Ecclesia Anglicana Ecclesia Catholica;


The Doctrine of the Church of England

Consonant to Scripture, Reason, and Fathers:

In a Discourse Upon the Thirty-Nine Articles

Agreed Upon in the Convocation Held at London 1542.

By William Beveridge

3rd Ed.  Oxford, 1847

[Bible citations converted to all Arabic numerals.  Spelling selectively modernized.  Endnotes/Indices omitted.  Non-English footnotes are indicated by * and may be seen at]



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      The reader is now for the first time presented with an entire and authentic edition of Bishop Beveridge’s Discourse on the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.  For this he is indebted to the kindness of the Rev. Dr. Routh, president of Magdalen college, who purchased the original manuscript in the bishop’s handwriting of Mr. Thomas Thorpe, the bookseller, about ten years since, together with another hitherto unpublished work by the same author, entitled, Examen religionum, videlicet Ethniace Muhammedicae Judaicae et Christianae.  Both these works Mr. Thorpe obtained in the year 1829 at the sale of the library of the Rev. Mr. Stanley, some time rector of Much Hadham, in the county of Hertford, who was a descendant of William Stanley, D. D. dean of St. Asaph, and also rector of Much Hadham, and whose aunt bishop Beveridge had married.

      In the year 1716, eight years after the bishop’s decease, Richard Smith, the bookseller, printed an incomplete edition, containing the comment on the first thirty articles only; complaining at the same time in his advertisement to the reader that he was unable to procure the remainder of the work.  It should here be observed, that, besides the comment on the last nine articles never before printed, the MS. has authorized the introduction of several variations in the earlier part of the bishop’s Discourse.

      There is no evidence to shew at what particular period of the bishop’s life this treatise was composed; nor is the cause apparent why the author did not in his lifetime publish a work on which he has bestowed much care and learning.  It is not unlikely, however, that as bishop Burnet, his contemporary, was known to be engaged in his Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, bishop Beveridge, with his characteristic modesty, kept back his own work, in deference to another who was engaged in the same pursuit.  Bishop Burnet’s work first appeared in 1699.

Oxford, Jan. 31, 1840.



Of the Bookseller to the Reader,

Prefixed to the edition printed 1716.

      As in the title page this is said to be an Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, of which notwithstanding no more than the first thirty are here published, the reader will justly expect to be informed of the reason of it.  The learned author has indeed left the Exposition actually finished, together with a Preface and Index to it; to which, with all his other manuscripts, I have an undoubted right, as any one may be satisfied that pleases to see the receipt I have under the hand of his executor.  But the manuscript volume which contained the remaining part of this work, happening to fall into other hands, has been hitherto detained from me.  I was not insensible of the hazard I was to run in publishing only a part of a book however excellent in itself; notwithstanding, this did not deter me from beginning, and now at last finishing all that I have at present of it.  I have not been wanting in my endeavours to recover the rest, in order to make the book answer the title, and to publish it complete at once: however, as I do not yet wholly despair that the gentleman, who has the custody of it, may by some means be prevailed upon to resign it up to me; so proposing to publish it upon the same paper and print with this, and with the number of pages continued in order to complete the volume, I thought it most convenient to prefix the title of the whole to what the reader is now presented with.  If what remains cannot be procured, then let this advertisement stand as an apology for the impropriety of the title page, and serve to inform posterity, that the author had taken the pains to complete this great work, however unjustly the world is deprived of the sight of part of it.

      I found it was the general opinion of our learned men, that the attempts which some have already made upon this subject have not wholly superseded all farther endeavours upon it; and therefore made no doubt, that this new Essay would be kindly received, especially when known to be writ by an author of so great eminence for his profound learning and piety, and unquestionable zeal for the established Church.  But because some pretended to make a question, whether the publishing of it would be for the honour of the author, and the common benefit; the best way I had to satisfy them, was to print such a part of it by way of specimen, as the world might from thence be able to form a judgment of the whole work.  For this reason I published some of the first Articles by themselves, and was presently confirmed in my former opinion how well it was like to be received, both by the great impatience I every where found for the rest, and by the high recommendations given of it by the generality of learned men, as well with respect to the plain, modest, sincere and impartial manner in which it is writ, as for the happy application of the author’s great learning and universal reading in it.

      Whether the author had put his finishing hand to this work, I cannot pretend to determine no doubt, however, but the edition of it would have been more correct and perfect had he lived to overlook it himself.  But his deferring to publish it himself is unreasonably suggested by some as an argument against the worth of it, considering especially the author’s great modesty, for which he was no less eminent than his piety and learning.  Besides, if this were an argument, it would equally affect his other posthumous works I have published, which notwithstanding have met with an universal approbation.

      As to what the same persons farther object, that this was one of the author’s juvenile works, and therefore not fit for public view; I must confess I have no certain information what time he did write it.  But I am much mistaken, if the author’s known prudence and modesty would suffer him to undertake a work of so great importance, and so critical a nature, before he was arrived to a good maturity of years and judgment; and I leave the learned reader to judge, whether it is probable that so profound a knowledge of holy scriptures, fathers, councils, ecclesiastical and rabbinical writers, and oriental languages, as is every where discovered in this work, could be attained before the author was pretty well advanced in years.  But granting that he did finish it in his youth, it must so much the more redound to his immortal honour, as it will speak him no less than a prodigy of parts and learning.  At least, among competent judges, it will never be the worse received upon this score.  We know that the late learned Bishop of Worcester’s Origines Sacre has not been the less esteemed, though published by the author when he was but four and twenty years of age.

      By the specimens that have been already published of this work, I do not find that it has met with any opposition, but by such as are the known enemies of our Church; the doctrines of which are here, as I am well informed, so sincerely explained, and excellently confirmed.  Notwithstanding they will find it hard to meet with any thing in this work that can justly provoke them, but many to cure them of their prejudices, and reconcile them.  There is a peculiar strain of piety, seriousness, and charity, that runs through all this author’s compositions, which cannot fail to affect those whom even his reasons cannot convince.  Nor has this been without its good effects upon many people’s minds already; insomuch that we can upon good grounds say, that the opportune publishing of the writings of this great prelate has put no small stop to that torrent of profaneness and infidelity so much complained of.  And therefore any attempts to lessen their value can never be thought to be made for the service of religion; especially when the only objection that the most malicious have been able to find out against them, is in respect to some pretended defects in the style and manner of expression.  For granting that he may in some few places, even of this book, abound in turns and antitheses, this is known by the learned to be so much the style of many of the primitive fathers, that his close imitating of them in piety and orthodoxy will easily excuse his imitating them in this also.  But in short, the Bishop had higher views than to please those who look no deeper than into the style of an author his business was to inform the judgment, and not to please the fancy; and he writ for those who read with a sincere disposition to be informed, and not for those who have been always known to endeavour to destroy the credit of every thing that tends to promote piety.

      How much soever it may have been the interest and concern of some to hinder the publishing of this work, I am very confident the learned world, who have seen the first Article, would have been very sorry to have lost the opportunity of perusing the rest.  His other writings, which have rendered his name famous over all Europe, have caused every composition of his to be earnestly desired.  It scarce would have been believed that this work, which is rather of greater, certainly not of less importance than any of his other writings, and upon which he has visibly bestowed so much pains, was not worthy of public view.  To have suppressed it would have rather been an injury to his memory than otherwise; and would have been taken, as if so great and pious a man had to no purpose employed so great a part of his time, of which no person was known to be a better husband.

      Though I have endeavoured as much as I could to render the edition of this book correct; yet, through the hurry of the press, occasioned by the great impatience for it, I am sensible some errors, and those not merely literal, have passed uncorrected.  I desire the candid reader to lay these to the charge of the printer, and by no means to the author; and when the rest of the work comes forth, I promise that the most considerable of them shall be taken notice of by way of errata.


The Preface to the Reader.

      No sooner were the boisterous storms of persecution raised by Rome heathen against the church of Christ allayed by the goodness of the great God, but Constantine, that renowned emperor, forthwith gathered together all the bishops of the Christian world into a council at Nice, a city in Bithynia, to end the controversies that were then on foot, and to settle one faith and truth to be acknowledged and professed by the universal church.  In like manner, when those fiery persecutions, kindled and blown up by the same Rome, now papal, in the days of Queen Mary, against the church of Christ in this nation, were once blown out by the breath of the Most High, our gracious Queen Elizabeth, of ever blessed memory, for the establishing consent touching true religion, called the bishops and clergy of both provinces of this nation into a council, held at London, an. Dom. 1562, where they agreed upon certain Articles of religion, to the number of thirty-nine, which to this day remain the constant and settled doctrine of our church; which, by an act of parliament of the 13th of Queen Elizabeth, an. Dom. 1571, all that are entrusted with any ecclesiastical preferments are bound to subscribe to, and which have been several times since that ratified and confirmed by several proclamations and declarations, set forth by King James and King Charles the First of ever blessed memory, as also by our most gracious sovereign that now is.  And last of all, in the late act for uniformity, 14 Carol. II, subscription is again required to them.

      Now these are the Articles which are the subject of this following Discourse, wherein I have not undertaken to expound any doubtful and ambiguous phrases we may meet with in them, but taking each Article in its most usual literal and grammatical sense, I have endeavoured to prove the scope and substance of it to be a real truth in itself, which we are bound to believe, and by consequence to subscribe to when required by authority.

