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structing men, delivered unto us from God, both by commandment and examples.
We therefore detest all the heresies of Artemon, the Manichæans, the Valentinians, of Cerdon, and the Marcionites, who denied that the Scriptures proceeded from the Holy Spirit; or else received not, or interpolated and corrupted, some of them.
And yet we do not deny that certain books of the Old Testament were by the ancient authors called Apocryphal, and by others Ecclesiastical ; to wit, such as they would have to be read in the churches, but not alleged to avouch or confirm the authority of faith by them. As also Augustine, in his De Civitate Dei, book xviii., chapter 38, makes mention that in the books of the Kings, the names and books of certain prophets are reckoned;' but he adds that they are not in the canon,' and that 'those books which we have suffice unto godliness.'
CHAPTER II. OF INTERPRETING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES; AND OF FATHERS,
COUNCILS, AND TRADITIONS. The Apostle Peter has said that the Holy Scriptures are not of any private interpretation' (2 Pet. i. 20). Therefore we do not allow all kinds of exposition. Whereupon we do not acknowledge that which they call the meaning of the Church of Rome for the true and natural interpretation of the Scriptures; which, forsooth, the defenders of the Romish Church do strive to force all men simply to receive; but we acknowledge only that interpretation of Scriptures for orthodox and genuine which, being taken from the Scriptures themselves (that is, from the spirit of that tongue in which they were written, they being also weighed according to the circumstances and expounded according to the proportion of places, either of like or of unlike, also of more and plainer), accords with the rule of faith and charity, and makes notably for God's glory and man's salvation.
Wherefore we do not despise the interpretations of the holy Greek and Latin fathers, nor reject their disputations and treatises as far as they agree with the Scriptures; but we do modestly dissent from them when they are found to set down things differing from, or altogether contrary to, the Scriptures. Neither do we think that we do them any wrong in this matter; seeing that they all, with one consent, will not have their writings matched with the Canonical Scriptures, but bid us allow of them so far forth as they either agree with them or disagree.
And in the same order we also place the decrees and canons, of councils.
Wherefore we suffer not ourselves, in controversies about religion or matters of faith, to be pressed with the bare testimonies of fathers or decrees of councils; much less with received customs, or with the multitude of men being of one judgment, or with prescription of long time. Therefore, in controversies of religion or matters of faith, we can not admit any other judge than God himself, pronouncing by the Holy Scriptures what is true, what is false, what is to be followed, or what to be avoided. So we do not rest but in the judgment of spiritual men, drawn from the Word of God. Certainly Jeremiah and other prophets did vehemently, condemn the assemblies. of priests gathered against the law of God; and diligently forewarned us that we should not hear the fathers, or tread in their path who, walking in their own inventions, swerved from the law of God (Ezek. xx. 18).
We do likewise reject human traditions, which, although they be set out with goodly titles, as though they were divine and apostolical, delivered to the Church by the lively voice of the apostles, and, as it were, by the hands of apostolical men, by means of bishops succeeding in their room, yet, being compared with the Scriptures, disagree with them; and that by their disagreement bewray themselves in no wise to be apostolical. For as the apostles did not disagree among themselves in doctrine, so the apostles' scholars did not set forth things contrary to the apostles. Nay, it were blasphemous to avouch that the apostles, by lively voice, delivered things contrary to their writings. Paul affirms expressly that he taught the same things in all churches (1 Cor. iv. 17). And, again, We, says he, 'write none other things ünto you than what ye read or acknowledge' (2 Cor. i. 13). Also, in another place, he witnesses that he and his disciples—to wit, apostolic men-walked in the same way, and jointly by the same Spirit did all things (2 Cor. xii. 18). The Jews also, in time past, had their traditions of elders; but these traditions were severely confuted by the Lord, showing that the keeping of them hinders God's law, and that God is in vain worshiped of such (Matt. xv. 8,9; Mark vii. 6, 7).
be saved, but the name of Christ' (Acts iv. 12). Those, doubtless, who rest in him by faith do not seek any thing without Christ.
Yet, for all that, we do neither despise the saints nor think basely of them; for we acknowledge them to be the lively members of Christ, the friends of God, who have gloriously overcome the flesh and the world. We therefore love them as brethren, and honor them also; yet not with any worship, but with an honorable opinion of them, and with just praises of them. We also do imitate the saints, for we desire, with the most earnest affections and prayers, to be followers of their faith and virtues; to be partakers, also, with them of everlasting salvation; to dwell together with them everlastingly with God, and to rejoice with them in Christ. And in this point we approve that saying of St. Augustine, in his book De Vera Religione, 'Let not the worship of men departed be any religion unto us; for, if they have lived holily, they are not so to be esteemed as that they seek such honors, but they will have us to worship Him by whose illumination they rejoice that we are fellow-servants as touching the reward. They are therefore to be honored for imitation, not to be'worshiped for religion's sake,' etc.
