these three are one God: unless our adversaries 
could produce a text, where it is said, that any two of them 
are called two Gods, or Gods in the plural. They pretend no 
more than Scripture consequences for their doctrine, not express 
Scripture : and they cannot prove their consequences, when we 
can ours. 

QUERY 4. Whether the same arguments that prove the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost to be three distinct Persons, will not with 
equal strength conclude they are three distinct Beings ? 

ANSW. No ; because all the arguments that prove the Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost to be three distinct Persons, prove only that 
they are three distinct Persons. Whether intelligent being and 
person are reciprocal, remains a question as much as ever : or 
whether three persons may not be one individual being is still a 
question, and must be so ; neither can it be resolved at all 
either way, merely from the nature and reason of the thing itself, 
for want of a certain principle of individuation. 

QUERY 5. Whether any man can properly be said to believe 
that God is three Persons, and but one intelligent Being, without 
having some notion of the difference he hereby makes between a 
person and an intelligent being ? 

ANSW. Any person may have this notion, that God is not three 
separate Persons, and therefore is not three intelligent Beings: but 
that God is three united Persons, and therefore one intelligent 
Being. The precise difference between the idea of a divine Person, 
and that of a divine intelligent Being, is, that a divine Person is 
not a separate Being independent of all other things. A divine 
intelligent Being is separate and independent of any thing. The 
one is ens relativum, the other ens absolutum. I may add further, 
that a man may believe the omnipresence of God. without 


having any distinct notion of the difference between God's being 
present, in whole or in part, with or without extension ; and of 
the divine prescience, without having any clear notion of the 
difference between what certainly will be and what certainly must 
be ; and of eternity, without having a clear notion of the differ 
ence between succession and an eternal NOW, and without being 
able to answer every minute or captious question which may be 
raised in a point so abstruse, and above human capacity. It is 
therefore no just objection against the doctrine of the TRINITY, 
that we are not able perfectly to explain the modus or manner, 
how three Persons are one Being, or one God. It is sufficient to 
know, that the Persons are distinct and real, as any other persons 
are; but so united withal, as no other persons are or can be; 
and therefore they are not (like other persons) as many beings as 
persons, but one being only. 

QUERY 6. Whether (if no difference can be assigned between 
an intelligent being and a person} it be not a contradiction to say, 
that God is three Persons and one Being? that is, whether it be 
not all one, as to say, he is three Persons, and but one Person ; 
or three Beings, and but one Being f 

ANSW. A difference has been assigned in the answer to the 
preceding Query. Nothing is properly called a being, but a 
separate being. Thus, those who suppose the soul, or the divine 
Being to be extended, do not call the parts of the soul, or of GOD, 
beings. This I mention, only to shew the nature and usage of 
language, and what it would be by consent of mankind, on such 
or such suppositions, be they true or false. Now, since the three 
Persons are conceived to be more intimately united than the 
parts of any being (though they are not parts) are or can be ; 
it is very right and just, not to call them three Beings, but one 
Being. A separate person is rightly called an intelligent being, 
because a separate person is a separate being : but a person con 
sidered as essentially adhering to, and united with another 
person, does with that other person make but one being ; and 
therefore cannot properly be called a being, unless the word 
being admits of two senses : and yet then the one is proper, the 
other improper. The Querist therefore runs into a double fal 
lacy ; first, in making two senses of being, proper and improper, 
and arguing from one to the other: secondly, in confounding 
both together, as if they were really but one sense. 

QUERY 7. Whether, if the Father, Son, and Spirit are but one 


iiifi, it is possible to hold, that the Being of the Son was in 
carnate, without holding that the Being of the Father and the 
Spirit was incarnate? 

ANSW. The Being of the Son is an improper expression ; be 
cause it supposes the Son to be a Being, (properly so called,) 
that is, a separate Being, which he is not. But one Person, the 
Person of the Son may be incarnate, and the Person of the 
Father or Holy Ghost at the same time not incarnate, without 
any contradiction, because one person is not another person. Yet 
it may be said, the Godhead is incarnate ; i. e. the divine Being, 
as personalized in the Son, is incarnate in the Person of the Son. 
These philosophical niceties, in a point so sublime and mysterious, 
ought to be neglected and despised. Let any man tell us, 
whether the Being of God is present in heaven, and whether the 
same Being of God is present on earth ; and let him inform us 
distinctly what he means by it. Let him say, whether God will 
be a day older to-morrow than he is to-day, and clear either the 
affirmative or negative of all appearance of contradiction. Let 
him determine whether God be extended or not extended, and 
disentangle either side of the question from all appearance of 
repugnancy. Let him unriddle the mysteries of eternity ; ac 
quaint us how eternity can be past unless it was once present, or 
how it could be ever present if it never began. But enough of 

QUERY 8. Whether the imposing side can pretend that the 
consequence they draw from the unity of God, and 5m the 
Father and Son's being severally called GOD, is more clear and 
certain than the consequence which others draw from the same 
consideration ? 

ANSW. The imposing side (as he calls them) do not argue 
merely from the Father and Son's being severally called GOD ; but 
from the Scriptures describing both one and the other to be GOD 
in such a sense as to have a right to be adored. Now, in this 
sense, there cannot be more Gods than one, consistently with 
the First Commandment, which excludes all but one God from 
religious service and adoration. Any God, after this one God, 
is no God, in any true and proper sense : but the Son is the one 
true God, because he is adorable, and God : and there are not 
more true and more adorable Gods than one. This consequence they 
take to be certain and undeniable : but the consequence which 
others draw, viz. that Father and Son cannot be called God in 


the same sense of the word GOD, (for so it should have been ex 
pressed by the Querist,) has nothing at all to support it. because 
the exclusive term cannot be proved to have been intended in 
opposition to God the Son. Or if they be, they must exclude 
him entirely among the nominal, fictitious deities, which is absurd 
enough. And because those emphatical appellations of one, or 
only God, applied to the Father, are easily accounted for, by 
admitting a different manner of existence, or a priority of order, 
without any recourse to a different sense of the word GOD. Be 
sides, the Scripture plainly shews by the divine titles, attributes, 
and glory, which it ascribes to God the Son, that he is God in 
the strict and proper sense, and not in any lower or different 
sense, as is pretended. 

QUERY 9. Whether men being liable to mistake in drawing 
consequences, modesty should not teach the imposing side to be 
as forward to bear with their brethren, as they are to bear with 
the imposers ? 

ANSW. When it is once declared what is meant by bearing with 
their brethren, this Query may have a determinate answer. As 
to men's being liable to mistake, it is no argument against their 
being certain of many things ; and if they be certain of such a 
truth, and that it is very important, all Christian and prudent 
methods must be used to maintain and preserve it. 

QUERY 10. Whether it is not dangerous rashness to censure 
men as to their everlasting state, for not believing a doctrine 
which is not expressly declared in any one place in the Bible ? 

ANSW. There is no rashness at all in censuring men, as to 
their everlasting estate, for disbelieving, and especially for pub 
licly opposing a doctrine of so vast importance, which is both ex 
pressly and by necessary consequence declared in many places of 
Scripture compared together. " If an angel from heaven preach 
" any other Gospel unto you, than that which we have preached 
" unto you, let him be accursed." Gal. i. 8. 

QUERY n. Whether they who say, the Son did know the day 
and hour of the last judgment, when he said expressly, that he did 
not ; whether, I say, they do not make Christ to have been guilty 
of an equivocation ? And whether such their assertion is not very 
dangerous, as tending to introduce, by his example, a practice 
which will destroy all credit among Christians ? 

ANSW. There was no equivocation in saying what was literally 
true, that the Son, as Son of man, did not know the day and 


hour of the last judgment. The context itself sufficiently limits 
his denial to his human nature. The Querist tells us, that, 
" according to this way of equivocating, a man (as one observes) 
" may deny that he saw a thing which he actually saw ; mean- 
" ing, he did not see it with one eye, which he wilfully kept 
" shut, while he beheld it with the other." But, as one observes, 
(see Mr. Boyse in his reply to that pretence of Mr. Emlyns,) in 
answer to this idle stuff, there might be some colour for the 
pretence, if a man had two visive powers, or two souls, as well as 
two eyes: but since he has but one visive power, and one soul, 
which one soul sees, whether one eye only, or both be open, it 
would be a downright falsehood to say, I saw not a thing at all, 
because I saw it but with one eye. But the case is quite differ 
ent, where there are two knowing principles, belonging to two 
different natures ; one of which may see or know, while the other 
doth not see or know ; and consequently it may be denied of one, 
which may be affirmed of the other. It could not indeed be 
absolutely and indefinitely denied of Christ, that he knew the day : 
neither is it so denied in Scripture, but in a certain respect only, 
which the reason of the thing and the very context determines it 
to : for it speaks not of the Son of God as such, but of the Son 
of man, or of Christ considered as Son of man. 

QUERY 1 2. Whether, if the Holy Spirit be the supreme God, 
he must not have as much right to give the Father, as the Father 
can have to give him ? And whether, upon this supposition, it 
can be proper for Christians to pray to the Father to give them 
his Holy Spirit? 

ANSW. As to the rights and privileges among the sacred Three ; 
they are best known to themselves. And who are we, that we 
should pretend to fathom the depths of the divine nature, or the 
ineffable economy of the three Persons ? Scripture calls the Spirit, 
the Spirit of the Father, and not vice versa, and directs us to ask 
the Father to give his Spirit to us. This is sufficient for us to 
know, and is a direction to our practice. 

QUERY 13. Whether it be an intolerable crime in ministers, 
and such as deserves ejectment, for them to hold, that Christ 
alone is the King of his Church? And that Christians are to 
receive his words only, as the authentic rule of their faith, without 
subjecting their faith to the authoritative interpretations of any 
men upon earth ? 

ANSW. This Query is too loose and general to admit of any 


close determinate answer. I shall only observe, that these 
gentlemen know at other times how to interpret the alone King, 
or only Potentate, so as to leave room for subordinate governors. 
And I know not any one that contends for more, or ever pretends 
to equal themselves to Christ. Arians, perhaps, or Socinians, 
having brought Christ down to the rank of creatures, or of men, 
may in time take upon them farther : but the Trinitarians will 
never be wanting in their honour to Christ, or the alone King, 
and the alone God, not exclusive of, but in conjunction with God 
the Father and the Holy Ghost ; not abridging all or any of the 
three sacred Persons of the liberty of appointing subordinate 
ministers, rulers, or governors, to act under them, according to 
such rules, laws, and measures, as infinite wisdom shall see good 
and proper. 













Let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they hare imagined. Psalm x. 2. 





-L SHALL lay before the reader the plain account of Scripture 
in one column, and the true account of what the modern Arian 
scheme is in the other : which I will endeavour to make 
as plain as any thing of that nature can be; and leave the 
reader to judge whether it be agreeable to Scripture or no, 
and so choose or refuse it after a rational and faithful examina 


There is but one GOD, one 
adorable GoD a , Jehovah^, and 
GOD of Israel. Before whom was 
there no GOD formed, neither 
will there be after him c . This 
one GOD will not give his glory 

a Exod. xx. 3. Isa. xliv. 8. xlv. 5. 
i Cor. viii. 4. b Deut. vi. 4. Mark 
xii. 29. Isa. xlv. 21. xlii. 8. c Isa. 
xliii. 10. 


Our modern Arians all impli 
citly or consequentially teach, some 
expressly say & , that there are more 
GODS than one : two GODS at least, 
both of them adorable, and to be 
served with religious worship. One 
of the GODS is supposed to be after 

a The Scriptures and Athanasians 
Compared, p. 4. 


to another* ; that is, will not 
allow any other God to claim 
the glory of being adored, either 
against him, or with him ; being 
extremely jealous* of hishononr, 
the honour of being served with 
religious worship, which both 
under the Old and New Testa 
ment was due to GOD alone f , 
and by which his superlative 
MAJESTY and peerless perfec 
tions are to be acknowledged g 
through the whole creation. 

the other in duration'", and in ev< 
perfection. The greater GOD has 
given the glory of religious wor 
ship to the lesser GOD ; thereby, 
so far, resigning up his peculiar 
privilege, and his appropriate ho 
nours : only the glory of being 
underived, which he cannot possibly 
give away if he would, he will not c 
(good reason why) part with at 
any rate. The sacrifice of prayer 
and praise, however, is common to 
both the GODS ; who are accord 
ingly to be honoured with the like 
outward acts of worship, to be made 
higher or lower worship by the 
worshipper's inward intention; and 
there are no outward acts left 
whereby common Christians may 
visibly distinguish the supreme GOD 
from the inferior GOD ; though 
one be infinitely more excellent 
than the other ; and though reason 
itself teaches that there ought to 
be as great a difference between 
the outward honours paid to this 
GOD, and that GOD, as there is 
between Mi* GOD and that GOD. 


Our Lord JESUS CHRIST is Our Lord Jesus Christ is by no 

LORD GoD h , Jehovah 1 , (a title means necessarily existing' 1 , but 

expressing necessary existence precarious in existence, and de- 

d Isa. xlii. 8. xlviii. u. e Exod. 
xx. 5. xxxiv. 14. f Matth. iv. 10. 
Rev. xix. 10. xxii. 9. s 2 Kings xix. 
15. Isa. xl. 9, 10, &c. xlv. 5, 6, 7. 
Jer. x. 10, n, Src. h Luke i. 16, 17. 
John xx. 28. * Compare Isa. vi. with 
John xii. 41. Zech. xii. 10. with John 
xix. 37. Psalm cii. 25. with Heb. 
i. 10. Zech. xi. 12. with Matt, xxvii. 
9, 10. Isa. xl. 3. with Mark i. 3. 
Hosea i. 7. with Luke ii. n. 

b Mr. Whiston plainly ; the rest 
covertly. c Modest Plea, &c. Con 
tinued, p. 7. Reply to Dr. Water- 
land's Defence, p. 201. d Modest 
Plea, &c. p. 17,217. Second letter 
to Dr. Mangey, p. 27. 


and all perfection k ,) True Goo 1 , 
Great GOD m , and Mighty GOD n , 
as well as the FATHER. He is 
moreover Alpha and Omega, the 
Beginning and the Ending, the 
First and the Last , which is 
expressive of unlimited eter 
nity, and so understood when 
applied to GOD the FATHER, or 
to the one GOD of Israel P. He 
is also the Lord, which is, and 
which was, and which is to come, 
the Almighty % than which no 
thing higher or stronger can be 
said even of GOD the FATHER. 

k Exod. Hi. 14. Isa. xlii. 8. xlv. 
ai. Mai. iii. 6. l i John v. 20. 
m Tit. ii. 13. n Isa. ix. 6. Rev. 
i. 8, 17. xxii. 13. P Isa. xli. 4. xliv. 
6. xlviii. 12. Rev. xxi. 6. i Rev. i. 8. 


pending entirely on the good plea 
sure of the greater GOD ; who being 
of course infinitely above him, can, 
consequently, whenever he pleases, 
make other Gods as great, or greater 
than he is. And though CHRIST 
be styled JEHOVAH, it means only 
that he is faithful to his promises*, 
or that he once personated 1 the true 
JEHOVAH; which any inferior angel 
might have done?. And though 
he be a great GOD, and a true GOD, 
and a mighty GOD; yet there is 
another GOD, a greater GOD, a 
truer h Goo, and a mightier GOD, 
by far, than he ; to whose good 
pleasure and/ree appointment he 
owes all his greatness and divinity. 
And though the title of First and 
Last, &c. may signify an unlimited 
etermfy,when appliedtotheFATHER, 
(if the FATHER'S eternity be any 
where revealed in the Old Testa 
ment, which is doubtful 1 ,) yet it 
must not, it shall not signify any 
such thing when applied to the 
SON. And though Rev. i. 8. has 
been understood by all the primi 
tive churches of GOD the SON, and 
such application be favoured by the 
context ; yet it shall be understood 
of the FATHER only ; or, at least, 
shall bear a subordinate sense, if 
understood of the SON. For there 
are several metaphysical reasons 
about derived and underived, about 
generation, causes, acts, will, indi- 

e Collection of Queries, p. 19. 

f The Scripture and Athanasians 
Compared, p. 5. Appeal to a Turk, 
&c. p. 89. e Reply to Dr. Water- 
land's Defence, p. 177. h Unity of 
GOD not Inconsistent, &c. p. 34. 
i Collection of Queries, p. 50. 




Our Lord JESUS CHRIST was 
GOD before any dominion com 
menced, before any creatures 
existed, before the world was r . 
He is over all GOD blessed for 
ever 5 : and to him is ascribed 
glory, praise, and dominion for 
ever and ever*, jointly also with 
the FATHER V . From whence it 
is evident, that as he was GOD 
before the creation, before any 
creature began, and conse 
quently from all eternity; so 
he will be honoured as GOD to 
all eternity. 

r John i. i, 2, 3, 10. Coloss. i. 15, 
1 6. s Rom. ix. 5. * i Pet. iv. n. 
2 Pet. in. 18. Rev. i. 6. Heb. xiii. 21. 
Heb. i. 8. v Rev. v. 12, 13. 

victuals, identicals, &c. which so 
require, and Scripture must yield 
to them. 


Some of the modern Arians say, 
that CHRIST is GOD, in the sense 
of dominion : others make his ex 
altation, after his rising from the 
dead, to be the sole foundation of 
his personal Godhead^. Others 
suppose his personating the FATHER 
to have been all that his Godhead 
meant before his incarnation 1 . 
All which accounts must appear 
miserably vain and presumptuous, 
as coming vastly short of what St. 
John has declared of him in respect 
of what he was antecedently to the 
creation. Sometimes therefore they 
are pleased to allow that he was 
GOD before the world was, as being 
partaker of divine power and glory 10 . 
But then they tell us not what 
they mean by it. Whatever it be, 
they suppose him to have been 
really stripped and emptied of that 
glory, that is, of all the Godhead 
he had of his own ; that he sunk his 
perfections, his power, and his wis 
dom n , when he became man ; being 
then really weaker and lower than the 
angels ; so that he ceased for a time 
to be GOD, and wanted to be made a 
GOD again after his resurrection P: 
which Godhead then obtained, or 

k Collection of Queries, p. 75. 
1 Clarke's Scripture Doctrine, p. 73. 
edit. 2nd. m Ibid. p. 240. " Emlyn's 
Examination of Dr. Bennet, p. 15, 
1 6. Modest Plea, p. 93. Scrip 
ture and Athanasians Compared, p. 
15. P Collect, of Queries, p. 75. 
Scripture and Athanasians Comp. p. 



regained, is to last no longer than 
his mediatorial kingdom ; after the 
ceasing whereof, it seems, he is to 
lay down his Godhead, and never to 
be a GOD more to all eternity q . 


Our blessed Lord is described 
as having the divine attributes, 
the distinguishing marks and 
characters of the one true GOD 

1. Knowledge of the heart. 
He knoweth the hearts of all 
men. It is he that searcheth 
the reins and the heart*. He is 
a discerner of the thoughts and 
intents of the heart 'y. 

2. Omniscience. There is wo 
creature but what is manifest in 
his sight : all things are naked 
and opened to his eyes z . In him 
are hid all the treasures of wis 
dom and knowledge*. He know 
eth all things**. 

3. Unchangeable eternity. 
He is always the same c } yes 
terday, to-day, and for ever d . 

4. Omnipresence. He is 
Creator of all things, and by 
him all things consist. He is 
worshipped by the whole crea 
tion*. He is in the midst % of all 
that call upon him. 

5. Omnipotence. He can do 
all that the FATHER doth h . He 

w Acts i. 24. x Rev. ii. 23. r Heb. 
iv. 12. z Heb. iv. 13. a Col. ii. 3. 
b Johnxvi.3o. xxi. 17. c Heb.i. 12. 
Rev. i. 8. a Heb. xiii. 13. e Col. i. 
17. f Rev. v. 8. e Matt. v. 20. 
h John v. 19. 


The modern Arians are pleased 
to allow, in words, that divine at 
tributes belong to CHRIST; mean 
ing by divine, quite another thing 
than others mean in this case. 

CHRIST is omniscient, they say, 
relatively*; that is, while ignorant 3 
of much more than he knows, as 
he must be if ignorant at all : 
eternal also, provided he be not 
coeternal ; that is, provided the 
FATHER be but infinitely (as he 
must be, if at all) more ancient 
than he : omnipresent also, but 
within bounds : omnipotent, but by 
the FATHER'S power, not by his 
own : unchangeable, I think, they 
never directly say, but the con 
trary' ; making his generation and 
incarnation arguments of his being 
subject to change. And, indeed, 
upon the whole, they suppose him 
the most changeable being in the 
universe, running through more, 
and more prodigious changes, than 
any other creature ever did, or 
will do. 

Q Reply to Dr. W. by the Author 
of Unity, &c. p. 49. Scripture and 
Athanasians Compared, p. 16, 17, 22. 
Peirce's Western Inquis. p. 148, 149. 
r Collect, of Queries, p. 48: s Ibid. 
Unity of GOD not inconsistent, &c. 

S8. * Reply to Dr. Waterland'a 
efence, p. 271. Scripture and Atha 
nasians Compared, p. 12, 13. Appeal 
to a Turk, &c. p. 145. 

u 2 



and the FATHER are one 1 . 
IB Almighty^. 



Our blessed LORD is Creator. 
He is the LORD Jehovah, who 
in the beginning laid the foun 
dations of the earth, and the 
heavens are the works of his 
hands 1 . All things were cre 
ated, not only by him m , as the 
efficient cause, but a\8ofor him n , 
as the final cause of all things ; 
in whose glory they all centre 
and terminate. In him likewise 
do all things consist. The whole 
universe, all worlds visible and 

1 John x. 30. * Rev. i. 8. ' Heb. 

i. 10. m John i. 3, 10, u. i Cor. 

viii. 6. Ephes. iii. 9. Heb. i. 2. Co- 
loss, i. 16, 17. 

They criticise away the force of 
the texts pleaded in favour of the 
divine attributes of CHRIST, till 
they leave themselves no Scripture 
proof of the divinity of GOD the 
FATHER ; none but what may be 
eluded by the same, or the like 
subtleties : as if they were resolved 
to give up every proof of the FA 
THER'S real divinity, rather than 
admit any which may happen to 
prove as much of GOD the SON. 
The strength of their objections 
against the divine attributes of 
CHRIST, consists chiefly in meta 
physical speculations ; that gene 
ration is an act, that every act 
implies free choice, that free choice 
argues precarious existence, and 
that precarious existence is a 
contradiction to divine attributes, 
strictly so called. Thus vain 
philosophy is brought in, to over 
rule the infallible word of GOD. 


The modern Arians pretend that 
CHRIST is an instrument^ only in 
the work of creation ; though they 
do not tell us what they mean by 
it, nor how it is possible to recon 
cile their notion to Heb. i. 10. 
Some of them suppose CHRIST an 
inferior Creator, making two Crea 
tors in like manner as two GODS ; 
one of the Creators being himself 
a creature. Others scruple to 
allow CHRIST to be a Creator, 
saying only that GOD created all 
things by him, or through him; 
and they confusedly mutter several 

u Modest Plea, p. 93. Unity of 
GOD not Inconsistent, &c. p. 26. 



invisible are upheld and sus 
tained by him. He is therefore 
Creator, Preserver, and Gover 
nor of all worlds : than which 
nothing more august or grand 
can be said of the one GOD 

things about the prepositions by 
and through; never acquainting 
us what their precise notion is, nor 
shewing how it is possible ever 
to make it consistent with those 
texts which so expressly ascribe cre 
ative powers to CHRIST. Whatever 
hand they suppose him to have 
had in creating, (which appears to 
be very little,) they imagine him 
afterwards weak enough to want 
the assistance of his creatures*, 
weak enough to be literally inferior 
to the angelsy, weak enough to be 
passible z and mutable; and low 
enough to be literally exalted*; 
which yet they would think bias, 
phemy to say of one that is very 


The Scriptures say, that Tie 
that built all things is God ; 
thereby supposing the work of 
creating to be a demonstration 
of the real divinity of the Per 
son who created all things. St. 
Paul elsewhere intimates that 
the creation of the world is a 
visible and sensible proof of the 
eternal power and Godhead of 
its Maker P. Creation is every 
where, in Scripture, represented 
as a divine work, a work pecu 
liar to GTOD alone, setting forth 
his supreme excellency and 
unbounded perfections q. And 

Heb. iii. 4. P Rom. i. 20. <i 2 
Kings xix. 15. Job xxvi. 7, &c. 
Psalm xcvi. 5. xix. 1. Ixxxix. n, 12. 
Isa. xl. 12, 26. xlii. 5. xliii. i. xlv. 5, 


The Arians pretend that the 
creating the whole universe is in 
itself no demonstration of infinite 
power, nor any certain argument 
of the real and necessary divinity 
of its maker 1 '. It seems a creature 
might create the whole world, 
visible and invisible. Only, it is 
observable, that they are sometimes 
pleased to say, that the SON is no 
creature. No creature, yet brought 
into existence c , as well as any 
creature; no creature, but yet 
precarious in existence, as well as 

x Modest Plea, p. 93. y Scripture 
and Athanasians Compared, p. 15. 
Appeal to a Turk, &c. p. 145. Mo 
dest Plea, ibid. z Collect, of Queries, 
p. 143. a Modest Plea, p. 97, 98. 
b Collect, of Queries, p. 58. Reply 
to Dr. Waterland's Defence, p. 249. 
Appeal to a Turk, &c. p. 120. c Col 
lect, of Queries, p. 51. 



the Gods that have not made 
tlw heavens and ike earth, they 
shall perish from the earth*. So 
that if CHRIST be Creator, there 
can be no reasonable doubt 
made of his real, eternal, and 
essential Godhead : or, if he be 
not Creator, he cannot be GOD, 
cannot, upon the Scripture foot, 
be adored or worshipped as GOD 
with any degree of religious 

any creature ; no creature, but yet 
dependent on ihefree-ivill and plea 
sure of another, as much as any 
creature ; no creature, but yet 
ignorant of much more than he 
knows, as well as any creature ; no 
creature, but yet capable of change 
from strength to weakness, and 
from weakness to strength again, 
capable of being made wiser, and 
happier, and better in every respect, 
as well as any creature ; no crea 
ture, but yet having nothing of 
his own, nothing but what he owes 
to the gratuity and favour of his 
Lord and Governor, as much as 
any creature. Such a creature, and 
no creature, they suppose all things 
to have been created by ; and yet 
by all things, meaning only all 
other things, (for he could not 
have any hand in creating himself,) 
and by the words created by, mean 
ing they know not what. This 
they call interpreting Scripture, 
and doing justice to common 


According to Scripture no 
one is to be worshipped who is 
not GOD by nature 3 , no creature 
but the Creator only*. From 
whence it is evident that there 
is no middle between Creator 
and creature, Creator and crea 
ture being opposites ; so that 
a creature cannot be Creator, 
nor Creator a creature. Scrip 
ture knows nothing of creature- 

T Jer. x. i 
1 Rom. i. 25. 

8 Gal. iv. 8. 


The modern Arians, after the 
Pagans and Papists, plead for 
creature-worship; for the thing, I 
mean, but they are frightened at 
the name: and whether to save 
themselves the trouble of answer 
ing the many plain and invincible 
reasons against creature-worship, 
or the shame of not being able to 
talk a word of sense on that head, 
they pretend d not to be pleading 

d Author of Unity, &c. His Reply 
to Dr.Waterland, p. 31. 



worship ; nothing of inferior, 
relative, or mediate worship dis 
tinct from divine; nothing of 
two worships of different kinds, 
either before the Gospel or 
after. The one fundamental 
rule of worship, from Genesis 
down to Revelations, is to wor 
ship GOD alone, the GOD of Is 
rael, the Jehovah, the Creator, 
JSustainer, Preserver of all 
things. There was never any 
distinction made of supreme 
and inferior sacrifices, vows, 
oaths, prayers, prostrations. 
All religious worship is GOD'S 
peculiar, all of the same nature, 
and of like import and signifi- 


Christ is to be worshipped 
with religious worship by tnen v , 
by angels, by every creature*; 
either singly and by himself, or 
jointly with the FATHER in the 
same acts of worship. He is 
therefore God by nature, and 
not by office only, appointment, 

v Acts vii. 59. ix. 14. John v. 23. 
Rev. v. 8. w Heb. i. 6. x Rev. v. 13. 

for creature- worship, all the while 
they are doing it. They call this 
kind of worship inferior and medi 
ate worship : a thing that Scrip 
ture knows not of: and what was 
once sufficient to nonplus the 
devil, they can elude. Upon their 
principles, any Jew, formerly, 
might have eluded all the laws of 
the Old Testament against idolatry, 
might have sacrificed to other Gods 
(if supposed subordinate to the 
one supreme) without breaking the 
First Commandment, and without 
peril of Polytheism. They acquit 
the generality of the Pagans (as 
many as worshipped one supreme 
GOD) of Polytheism^, or of the 
worship of many Gods : as they 
of consequence must, otherwise 
they condemn themselves. The 
Pagans then were not Polytheists, 
but idolaters only : and their idol 
atry consisted not in making Idol- 
Gods, but Idol- Mediators*. A 
thing which the sacred penmen 
were never aware of ; having con 
stantly laid the charge wrong upon 
the setting up Idol- Gods, and 
never Idol -Mediators. 


The modern Arians teach, that 
CHRIST is made a GOD by voluntary 
appointment and designation ; and 
are yet ridiculously forced to say, 
that he is GOD by nature e, and as 
truly as man is by nature truly roa h : 

e Ibid. p. 17, 30. See also Reply 
to Dr. Waterland's Defence, p. 309. 
f Clarke, Script. Doctrine, p. 344, 2nd 
edition. Author of Unity, &c. p. 30. 
E Scripture and Athanasians Com 
pared, p. 9. h Clarke' s Replies, p. 81. 



or designation. The worship 
of him must of consequence 
stand upon the same foot 
whereon Scripture has founded 
all religious worship ; upon his 
real and essential divinity, his 
being God, Jehovah, Almighty, 
&c. which he must be because 
he is adorable; and which if he 
be, then the worship of him 
comes within the reason, intent, 
and even the letter of the law 
about worship. And it is very 
observable how the Scripture 
rule of worship exactly harmo 
nizes with what the same 
Scripture teaches of the divi 
nity of GOD the SON. For as, 
on one hand, his claim of 
worship confirms the doctrine 
of his divinity; so, on the 
other hand, his divine titles 
and attributes confirm his claim 
of worship : and thus is Scrip 
ture uniform, consistent, and 
harmonious throughout. 

GOD by nature, and truly GOD, 
without the nature of the true 
GOD ; GOD by nature, but not 
naturally, or necessarily GOD; GOD 
by nature, but having his nature 
before his dominion; that is, before 
his Godhead commenced ; and he 
is to continue, after his dominion, 
or Godhead, shall expire and be 
extinct : in a word, GOD by nature, 
as much as man is by nature man, 
and yet wanting the most essential 
character of GOD, which makes 
GOD to be God. 

They found his worship on the 
power of judging, and his mediato 
rial kingdom^, committed to him 
in time, and in time to cease. 
Neither his being GOD, before the 
world was, (John i. i.) nor his 
being the only-begotten, nor his 
being Creator and Sustainer of all 
things, nor his laying the foun 
dation of the heavens and the 
earth; none of these considerations 
are thought of sufficient weight to 
found his worship upon : but a late 
office of yesterday, and shortly to 
be laid down ; that, and that only 
is made the foundation of religious 
worship, and such worship as, by 
all the Scripture accounts, is to 
continue for ever and ever : which 
they are pleased to understand of 
the end of the world only 1 , though 
the same phrase or phrases which 
denote the continuance of the FA 
THER'S worship, are used likewise 
for the SON'S ; and even in the 

1 Ibid. p. 92. k Clarke's Scripture 
Doctrine, Propos. 48, 60, 61. Replies, 
p. 239. Author of Unity not In 
consistent. His Reply, p. 49. 




The Scriptures ever suppos 
ing but one object of worship, 
which is GOD Supreme) never 
give us any rules about raising 
or lowering the intention of the 
worshipper, to make the wor 
ship supreme or inferior, as 
occasion may require. What 
ever may be said of a few specu 
lative heads, or refined wits, 
the vulgar, it is to be feared, 
would never be capable of pro 
portioning their intentions in 
such cases; but would often 
pay subordinate worship only, 
instead of supreme, which would 
be next to blaspheming, or su 
preme instead of subordinate, 
which would be idolatry. 

Scripture never makes any 
distinction between offering and 
terminating worship ; but sup 
poses all worship to terminate 
where offered. GOD interprets 
all image-worship and creature- 
worship to terminate on the 
image, or creature, notwith 
standing any intention of the 
worshipper to terminate the 
worship in him. It is worship 
ping of the idol, the image, the 
creature, not the worshipping 
of GOD, in Scripture style. 
And indeed how can any act 
of idolatry, any creature-worship 

same common doxology, jointly 
offered to both. Verily, if these 
things are not absurdities, it is pity 
that they should look so like them. 


The Arians imagine, that the 
same outward acts of religious wor 
ship become higher or lower, ac 
cording to the intention of the 
worshipper : which is following 
their own inventions, and putting 
the matter of worship on such a 
foot as must inevitably run the 
bulk of mankind either into idolatry 
on one hand, or profaneness on the 
other, as often as they mistake in 
the just and proper elevation of 
their thoughts or intentions. 