      The method I propounded to myself in this Discourse, was first to shew that each Article for the sum and substance of it is grounded upon the scriptures, so that if it be not expressly contained in them, howsoever it may by good and undeniable consequence be deduced from them.  Having shown it to be grounded upon the scriptures, I usually prove it to be consonant to right reason too, even such a truth, that though scripture did not, reason itself would command us to believe it.  And lastly, for the further confirmation of it, I still shew each article to be believed and acknowledged for a truth by the Fathers of the primitive church, that so we may see how though in many things we differ from others and from the present church of Rome, yet we recede not in any thing from the primitive and more unspotted church of Christ.  These are the three heads I ordinarily insist upon, still keeping that excellent passage of a St. Augustine in my mind: “No sober man will think or hold an opinion against reason, no Christian against the scripture, and no lover of peace against the church.” [Contra rationem nemo sobrius, contra scripturas nemo Christianus, contra ecclesiam nemo pacificus senserit. – August. de Trin. 1. iv. c. 6.]  And therefore, seeing all these Articles are grounded upon scripture, assented to by reason, and delivered by the primitive as well as the present church, he must be no sober Christian, nor peaceable man that sets himself against them.

      And in speaking unto these heads, and so through the whole work, I have endeavoured so to order and contrive it, that such as are not skilled in the learned languages may read and understand the sum and substance of it without any disturbance or interruption, and therefore I have not inserted any sentences or phrases of Latin, Greek, or Hebrew, or any other language with our English, into the body of the book, but whatsoever.  Father or other author I quote, I translate what I so cite out of him into our own language, not tying myself to render every thing word by word, but only to give the substance of that in our language which they delivered in others.  But, howsoever, to prevent those frivolous cavils that are sometimes made against translations, as also for the ease and satisfaction of intelligent readers, whatsoever testimonies of the Fathers I produce in the body of the book, I have still set down in the margent their own: words, in their own language which they wrote in, such of the Greek Fathers excepted which we have only the Latin translations of.  And though in the body of the book there is nothing delivered but in our own vulgar language, yet in the margent, besides the several places of scripture explained out of the oriental languages, I have all along alleged the testimonies of the Fathers for the further explanation and confirmation of what is there delivered, not stuffing the margent with any quotations of modern writers, but only of the Fathers, unless it be in shewing the doctrine of the present church of Rome, which some of the Articles necessarily require. And in my quotations of the Fathers I am still careful not to refer the reader only to such or such places of their writings, (which sort of references I sometimes find multiplied to little or no purpose,) but to set down their words at length, which maketh that the margent sometimes swells bigger than the text itself.  And in my quotations of St. Chrysostom especially, because he is so voluminous, I often cite the tome and page, viz. of Sir Henry Savile’s edition; which I here note particularly, because in the book I seldom mention the edition I made use of.  And I have endeavoured so to order it, that in one place or other in the book, either in the text or margent, we may see the judgment of the primitive church upon most of the principal heads of our Christian religion.

      And because for the right understanding of discourses of this nature it is very requisite to know the several ages or times wherein the Fathers cited are supposed to have lived and the councils to have been celebrated, I have at the end of the book set down a catalogue of the Fathers, councils, and other ancient authors made use of in this book, together with the several times and places wherein they flourished.  Thus desiring that the most high God would be pleased so to order it, that what I have done by his strength may make for his glory and our church’s good, by helping towards the reconciling of her enemies to, and the confirming her children in those sacred truths, I commit both thee and it into his hands, who alone can lead us into all truth without whose blessing the greatest works will be unsuccessful, whereas with it the least shall be beneficial.


A Discourse Upon the Thirty-Nine Articles.


Article  I – Of The Holy Trinity.

There is but one living and true God.

      That there is some such Being in and over the world, which we in English call God, is not here made a distinct article of our faith in England, because it is an article of faith in all nations through the whole world; there being no a language *so barbarous but it hath some word or other signifying the same thing in it; nor any people * so atheistical as not to acknowledge and worship the thing signified by it.  Nay, rather than err on one hand in worshipping no God at all, most err on the other hand in worshipping more than one; [all MS.] there being no nation but worships some God, some nations worship many.  Hence, I say, it is, that, in the determining of the distinct and fundamental articles of faith professed by our church of England, it would have been altogether superfluous to have made the existence of a Deity any of them; that being no more than what is undoubtedly acknowledged in all nations, and necessarily supposed in all religions; and so in this of ours also: for in that it is a religion, or a special and peculiar manner of performing worship to God, it must needs suppose there is some God to whom such worship is to be performed.  And in this sense, the existence of a Deity, as the foundation of all religion, is necessarily implied in every one of these ensuing articles; and therefore also it need not be made a distinct article of itself.

      Supposing therefore the existence of a Deity, this the first part of this first article only expresseth the unity of that Deity that doth exist.  The first hath been acknowledged by all; the second denied by many heretofore; yea, and now too, though not amongst us, yet in other parts of the world, as in Africa and America, where they worship sun, moon, stars and other creatures, yea, have almost as many gods worshipped by men as there are men to worship them; every one, according to his own fancy, framing to himself a Deity, and then performing worship to it.  To keep out therefore such extravagant fancies from amongst us, it is here set down as the foundation of all our fundamental articles, that there is but “one living and true God”: where we also have not only our one God opposed to their many, but differenced from every one of them.  They have many, but they are all dead and false gods; we have but one, but he is the living and the true God.  The living God, who hath life both in and from himself; who is not only the abyss of life in himself, but the fountain of life to us; who lives upon nothing but himself, and hath all things living upon himself; yea, who is so the living God, as to be life itself: so that it cannot be so properly said, that he hath life, as that he is life; life to himself, and life to all living creatures.  What we have* is really distinguished from what we are.  And therefore when we speak of God, in whom there is no distinction of one perfection from another, or of any of them from himself, we speak more agreeably to his nature, and more conformably to his truth, when we say he is, rather than hath such a perfection; he is wisdom, he is power, he is goodness, he is justice, and so, he is life* itself: especially when we consider, that he is usually and truly apprehended as the most pure and simple act; which exactly answers the right notion of that which we term life.

      And our God being thus the living, he must needs be the true God.  Many of the heathens, I confess, worshipped living creatures, which notwithstanding were false gods; not because living, but because creatures, and therefore so living, as not to live of themselves, much less to be life itself, but to derive it from another: and so the borrowed life of theirs could speak them no more than false gods; but the uncreated, original life of ours proclaims him to be the true God.  Where the words true God are not to be extended so far as to signify a God of truth, but only in truth a God though that other is necessarily included in this; for he that is in truth a God must needs be a God of truth, truth being a perfection, and so necessarily required to the right notion of a Deity.  And thus it is that there is but one living and true God, and therefore true, because living: and that there is but one living and true God is a truth grounded upon scripture, agreeable to reason, and taught by the fathers long ago.

      First for scripture. And truly to find out scripture to prove this truth I need not turn over many leaves, for there is scarce a page that I can cast mine eye upon in my first opening of the Bible, but would furnish me with sufficient arguments for it.  But I shall content myself with these three or four of the most prevalent and convincing.  The first place is that, * Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one God, Deut. 6:4 where we may plainly see, that that God, whom Israel, and so we are bound to worship, is no more than one.  But because this place hath been impugned by several heretics in the church, as Valentinus, Basilides, and others, affirming it to import no more than one in will and one in heart, as the multitude of believers are said to be, Acts4:32; so, say they, though there be many gods, yet they all agree in one, and so may be said to be one, as he that planteth, and he that watereth, is said to be one, 1 Cor. 3:8; because this place, I say, hath been so eluded, I shall produce others, upon which it is impossible to force such a distinction: as, Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the Lord he is God in heaven above and upon earth beneath: and there is none else.  Deut. 4:39.  Where we see it is expressly avouched, that the Lord Jehovah is the only God, besides whom there is no other God in heaven or earth, and so in no place in the world.  And therefore he is not only one in will, but one in nature: there is no other God besides him, to be of the same will with him And to the same purpose it is elsewhere asserted, I am the Lord, there is none else, there is no God besides me.  Isa. 45:5.  So that Valentinus may assert, and the heathens may worship many deities, but the Lord hath spoken it, and the scriptures affirm it, that there is no God besides Jehovah and that not only in the places cited, but others also, as Deut. 32:89,  Isa. 46:6, 8; ch. 45:21, 22; Mal. 2:10.  And what the Old Testament asserts, the New Testament confirms, that there is none other God but one,1 Cor. 8:4, who is the living and the true God.  1 Thess. 1:9, Jer. 10:10.

      Neither is this so high a mystery as to be out of the sight of reason, and therefore only to be embraced by faith: for if we consult our reason, as we have done the scriptures, we shall find that as clear in concluding, as this is express in affirming of this truth.  Indeed there is scarce an argument can be produced to prove the existence of a Deity, but may easily be brought over to prove the unity of that Deity also that doth exist.  So that the same weapons that reason useth to beat down atheism, she may use also in her conflicts with polytheism: there is no god, and there are many gods, being propositions of the like absurdity in her account.

      The usual reason that is brought for the existence of a Deity is taken from the order of causes; to wit, because there must be some * one cause of all causes, which is the first cause of all other things, itself being caused by nothing, without which all causes would run in a circle, and never come to an end, but must pass from one to another even into infinitude itself: which reason looks upon as the greatest absurdity in the world: for then there would be eternal changes and motions within the narrow compass of time, and finite causes would have no end, and so become infinite: which being a plain contradiction, I need not bring any arguments to prove its further absurdity; but, from the undeniable order and dependence of all causes upon one, must conclude, that there must be such an universal first cause, upon which all the rest must thus depend.  And truly this argument proves as much, that there can be no more than one, as that there must be one such universal cause, which we call God.  It being as great an absurdity to say there are many, as to say there is never a first cause.  For, supposing many universal causes, either one must be before another, or one must not be before another.  If one be not before another, none of them is the first cause, because there be others of equal causality with itself if one be still before another, one of them must needs be before all the rest, and it is he alone that can be called the First Cause, because all the rest come after him.