And we innch less believe that the relics of saints are to be adored and worshiped. Those ancient holy men seemed sufficiently to have bonored their dead if they had honestly committed their bodies to the earth after the soul was gone up into heaven; and they thought that the most noble relics of their ancestors were their virtnes, doctrine, and faith; which as they commended with the praise of the dead, so they did endeavor to express the same so long as they lived upon earth.
Those ancient men did not swear but by the name of the only Jehovah, as it is commanded by the law of God. Therefore, as we are forbidden to 'swear by tlie name of strange gods' (Exod. xxiii. 13; Josh. xxiii. 7), so we do not swear by saints, although we be requested thereuinto. We therefore in all these things do reject that doctrine which gives too much honor unto the saints in heaven.
CHAPTER VI.-OF THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD.
We believe that all things, both in heaven and in earth and in all creatures, are sustained and governed by the providence of this wise,
Son’ (Matt. iii. 17). The Holy Spirit also appeared in the likeness of a dove (John i. 32). And when the Lord himself commanded to baptize, he commanded to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit' (Matt. xxviii. 19). In like manner, elsewhere in the Gospel he said, “The Father will send the Holy Spirit in my name' (John xiv. 26). Again he says, “When the Comforter shall come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me,' etc. (John xv. 26). In short, we receive the Apostles' Creed, because it delivers unto us the true faith.
We therefore condemn the Jews and the Mohammedans, and all those who blaspheme that sacred and adorable Trinity. We also condemn all heresies and heretics who teach that the Son and the Holy Spirit are God only in name; also, that there is in the Trinity something created, and that serves and ministers unto another; finally, that there is in it soinething unequal, greater or less, corporeal or corporeally fashioned, in manners or in will diverse, either confounded or sole by itself: as if the Son and Holy Spirit were the affections and proprieties of one God the Father—as the Monarchists, the Novatians, Praxeas, the Patripassians, Sabellius, Samosatenus, Aëtius, Macedonius, the Anthropomorphites, Arins, and such like, have thought.
- OF IDOLS; OR OF IMAGES OF GOD, OF CHRIST, AND OF
SAINTS. And because God is an invisible Spirit, and an incomprehensible Essence, he can not, therefore, by any art or image be expressed. For which cause we fear not, with the Scripture, to term the images of God mere lies.
We do therefore reject not only the idols of the Gentiles, but also the images of Christians. For although Christ took upon hiin man's nature, yet he did not therefore take it that he might set forth a pattern for carvers and painters. He denied that he came'to destroy the law and the prophets’ (Matt. v. 17), but images are forbidden in the law and the prophets (Deut. iv. 15; Isa. xliv. 9). He denied that his bodily presence would profit the Church, but promised that he would by his Spirit be present with us forever (John xvi. 7; 2 Cor. v. 5).
Who would, then, believe that the shadow or picture of his body doth any whit benefit the godly? And seeing that he abideth in us by the Spirit, we are therefore the temples of God' (1 Cor. iii. 16); but "what agreement hath the temple of God with idols ?' (2 Cor. vi. 16). And seeing that the blessed spirits and saints in heaven, while they lived here, abhorred all worship done unto themselves (Acts iii. 12, and xiv. 15; Rev. xix. 10, and xxii. 9), and spake against images, who can think it likely that the saints in heaven, and the angels, are delighted with their own images, whereunto men do bow their knees, uncover their heads, and give such other like honor?
But that men might be instructed in religion, and put in mind of heavenly things and of their own salvation, the Lord commanded to preach the Gospel (Mark xvi. 15)--not to paint and instruct the laity by pictures; he also instituted sacraments, but he nowhere appointed images.
Furthermore, in every place which way soever we turn our eyes, we may see the lively and true creatures of God, which if they be marked, as is meet, they do much more effectually move the beholder than all the images or vain, unmovable, rotter, and dead pictures of all men whatsoever; of which the prophet spake truly, “They have eyes, and see not,' etc. (Psa. cxv. 5).
Therefore we approve the jndgment of Lactantius, an ancient writer, who says, “ Undoubtedly there is no religion where there is a picture.? And we affirm that the blessed bishop Epiphanius did well, who, finding on the church-doors a veil, that had painted on it the picture, as it might be, of Christ or some saint or other, he cut and took it away; for that, contrary to the authority of the Scriptures, he had seen the picture of a man to hang in the Church of Christ: and therefore he charged that from henceforth no snch veils, which were contrary to religion, shonld be hung up in the Church of Christ, but that rather such scruple should be taken away which was unworthy of the Church of Christ and all faithful people. Moreover, we approve this sentence of St. Augustine, 'Let not the worship of men's works be a religion unto us; for the workmen themselves that make such things are better, whom yet we ought not to worship’(De Vera Religione, cap. 55).