They are teaching us also to 
offer worship here, and terminate 
there ; which must likewise run 
the vulgar at least into inextricable 
labyrinths ; as perhaps terminating 
the worship in the inferior object, 
when they ought not; or not offer 
ing when they ought. Besides 
that, for want of knowing precisely 
what worship is inferior and what 
supreme, what mediate and what 
ultimate, they will be often apt to 
mistake the one for the other : 
and hence will arise all imaginable 
confusion in sacred offices. In a 
word, their whole foundation is 
wrong, since no inferior worship 
can, without blasphemy, be sup 
posed to terminate in the supreme, 
nor any supreme worship be made 
to fall upon the medium, without 
idolatry. Their inferior worship 
must be ultimate, and their supreme 
cannot be mediate: so that their 


terminate upon GOD, who has 
absolutely prohibited it, who 
abhors and detests it ? The rea 
son of the thing shews that so 
it must be : for if worship be 
paid to an inferior object, be it 
sovereign or inferior worship, 
the absurdity is manifest. If 
it be sovereign, then it is plainly 
idolatry to give any part of it 
to the inferior object : if it be 
inferior, it cannot terminate in 
the supreme object, who would 
be affronted and dishonoured 
thereby. It must therefore 
terminate in the inferior object : 
and thus a creature is honoured 
with ultimate worship, termi 
nating where offered, which is, 
confessedly, idolatry. 


The Scriptures assure us 
that CHRIST increased in wis 
dom 7, which is to be literally 
understood, as well as his in 
creasing in stature is literal. 
He was, at times, afflicted with 
grief: his soul was exceeding 
sorrowful 7 -, and full of trouble*, 
crying out in great agonies 10 . 
These and the like weaknesses 
and infirmities can never reason 
ably be supposed to suit with 
the divine Logos; who had 
wisdom, strength, and power suf 
ficient to create, sustain, and 
govern all worlds. From these 

y Luke ii. 52. z Matt. xxvi. 38. 
Mark xiv. 34. a John xi. 33. xii. 27. 
xiii. 21. Luke xxii. 44. Matt, 
xxvii. 46. Mark xv. 34. 

two devised distinctions necessarily 
confound and destroy each other ; 
and they must either not worship 
CHRIST at all, or worship him 
with ultimate worship, even upon 
their own principles. 


Our modern Arians persuade 
themselves, that CHRIST had no 
human soul, but that the Logos 
supplied its place. Some" 1 ex 
pressly say it ; and as many others 
mean it, as bring a charge against 
the Athanasians of making two 
Persons in one CHRIST : which 
charge has been brought against 
us by most n of our modern Arians. 
They are therefore of opinion, that 
all the high things and all the low 
things, spoken in scripture of 
CHRIST, meet in the one Logos 
clothed with flesh. He was once 
wise enough to make, or however 
to frame and model the whole uni- 

m Whiston, Emlyn, &c. See also 
Answer to Peirce's Inquisition, p. 34, 
35. n Morgan, Jackson, Author of 
the Appeal, &c. and others. 



considerations, besides sundry 
others, the Christian churches 
have ever firmly believed, that, 
besides the Logos, or divine 
nature, there was also a human 
soul in CHRIST ; which, together 
with the Logos and a human 
body, made up the whole Per 
son of CHRIST. 

verse, (according to some of them,) 
as well as to support and govern 
it when made. But upon his 
taking flesh, his wisdom and his 
extraordinary abilities departed 
from him . He became a child, a 
child in understanding as well as 
stature ; falling, as it were, into a 
profound lethargy, and suspension 
of thought. By slow and insensi 
ble degrees, he again began to 
recover ; his dormant faculties 
revived, and thus he increased in 
wisdom ; growing up, first, to the 
perfection of a wise man, but not 
yet arrived to the pitch of an 
angelv. In process of time, he 
became wise enough and of suffi 
cient ability to be made a GOD of 
once more : His honour and his 
brightness returned unto him, he 
was established in his kingdom, and 
excellent majesty was added unto 
him. So saith tbe Scripture of 
Nebuchadnezzar, (Dan. iv. 36.) 
who, if this account be true, was 
(with reverence be it spoken) none 
of the least eminent, or least con 
siderable types of CHRIST. But 
this is not all ; the worst is to 
come. This mighty GOD (accord 
ing to those gentlemen) is at last 
to lay down, or surrender his 
Godhead and mightiness, tbat is, 
his kingdom ; all the kingdom they 
allow him to haveq. His worship, 

Emlyn's Examination of Dr. 
Bennet, p. 15. See also Appeal to a 
Turk, &c. p. 145. P Modest Plea, 
p. 93. The Scriptures and Athana- 
sians Compared, p. 15. Appeal to a 
Turk, &c. p. 145. i The Scripture 
and Athanasians, &c. p. 16, 17, 22. 
Reply to Dr. W. by the Author of 



his divine honours and robes of 
majesty are to continue with him 
no longer than to the end of the 
world 1 . It seems, when his friends 
and followers are to receive their 
crowns, to have and to hold to all 
eternity, he is to lose and forfeit 
his. They must increase, but he 
must decrease : they are to grow 
up, he is to grow down, and sink 
out of Godhead. A shocking 
thought ! to as many as have any 
just regard for sacred Writ, any 
love or veneration for their blessed 
LORD ; and have not lost the 
grace of discernment, and the 
spirit of a sound mind, by affecting 
to be wiser than all the churches 
of GOD. 

Unity, &c. p. 49. Peirce's Western 
Inquisition, p. 148, 149. r Reply to 
Dr. Waterland, by the Author of the 
Unity, &c. p. 49. 

Judge for yourselves what is BIGHT. 


IN the former part, I have taken the like method as the 
writer of the pamphlet had done. Only there is this difference, 
that whereas he has often charged the Athanasians with things 
which they neither hold, nor can by any certain consequence be 
proved upon them ; I have took care to charge the Arians with 
nothing but what some or other of them expressly maintain, or 
else what may be fixed upon them by clear and evident consequence. 
My design, in this Second Part, is to give the common reader 
a few useful hints, such as may serve to prevent his being im 
posed upon by the writer of the pamphlet, whom I am here 
answering. I shall throw what I have to say under two heads : 
one shall contain short remarks upon his six preliminary propo- 


sitions ; the other shall be some brief strictures upon his two 
ingenious columns. 

I. His first proposition is intended to prove, that there is but 
one infinite Person, (whom he styles a Being,) namely, GOD the 
FATHER. His Old Testament texts prove, that JEHOVAH (that 
is, as we say, FATHER, SON, and HOLT GHOST) is the only GOD, 
and knows no equal. The New Testament texts prove, that the 
FATHER is sometimes styled, by way of eminence, the one or only 
GOD ; which no man questions. 

II. His second proposition is to prove, that GOD the FATHER 
has some titles common to him with men ; such as Potentate, 
King, Lord, Saviour, &c. And that when they are applied to 
him, they are to be understood in the highest and most absolute 
sense. This, I think, he has well proved. And it may pass for 
a true, but trifling proposition. 

III. His third is to prove, that the name GOD is likewise 
common to GOD the FATHER, angels, and men,- which is true 
also. But he forgot to observe, that the word GOD is not 
applied to angels or men in a proper sense, (as the name of Po 
tentate, King, or Lord may) but in a loose, figurative, improper 
sense only. 

IV. His fourth is to shew, that the FATHER has some charac 
teristics annexed to the name GOD, which determine him to be 
the first Cause. He is the high GOD, most high GOD, &c. In 
proof hereof, he produces about fourteen passages of the Old 
Testament, which certainly prove all that they prove of the JE 
HOVAH, or GOD of Israel, in opposition to nominal or reputed 
Gods ; not of the FATHER only, in opposition to the SON, who is 
himself JEHOVAH as well as the FATHER. He has also three 
texts out of the New Testament, which undoubtedly prove 
that the FATHER is GOD Most High, or GOD Supreme, (which is 
equally true of GOD the SON, Rom. ix. 5.) above all reputed or 
nominal Gods : but it is not proved that he has any real, and 
true, any adorable God besides him, or under him. 

V. His fifth is designed to reconcile two contradictory propo 
sitions, that there are more GODS than one, and not more GODS 
than one ; where he comes off very indifferently. For his intent 
is to intimate that there are more adorable Gods, more true 
Gods than one ; which is directly repugnant to the Scripture 
doctrine of one GOD. There are many reputed or nominal Gods ; 


that is very certain. But more adorable Gods than one neither 
Law nor Gospel can bear. 

VI. His sixth proposition carries on the same design with the 
fifth, to make FATHER and SON two adorable GODS, and to teach 
us to serve the creature besides the Creator, and to pay our 
homage and acknowledgments to one that by nature is no GOD. 
It will be hard to persuade any into those measures who have 
the use of their Bibles ; which will teach them the contrary, 
quite through from Genesis down to the Revelations. 

Brief Strictures upon his two Columns. 
Page 6, he cites some texts to prove, that the FATHER alone, 

O * x 

exclusive of the SON, is the only GOD, or only true GOD : which 
the texts neither say nor mean. For the same Scriptures assert 
that the SON is GOD, True GOD, Great GOD, JEHOVAH, Almighty, 
&c. as well as the FATHER. Therefore the exclusive terms could 
never be intended in opposition to GOD the SON, but to idols, or 
pretended deities. 

Page 7, he makes a dull harangue about person and essence ; 
instead of shewing that FATHER, SON, and HOLT GHOST may not 
be or are not one GOD. This is a Scriptural doctrine, indepen 
dent of the names of person or essence, and such as was fully 
believed and taught for a century and more before ever those 
terms came in. Not but that those terms are useful, in opposition 
to the wiles and equivocations of heretics, which were the first 
occasion of them : nor are they difficult to understand, whenever 
considered without prejudice and with an honest mind. But it 
is enough for common Christians to believe, that FATHER, SON, 
and HOLY GHOST are all equally divine, that one is not another, 
nor all together three GODS, but one GOD : one GOD, into whom 
we have been baptized, and whom we are ever to serve, worship, 
and adore, with all our heart, mind, and might. 

Page 8, he insists much upon the personal pronouns, I, thou, he: 
which can never be proved to be constantly applied in Scripture 
to none but single persons. Besides that the arguments from 
the pronouns, at most, can prove no more than this ; that it is 
the Scripture way to speak but of one Person at a time, (be it 
FATHER, or SON, or HOLY GHOST,) under the title of GOD, LORD, 
JEHOVAH, &c. tacitly considering the other two Persons as united 
to, or comprehended in, that one Person spoken of: which, if it 


be the case, is so far from proving that all the three are not one 
GOD, that it is rather a confirmation of it, that they really are. 
But we have examples where one GOD, or LORD of hosts, is 
mentioned, and yet the expressions are plural as to the Persons. 
" GOD said, Let us make man in our image," Gen. i. 26. " GOD 
" created man in his own image, in the image of GOD," ver. 27. 
GOD creates, while more Persons than one create : and it is GOD'S 
image, which is the image of more Persons than one : therefore 
more Persons than one are included in GOD there mentioned. 
The like may be shewn of the one LORD of hosts mentioned Isa. 
vi. 3. compared with verse the 8th, and with John xii. 41. and 
Acts xxviii. 25, 26. 

In page 9, he represents it as a strange thing, that the SON 
should be " that very GOD whose Son he is : the image, and 
" that which he is the image of." This kind of banter and 
abuse runs through his whole performance. It is observable, 
that the force of the cavil lies only in the expression. Say, that 
the SON, a distinct Person, is united in substance and Godhead 
with GOD the FATHER ; and there is no appearance of absurdity 
in it. Say, that the SON is personally distinct from the FATHER, 
and yet one GOD with him ; and there is nothing strange or 
shocking in it. But say, that he is that very GOD whose Son he is, 
or that very thing of which he is the image ; and here begins to 
appear something harsh and odd. What is the reason ? Because 
the words sound as if the SON were the FATHER himself; were 
distinct and not distinct at the same time. The Arian notion, of 
GOD'S being but one Person, is first insinuated in the phrase, 
that very GOD whose Son he is ; and next the Athanasian is 
feigned to join his notion (inconsistent with the other) thereto : 
and thus he is made to say things that he never meant. The 
sophistry lies wholly in the artificial blending of ideas. The SON 
is not that very Person whose Son he is, nor that very Person 
whose image he is : but he is one GOD with him ; a name common 
to more Persons than one. 

Page i o, he takes notice, that GOD led Jacob alone, yet by the 
hands of Moses and Aaron: and GOD created the /teavens alone, 
yet by JESUS CHRIST. He should have added, that if GOD the 
FATHER be True GOD alone, yet it is to be understood, together with 
JESUS CHRIST. The word alone, in such instances, is not intended 
in opposition to GOD the SON, but to others : and exclusive terms 
are not always to be interpreted with the utmost rigour. 


Page u, 12, he pretends that CHRIST, before his incarnation, 
was GOD'S angel, and messenger, and servant. He cannot prove 
servant at all ; nor angel, or messenger, from any parts of Scrip 
ture but what, in the very same places, declare him to be Ho 
Theos, GOD absolutely, Jehovah, LORD GOD, Almighty GOD, &c. 
From whence it is plain, that the name of angel concerns only 
his office, not his nature ; and is an argument only of the SON'S 
voluntary condescension to transact matters between GOD the 
FATHER and mankind. 

Page 12, 13, he has some wise reasonings against the Son's 
glory being eclipsed in the incarnation. He asks, how it could 
be eclipsed from men, who " then beheld his glory more than 
" ever ?" By his argument, if, the first time a man sees the sun 
at all, it should be under a cloud, or an eclipse, it is therefore 
under no cloud, nor under any eclipse to that man. In short, 
though men " behold his glory more than ever," yet even then 
his glory was shrouded under the veil of flesh, and did not shine 
out to the full ; which if it had, no mortal could have looked 
against it. 

Page 1 2th and ] 3th, he labours to confound real and essential, 
with outward and accidental glory : and he is marvellously sub 
tile and profound on that head. The short answer is, that one 
kind of glory can never be increased or diminished, either in 
FATHER or SON : the other kind of glory may admit, and has 
admitted of increase or diminution, both in FATHER and SON, and 
will so again hereafter. 

His cavils (p. 13.) about two Persons, in CHRIST are built on 
nothing but his own mistakes of the definition and meaning of 
the word person. 

His reasoning about even and odd (p. 14.) is odd enough; to 
answer a jest with a jest. 

P a g e '5 he has some speculations about CHRIST'S being exalted 
to the universal dominion of all worlds, (a likely charge, indeed, 
for any creature to sustain,) and becoming a Mighty GOD : as if 
he had not been as Mighty when he made the worlds, and when 
he laid the foundations of the heavens and the earth. 

Page 16, he observes, that Scripture says nothing of two king 
doms of CHRIST. But the Scriptures do speak of a kingdom 
which is to cease at the day of judgment, (i Cor. xv.) and of a 
kingdom which shall not cease, nor ever have an end, Isa. ix. 7. 
Dan. xii. 13. Luke i. 33. Heb. i. 8. How to make one kingdom 


of both may be as difficult, perhaps, as to make the same number 
even and odd. 

Page 1 7, he pretends, that the SON is to be honoured, only 
because the FATHER hath made him universal Governor of heaven 
and earth. How is it then that he was GOD, LORD, and Creator, 
before the world was ? Are not these things as considerable 
as any thing that came after ? And how is it that he is to be 
honoured, together with the FATHER, and with the same acts of 
worship, (Rev. v. 13,) to all eternity ; even after he shall have 
laid down this universal kingdom and government, according to 
our wise author? Surely, if the sole foundation of his honour 
ceases, his honours should cease with it. 

Page 19, he observes, that the Disciples and GOD are one. I 
know not whether his understanding here failed him most, or his 
eyesight. How does he read the text ? " That they all may be 
" one that they also may be one in us/ 1 John xvii. 21. Not 
that they and toe may be one, not that they may be one with us ; 
but only, one with each other in us. 

These few Strictures may be sufficient to shew, that the author 
is not to be depended on, in his representations or reasonings. 
I designed brevity, and therefore I pass over his other fallacies 
and misconstructions : which are either stale things, such as 
have been abundantly answered over and over by better hands ; 
or else are too mean and trifling to have been either objected on 
one side, or answered on the other, by any that have well studied 
this controversy. 










ABOUT eight weeks ago, I had the favour of a letter from 
you, together with some papers relating to the subject of the 
Trinity. I have had no time since, more than to give them a 
cursory reading. But my month of waiting being September, 
when, probably, the Prince or young Princesses might be, as 
usual, at Hampton Court; I thought I might then take an 
opportunity of waiting upon you, and discoursing with you, 
before I enter into any epistolary correspondence. I am yet 
uncertain where the court will be in September. If you can 
inform yourself where the king^s chaplains must wait the next 
month, I shall be obliged to you for acquainting me with it. 

My hands, you must be sensible, are pretty full at present, in 
maintaining the Catholic cause (allow me so to call it) against 
the Arians ; who seem to be now the most prevailing sect of the 
Anti-Trinitarians, Socinianism being almost grown obsolete 
amongst us. Your scheme seems to me to be Socinian in the 
main ; only taking in the preexistence of Christ's human soul, 
excluding him from worship, and interpreting some texts in the 
Sabellian way, and not after Socinus. I know not whether my 
leisure will permit me to examine all the grounds upon which 
you go, and to give a particular answer to every difficulty you 
have to urge. But if, upon discoursing with you, the contro 
versy, so far as concerns you, may be shortened, and reduced to 
two or three points which are most material; I may perhaps 


find time hereafter to give you ray thoughts upon them in 
writing. You will consider, in the meanwhile, that you are as 
much concerned to answer, I mean to yourself, the reasons 
which I have given for my persuasion, as to require answers to 
those reasons, which seem to you to favour your principles. The 
reasons, for instance, which I have given against the Sabellian 
construction of the first chapter of St. John, are of equal force 
against yours. And my arguments to prove Christ to be 
properly Creator, (not to mention several others to prove his 
Divinity, drawn from his titles, and attributes, and from the form 
of baptism,) directly strike at your hypothesis, as much as at the 
Arian. There are many great objections, as you see, lying 
against your principles ; and there are some, not contemptible, 
against mine also. Weigh both equally, and balance them one 
against another : this will be the true method to form a right 
judgment. I believe you to be as sincere and impartial in your 
inquiries as most men are ; making allowance for such prejudices 
as are often apt to steal upon any of us, without our perceiving 
it. I wonder a little how one that talks so well about suspend 
ing assent where there is not sufficient evidence, can prevail with 
himself to think that there is any prescription for your scheme 
of 500 years before the commencement of my scheme. The 
proof of this fact can never be made good. The contrary is 
plain and evident. I am in hopes that I have mistook your 
meaning : if I have, I ask your pardon. I shall add nothing 
more at present, but my thanks to you for your very civil manner 
of writing to me ; assuring you, that so far as my leisure, abilities, 
or opportunities permit, I shall be ever ready to give you 
the best satisfaction I can in any thing relating to this contro 
versy; being, 

Your most humble Servant, 


Magd. ColL Aug. 9, 1720. 



I CAN now acquaint you, that I shall not be in waiting at 
Kensington before the i6th of September. I intended to be 


there at the beginning of the month ; but my wife being ill, I 
have wrote to my brother chaplains to take care of the first 
fortnight : and they will be so kind as to do it. I shall be very 
glad to see you at Kensington any time after the 1 6th. There are 
lodgings provided for the chaplains, as I well know, having so 
found it the last year. The lodgings are in or near the square : 
which is all that I remember of them. 

I thank you for the favour of your last, and again ask your 
pardon for mistaking your meaning. I shall think my time there 
very agreeably and usefully spent in friendly debates upon so 
important a subject. Not that I think either of us shall be able 
thoroughly to discuss the main question, in a verbal conference, 
and without books at hand. But we may settle some prelimi 
naries ; may throw out several things as agreed on between both ; 
and so prepare the way for a short and clear examination of the 
matter in debate, to be done afterwards by way of letter. In 
the interim, I am, with very true and sincere respect, 

Your most humble Servant, 


Magd. Coll. Aug. 30, 1720. 4 



I HAVE had the favour of two letters from you, and am not 
unmindful of the promise I made to enter into an epistolary 
correspondence with you, as far as my leisure may permit, and 
provided the dispute may be brought into a narrow compass. I 
might reasonably decline all private conference, having suffi 
ciently done my part in this controversy, till some or other shall 
undertake, in the same public way, to confute what I have 
publicly asserted. Yet since you have been pleased to apply 
yourself to me, with much civility, and with an air of strict 
sincerity, entreating me not to think it too great a task, though 
in respect of a single soul, to take particular notice of what you 
have publicly and privately advanced upon the subject ; I shall 


not scruple to comply with your desires, so far as may be 
sufficient to answer the end intended. 

The points which, after our conference at Kensington, I pro 
mised to go upon, were these : i . The interpretation of the first 
of St. John. 2. The question whether Christ be Creator. 3. 
The point of worship. Under these three is contained all that is 
material ; and upon these the main of the controversy turns. I 
must insist upon it with you, as a preliminary article, that you 
confine yourself, for the present at least, within these bounds ; 
avoiding all wanderings and unnecessary diversions, attending to 
one point only at a time, and contentedly suffering it to be 
distinctly and fully debated, before we proceed to any new one. 
You are first to be upon the defensive, and to bear the part of 
a respondent. You shall have your turn to object afterwards 
(if we continue our correspondence) what you please to my 
scheme; but, for the present, you are only to defend your 

These things premised, I shall now begin with your interpre 
tation of St. John. You construe the words 0tos r\v 6 Aoyos, 
God was reason or wisdom. To which I object as follows : 

1. The article 6 before Ao'yos, and the want of the article 6 
before 0eos, make one presumption against your interpretation. 
Please to observe St. John's manner of expressing himself else 
where, o 0eos ay&iri) corir, " God is love," twice, i John iv. 8, 16. 
6 eos </><Ss ecTTi, " God is light," i John i. 5. Now these are just 
such propositions as that of yours, God was wisdom : wherefore 
had St. John intended it, he would have expressed it thus ; 6 
cos Aoyos TIV. This observation is of weight, not only because 
of St. John's manner of expressing himself, but also because the 
Greek idiom requires it. See Erasmus's comment upon the 
place, who was a good judge in such matters. 

2. Another objection against your interpretation is this, that 
the Ao'yos is the principal subject, the theme which the Apostle 
took to discourse on. He is there shewing what the Ao'yos was, 
not what God the Father was. The Ao'yos was in the beginning, 
the Ao'yos was with God, the world was made by the same Ao'yos, 
and so on. The whole first fourteen verses are, in a manner, 
little else but a description of the several powers and attributes 
of the Ao'yos. Wherefore it is more natural and consonant to 
understand that the Apostle intended to tell us that the Ao'yos 
was God, than vice versa : since the Apostle was recounting the 


attributes of the Ao'yoj, his principal theme, not the attributes of 
God the Father. 

3. I must not forget to add, that all antiquity has construed 
the words as we do. Now, whether you consider the ancients as 
the properest judges of the idiom of the language in or near 
their own times; or whether you consider them as faithful 
conveyers of the Apostle's meaning, (some having been his 
immediate disciples, as Ignatius ; others having conversed with 
those that had been,) either way, the verdict of the ancients, 
especially in so noted and so important a passage of Scripture, 
ought to be of great weight, and indeed decisive ; unless there 
appeared (as there does none) some plain reason or necessity, in 
text or context, for another construction. You seem indeed to 
lay some stress upon this consideration, that, in our way, we 
construe the words bachcards. But this is slight. Would you 
call it construing backwards, if we rendered the first sentence, 
(fv ap\rj r\v 6 Ao'yo?,) " The Word was in the beginning ?" It is 
not construing backwards, to render Trrcu/xa <5 0eos, " God is 
" spirit :" John iv. 24. or to render pdprvs yhp pov tarlv 6 0eos, 
" God is my witness :" Rom. i. 9. Multitude of like examples 
may be given, where the different idioms of languages require 
that the sense should run under a different order of the words. 

Your other observation, borrowed from Bishop Pearson, that 
the Evangelist makes " the last word of the former sentence the 
" first of that which follows," appears to be of very little moment. 
By this rule, the second verse should have begun with 6 Aoyos 
instead of ovros. Or if you answer this by saying, that still OVTOS 
refers to the last word preceding, then by the same rule bt avrov, 
in the third verse, should refer to TOV ebv preceding. But 
enough of fancies: let us rather attend to dry criticism and 
strict reasoning. 

I proceed to your construction of bi atrou, by it, or according 
to it, as in or by an exemplar. It is sufficient here to observe, 
that this construction is ungrammatical. The preposition bta 
cannot bear any such sense. The English particle by is indeed 
sometimes so used, but I want some example of any such use of 
the Greek bid. Give me one, at least, out of Scripture : or I 
shall be content if you can produce me any either in sacred or 
profane writer. 

Mr.Norris's speculations upon this head I am well acquainted 
with. They may pass for pretty fancies, and that is all. Allow- 


ing the thing itself to be true, yet it neither can be made appeal- 
that John has here asserted it, nor was Mr. Norris himself 
sanguine enough to affirm that he ever intended it. See his 
preface to part i. p. 14. Add to this, that the ideal world is 
nobody knows what. Strip it of flight and figure, and there is 
no more in it than this, that God knew all things before he 
made them : but the modus of it infinitely surpasses all created 
understanding. If we come to plain good sense, we can conceive 
nothing of God, but what is either substance or attribute. The 
ideal world, in your hypothesis, must either be the substance of 
God the Father, that is, God himself, or only some attribute of 
him. You make it to be his reason, or his wisdom, and therefore 
must of consequence suppose it an attribute ; and so you say in 
your first letter, though in the same place you observe that it is 
" of the substance of God," the meaning of which I should be 
glad to know distinctly. To me there appears no medium 
between an attribute of God, and God himself. You suppose 
wisdom to be an attribute, not God himself precisely considered ; 
and accordingly you say by it, not by him : so that, at length, 
allowing only for a small difference in words, your hypothesis 
falls in with the Sabellian scheme, and I have already confuted 
it in my first Sermon. However, I shall not scruple to make a 
little more particular application of what I have there said to 
your hypothesis. 

I argue thus. Either you must understand by the Ao'yos, 
God the Father himself, or an attribute of God the Father: 
but neither of these suppositions can be reconciled to St. John's 
Gospel, therefore your scheme falls. If you understand by the 
Ao'yos, God the Father, try if you can make sense of verse the 
ist, 2nd, and i4th ; if you understand any attribute of him, as you 
seem to do, I object as follows : 

1. The Logos was with God, irpbs rbv 0eoV. What accurate 
writer would not rather have said of an attribute, that it was c v 
TW 06(5, in God? And yet -jrpbs TOV 0eoy is again repeated. 

2. St. John lays some stress upon the Logos' s being in the 
beginning with God. He repeats, he inculcates it. What ueed 
of this, if the Logos means only God's wisdom ? Can any man 
doubt whether God was always wise ? But there might be some 
doubt whether any other Person was in the beginning with God 
the Father ; and therefore, if a Person be meant, we see the 
reason of the Evangelist's repeating it, and laying a stress upon it. 


3. The pronoun euros (verse the 2nd) put by itself, and begin 
ning a sentence, seems rather to denote a Person than an 
attribute, and to be more justly rendered he than it. I know 
not whether any the like instance can be given of OVTOS put 
absolutely and beginning a sentence, and not denoting a person. 

4. Verse the 8th, " He (John the Baptist) was not that light.' 1 '' 
The he here, of whom this is denied, plainly refers to some 
other he, of whom the thing is affirmed. How would it sound 
to say, lie was not, but it (an attribute of God) was that light ? 

5. Proceed to verse the nth, and read it in your way, thus: 
It came unto its own, and its own received it not- Where is the 
sense or the propriety ? 

6. Go on to verse the I2th. But as many as receiced it, to 
them it gave power to become the sons of God. Is not the sense 
flat, and the sentence very odd and unnatural ? 

7. Lastly, consider verse the i4th. The Logos (an attribute 
of God the Father) was made flesh, and it tabernacled amongst us, 
and we beheld its glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the 
Father, &c. Now, how comes ivisdom or reason to be the only 
begotten of the Father, more than power, or goodness, or any 
other attribute ? 

8. St. John in his Revelations seems to have determined, that 
6 Ao'yos is the name of a Person, not an attribute, the Person of 
Jesus Christ: Rev. xix. 13. 

These are the principal difficulties against your scheme, which 
at present occur to me. Be pleased to answer them severally 
and distinctly, or give them up as unanswerable. In the interim, 
I rest, 


Your faithful Friend, 

And humble Servant, 


Magd. Coll. Oct. 27, 1720. 



I RECEIVED a letter from you, containing some exceptions 
to the evidence and reasons which I offered against your inter 
pretation of the first chapter of St. John. Your exceptions, or 


pleas, I shall examine one by one ; and then leave you to judge 
of what weight they ought to be : charitably believing that you 
will not industriously deceive your own soul. 

1 . To my critical reasons your general answer is, that you are 
illiterate, and pretend not to criticism. 

But this plea will be of no service in the case. You correct 
the English translation, and indeed all the versions that ever 
were, appealing to the original itself. I shew you from the 
idiom of the language, from the Apostles' manner of expressing 
himself elsewhere, and from his principal drift and design through 
the chapter, that you misconstrue the original, and that the 
words cannot bear your sense. Now either you are obliged to 
answer these reasons, or else to own frankly, that you have taken 
upon you to judge in a point you understand not, have been 
confident without grounds, and pronounced in the dark. Con 
sider well what St. Peter has observed, namely that the un 
learned and unstable wrest the Scriptures to their own destruc 
tion, 2 Pet. iii. 1 6. How know you but this may be your own 
case, while against the idiom of the tongue, the author's manner 
of expression, as well as against the wisest and ablest judges 
ancient or modern, you wrest a passage of such importance to a 
new and strange meaning ? 

I do not doubt but an illiterate man may be capable of under 
standing the Gospel : and I hope you are capable of under 
standing the passage of St. John in the vulgar sense, as well as 
in any new invented one of your own. 

2. To my argument drawn from the sentiments of antiquity, 
you except, that if the sense of a text can be fixed, any different 
sense of Fathers against it is of no weight. 

But what is this to the purpose ? Have you fixed the sense of 
the text, that is, ascertained it ? So far from it, that you have 
hardly the shadow of a reason, from text or context, to support 
it. On the contrary, it is rather fixed to another sense, as I 
have shewn you, and given you reasons which you are not able 
to answer. 

3. You plead that the five first verses are a train of progressive 
propositions, and that generally the predicate of the former is 
the subject of the succeeding. 

I answer, that your rule fails in the very two first pro 
positions, for 6 Ao'yos is the subject in both. It fails again in 
verse the 2nd, where, by your rule, it should have been 6 Ao'yo?, 


instead of ovros. Your rule is again broke in verse the 3rd, 
where bt avrov should, by that rule, refer to Qebv going before. 
But enough of fancies. 

4. To ray argument drawn from St. John's making the Logos 
his principal theme, and his intending to tell us, not what God 
the Father was, but what the Logos was : to this you except, 
that the Apostle's declaring the Logos to be an attribute of God, 
is declaring what the Logos is, and is therefore consonant to the 
Apostle's design. I answer, 

You do not here carefully distinguish between subject and pre 
dicate. When we say, God is reason, God is the subject, and 
reason is predicated of him. But when we say, the Logos is God, 
the Logos is the subject, and that he is God, is predicated of the 
Logos. Now St. John's scope and design, which runs through 
the first fourteen verses, is to predicate of the Logos, not to pre 
dicate of God the Father : wherefore I must still insist upon it, 
that the Apostle's drift all along is against your construction. 

5. You conceive that you have some strength and countenance 
from the 5th verse, which you desire me to account for. Please 
to compare John iii. 36. v. 40. x. 10. v. 25, 26. vi. 33, &c. xiv. 
i i . and especially John viii. 1 2. xi. 25. Col. iii. 3, 4. You will find 
Christ to have been the life and light of the world, as being the 
Author and Fountain of the resurrection, and the Giver of life 
eternal. Not a word do you meet with about the ideal icorld, 
which, whether it be a truth or no, has no foundation in Scrip 
ture, but is borrowed from the Platonic philosophy. 

6. You pass some high commendations on Mr. Norris, re 
flecting not very kindly (I am sure, without Mr. Norm's good 
leave) on the clergy in general. 

I readily allow all you can say in commendation of that good 
man. But will you abide by his authority in every thing? If 
you will, our dispute will be at an end. But it is in vain to con 
tend by authorities instead of reasons. How many authorities 
might I produce against your sentiments, particularly against 
your construction of St. John ! The whole Christian world, in a 
manner, from the beginning downwards to this day, not to men 
tion that Mr. Norris, in the main, is of my side of the question, 
and interprets the Aoyos of a distinct Person, not of God the 
Father, or any attribute of him. 

7. You except to my notion of an attribute, and (without un- 


derstanding what you say) call it Sabellian. My notion of an 
attribute is the same that all Divines, whether Sabellian or 
others, have ever had of it. Power, wisdom, goodness, are 
attributes of God, not his substance precisely considered : in 
like manner, as reason is a property of something rational, not 
the very thing itself precisely considered. They are abstract 
partial ideas, and are not the very same with the notion of the 
substance itself. For if you say that power is the substance, 
and wisdom the substance, and goodness the substance, precisely 
considered; then power is goodness, and both together are 
wisdom ; and wisdom is omnipresence, &c. and there is no differ 
ence between one attribute and another, nor any sense in saying 
that the substance of God is wise, good, powerful, &c. because it 
will be only saying, that the substance is substance. 