      If after this we take a view of those perfections, which reason certainly concludes to be all concentred in the Deity, we shall clearly see, it is impossible they should be in more than one so that to say they are in many, would be as much as to say they are in none at all.  As first, supremacy, which is a perfection whereby we apprehend God as being the supreme Governor over all the world; which if he be not, our reason will not suffer us to call him God; nothing coming under the notion of a Deity, but what is above all other things whatsoever.  Now if there should be many gods, either all of them should be equal to one another, or else one above another, as I said before.  If they be all equal to one another, there is never a superior, much less a supreme amongst them, and so never a one that in reason can be termed a God; they all wanting the great perfection of supremacy or sovereignty over all the world.  If they be all one above another, there must be one above all the other; and it is he alone that can be called God: and what we here say concerning supremacy in power, may be applied also to supremacy in greatness, goodness, or any other perfection: for there can be but one * chief good, and by consequence but one God.

      Again, infinitude in general is also a perfection, which reason cannot but attribute to God, and to none but God, whereby we apprehend him as without bounds and limits of his nature and glory; which it is impossible for any more than one to be. For if one be without bounds, and so every where, * where can any other be, especially how can any other be without bounds and every where too?  Or more plainly, supposing two Gods, one essentially distinct from the other, where one of them is, the other also either is or is not if the other be where that one is, then they are both together, and so their natures and glories confounded, and by consequence they are not essentially distinct Gods; if the other be not where that one is, then it hath bounds and limits to its nature and glory, there being somewhere where his nature and glory is not and therefore he cannot be termed infinite, and consequentially he is no God.

      Again, omnipotence is also a perfection, whereby God is not only infinite in nature, but in power, and so able to do whatsoever in its own nature doth not imply a contradiction, or is possible to be done by any power.  Now it is impossible there should be two essentially distinct persons endowed with this perfection.  For, supposing two such persons, what one doth will easily be granted to be possible, in its own nature, to be done; for otherwise he could not do it; but though it be possible in itself, yet is it impossible for the other supposed God to do it for then there would be two whole and perfect causes of the same kind to one effect; which is a contradiction; for then one would be wholly the cause, and yet not wholly the cause, because there is another, that is as much the cause as itself.  And therefore there can be no more than one such person invested with this perfection of * Omnipotence, and so but one God.  And if we do suppose several Gods of the greatest power imaginable, every one of them must needs have less power than all together, and by consequence not all power in his own hands: and that being that hath not all power is no All-powerful being, and therefore no God.

      But I needed not to have gone so far to have proved there are some perfections which it is impossible for many essentially distinct persons to be possessed of: for indeed unity itself is a perfection, which whosoever saith more than one can have at the same time, gives himself the lie.  For if they be many essentially distinct Gods, how can they all be but one?  And therefore whatsoever other perfections many Gods may have, be sure this they must want, upon that very account, because they are many: and so cannot be all perfectly Gods, because not perfect Gods, wanting some perfection which God must have, or not be God and therefore, I conclude even from reason, that seeing in the order of causes there must be one, and but one first cause; and seeing there can be no more than one Being absolutely supreme, infinite, omnipotent, and one, “There is but one living and true God.”

      And this was the doctrine which the fathers of old taught.  I shall instance but only in some: as first Tertullian: * “But the Christian truth strictly saith, God, if he be not one, he is none for whatsoever is not as it ought to be, we think better of it, if we believe it not to be.  But that thou mayest know that God should be but one, inquire what God is, and thou wilt find it cannot be otherwise.  As far as the human state can define any thing of God, I assert, what every one’s conscience also acknowledgeth, that God is the chief and highest Being in the world, eternal, unbegotten, unmade, without beginning, without end.  Therefore he must needs be one only, because he is the chiefest, not having an equal, lest he should not be the chiefest.”  And before him Ignatius: * “Therefore God and the Father is but one, not two or three; he being one, and there is none besides him, the alone true God.  For, The Lord, saith he, thy God is one Lord.  And again, did not one God make us? have not we all one Father?”  And Justin Martyr tells us, that, * “According to those, who by learning know the difference betwixt God and a creature, there is but one God, unbegotten, according to both the manners of unbegetting, who hath not any gods either before or after himself, having none coeternal with himself, none subject or opposite to him, having an incorruptible nature and irresistible power, himself being the maker of the whole world.”  And Athenagoras to the same purpose; * “But all our discourse is only to spew that there is but one God, the maker of the universe, who himself being not made (for that which is, is not made, but that which is not) he made all things by his word.”  St. Cyprian; * “Therefore there is one God, Lord of all; for his highness cannot have an equal, seeing himself hath all power in his own hand.”  And presently * “The bees have one king, the flocks one captain, and the herds one leader, much more hath the world but only one Governor, who commandeth all things with his word, dispenseth all things with his wisdom, and perfecteth all things by his power.  He cannot be seen, he is more clear than sight nor comprehended, he is more pure than touch; nor valued, for he is beyond all sense: and therefore we so worthily esteem of him to be God, when we think him inestimable.”  And Ruffinus not only tells us that, but shews us how God is said to be one; * “But that which we said that the Eastern churches deliver, that the Father is omnipotent, and only one Lord, it is to be understood after this manner; one, not in numbers but in universality.  As for example, if one should say, one man, or one horse, here he puts one for a number, for there may be another man and a third; and so for one horse too: but where a second or third cannot be added, if any thing be called one, that doth not denote number, but universality as for example, if we should say, one sun; that is so called one, that a second or third cannot be added: the sun is one.  Much more when God is called one, one is a word, not of number, but universality; that is, he is therefore called one, because there is no other.  And so we must think also of our Lord, that there is one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the Father governs all things; so that God is so one, as no one besides him is: he is so one God, as that there is not, there cannot be another God besides him.”  And therefore saith Tertullian also: * “The state of the one only God challengeth this rule, no otherwise one, than because alone, nor otherwise alone, than because there is nothing with him.”  Shall I thrust in a learned rabbi amongst these reverend fathers?  Moses Maimonides speaks fully to the purpose: * “This God is one, not two nor more than two; but one, whose unity is not like that of the ones or individuals that are found in the world; nor one by way of species containing several individuals under it; nor one, as a body is, which may be divided into several parts or extremities but he is so one, as that there is no one in the world so one as he is.”  And it is one of the articles of the Jews’ faith, * “I verily believe that the Creator, whose name is Blessed, is one, and there is no unity like to his, and he alone was, is, and will be our God.”  To these testimonies we may add that of Lactantius also: * “Let us come to authors, and cite those very persons for the proof of this truth, which they use to bring against us.  It is the poets and philosophers I mean.  It is necessary, that out of these we should prove there is but one God; not as if they had the right knowledge of the truth, but because so great is the power of truth, that none can be so blind as not to see the Divine splendour forcing itself into his eyes.  The poets therefore, though they set out the gods with verses, and extol their acts with the highest praises, yet they often confess, that by one spirit and mind all things are contained and governed.”  And truly there are many of the ancient heathen * poets, which have left this truth upon record in their writings, as Orpheus, Phocylides, Sophocles, Xenophanes, Colophonius, the Sibyls, and others, whose testimonies we have thrown into the margin by which we may see that this truth is both grounded upon scripture, concluded upon by reason, preached by the Fathers, believed by the Jews, yea, and acknowledged by the Gentiles also, and therefore it may well be subscribed to by us, even that there is but one living and true God.



      After the unity of the Godhead asserted, here we have the nature of that one God described; and that by those properties, which the scriptures, that he hath revealed to us, and the reason that he hath implanted in us, attribute and ascribe unto him.  Where by properties we are not to understand several faculties, habits, or qualities, as they are in us.  For there is nothing in God but what is God the mercy of God is the same with the God of mercy; the power of God the same with the God of power; the love of God the same with the God of love; and the truth of God the same with the God of truth.  These properties of mercy, power, love, &c., as they are in us, they are accidents, and so really distinguished both from our souls, and from one another; but as they are in God, they are his nature and essence; and so neither distinguished from one another, nor from him in whom they are said to be.  Distinguished from him or his essence they cannot be, for then he would be of himself imperfect; there being some property or perfection which in his own nature he is not.  And again, if the properties of God should be really distinguished from himself, in themselves they would be either finite or infinite.  Finite they could not all be; for infinitude itself is one of his properties, yea, and in our conception a property of all his other properties; so that his wisdom, power, justice, are all infinite, otherwise they would be imperfect and therefore it is impossible all his properties, or indeed any of them, should be finite.  And as they are not finite, so neither can they be infinite, if really distinguished from his essence: for then there would be something really distinguished from God infinite as well as God; and by consequence either God must not be infinite, and so not God or else there must be two, yea, many infinites, which is as great an absurdity as the former.  And therefore we must needs acknowledge, that the properties of God are not really distinguished from the essence of God but that the properties attributed to his essence are really the same with his essence to which they are attributed.  So that his power, wisdom, goodness, truth, and the like, are all his * essence, nature, or substance.  And as they are not distinguished from his essence, so neither are they distinguished from one another; for then they must be really distinguished from his essence too, it being impossible that they should be all really and essentially distinct from one another, and yet be all but one and the selfsame essence.  And again, if they should be really distinguished from one another, then God would be compounded or made up of several distinct properties, and so not a simple, and therefore not a perfect God.