8. You take hold of Bishop Pearson's saying, that God is an 
attribute of the Ao'yos. But it is plain that the Bishop there 
used the word attribute in an improper sense, for predicate; 
meaning only that 0eos was predicated of the Ao'yos, or, in plain 
English, that it is there said of the Ao'yos, that he was God. 

When you speak of wisdom, power, and goodness being co- 
essential and consubstantial, you use words either without a 
meaning, or with a meaning peculiar to yourself. Things are 
with one another coessential or consubstantial, not properties, nor 
abstract notions. 

As to my rendering John iv. 24, I have the same right to 
render -nv($na Spirit, (not a Spirit,) as our translators had to 
render Tivtv^an, in the same verse, Spirit, not a Spirit. But 
that by the way only, having little relation to our present 

As to the preposition 8id, neither you nor Mr. Norris has 
given any instance of its ever being used in the exemplary sense. 
The rest is of no moment. 

Thus, Sir, I have, I think, considered every exception in your 
letter that appears to have any weight. As you are pleased to 
apply to me under the character of a Ductor Dubitantium, so I 
have endeavoured to answer every the least scruple, that so you 
may the more readily come into those reasons which I before 
offered, and which return now upon you in their full force. I 
beg leave to assure you, that I offer you nothing but what 
appears to me plain good sense, and sound reason, and such as 


has weight with myself as much as I desire it may have with you. 
I sincerely wish you a right judgment in all things, and remain, 
Your Friend and Servant, 


Magd. Coll. Nov. 13, 1720. 



I GAVE you time to consider upon what I had before offered, 
that you might at length give up what you could no longer main 
tain. It was with me a preliminary article, that we should not 
run from point to point, to make a rambling and fruitless dispute 
of it ; without settling and clearing any thing. I will not under 
take to go through the obscurer parts of the controversy with 
you, while I find you so unwilling to apprehend plain things. 
It would be endless for me to explain my meaning every time 
you mistake it : for every explanation will still want a further 
explanation, and so on ad infinitum. I have neither leisure nor 
inclination to proceed in this way ; nor do I see to what purpose 
it is. I have shewed my willingness, upon your own earnest re 
quest, to serve you in this controversy ; but despair of any suc 
cess in it. The civilest way now is, to break off a correspondence 
which can serve to no good end. You are well pleased with your 
own opinions, and I as well satisfied with mine. Which of us 
has the most reason, we shall both know another day. I am, 

Your Friend and Servant, 


Magd. Coll. Dec. 25, 1720. 















W HEN I last had the pleasure of your conversation, in 
company with one or two more ingenious friends, I remember 
we soon fell to asking each other, what news from the republic 
of letters ; what fresh pamphlets stirring ; what works, relating 
either to religion or science, had appeared lately, or were soon 
likely to appear. Hereupon several things were mentioned, 
and passed off in discourse : but what we happened more par 
ticularly to dwell upon was, the consideration of some meta 
physical pieces concerning the proving the existence of a Deity 
a priori, (as the Schools term it,) that is to say, from some 
supposed antecedent necessity, considered as a ground, or reason, 
or foundation, or internal cause, or formal cause of the Divine 
existence. And here, if I remember, we were inquisitive to 
know what those scholastic terms imported, and whether the 
thought contained in them was entirely new, a recent product of 
the eighteenth century ; as also what weight or solidity there 
was in it : and, if there were none, whether it portended any 
detriment to religion or science, and might be worth the oppos 
ing or confuting. Upon the debating and canvassing the par 
ticulars now mentioned, my opinion then was, and I am since 

Y 2 


more and more confirmed in the same, that those who have 
appeared as advocates for that argument a priori seem to have 
had no clear notion of the thing itself, or of the terms they 
make use of ; that the thought however was not a new thought, 
though perhaps it might be justly called a new tenet, as having 
been constantly exploded for many centuries upwards, and never 
once maintained by metaphysicians or divines; that moreover it 
was absolutely untenable, yea and carried its own confutation 
along with it, as soon as understood; and lastly, that such 
principles might be prejudicial, in some measure, both to religion 
and science, if they should happen to prevail ; and that conse 
quently it would be doing good service to both, if due care were 
taken, in a proper manner, to prevent their growth. 

With these sentiments (which seemed also to be pretty nearly 
the common sentiments of all then present) I departed from you 
at that time. And no sooner was I returned to my books, and 
had some vacant leisure on my hands, but I thought of throwing 
out what occurred to me on those heads into paper, digesting it 
into a kind of dissertation, which I here send you for your 
perusal, and which I leave entirely to your disposal. The 
method, which I have chalked out for myself, in the essay here 
following, is ; 

I. To give some historical account of what the most eminent 
metaphysicians and divines have taught, so far as concerns 
the point in question. 

II. To consider the argumentative part, in order to take off the 
ambiguity of words, and thereby to prevent confusion of 

III. To examine into the tendency of the new tenets, with 
respect either to religion or science. 

These three heads will furnish out so many distinct sections 
or chapters. 



Containing an Historical View of ichat Metaphysicians or Divines 
have formerly taught, so far as concerns the Argument a priori 
for the Divine existence. 

I SHALL begin with two ancient Theists, both of the same 
time, or nearly, and both declaring against the possibility of 
demonstrating a priori the existence of a Deity, or first Cause. 
One of them was a Christian Divine, and the other an acute 
Pagan Philosopher. 

The Christian Divine was Clemens of Alexandria, who flourished 
about A.D. 192. He expresses himself thus in Dr. Cudworth's a 
translation : 

" God is the most difficult thing of all to be discoursed of: 
" because, since the principle of every thing is hard to find out, 
" i\ie first and most ancient principle of all, which was the cause 
" to all other things of their being made, [and of their continuance 
" after they were made,] must need be the hardest of all to be 
" declared or manifested. But neither can [God] be apprehended 
" by any demonstrative science : for such science is from things 
" before [in order of nature] and more knowable ; whereas 
" nothing can exist before that which is altogether unmade b [or 
" self-existent.]" 

The other ancient Theist is Alexander Aphrodisiensis, a 
celebrated Peripatetic, who flourished between A.D. 199 and 
21 i c . After he had proposed an argument for the existence of 
a first Cause, drawn from the consideration of motion, according 
to the Aristotelic principles, he proceeds to observe as follows : 
" This argument [or proof] is in the way of analysis only, it 
" being not possible that there should be a [strict] demonstration 
" of i\\e> first principle of all: wherefore we must here fetch our 
" beginning from things that are after it, and manifest, and 

a Cudworth Intellect. Syst. p. 716. 'A\X' ovSe firurrripr} \a^avtrai rfj 

b Nat fifv 6 SvcriJLfra^fipKTTOTaTOS anobfiKTiKfi ' avrr) yap (K nporfpcov KCU 

7T(p\ Qtov Xoyos OVTOS etrriv' eVf t yap yvo>pip.(OTfpa>v arvvitrrarat' TOV fie trye- 

apxT) iravros Trpdyparos BvcrcvptTOS, VTJTOV ovdfv Tvpovirapxfi. Clem. Alex. 

irdvTa>s TTOV f} irpa>TT) /cat Trpeo-jSuTaTT; p. 606. edit. Oxon. 

SvofifiKTos, fjris rols aXXoty &na<nv c See an account of him in Fabricius, 

TOV ytvfffdai KOI ytvopfvois fivai, Bibl. Graec. lib. iv. cap. 25. p. 62. 


" thence by way of analysis ascend to the proof of that first 
" nature which was before them d ." So Dr. Cudworth renders 
the passage : and the reflection or comment, which he makes upon 
what has here been quoted from these two ancient Theists is in 
these words : " The true meaning of those ancient Theists, 
" who denied that there could be any demonstration of a God, 
" was only this, that the existence of a God could not be 
" demonstrated a priori, himself being the first Cause of all 
" things." 

Such were the sentiments of metaphysicians and divines at that 
time, founded upon plain and cogent reason, such as must 
equally hold 'at all times, and such as seem to evince, not that 
the existence of a first Cause may be demonstrated a priori, but 
rather that it is really demonstrable a priori, if not self-evident, 
that no such proof can be made, being indeed contradictory and 
impossible, repugnant to the very nature or notion of a first 
Cause. But I shall speak to the argumentative part afterwards : 
I am now upon the historical. It is certain that the Fathers of 
the Church, Greek or Latin, never admitted any such proof a 
priori of the divine existence, but either directly or indirectly, 
either expressly or implicitly, condemned it all along. It would 
be tedious to enter into a particular detail of their sentiments, 
in relation to the proof of the existence : I shall content myself 
with one general observation, that they had not so much as the 
terms or phrases of necessary existence, or necessity of existence, but 
utterly rejected the very name of necessity, as not applicable to 
the Deity at all, understanding it constantly in its ancient, 
proper, compulsive sense 6 . Now it is very well known, that the 
supposed proof a priori, lately contended for, is built in a manner 
entirely upon the word necessity, and instantly sinks without it. 
For, put immutable, or natural, or independent, or emphatical 
existence, (according to the ancient way,) instead of necessary 
existence, or necessity of existence, and then it is certain that the 
very medium of the whole argument drops and vanishes, and 
there is not so much as any colour or appearance of the proof 
left. I say then, since it is undoubted fact that the Fathers all 
along admitted of no such terms as necessary, or necessity, in this 

'H ^8f|tr Kara dvdXvtriV oi yap o-at TTJV tudvov (pixriv. Aphrodis. Phy- 

oi6vrt ri)s Trpto-njs dpxrjs dnofttigiv emu' sic. Schol. lib. i. cap. I. 

dAXu 8d dno rS>v vtrrtpav TC KOI (pave- e See my Second Defence, vol. ii. 

pS>v dpgaptvovs, Kara TTJV irpbs ravra Qu. viii. p. 569, &c. Preface to Ser- 

vv/j.<pwiai> dvaXixTfi xpapfvovs warrf- inons, vol. ii. 

CH. i. 



case, but rejected them as not applicable either to the Divine 
existence or attributes; it is very plain that they therewith 
rejected any such pretended argument a priori as has been 
since raised from those terms. 

To shew how late it was before necessity gained admittance in 
the Church, and became, as it were, christianized, with respect 
to our present subject, I may observe that Archbishop Anselm f 
of the eleventh and twelfth century, yea and Alexander Hales? 
of the thirteenth, were yet scrupulous of making use of the 
term, and were very tender of applying it to the Divine acts or 
attributes, except it were with great caution, awe, and reserve ; 
at the same time owning the word to be both harsh and impro 
per. And as to applying it to the Divine existence, I do not find 
that they ventured upon it at all ; though others frequently did 
it afterwards in the decline of the thirteenth century, and down 
wards, when Aristotle's Metaphysics, translated into barbarous 
Latin, and the Arabian philosophy, (of Avicen, Averroes, and 
Algazel,) had paved the way for it h . 

Let us see however how this matter stood after those improper 

f Deus nihil facit necessitate, quia 
nullo modo cogitur aut prohibetur 
aliquid facere. Et cum dicimus Deum 
aliquid facere quasi necessitate vitandae 
inhonestatis, quam utique non timet, 
potius intelligendum est quod facit 
necessitate servandae honestatis : quae 
scilicet necessitas non est aliud quam 
immutabilitas honestatis ejus, quam a 
seipso et non ab alio habet ; et idcirco 
improprie dicitur necessitas. Anselm. 
Opp. torn. hi. p. 55. 

e Ad aliud vero quod objicitur de 
necessitate bonitatis, dicendum est 
quod nomen necessitous non congrue 
hie dicitur de Deo. Unde Anselm. 
In Deo nulla cadit necessitas. Neces 
sitas enim videtur dicere coactionem. 
Sed nee est necessitas utilitatis a parte 
sua, sicut habitum est in praecedente 
autoritate. Si vero dicatur necessitas 
congruitatis, sive idoneitatis, sicut tan- 
gitur in quadam authoritate, tune 
potest dici quod ex necessitate bonita 
tis condidit res. Non tamen videtur 
congruere quod dicatur ex necessitate 
natures : licet enim sit idem bonitas 
quod natura ejus, tamen si diceretur 
ex necessitate naturae, videretur poni 
tab's necessitas qualis est in rebus 
naturalibus. In rebus enim natura- 

libus ignis ex necessitate natures gene- 
rat ignem, et homo hominem : non 
sic autem est cum creatures fiunt a 
Deo. Alex. Alens. part. ii. p. 15. 

N. B. This author flourished about 
1230, died 1245. Albertus Magnus, 
who flourished about 1260, and died 
in 1280, made no scruple of applying 
the word necessary or necessity (in a 
sober but new sense) to the Divine 
essence or existence.- and it is very 
plain that he learned that language 
from Aristotle's philosophy, to which 
he refers for his sense of those terms. 
See Albert. Mag. Comment, in lib. i. 
Sentent. Dist. 6. Opp. vol. xiv. p. 
121. edit. Ludg. 

fc Quievit autem et siluit philoso- 

phia Aristotelis, pro majori parte, 

usque post temporaMahometi,quando 
Avicenna et Averroes et caeteri revoca- 
verunt philosophiam Aristotelis in 
lucem plenam expositionis. Et licet 
alia logicalia et qua?clam alia translata 
fuerunt per Boetium de Graeco, tamen 
tempore Michaelis Scoti, qui annis 
Dom. 1230. transactis apparuit, defe- 
rens librorum Aristotelis partes ali- 
quas,&c. remagnificata est philosophia 
Aristotelis apud Latinos. Rog. Bacon, 
p. 37. Conf. p. 45, 262, 420. 


terras were brought in, and softened into a qualified sense ; 
whether any Schoolmen or others (now they might seem to have 
some handle for it) ever attempted to draw out any such argu 
ment a priori for the existence of a first Cause, and to commend 
the same as true and solid reasoning. I would here observe by 
the way, that the Schoolmen, though they deservedly lie under 
a disrepute for their excesses in many things, may yet be justly 
looked upon as carrying great authority with them in a point of 
this nature, where they had no bias to mislead them, (being 
inclined to the side of Theism,} and where a question turned 
upon a right understanding of technical terms or phrases, and a 
thorough acquaintance with logic and metaphysics; being a 
matter of pure abstract reasoning. They were undoubtedly 
great masters in that way : for " where they argued barely upon 
" the principles of reason," as a very judicious writer observes, 
" they have often done exceeding well, and have improved 
" natural reason to an uncommon height 1 ." And I will venture 
to add, that if the sharpest wits of these later days shall under 
take, upon their own stock, to furnish out a new scheme of school 
divinity, or metaphysical theology, it will be a long while, perhaps 
some centuries, before they arrive to such perfection in some 
part as many of the Schoolmen arrived to ; unless they shall be 
content within a while to take those despised Schoolmen into 
consultation with them, and to extract the best things from them. 
This I hint by the way, in order to remove prejudices, with 
respect to my citing (as I am now going to do) Schoolmen in 
this cause ; though I intend not to cite them only, but other the 
most judicious and learned divines and metaphysicians, who have 
come after them, and have entirely agreed in this article with 
them. However, as I have already intimated, the Schoolmen 
are most certainly proper judges within their own province, and 
in a point of school divinity : and this which we are now upon is 
very plainly such, as the pretended argument a priori proceeds 
altogether upon scholastic terms, and is managed in a scholastic 
way, and therefore must at length stand or fall by scholastic 
principles and scholastic reasonings. These things premised, I 
may now proceed in the historical view, according to order of 
time, beginning from those days when necessary existence, with 
other the like terms or phrases, had gotten some footing in the 
Christian theology. 

1 Reflections upon Learning, p. 217, 227. 



Albertus, surnamed the Great, on account of his great learn 
ing and abilities, was one of the most considerable among the 
divines or metaphysicians of the age he lived in. He was one of 
the first (I mean among Christian writers) that took upon him 
to give God the metaphysical title of a necessary Being. Yet he 
presumed not to found any argument a priori for the existence 
upon it, but denied expressly, or in words equivalent, that any 
argument of that kind could be made. He allows, that upon 
the foot of mere natural light, God may be known a posteriori 
by the creatures, and no otherwise 14 : for he admits it as a true 
principle, that a philosopher can search out God no other way 
than by the creatures, as a cause is known from the effect^. 
Which amounts to the same with saying, that philosophy affords 
no proof a priori. 


From the master or preceptor I may next descend to the 
scholar, who was almost twenty years younger than Albertus, 
but died some years before him, namely, in the year 1274. I 
need say nothing of the fame or the abilities of Aquinas, sur 
named (according to the fashion of those times) the Angelical 
Doctor. He frequently enough makes use of the phrases of 
necessary Being, or necessity of existing, but yet never builds 
any argument a priori for the existence upon it, but constantly 
maintains, that every proof of the existence is a posteriori, from 
the effects. In one place he writes thus, " There are two kinds 
" of demonstration. The first is by the cause, and has its name 
" from shewing why the thing is, and it proceeds upon some- 
" thing simply prior. The second is by the effect, and has its 
" name from shewing that the thing is, and it proceeds upon 
" things prior with respect to vs. Now the existence of God, 
" as it is not knowable in itself, is demonstrable to us by the 
" effects to us known 1 "." That is to say, the existence of God 

k Posita creatura tanquam effectu in philosophia nisi per creaturas, sicut 

Dei, necesse est Deum creatorem causam per effectum. Ibid. p. 55. 

poni : et sic a posteriori ex creatura m Duplex est demonstratio. Una 

potest Deus cognosci. Albert. Magn. qua? est per causam, et dicitur propter 

in lib. i. Sentent. dist. iii. Opp. torn, quid; et haec est per priora simplici- 

xiv. p. 66. ter : alia est per effectum, et dicitur 

1 Philosophus non investigat eum demonstratio quia , et haec est per ea 


cannot be demonstrated a priori, but a posteriori only : and so 
the title of that article explains it n , in some editions of his 
Sum. In another work, Aquinas maintains the same thing in 
words somewhat different, thus : " In arguments brought to 
" prove the existence of the Deity, it is not proper to argue from 
" the Divine essence, or from what he is, but instead thereof to 
" argue from the effects, like as in the demonstrations a posteriori: 
" and from some such effect is the name of God taken ." I use 
a little liberty in rendering his words, to make his sense appear 
the clearer. It is very plain from both the passages here cited, 
that he utterly rejected all arguments a priori for the proving 
the existence of a Deity. Yet I shall not conceal from you, that 
he elsewhere argues from necessary existence to the eternity of the 
divine Being? ; which may be thought to be arguing a priori: 
I will not say that it is not arguing a priori : but then it is not 
arguing from attribute to existence, but from one attribute to 
another, from existence and one or more attributes before proved, 
to an attribute not yet proved; which is a fair and just way 
of reasoning, and may perhaps not improperly be called arguing 
a priori ; though some would scruple the giving it that title. 
However, as to this by-point, I shall have occasion to say more 
in the sequel, and so may dismiss it for the present, and proceed 
in my method. 

A. D. 1276. ROGER BACON. 

Roger Bacon, of the order of Friars Minor, was a person of 
strong parts and clear judgment, and had perhaps a greater 
compass of erudition than any other of that age. He was 
styled the admirable Doctor, after the way of giving titles at 
that time. It will not be improper to shew what his judgment 
was upon the present question, as he occasionally delivered it. 

quae sunt priora quoad nos. Unde sive quidditatem, sed loco quidditatis 

Deum ease secundum quod non est accipitur pro medio effectus, sicut ac- 

per se notum, quoad nos demonstrabile cidit in demonstrationibus quia ; et ex 

est per effectus nobis notos. Aquin. hujusmodi effectu sumitur ratio hujus 

Summ. q. ii. art. 2. p. 14. edit. Lugd. nominis Dews. Aquin. Summ. contr. 

1588. Gentiles, lib. i. cap. 12. p. 14. edit. 

n Deum esse, quamvis non a priori, Lugd. 1587. 

a posteriori tamen demonstrari potest P Oportet ponere aliquod primum 

ex aliquo ejus notiori nobis effectu. necessarium quod est per seipsum ne- 

Aquin. Summ. q. ii. art. 2. p. 4. edit, cessarium ; et hoc est Deus, cum sit 

Paris. 1615. prima causa ut dictum est: igitur 

In rationibus autem in quibus Deus teternus est cum omne necessa- 

demonstratur Deum esse, non oportet rium per se, sit seternum. Aquin. 

assumi pro medio divinam essentiam, contr. Gentil. lib. i. cap. 14. p. 21. 


" In metaphysics there can be no demonstration made but by 
" arguing from the effect : because things spiritual are discovered 
" by the sensible effects, and the Creator by the creature, as is 
" manifest in that science 1." From which words it is plain that 
he rejects all pretence to arguing a priori in the question of the 
existence, and allows of nothing in that case but the proofs a 
posteriori only. 


Richard of Middleton was a man famous in his time, dignified 
with the title of the solid Doctor. His determination of the 
question about proving the existence a priori is clear and full ; 
as here follows : " There is one kind of demonstration propter 
" quid, [from antecedent reason,] in which what belongs to the 
" subject is demonstrated by its cause : and there is another kind 
" of demonstration quia, [from subsequent reason,] in which the 
" cause is demonstrated by the effect. In the former way of 
" demonstration, I say, we cannot demonstrate the existence of 
" God, because the Divine existence has no cause prior to found 
" such proof of the existence upon : but in the latter way of 
" proof from the effect, I assert that we can demonstrate the 

J. t*' * 

" existence of the Deity by variety of arguments 1 "." Here we 
may observe, as likewise in the three authorities before cited ; 
that it was not through haste, oversight, or forgetfulness, that 
they avoided arguing a priori in that instance, but through deep 
consideration and judgment. They had all thought of the thing, 
and very deliberately rejected it, as amounting to a palpable 
absurdity, making a cause prior to the first. 

I may further take notice, that this author has besides a 
whole chapter about the conceivable or notional order of the 
Divine attributes well worth the perusal, for the right under 
standing how, or in what sense, one may be said to argue a 
priori from existence to attributes, or from attribute to attribute. 

<l In metaphysicis non potest fieri tur causa per effectum. Loquendo de 

demonstratio nisi per effectum : quo- prima demonstratione, dico, quod non 

niam inveniuntur spiritualia per cor- possumus demonstrate Deum esse, 

porales effectus, et Creator per crea- quia esse Dei causam non habet, per 

turam, sicut patet in ilia scientia. quam possimus ipsum demonstrare 

Rog. Bacon. Opus majus. p. 62. edit, de Deo : loquendo de demonstratione 

Jebb. 1733. qua? est per effectum, sic dico quod 

r Estqusedam demonstratio propter possumus demonstrare Deum esse 

quid, qua demonstratur passio de sub- multipliciter. Rich, de Med. Vill. in 

jectoper causam : et est quaedam de- IV. IAbr. Sentent. lib. i. dist. 3. q. 3. 

monstratio quia, in qua demonstra- p. 41. 


I shall cite some parts of that chapter for a specimen s : but the 
whole deserves a reader's careful notice, for the solid judgment 
appearing in it. The sum is, that the Divine existence is con 
sidered in the first place, and after that, the attributes in their 
most natural order of conception. And when they are so placed 
or ranked, we may argue from them in that order ; and such 
arguing may, without impropriety, be styled arguing a priori, as 
arguing from something antecedent, in natural order of conception, 
to something subsequent in conception to it. I know not whether 
the judicious author has marshalled the attributes with the 
utmost exactness, or has assigned to every one of them its most 
proper place : but he appears to have determined very right in 
the main point, and to have digested every thing with a kind of 
masterly hand. Had those matters been considered always with 
the like care and judgment, there could have been no room for 
arguing a priori to the existence at all, nor for arguing to any 
attribute from any thing conceived as antecedent, in order of 
nature, to the existence. But existence and some attributes may 
rationally be conceived as antecedent, in order of nature, to other 
attributes : and this kind of arguing a priori, which is reasonable, 
ought not to be confounded with the other, which is manifestly 
Trporepov, and palpably absurd. But I pass on. 


Johannes Duns, surnamed Scotus, and dignified with the title 
of Doctor Subtilis, was considerable enough to support a kind of 
rivalship against Thomas Aquinas, and to be founder of a new 

8 Non est inconveniens ponere quod citatis et uniiatis sunt in divina essen- 

inter divina attributa sit aliquis ordo tia ratio infinitatis : et ista tria, ratio 

sccundum rationem intelligendi, in immut abilitatis ; et immutabilitas cum 

quantum intellectus noster priorem praedictis, simt ratio aeternitatis. Unde 

conceptionem de uno facit quam de inferius per divinse essentise simplici- 

alio. Unde prius in nostra ratione in- tatem probabitur in divina essentia 

telligendieste&pinMmmequamaliquod esse infinitas, et per divinam simplici- 

attributum eius, et intelligere quam tatem et infinitatem, immutabilitas, et 

velle, et attributa respicientia intellec- per immutabilitatem (eternitas. Inter 

turn priusquam respicientia volunta- perfectionesetiam quae con veniunt Deo 

tern. inter suas perfectiones/>riores in quantum est vita, priores sunt ilia?, 

sunt, in nostra ratione intelligendi, in nostra ratione intelligendi, quae re- 

illse quae respiciunt ipsum in quantum spiciunt ipsum intelligere, quam ilia? 

est essentia, quam illae quae respiciunt quae respiciunt ipsum velle ; et inter 

ipsum in quantum est vita : et inter primas, prior veritas quam sapientia. 

primas, prior est unitas, secunda sim- - Inter perfectiones quae respiciunt 

plicitas ; communior est enim ratio divinum velle, prima est bonitas, se- 

unitatis quam simplicitatis : omnis cunda misericordia, tertiajustitia. Ri- 

enim simplex unum est, sed non con- card, de Med. Vill. lib. i. dist. 2. qu. 4. 

vertitur, &c. - Ratio summae simpli- p. 32, 33. 


sect or division among the Schoolmen. However, their difference 
in other points makes their authority the greater as to those 
articles in which they agree : and it is certain that both Thomists 
and Scotists do agree in condemning and rejecting all argumen 
tation a priori in proof of the existence of a first Cause, as 
manifestly absurd. Scotus declares in express words, that it is 
not possible for us to demonstrate as from a cause, or antecedent 
principle, [propter quid'] the existence of an infinite Being, but 
that we may demonstrate it a posteriori, [demonstration quid] 
from effects, namely from the creatures*. He further observes 
and proves, that the first Cause is absolutely uncaused, having 
neither external nor internal cause ; neither efficient, nor final, 
nor material, nor formal, and consequently none at all. His 
reasoning is indeed wrapped up in a most wretched style, and 
very barbarous Latin : but it may perhaps be thrown into in 
telligible English, and will be found to contain excellent sense. 
It runs thus : " u lf the first Cause is above any efficient cause, 
" it must of consequence be absolutely uncaused, since it cannot 
" have any other kind of cause, as final, or material, or formal. 
" As to final cause, that it cannot have any such, is proved thus: 
" inasmuch as it has no efficient cause, it follows of course that it 
" can have no final : because a final cause is no more than a 
" metaphorical cause, moving the efficient to act ; nor does the 
" existence of the thing so caused essentially depend upon it, as 
" prior to it, in any other view. Now nothing can be justly 
" looked upon as a cause in itself, unless the thing caused 
" essentially depends upon it as prior to it ; [which cannot be said 
" of a final cause.] 

* De ente infinite non potest de- est causa per se, nisi ut ah ipso tan- 

monstrari esse propter quid quantum quam a priore essentialiter dependet 

ad nos (licet ex natura terminorum causatum. 

propositioessetdemonstrabilis/>ropter Duae autem aliae consequential (vi- 

quid] sed quantum ad nos propositio delicet, quod si est ineffectibile, ergo 

est demonstrabilis demonstratione immateriabile et non formabile) pro- 

quia, ex creaturis. Scot, in Libr. bantur simul : quia cujus non est 

Sentent. lib. i. dist. 2. qu. 2. p. 28. causa extrinseca, ejus non est causa 

u Si illud primum est ineffectibile, intrinseca. Quia causalitas causae ex- 

ergo erit incausabile ; quia nonjinibile, trinsecce dicit perfectionem sine im- 

nec materiabile, nee formabile. Pro- perfectione : causalitas autem causae 

batur prima consequentia, videlicet intrinsecce necessario requirit imper- 

quod si est ineffectibile ergo non est fectionem annexam, quia causa intrin- 

finibile, quia causa finalis non causat, seca est pars causati. Ergo, ratio 

nisi quia metaphorice movet ipsum causae extrinsecce est naturaliter prior 

efficiens ad efficiendum : nam non alio ratione causae intrinseca: : negato ergo 

modo dependet ab ipso essentialiter priore, negatur posterius. Scot. ibid. 

entitas finiti, ut a priore. Nihil autem p. 30. 


" As to the other two consequences before hinted, (that if a 
" being has no efficient cause, it can have neither material nor 
"formal,) they follow of course, and are proved at the same 
" time : because whatever is without any external cause, must 
" of consequence be without any internal one. An external 
" cause carries with it a perfect causality, which is more than an 
" internal cause does ; for an internal cause carries imperfection 
" along with it, as being only upart of the thing caused. Where- 
" fore if there be no room, as in this case, for an external cause, 
" which naturally is prior to the internal, much less can there be 
" any for the internal cause, which presupposes the other." 
I have been forced to render the passage paraphrastically, to 
make the sense clear, and to do justice to the argument contained 
in it. It amounts to a demonstration, that a first cause must be 
absolutely, and in every view, uncaused. And I judged it worth 
the noting, because it has been sometimes suggested, that though 
absolute necessity cannot be deemed a cause of a first cause by 
way of efficient cause, yet it may by way of formal cause be the 
ground of that existence". Duns Scotus has here effectually 
confuted or obviated any such thought, by observing, that every 
formal, every internal cause is but apart, or & partial conception 
of the thing itself, presupposing the thing, and therefore properly 
not prior in conception to it, nor the cause of it. 

He has a second argument in the same place to enforce the 
former, and it is to this effect : that internal or intrinsic causes 
owe their very nature and being as causes, or as constituent 
causes, to some external efficient ; for they are not causes in 
themselves, but by the external agent which makes them suchy- 
Therefore where there is no external efficient cause, there can be 
no internal cause properly so called. The force of the argument, 
as I understand it, lies here : that matter and form (called 
internal causes) are, in themselves considered, no more than con 
stituent parts of the compound, not causes of it. It is their 
supposed relation to some external agency which alone makes 
them carry an idea of causality along with them. If therefore 
we suppose all external agency or efficiency to be away (as we 

x See Dr. Clarke's Answer to the esse earum, vel in quantum causant 

Sixth Letter, p. 33. edit. 6th. coinpositum, vel utroque modo. Quia 

y Aliter probantur esedem conse- causae intrinsecae non seipsis, sine a- 

quentiae : quia causae intrinseca: sunt gente, causant compositum, vel con- 

causatae ab extrinseca, vel eecundum stituunt. Scot. ibid. p. 30. 


must in this case, respecting the divine Being which has no 
efficient cause,) the very idea of causality, as to any internal 
cause, ceases and vanishes at once ; it cannot be considered as a 
cause at all 2 . Wherefore., any being that is above having any 
efficient cause is much more above any other kind of cause, is 
absolutely uncaused; which was the thing to be proved. 


This writer, in his Commentaries upon Aquinas\s Sum, ex 
presses himself fully and clearly to our purpose. " The existence 
" of God cannot be evidently shewn a priori : in this point all 
" are agreed. For the existence of the Deity admits of no cause 
" whereby it should be demonstrated a priori. Neither can it 
" be demonstrated from the Divine essence, considered as prior 
" in conception, i . Because the existence of a being ought not to 
" be proved by the essence of that being, since the question of 
" the existence [whether any thing is] must precede the other 
" question concerning the essence, [what it is,] as Aquinas 
" rightly observes. 2. Besides, the essence of God is not suffi- 
" ciently known to us a ." 

Here it is observable, that this author looked upon it as a 
ruled point, a thing universally agreed to, that there neither 
was nor could be any demonstration a priori of the existence of 
God. It may be observed also by the way, that the phrase of 
demonstratio a priori was now become a more familiar phrase 
than formerly. The elder writers which I have cited used to 
call it demonstratio propter quid, answering to the Greek 61' on. 
Both signify a proof drawn from some prior cause, or from some 
thing naturally, or in the natural order of conception, antecedent 

z The argument may receive some edit. Paris. 

light from a passage in Durandus re- a Deum esse non potest evidenter 

lating to this head. demonstrari a priori : de hac inter 

Quod compositum ex materia et omnes convenit. Nam Dei esse nul- 

forma causam habeat, patet ; habet lam habet caitsam per quam a priori 

enim duas causas intrinsecas, scilicet, demonstrari possit : neque etiam id 

materiam et formam, ex quibus com- potest demonstrari per essentiam et 

ponitur : habet etiam causam efficien- quidditatem Dei, tanquam per aliquid 

tern, quia unio materise et formae fit prius secundum rationem. i. Quia 

per agens quod introducit formam in esse rei non debet demonstrari per 

materia. vnde philosophus, 8. Meta- quidditatem rei, cum quaestio are sit 

physicte, cum qua?reret quare ex ma- prior sit quaestione quid sit j ut recte 

teria et forma fit unum, dicit, quod D. Thorn. &c. 2. Nam quidditas Dei 

non est aliqua causa, nisi unum prin- non satis est nobis nota. Greyor. de 

cipium motus, quod est causa agens. Valent. torn. i. disp. i. qu. a. p. 59. 

Durand. lib. i. dist. 8. qu. 4. fol. 3. edit. Lugd. 


to the thing demonstrated by it b . A posteriori is just the 
reverse . 

A. D. 1600. VASQUEZ. 

Gabriel Vasquez, another eminent Schoolman of that time, 
declares his sentiments to the same purpose ; that there can be 
no demonstration a priori of the existence of a Deity, but a pos 
teriori only d . 

A. D. 1614. SUAREZ. 

Suarez, the famous Schoolman and Jesuit, deserves a more par 
ticular consideration, because he really had a strong inclination 
to make out something that should look like an argument a 
priori, or however should (for ostentation sake, I suppose) be 
set forth with that name : for, in reality, he expressly and abso 
lutely condemned all reasoning a priori to the existence of a 
Deity, as others before him had done ; and yet by a kind of 
artificial turn, by interpreting the proof of the unity so as to 
amount to the same with the proof of a Deity, he conceived he 
had done the thing, only by changing of names. But let us 
observe how he managed the whole affair : we shall see after 
wards what censures were passed upon it by the judicious, though 
it was mostly a difference in words. He states the main ques 
tion thus : " Whether the existence of God may in some sort 
" [or in some sense] be demonstrated a priori e :" and he deter 
mines in the affirmative. The whole tenor of his reasoning is as 
here follows : f " We are first to premise, that, absolutely 

b Demonstratio a priori ea est qua quendo non posse demonstrari a pri- 

probatur effectus per causam, sive ori Deum esse ; quia neque Deus 

proximam sive reraotam, aut probatur habet causam sui esse, per quam apri- 

conclusio per aliquod prius, sive sit on demonstratur, neque si haberet, ita 

causa, sive antecedens tantum. Chau- exacte et perfecte a nobis cognoscitur 

vin. Lexic. p. 170. Deus, ut ex propriis principals (ut sic 

c Demonstratio a posteriori dicitur dicam) ilium assequamur. Quo sensu 

ilia, qua vel probatur causa per effec- dixit Dionysius, capite septimo de di- 

tum, vel conclusio per aliquod paste- vinis nominibus, nos non posse Deum 

rius, sive sit effectus sive consequens. ex propria natura cognoscere. 

Chauvin. ibid. Quanquam vero hoc ita sit, nihilo- 

d Deum esse, non potest a priori minus postquam a posteriori aliquid de 

demonstrari : a posteriori taint- n et Deo demonstratum sit, possumus ex 

per effectus demonstrari potest. Vasq. uno attributo demonstrare a priori 

q. ii. art. 2. p. 60. aliud: ut si ex immensitate, v. g. con- 

Utrum aliquo modo possit a pri- cludamus localem immutabilitatem. 

ori demonstrari Deum esse. Suarez. Suppono enim ad ratiocinandum a 

Metaphys. torn. ii. disp. 29. sect. 3. priori, modo humano, sufficere dis- 

P- 2 8. tinctionem rationis inter attribute. 

1 Supponendum est, simpliciter lo- Resolutio qutestionis. Ad hunc ergo 


" speaking, the existence of God cannot be proved a priori ; as 
" well because God has no cause of his existence whereby it 
" should be proved a priori, as also because if he had, yet we 
" have no such exact and perfect knowledge of God as might 
" enable us to trace him up (if I may so speak) to his own 
" proper principles. To which purpose Dionysius (in his seventh 
" chapter of the divine names) observes, that toe cannot know God 
" according to his proper nature. 

" But though that be so as I have here said, yet notwith- 
" standing, after we have once demonstrated a posteriori some- 
" thing concerning God, we may go on to demonstrate a priori 
" one attribute from another : as for instance, when we infer 
" unchangeableness of place from the omnipresence before proved. 
" I suppose all the while, that a notional distinction of the Divine 
" attributes (after an human way of conception) is foundation 
" sufficient for reasoning a priori. 

" Now, for the resolution of the question, I proceed thus : 
" having demonstrated a posteriori, that God is a necessary and 
" self-existent Being, we may be able to prove a priori from this 
" attribute, [of necessary existence,'] that there cannot be another 
" necessary and self-existent being besides that one ; from whence 
" it follows, that that Being is God. 

" You will object, that this is proving the existence of God 
" from the essence of God before known, (for it is supposed that 
" the essence of God is, that he is a necessary and self -existent 
" Being,) which is plainly repugnant ; since the question what 
" he is presupposes the other question whether he exists ; as 

modum dicendum est : Demonstrate a attribute (quod re ipsa est essentia 

posteriori Deum esse ens necessarium Dei, a nobis autem abstracting con- 

et a se, ex hoc attribute posse a priori cipitur ut modus entis non-causati) 

demonstrari, prseter illud non posse colligi aliud attributum, et ita con- 

esse aliud ens necessarium et a se, et cludi illud ens esse Deum. Unde ad 

consequenter demonstrari Deum esse. concludendum hoc modo, esse Deum, 

Dices, Ergo ex quidditate Dei cog- sub ratione Dei, supponitur esse pro- 
nita, demonstratur Deum esse, quia batum, dari ens quoddam per se ne- 
quidditas Dei est quod sit ens neces- cessarium, nimirum ex effectibus ejus, 
sarium et a se : hoc autem plane re- et ex negatione processus in infinitum. 
pugnat, quia quaestio Quid est suppo- Atque ita quod primum de hoc ente 
nit quaestionem An est; ut recte ad probatur est esse; deinde esse ab in- 
hoc propositum notavit divus Thomas, trinseco necessarium; hinc esse uni- 
Part. i. q. 2. art. 2. ad secund. cum in tali ratione ac modo essendi ; 

Respondeo, Formaliter ac proprie ideoque esse Deum. Atque in hunc 

loquendo, non demonstrari esse Dei modum prius aliquo modo definitur 

per quidditatem Dei ut sic, quod recte qusestio An est, quarn Quid est. Sua- 

argumentum probat ; sed ex quodam rez, ibid. p. 28. 



" St. Thomas [Aquinas] has justly observed on this head. Part i. 
" qu. 2. art. 2. 

" I answer, that strictly and properly speaking, we infer not 
" the existence of God from his essence, considered as such, 
" (which the objection justly excepts to,) but from one certain 
" attribute, (which though really identified with the essence, is yet 
" conceived abstractedly by us as a mode of the Being uncaused) 
" we deduce another attribute; and so we at length prove that 
" that Being is God. Wherefore, in order to prove in this way 
" that there is a God, precisely considered as God, we suppose it 
" proved beforehand, that there is a certain Being necessary in 
" himself; proved namely from his effects, and from the absurdity 
" of an infinite progression. So the first thing we prove of this 
" Being is, that he exists; the next, that he is necessarily exist- 
" ing; then, that he is the only one existing in such a way; and 
" so of consequence he is God. And thus, after some sort, we 
" do first determine whether he exists, and next the other ques- 
" tion, what he is." 

Thus far the acute and learned Suarez ; of whom I have many 
things to observe, before I go on to other writers ; i . That he 
appears to have been ambitious to make out something that 
should be called an argument a priori, and was probably able to 
do as much in it as any one before or after him can justly be 
presumed to be. 2. That the method which he took for it, 
proving first something a posteriori, and then proceeding to 
argue a priori for the rest, is very like to that which others 
have taken since. 3. That he differs however from those later 
advocates for the argument a priori in the main thing of all, 
and determines expressly against their notion, that necessity can 
be conceived antecedent to existence. He looked upon that as 
flat absurdity and self-contradiction, utterly repugnant to the 
nature of a, first Cause; and so he made no use of antecedent 
necessity, or internal cause, or formal reason, ground, or foun 
dation, in proving his point : he was too knowing a logician and 
metaphysician, to offer any thing of that kind. 4. All that he 
admits is, that after the existence and one or more attributes 
have been proved a posteriori, we may then proceed to argue a 
priori for the rest : not from antecedent necessity, not from any 
thing conceived as prior, in order of nature, to the existence 
itself; but from the existence and one attribute or more consi 
dered as before proved, and as prior in conception to all the 


rest. 5. One thing Suarez was vei'y singular in, and upon that 
the whole stress of his cause lies, so far as concerns the making 
out an argument a priori for the existence of God: he would have 
it supposed that God is not proved to be God, till the unity is 
proved ; and so he suspends, as it were, the proof of a Deity 
upon the proof of the unity. This was an ingenious thought, 
but too weak to bear. For in that way there could be no room 
for the question whether God be one, since the very name would 
imply it : besides, it is universally allowed, that the proof of the 
existence of a Deity is both clearer and stronger than any proof 
of the unity, and is sufficiently determined and settled in the first 
place, before the consideration of the unity comes in at all. When 
we have proved, for instance, that there is an intelligent, eternal, 
self-existent Being, (one or more,) which is most easily proved 
from our own existence; we have then competently proved that 
there is a God, though we have not yet proved or considered 
every attribute that belongs to him. Such has been the way of 
divines and metaphysicians, first to prove the existence of a Deity, 
under that confuse general conception ; and next to proceed to 
the proof of the unity and other attributes in due place and order : 
and it is not reasonable to suggest, that if a man should fail in 
the proof of the unity, or of some other Divine attribute, (for the 
reason is the same in all,) that he has therefore failed in his 
proof of a Deity. That would be going against rule, and risking 
the whole for a part ; and, in short, resting the proof of a Deity 
(the plainest thing in the world) upon very obscure conditions, 
very unequal terms. But we shall have more of this matter in 
the sequel, as we take in other later writers, who have directly or 
indirectly passed their censures upon Suarez for his excesses on 
this head. 6. Upon the whole, one may observe, that this pre 
tended proof of a Deity, as drawn a priori, is rather a fetch, or 
a subtilty of that great man, than any thing solid ; a nominal 
proof, rather than a real one ; or an affected manner of miscall 
ing things by wrong names. 


Contemporary with Suarez lived Christopher Gillius, a Spanish 
divine and Jesuit, one of a subtle wit and penetrating genius. 
He has a pretty large chapter g, spent entirely upon our present 

s Gillii Coramentationes Theologicae de Essentia et Unitate Dei, lib. i. 
tract. 8. c. 4. p. 391 396. 

Z 2 




question. He takes notice, that there were not wanting some 
of that time who contended that the existence of a Deity might 
be proved a priori h . He had Suarez in his eye, as is plain 
enough, (though he does not name him,) because, a little after, 
he quotes the very words which Suarez had made use of in that 
argument. He mentions also Scotus, and some of his followers, 
as aiming at the like conclusion in a more far-fetched and 
roundabout way * ; allowing, that if God should extraordinarily 
or supernaturally infuse some higher degrees of knowledge, then 
some kind of proof a priori (however fruitless, and superseded 
by such illumination) might be made from it. See how soli 
citous and industrious some have been in searching for every 
appearance of a proof a priori, as much as others have been in 
searching for the philosopher's stone, or for the squaring of the 
circle, or the like, and with the like success. 

Our judicious author first observes, that all pretences of any 
formal demonstration of that kind had been utterly exploded k 
by the judicious ; particularly by Albertus Magnus, and Henri- 
cus de Gandavo, and Richardus de Media Villa, and Scotus, and 
Lyra, and Gasp. Casalius, and many others referred to else 
where } : so that it might be justly looked upon as a ruled point, 
that no proper demonstration a priori could be made of the 
Divine existence; all such attempts at length resolving either into 
some petitio principii, or some equivocation of terms, or other the 
like fallacy, or foreign subtilty. 

He proceeds to examine the question with the utmost strict- 

11 Non desunt recentiores, qui affir- 
mant esse demonstrabilem a priore, 
etiam respectu viatorum, si non per 
se primo, saltern posita cognitione 
Dei acquisita per discursum : quo- 
niam, inquiunt, postquam ex creaturis 
convincitur Deum esse ens necessa- 
rium, et a se, et unum, necessario con- 
cluditur a priore hunc esse Deum, &c. 
Ibid. p. 391. 

* Alio modo eandem conclusionem 
tuetur Scotus in I. dist. 2. qu. 2. Cum 
Scotistis interpretibus ibidem : Ocha- 
mus in I. dist. 3. qu. 4. lit. F. Gabriel, 
qu. 4. conclus. 3. Rubionius, dist. 2. 
qu. i. art. 2. concl. 4. Nam quamvis 
existiment de lege ordinaria non ha- 
beri a nobis demonstrationem propter 
quid, hujus propositionis Deus est; 
censent tamen fieri posse ut demon- 

stretur, si Deus infunderet alicui noti- 
tiamevidentem eorundem terminorum, 
vel saltern termini Dei, Sic. p. 391. 

k Propositio, Deus est, sub neutra 
acceptatione ex preedictis, est viatori- 
bus de lege formaliter demon strabilis 
a priore. Hsec est Alberti in Summa, 
tract, iii. qu. 17. Henrici in Summa, 
art. xxii. qu. 4. Richardi in I. dist. 3. 
art. i. qu. i. Scoti in I. dist. 2. qu. 2. 
et quodlibeto 7. Lyrani in Sapient, 
xiii. Gaspa Casalii, lib. i. de Quadri- 
part. justit. cap. xvi. conclus. 2. Et 
est de mente doctorum quos referam 
cap. seq. num. 7. Qui omnes non ag- 
noscunt demonstrationem Dei nisi ex 
creaturis. Notitia vero sumpta ex 
creaturis non potest esse a priore, ut 
patet. Gillius, ibid. p. 392. conf. p-394 

1 Gillius, c. v. p. 400. 


ness and nicety, traversing it through all its mazes, and unravel 
ling every ambiguity and subtle intricacy, whereby some had 
endeavoured to support what they would call a demonstration a 
priori in that case ; and shewing that none of them sufficiently 
answered the purpose, or came up to the point" 1 . From whence 
we may remark, that Suarez's attempts that way were not ap 
proved by the most judicious divines of his own time, but were 
condemned by the generality, and even by those of his own 
order, (for Gillius was a Jesuit,) and that soon after : for as his 
Metaphysics had first appeared in 1600, so this censure of Gil 
lius was finished and licensed in 160$, though not published 
before 1610. 

A. D. 1615. ESTIUS. 

At the same time with Gillius lived the learned Estius, 
who delivered his sentiments of the present question in the 
manner here following : " n As there are, among logicians, two 
" kinds of demonstration, one demonstrating the effect from the 
" causes, and the other, the cause from the effects; it is manifest, 
" that the existence of a Deity cannot be proved in the former 
" way of demonstration, since no cause in any kind can be as- 
" signed either of God, or of his existing. But it may be demon- 
" strated in the latter way, as St. Thomas [Aquinas] rightly 
"judges, (I. q. 2. art. 2, 3.) and as the Schoolmen upon this 
" distinction do universally teach/' 

m Ex his constat firmum non esse ipso supponitur esse necessarium ab 
fundamentum sententiae asserentis intrinseco; aut, &c. Ita patet ex 
demonstrari Deum esse a priore per illo principio, ens necessarium est, 
rationem necessitatis, quoniam non nullo modo demonstrari posse apriore 
est radix attributorum habentium hancpropos. Deus est. Gillius, p. 396. 
ordinem ad creaturas : et quamvis n Cum duplex sit apud dialecticos 
esset, cum ipsa non cognoscatur a demonstratio, alia quse ex causis effec- 
nobis a priore, vel ex terminis eviden- turn, alia quae contra ex effectis causam 
ter conjuncta cum Deo sub ratione monstrat; manifestum est, priori de- 
ilia attributalis fieri nequit ut eadem monstrationis modo non posse doceri 
demonstratio sit formalis a priore. Deum esse, cum nee Dei nee ejus 
Primum initium illius demonstrationis existentice possit in ullo genere causa 
sumitur ex cognitione creaturarum, proferri. Potest autem demonstrari 
resolvitur in principia cognita ex pos- posteriori modo, quemadmodum recte 
teriore, et ideo demonstratio non con- S. Thorn. I. qu. 2. art. 2. 613. Et in, 
stat formaliter ex primis. Quodnam universum scholastici circa hanc dis- 
peto est ens, de quo primum probatur tinctionem tradunt. Estius in Libr. 
esse? Ipsene est Deus, an vero en* Sentent. Comm. torn. i. p. 4. 
necessarium f Si Deus, totus discursus So Cardinal Lugo also, a little later 
sequens erit superfluus, quoniam pro- in the same age. Dico tertio, Deum 
cedit ad probandum id quod supponi- esse, non est demonstrable a priori, 
tur probatum : si ens necessarium, aut Sic cum Sancto Thoma, cseteri fere 
sumitur secundum absolutam et onini- doctores, et latissime Gillius. Lug. 
modam necessitatem, et tune hoc lib. i. disp. 14. c. 2. s.8. 



This writer expresses his judgment in the terms here fol 
lowing : 

" Though the existence of a Deity cannot be demonstrated a 
" priori, yet it must be allowed, that as to some of the Divine 
" attributes, they may be demonstrated a priori. 

" i . As to the first particular, it is plain from hence ; that 
" every proof a priori proceeds by causes either real or virtual, 
" or, which comes to the same, by some prior reason ; but of the 
" Divine existence there are no causes real or virtual, nor any 
" prior reason : for existence is included in the formal conception 
" of the Divine essence, insomuch that it is impossible to conceive 
" the Divine essence but as existing. The Divine essence is 
" being simply necessary: now it is contradictory to the notion 
" of being simply necessary, not to have existence; for it is usually 
" defined, as that which so exists that it cannot but exist. 

" 2. As to the second particular, it is manifest from hence, 
'* that eternity is demonstrated from immutability in this manner : 
" Every thing immutable is eternal : God is immutable : therefore 
" God is eternal. In like manner, the Divine ubiquity is commonly 
" proved from the immensity. And so in many other cases." 

The author here well distinguishes between arguing a priori 
from existence and attributes already proved, to other attributes, 
and arguing a priori from attributes, or from any thing else, to 
the existence itself. The one he allows as just and rational, the 
other he rejects as manifestly absurd : and so far he is certainly 
right. Some indeed may scruple to call it arguing a priori, when a 
man argues from attribute to attribute; conceiving that it should 
rather be styled arguing ex absurdo, and that nothing short of a 

Licet existentia Deitatis nequeat existens. Est enim essentia divina ens 

demonstrari a priori, concedendum ta- simpliciter necessarium ; repugnat au- 

men est de quibusdam attributis divi- tern enti simpliciter necessario, non 

nis, quod possint demonstrari a priori, habere existentiam .- definitur enim hoc 

i. Prima pars conclusions ex eo communiter, id quod ita est ut non esse 

innotescit, quod demonstratio quse- nequeat. 

libet a priori consurgat ex causis vel 2. Posterior vero pars constat ex 

veris, vel certe virtualibus, aut, quod eo, quod aternitas demonstretur per 

idem est, ex ratione aliqua priori, immutabilitatem, hoc modo : Omne 

Existentia; autem divinae null a- sunt immutabile est ceternum ; Deus est im- 

cavsee, nee verce, nee mrtuales, nee ratio mutabilis : ergo, Deus est cEternus. 

prior: haec enim includitur in con- Ubiquitas etiam divina demonstratur 

ceptu formal! esseiitite divina?, et qui- communiter per imme nsitat em ; et sic 

dem ita, ut impossible sit concipere in aliis multis. Joan. Putean. Opp. 

essentiam divinam quin concipiatur torn. i. part. i. qu. 3. p. 24. 


real (as opposed to notional) priority is sufficient to denominate 
or constitute an argument a priori. But that I take to be a 
fruitless nicety, and such is not worth the insisting upon ; for at 
last it will terminate in a dispute about words. It is sufficient, 
that there is nothing prior to the existence, no not so much as in 
order of nature, or notion, or conception ; and so all arguing a 
priori, as to that case, is for ever excluded. But as to the other 
ease, the manner of arguing is undoubtedly right, whatever 
name we give to it : and there seems to be no just objection 
against calling it a priori, so long as the existence is looked upon 
as always first in conception, and that the most natural order of 
conception be followed in arguing from attribute to attribute, and 
the process be not made too arbitrary v. 


This acute metaphysician and divine delivers his sentiments 
as follows : ' : The being or existence of God cannot be demon- 
" strated a priori. So St. Thomas, Albertus, Durandus ; and 
" of our order (of Jesuits) Valentia, Molina, Suarez, and Vas- 
" quez, whom Tanner mentions and follows^." After this, he 
enters minutely into the merits of the question, assigning his 
reasons why the existence cannot be proved a priori: which 
being much the same with those before mentioned, I choose, for 
brevity sake, to omit them, and proceed. Only, I may observe, 
that here are three authors, Durandus, Molina, and Tanner, 
beyond what I have quoted upon the question : and it is further 
observable, that he takes in Suarez amongst them, as one that 
had declared against the argument a priori; as indeed he really 
had, though verbally he might seem to differ, as I have before 

P Richardus de Media Villa, in a sunt apta nata intelligi : et sic intelH- 

chapter before referred to, observes gendo divinas perfectiones, est talis 

well to this purpose, that the order of ordo ex parte nostra. Prius enim, se- 

the attributes ought not to be settled cundum rationem intelligendi, intelli- 

in an arbitrary manner, but as reason gimus divinum esse, quam aliquam 

requires. ejus perfectionem ; secundo, suum 

Nee loquor hie de ordine qui tantum intelligere; tertio, suum velle. Ricard. 

est ex parte voluntatis (quia tali ordine de Med. Vill. lib. i. p. 32. 
posset, in nostra ratione intelligendi, i Prima conclusio, Deum esse, seu 

quandoque unum esse prius, quando- existere, non potest demonstrari a pri- 

que posterius, sicut placeret nobis) en. Ita D. Thomas, Albertus, Du- 

sed loquor de ordine qui est in con- randus : et e nostris, Valentia, Molina, 

ceptionibus nostri intellectus intelli- Suarez, et Vasquez, quos refert et se- 

gentis divina attributa secundum il- quitur Tannerus loco citato. Roderic* 

lum ordinem secundum quern magis de Arriag. torn. i. p. 30. 


hinted. So universal hitherto had been the agreement of meta 
physicians and divines in this article. 


The very learned Petavius is but short upon this question, 
mentioning it transiently, as it came in his way : but he is too 
considerable a person to be omitted in this recital. He takes 
notice, that the existence of a Deity is not to be proved from any 
thing prior or antecedent, but from effects only, and a posteriori; 
and from the alsurdities which lie against the contrary per 
suasion r . 


I shall now mention a protestant writer of our own of some 
note in his time. He was Fellow of Emanuel College in Cam 
bridge. In his book, entitled, An Elegant and Learned Discourse 
of the Light of Nature, he occasionally drops a few words to our 
purpose : " There can be no demonstration of him [God] a 
" priore ; for he is the first cause : and all demonstrations 
" fetched from such effects as flow from him, they do only shew 
" you that he is ; they do not open and display the divine 
" essence 8 ," &c. 


A more considerable writer of our own, so far as concerns 
the present question, was Thomas Barlow, then fellow of Queen's 
College, Oxon. and afterwards (A. D. 1675) Bishop of Lincoln. 
He published some Metaphysical Exercises, wherein he discovers 
great learning, and no less acuteness. The edition of 1658, 
which I follow, is the second edition. I shall produce his 
sentiments at large, because he entered deep into the question, 
viewed it on every side, and withal passed his censure (though 
rather too severe) upon the learned Suarez. 

He writes thus : " Our knowledge of God, arising from the 
" light of nature, is not a priori, and 8t' ore. The reason is, 
" because then God could not be eternal, if there were any prin- 

r Verum hsec iisque similia turn nos sunt, atque etiam iis ex incommodis et 

commoverent, si probationum id ge- aiszm&squseincontradicentiuin altera 

mis ageretur quod ex antecedentibus parte cernuntur, argumenta licet colli- 

et prioribus ducitur, ac demonstratio- gere, quibus Deus esse monstretur. 

nem et scientiam parit : ejusmodi enim Petav. Dogm. Theolog. torn. i. lib. i. 

locum in Deo non habent. Nihilo- c. i. p. 2, 3. 
minus ex effect is et iis quae posteriora 8 Culverwell, p. 212. 


" ciple prior to God : for eternity, in the very notion of it, ex- 
" eludes any prior principle. Consequently, if God be eternal, 
" there cannot be any prior principle whereby he may be known 
" a priori. Were there any principle by which God might be 
" known a priori, then, i. God would not be the first Original 
" and first Cause, as having by the supposition another cause 
"prior to him. 2. That supposed antecedent principle, by which 
" the existence of God should be proved, must be either external, 
" (of the final or efficient kind,) or else internal, of the material 
" or formal kind. Now it cannot be of the final kind, because 
" God is the chief end, and there cannot be any higher final cause, 
" whereby to demonstrate a priori the existence of God. It 
" cannot be of the efficient kind ; because if God had any ante- 
" cedent efficient cause, then God would be an effect, &c. Nei- 
" ther can it be said, that such prior cause is either material or 
"formal: for the perfect simplicity of the Divine nature admits 
" not of any such causes, as is self-evident : consequently there 
" is no room for any cause whereby to demonstrate a priori the 
" existence of a Deity 1 ." 

Our learned author here enters into the heart of the question, 
and reasons his way through, like a knowing and judicious man. 
Only he seems rather too short as to what concerns the two 
internal causes, called material and formal : but that brevity of 
his may be competently supplied from what has been said above, 
under Duns Scotus. I proceed to observe how he animadverts 
upon Suarez. 

" I am aware, that Suarez is of opinion, that we may, in some 
" sort, demonstrate a priori the existence of a Deity : not by 
" the essence of God as such, but by some certain attribute which 

* Haec nostra de Deo cognitio, a dens) vel intemum, scil. materiale vel 

lumine natural! orta, non est a priori formate. Nonprimum, qiiia cum Deus 

et 81 ort. Ratio est, quia sic Deus s\tjinis ultimus, non possit esse causa 

non esset eeternus, modo esset aliquod finalis prior, per quam demonstrari 

principium Deo prius : ipsa enim cefer- possit St' on Deum esse. Non secun- 

nitas intrinseca dicit negationem prin- dvm, quia si Deus habuisset causam 

cipii ; et per consequens, si Deus sit efficientem priorem, turn Deus esset 

aeternus, non potest esse aliquod prin- ejfectus, &c. Nee dici possit, quod 

cipium prius, per quod a priori cog- ilia causa sit materialis, aut formalis, 

noscetur. Si esset aliquod principium summa Dei simplicitas tales causas 

quo Deum a priori cognosceremus j non admittit, tit manifestum est : et 

turn, i. Deus non esset .principium per consequens non est causa ulla, 

primumet causa prima,utpole qua alia per quam a priori demonstrari possit 

causa essetyjrtor. 2. Principium prius esse Deum. Barlow, Exercit . Metaph. 

ex quo probari possit a priori Deum iv. p. 28. 
esse, vel erit externum (finale vel effi- 


" is really the essence of God, only considered by us, in an 
" abstract way, as a mode of the uncaused Being. But, to 
" say the truth, I approve not this bold assertion of the learned 
" Jesuit. Because it is a manifest contradiction to say, that the 
" existence of God can be proved a priori from any attribute 
" whatever, when every attribute, as such, in the very notion of 
" it, denotes something posterior to the essence of which it is the 
" attribute. For if the attribute be really distinct, [from the 
" essence,] then it is really subsequent to it : or if it be only 
" nationally distinct, (which is the case in the divine Being,) then 
" it is likewise nationally subsequent to the essence, whose attri- 
" bute it is conceived to be. It is not possible so much as to 
" imagine any attribute but what presupposes some essence whose 
" attribute it is. Consequently our knowledge of God's existence 
" is a posteriori only : and of that kind are all the demonstrations 
" brought by metaphysicians and schoolmen"." The learned 
author here argues the point against Suarez with great strength 
and acuteness : only he seems to fix an opinion upon Suarez 
which never was his : for Suarez himself plainly disowned any 
such arguing a priori for the existence, in that crude and gross 
sense which Barlow appears to take it in, while he is disputing 
against it. All that Suarez really meant, as I have before 
hinted, was, that the imity might be proved a priori, after having 
proved the existence a posteriori: and such proof of the unity he 
improperly called, or erroneously conceived to be, proving the 
existence of God a priori, inasmuch as God should not be deemed 
to be God, till proved to be one. Our author afterwards very 
well confutes that peculiar fancy, which Suarez and some few 

a Novi quod Suarez putat, nos est etiam ratione essentia posterius, 

posse aliquo modo a priori demon- cujus attributum concipitur : cum at- 

strari Deum esse : non per quiddi- trihutum nee fingi posset quin pres- 

tatem Dei, ut sic, sed ex quodam at- supponitur essentia aliqua cujus est 

tributo quod reipsa est essentia Dei, attributum. Et per consequens Deum 

a nobis autem abstractius consideratur esse non nisi aposteriori cognoscimus ; 

ut modus entis non causati, &c. Sed tales enim sunt demonstrationes omnes 

ut quod res est dicam, non probo hoc a metaphysicis et scholasticis adducta 

docti Jesuitae audax pronuntiatum. ad ostendendum Deum esse ; ut videre 

Quia manifesto implicat Deum esse est apud Fran. Suarez. Metaph. p. ii. 

demonstrari posse a priori per attri- disp. 29. sect. 2. num. I, 2, 3, 4, 5. 

butum quodcunque, cum attributum Aquin. contra Gent. lib. i. c. 13. p. 

omne, qua tale, intrinseca dicit aliquid n. et Ferrariens. ibid. Nazarium in 

essentia ilia posterius cujus est attri- I. P. qu. 2. art. 3. et apud Aquin. I. 

butum. Nam si sit attributum re P. qu. 2. art. 3. et commentatores. 

distinctum, turn re vera est posterius : Barlow, ibid. p. 129, 130. conf. p. 

si sit attributum solum ratione dis- 165, 186. 
tinctum (quod in divinis accedit) turn 

CH. r. 



others had countenanced in that article : I say, our author 
well confutes that notion by observing, that the existence of a 
Deity is sufficiently proved, as soon as an infinite, eternal, uncreated, 
independent (he should have added intelligent) Being is proved ; 
and that the question of the unity conies not properly in till 
afterwards x . Valentia had effectually obviated that pretence of 
Suarez some time before, in what he had said against Cajetan, 
who had been beforehand with Suarez in that piece of subtiltyy. 
One thing further I would observe of Barlow, before I dismiss 
him, that he was very scrupulous as to admitting that any of the 
Divine attributes might be demonstrated a priori. For though 
he allowed the way of arguing from one attribute before proved, 
to another not proved, and makes use of it himself more than 
once ; yet considering that the attributes are in reality (however 
nationally distinguished) identified with the essence, he appre 
hended such reasoning could not justly be accounted reasoning 
a priori 2 , since the Divine essence could not be conceived prior 

x Hoc dato, quod non ostendunt 
Deum esse unum, tainen et adhuc 
erunt argumenta prsedicta satis valida, 
et in demonstrationem thesis antedictse 
valitura : quia in praesenti hoc solum 
demonstrandum suscepimus, nempe 
esse aliquod ens quod Deum dicimus, 
infinitum, (sternum, increatum, et inde- 
pendens. Sed an hoc ens unum sit 
aut multiplex, alterius est loci et quae- 
siti opus demonstrate. Barlow, Ex- 
ercit. iv. p. 161. 

y In proposito igitur, cum Dei no- 
men audimus, communiter solemus 
concipere imperfecte et confuse, vel 
primam causam, vel primum movens, 
vel alia qua? rationes Thoma? conclu- 
dunt. Quamohrem rationes ejusmodi, 
qme scilicet probant esse aliquod pri 
mum movens, efficiens, &c. etsi non 
probant quid, et quale illud sit, scilicet 
immateriale, infinitum, unum numero, 
&c. satis tamen probant Deum esse. 
Ilia enim alia probare, pertinet ad 
qusestionem de natura et quidditate 
divina, et probantur etiam non admo- 
dum difficulter, constituta jam veritate 
divines entitatis, juxta qua?stionem an 
est. Atque hinc fit quod D.Thomas 
non nisi post expeclitam hanc qusesti- 
onem an est, disputat de unitnte, sim- 
plicitate, (fternitate, et aliis ejusmodi 
perfectionibus divinis, utvidebimus in 
sequentibus quaestionibus. Quocirca 

cum Cajetanus hie negat, probari per 
se his rationibus D. Thomae, Deum 
esse, eo quod non probatur illis Dei 
unitaset infinitasj et concedit tantum, 
id probari per accidens, (ut scilicet 
ejusmodi rationes concludunt esse 
quaedam praedicata qua? ei rei veritate 
soli Deo conveniunt,) non satis dis- 
tinxisse videtur inter quaestionem an 
est, et quid est. Greg, de Valent. torn. 
i. p. 64. 

z Fateor Suarezium et scholasticos 
usitate afHrmare aternitatern (ut et 
alia nonnulla attributa Dei) demon- 
strari posse a priori, et aumittere me 
dium ratione prius; itaut illud medium 
licet in re ipsa non sit eeternitate 
prius, tamen quoad modum nostrum 
concipiendi, imperfectum possit esse 
prius. Sed, ut quod sentio libere pro- 
feram, minutias has scholasticas non 
probo, et tutius esse judico, et Deo 
dignius, si de Deo et perfectionibus 
suis loquamur prout sunt, non prout 
ab intellectu nostro fingantur. Et sic 
rectius dices teternitatem a priori de- 
monstrari non posse quia in re ipsa 
ita est prout affirmatur, quam eeterni- 
tatem posse a priori demonstrari, cum 
in re ipsa non ita fit, nee esse possit 
medium ullum in re prius, ut supra 
demonstravimus. Barlow, Exercit. 
v. p. 187. 


to itself. There is certainly weight in the suggestion. But the 
point is not worth the contesting, as I have before intimated, 
since it will terminate only in a dispute about words or names. 
That it is reasonable and right to argue from existence and attri 
butes proved, to other attributes not proved, is agreed on all 
hands : and whether such arguing shall be called reasoning ab 
absurdo, or a priori, is not very material. I have hinted above, 
under what restrictions or cautions I conceive it may be justly 
termed reasoning a priori. But whatever way this by-point, of 
slight consideration in the main, be determined, the other 
more material question concerning the arguing a priori for 
the existence, (or for any of the attributes from any thing con 
sidered as antecedent to the existence,) is no way affected by it. 
For such kind of arguing will undoubtedly be still condemned as 
wrong, in every view, and in every construction, and upon every 
the most favourable supposition that can with any colour of 
reason be made for it. 