      But by the properties therefore of God, we are to understand the several apprehensions that we have of him, according to the several manifestations that he maketh of himself to us.  Which variety of discoveries of himself he maketh to us according to the variety of the objects which we apprehend him to act upon, and the variety of the circumstances that those objects may lie under.  God in himself is a most simple and pure act, and therefore, as I have shewed, cannot have any thing in himself but himself, but what is that pure and simple act itself.  Which seeing it bringeth upon every creature what it deserves, giving vice its due punishments, and virtue its just rewards, we apprehend it an act of justice, and therefore call God a just God.  Seeing it doth not give sin its punishments sometime so soon as we conceive it might, we apprehend it an act of patience, and call God a patient God.  Seeing it doth still one time or other punish every offence, and yet upon some other account doth often pardon the offender, we apprehend it an act of mercy, and call God a merciful God.  Seeing whensoever it puts forth itself upon doing any thing, it produceth whatsoever itself pleaseth, we apprehend it an act of might, and call God an almighty God.  Seeing it acting upon objects, as possible to be known, it is acquainted with all things, that ever were, are, shall be, or can be, we apprehend it an act of knowledge, and call God an all-knowing God.  Seeing it brings upon all creatures many such as we think good things, we apprehend it an act of goodness, and call God a good God.  Seeing there are no bounds or limits of his essence and glory, we apprehend it an act of infinitude, and call God an infinite God.  And seeing this God ever was, is, and will be the same unchangeable, pure and simple act, we apprehend it an act of eternity, and so call God an eternal God.  And thus are the several properties that we attribute to God but the several apprehensions that we have in ourselves of him, according to the several discoveries that he maketh of himself to us: and therefore though, as they are conceived by us, they are many, yet, as they are in him, they are all but one and the same simple and pure essence.  And hence it is, that though his properties cannot be properly predicated one of another, so as to say his justice is his mercy, his wisdom is his power, his eternity is his love, yet they may all be predicated of God, so as to say God is justice, God is mercy, God is wisdom, power, and eternity.  Neither can they only be predicated of God, but God may be predicated of them too, so as to say, justice in God is God, mercy is God, power is God for as they are in himself they are really himself, yea, so as that if we consider the properties of God as they are in himself, I do not deny but they may in some sense, though improperly, be * predicated one of another, so as to say his justice is his mercy, his love is his power , for as they are in him there is no such distinction betwixt justice and mercy, love and power, as there is when apprehended by us.  But seeing the properties of God do not so much denote what God is, as what we apprehend him to be in himself, when the properties of God are predicated one of another, one thing in God is not predicated of another, but our apprehensions of the same thing are predicated one of another.  So that when I say, God’s justice is his mercy, his power is his wisdom, I do not predicate one perfection in God of another, for in God there are not any such distinct perfections as that one of them should properly make the subject and the other the predicate of a proposition, but I only predicate one apprehension that I have of the same Divine nature of the other.  For as they are in God, they are not really distinct, I say, from one another; and therefore cannot properly be subjects and predicates to one another; and the several denominations of love, goodness, justice, mercy, and the like, are grounded merely upon our several apprehensions of the same thing: which several apprehensions proceed from the finiteness of our understandings, who are not able to conceive of infinitude, or an infinite nature, as it is in itself, but only by piecemeal, as it manifesteth itself to us.  And therefore God, whose understanding is infinite, suitable to his nature, doth not apprehend himself under the distinct notions of good, just, powerful, wise, &c., but only as God; though he doth understand how we give such denominations to him, according to the several apprehensions that we have of him.

[*Thus St. Augustine saith: {Latin passage} Aug. [vol. III. par. II.] in Joh. Tract. 18. [9].  Where we see he predicates visus of auditus, and auditus of visus; and so one property in God of another.  Not as if these properties were distinct in God, and so capable of making the subject and predicate of a proposition; but in such propositions as these are, visus est auditus, and auditus visus, justitia est misericordia, and misericordia est justitia, in these, I say, and such like propositions we are to understand both the subject and predicate as in God, but still with some reference to our distinct apprehensions of them.  For seeing they are really the same in him, and yet are distinctly apprehended by us, we may well make one of them the subject and the other the predicate of a proposition.  When I say justitia est misericordia, here justitia and misericordia are two distinct properties in my apprehension, though they signify one and the same thing in God, or rather one and the same God.  And therefore when I say, God’s justice is his mercy, or his mercy is his justice, it is as much as if I should say, that perfection which I apprehend in God to be justice is the same in him with his mercy, and that which I apprehend in him as mercy is the same in him with his justice.]

      Thus, therefore, carrying the right notion of the properties of God along with us, let us consider those properties which in this article are attributed to him; and the first is eternity.  He is an everlasting God: which is a property, whereby we apprehend God, as one, who was before, and will be after, always without and above time; in whom there is no such thing as first and last, past and to come.  And therefore though I cannot apprehend his mercy to Abel in the beginning of the world, and his mercy to me now, but as two distinct expressions of his mercy, yet as they are in God they are but one and the same act, as they are in God, I say, who is not measured by time, as our apprehensions of him are; but is himself eternity a centre without a circumference, eternity without time.  Indeed when we speak of eternity, time is but as a parenthesis clasped in of both sides with it: neither is the eternity before time before that eternity that is after time; for there is but one eternity and these words, before and after, * past and to come, are solecisms in eternity, being only fitted to express the several successions of time by.  And thus do we believe that God is eternal or everlasting, not only as angels and rational souls are, who had a beginning but will have no end, but as one who never had a beginning, nor ever will have an end: but what he was before, he is in, and will be after time, the same unchangeable God; not younger at the beginning of time, nor older at the end of time, but in every thing continually one and the same God blessed for evermore.

      And for the true proof of this we shall first consult the scriptures for there being none that knows God so well as himself, there is none can better tell what properties to attribute to him than himself; and therefore his word must needs be the best description of his essence.  Now there is no property that the scriptures attribute to God more frequently than eternity, calling him, The eternal God, Deut. 33:27; The King eternal, 1 Tim. 1:17; The everlasting God, Gen. 21:33, Isa. 40:28; The everlasting Father, Isa. 9:6; The living God, and an everlasting King, Jer. 10:10; Yea, from everlasting to everlasting he is God, Psalm 90:2; Who therefore is to be blessed from everlasting and to everlasting, Psalm 41:13; Who is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, which is, which was, and which is to come, Rev. 1:4, 8.  Not as if God in his own nature was, and is to come, for he always is; but in these and the like places God speaks after the manner of men, who are not able with one simple apprehension to conceive of eternity, but are still forced to carry our thoughts backwards and forwards to apprehend what wan heretofore and shall be hereafter therefore he is here said to be He that was, viz., without beginning, that is, viz., without succession, and is to come, viz., without end.  And therefore, when Moses would have God to give himself a name, he calls himself * I am what I am, and simply I am, Exod. 3:14, viz. one who may always say I am, who always was, always is, and always is to come; who from eternity was, who in eternity is, who to eternity is to come.  Yea, who is not only from eternity and to eternity, but who is eternity itself and so is he called too as some suppose, (translating the word * netsahh eternity, which We translate strength,) 1 Sam. 15:29.  So well may he be called the Ancient of Days, Dan. 7:9, and his kingdom be termed an everlasting kingdom, Dan. 4:3.

[*And so I find the word נֶצַּח can never be well translated otherwise than eternity, unless it be, Isa. 63:3, 6.  Thren. 3:18; but in these places also interpreters much differ in the translation of it, but always agree in other places in expounding it eternity, as Psalm 49:20.  Isa. 34:10.  Job 4:20, &c. and so in this place, 1 Sam, 15:29, it being an epithet of God it may denote his eternity, as well as strength: yea indeed rather that than this; both because it is a doubt, whether it ever signify strength or no, and principally because that the other is the most usual and common signification of it, which we are not to recede from in any place, that will as well bear it, as well as any other signification of it, as it will here.]

      And as scripture is express, so is reason clear in attributing this property unto God.  For first, eternity is a perfection, such a perfection without which the great God sometime would not have been, or sometimes will not be, and therefore can never be absolutely perfect, and so not God.  And therefore all the arguments that prove the existence, prove also, not only the unity, but likewise the eternity of God.  For what argument is an infallible proof of any truth, ever was and ever will be an infallible proof of it.  But now if God ever was not, or ever would not be, (that is, if he be not eternal,) at such a time there would be no God; and therefore all the arguments that make for the existence of a Deity would then signify nothing; and so it is as certain a truth that God is eternal, as that he is.

      Again, if God be not eternal he is temporal, that is, his essence and actions are measured by the motions and successions of time, which being once granted, would quite take away his divinity for then he would not he the first cause, and so not God; having time before him, whereby he is measured, the thing measured always presupposing that which it is measured by.