This author likewise declares his judgment, that there can be 
no demonstration a priori of the existence of God, and further 
testifies, that it was then a settled point amongst all, about 
which there was no dispute 3 . 

A.D. 1678. DR. CUDWORTH. 

Dr. Cudworth's judgment in this article cannot but be of 
great weight, as he was a person of eminent learning and abilities, 
a Protestant writer, and therefore the less apt to take any thing 
implicitly from the Popish Schoolmen; extremely desirous 
besides, to draw together every plausible argument, that could 
with any show of reason be urged for the existence of a Deity, 
and to make the utmost improvement of them. Notwithstanding 
all which he frankly declares, in his preface to his great work, 
his judgment against the argument a priori, in these remarkable 
words: "We do therein also demonstrate the absolute impossi- 
" bility of all At/teism, and the actual existence of a God: we 
" say, demonstrate ; not a priori, which is impossible and contra- 
" dictions, but by necessary inference from principles altogether 
" undeniable 1 '.' 1 

a Dico, Deum existere clcmonstrari Sp. disp. i. dub. 2. 
non i>otest demonstratinne a priori .- b Cudworth's Intellect. Syst. pre- 
ita omnes communiter. Franc. Bon. face. 


In the book itself he has a great deal more to the same pur 
pose, part of which has been cited above ; and for the rest I am 
content to refer the reader to the pages where he will find it c . 

A. D. 1683. LB BLANC. 

Le Blanc is another Protestant writer, of great learning and 
judgment, who freely declares his sentiments against the possi 
bility of demonstrating a priori the existence of God. He does 
it nearly in the same words d with Estius above cited ; though 
without taking notice from whom he borrowed them. 


This great and good Prelate seems to have thought, that 
neither the existence nor the attributes of God could be demon 
strated a priori, falling in with the sentiments of Bishop Barlow, 
mentioned above. He expresses himself in these words, speak 
ing of the Divine spirituality: " This is not to be proved by way 
" of demonstration, (for there is nothing before God, or which 
" can be a cause of him,) but by way of conviction, by shewing 
" the absurdity of the contrary 6 ." 

Again, speaking of the Divine immensity, he says, " I have 
" told you formerly, there being nothing before God, nor any 
" cause of his being, his perfections cannot be proved by way of 
" demonstration, but of conviction, by shewing the absurdity of 
" the contrary f ." He repeats the same observation afterwards, 
applying it to the Divine eternity g. In a popular discourse, he 
avoided the Latin and scholastic phrase a priori. But it is very 
plain from his manner of expressing himself, that he meant the 
same as to say, there could be no demonstration a priori^ either 
of the existence or attributes of the Deity : and that as to the 
attributes in particular, the way of reasoning by a reductio ad 
absurdum was the best we could have, the utmost we could come 
up to. Indeed, the reducing the contrary persuasion to a flat ab 
surdity is a kind of demonstration, and such as the mathematicians 

c Cudworth, book i. ch. iv. p. 715, nee ejus existentice possit in ullo ge- 

716. nere causa proferri : sed demonstrari 

d Cum duplex sit demonstratio apud potest posteriori modo, nimirum ex 

dialecticos, altera quae ex causis ef- effect is. Le Blanc, Thes. p. 91. 

fectum, altera vero quae contra ex ef- e Tillotson, vol. ii. serm. 100. p. 

fectis causam monstrat, manifestum 671. fourth edit, 

est, priori demonstrationis modo non f Ibid. serm. 101. p.678. fourth edit, 

posse doceri Deum esse, cum nee Dei * Ibid. serm. 102. p. 683. 


themselves frequently make use of: but then it must be owned, 
that it is the lowest kind of demonstration, (as not directly and 
immediately inferring the thing to be proved h ,) and comes not up 
to the perfection of the direct ostensive demonstration a posteriori, 
much less to the demonstration a priori. It is a good and suf 
ficient proof, but not the highest kind of proof; sufficient for 
conviction, but not amounting to demonstration emphatically so 
called : which is what our judicious Prelate had an eye to, in 
the distinction which he thrice made use of. 


I shall close this historical account with a very good writer 
and close reasoner, Mr. Humphrey Ditton, who appeared after 
the time that the new tenet of an argument a priori had been 
offered to the world. He either knew not of it, or was not 
aware of its force : for he determines as the whole stream of 
metaphysicians and divines had before done, " that our demon- 
" strations of the existence of a God are all of them on, and a 
"posteriori, as proceeding from the effects 1 ." 

Now, to sum up the amount of this Historical View, it appears 
at length, that as to the point of demonstrating a priori the 
existence of a Deity, it is no new thought, but very ancient, and 
what has been turned and tried every way, and very maturely 
considered time after time, and as often rejected and thrown 
aside as contradictory and absurd ; by men of the brightest 
parts and coolest judgment, and men no way prejudiced against 
it, but sincerely disposed to accept it, and make use of it, if it 
had been capable of serving. It has been frequently and seriously 
considered by persons of different times and tempers, parties and 
professions ; by ancients and moderns, by philosophers and divines, 
by Pagans and Christians, by Fathers and Schoolmen, by Realists 
and Nominalists, by Thomists and Scotists, by Romanists and 
Reformed ; and by all of them, as it were, with one voice, con 
demned and exploded. One shall scarce meet with so clear and 
so universal an agreement for the reception of any article, as 
there appears to have been for the non-reception of this, among 
persons every way well qualified to judge of it, and fitly disposed 
for judging right, and having all the light before them which 
any one can now have, or which ever could be necessary for 

h See Ditton on the Resurrection > See Ditton on the Resurrection 
of Christ, p. 135. of Christ, p. 134. 


determining the point, to the entire satisfaction of the common 
reason of mankind. Besides those whom I have mentioned, (to 
which many more of like kind might be added,) as expressly re 
jecting all demonstration a priori in respect of the Divine exist 
ence, great numbers might be further mentioned, who tacitly 
disregarded it, and made no use of it in proving the existence 
when occasion offered : and they also may be justly looked upon, 
for the most part, as witnesses against it, since they could not 
well be totally ignorant of it, nor unwilling to take it in and 
make the best of it, were it really of any force. For what man 
of discernment would not prefer an ostensive demonstration, 
where it can be had, before any other of a less perfect kind ? 
Or who would not choose an argument a priori to come at his 
conclusion by, rather than be content to work his way by effects 
only, which, in comparison, is feeling in the dark? Yet such is 
the method that the ablest and wisest men have taken, aiming 
no higher : Bishop Ward for instance, in his treatise of the 
existence and attributes, and Bishop Wilkins in his, and Bishop 
Pearson on the same subject, and Dr. Barrow, and Mr. Locke, 
and Mr. Wollaston ; besides a great many more : men that could 
not have failed to take in the argument a priori, had they not 
been persuaded that there was no soundness, no solidity in it. 

If now it should be asked, of what use or service this Historical 
View can be, in a point of pure reasoning, and not depending at 
all upon authorities; I answer, that it may be serviceable for 
several good ends and purposes. 

1. As it is not merely historical, but in part argumentative 
also; as discovering the reasons upon which wise men before 
us have proceeded in forming their judgment upon the question 
in hand : and possibly those reasons may meet with the more 
favourable attention and reception, on account of the hands 
they come from. For demonstration itself must often be con 
tent to borrow all its relative force from the instrument of 

2. It is of use in all questions which have before passed 
through many hands, and have been often and carefully consi 
dered, to look back to what others have thought and determined 
upon them. For it may reasonably be presumed, in such cases, 
that the point has been carried to as great perfection as it is 
capable of, since the extent of human reason, in all ages where 
the light is equal, is very nearly the same. Besides, it seldom 


happens, that a single person, who takes upon him to go on 
proprio marte, without consulting others, will be able at once to 
view the argument on all sides, or to be aware of every difficulty 
which may occur in it. Plus vident oculi quam ocuius : In a 
multitude of counsellors there is safety. I am aware that sometimes 
attending too much to others may forestall a man's own better 
judgment, or cramp a good invention. But then, on the other 
hand, the following one's own thoughts too much, disregarding 
what others have said or written, is often a means to make a 
man self-conceited and superficial. The way therefore to avoid 
both extremes is, to try first how far we can go with our own 
unassisted inquiries, upon any question of pure abstract reason 
ing ; and afterwards to compare what we have done, with what 
others have done in the same kind before us. 

3. To such as choose to be led by authority and great names, 
in points of an abstruse nature, (which they have neither incli 
nation nor leisure to inquire closely into,) it is of use to know on 
what side the authority and the great names really are, ancient 
and modern. And it may reasonably be presumed, that truth 
is with them; unless some fair account can be given, how it 
came to pass that so many wise and great men, so well prepared 
to make a true judgment, and so fitly disposed for it, should 
notwithstanding widely mistake in it. 

However, I mention not these things as if any authority ought 
to prevail over clear and cogent reason, or as if the question now 
in hand wanted any authority at all to decide or determine it. 
The same reasons which obtained formerly are of equal force 
now, and are never the worse for the wearing, as time can never 
alter eternal truths. I proceed therefore to examine this ques 
tion over again, (as if it had never been debated or considered 
before,) and to see how it will now stand at the bar of sober and 
impartial reason. 


Considering the Merits oftlie Debate about the Argument a priori. 

HERE it will be proper to shew, but as briefly as may be, I. 
That the supposed argument a priori is very loose and precarious, 
having nothing in a manner to stand upon, except it be an ill 
use made of equivocal terms or phrases. 2. That it is, moreover, 
when fully understood, palpably wrong and absurd. 3. That the 


several pleas or excuses invented for it, are fallacious, and of no 
real weight. 

i. I would observe, that the supposed argument a priori is at 
the best very loose and precarious, having nothing to stand upon, 
but an abuse of equivocal terms or phrases. The whole seems to 
amount to little more than the ringing of changes upon the word 
necessity ; as shall be seen presently. But because that word is 
capable of many senses, and consequently apt to usher in many 
fallacies ; it will be proper here to note the various acceptations 
of that instrument of delusion. 

Necessity is but of modern date (comparatively speaking) in 
our language. It comes from the Latin necessitas ; which, 
though otherwise ancient enough, yet seems to have been brought 
but late into our present subject'. I know not what good the 
Schools did by introducing it, or by substituting the improper 
and ambiguous phrases of necessary existence, or necessity of exist 
ence, instead of the more ancient and more proper expressions ; 
such as natural existence, or emphatical existence ; or such as 
eternal, immutable, unmade, independent, permanent, and the like. 
The new word necessity, as here applied, and as opposed to 
precarious or contingent, affords no new idea beyond the other, 
but is apt to excite false conceptions, and to promote false 
reasoning. But since the mischief is already done, as to the 
introducing this improper Pagan term into Christian theology, 
and it is now too late to undo it ; the only way left to provide 
against the misapprehensions arising from it, is to distinguish, as 
carefully as we can, the several senses which have been commonly 
affixed to the words necessary or necessity. The most compre 
hensive division of necessity is into four kinds; logical, moral, 
physical, and metaphysical. Let us take those kinds singly in 
their order, and minutely examine what they mean. 

(i.) Logical necessity is, where it is an express contradiction 
to say the contrary k . Which resolves into this, that the same 
idea, under different terms, or expressions, is still the same idea, 
and necessarily agrees with itself. Thus there is a necessity that 
man should be rational, as rationality is implied in the general 
idea of man. Not that there is any physical necessity that this 

1 See above, p. 326, 327, 328. cessarium est, hominem esse rationa- 

k Necessarium logicum est, cum ex lem. Ckauvin. p. 435. 
terminis repugnat non esse. Sic ne- 



or that man should be so, (for he may cease to be rational, or to 
exist at all,) but there is a logical necessity, that the definition 
should agree to the thing defined, and that the idea expressed by 
the word man should be what it is, while supposed to be so. 
This kind of necessity is otherwise called necessity of predication ; 
importing an ideal and undeniable connection between subject and 
predicate^. As if man is said to be rational, or to be an animal. 
To the head of logical necessity is to be referred what the Schools 
call necessitas consequents, and likewise necessitas consequentice, 
expressing the indissoluble connection between premises and 
conclusion m ; that is, again, between one idea and another, or 
between proposition and proposition, or one part of a proposition 
and another part. In short, logical necessity is nothing else but a 
name for the supposed inviolable connection between idea and 
idea, or between proposition and proposition, or between subject and 

(2.) Moral necessity imports a connection, but not so constant 
and invariable, between end and means n . As when we say, there 
is a necessity of temperance to preserve health ; or if it be said, 
that man is under a moral necessity of doing his duty, as it is a 
means to happiness, his chief end. It is called moral, in oppo 
sition to physical, which comes next to be mentioned. If any 
man is violently forced or compelled to any thing, he is then 
under a physical necessity, and so far ceases to be a moral agent. 

(3.) Physical necessity imports an inviolable connection between 
natural causes and effects". This is often called absolute necessity, 
in opposition to moral, which is not absolute, but conditional, or 
hypothetical, or liable to some exceptions or limitations. It is 
called causal necessity, when intended to express what influence 
the cause will have in producing the effect : as there is a causal 
necessity for the appearing of light when the sun is risen. An 
antecedent necessity, or a necessity a priori, denotes the same 
thing. But a necessity a posteriori is a name intended to ex 
press what reference the effect has to some cause or causes : as 

1 Necessarium \nprcedicando dicitur, gee Chauvin. ibid, 

quando datur necessitas enuntiationis, n Necessarium morale est id sine 

seu in enuntiatione. Pendet a con- quo, quaravis absolute fieri possit 

nectione necessaria prtedicati cum effectus, nunquam tamen, vel raro fit. 

subjecto; id est, ex insolubili harum Chauvin. ibid. 

partmm nexu, adeo ut praedicatum Necessarium physicum est, quod 

n possit negan de subjecto : ut ex causis naturalibus tale est : ut ne- 

cum dicitur, Homo est animal. Chau- cessaria est eclipsis Solaris ex interpo- 

mn - P- 435- sitione lunae. Chauv. ibid. 

CH. ii. PART CLEARED. 355 

if there are things made, there is a necessity of a maker. There 
cannot be motion without a mover ; nor external light without a 
luminous substance. 

(4.) The fourth kind of necessity is metaphysical, and imports 
immutable existence proper to God only P. It is opposed to 
mutable, precarious, contingent, dependent existence. It is the 
same with what Dr. Cudworth somewhere calls a necessary schesis 
to existence, expressing the inseparable connection between the 
existence and the subject of it, between existence and essence. 
Creatures are considered as coming from non-existence, and as 
being liable to lose the existence which they enjoy ; therefore 
their existence is precarious and perishable. But the Deity never 
wanted existence, never can cease to exist ; therefore his existence 
is immutable, unperishable, firm, stable, and enduring, (independ 
ently) from everlasting to everlasting. This permanency of 
being is considered as a mode of existence, presupposing existence, 
as modal being always supposes pure being q. It may be called 
modal necessity, as expressing that perfect manner of existence 
proper to the Deity: God's manner of existing is above all 
chance, change, or failure. This modal necessity, or self-suffi 
ciency, ought to be carefully distinguished from causal before 
mentioned, metaphysical from physical. Causal necessity is 
antecedent, effective, operative; modal is posterior and subsequent, 
in order of nature and conception, to the existence or existing 
subject, whereof it is the mode, and to which it is referred up as 
to its source or centre, its substratum or support. 

Having thus competently explained the several kinds of neces 
sity, I have one thing to observe of them, that the idea of some 
sort of firm connection runs through them all ; and that is the 
proper general import of the name necessity. Connection of men- 

P Necessarium metaphysicum est tionem mutabilitatis, idque ad oppo- 

quod immutabiliter existit : ut Deus. sitionem contingentiee. Chauvin. p. 

Chauvin. ibid. p. 435. 434. 

1 Necessarium dicitur illud quod Necessitas accipitur pro vehementia 

non potest non esse, out aliter se ha- essendi illius quod per se et primo est 

here. Quocunque autera rnodo defini- necesse esse, quod est Deus, et sic 

atur vel describatur, duo importat. proprie definiri non potest. Descri- 

Quia, quod non potest non esse dicit bitur tamen et notificatur utcunque, 

esse ; et prseterea negat desitionem in et hoc melius per qffirmationem quam 

esse. Quod vero dicit rem sese aliter negationem ; scilicet per vehementiam 

habere non posse, rem prcesupponit et firmitatem essendi, quam per im- 

esse, eamque existere ait cum modo possibilitatem seu non-possibilitatem 

immutabihtatis. Adeo ut necessarium non essendi. Bradwardin. de Causa 

formaliter debeat explicari per remo- Dei, p. 678. 

A a 2 


tal or verbal propositions, or of their respective parts, makes up 
the idea of logical necessity. Connection of end and means makes 
up the idea of moral necessity. Connection of causes and effects 
is physical. And connection of existence and essence is metaphysi 
cal necessity. This last is what our present argument is solely 
concerned in. It has been sometimes styled simple or absolute 
necessity, as opposed to relative. For though physical necessity 
may also be called absolute, as opposed to limited or conditional, 
(as before hinted,) it is not absolute as opposed to relative ; be 
cause it stands in the relation between causes and effects. But 
metaphysical necessity has no relation to any thing extraneous 
to the subject of it ; it subsists only in the Divine essence, con 
sidered as inseparably connected with its own existence. This is 
that pure, simple, absolute, transcendental necessity, which the 
later schoolmen and metaphysicians speak of. 

These things premised, I may now proceed to inquire what 
the argument a priori (as it is called) has to stand upon, or 
how it is supported. The way of coming at it is first to prove a 
posteriori the existence of an independent Being, thus : Something 
now is, therefore something has existed from all eternity ; therefore 
some one unchangeable and independent Being, one at least; 
therefore there is some one self-existent or necessarily existing 
Being 1 ". Thus far is right and well, for the coming at necessary 
existence in the way of arguing a posteriori. Call it necessity of 
existence, and then that necessity imports a mode of the existence 
before proved, subsequent, in order of nature and conception, to 
the existence, and referred up to the subject of it. This modal 
necessity is a property of the independent Being, denoting his 
immutable permanency, his infinite stability. But it happens, 
that the word necessity often stands for causal and physical 
necessity, (very different from modal and metaphysical,} and so 
here begins the first double. The subsequent necessity is soon 
after dropped, and antecedent necessity is slipped upon us in its 
room. Under the cover of an ambiguous name, the idea which 
we began with is first changed for another, altogether new and 
foreign, and then enters the argument a priori with all its train. 
There is now conceived I know not what antecedent necessity, 
and internal cause, and prior reason, ground, and foundation of 
the independent Being; and all built upon nothing but the 

1 See Dr. Clarke's Demonstration, &c. prop, r, 2, 3. 


equivocation of a word, or a quick transition made from necessity, 
considered in the modal and proper sense, to necessity taken in a 
causal and foreign meaning. This " necessity," it is said, must 
be " antecedent, in the natural order of our ideas, to our suppo- 
" sition of its being 3 ." Why must it be antecedent ? No neces 
sity had been proved before, but what was conceived subsequent 
(in the natural order of our ideas) to the existence of the inde 
pendent Being, being a mode of it, and referred up to it : why 
then must it be antecedent ? There is no reason at all for it ; 
unless it be that an argument a priori required such an antece 
dency, and would drop without it. The supposed antecedency in 
this case appears to be all fancy and fiction, not collected from 
what went before, by any regular deduction, but arbitrarily 
fetched in, under the umbrage and protection of an equivocal 
name. Put but immutability of existence, or independence, or 
durability, instead of necessity of existence, (which really signifies 
no more than the other,) and then it will be presently seen how 
the notion of antecedency drops and disappears : which makes it 
plain, that the notion is here false and foreign, not deducible 
from any regular train of ideas, but brought in, at all adventures, 
only because the technical term necessity admits of two senses, 
and is a serviceable word for the sinking one idea and bringing 
up another. 

But to favour this new notion of antecedency, (so arbitrarily 
introduced,) it is added, " This necessity must antecedently force 
" itself upon us whether we will or no, even while we are en- 
" deavouring to suppose that no such being exists. For exam- 
" pie ; when we are endeavouring to suppose, that there is no 
" being in the universe that exists necessarily, we always find 
" in our minds, (besides the foregoing demonstration of some- 
" thing being self-existent, from the impossibility of every thing's 
" being dependent,) we always find in our minds, I say, some 
" ideas, as of infinity and eternity; which to remove, that is, to 
" suppose no being, no substance in the universe, to which these 
" attributes, or modes of existence, are necessarily inherent, is a 
" contradiction in the very terms. For modes and attributes 
" exist only by the existence of the substance to which they 
" belong 1 ." 

In answer to this paragraph, I may observe briefly, i. That 

8 Clarke, ibid. p. 14. sixth edition. * Clarke, ibid. p. 15. 


there is no arguing from ideal to real existence ; unless it could 
first be shewn, that such ideas must have their objective realities, 
and cannot be accounted for, as they pass within, except it be by 
supposing such and such real existence, ad extra, to answer them. 
2. Allowing that we find such ideas in our minds, and that they 
antecedently force themselves upon us, this proves no more than 
a kind of order of antecedency in our conceptions, but does not 
prove any real antecedency with respect to the Divine existence, as 
if that were preceded by something prior in order of nature to 
it. 3. Whatever necessity we may find ourselves under as to 
conceiving or imagining thus or thus ; yet we are under no ante 
cedent necessity of believing that these conceptions or imaginations 
do infer the existence of a Deity, till it be regularly proved to us, 
or till it can be clearly shewn what certain connection there is 
between ideas and realities, between thoughts and things. 4. If 
such certain connection could be proved, yet such proof would not 
amount to a demonstration a priori, being that the process of 
such an argument is altogether a posteriori, from effects to causes, 
from things posterior to something antecedent. For the process 
runs thus : we have such and such ideas, which ideas must have 
objective realities as their cause or ground ; and those objective 
realities, or real attributes, must have their subject, as all modes 
and attributes have : and thus at length by this analysis, or in the 
way of ascent, we come up to & first Cause, which is antecedent, in 
order of nature, to every mode and attribute supposed to inhere 
in it, and to belong to it. So that, even in this way, we can 
never arrive to any thing which can be justly conceived prior or 
antecedent, in order of nature, to the existence of a first Cause. 
It appears then, that antecedent necessity is very arbitrarily intro 
duced into this subject, having no regular chain of reasoning, no 
proper connection of ideas, nor indeed any thing, but an equivo 
cation upon the word necessity, to support or countenance it. 

I would next take notice, that the use made afterwards of this 
antecedent necessity is altogether as arbitrary and fanciful as the 
introducing it. The uses it is made to serve are, to prove the 
eternity*, omnipresence, and unity* of the self-existent Being. 
And here it is observable, that necessity is furnished with 
epithets (all in the arbitrary way) just as the occasion requires ; 
epithets suitable to the points to be proved. When it is to 

v Demonstrat. p. 39. w ibid. p . 4It x ibid. p. 44. 

OH. ir. PART CLEARED. 359 

prove the eternity, then it is to be styled "absolute, not depending 
" on any thing external, always unalterably the samey." When 
it is to prove the infinity, or the omnipresence, then it is charac 
terized as being again absolute in itself, and " not depending 
" on any outward cause;" and now it must be every where, as 
well as always, unalterably the same; having no relation to 
time, or place, or any thing else 2 -. But when it is to serve for 
proof of the unity, then it is to be simple, and uniform, and 
universal, without any possible difference, difformity, or variety 
whatsoever a . That is to say, it shall be what the demonstrator 
pleases to make it, that he may adapt it variously to the various 
purposes he intended by it. The neater and shorter way would 
have been, to have denominated it at once an absolute, omnimodous, 
all-perfect necessity; and then not only eternity, and omnipre 
sence, and unity, but infinite wisdom, power, and goodness, and 
every perfection whatever might have been instantly inferred 
from it. For it might have been pleaded, that such necessity 
had no relation to one perfection more than to another, being 
uniform and universal, extending equally to all, and operating** 
as much with respect to every perfection, as to any, having 
nothing to limit it, nothing to control it. This reasoning 
appears equally clear and forcible with the other : and both 
are alike weak and precarious, having no solid foundation of 
reason to rest upon ; nothing but an obscure unintelligible prin 
ciple, floating in the mind, and managed at pleasure, to make 
some appearance of demonstration in a way wherein none can be 
had, or to cover a petitio principii, which yet betrays itself imme 
diately in every instance. 

I have hitherto been observing, that the pretended antecedent 
necessity is arbitrarily introduced, and then as arbitrarily carried 
on: and now I am only to remark further, that it is, at length, 
as arbitrarily dismissed. For indeed there is as much reason for 
going on with it in infinitum, as for taking it in at all : and 
there is no more reason for stopping at one fresh antecedent 
necessity, than for stopping at five hundred; nor any more 
reason for stopping there, than for going on infinitely. If every 
thing that exists, and every circumstance of it, must have a reason 
a priori, why it is, rather than not c , (a supposition which the 
argument a priori is built upon,) then the antecedent necessity 

y Demonstrat. p. 39. z Ibid. p. 41. a Ibid. p. 44. 

b See Letters, p. 19, 34. c Ibid. p. 33. 


itself must have a reason a priori to fix and determine it, and 
that another, and so on infinitely. Wherefore if we admit but 
one antecedent necessity as prior, in order of nature, to the 
first Cause, there is no reason at all for stopping at the first 
remove, or for dismissing the notion of an antecedent necessity 
so soon, or at all. The same thought, the same suggestion, will 
come over again at every new advance higher in the series of an 
tecedent necessities : for every one of them will want a new ground, 
a new internal cause, a new antecedent necessity, to determine its 
being ; and all for the same reason as the first Cause was supposed 
to want one. Therefore, I say, it is perfectly arbitrary and un 
accountable, to make a full pause at one single antecedent necessity, 
and not to continue and carry on necessities higher and higher, 
without number and without end. Thus much may suffice for 
exposing the precarious and fanciful nature of the pretended proof 
a priori. 

2. But I proceed further to observe, that it is not only preca 
rious, but manifestly absurd. It is demonstrable a priori, that 
there neither is nor can be any proof a priori of the existence of 
& first Cause, because there is no cause prior to the first A . But, to 
be a little more distinct and particular, imagine something prior 
or antecedent, in order of nature or conception, to the first Cause, 
what must that something be ? There are but three possible suppo 
sitions, and all of them flatly contradictory and absurd. Suppose 
either the substance itself, or some property of that substance, or 
something extrinsic to both, to be that antecedent ground, reason, 
or foundation, prior in conception to the first Cause : they are 
every one of them uncapable and incompetent for it. 

( i .) To begin with the last of them, a principle extrinsic. One 
would think by the turn of the argument, in several passages 
where it is handled, that the antecedent necessity were considered 
as something extrinsic to the first Cause : particularly where it 
is represented as operating* every where, and always, so as to 
make the divine Being eternal and omnipresent, or the like. And 
indeed if the words carry any idea at all in them, and any force 

d Haec propositio Deus est, non seca, nam hoc non cadit in Deum: 

habet medium terminum quo a prior e non aformali, nam in Deitate non est 

demonstretur. Non potest dari me- ulla ratio formalis prior ipso esse di- 

dium desumptum a causa extrinseca, vino, quse nostro modo intelligendi sit 

nam Deus est, a seipso, independens ratio cur Deus sit. Gillius, p. 386. 

omnino ab alia re: non potest etiam e Letters, p. 19,34. 
sumi medium a causa materiali intrin- 


of argument, they must be so understood; just as we understand 
them of any external cause producing its effect. But, as an 
extrinsic principle is absurd in itself, and is besides expressly 
rejected f by the advocates for the proof a priori, I need not here 
say a word more of it. 

(2.) Take we then next the substance itself, and consider 
whether that can be conceived as prior or antecedent to itself. 
It is very plain that it cannot : and so much also is confessed on 
all hands s, and therefore we may dismiss this article, and proceed. 

(3.) The only remaining supposition is, that some attribute or 
property of the self-existent Being may be conceived antecedent, 
in order of nature, to the same Being. But that is, if possible, 
still more absurd than the last preceding. An attribute is attri 
buted to its subject as its ground and support; and a, property, 
in the very notion of it, is proper to the substance whereunto it 
belongs, and subsequent in order of nature and conception to it. 
An antecedent attribute, or property, is as great a solecism, and 
almost as flat a contradiction, as an antecedent subsequency, or a 
subsequent antecedency, understood in the same sense, and same 
respect. Every property, or attribute, as such, presupposes its 
subject, and cannot be understood otherwise. To make the 
property antecedent is inverting the natural order, and confound 
ing the idea ; and, in short, is denying it to be what it is. The 
truth of what is here said is so glaring and forcible, that it some 
times extorts the assent even of those who upon other occasions 
affect to gainsay it. It is confessed, that " the scholastic way 
" of proving the existence of the self-existent Being from the 
" absolute perfection of his nature, is wrepoi> irporepov for, \_N.B.~] 
" all or any perfections presuppose existence ; which is petitio 
<; principii^" If therefore properties, modes, or attributes in 
God, be considered as perfections, (and it is certain they must,) 
then by this account they must all or any of them presuppose 
existence. Indeed, it is immediately added, in the same place, 
" that bare necessity of existence does not presuppose, but infer, 
" existence." That is to say, if such necessity be supposed to 
be a principle extrinsic : but if it be a mode or a property, it must 
presuppose the existence of its subject, as certainly and as evi 
dently as it is a mode or a property. It might perhaps a poste 
riori infer the existence of its subject, as effects may infer a 

f Letters, p. 32. * Letters, p. 33, 40. Demonstration, &c. p. 21. 

h Letters, p. 33. 


cause : but to infer in the other way a priori, is altogether as 
impossible as that a triangle should be a square ; which is joining 
repugnant ideas together. 

In another place, it is observed by the same learned author 
" that the idea of space (as also of time or duration) is an idea 
" of a certain quality or relation, which not being itself a sub- 
" stance, [-ZVJ9.] necessarily presupposes a substance, without 
" which it could not exist 1 ." Now if the necessity spoken of be 
a property or mode, and not a substance, it must, for the very 
same reason, necessarily presuppose a substance without which it 
could not exist. So true it is, that a mode, or property, cannot 
be conceived antecedent in order of nature to its subject, without 
running into a flat absurdity, and the greatest confusion of ideas 

The sum then is, that, to make out an argument a priori, 
there must be a cause, or however a priority or antecedency, 
brought in to argue upon, and to draw an inference from, to the 
existence of a Deity : and yet no sooner is the idea of cause, or 
priority, or antecedency (though in conception only) introduced, 
but we immediately subvert the idea of a property, and of & first 
Came. It is a vain thing to insist one while upon the antecedency, 
for the sake of the pretended demonstration, and then presently 
to drop it, by retreating to the idea of a property, for the sake 
of warding off insuperable objections. Either there is no ante 
cedency in this case at all, to form the argument upon ; or, if 
there be, the antecedent principle is no property, but a principle 
extrinsic. So then either the antecedency must drop, and the 
argument a priori drop with it : or if the antecedency be kept up, 
the idea of a property is destroyed instantly, and we are yet to 
seek for & first Came. Turn we the thing which way we will, the 
presumed argument a priori is all over contradictory and absurd. 
It is not merely abstruse or unintelligible, but plainly and clearly 
repugnant to reason, and to itself. It is tacking together dis 
jointed and incompatible ideas, which can never stand together, 
but must inevitably clash and destroy one another. However, 
as there is no cause whatever so defenceless and destitute, but 
that something or other may be pleaded for it, and a skilful 
advocate may lay colours upon any thing : so it is here. A very 
ingenious defence has been drawn up for the argument a priori, 
in which we have the spirit and quintessence of what the cause 

1 Letters, p. 25. 


can afford k . A just reply was made to it some time after 1 , by 
a very good hand, which might save me the labour of saying 
any thing more to it : but perhaps it may be of service to have 
the same things represented in different lights ; or if it be only 
abridging what has been said before more at large, even that 
perhaps may not be altogether without its use. I proceed then, 
3. To examine the several pleas or excuses invented for the 
support of the argument a priori, in order to shew that they are 
none of them sufficient for the purposes intended. I shall break 
the discourse into so many distinct parts, or pleas, for the dis 
tinct and methodical conception of the subject. 


" Though it is indeed most evident, that no thing, no being can 
" be prior to that Being which is the first Cause and original of 
" all things ; yet there must be in nature a ground or reason, a 
" permanent ground or reason, of the existence of the first 
" Cause : otherwise its existence would be owing to, and depend 
" upon, mere chance m ." To which I answer, 

(i.) If by ground or reason be meant a cause, the idea of it is 
repugnant to the notion of a, first Cause, which must be absolutely 
uncaused, both with respect to itself and to every thing else. 
But if by ground or reason be meant only a ground or reason for 
asserting such existence, that we may readily admit, as meaning 
only that there is a reason a posteriori whereby we prove the 
truth of the thing that so it is. Reason and ground are softer 
names in this case than cause is, and may sometimes serve to 
hide the absurdity which appears at once upon the naming of a 
cause prior to the first. It may, or rather must be allowed, that 
there is a reason for every existence, a reason of one kind or other, 
either a priori or else a posteriori: but it is nevertheless certain, 
that there is not a reason a priori for every thing, because there 
must be a, first in the ascending line ; as also, on the other hand, 
there is not a reason a posteriori for every thing, because there 
must be a last in the order of descent". 

k Answer to the Seventh Letter, m Answer to the Seventh Letter, 

p. 40, &c. p. 40. 

1 Dr. Gretton's Review of the Ar- n Observa, multas veritates posse 
gument a priori. Printed for B. Lin- a priori et posteriori simul demon- 
tot, A. D. 1726. See also Concio ad strari: ut v. g. esse admirativum, de- 
Clerum, upon the same subject, and monstratur a priori per rationale, a 
by the same author. Cantabrigise, posteriori vero per risibile. Alias vero 
1 732. ease veritates quae tantum vel a priori, 


(2.) Though the uncaused Being has neither ground nor cause 
to determine its existence, yet it is not owing to, or dependent 
upon, mere chance, because it is not owing or dependent at all, but 
entirely underived and independent. If the force of the objection 
lies in this, that unless the existence be dependent on something, 
it cannot be firm and stable ; this amounts to saying, that a 
first cause, or an independent existence, is a contradictory notion 
in itself. It is certain, that if the existence be dependent on any 
thing, it is not the firmer, but may be the more precarious for 
being so. The highest possible stability is to be absolutely 
independent, absolutely uncaused : this is the strongest security 
against all possible chances or failures : and therefore it never 
can be allowed, that assigning it a cause, a ground, or foundation, 
is fixing the existence ; when the supposing it to have no cause, 
no ground, &c. nor to need any, is really the top perfection of 
being, the very highest and best thing that we can either say or 
conceive of it. 

(3.) But supposing that there might yet remain some difficulty 
in our scheme, (as difficulties there must be in conceiving eternity, 
and in searching the mysterious nature and existence of the un 
searchable Being,) yet if the difficulty be rather shifted than taken 
away, by the expedient here proposed, or if absurdities be brought 
in instead of difficulties, how then are we at all relieved by it, or 
the better for it ? That such is the case here, is plain at first 
sight. For what if we go on to assign a cause, a ground, or a 
foundation for the first Cause, it is but going one step further, 
and there the same difficulty occurs as before, besides several 
new ones. That cause, that ground, that foundation, that ante 
cedent necessity (or whatever else we call it) will still want an 
other cause, another ground, another foundation, another ante 
cedent necessity to fix and support it; or else, by the same 
reasoning, its existence will be owing to, and dependent upon, 
mere chance*. If we still go higher up, to a second or a third 
remove, or to as many more as we can think on, the same 
difficulty will haunt us all the way in the wandering progress, 

vel a posteriori demonstrari possunt : quern non sit alius, inde rursus se- 

quia cum necessario sistendum sit in quitur, ilium non posse demonstrari a 

ahqup primo conceptu, ante quern non posteriori, quia (ut supponimus) nihil 

it alms, inde fit, ilium non posse de- habet posterius se. Roderic. de Ar- 

monstrari a priori, quia nullam habet riag. Curs. Philos. p. 222. 

causam eui : e contrario vero etiam o See Dr. Gretton's Review, p. 15. 
sistendum sit in aliquo ultimo, post 

CH. ii. PAET CLEARED. 365 

and we shall never find rest for the sole of our foot, till we 
return to the place where we first stepped aside, till we come 
back to the first Cause of all things, and there terminate our 
inquiries. They that attempt to move but one step higher, are 
sure to involve themselves in inextricable mazes, and are doubly 
to blame : first, for inventing a cause prior to the first, or a 
reason higher than the highest ; and next, for making that newly- 
invented support (according to their own argument) owe its 
existence to mere chance. Let the discerning readers therefore 
judge upon the whole, who it is that makes the Divine existence 
contingent and precarious, they or we. 


" The existence of the first Cause is necessary, necessary 
" absolutely and in itself; and therefore that necessity is a priori, 
" and, in order of nature, the ground or reason of its existence 1 *." 
To which I reply, 

(i.) It is allowed that the existence of the first Cause is 
necessary, not contingent: and because that necessity is only a 
mode of the presupposed existence, therefore it is not a priori, 
or, in order of nature, an antecedent ground or reason, but it is 
subsequent and posterior, in order of nature and conception, to 
that whereof it is the mode : for all modes, as such, are subsequent 
to their subject, which is the ground and support of them. 

(2.) Necessity absolute (in the metaphysical sense, as here 
used,) is a contradiction to the notion of antecedent ground, or 
cause, having no relation** to any thing of that kind. It imports 
an inviolable connection between the essence and the existence in a 
being uncaused and independent. To make connection the ground 
and reason of the existence, either means that the essence is the 
ground of itself, or means nothing, amounting only to so many 
words of amusement. 


" That which exists necessarily (or in the idea of which 
" existence and necessity are inseparably and necessarily connected) 
" must either therefore be necessary because it exists, or else it 
" must therefore exist, because its existence is necessary* " I 

(i.) It is improper to say, that existence and necessity are 

p Answer to Seventh Letter, p. 41. r Answer to Seventh Letter, pag. 
i See above, p. 354,355- 4i- 



connected: for since necessity, as here applied, imports nothing 
but connection, it amounts to saying, that existence and connection 
are so connected ; whereas, in truth and propriety, the existence 
and the essence are what are here supposed .to be connected. 
But all the confusion arises from want of distinguishing between 
causal and modal, between physical and metaphysical necessity. 

(2.) We do not say, that the first Cause is therefore necessary 
because it exists, (for then every thing existing would be neces 
sary,) but rather, because it exists in such a manner, exists 
independently. Not that independency is properly the cause of 
necessary existence, or vice versa, (for both are but names or 
expressions for one and the same property or perfection,) but 
all resolves into this, that God is what he is, and such as we 
prove him, a posteriori, to be. We can go no higher than to 
say, that his nature is such, that he exists independently, immuta 
bly, necessarily, as opposed to contingency. It is wrong to ask 
for a wherefore in this case : it is supposing no first Cause at all. 
The plea sets out upon a false principle, that a therefore must 
be given in every instance assignable, or a reason a priori 
admitted. We have done with reasons a priori, as soon as we 
are arrived to the top of all existence. For as in abstract neces 
sary truths, the highest pitch we can come up to is, that the 
same idea is the same idea, or every idea is what it is ; so in our 
running up to the top of real existence, (as opposed to ideal,) 
the highest pinnacle of all is, that the same being is the same 
being, or is what it is. Such then is the nature or perfection of 
the Deity, that he exists independently. To assign a cause for 
that existence, is to make it less ; it is to suppose it dependent 
on something else : it is destroying with one hand what we build 
with the other. We pretend not therefore to give a reason 
a priori why God exists necessarily, (for if such reason could be 
given, it would sink the idea of necessary instead of raising it,) 
but we assign reasons a posteriori why we believe and maintain 
it ; which is giving the TO on, not the TO Sidrt, and is all that 
can be or ought to be given in this case, as is self-evident. 

(3.) But suppose we should attempt to go higher up beyond 
the first Cause, to something conceived prior or antecedent to it, 
will not the same difficulty recur in every stage of the progres 
sion ? The same dilemma is applicable to the next higher cause, 
and to every other, in infinitum. For it may still be pleaded, 

CH. ii. PART CLEARED. 367 

that such antecedent ground must either be necessary because it 
exists, or else must therefore exist because its existence is neces 
sary ; and so the mind is again set afloat, without stay or 
anchor, in an endless pursuit after more and more antecedent 
absolute necessities. 


" The eternity of God can no otherwise be proved, than by 
" considering a priori the nature of a necessary or self-existent 

" Cause. That the first Cause has existed from eternity, and 

" shall exist to eternity, cannot be proved from the temporary 
"phenomena, but must be demonstrated from the intrinsic nature 
" of necessary existence." I answer, 

(i.) The question here is not, by what other ways the eternity 
can be proved, but whether it can be proved in this. Be the 
other proofs, which proceed a posteriori, ever so lame or insuf 
ficient, their defects will be of no service for the healing the 
absurdities of this : so the plea is foreign, and wide of the pur 
pose ; unless the design were to plead for the usefulness of a 
proof, which cannot be shewn to be a proof. 

(2.) The suggestion here offered is not true, especially as to 
God's existing from eternity. The natural, regular, and indeed 
the common way, has been to prove the eternity before the neces 
sary existence ; and that is the very way which the author him 
self took to come at necessary existence 5 : and no one has better 
answered this plea than himself hath done in another place*. 

(3.) If any one were first to prove the existence and an attri 
bute or two more, and then proceed to demonstrate the eternity 
from the existence, &c. before proved, such a method of arguing 

8 Demonstration, prop. ii. p. n. " Again: it is evident even to the 

* " Not to philosophers only, but ' meanest capacity, which considers 

" even to the meanest capacities, are ' things at all ; that he who first gave 

" there obvious arguments in reason, ' being to all other things, could not 

" to prove clearly the necessity of this ' possibly have any beginning him- 

" Divine perfection, [eternity, 1 ] and to ' self, and must therefore necessarily 

" set it before them in a practical and ' have existed from all eternity : and 

" useful light. For since it is in some ' that he who hath already existed 

" degree a perfection to be; and a 'from all eternity, independently, 

" greater degree of that perfection to ' and of himself, cannot possibly be 

' continue in being ; it is evident, when ' liable to be deprived of his being, 

' we conceive of God the most perfect ' and must therefore necessarily exist 

' Being, we must conceive him to be ' for an eternity to come." Clarke's 

' infinite in this perfection also, as Posthumous Sermons, vol. i. p. So. 

well as in others. 


a priori we should not except to, neither do we condemn it v . 
All that we object to is the imagining any ground, cause, or 
necessity, (or whatever it be called,) antecedent, in order of nature, 
to the existence. One attribute may perhaps rationally be con 
sidered as prior in conception to another, and existence as prior 
to all w : therefore the way of arguing a priori from existence and 
attributes before proved, to other attributes not yet proved, we 
may allow of as a rational and just procedure. We distinguish 
here between arguing a priori to attributes, and arguing in like 
manner to existence. 

(4.) It is self-evident that nothing can be proved by a repug 
nant notion of antecedent necessity, conceived prior to the exist 
ence : and therefore eternity, both a parte ante and a parte post, 
must either be proved some other way, or not at all. That it 
may be proved in another way, and without the help of antece 
dent necessity, (proved, I say, a posteriori, yea, and perhaps a 
priori also,) is abundantly manifest from the many excellent 
treatises which have handled that point at large ; and St. Paul 
himself has testified the same thing ; namely, that the temporary 
phenomena are sufficient to make men clearly see the eternal power 
and Godhead of their Creator, and to render them inexcusable in 
their disbelief of it, or disregard to it x . 


" If the first Cause exists absolutely without any ground or 
" reason of existence, it might as possibly in times past, without 
" any reason, have not existed ; and may as possibly in times to 
" come, without any reason, cease to exist. Can it be proved 
" a posteriori, that the first Cause of all things will exist to-mor- 
" row ? Or can it be proved any otherwise than by shewing that 

v The Schoolmen have often taken iv. p. 32. And Gillius, lib. ii. tr. 2. e.g. 

that method of proving the eternity, p. 538. 

understanding it to be arguing a pri- w Vera superiora sunt, quae in solo 

ori : and it seems that it may properly Deo consistunt ; ut Deus est potens, 

enough be so styled ; though some sapiens, atque bonus. Horum autem 

would scruple to give it that name, haec quidem sunt quodammodo^oste- 

because there is no real order among riora naturaliter, haec priora. Poste- 

the attributes. (See Bp. Barlow on rius enim est Deum velle, quam cog- 

this head, Exercit. iv. p. 183, &c.) But noscere ; et coonoscere quam esse : 

if there may be an order of concep- esse enim naturaliter heec praecedit, et 

tion, it suffices : and that there may universaliter omnia talia attributa. 

appears very plainly. See Richard. Eradwardin. in Causa Dei, lib. i. cap. 

de Media Vill. who handles this ques- 12. p. 201. 

tion at large, lib. i. distinct. 2. quaest. x Rom. i. 20. 


" necessity is a certain ground of future, as well as of present 
" existence y 2" I answer, 

(i.) By asking, what must be the certain ground of that neces 
sity's existing 2 Or how will it be proved that that prior necessity 
will exist to-morrow, unless it be by assigning another necessity, and 
so on infinitely z ? This kind of reasoning, if it proves any thing, 
proves that there neither is nor can be a first Cause : and so it is 
choosing to admit a manifest absurdity, only to avoid an appear 
ing difficulty. 

(2.) To answer more directly, it is not possible in the nature 
of things to have any higher or stronger security as to the first 
Cause's existing to-morrow than this ; that he never had any 
cause, ground, or support of his existence, never needed any, being 
independent and self-sufficient 9 -, the prop and stay, the ground and 
foundation of all existences. If indeed he himself were to have 
any ground, foundation, or cause of his being, we might then have 
some handle for doubting whether his relation to that ground 
might continue, or how long it might subsist : but when he is 
above and beyond all grounds and causes, we have all the reason 
in the world to believe, that he is infinitely secure from change, 
is independently the same, " yesterday, to-day, and for ever.'' 
It is very odd to think of ascertaining his existence by assigning 
him a prior cause, which is the only way to unsettle it, and to 
make it less certain than it is : but it is a great confirmation of 
the truth of our doctrine in this particular, that every argument 
formed against it is at length found to stand on its side, and to 
make for it. 


" When atheistical writers affirm, that the material universe, 
" and every existing substance in particular, was eternal, abso- 
" lutely without any ground or reason of existence, can this asser- 
'' tion be confuted by him who shall himself affirm that God 
" was eternal absolutely, without any ground or reason of exist- 
" ence b 2" 

y Answer to Seventh Letter, p. 42. principium durationis. Praetera, id 

z See Dr. Gretton's Review, p. 74. quod non est ab olio, non habet in 

a Nam, quod est a se, et non ab alio, suo esse admistam potentiam ad non 

non habet principium durationis. Cum esse; ac proinde non est vertibile in 

enim in seipso habet sufficiens prin- non esse, atque adeo est aeternum. 

cipium existendi, et existat per essen- Gillius, p. 1032. 

tiam, concipi nequit non-existens ante- b Answer to a Seventh Letter, p. 43. 

quam existat; atque adeo non habet 



Answ. Yes, very easily, by shewing that what those men 
foolishly ascribe to the material universe (subject to innumerable 
changes and imperfections c ) does and can belong only to some 
unchangeable, independent Being, whose existence we can demon 
strate a posteriori. It is his privilege, and his only, to be above 
all ground or antecedent reason of existence, to be absolutely un 
caused, being indeed the fast Cause. But those atheistical writers, 
most certainly, never can be solidly confuted by one that shall 
assert a cause prior to the first: because it is, in effect, denying 
any first Cause at all, and maintaining an endless progression j 
which is what every Atheist would readily come into : not to 
mention how easy it were for them to play with antecedent 
necessity, (an arbitrary principle,) adapting the same to their 
own schemes d . 


" The infinity, or immensity, or omnipresence of God can no 
" otherwise be proved, than by considering a priori the nature 

" of a necessary or self-existent Cause. That this Author of 

" nature is himself absolutely immense or infinite, cannot be 
" proved from the finite phenomena, but must be demonstrated 
" from the intrinsic nature of a necessary existence*" To which 
I rejoin ; 

(i.) From antecedent necessity, or from any thing prior to a 
first Cause, (a notion self-contradictory and palpably absurd,) 
nothing at all can be proved. So then whatever becomes of 
other proofs for the immensity, it is certain and manifest, that 
nothing can be done with this, which is no proof at all. 

(2.) As to necessary existence, soberly and justly understood in 
the modal sense, and as subsequent in order of nature to its sub 
ject, (amounting to the same with independent, immutable, or infi 
nitely durable existence,) we have nothing to object against 
arguing from it, so far as it may carry us, or against calling it 
arguing a priori, as it is inferring one or more attributes from 
existence and some attribute or attributes before proved. This is 
quite another thing from the argument a priori contended for, 
and ought to be carefully distinguished from it : we find no 
fault with any one's arguing from attribute to attribute ; but 
what we blame is, the arguing from a supposed ground, founda- 

c See Wollaston, p. 76. e Answer to the Seventh Letter, 

d See Dr.Gretton, p. 21, 22, 23, &c. p. 43. 

CH. ii. PART CLEARED. 371 

tion, or internal cause of existence, to either existence or attri 

(3.) As to immensity, or omnipresence, if the finite phenomena 
are sufficient to prove that it extends to all real existence, it 
suffices : no one, after that, will scruple to admit as large an 
infinity as can be desired, though the proof be not drawn out in 
mood and figure. Mischief is often done by pretending to strict 
and rigorous demonstrations, where we have no occasion for them, 
and where the subject is too sublime to go far in, with clear and 
distinct ideas. Such attempts serve only to make that become 
matter of question, which before was unquestionable, while standing 
only on reasonable presumption or moral proof. 


" If the first Cause exists, absolutely without any ground or 
" reason of existence, it may as possibly be finite as infinite ; it 
' may as possibly be limited as immense* " I answer, 

This is repetition of the same argument a little diversified, and 
so has been sufficiently answered in the articles preceding. But 
I may briefly observe, that the supposed ground or reason is so 
far from securing us that the first Cause shall not be finite or 
limited, that it seems to endanger it the more, by making it 
dependent upon a ground, and subject to a prior causality. 
Besides, what shall secure that ground itself from loeingjinite and 
limited? Must it be another ground, and then another, and so on 
infinitely ? Such reasoning destroys itselfs. And how are we at 
all the wiser for being told, that the absolute necessity must be 
every where, or that it must operate every where alike' 1 ? If a 
petitio principii were allowable, it were better to say (and it is 
as easily said) that the independent first Cause must be every 
where, and in all places alike ; for this is sense at least, if it does 
not amount to a proof: while the other is as much a petitio 
principii, (for who knows how or where such imaginary cause 
must operate?) and besides is talking either without ideas, or 
with contradictory ideas, as has been often shewn. To be short, 
our physical, moral, or scriptural proofs, of the omnipresence are 
clear enough, and full enough, to answer all intents and purposes, 

f Answer to the Seventh Letter,, p. Dr. Gretton's Review, p. 80. 
43. h Letters, p. 13. Demonstrat. p. 41. 

* See the Plea strongly retorted in 

B b 2 


and to satisfy every reasonable mind'; as the author allows 
elsewhere k . 


" The unity of God, (which, I think, has always been allowed 
" to be a principle of natural religion : otherwise St. Paul could 
" not justly have blamed the heathen as inexcusable in that they 
" did not retain God in their knowledge, &c.) the unity of God, 
" I say, can no otherwise be demonstrated, than by considering 
" a priori the nature of a necessary or self-existent Cause. That 
" this supreme Author and Governor of this nature, or of these 
" phenomena, is the Supreme Author and Governor of universal 
" nature, cannot be proved by us from our partial and imperfect 
" knowledge of a, few phenomena, in that small part of the uni- 
" verse which comes within the reach of our senses, but must be 
' demonstrated from the intrinsic nature of necessary existence^." 
To all which I reply distinctly, as follows : 

( i .) It looks not well to make the unity a principle of natural 
religion, and at the same time to declare that there is no proof 
of it from natural reason, excepting only this pretended proof a 
priori , which, by the confession of its greatest advocates, is not 
capable of being understood but by a few and those very atten 
tive minds, never to be made obvious to the generality of men m ; 
which moreover has been as universally rejected by the learned 
who have thought of it, as it has been totally unknown to the 
vulgar in all past ages ; and which, lastly, is not only an incon 
clusive argument for the unity, or for any thing else, but 
demonstrably absurd. If natural religion affords no other 
argument of the unity but this now mentioned, it is evident that 
the unity is no principle of it. 

1 See Bp. Barlow, Exercitat. vi. p. 
283, &c. Bp. Wilkins, Nat. Relig. p. 

117, &C. 

* " It cannot but be evident, even 
" to the meanest capacity, upon care- 
" ful consideration, that he who made 
' all things, as he could not but be 
' before the things that he made, so 
' it is not possible but he must be 

' made them ; nor can things ever be 
' governed with any certainty, unless 
' the wisdom that governs them be 
'present with them. Whatever argu- 
ments therefore prove the being of 
God, and his unerring providence, 
must all be understood to prove 
equally likewise his actual omnipre 
sence." Clarke, Posth. Sermons, 

' present also with the things that he vol. i. Serm. 8. p. 173. 

'made and governs. For things ! Answer to a Seventh Letter, p. 44. 

' could not be made without the m Answer to a Sixth Letter, p. 32. 
' actual presence of the power that 

CH. ii. PART CLEARED. 373 

(2.) It looks still worse to plead St. Paul's authority in this 
case, who if he thought of the unity at all, in the texts cited or 
referred to, yet certainly had no view to this argument a priori, 
as rendering the heathen inexcusable. For how could they be 
inexcusable for not seeing what none but &few, and not without 
very attentive minds, can see, what can never be obvious to the 
generality, what the wisest and most thoughtful men have 
constantly rejected as absurd, and what plainly and inevitably is 
so ? If St. Paul had any view at all to the proofs of the unity 
in that place, (which is questionable",) it was to such only as 
may be drawn a posteriori, (from the few phenomena in our 
system, or from tradition,) which the plea rejects as no proofs . 
Therefore St. Paul's authority is very improperly alleged to give 
shelter or countenance to the argument a priori. 

(3.) Men may be very blamable for not admitting the unity, 
though it be supposed that they have only moral presumption or 
traditional proofs of it ; because the greater probability ought to 
determine their judgment, and because it is unquestionable 
matter of duty, in dubious cases, to take the safer side. There 
was plain reason for receiving and worshipping one God, while 
there was no apparent reason at all for worshipping many, but 
rather the contrary. Therefore the heathen were blamable in 
admitting a plurality ; and yet much more so for admitting such 
a plurality as they did ; which St. Paul chiefly alludes to, con 
demning their creature worship? as altogether inexcusable. 

(4.) A distinction should have been made, as in some former 
articles, between the different ways of arguing a priori. It is 

11 See Dr. Gretton, p. 84. " judiced by wrong instruction,) that 

all things are under the direction of 
one power, under the dominion of 

But the learned author elsewhere 
allows them to be sufficient, and so in 
effect has obviated or answered this 
plea himself. His words are : 

" The plain connection of one thing 
" upon another, through the whole 
" material universe, through all parts of 
" the earth, and in the visible heavens ; 
" the disposition of the air, and sea, 
" and winds ; the motions of the sun, 
" moon, and stars ; and the useful 
" vicissitudes of seasons, for the re- 
" gular production of the various 
" fruits of the earth ; have always 

one God, to whom the whole uni 
verse is uniformly subject. And in 

fact, the wisest and best men, in 

all heathen nations, have ever seen, 
and in good measure maintained, 

this great truth. But it is with 

greater clearness from all appear 
ance of doubt, and with greater 
assurance of authority, confirming 
the dictate of reason, that the Scrip- 
' ture sets forth to us this first prin 
ciple of religion." Clarke, Posth. 

" been sufficient to make it evidently Serm. vol. i. Serm. 2. p. 29,30. 

" appear, even to mean capacities. P Rom. i. 23, 24, 25. compare Gal. 

" (had they not been perpetually pre- iv. 8. 


not amiss to argue for the unity from the existence, and some 
one attribute or attributes (as omnipotence, immensity, independence, 
&c.) before proved; nor should we scruple the propriety of 
calling it an argument a priori : but as to any arguing from 
antecedmt necessity, or from any ground, cause, or reason, con 
sidered as prior to the existence, (which is the way of arguing 
now contended for,) that is what we can never admit of. Such 
antecedent absolute necessity carries no more idea with it than 
antecedent absolute nonentity; unless it means a cause prior to 
tine first, which is infinitely absurd. 

(5.) Allowing that the natural proofs of the unity are probable 
only, not demonstrative, and that upon the foot of mere reason it 
is a tenet rather to be reckoned among the pia credibilia, than 
as a demonstrated truth ; this is saying no more than what 
several very wise and good men have made no scruple to con 
fess 4: and if such be really the case, we are the more obliged 
to Scripture for ascertaining to us that great truth, as well as 
for placing it in a clear and just light. Demonstrations (strictly 
so called) are very good things where they are to be had : but 
when we cannot come at them, strong probabilities may properly 
supply their place. It is certain, that the bulk of mankind are 
not fitted for metaphysical or mathematical demonstrations; nor 
was it ever intended that moral or theological matters should be 
governed by them. Blessed are they, who having neither had 
ocular nor other demonstration, but moral probabilities only, have 
yet believed. Such conduct is justly accounted rational in 

i The learned John Gerhard, and Dissentit Gabriel Biel, qui ante 
John Vossius, cite Gabriel Biel to this annos hosce 140 Tubingensi Gym- 
purpose, adding their own reflections nasio prsefuit. Is censet probabiles 
upon what Biel had said. magis rationes esse quam evidentes et 

Sed Biel (I. Sant. dist. 2. qu. 10. certas. Verum esto sane, ut sola? 

art. 3.) statuit quod tantumwnwm esse non sint a7ro8KTticai : at magnum iis 
Deum, sit creditum, et non-demonstra- pondus addit traditio vetus ; turn 
turn ratione natural! nobis in via pos- autem quod argumenta isthaec, si non 
sibili. Id nos ita interpretamur ; eti- prorsus diroftfiKriKa, saltern usque 
amsi ex naturae libra rationes non con- adeo probabilia sint, ut rijs Tro\v0fias 
temnendte pro imitate divina? essential patroni nihil ullius moment! adferre 
asserenda erui possint, eas tamen ad valeant, cur plusquam unum statuere 
fidei ir\T)po<f>opiav cordibus nostris in- Deum potius conveniat. Voss. De 
generandam, non satis efficaces esse. Idololatr. lib. i. cap. 2. p. 6. 
Ergo mens prius confirmanda est ex Note : There were several other 
verbo Dei, et illustribus testimoniis in Schoolmen, besides Biel, who would 
quibus se Deus generi humano pate- not allow that the unity could be de- 
fecit : postea utiliter potest addi con- monstrated : see them numbered up 
sideratio philosophicarum demonstra- in Gillius, lib. ii. tract. 3. cap. 7. p. 
tionum. Gerhard. Loc. Comm. torn. i. 575. 
p. 1 06. 


secular affairs of greatest moment ; and it ought to be so ac 
counted in religious also. The adversaries may have a crafty 
design in requiring more than is necessary, and perhaps more 
than our faculties can reach to ; and it may often be exposing a 
good cause, and giving the common enemies a needless advant 
age, to enter the lists with them upon such unequal terms. But 
this I hint by the way only, and pass on. 


" If the first Cause exists absolutely without any ground or 
" reason of existence, it is altogether as possible, and as probable, 
" and as reasonable to suppose, that there may, without any 
" reason, exist numberless finite, independent, coexistent first 
" Causes in different parts of the immense universe, as that 
" there should, without any reason, exist one only, infinite, im- 
" mense, omnipresent first Cause, Author and Governor of the 
" whole 1 ". 11 To which it may be replied : 

(i.) That this amounts to saying, that unless there be a cause 
prior to the first, (for a reason a priori means a cause,) there 
may as well be numberless first Causes as one : which is directly 
arguing, as usual, against the very name and notion of a first 
Cause. But though a first Cause may or must be allowed to be 
mysterious and incomprehensible, yet it should not be thus con 
stantly treated as an impossible or contradictory idea. If there 
is any such thing as & first Cause, it must be uncaused, and can 
have no reason a priori for it. Therefore to what purpose is it 
to dispute how many first Causes there might be, when if this 
way of reasoning be just and conclusive, there could not be so 
much as one ? 

(2.) The question about the number of first Causes can never 
be determined by taking in antecedent necessity ; because the 
same difficulty will always recur, toties quoties, about the number 
of antecedent necessities. For if every one of them, in the long 
progression, has not another to fix and determine it, there will 
still be the like danger of numberless antecedent necessities*, or 
reasons a priori, at every remove higher, in infinitum. 

(3.) Scripture has very plainly and fully determined the ques 
tion : and both tradition and reason are on the same side. For 
though there is not perhaps strict demonstration, yet there are 

r Answer to Seventh Letter, p. 44, 45. 8 See Gretton's Review, p. 90. 


Mr probabilities, (as before hinted,) both in the moral and meta 
physical way, well known to Divines : and there is no colour of 
reason for the contrary side. These are sufficient to build a 
rational belief upon : and with these we ought to rest content. 


" To argue a priori concerning the existence and attributes of 
" the first Cause is no absurdity : for, though no thing, no being 
" can indeed be prior to the first Cause, yet arguments may and 
" must be drawn from the nature and consequences of that 
" necessity by which the first Cause exists*." 

Answ. It is allowed, that arguments may or must be drawn 
from the nature and consequences of that necessity by which the 
first Cause exists, but not from the nature and consequences of 
that necessity by which the first Cause does not exist. Now the 
first Cause (if it be proper to say it exists by any necessity) 
exists by a modal, not a causal necessity; by a metaphysical 
necessity, not a physical ; by a necessity subsequent in order of 
nature to the existence, (whereof it is the mode,) not by any 
antecedent necessity. Therefore let us keep to the idea of modal 
necessity, (meaning permanency, stability, noncontingency, inde 
pendency, immutability, and the like ;) I say, let us keep closely 
to that idea of modal necessity, without changing it into causal; 
and then, if any arguments can be justly drawn from the nature 
and consequences of it, let them be admitted. But it is very 
certain and self-evident, that no arguments can be drawn a priori 
to the existence, from a mode of the same existence, subsequent 
and posterior, in conception, to it. 


" Mathematical necessary truths are usually demonstrated a 
" priori, and yet nothing is prior to truths eternally necessary. 
" To confine therefore the use of the term to argumentations 
" about such things only as have other things prior to them in 
" time, is only quibbling about the signification of words." 

Answ. No one goes about to confine the notion of priority to 
priority in time only : it is allowed, that there is a priority of 
order, or of nature, or of conception, where there is no priority in 
time. But it is insisted upon, that there is nothing at a\\ prior 
to the existence of the first Cause, in any sense of priority what- 

1 Answer to the Seventh Letter, p. 45. 

CH. ii. PART CLEARED. 377 

ever; nothing prior to it so much as in conception, or order of 
nature ; and therefore there is no arguing a priori at all in that 
case. The insisting upon this is not quibbling about words, but 
reasoning justly and soberly about things, and things of the 
greatest consequence. The fundamental doctrine of a, first Cause 
is directly concerned in it, and several other very important 
articles hang upon it. 

(2.) As to mathematical necessary truths, they may be demon 
strated a priori, as long as there is any other truth prior in con 
ception, or order of nature, to them : but when once we ascend 
up to first principles or axioms, which have no truths prior in 
conception, there is then no more arguing a priori, no ascending 
up higher in the scale of ideas, or in the chain of truths". In 
like manner, as to real existence there is a, first, which is at the 
top of that scale ; and we can go no higher than to the highest. 
There all reasoning a priori ceases, or ought to do so ; because 
there is no existence prior, in order of nature or of conception, 
to argue from ; no possible causality, no imaginable antecedency 
to build such reasoning upon. There all our searches must 
terminate ; there our aspiring and wearied thoughts take rest. 
And though an uncaused Being is an unfathomable abyss, and 
we can scarce forbear asking childishly, how and why, or for 
what reason it exists, and must exist? yet our recollected 
thoughts must tell us, that such questions are improper and 
impertinent, and resolve only into a fond conception or contra 
dictory notion of something still higher than the highest, and 
prior to the fast. 


" To the objection, that an attribute cannot be the ground or 
" reason of the existence of the substance itself, (which is always, on 
" the contrary, the support of the attributes,) I answer, that in 
" strictness of speech, necessity of existence is not an attribute in 
" the sense that attributes are properly so styled ; but it is (sui 
" generis) the ground or foundation of existence both of the 
" substance and of all the attributes"." 