      And these arguments serve to prove his eternity in general, that he both was from eternity and will be to eternity.  I shall now prove them severally; and first, that he was from eternity, that is, he ever was, or it could never be said, God is not, or there is no God.  For if ever God was not, then he had a beginning; if he had a beginning, he must needs have it either from himself or from some other person.  From himself he could not have it, for before he was, he could not act any thing, much less give himself a being or beginning; nay, it is a contradiction to say, a thing is not, and yet it is, which notwithstanding must be a real truth, if God ever was not, and yet was the author of life to himself.  And that he did not receive his being from another is as clear, for then he would not be the first cause, and so not God; there being another before him, which gave this being to him, and so was the cause of him.  And that he shall be to eternity is also as evident as that he hath been from eternity; that he ever shall be, as that he ever was.  For as if he was not from eternity he must have his beginning, so, if he be not to eternity he must have his end, either from himself or from- some other.  From any other he cannot; for all other persons and beings depend upon him, both for their existences and actions; and so can do nothing without his pleasure and concurrence much less can they ever destroy his essence who preserves theirs.  From himself he cannot have an end, lose his existence, or fall to nothing.  For if so, it must be either because he is not able or not willing to uphold himself in his being: that he is not unable is manifest, for there is no more power required to uphold himself to eternity than there was to uphold himself from eternity, which that he did we have before proved.  And that he is not unwilling to uphold himself in his being to eternity is plain.  For his will being infinitely perfect, he cannot but will the better before the worse.  Now for him to be must needs be better than for him not to be; for his essence and existence is the chiefest good, and therefore he must needs will, love, and choose that before all things in the world besides, much more before nothing, as himself would be, if he be not, or did not uphold himself in his being.  And therefore as he was as able as willing to support himself from eternity, so must he needs be granted to be as willing as able to support himself in his being to eternity; and therefore reason also concludes him to be an everlasting God.

      But neither are the Fathers backward in ascribing this perfection to the Deity.  Tertullian elegantly * “There is no time in eternity, itself being all time.  That which acts cannot suffer.  That wanteth age, that cannot be born.  God, if he be old, he will not be; if he be young, he was not.  Novelty testifies a beginning, age threatens an end.  But God is as far from beginning and end as he is from time, the measurer of beginning and ending.”  And again: * “For it belongeth to the Divine nature, whatsoever it hath decreed, to account as perfect: because with it there is no difference of time, with which eternity itself directs the uniform state of time.”  And Justin Martyr tells us, “that Plato gathered as much from those words, I am what I am: *for Plato,” saith he, “being much pleased with that saying of God to Moses, I am what I am; and receiving or understanding with much contemplation the short word expressed by a participle, perceived how God, willing to signify his eternity to Moses, said, I am what I am; the syllable am signifying not one, but three times, past, present, and to come.”  (From whence we may also observe that Plato had seen the books of Moses.)  And Minutius Felix saith: * “Dost thou believe that the supreme power in heaven is divided? and all the power of that true and divine empire to be parted?  When it is manifest, that the Father of all things, God, hath neither beginning nor end, who bestows a nativity upon all things else, but a perpetuity upon himself: who was before the world, being a world unto himself.”  And St. Augustine: * “God only is immutable; because nothing that is past goes from him, neither will any thing that is to come be added to him but whatsoever is, was, or is to come, is all present with him.  And as we can think of nothing (in him) that had a beginning, so neither can we think of any thing in him that shall ever have an end.”  And elsewhere, the same reverend Father in his heavenly meditations and confessions speaks thus to God: * “But if there was no time before heaven and earth, why should any one ask, what thou then didst?  For there was no then where there was no time; neither wast thou before time in time; for so thou wouldst not have been before all time.  But thou art before all time past, in the height of eternity always present; and art above all things that are to come, because they are to come, and when they are come will be gone.  But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end; thy years do not go and come, but ours go and come, that they may all come.  Thy years stand all together, because they always stand.  Neither are they that go thrust out by them that come, because they do not pass away but ours will all be when they will not all be.  Thy years are but one day, and thy day is not every day, but today.  For thy today doth not give place to tomorrow: for neither did it come into the place of yesterday.  Thy today is eternity; therefore didst thou beget one coeternal with thyself to whom thou saidst, This day have I begotten thee.”  Many other testimonies might be produced both from the Fathers and * others, but these are enough from whence to conclude as before from scripture and reason, that as there is but one living and true God, so this one living and true God is everlasting.


Without body, parts, and passions.

      When we poor finite creatures set ourselves to consider of our infinite Creator, though we may apprehend something of him by ascribing all perfections to him, yet more by removing all imperfections from him.  We cannot so well apprehend what he is, as what he is not. We can say indeed he is infinitely good, infinitely wise, in and of himself, eternal and all-sufficient but alas! when we speak such words, we cannot apprehend the thing that is signified by them.  Our understandings being themselves finite, they cannot apprehend what it is to be infinite, and as they are imperfect, they cannot conceive of any perfection as it is in God.  But now of imperfections we have the daily experience in ourselves, and therefore know the better how to abstract them all from our apprehensions of the Deity: and so the clearest apprehensions that we can have of him is by removing imperfections from him.  I cannot conceive it, though I verily believe it, how he is of himself infinitely holy, just, and powerful; yet I can easily conceive how he is without body, parts, and passions; that he is not such a one as I am, who have a body, am compounded of parts, and am subject to passions; but whatsoever he is in himself, be sure he is infinitely above such imperfections as these are.

      First, therefore, here it is said, he is * without body, that is, he is not made up of any material substance, but is a spirit, incorruptible, intangible, invisible, and indivisible; that cannot be seen, felt, nor heard by bodily senses, nor corrupted or divided by any means whatsoever.  Of whom therefore we are not to frame any picture or idea in our minds, but are still to apprehend him only as a God incomprehensible: and if whilst we are meditating of him any bodily shape presents itself to our thoughts, we are to remove it from him we are thinking of, and conceive of him as without body and,

      Secondly, without parts too; that is, without all mixture or composition whatsoever; whether of matter and form, as a man is compounded of soul and body; or of subject and accident, as a wise man, of wisdom and a man or of act and power, as any thing that is, but may not be, or is not, but may be; or of genus and differentia, as when a specific difference restrains a general nature to a certain species contained under it; or lastly, of esse and essentia, as when a thing is said to be by its essence.  When God is said to be without parts, all these compositions are removed from him, or denied to be in him, yea, the last and subtlest of them all: so that God cannot be said to be by his essence, for then his essence would be one thing, and his being another and therefore he cannot be said to be by his essence, but to be essence itself.  And therefore when we think of God, we are not to apprehend him as made up of several parts, but as one most pure, simple, Divine essence, without all manner of parts whatsoever, yea, and

      Thirdly, without passions too; that is, not subject to nor capable of love, hatred, joy, grief, anger, and the like, as they daily arise in us imperfect creatures; but he is always the same unmovable, unchangeable, impassible God: and therefore in all our contemplations of the Divine essence, we are not to conceive him as one passionately rejoicing or grieving for any thing, as we do, but as a pure and perfect essence, without body, parts, and passions too; as appears from scripture, reason, and fathers.

      First, from scripture, which clearly asserts the great God to be without body, saying, God is a * spirit, John 4:24; and a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as a body hath, as our Saviour (who better knew the nature of a spirit than all our skeptical philosophers, that attribute matter to it, ever did, or can do) expressly tells us, Luke 24:39.  And to this purpose also it is said, To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?  Isa. 40:18.  Whereas if God had a body, we might easily answer the prophet; he is of such or such a likeness or shape, for every body must have some shape or other.  And therefore also Both Moses counsel the Israelites, that they do not make any graven image, any picture, or similitude of God, * Deut. 4:12, 15–18: which was the great sin the Romans were guilty of, and St. Paul reproves them for, Rom.1:23.

      And the same scriptures that tell us he is without body, assure us also that he is without parts, if we understand quantitative or extensive parts.  And that he is without all manner of parts and compositions whatsoever, the name Jehovah, which he gives unto himself, Gen. 15:7, Amos 9:6, and which he will not suffer to be given to any other being, plainly imports, signifying essence in the most pure, simple, and abstracted notion that possibly can be conceived, from an Hebrew root that signifies to be: and therefore the word denotes such an essence as is of itself pure and simple essence, which God could not be, had he any parts whatsoever, for then he would have his essence from them, and so would not so much as be of himself, much less essence itself.

      And therefore also we must conclude him to be without passions too, as well as parts; for if he be such a pure essence, yea, essence itself, it is impossible he should be subject to any passions.  But this, that he is without passions, appears more clearly from these words, God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent, Num. 23:19.  But most clearly of all in that Paul and Barnabas, to convince the people at Lystra that they were not Gods, but men, tell them, they were men of like passions, or * subject to passions, as well as they, Acts 14:14.  And St. James useth the same argument to prove that Elias was a man too, James 5:17.  Now had God been subject to passions as well as men, the apostles would have been much overseen in their logics, using an argument that would make as much against them as for them.

      I know the Anthropomorphitae, that fancied God to have a body, parts, and passions like to us, pretend much to scripture to ground this their heresy upon; because in scripture God is often said to have eyes, ears, feet, a mouth, bowels, back-parts; as also to love, hate, mourn, rejoice, be angry, and the like.  And it is true, such things as these are frequently attributed to God in holy scripture, but improperly, by a figure the schoolmen call Anthropopatheia.  And the reason is because should God speak always of himself as he is in himself, we should not be able to understand him; and therefore he fits his expressions to our apprehensions; he speaks of things, not so much as they are in themselves, but as we are able to conceive of them.  Therefore when he would make known himself to us, he speaks as a nurse to a child, who utters not her mind in complete sentences, but lisps it out in broken language, fitted to the shallow capacity of its tender years.  Thus, I say, doth the great God speak in broken and imperfect language to us, making use of the names that we give to the several * parts of our bodies and passions of our minds, to signify to us the Divine properties which are in himself, or the effects of them to us.  Thus he useth the word eye, to signify his omniscience, because the eye is that part of the body whereby we see any thing; the word hand, to express his power, because it is that whereby we do any thing; and thus doth he use also the words rejoicing, grieving, losing, hating, repenting, and the like, to denote something in him which we cannot apprehend but by the dark resemblance that these passions and affections that are in us have to it.  His love denotes his eternal purpose and decree to reward virtue; his hatred and anger, his eternal purpose to punish vice; and so repentance doth not signify any change in his essence or decree, but only in his * actions mutably decreed from eternity, that is, decreed to be changed upon such and such occasions and conditions.  And therefore, though these things be spoken after the manner of men, we are to understand them as becomes the * majesty of God.