Answ. The sum of this evasive plea is, that necessity of exist 
ence (since it is absurd to make an attribute antecedent) must be 
a kind of attribute which is no attribute properly speaking ; an 
attribute sui generis, a privileged attribute, not subject to the or- 

u See Dr. Gretton's Review, p. 95. * Answer to Seventh Letter, p. 46. 


dinary rules and laws, to which all attributes, as such, must be 
subject : a postulatum too large and too arbitrary to be granted 
by any man that will not be content to take sound for sense, or 
words and syllables for ideas. Either let this admired necessity 
be called an attribute, and acknowledged to be subsequent to its 
subject, and then there is an end of the argument a priori : or 
if it must be antecedent, for the sake of the argument, let it 
be called (what it is supposed confusely to be) a principle ex 
trinsic, and so it will import a cause prior to the first. One of 
these titles it must wear : for there is no breaking the horns of 
the dilemma ; that the said necessity must either be subsequent 
as an attribute, or else a principle extrinsic, if it be supposed 
antecedent. The truth is, strictly speaking, necessity in this case 
is not the attribute, but necessary existence is ; and the necessity 
considered abstractedly, or by itself, is the mode of such exist 
ence, expressing the manner or perfection of it. Now certainly, 
if every attribute, in the very notion of it, is subsequent to the sub 
stance whereby it is supported ; a mode, which is still one remove 
further off, and so much the more subsequent, in order of nature 
and conception, can never be looked upon as antecedent, in any 
view whatever. 


" Thus, in other instances, immensity is not an attribute in 
" the sense that wisdom, power, and the like, are strictly so 
" called, but it is (sui generis) a mode of existence both of the sub- 
" stance and of all the attributes. In like manner, eternity is not 
" an attribute or property in the sense that other attributes, in- 
" hering in the substance, and supported by it, are properly so 
" called, but it is (sui generis) the duration of the existence both 
" of the substance and of all the attributes." 

( i .) The design of this plea is to intimate, that attributes may 
be distinguished into several kinds; which is not disputed. 
Nevertheless all attributes agree in that which makes or denomi 
nates them to be attributes; namely, in being attributed to some 
subject considered as their support, and of course antecedent in 
conception to them. 

(a.) As to immensity and eternity, considered either as attri 
butes of the Divine Being, or as modes to other attributes, they 
are under one conception subsequent to the substance, and under 
the other conception subsequent both to the substance and attri- 


lutes; that is to say, still more subsequent. And such also is the 
case of necessity, as abstracted from existence, it is a mode of 
existence, and so it is doubly subsequent under that formality ; 
which the author himself seems to have been sensible of, and 
therefore was afraid of calling it a mode of existence, though he 
allows it of the other two. 


" Attributes or properties, strictly so called, cannot be predi- 
" cated one of another : wisdom cannot be properly said to be 
" powerful, or power to be wise. But immensity is a mode of 
" existence both of the Divine substance and of all the attributes. 
" And necessity is the ground, or reason, or foundation of ex- 
" istence, both of the Divine substance, and of all the attri- 
" butesr." 

Answ. Existence being common to whatever is, no doubt 
but it may be predicated both of the substance and the attributes : 
and as necessity in this case is a mode of the existence, and ought to 
have been called so as well as immensity, and is predicated even 
of existence, it must of course be predicated of every Divine 
attribute, because the existence which it goes along with, and 
adheres to, is so predicated. But to infer from thence, that 
necessity, a mode of being, is a ground, or reason, or foundation of 
being, is jumping to a conclusion without any premises ; yea and 
against the premises ; because a mode of existence presupposes 
existence. To be short, all those words, ground, reason, founda 
tion, internal cause, and the like, are only so much foreign lan 
guage, fetched from another subject, and improperly brought in 
here ; sounds and syllables only, if they do not mean a cause 
prior to the first; flat contradiction and palpable absurdity, if 
they do. But the word necessity seems to carry a kind of a 
charm in it to deceive the eye or to beguile the fancy, while by a 
subtle sort of legerdemain it steals away the true idea intrusted 
with it, and returns you a counterfeit for it. 

y Answer to Seventh Letter, p. 46. 



Briefly intimating the hurtful Tendency of insisting so much upon 
the pretended Argument a priori, loth with regard to Religion 
and Science. 

IT would not be worth the time or the pains, to confute any 
false notion, were there no harm in it, or if it no way tended, 
directly or indirectly, to the prejudice of the world. But what 
ever hurts religion or science, hurts the public of course ; and that 
these new principles are of ill tendency, in that respect, will 
appear from diverse considerations, which come now to be men 

i. It may be of ill consequence to rest any important and un 
questionable truth upon precarious principles, too weak to sup 
port it. It tends to expose, rather than to serve the cause so 
pleaded ; to render it suspected, rather than to bring credit to it ; 
and to give the adversaries a handle for ridicule or triumph. 
One would not indeed altogether discourage any religious and 
well meant endeavours to strike new light into an important 
subject, and to confirm established truths by additional topics, 
or supplemental reinforcements. Were it not for the attempts of 
that kind, made by lively and enterprising geniuses, time after 
time, we should, no doubt, have wanted many considerable im 
provements both in philosophy and theology, which we rejoice in 
at this day : and were there not scope given for essays or trials 
which may happen to fail, (as all cannot hit,) we should scarce 
have field large enough for those that might be approved, and 
stand. Nevertheless in truths which have already passed through 
an infinite number of hands, (such as is the existence of a Deity,) 
there is the less occasion for looking after new topics. Probably, 
there are no new ones now to be thought on, after the utmost 
stretch of human faculties has been long exercised upon the sub 
ject ; but those that appear new will be commonly found no other 
than old exploded speculations. Thus it happened to Des Cartes, 
who seems to have valued himself for the inventing a new argu 
ment for the existence ; and he had several admirers and follow 
ers, for a time, of considerable name and figure, who closed in 
with it, conceiving it to be firm and solid. But within a while 
it was suspected to be no better than a, paralogism; and not 
only so, but was found to have been of ancient date too, as early as 


Anselm, and confuted afterwards by Thomas Aquinas a, and 
others, and at length dropped by all, because it had been weighed 
in the balance, and proved wanting. So it will rarely happen, 
that any new thought can be offered upon a subject so trite and 
well nigh exhausted : or, if there should be any new topic in 
vented, it will probably be found much short in value and efficacy 
of the more common ones, which have been of long standing. 
The commonest arguments, in such cases, may be justly looked 
upon as the best ; because they have been proved and tried, and 
have survived many others of inferior note, by reason of their 
known weight and significancy above the rest. Opinionum com- 
menta delet dies, naturce judicia confirmat. For the maintaining 
of doctrines, which have been universally received in all places 
and times, there is more need of judgment than invention, in 
making choice of the best proofs that have been before offered, 
rather than offering new ones ; which will not come up to the 
other, but are likely to fail upon trial, however they may please 
for a while by their novelty. The more important a cause is, the 
more need of caution : because there is a particular reverence 
due to such a cause, and the risk is the greater, if it be made 
to lean on quirk and subtilty, upon weak and sandy foundations. 
Now there cannot be a more important cause than the cause of 
Theism ; neither can we any where more dangerously give a 
loose to fancy, than upon that head. 

2. It is still worse to rest such a cause upon principles, which 
are not only too weak to bear it, but which also in their obvious 
natural tendency threaten to overturn it : such is really the case 
with respect to the argument a priori ; which is so far from 
establishing the existence of a first Cause, (the point aimed at,) 
that it proceeds upon such premises as admit no first Cause at 
all. The pleas made for it directly strike at the very notion of 
a first Cause, proving (if they proved any thing) that there can 
be no such thing as a being uncaused. This has been observed 
over and over in the preceding chapter ; and so I need only refer 
back thither for the proof of what I here say. Such an argu 
ment therefore, however piously intended, and offered with very 
upright views, yet cannot but be looked upon as an argument of 

a Vid. Parker, Disputat. de Deo, those Schoolmen who adhered to An- 

p. 567. Conf. Gillius, lib. i. tract. 8. selm in that argument; as also a re- 

c. 3. p. 385, &c. cital of others who appeared against 

In Gillius may be seen a list of it, and confuted it. 



pernicious tendency : and every true lover of Theism, who per 
ceives where such reasoning terminates, cannot be too jealous of 
it. When Des Cartes proposed a new argument (as it was 
thought) for the existence of a Deity, all the hurt of it was, 
that it fell short of the point, and disserved the cause, only by 
resting it upon what would not bear : but this other argument, 
besides its being inconclusive for the purpose aimed at, is attended 
with this further inconvenience, that it proceeds upon principles, 
which run directly cross to it, and which make it impracticable 
to prove any first Cause at all. For if every cause must have a 
cause, (which is the maxim it sets out with, and proceeds upon 
all the way,) the consequence is inevitable, that there can be no 
first Cause. It is highly proper to declare against so pernicious 
a maxim, which can tend only to undermine the proofs of a Deity, 
instead of improving them. 

3. There is another circumstance in this matter which deserves 
consideration, namely, that this pretended demonstration is not 
only offered as a proof, but is zealously insisted on, and highly 
magnified above the many solid and standing demonstrations 
which have hitherto been received and approved by the common 
reason of mankind ; as if it were not sufficient to give us a 
paralogism for demonstration, but every other demonstration (justly 
and properly so called) must be undervalued and slighted in 
comparison. For instance, it is alleged that the arguments a 
posteriori (though the best that we have) for the Divine eternity 
and omnipresence are short of proof: which is not true, even in 
the strictest sense of demonstrative proof: and if it were true, 
yet so long as there is other sufficient proof, (such as every 
reasonable man must readily acquiesce in,) it should not be 
slightingly spoken of; neither should it be suggested that those 
attributes cannot be proved. The moral proofs, after all, if not 
so strictly demonstrative as the metaphysical, are yet better suited 
to common capacities, and apter to persuade the bulk of man 
kind b ; and are therefore of more extensive use, and consequently 

b " The proof a posteriori is level ' ties of all unprejudiced men, who 

to all men's capacities: because there 'have any probity of mind. And 

' is an endless gradation of wise and ' this is what, I suppose, God expects 

' useful phenomena of nature, from ' (as a moral Governor) that moral 

' the most obvious to the most ab- ' agents should be determined by." 

'struse; which afford (at least a Answer to Sixth Letter, p. 31, 32. 

' moral and reasonable) proof of the " The proof a priori is- capable 

' being of God, to the several capaci- " of being understood only by a few 


of more intrinsic value than the other. However that be, it is 
certainly of ill consequence to depreciate the solidest arguments 
hitherto urged in proof of the existence, for the sake only of 
magnifying a flight of fancy. When an imaginary proof is thus 
advanced as a real one, and not only so, but superior to all 
others, it then becomes more and more dangerous, as doing great 
disservice to the cause of God and religion . 

4. I must further remark, that this argument a priori, or 
some appendages of it, look not very favourably towards revealed 
religion, particularly as to the article of the Trinity ; as hath 
been observed at large by a learned hand d , and need not here 
be repeated. This is an additional evidence of the mischievous 
tendency of those false metaphysics, which as they do in one view 
sap the first and fundamental article of natural religion, by de 
stroying the notion of a First Cause ; so do they, in another 
view, strike at some of the prime fundamentals of the Gospel. 

5. Add to this, the mischief done to true philosophy, by 
adopting one absurd principle, which may probably draw after it 
many other, (as one error leads to more,) or may introduce a 
fallacious way of reasoning, such as may affect science in general. 
For example : in order to maintain antecedent necessity, the 
ideas of infinity and eternity are fetched in as antecedently forcing 
themselves upon us e ; and it is supposed to be intuitively evi- 
dent f , that those ideas have their objective realities ad extra. 
Then space and time are advanced, as amounting to the same 
with infinity and eternity, and are supposed really to exist ad 
extra, and as certainly as that twice two makes four: whereupon 
they are exalted into modes, or attributes, or properties of the 
Divine substances, and God himself is imagined to be the sub- 

" attentive minds ; because it is of ' to those proofs, as being weak or 

" use only against learned and meta~ ' fallacious, which our own existence 

" physical difficulties." Ibid. ' and the sensible parts of the universe 

c What Mr. Locke says, in relation ' offer so clearly and cogently to our 

to another sophistical argument for ' thoughts, that I deem it impossible 

the existence, once contended for by ' for a considering man to withstand 

the Cartesians, is very applicable in ' them." Locke, Hum. Understand. 

this case: book iv. chap. x. sect. 7. Letter!, to 

" It is an ill way of establishing Stillingfleet, p. 112. 

' this truth, and silencing Atheists, to d Dr. Gretton's Preface to his Re- 

' lay the whole stress of so important a view, p. 5, 6, &c. 

' point upon that sole foundation e Demonstration, p. 15. 

' and out of an over fondness of that f Demonstration, p. 15. Letters, p. 

' darling invention cashier, or at least 34. 

' endeavour to invalidate, all other e Demonstration, p. 15. Letters, 

' arguments, and forbid us to hearken p. 15, 16, 20, 35. 


stratum of both h . Besides all which, the idea of a necessarily 
existing Being is made to be the idea of a Being, the supposition 
of whose not existing is an express contradiction : and necessity is 
interpreted a plain impossibility, or implying a contradiction, to 
suppose the contrary, like the relation of equality between twice 
two and/owr 1 . Nay it is further said; " If I have in my mind 
" an idea of a thing, and cannot possibly in my imagination take 
" away the idea of that thing as actually existing, any more than 
" I can change or take away the idea of the equality of twice two 
" to four, the certainty of the existence of that thing is the same, 
" and stands on the same foundation as the certainty of the 
" other relation k ." It is said further, " that absolute necessity 
" (that is, antecedent) is the cause of the unalterable proportion 
" between twice two and/owr 1 . 1 " Now it is more than probable, 
that this whole train of suppositions, or assertions, brought in 
as part of the retinue to wait upon the argument a priori, is 
little else but a train of error and false reasoning. It would be 
tedious to enter into a large examination of every particular, 
but I shall make a few strictures upon each. 

1. As to the ideas of infinity and eternity, considered as 
antecedently forcing themselves upon us, there is no truth in it, 
if it means forcing themselves upon our reason, and extorting 
assent. Perhaps they may in some sense force themselves upon 
the imagination, (like many other fancies, or waking dreams,) 
but as to believing that the ideas of infinity and eternity have 
objective realities ad extra, we are not forced to it, antecedently 
or otherwise, till rational conviction shall render us certain of it. 

2. As to the ideas of space and time, they are not the same 
ideas with those of immensity and eternity, but are constantly 
thought of and spoken of in a very different manner. Immensity 
and eternity are considered as attributes of something, and spoken 
of accordingly : whereas space and time are conceived and spoken 
after the manner of substances ; as several other abstract general 
ideas (nature, fortune, death, &c.) are. Immense immensity is an 
improper expression, is blunder and solecism : but immense space 
carries no impropriety in the expression ; which shews that the 
ideas are different. So again, eternal eternity is mere solecism : 
but time eternal Xin the large sense of time) is a proper expression. 
Space and time are considered not as being themselves properties, 

h Letters, p. 20, 24. k Ibid. p. 20. 

1 Demonstration, p. 16, 18, 19. ' Letters, p. 33. 


but as being invested with properties : that is, they are consi 
dered after the manner of substances, as many other abstract 
ideas are. And because it is certain, that they are not substances, 
(much less can they be attributes,) they are, most probably, no 
thing else but general abstract ideas, common measures and recep 
tacles formed by the mind, for the better lodgement, rangement, 
and adjustment of our other ideas. 

3. As to existence ad extra, it is not to be proved by strength 
of imagination, but by reasons proper to the case. So it cannot 
be justly pretended, that we have intuitive evidence. We know 
and feel our own existence, and from thence can demonstrate the 
existence of God. I say, demonstrate : for our knowledge of 
God here is demonstrative only, not intuitive, as will be shewn 
hereafter. We neither see nor feel space or time as existing ad 
extra: we contemplate nothing but our own ideas: and from 
ideas within, to realities without, there is no immediate conse 
quence to be drawn ; but whatever we may draw, justly, must 
be worked out by deduction and inference, and perhaps a long 
chain of reasoning, before we can come at certainty as to real 
external existence. 

4. To pretend, that our ideas within are as necessarily con 
nected with actual existence without, as the ideas of twice two 
and four, is mistaking imagination for reason, and association of 
ideas for connection. That twice two is equal to four, is as certain 
as that the same idea is the same idea : and the connection of the 
idea of equality is plain and certain. This is only pronouncing 
upon the relations of ideas with each other, and so far we can 
not be mistaken, having a clear and distinct perception of such 
relations : but ideal existence is not necessarily connected with 
real existence, like as idea with idea; and therefore the compari 
son here made is wide and foreign. There is no resemblance 
between the two cases, but they are as different as possible 
from each other, as much as fancy and fiction from truth and 

5. To make God the substratum of space and time (which 
really are not attributes or properties, nor ever spoken of as such) 
is mere solecism and impropriety of expression ; a certain mark 
of as great an error in thought. Not to mention many other 
just objections which lie against the gross notion of an extended 
or expanded Deity. 

6. Necessary existence is inaccurately and preposterously ex- 




plained by impossibility of non-existence : for the affirmative is 
in order of nature prior to the negative; and, strictly speaking, 
the existence is not necessary, because non-existence is impos 
sible; but on the reverse, non-existence is impossible, because 
existence, in that instance, is necessary, or infinitely perma 
nent n . The neqative truth in this case resolves into its cor 
respondent affirmative, as into its principle, from which it is 

7. In the making the idea of a necessarily existing Being to be 
the idea of one whose non-existence is an express contradiction, 
there appears to be a twofold confusion ; one between physical 
and logical necessity ; another between a contradiction a priori 
and a contradiction a posteriori. There is in a necessarily existing 
Being a physical impossibility of non-existence : which is not the 
same thing with a logical repugnancy, referring to our ideas as 
contradictory and repugnant. Those two things are distinct, and 
ought not to have been confounded . 

A contradiction a priori is, when we perceive from the idea 
of such a cause, that it is a contradiction for that cause not 
to produce such an effect. There is no such contradiction as 
this conies to in the supposition of the non-existence of a Deity : 
for we see not a priori why he must be; we see no cause of 
it ; but, on the contrary, we perceive, that he is absolutely 

But a posteriori we find it resolve at length into a contradic 
tion, to suppose that no First Cause exists : it is a contradiction 
to our ideas of cause and effect : for effects must have a cause, 
and if something now exists, something always existed, some 
thing independent; for from nothing could arise nothing. This 

m At vero necessitas describi vel Avicen. i. Metaph. 5. reprobat defini- 

intelligi haudquaquam potest absque tiones antiquorum de necessario, pos- 

ratione ipsius esse : nam necessarium sibili, et impossibili, eo quod definie- 

est, quod non potest non esse. Quare bant ilia per se invicem circulando; 

ipsum esse prius est ratione necessita- ut patet de definitionibus quas ibi 

tis. Gillius, lib. i. tract. 8. cap. 4. p. 396. recital ab antiquis, dicitque id quod 

n Necessarium nequaquam recte ex his tribus dignius est intelligi, est 

per possibile, nee per impossibile defi- necesse esse- quoniam necesse esse 

nitur; nihil enirn recte definitur per significat vehementiam essendi, esse 

aliquid posterius eo, sicut secundo vero notius est quam non esse : esse 

Post, et septimo Metaph. demonstra- enim cognoscitur per se, non esse 

tur^; sed utrumque istorum est pos- vero per esse. Bradwardine, De Causa 

terius necessario. Non ergo recte Dei, p. 204. 

definitur necessarium per hoc quod See Dr. Gretton upon the dis- 

non est possibile non esse, vel per hoc tinction between logical and physical 

quod impossibile est non esse. Ideoque reason. Review, p. 69. 


kind of contradiction a posteriori we admit ; not the other 
a priori, which is fiction only, though much has been built 
upon it. 

8. As to absolute (antecedent) necessity's being the cause of 
the unalterable proportion between twice two and four, it is all 
a mistake. There is no antecedency in the case. First principles 
and axioms shine by their own light, have nothing antecedent to 
demonstrate them by, are perceived by intuition, not demonstra 
tion; and resolve only into this, that every thing is what it is, or 
the same idea is the same idea. The idea of equality is the idea 
of equality, and the idea of twice two is the idea of twice two, and 
the idea of four the idea of four : and, as soon as ever the terms 
expressing those ideas are understood, the proposition is ad 
mitted of course, requiring no antecedent necessity to ascertain it, 
no cause to fix it : it is above all causes, being intuitively, not de- 
monstrably discerned. But enough has been said to shew how the 
erroneous notion of the argument a priori has served to usher 
in a great deal of confusion and false reasoning in other articles 
hanging upon it, or ministering to it : so that the letting in that 
one false principle cannot but tend to the detriment of science in 
general ; which I undertook to shew. 

And now, to look back to what has been observed in these 
papers concerning the pretended demonstration a priori, the sum 
is as follows : that the thought is in some sense old enough, 
having been suggested, considered, and rejected by the judicious 
fifteen hundred years ago : that it has been frequently taken 
notice of since by the schoolmen and others ; and drawn out 
into public light, but always like a criminal, in order to be con 
demned; that though attempts have been made in favour of 
something under the name of an argument a priori, yet as to 
the gross sense of it, in which it is now contended for, (viz. as 
an antecedent ground, reason, foundation, internal cause of the 
Deity.) it appears not to have met with any professed patrons 
before the eighteenth century ; when probably what former ages 
had been doing was not remembered, or not duly attended to : 
that the new countenance given to a notion that had been so 
long and universally exploded, brought it into some degree of 
credit and repute, before it was understood : that as soon as it 
came to be more minutely looked into, it began presently to 
decline, and to sink as it formerly used to do : that it is now 
found to carry in it such insuperable absurdities, as must of 

e c 2 




course be a bar to its reception in an inquisitive and discerning 
age : that, lastly, it seems to promise no good to religion or 
science, while sapping the fundamental articles of one, and cross 
ing the established principles of the other. 

This appears to me to be a true report and fair account 
of what concerns the argument a priori, after the most atten 
tive and impartial inquiries I have hitherto been able to make 
into it. 





In necessariis, Unitas : in non-necessariis, Libertas : in omnibus, Pru- 
dentia et Charitas. 

He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not be 
lieved in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John iii. 18. 




AN Introduction, briefly intimating the Occasion of the Work, and 
treating severally, 

I. Of those that deny the Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity, being, 

1. Either such as disbelieve the Doctrine ........................ 396 

2. Or such as suspend their Faith in it ........................ ibid. 

3. Or such as believe its Truth ................................ 397 

II. Of those that assert the Importance of the Doctrine, conceiving, 

1. That some Scripture Doctrines are more important than others . . 399 

2. That Faith in the Gospel is necessary to Salvation ............ 400 

3. That we are obliged to preserve it whole and entire ............ ibid. 

4. That in the slighter matters Christians should bear with each other ; 
but in the necessaries, must insist upon conformity ............ 403 


Shewing that the Doctrine of the Trinity is sufficiently clear to be 
admitted as a fundamental Article .......................... 405 

i . Clear with Regard to the Matter of it ...................... ibid. 

2. Clear with Respect to the Proofs on which it rests ............ 411 


Shewing that the same Doctrine is sufficiently practical to be a Fun 
damental ................... 

i. As containing a right Knowledge of God, and regulating our Wor 
ship .................................................... ibid . 


2. As forming proper Dispositions of Mind 4 

3. As raising and strengthening the Motives to Christian Practice . . 422 

4. As having a close connection with the Doctrine of Satisfaction . . 425 

5. As having the like Connection with the Doctrine of Grace 431 * 

6. As belief is Obedience, and all Obedience practical 434 

But this to be understood of the main Doctrine, not of the minute Cir 
cumstances or Appendages 437 


Shewing that the Doctrine is sufficiently insisted on in Scripture to 
be judged a Fundamental 44 

1. Episcopius's Sentiments on this Head considered and confuted. . ibid. 

2. Limborch's Sentiments on the same examined and disproved. . . . 450 


Shewing that Communion ought not to be held with Persons who 
openly reject and impugn the fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel, and 
persist in so doing. Proved 

1 . From Scripture 456 

2. From the reason of the thing 470 


Objections removed, and vulgar Mistakes rectified 473 

1. Objected, that insisting upon the Doctrine as important, is running 
into an extreme 474 

Denied ibid. 

Retorted 476 

2. That a wicked Life is the worst Heresy. The fallacy of that saying 
laid open and confuted 478 

A Life of Heresy a wicked Life ibid. 

3. That Heretics may be sincere. Allowed with Distinction, and the 
Plea shewn to be wide and foreign 485 

4. That there can be no Certainty on the Trinitarian side, without In 
fallibility, denied 494 

Certainty maintained against Papists 495 

Against Sceptics 498 

5. That such Zeal in this matter is Persecution and Popery 506 

Denied 507 

Retorted , ibid. 

6. That it is assuming Dominion over Men's Faith, &c. denied and 
disproved 510 

Retorted 511 

7. That censuring others may provoke them to make Reprisals .... 512 

Admitted, and justified 513 

The Use to be made of that Consideration 516 


8. That none should be censured who are ready to declare their Faith in 
Scripture Terms 517 

Allowed in one Sense ibid. 

Denied in another ibid. 

Q, That censuring of Heretics is encouraging sanguinary proceedings ..519 

Denied and disproved 520 


Containing the Judgment of the primitive Churches, with respect to 
the Importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity 523 

1. Shewn from Creeds 524 

2. From Censures passed upon the Impugners of it 537 

Upon Cerinthus ibid. 

Upon Ebion 554 

Upon Theodotus 577 

Upon Artemon 581 

Upon Beryllus 582 

Upon Paul of Samosata 585 

Upon Arius ibid. 

3. From the Sentiments of particular Fathers 589 

Ignatius ibid. 

Justin Martyr 591 

Irenaeus 592 

Athenagoras 593 

Tertullian 595 

Cyprian 596 

Novatian 597 

Dionysius of Rome ibid. 

Dionysius of Alexandria 598 

Alexander of Alexandria 600 


Shewing the Use and Value of Ecclesiastical Antiquity in Contro 
versies of Faith 60 1 

1. Extremes to be avoided 604 

2. The true State of the Case premised ibid. 

3. The Use of the Ancients explained in eight particulars 607 

4. Objections answered in ten particulars 624 


The Catholic Interpretation of John i. i. and Hebrews i. vindicated, 
and shewn to be preferable to the Arian 666 

Of John i. i 668 

Of Hebr. i 674 



To pages 406, 441, 460 - 684 

To pages 468, 469, 485 685 

To page 508 688 

To pages 510, 511, 544 689 

To page 554 690 

To pages 568, 649 692 

To page 667 694 


IHEBE has appeared, very lately, a small pamphlet* of 
seventy-six pages, entitled, A Sober and Charitable Disquisi 
tion concerning the importance of the Doctrine of the Trinity ; 
endeavouring to shew, that " those in the different schemes 
" should bear with each other in their different sentiments, and 
" should not separate communions." The treatise appears to be 
written in a good manner, and with a Christian spirit ; on which 
account it deserves the more notice : and the question debated 
in it is undoubtedly important in every view, whether with 
regard to peace in this life, or happiness in the next. And as 
I have formerly spent some time and pains in discussing the truth 
of that high and holy doctrine, from Scripture, reason, and an 
tiquity ; so now I think it concerns me the more, to debate, in 
like manner, the importance of it : which I shall, by God's assist 
ance, endeavour to do, fully and fairly, with all due care and 
attention, and with all becoming reverence for the subject, as 
well as respect towards the reader. 

B Printed for John Gray, at the 3. A Vindication of Mr. Nation's 

Cross Keys in the Poultry, near Sermon : with a Letter from Mr. Na- 

Cheapside, 1732. tion. 

N. B. There were several other 4. A Letter to the Author of the 

pieces which preceded, or soon fol- Vindication : with a Second Letter to 

lowed it, relating to the same cause. Mr. Nation, by P. C. 

1. Mr. Nation's Sermon, preached 5. A Reply to Mr. P. C.'s Letter. 
Sept. 8, 1731. 0. A Postscript, or a Third Letter 

2. A Letter to Mr. Nation, by P.C. to Mr. Nation, by P. C. 


Before I enter upon the main debate, it will be proper to clear 
the way by some preliminary observations concerning the several 
sorts of persons who deny the importance of the doctrine of the 
Trinity, and their views in doing it ; as also concerning the ad 
vocates, on the other side, who assert the importance of that sacred 
doctrine, and the general principles on which they proceed. 

1. As to the persons who deny the importance of the doctrine, 
they are reducible to three kinds ; being either such as disbelieve 
the doctrine itself, or such as are in some suspense about it; or, 
lastly, such as really assent to it as true doctrine, It is with this 
last sort only, that our present debate is properly concerned. 
But yet for the clearer apprehending those three different kinds 
of men, and their different views in joining together so far in the 
same cause, it will not be improper to say something severally 
and distinctly of each. 

j. Those that disbelieve the doctrine itself, while they join with 
others in decrying the importance of it, are to be looked upon as 
a kind of artful men, who think it policy to carry on a scheme 
gently and leisurely, and to steal upon the unwary by soft and 
almost insensible degrees a method which is indeed commonly 
slower in producing the effect, but is the surer for being so ; as it 
is less shocking and more insinuating. They are content there 
fore, at first, to make men cool and indifferent towards the doc 
trine; as thinking it a good point gained, and a promising 
advance made towards the laying it aside. With these views, 
both Socinians and Arians, who disbelieve the doctrine itself, 
may yet be content, for a time, to declare only against the im 
portance of it. Deists also may join in the same thing, conceiving, 
that indifference, as to a prime article of Christianity, may in time 
draw on the same kind of indifference towards Christianity 
itself. They are disbelievers with respect to the doctrine of the 
Trinity, and with respect also to all revealed religion : and they will 
of course favour and encourage the denial of any part, in order to 
bring on the subversion of the whole. However, our present 
concern is not directly with Deists, nor with such as deny the 
doctrine of the Trinity : for our dispute now is, not about the 
certainty of revealed religion, (which is supposed in our present 
question,) nor about the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity, 
(which is also supposed,) but about the importance, use, or value 
of it. 

2. A second sort of persons, before mentioned, are such as 


seriously believe Christianity in the general, and do not disbelieve 
the doctrine of the Trinity in particular, but suspend their belief 
of it, and are a kind of sceptics on that head. These men deny 
the importance of the doctrine, because they think it doubtful 
whether it be a doctrine of holy Scripture or no : and they judge 
very rightly in the general, that a stress ought not to be laid 
upon uncertainties, upon things precarious and conjectural, which 
cannot be proved to the satisfaction of the common reason of 
mankind. They are right in thesi, and wrong in hypothesi, as 
shall be shewn in the sequel. Only I may hint, by the way, that 
our present debate is not directly with this kind of men : for 
they are rather to be referred to what has been written for the 
truth of the doctrine, than to what more immediately concerns 
the importance of it. Yet because the presumed uncertainty or 
doubtfulness of the doctrine, is by these men made the principal 
objection against the importance of it, and the author of the Sober 
and Charitable Disquisition seems to lay the main stress of the 
cause there, quite through his performance ; it will be necessary 
to give that objection a place in this discourse, and to return an 
answer to it in the general, or so far as may be proper ; not to 
draw the whole controversy about the truth of the doctrine into 
this other question concerning the importance of it. 

While I am speaking of men doubtful in this article, I would 
be understood of serious and religious men, and not of such per 
sons whose minds are purely secular, and who are indifferent to 
every thing but what concerns this world : such persons are of 
no consideration in our present question ; neither are they men 
proper to be reasoned with, as they have no relish at all for in 
quiries of this nature. But I proceed. 