      And what scripture herein asserts, reason also consenteth to.  For, first, that God is without body must needs be granted, for otherwise he would be finite, and so not God for every body hath dimensions every one of which is finite, and therefore can never make up an infinite body; or suppose we should fancy God to have a body infinite like himself, this body must be either the same with himself, and so he must be nothing but a body, (it being impossible that a body and spirit should both make up but one uncompounded substance,) and so not the first, nor indeed any cause at all, a mere body or matter being of itself incapable of action; or else it must be really distinct from him, and if so, then either he must not be infinite, and so not God, or else there must be two infinites; which I have before convinced of absurdity.  But that God hath no body appeareth also in that he hath no parts, parts necessarily accompanying every body.

      And that God hath no parts, or is not * compounded, is clear in that we cannot look upon God but as a Being in and of himself most absolutely perfect, yea, as perfection and essence itself; incapable of receiving perfection from any thing, himself being the fountain, yea, perfection of all perfections; and therefore in Hebrew he hath called himself Schaddai, Gen. 17:1, that is, one of himself perfect and all-sufficient: whereas if he have any parts, it is from those parts, not from himself, that he receives perfection whatsoever is compounded receiving its perfection from the parts it is compounded of, some perfection from one part, some from another, and all from all; and therefore wheresoever any part is lacking, the whole cannot be perfect.  So that to say God hath parts, is as much as to say, he is not of himself perfect, and so not God: and so also if God be compounded of any thing, the parts he is compounded of being necessarily before himself that is compounded of them, he cannot be the first of beings, much less the first of causes; the parts being always in nature at least before the whole.  And again, if he have parts, they are either finite or infinite; infinite they cannot be, for then there would be more infinites than one , and therefore if he have parts, these parts can be but finite , and if so, himself that is compounded of them cannot be infinite: for many finites can never make one infinite Being, neither can any parts ever make the whole of an higher nature than themselves are, or howsoever, [MS. not so much.] so much higher as infinite is above finite: and therefore if God hath parts, he can be but finite, and so not God , and by consequence, if he be God, he must be acknowledged to be without parts.

      And that God is without passions is also as clear as that he is without body and parts; for passion, in its proper notion and notation, implies suffering, which it is impossible for God, who is a most pure act, to be subject to. Again, in every passion there is a motion or change in the subject wherein it is; and therefore also it is called a passion, because the subject suffers some change by it, sometimes loving, then hating, now rejoicing, then grieving, and the like; so that there is some change in the subject from what it was before.  But now it is impossible there should be any such motion or change in God for inconstancy and mutability are imperfections, and therefore not to be admitted into the notion of a Deity.  And further, if God should be moved or changed, it must be either from better to worse, from worse to better, or from equal to equal.  From better to worse he cannot be changed, for then he would be corrupted, and want some perfection after his change which he had before, and so cease to be the chiefest good, and by consequence God; which we have before shewed he cannot, being in and of himself eternal.  From worse to better if he should change, before his change he was not God, because he wanted some perfection or degree of goodness which he hath after: after his change he would not be God, because he had a beginning, and so not eternal.  From equal to equal also he cannot change, for then too he would not be God absolutely perfect, wanting some perfection before his change which he had after, and some perfection after his change which he had before.  And lastly, if God should be moved, or changed, and by consequence be in passion any way, it must be either from something without him or from something within him from any thing without him, it cannot be; for he is the First Cause, and so the first mover, by whom all other things are moved, and therefore who cannot be moved by any thing: from within he cannot be moved, for he hath not any parts (as I have shewn) whereof one can be the thing moving and the other the thing moved, being in and of himself a most pure and simple act.  And therefore we cannot but conclude from reason also, that God is without body, parts, and passions.

      And this was the doctrine of the ancient fathers. Tertullian: * “Neither doth God stand in need of members, or of the offices of several parts, whose very tacit will hath all things present and subservient to it.  For why should he desire eyes who is light itself? or why should he require feet who is everywhere? or why should he go in any where seeing there is nowhere that he can go out of himself? or why should he desire hands whose silent will effecteth all things? neither can he want ears who knoweth the very silent motions of the heart.”  And Origen: * “For the Divine substance is simple or unmixed, neither compounded of any members or joints or affections: but whatsoever is performed by the power of God, that men might understand it, it is either expressed by the names of human members, or else is declared by common and known affections.  And after this manner is God said to be angry, to hear, or speak.”  “For * God is one whole Being,” saith Athanasius, “not any parts, or made up of several parts, but himself is the maker of the compositions of all things behold how impiously they speak of God whilst they utter such things! for if he be compounded of parts, he will appear altogether unlike unto himself, and would have his perfection from things unlike to one another.”  And St, Augustine saith, * “There are some that presume to say that God himself is altogether a body; thinking, that whatsoever is not a body cannot be a substance such, I judge, ought utterly to be abhorred.”  And elsewhere * “If our soul be not a body, how can God the creator of our soul be a body ?”

      And as the ancient fathers apprehended God without body and parts, so without passions too.  As St. Hilary: * “But before we shew what that word of anger and perturbation of wrath is, it behoves me to admonish my hearers and readers that they do not believe that any changes of passions or motion of affections can happen to God.  For there is no new thing can come to that eternal and perfect nature; neither can he (who is so, that as he is now he is always, lest sometime he should not be the same) be made to be any thing else than what he always is.”  * “That so,” as St. Augustine excellently, “we may understand God, if we can, as much as we can, good without quality, great without quantity, the Creator without indigence, present without site, containing all things without habit, (or compass,) without place every where wholly, eternal without time, making changeable things without any change of himself, and suffering nothing at all.”  And Athanasius in his dispute with Arius concerning God’s begetting of his Son; Arius tells him, “he believed God was not mutable, nor subject to passions, and therefore how could he beget a Son?”  To whom Athanasius replies, * “Neither do we believe that the Divine nature is subject to passions, but faithfully confess, that the Father, who is without passions, did, without passion of himself, who is God, beget the Son, who is God.”  And Athenagoras shewing that the idols of the heathens were not gods, saith, * “But if they should say, they are constituted only of flesh, and have blood, and seed, and are subject to the passions of anger and desire; such words also are to be accounted as trifles, and ridiculous: for there is neither anger, nor lust, nor desire, nor prolific seed in God.”  And therefore we conclude, that as there is but one God, and this one God is everlasting, so is this one everlasting God without body, parts, and passions.


Of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness.

      Having seen what God is not, we are now to consider what he is; when we speak of imperfections, he is utterly destitute of them, but as for perfections they are all infinite in him; he is without body, without parts, and without passions; but of infinite power, of infinite wisdom, and of infinite goodness.  He is of infinite power, so as to do whatsoever is possible to be done: of infinite wisdom, so as to know whatsoever is possible to be known: and of infinite goodness, so as to be more goodness in himself than can possibly be conceived of by us.

      First, he is of infinite power, so as to be able to do whatsoever is possible to be done.  I say, whatsoever is possible to be done; for whatsoever is impossible to be done, is not within the verge of any power; and so God may have all power, though he cannot do it.  Now there is nothing thus in itself impossible, and so nothing that God cannot do, but what in itself implies a contradiction, either directly or consequentially.  1st.  Directly; as, for a thing to be and not to be; to be made, and not to be made; such words as these do in their plain sense and signification directly contradict, and so destroy each other.  2ndly.  Consequentially; as, that one body at the same time should be in two places, or two bodies at the same time should be in one place: such propositions as these are, though they do not directly and in plain terms imply it, yet they lead one infallibly into a contradiction.  So for God to lie, to deny himself, to die, and the like, though the words be not contradictory, yet the sense is: for to say God lies, God denies himself, God dies, are all in effect as much as to say, God is not God.  For these are all imperfections, and therefore was God, subject to them he would not be God.  And so he is omnipotent *though he cannot do them nay, if he could do them he would be impotent, not omnipotent, because to do any thing that argues imperfection doth not proceed from omnipotence but impotence, or want of power to keep himself from being imperfect.  Whereas God being so potent as not to be able to be imperfect or impotent is a greater argument that he is omnipotent, so omnipotent as that he cannot be impotent or imperfect, so omnipotent that he cannot but be omnipotent.  So that he is so far from being impotent that he is the more * omnipotent because he cannot do these things.  And this I look upon as the reason why such things as imply contradictions are not possible to be done, because that one part of a contradiction being true the other must needs be false, and therefore should God work that which any ways implies a contradiction, he would necessarily work that which is false * and untrue, and therefore that which is contrary, yea, contradictory to his own essence, who is truth itself, and so destroy himself; which if he be God it is a contradiction that he should be able to do, for if he was able to do that, he would not be God, because capable of destruction.  So that for God to be able to do that which implies a contradiction doth itself imply a contradiction. And to ask whether God be able to do that which implies a contradiction is the same as if we should ask, whether God be able to destroy himself, to cease to be God, and to become impotent, or of a finite power, which that he should not be able to do is not from any want, but from the * perfection of his power and omnipotence: so that he would be less powerful if he could do them, and he is more powerful because he cannot do them; his doing them would argue * impotence, but his not doing them testifies his * omnipotence.  If he was not omnipotent he would be able to do them, for he is therefore only unable to do them because * omnipotent.  Though we need not have gone so far, neither to have rescued the truth of God’s omnipotence from the scandal of impotence, because not able to do what implies a contradiction; for seeing every contradiction is in itself an impossibility, and every impossibility is in itself a contradiction to all power; it is no derogation from the infiniteness of God’s .power not to be able to do them; our meaning, when we say God is omnipotent, or of infinite power, being no more than to say, he is able to do whatsoever himself willeth * or pleaseth, (but it is impossible he should please to do what implies a contradiction, for then he would will what is false; which, he being truth itself, it is a contradiction he should do,) and whatsoever is in itself such as that it may be done, and so can be the object of any power for that which is not within the reach of any power is not necessary to be the object of God’s power, without which we could not call him an all-powerful God.  For though he cannot do that which no power can do, yet he can do all that any power can do, and that is sufficient to denominate him an all-powerful God, or one of infinite power, beyond whom no power can go.

      And as he is of infinite power, so is he of infinite wisdom too, so as to know whatsoever is possible to be known, as well as to do whatsoever is possible to be done.  But when we speak of the wisdom or knowledge, we are not to measure it by our understandings and apprehensions of things, who know nothing, but only by species or certain notions abstracted from the things themselves; whereas God knows all things by his own essence, for he knew all things from eternity, and therefore before there was any thing but his own essence to know any thing by: which notwithstanding, being the most perfect idea of all things possible, was sufficient to represent all things to himself, without any thing whatsoever distinct from himself.  And again, we can have the actual knowledge only of one thing at a time, in whom the faculty, habit, and act of knowledge are three distinct things but in God they are all the same thing; who knows all things in himself, being all things to himself; and therefore knows not things by succession one after another, or by discourse of reason, as we do but he with * one simple and eternal act knows all things possible to be known, that is, all things whatsoever.  And the reason is clear, for the knowledge of God is the very essence of God, and therefore as the essence of God is but one, the knowledge of God can be but one; so that succession is as competible to his essence as to his knowledge but that there can be no such thing in his essence as succession of parts, nor by consequence in his knowledge as first and last, is plain, in that his essence (and so his knowledge) is eternal, yea, eternity itself, which excludes all possibility of succession.  Again, if God should know one thing after another, what he knows at one time he would not actually know at another; but when he hath the actual knowledge of one thing, he would have but only the power of knowing other things, and so would be compounded of act and power, and by consequence would not be absolutely simple, which notwithstanding that he is, we have proved before.  And thus it is that we say God is of infinite wisdom.

      Lastly, he is of infinite goodness too, as well as of infinite power and wisdom: where by being of infinite goodness, we are to understand that he is a God infinitely desirable by us, being infinitely amiable in himself: the bottomless ocean of all goodness in himself, and an overflowing fountain of goodness unto us.  So that whatsoever good we do enjoy, we receive from him; whatsoever good we can desire, we may have in him.  And herein consisteth the right notion of goodness, even in the relation that it bears to us by being convenient for us, and therefore desirable by us.  And in this sense is God, and God, only, said to be of infinite goodness, that is, such a one of whose convenience to us and desirableness by us there is no bounds or limits but let him be as much as may be desired by us, he is still more desirable in himself.

      And for the proof of all this we shall first consult the scriptures.  First, that he is a God of infinite power is certain from scripture, for he is God Almighty, Gen. 35:11.  He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength; who hath hardened himself against him and prospered? Job 9:4.  Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? chap. 11:7.  As if he should say, Canst thou find out the bounds and limits of his power and greatness? canst thou tell where it will end and be perfected? is not he infinite in power?  Yea, he can do every thing, Job 42:2.  Yea, he hath done whatsoever he pleaseth, Psalm 115:3. And the reason is, because with God nothing shall be unpossible, Luke 1:37.  With men this is unpossible; but with God all things are possible, Matt. 19:26.  And that he is of infinite wisdom also is plain.  For he is the only wise God, 1 Tim. 1:17; Rom. 16:27, Jude 25.  He knoweth all things, John 21:17, 1 John 3:20.  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; for all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do, Heb. 4:13.  For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.  Whither therefore shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there, &c. Psalm 139:4, 7, 8, &c.; and why so, but because he is of infinite wisdom, or, as himself saith, his understanding is infinite, Ps. 147:5.

      Lastly, for his goodness, it is called great goodness, Ps. 145:7.  He is good to all, and his mercy is over all his works, ver. 9.  Yea, there is none good but God, Mark 10:18; Luke 18:19.  None essentially, none originally, none infinitely good but God.  Therefore doth David cry out, whom have I in heaven but thee? neither is there any upon earth my soul desires besides thee, Psalm 73:25.  And if he be thus the centre of all our desires, he must needs be the perfection of all goodness, or, as it is here expressed, a God of infinite goodness.

      The scripture being so plentiful, I need not be prolix in producing reasons to back this truth; especially itself being so clear, that none that hath the right understanding of it can deny subscription to it.  For if I say God is God, it will necessarily follow, that he is of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness; for all these are perfections which it is impossible for us to abstract from the notion of a Deity.  And not only the things themselves, but the infinitude of them is a perfection also without which God would be imperfect, and so not God.  Again, wisdom, power, and goodness, being all perfections; are necessary properties in God, and so the very essence of God; it being impossible for God to be God, and yet to have any thing in him which is not himself; and therefore his essence being infinite, (as it must be if it be the essence of God,) these his properties cannot but be infinite too.

      And these reasons serve to prove in general, that all these perfections of power, wisdom, and goodness, are infinitely in God.  We shall now consider them distinctly.  And first, as for his power, reason cannot but grant him to be the First Cause, or cause of all causes, and therefore must needs acknowledge him to have all power in his hand; so that nothing can be possible which he cannot do, and therefore he must needs be able to do all things that are possible.  Nay, we cannot so properly say God can do any thing because it is possible, as therefore is any thing possible because God can do it; for the possibility of any thing’s being done is grounded merely upon God’s power and ability to do it so that the possibility of any thing’s being done, as well as the thing itself that is thus possible to be done, must depend upon God as the first cause; otherwise, there would be something in the world which he would not be the cause of.  And if to this we consider what God hath or can do, we shall easily grant him to be of infinite power: for God can make any thing of * nothing, as when he made the world and all the creatures in it of no preexisting matter; he can make nothing of any thing, there being no greater power required to make any thing nothing, than there is to make nothing any thing: yea, he can make any thing of any thing; of stones he can raise up children to Abraham; and all this he can do with means or without means, or with contrary means, howsoever, whensoever, wheresoever himself pleaseth: so that one thing is not * easier or harder to him than another; a whole army is no more able to resist him than a silly fly; he can as easily make ten thousand worlds as one, and any thing in the world as easily as we can think a thought.  For he doth but will any thing to be done, and in himself say fiat, and immediately whatsoever his will is should be done gathers up itself out of nothing, or some preexisting matter, as himself pleaseth, and becomes just what himself willed should be.  And what is, if this be not, to be of infinite power?

      Neither can reason discover less of the infinitude of his wisdom than power.  For, he being the First Cause, his wisdom must needs be answerable to his power; otherwise let his power be never so great, yet of himself he could do nothing.  For if he be not as wise as powerful, what he doth must either be done by chance or by the direction of another if by chance, then he is not the First Cause, for that is always a necessary, never an accidental cause; if by the direction of another, wanting wisdom in himself, then he would not be the First Cause neither, but rather an instrument in the other’s hand to do what he pleaseth so that to be the First Cause infinite wisdom is required also, as well as infinite power and not only to be the First Cause, but to be of infinite power, it is also necessary that he be of infinite wisdom, it being impossible for him to do more than he knows and therefore if his wisdom and knowledge be not, his might and power cannot be infinite; especially considering that impotence, or want of power to know all things, is itself a contradiction to omnipotence in doing all things; this being one thing, which omnipotence must be able to do, or not be omnipotence, even to know all things.

      Lastly, reason also is as confident in attributing goodness as wisdom and power, to the Deity; nay therefore because it attributes infinite wisdom and power, it cannot but attribute infinite goodness also to him for he that is infinitely wise and powerful in himself cannot but be infinitely good; wisdom and power being two perfections much to be desired, and therefore such things as we cannot but term good; the very nature of goodness consisting in desirableness.  Again, he that is the chiefest good must needs be of infinite goodness; for otherwise, other things may be as good as he, and then he would not be the chiefest good.  Now that God is the chiefest good is certain; for otherwise he would have some other above him, if he be not in all things, and so in goodness too, supreme, he must have a superior, or howsoever an equal, and so himself would not be the first and prime cause, and so not God.  But I need not expatiate upon these things, for he that is infinite in one perfection cannot but be so in all; and therefore goodness being a perfection, yea perfection itself, (for goodness and perfection are convertible terms,) he cannot but be of infinite goodness as well as of infinite power and wisdom.