3. A third kind of men are those that believe the truth of the 
doctrine, but demur to the importance of it. And as Episcopius 
was, in a manner, their father or founder, and great leader, they 
have been frequently called after him, Episcopians. These are 
properly the persons whom we have here to dispute with : for 
they are the men who make the truth and the importance of the 
doctrine two distinct questions, admitting the one and rejecting 
the other, or however demurring to it. The design of this middle 
way was to reconcile parties, if possible, and to favour the Soci- 
nians so far, as to condemn their doctrines only, without con 
demning the men. But this new and fruitless expedient was very 
much disliked by all that had any warm and hearty concern for 


the true and ancient faith. Such coldness and indifferency, with 
regard to a prime article of Christianity, appeared to many to 
be nothing else but an artful, specious way of betraying it, and 
likely to do more mischief than an open denial of it. The 
ablest and soundest Divines, as well Lutheran b as Reformed 6 , 
have reclaimed strongly against it, detesting the neutrality of 
the remonstrant brethren, as tending to undermine the Gospel 
of Christ. The Divines of our Church, however otherwise sup 
posed to be against Calvinism, and to favour Arminianism, yet 
smartly condemned the Remonstrants in that article. Dr. Bull, 
particularly, appeared against them in a very accurate and 
learned treatise d , in the year 1 694. And it is worth observing, 
how Dr. Nicholls afterwards expresses himself, in the name of 
our whole body. " There is another Arminian doctrine, which 
" we avoid as deadly poison, their assertion that there is no ne- 
" cessity of acknowledging three Persons in the divine nature, 
" nor that Christ in particular is the eternal Son of God : this 
u heretical notion our Church abominates and detests, as an 
" heinous impiety, and what was never heard of in the writings 
" of the primitive Christians 6 ." Thus far he, in relation to our 
Divines of the Church of England. 

b For the Lutherans, I shall cite avdpamov esse calunmiantur, quern uti 

Buddeus only, who is as mild and talem adorantes convertunt \nidolum? 

moderate in his censure of Episco- Illine^ms preciftwsSpiritusSancti gra- 

pius, as any of them. tiam ambiunt, qui Spiritum Dei acci- 

Nimio enim concordise, dissentien- dens, et creaturam, vel saltern medium 
tesque tolerandi studio, ea interdum quid inter Deumet creaturam esse bias- 
ad fidem et salutem minime necessa- phemant? Wits, in Symb. Apost. p. 76. 
ria judicavit, qua? vetus Ecclesia ipsa, d Judicium Ecclesiae Catholicae de 
Scriptures sufiragio hac in re non de- necessitate credendi, &c. 
stituta.adeo necessaria pronuntiavit, ut Nicholls's Defence of the Church 
seterme salutis spem non habeat qui of England, part i. chap. 9. Mr. Scri- 
ea negare aut impugnare ausus fuerit. vener, long before, (A. D. 1672.) had 
Buddei Isay. p. 422. passed the like censure : 

c The learned Witsius may speak Hunc [Socinium] non minima ex 

for the Reformed. parte secutus Episcopius, et ipse anti- 

Injurii in Deum Remonstrantes quitatis (quod norunt Docti) impe- 

sunt, quando palpum obtrusuri, quos ritus, novam credendi imo et philoso- 

plus justo amant, Socinianis, eos de- phandi licentiam, regulamque affecta- 

scribunt quasi qui vitam suam ex vit: et mysteria Christianae fidei 

Evangelii praescripto sic instituunt, ut summa, tarn singulari et inaudito acu- 

Patrem in Filio ejus colant, et ab mine, vel crasso potius fastu, tractavit, 

utroque Spiritus Sancti gratiam sane- ut non pertimescat liberos cuivis fideli 

tis piisque precibus ambire studeant. eos articulos de S. S. Trinitate per- 

Quid audiemus tandem ? Illine vitam mittere, absque quibus constans et 

ex Evangelii prcescripto instituunt, qui foederalis fides docuit, nullum ad vitam 

satisfactionem Christi negantes, Evan- immortalem aditum patere Christianis. 

$re/tMmevertunt? Illine Patrem in Filio Scrivener. Apolog. adv. Dallceum, in 

colunt, qui aeternum Dei Filium ^n\ov Prcefat. 


As to the Divines of the separation, they are known to have 
been as zealous as any men could be, for the necessity of believing 
the doctrine of the Trinity, as the sum and kernel of the Christian 
religion, the basis, or foundation of the Christian faith. The 
testimonies of Mr. Baxter, Mr. Corbet, Dr. Man ton, and Dr. 
Bates, to this purpose, may be seen at one view in a late writer f : 
to those might be added Dr. Owens, and Mr. Lob h , and perhaps 
many more. In short, all parties and denominations of Christ 
ians, who appear to have had the truth of the doctrine at heart, 
or any good degree of zeal for it, have contended equally for the 
necessity of believing it, and have refused communion with the 
impugners of it. 

II. I come next to observe something of the general principles 
upon which they build, who assert the importance of the doctrine 
of the Trinity, and who refuse communion with the open im 
pugners of it. 

i. They lay it down as a certain and indisputable principle, 
that there are some Scripture- doctrines of greater importance 
than others: and they generally make their estimate of that 
greater importance, by the relation or connection which any doc 
trine is conceived to have with Christian practice or worship, or 
with the whole economy of man's salvation by Christ 1 ; or by its 
being plainly, frequently, or strongly inculcated in holy Scripture. 
Doctrines of this character are commonly styled necessaries, 
essentials, fundamentals, prime verities, and the like. Not that I 
mightily like the word necessary, in this case, being a word of 
equivocal meaning, and great ambiguity, leading to mistakes, and 
furnishing much matter for cavils. For when we come to ask, 
necessary to what ? or, necessary to whom ? and in what degree ? 
then arises perplexity ; and there is need of a multitude of dis 
tinctions to set the matter clear, so as to serve all possible cases. 
A doctrine may be said to be necessary to the being of the 
Church, or to the salvation of some persons so and so qualified, 
or to the salvation of all: and many questions may arise about 
the precise degree of the necessity in every instance. But it is 
easily understood how one doctrine may be said to be more im- 

f Mr. Eveleigh's preface to a treatise h Growth of Error, p. 3, 50, 69, 75, 

entitled, The Deity of Christ proved &c. 

fundamental. i See Dr. Sherlock's Vindication of 

* Owen's Vindiciae Evangelicse, the Defence of Dr. Stillingfleet, print- 

praef. p. 64. ed in 1682, ch. v. p. 256, &c. 


portant than another ; as more depends upon it, or as it more 
affects the vitals of Christianity, than doctrines of another kind : 
and we need look no further than to the nature and reason of 
things, and to the analogy of faith, to be able to distinguish 
what doctrines are thus important in the general, and what not. 
Yet there is no giving an exact catalogue of those important or 
fundamental doctrines ; though it is for the most part easy to 
say of any particular doctrine which may be mentioned, what 
class it may be reasonably referred to ; and whether, or how far, 
it may be worth contending for. We cannot give a complete 
catalogue of virtues, any more than of articles of faith, so as to 
be positive, that those particular virtues, and in such a particular 
degree, are necessary to all persons, or to any person that shall 
be named. The precise quantity of virtue (if I may so call it) 
absolutely necessary to salvation, is no more to be defined, than 
the precise quantity of faith. Yet we know, in the general, that 
sincere and universal obedience to what God commands (allowing 
for infirmities) is necessary to salvation : and in like manner, 
sincere and universal assent to what God reveals makes up the 
other part of the terms of acceptance ; as faith and obedience 
together make up the whole. 

2. They who assert the importance of the doctrine of the 
Trinity take it for granted, among Christians, that faith in the 
Gospel of Christ is necessary to the salvation of all men who 
are blessed with Gospel light ; and that men shall perish eter 
nally for unbelief, for rejecting that Gospel faith, once sufficiently 
propounded to them : " Go ye into all the world, and preach 
" the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is bap- 
" tized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be 
" damnedV 

3. They conceive further, that as we are in duty bound to 
receive the Gospel-faith, so are we likewise obliged, and under 
pain of damnation, to preserve it whole and entire, so far as in us 
lies ; and neither to deprave it ourselves, nor to take part with 
them that do. It is our bounden duty to " hold fast the form 
" of sound words in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus 1 :" 
to be "sound in the faith" 1 :" to "speak things which become 

k Mark xvi. 15, 16. compare John 1 2 Timothy i. 13. 
in. 36. Revel, xxi. 8. m Titus i. 13. ii. 2. 


" sound doctrine 11 :" to " examine whether we be in the faith ;" 
and in a word, to " contend earnestly for the faith once delivered 
" unto the saints P." So much for the obligations we lie under, 
to keep the faith of Christ whole and undefiled. Next, we are to 
observe how dangerous a thing it is to corrupt the true faith in 
any heinous degree, either by adding to it or taking away from 
it. One of the earliest instances of gross corruption by adding 
to the faith of Christ appeared in the converted Jews, or Judaiz- 
ing Christians, who taught the necessity of observing circumcision 
and the law of Moses together with Christianity. Against those 
false apostles, who taught such pernicious doctrine, St. Paul 
drew his pen, looking upon them as subverters of the Gospel of 
Christ q . And he was so zealous in that matter, as to say, 
" Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel 
" unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him 
" be accursed 1 "/' Where by another Gospel he does not mean 
another religion substituted in the room of Christianity; (for 
those false teachers were Christians still, not apostates;) but 
some adulterous mixtures, tending to evacuate the Gospel-law, 
and to frustrate the grace of God 8 . 

I shall give a second instance of gross corruption; not in 
adding to, but in taking from the Christian doctrine, in an article 
of very great importance. There was in the days of the Apo 
stles, and after, a sect of opiniators, who (whether being ashamed 
of the cross of Christ, or whether thinking it impossible for God 
to become man 1 ) were pleased to deny that Christ Jesus had 
any real humanity, but that he was a kind of walking phantom, 
or apparition; had no human flesh, but imposed upon the eyes 
and other senses of the spectators. These men were afterwards 
called Docetce and Phantasiastce ; which one may well enough 
render Visionists, or Visionaries. We are next to take notice 
how St. John treated them, and what directions he gave to 
other Christians concerning them. He considered them as 
deluding teachers, that subverted foundations; and he gave 
them the name and title of antichrists. " Every spirit that 

n Tit. ii. i. i Tim. i. 10. 2 Tim. * Alii quoque haeretici usque adeo 

iv. 3. Christi manifestam amplexati sunt 

2 Cor. xiii. 5. comp. Rev. xiv. 12. divinitatem, ut dixerint ilium fuisse 
P Jude 3. compare i Tim. iv. 6. sine carne, et totum illi susceptum 

1 Gal. i. 6, 7. detraxerint hominem, ne docoquerent 
r Gal. i. 8. in illo divini nominis potestatem, &c. 
8 Gal. ii. 21. v. 2. Novat. c. xxiii. p. 87. edit. Welchman. 



" confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of 
" God: and this is that spirit of antichrist"," &c. In another 
place, speaking of the same men, he says, " Many deceivers are 
" entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is 
" come in the flesh : this is a deceiver and an antichrist x ." It 
H manifest that he does not point his censure at the Jews, who 
denied that the Messiah was come ; for he speaks of new men, 
that had then lately " entered into the world," whereas the 
Jews had been from the beginning : besides, that the Jews did 
not deny that Jesus (or the man called Christ Jesus) had come 
in the flesh. Therefore, I say, St. John levelled not this censure 
of his against the Jews, but against some Christian heretics of 
that time, and those particularly that denied our Lord's human 
ity ; in opposition to whom, he exhorts the brethren to " abide 
" in the doctrine of Christy," and not to receive the gainsayers 
into their Jiouses, nor to salute them with God speed, lest they 
should become thereby partakers of their evil deeds 7 -. By evil 
deeds I understand the overt acts of that heresy^ the teaching, 
spreading, and inculcating it. Thus heresies, that is, the teach 
ing or promoting of pernicious doctrines, are reckoned among 
the works of the flesh a by St. Paul : who also calls false teachers 
deceitful workers^, and evil workers c ; because the promoting and 
encouraging of false and dangerous doctrines is a very ill practice, 
a wicked employ: which I hint, by the way, for the clearer 
explication of St. John's meaning in the phrase of evil deeds. 

I shall mention a third Scripture instance of gross corruption 
in doctrine, which was the denial of a future resurrection; 
dangerous doctrine, subversive of Christianity. St. Paul very 
solemnly admonished the Corinthians d , to prevent their giving 
ear to such pernicious suggestions : and he afterwards excom 
municated Hymenaeus, Philetus, and Alexander, for spreading 
and propagating them, delivering the men over to Satan, that 
they might learn not to blaspheme*. 

From the three instances now mentioned, it may sufficiently 
appear, that the corrupting or maiming Christianity in its vitals, 
by denying or destroying its prime articles, or fundamental 
doctrines, is a very dangerous thing ; and that we are obliged, 
under pain of damnation, neither to do it ourselves, nor to abet, 

u i John iv. 3. * 2 John 7. c Philipp. iii. 2 . d i Cor. xv. 

y 2 John 9. z 2 John u. e Compare i Tim. i. 20. 2 Tim ii. 

Gal. v. 19, 20. b 2 Cor. xi. 13. 16, 17, 18. 


countenance, or encourage those that do, by communicating 
with them. 

4. But it is further to be observed, that in slighter matters, in 
things not nearly affecting the vitals of Christianity, the rule is 
for Christians to bear with one another; not to divide or 
separate, but to agree among themselves ; so to disagree in 
harmless opinions, or indifferent rites, as to unite in faith and 
love, and in Christian fellowship f . Peace is a very valuable thing, 
and ought not to be sacrificed even to truth; unless such 
truth be important, and much may depend upon it. A man is 
not obliged, in all cases, to declare all he knows ; and if he does 
declare his sentiments, and knows them to be true, yet he need 
not insist upon them with rigour, if the point contested be of a 
slight nature or value, in comparison to the Church's peace. 
Let him enjoy his own liberty in that case ; and let others have 
theirs too ; and so all will be right. Let them differ so far, by 
consent, and yet live together in peace and charity. But then, 
as to weightier matters, it concerns us carefully to observe, that 
rules of peace are but secondary and subordinate to those of 
piety or charity, and must veil to them. Peace must be broken 
in this world, whenever it is necessary to do it for the securing 
salvation in the next for ourselves or others : and a breach of 
peace, in such instances, is obedience to the higher law of cliarity, 
is conforming to the primary and great commandments, the love 
of God, and the love of our neighbour. Therefore peace, in such 
cases, must be sacrificed to truth and charity, that is, to the 
honour of God, and the eternal interests of mankind. 

These things premised, it remains now only to inquire what 
kind of a doctrine the doctrine of the Trinity is ; whether it be 
of such a slight and indifferent nature as not to be worth the 
insisting upon at the expense of peace; or whether it be of such 
high value and importance, that it ought to be maintained as an 
essential of Christianity against all opposers. This is the great 
question now before us, and I shall endeavour to examine into it 
with due care and application. 

The gentlemen who look upon it as a non-fundamental have 
several things to urge, but such as may most of them be reduced 
to three heads, as follow : i . That the received doctrine of the 
Trinity is not clear enough to be admitted for a fundamental 

f Rom. xiv. xv. Coloss. ii. 16, 17. 

D d 2, 



2. That it is merely speculative, or, however, not practical enough 
to be important. 3. That it is not sufficiently insisted upon in 
Scripture, as of necessity to salvation. Now, in return to these 
three considerations, I shah" endeavour to shew, in so many 
distinct chapters, that the doctrine is sufficiently clear, and also 
practical, and insisted upon likewise in Scripture, as much as the 
nature of the thing needs or requires. 






Shewing that the Doctrine of the Trinity is sufficiently CLEAR to be 
admitted as a FUNDAMENTAL Article. 

\^LEAR may be considered in two views, either with respect 
to the matter of the doctrine, or with respect to the proofs upon 
which it rests. Let us examine the thing both ways. 

i. It may be suggested, that the doctrine is not clear, with 
regard to the matter of it : it is mysterious doctrine. Be it so : 
the tremendous Deity is all over mysterious, in his nature and in 
his attributes, in his works and ways. It is the property of the 
divine Being to be unsearchable: and if he were not so. he would 
not be divine. Must we therefore reject the most certain truths 
concerning the Deity, only because they are incomprehensible, 
when every thing almost belonging to him must be so of course ? 
If so, there is an end, not only of all revealed religion, but of 
natural religion too ; and we must take our last refuge in down 
right Atheism. There are mysteries in the works of nature, as 
well as in the word of God ; and it is as easy to believe both as 
one. We do not mean by mysteries, positions altogether un 
intelligible, or that carry no idea at all with them : we do not 


mean unsensed characters, or empty sounds : but we mean pro 
positions contained in general terms, which convey as general 
ideas, not descending to particulars. The ideas are clear, so 
far as they go; only they do not reach far enough to satisfy 
curiosity. They are ideas of Intellect, for the most part ; like the 
ideas which we form of our own souls : for spiritual substance, 
at least, (if any substance,) falls not under imagination, but must 
be understood, rather than imagined. The same is the case with 
many abstract verities, in numbers especially ; which are not the 
less verities for being purely intellectual, and beyond all imagery. 
Reason contemplates them, and clearly too, though fancy can lay 
no hold of them, to draw their picture in the mind. Such, I 
say, are our ideas of the divine Being, and of a Trinity in Unity ; 
ideas of intellect, and general; intelligible as far as the thing is 
revealed, and assented to so far as intelligible. We understand 
the general truths, concerning a Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: 
we understand the general nature of an union and a distinction ; 
and what we understand we believe. As to the minute parti 
culars relating to the manner or modus of the thing, we under 
stand them not : our ideas reach not to them, but stop short in 
the generals, as our faith also does. For our faith and our ideas 
keep pace with each other ; and we believe nothing about parti 
culars whereof nothing is revealed & , neither expressly nor conse 

Such a general assent as I have mentioned is what we give to 
the truth of the divine perfections, necessary existence, eternity, 
ubiquity, prescience, and the like b . Whatever obscurity or defect 
there is in our ideas of those divine attributes, we think it no 
good reason for denying either the general truths or the im 
portance of them. So then, no just objection can be made against 
the importance of any doctrine from its mysterious nature. The 
most mysterious of all are in reality the most important ; not 
because they are mysterious, but because they relate to things 
divine, which must of course be mysterious to weak mortals, and 
perhaps to all creatures whatever. But even mysterious doctrines 

a See the subject of mysteries treated Lecture Sermons for Lady Moyer, 

of more at large, either in my First p. 257 262. 

Defence, Qu. xxi. vol. i. p. 453, &c. b See my First Defence, Qu. xxi. 

or in Norria's Account of Reason and vol. i. p. 451, &c. Second Defence, 

Faith, p. 117, 118. or in Mr. Browne's vol. ii. Qu. xxi. p. 692. 


have a bright side, as well as a dark one ; and they are clear to 
look upon, though too deep to be seen through. 

It has been sometimes objected, that however clear the doc 
trine may seem to be to men of parts and learning, yet certainly 
it cannot be so to common Christians. But why not to common 
Christians as well as to others ? It is as clear to them as most 
other high and divine things can be. It is as clear, for instance, 
as the divine eternity or omnipresence. Every common Christian 
professing Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, to be so distinct as not 
to be one the other, and so united as to be one God, has as 
clear an idea of what he says, as when he prays, " Our Father 
" which art in heaven ;" or when he repeats after the Psalmist, 
" Thou art about my path, and about my bed, and spiest out all 
" my ways c ." And, I am persuaded, upon examination, he will 
be as able to give as good an account of the one as he will of 
the other. The thing is plain and intelligible in either case, but 
in the general only, not as to the particular manner. Ask how 
three are one, and probably both catechumen and catechist will 
be perfectly at a nonplus : or ask, how God is in heaven, and 
how about our path, or our bed, and they will both be equally 
confounded. But, by the way, let it be here considered, whether 
common Christians may not often have clearer ideas of those 
things, than the bolder and more inquisitive, because they are 
content to rest in generals, and to stop at what they understand, 
without darkening it afterwards by words without knowledge. 
The notion of eternity, for instance, is a clear notion enough to 
a common Christian : but to a person that perplexes himself with 
nice inquiries about succession, or past duration, that very first 
notion which in the general was clear, may become obscure, by 
his blending perplexities with it. The like may be said of omni 
presence ; the general notion of it is competently clear : but when 
a man has been perplexing his thoughts with curious inquiries 
about a substantial or a virtual presence, about extension or non- 
extension, and the like; I question whether at length he may 
come away with so clear or just ideas of the main thing as may 
be found in any common Christian. So again as to divine fore 
knowledge and free-will, they are both of them clearly understood, 
as far as they need be, by every plain Christian ; while many a 
conceited scholar, by darkening the subject with too minute 

c Psalm cxxxtx. 2. 


inquiries, almost loses the sight of it. In like manner, to apply 
these instances to our present purpose, common Christians may 
sometimes better preserve the true and right general notion of 
the doctrine of the Trinity, than the more learned inquirers : 
and it is observable, what Hilary of Poictiers, an honest and a 
knowing man of the fourth century, testifies, that the populace 
of that time, for the most part, kept the true and right faith in 
the Trinity d , when their ministers, several of them, by prying too 
far into it, had the misfortune to lose it. 

While I am treating of the case of common Christians, I 
cannot omit the mentioning an artifice much made use of by 
those who would depreciate the doctrine of the Trinity, as not 
clear enough to be an important article : they first enter into all 
the niceties and perplexities which subtle disputants have ever 
clogged the subject with, and then they ask, whether common 
Christians can be supposed to see through them. No, certainly : 
neither need they trouble their heads about them. It is one 
thing to understand the doctrine, and quite another to be masters 
of the controversy. It is not fair dealing with us, to pretend it 
necessary for every common Christian, if he believes in the 
Trinity, to form just conceptions of it in every minute particular : 
for, by the same argument, it might as well be pleaded, that 
they are not obliged to believe in God, nor indeed in any thing. 
God is without body, parts, or passions, according to the first 
article of our Church. How many minute perplexing inquiries 
might there not be raised upon the three particulars now men 
tioned ! And who can assure us that common Christians may 
not be liable to entertain some wrong conceptions in every one 
of them ? Must we therefore say that the general doctrine of the 
existence of a Deity is not clear enough to be important doctrine, 
or that common Christians are not bound to receive it as a 
necessary article of their faith? See how far such objections 
would carry us. But since these objections ought to have no 
weight at all in other parallel cases, or nearly parallel, they 
ought certainly to be the less regarded in respect to the doctrine 

d Et hujus quidem usque adhuc tant in Dei nativitate inesse Dei veri- 

impietatis fraude perficitur, utjam sub tatem. Audiunt ante tempora; pu- 

Antichristi sacerdotibus Christi po- tant id ipsum ante tempora esse quod 

pulus non occidat, dura hoc putant semper est. Sanctiores aures plebis, 

illi fidei esse quod vocis est. Audiunt quam corda sunt sacerdotum. Hilar. 

Deum Christum; putant esse quod contr. Auxent. 1266. edit. Bened. 
dicitur. Audiunt Filium Dei; pu- 


of the ever blessed Trinity. Let but this doctrine have as fair 
usage as other Christian and important doctrines are allowed to 
have, and then I am persuaded there will be no pretence left for 
saying, that it is not a clear doctrine, clear in the general, clear 
in the main thing, to any Christian whatever. It is horrible 
misrepresentation of the case, to pretend as if we taught, that 
" the eternal interest of every ploughman or mechanic hangs on 
" his adjusting the sense of the terms, nature, person, essence, sub- 
" stance, subsistence, coequality, coessentiality, and the like." No ; 
those are technical terms, most of them, proper to divines and 
scholars : and not only ploughmen and mechanics, but very great 
scholars too, lived and died in the conscientious belief of the 
doctrine of the Trinity, long before any of those terms came in. 
They are of use indeed for settling the controversy with greater 
accuracy among Divines, who understand such terms : but the 
doctrine itself is clear without them, and does not want them, 
but stands firm and unshaken, independent of them. Any plain 
man may easily conceive, that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are 
properly divine, are not one the other, and yet are one God, by 
an intimate union ; and that the Son in particular, being God 
and man, is one Christ. These prime verities, and whatsoever 
else is necessarily implied in them, may be conceived to be right; 
and whatsoever is contrary to them, or inconsistent with them, 
will of consequence be wrong. This is enough for any plain 
Christian to know or believe ; and he is not ordinarily obliged to 
be more minute in his inquiries, or to understand scholastic terms. 
It is not to be expected that common Christians should be expert 
disputants in controversies of faith, any more than that they 
should be profound casuists in relation to practice : yet Christian 
practice is necessary to salvation, and so is Christian faith too ; 
and the obligation to obey a general precept, or to believe a 
general truth, is not superseded or evacuated by a man's being 
unacquainted with terms of art, or by his being liable to mistake 
in some remote or minute circumstances belonging to the doc 
trine itself. 

To make the thing yet plainer, let us take some general rule 
of Christian practice ; the rule, suppose, of dealing with others as 
we would be dealt with : a rule of such importance, that, by our 
Lord's account of it, it is the sum and substance of the Law and 
the Propktte*. Surely then, it is a rule designed for common 

e Matt. vii. 12. 



CH. i. 

Christians, and such as both deserves and requires their most 
careful notice. Next, let us view this rule under all its minute 
nesses or particularities ; its distinctions, limitations, and explica 
tions, with which it is dressed out by knowing and able Divines f . 
Observe thereupon, what an operose business is made of this so 
plain and familiar rule, what pains are taken to clear it of all 
seeming repugnancies, to make it reasonable, to make it certain, 
to make it practicable, and to guard it most effectually against 
the many possible ways, whereby it may be misconstrued, 
eluded, perverted, frustrated. Are common Christians equal to 
all those niceties, or are they able to grasp them ? I conceive, 
not. And yet I dare be confident that a plain unlettered man, 
of tolerable sense, and who has not a mind to deceive himself, 
might be safely trusted with the naked rule, and would but 
seldom, if ever, either misunderstand it (so far as concerns his 
own case) or misapply it. He would keep the plain even road, 
and would scarce believe the man that should tell him that it 
was strewed with thorns, or that hundreds had been or might be 
either embarrassed in it or bewildered by it. The same thing 
is true with respect to the general doctrine of the Trinity. For 
though there are many possible ways of mistaking it, or pervert 
ing it, (as there are many crooked lines to one straight,} and it 
concerns Divines to guard minutely against all; yet less may 
suffice for common Christians ; ordinarily, I mean, at least. The 
right faith in the Trinity is short and plain ; and whatever crosses 
upon it is wrong : Index est rectum sui, et obliqui ; truth shews 
itself, and is for the most part to every honest mind a guard 
sufficient against the mazes of error. 

I have dwelt the longer upon this article, because the objection 
about common Christians appears a popular and plausible one, 
and is often repeated in this cause, though there is really no 
weight in it. The author of the Sober and Charitable Disquisi 
tion need not be in pain for common Christians, lest they should 
not u have skill enough to unite the two natures in Christ 
" without confounding them, or dividing the Person, in their 
" apprehensions s " They will as easily conceive that God and 
man is one Christ, as that soul and body is one man ; and they 
need not look further. Without troubling themselves at all with 

f See particularly Archbishop Tillot- Essay of Honesty, part iv. p. 56, &c. 
son's Sermon on Matt. vii. 12. sepa- e Sober and Charitable Disquisi- 
rately published in 1709, and Collier's tion, p. 22. 


the names either of natures or persons, they may joyfully and 
thankfully remember, that he " who is over all God blessed for 
" ever 11 ," became a man for their sakes, and died for them, in 
order to bring them to God. What is there in all this that 
should either offend or perplex, or should not rather greatly 
edify common Christians ? They may be " more accurate in their 
" thoughts on this head, than the great patriarch and abbot 
" Nestorius and Eutyches 1 ," (for they were not both patriarchs, 
as this author styles them,) because they will indulge their 
fancies less, and rest in the general truth, without drawing a 
false modus, or any modus upon it, either to corrupt or to ob 
scure it : they will abide in the true doctrine, without defiling it 
(as those great men did) with over officious and presumptuous 
speculations. It may be allowed, that " common Christians have 
" but very little apprehension k " of some minute or remote con 
siderations given in by way of answer to as minute and remote 
objections, in order to clear the doctrine in every punctilio : and 
in like manner, they have but very little apprehension of several 
such remote considerations thrown in by Divines, in their dis 
putes with Atheists or Deists, in order to clear the doctrine of 
the divine being and attributes, or of the authority of Scripture, 
and to make every thing at length conformable and consistent. 
But what then ? Does it therefore follow, that common Christians 
may not believe in God, or in God^s word, or that such belief is 
not important f Common Christians believe enough, if they believe 
the main things under a general view, without branching them 
out into all the minute particulars which depend upon them or 
belong to them. Let Divines see that every article of faith is 
clear and consistent throughout, when traversed as far as the 
acutest objector can carry it : but let common Christians be 
content with every article in its native simplicity, as laid down in 
Scripture for edification of the faithful, and not as it appears in 
controversial books, or confessions, with all its armour about it, 
for the conviction or confusion of gainsayers. But I am afraid 
I have exceeded on this head, and have overburdened the reader. 
Upon the whole, the doctrine of the Trinity must be allowed 
to be sufficiently clear, as to the matter of it. 

2. The next consideration is, that it is clear also, as to the 
proofs upon which it rests : it may be clearly proved, as well as 

h Rom. ix. 5. * See Sober and Charitable &c. p. 22. k Ibid. p. 23. 


clearly conceived. Indeed, the truth of the doctrine ought to be 
supposed in our present question, as previously known and ad 
mitted. Accordingly, our remonstrant brethren, who first disputed 
the importance of our doctrine, made no scruple of allowing the 
truth of it, as I have before hinted. They allowed the Scripture 
proofs to be so far clear -, as to oblige us to admit the doctrine 
for a certain truth 1 . Neither are we much beholden to them 
for this seeming courtesy, since the proofs are so numerous and 
so cogent, that every ingenuous and sensible man must plainly 
see, that were Scripture alone to decide the question, and no 
false philosophy or metaphysics brought in to confound or perplex 
it, there could scarce be any room left for debate about it. I 
do not mean that many Scripture texts may not be speciously 
urged on the other side : but what I mean is, that upon the 
summing up of the evidence on both sides, and after balancing 
the whole account, the advantage is so plainly ours, according 
to all the approved rules of grammar or criticism, that there is 
nothing at all left on the other side, whereby to turn the scale, 
except it be some pretended absurdity, or absurdities, in point of 
reason, charged upon us, by the help of dialectical or metaphysical 
subtilties ; which yet, after all, are mere fallacy and sophistry, 
and have no real strength in them. We must therefore insist 
upon it as certain fact, that our doctrine is clear enough, with 
respect to the Scripture evidences produced for it. Scripture, 
in its plain, natural, obvious, unforced meaning, says it, and 
reason does not gainsay it : upon these two pillars our cause 
rests. Upon this bottom Bishop Bull fixes it : " The Antitrini- 
" tarians can never produce a demonstrative reason to prove that 
" it cannot be, and divine revelation assures us that so it is m ." 
To the same purpose speaks Mr. Howe : " That there is a 
" Trinity in the Godhead, of Father, Son, (or Word,) and Holy 
" Ghost, is the plain obvious sense of so many Scriptures, that 
" it apparently tends to frustrate the design of the whole 
" Scripture revelation, and to make it useless, not to admit this 
" Trinity, or otherwise to understand such Scriptures ." In 

1 Hinc colligo, roirum videri non Institut. lib. iv. sect. 2. cap. 32. p. 

debere, si tribus bisce personis una 333. 

eademque natura divina tribuatur, Bull, Posth. Works, vol. iii. p. 

cum iis scriptura divina, istas perfec- 833. 

tiones, quae naturae divinae propriae n Howe's Calm Discourse of the 

snnt, tarn exerte attribuat. Eplscop. Trinity in the Godhead, p. 136, 137. 


like manner Dr. Burnet of the Charter- House, a noted man, 
and known to have had as little of a bigot in him as any one, 
says thus : " We are obliged, according to that light which God 
" hath vouchsafed to us in the dispensation of the Gospel, to 
" believe and profess that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, and 
" likewise God. If we mistake in this faith, the mistake is so 
" far from being voluntary, that it is inevitable. For we follow, 
" according to the best of our apprehension, the guides which 
" God hath given us, St. John, and Paul the Apostle. To these 
" sacred writers we assent and adhere, interpreting them ac- 
" cording to the genuine force and received use of words : for 
" neither Christ nor the abovesaid writers have told us, that 
" those sacred Oracles were written in any other style, or that 
" they were to be interpreted in any other manner ." 

The late learned Professor Franck, of Halle in Saxony, speak 
ing to the Antitrinitarians, expresses himself thus : " Though 
" you allow the Scriptures of the New Testament, you never- 
" theless boldly and arrogantly contradict the truth, clearly 
" shining before your eyes, and express testimonies proposed in 
" such simple and plain words, that even a child may read and 
" understand them P." 

I cite these testimonies, not in the way of authority, but only 
to give the reader a clearer idea of what the Trinitarians go 
upon : for they are all, so far, in the same strain, and these 
testimonies are offered only as samples, whereby to judge of the 
rest. Any indifferent stander-by may easily perceive what, for 
the most part, has led the Christian world to contend earnestly 
for the doctrine of the Trinity ; namely, a conscientious dread 
of dishonouring him whom God the Father has commanded 
them to honour even as himself, a profound reverence for sacred 
Writ, and an invincible persuasion that those Scriptures cannot, 
without the utmost violence, and most daring presumption, be 
interpreted otherwise than they interpret them. It would be 
tedious here to cite the particular texts which we ground our 
faith upon; and it would be highly improper to fetch in the 
whole dispute about the truth of the doctrine into this other 
debate, which concerns only the importance of it. Therefore 

Judgment of Dr. Thomas Burnet, P Franck's Christus sacrae Scrip- 

p. u, 12. printed for Roberts, 1732. turse Nucleus, p. 181, 182. translated 

See the Original, de Fid. et Offic. cap. out of German : printed by Downing, 

viii. p. 134. And compare my seventh 1732. 
Sermon, vol. ii. p. 160, 167, 168. 


referring the readers for the truth of the doctrine to other 
treatises lately printed, in great abundance, and well known, I 
shall content myself here with hinting two general arguments or 
considerations, such as may give the readers some notion of the 
irresistible force of our Scripture proofs in this cause. 

i. One is, that the proofs which we insist upon cannot be 
evaded by any approved rules of language or criticism, but the 
last resort of our opposers commonly is to some philosophical 
principle, some pretended reason, drawn from the supposed 
nature of the thing, rather than from the Scripture style, or 
from the force of Scripture expressions. I have observed else- 
where<i, that such has been the method of eluding John i. i. and 
several other texts, which are full and express as possible, for 
the real and proper divinity of our Lord. They are eluded, I 
say, upon this principle, that person and intelligent being are 
equivalent a