      And if we inquire of the Fathers concerning these perfections in God, Justin tells us, * “God hath not a measured power; therefore to him there is nothing but what is fit to produce whatsoever he pleaseth; neither doth the cutting in pieces nor burning of bodies hinder him that he cannot raise them up again.  For God doth not work by the law and measure of nature, but by the power of his own will, which wanteth nothing to produce what he pleaseth.”  And Tertullian; * “They do not know God aright, that do not think that he can do what they do not think.”  And, * “There is nothing difficult to God: who doth not know it?  And the things that are impossible with men are possible with God . who is ignorant of it?  And God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise all this we have read.”  And again, * “Truly there is nothing difficult to God; but if we use this assertion so abruptly in our presumptions, we might feign any thing of God, as if he hath done it because he can do it.  But because he can do all things we are not therefore to believe that he did that also which he never did; but we must inquire whether he did it or no.”  And Origen; * “According to us God can do all things, which being able to do, he doth not therefore desist from being God, and good, and wise.”  And Damascen, reckoning the various names and properties of God, he brings in this as one; * “Power, known by no measure, for it is measured only by his own will, for he can do whatsoever he will.”  And St. Augustine in his Soliloquies speaks thus to the great God: * “Thy almighty hand, which is always one and the same, created angels in heaven and worms upon earth: not higher in those, not lower in these.  For as no other hand could make an angel, so neither could any other make a worm as none else could create heaven, so neither could any one else create the least leaf upon the tree; as none else could make a body, so neither can any one else make an hair black or white; but only thy almighty hand, to which all things are alike possible.  For it is not more possible for him to create a worm than an angel nor more impossible to stretch out the heavens than a leaf.”

      And concerning the wisdom of God the same Father speaks excellently: * “But the Spirit of God is called in scripture manifold wisdom, because it hath many things in itself: but what it hath, that it is, and himself alone is all these things.  For they are not many but one wisdom, in which there are great and infinite treasures of intelligible things; in which are all the invisible and unchangeable reasons of things, even of such things as are visible and changeable, which were made by it.”  And elsewhere: * “Wherefore if the infinitude of numbers cannot be infinite to the knowledge of God, by which it is comprehended; what are we poor men, that we should presume to set bounds to his knowledge, saying, that unless the same temporal things be repeated over again in the same circuits of times, all things that God hath done he either cannot foreknow that he may do them, or not know them when he hath done them.  Whose wisdom, simply manifold and uniformly various, by such an incomprehensible comprehension comprehendeth all incomprehensible things.”  And St Hilary; * “His wisdom is innumerable, seeing he discerneth all things by their names and number.”  And as for his goodness, Athenagoras saith, * “God being perfectly good is always doing good.”  Justin Martyr calls him, * “The greatest of goods, or the chiefest good.”  And so St. Augustine; * “The chiefest good, above which there is no good, is God and by this he is the unchangeable, and therefore the truly eternal and immortal good.  But all other goods are only from him, not of him.”  And, to name no more in so plain a case, Tertullian calls him goodness itself; saying, * “Goodness said, Let Us make man; Goodness formed man of the dust of the earth into such a substance of flesh endowed with so many qualities out of one matter; Goodness breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,” &c.  So that as scripture and reason is clear, so are the Fathers confident in avouching one and true God to be of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness.


The Maker and Preserver of all things both visible and invisible.

      What God is in himself he hath manifested himself to be to us, and that both in his word and by his works.  His word we shall have occasion to treat of hereafter; his works here, viz. those two great works, (if they may be called two,) his creation and preservation of the world; in both which he hath discovered the truth of that part of the article which we have even now taken off our pen from.  For if his power had not been infinite, he would not have been strong enough; if his wisdom had not been infinite, he would not have been wise enough; and if his goodness had not been infinite, he would not have been good enough to have made and preserved such a glorious fabric as the world is we live in.  Yea, the glory of all these perfections was wonderfully displayed in his creation of the world.  His infinite power appeared not only in making all things of nothing, but also in that he made plants, herbs, and trees before he made the sun, moon, and stars, without which naturally they cannot be produced.  His infinite wisdom appeared in that he first made the simple elements, then the mixed bodies; and in that those things were first created which had only a being without life, as all inanimate creatures; then such as had a being and life, but without sense, as plants; then such as had a being, life, and sense, but without reason, as the brute beasts; and then, last of all, such as had a being, life, sense, and reason, as man.  And his infinite goodness also discovered itself in that he made the habitations before he made the inhabitants, food before them that were to eat it, and all things that man was to make use of before man that was to make use of them.  So well may we say, He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom; and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion, Jer. 10:12.  And thus hath he manifested himself to be a God of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, by being the maker and preserver of all things; that is, in that there is nothing in the world besides himself that was not made and is not preserved by himself.  The angels above us, the devils below us, the world about us, the souls within us, are all the workmanship of his hands.

      First, he is the maker of all things, or he made all things, and that not of any thing, but of nothing; so that before he made it there was nothing at all made.  The sun, moon, and stars, with the rest of their fellow creatures, all lay in the barren womb of nothing, not appearing to any, having no being in themselves.  This barren womb of nothing did the almighty word of God deliver of the world and all things therein contained; having no preexistent nor coexistent matter to make them of; nor any thing but his own infinite power to make them by.  It was the opinion of some ancient philosophers, that out of nothing * nothing can be produced: but it is the faith of all sound Christians, * that out of nothing all things were created.  So that there is nothing but what was made of nothing besides God, who was never made at all, but was himself the maker of all things besides himself.

      And this must needs be the purport of the words visible and invisible in the article; which so immediately contradicting one another, cannot but comprehend all things possible within themselves.  The things that are seen and the things that are not seen being all understood by them, and therefore the matter also that all things were made of, as well as the things themselves that were made of that matter, must needs be comprehended under them.  So that to say God made all things of something is a contradiction for he that saith there is something which God never made, but made all things of, and yet he made all things, doth plainly contradict himself; that something being also necessarily comprehended under all things.

      Neither was he the maker only, but the preserver also of all things that were ever made.  For when he had produced all things out of nothing, he did not leave them to themselves, as an artificer, who when he hath done his work hath done with his work; no, should God thus leave all things he hath made of nothing to themselves, they would all of themselves again fall down to nothing.  And therefore as he at first bestowed their beings upon them, he is still pleased to continue their beings to them; preserving every species by procreation of individuals, and every individual by nutrition proper to itself.  And so in the constant vicissitude and orderly succession of one thing after another, there was nothing made by him at the first beginning of time but what is preserved by him from time to time.  And so he is not only the maker, but also the preserver of all things visible and invisible.

      And if for the proof of this we consult the scriptures, the first words of them expressly tell us, that In the beginning God created heaven and earth, Gen. 1:1; that is, in the first beginning of time, before which there was nothing but eternity; and in the first beginning of all things, before which there was nothing that had a beginning, did God of nothing make all things.  First I say, he made all things of nothing; for though the word * barah may not always signify the production of any thing out of nothing; and so we cannot raise any convincing argument from the word itself, so as to say because God barah, therefore he made all things of nothing; yet it cannot possibly be taken in any other sense here than to signify the producing of something, yea, of all things, out of nothing.  For suppose the word in itself should import no more than that he made all things yet here it necessarily implies that he made them of nothing; because it is here expressed that it was in the beginning that he made all things, and therefore before which there was nothing that he could make any thing of.  For if there had been any thing he could make any thing of, before he is here said to create heaven and earth, he could not have been said to have created them in the beginning, there being something begun, and so a beginning before that.  Secondly, as from these words it may rationally be deduced that he made all things of nothing, so also that of nothing he made all things; I mean, there is nothing in the world but what is comprehended under one of these two words heaven and earth.  And it is usual in the Hebrew tongue, * having no one word to express it by, as other languages have, to join these two words, heaven and earth, together, and under them to comprehend the whole circumference of all created beings; which we call the world or universe.  And there is no place of scripture where they come together, but they are to be taken in that comprehensive sense.  And in this God himself seems to be his own interpreter, who in one place saith, in six days he made heaven and earth, Exod. 31:17; in another place, that in six days he made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, Exod. 20:11.  And St. Paul most excellently, not only explains the phrase, but confirms the truth, saying, that by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him, Col. 1:16.  Which place being itself so clear, plain, and full a proof of it, I need not produce any more to prove that God is the maker of all things, visible and invisible.

      Neither do the scriptures testify his creation only, but his preservation also of all things in the world.  For we did not only at the first receive our beings from him, but even now, in him we live, move, and have our being. * Acts 17:28.  And not only we, but all things in the world are as well preserved by him, as at the first they received their beings from him: what David saith of some we may apply to all creatures.  These wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.  That thou givest them they gather thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.  Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.  Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created thou renewest the face of the earth, Psalm 104:27–30. Psalm 145:15.  It is he who covereth, the heavens with clouds, who prepareth, rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.  He giveth, to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which, cry, Psalm 17:8, 9.  It is he who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, 1 Tim. 6:17.  It is he who stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth, the earth upon nothing.  He bindeth, up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under them, Job 26:7, 8, &c.  It is he that maketh, his sun to rise upon the evil and upon the good, and sendeth, rain upon the just and upon the unjust, Matt. 5:45.  Without whom not so much as a sparrow shall fall on the ground.  By whom the hairs of our heads are numbered, Matt. 10:29, 30.  In a word, it is he that upholdeth all things by the word of his power, * Heb. 1:3: without whom therefore nothing in the world could stand; but all things would immediately fall down into their first nothing.  So closely do the scriptures hold forth God as the maker and preserver of all things visible and invisible.

      And though some of the ancient naturalists have been thought to assert the eternity of the world, as * Aristotle; and others to deny an universal providence; either holding all things to fall out by chance, as the Epicureans, or else from a fatal necessity, without the concurrent providence of a Deity, as the Stoicks; yet we cannot thence conclude it beyond the reach of reason to find the contrary to be true.  Nay, certainly if we pass our judgment upon creation and providence from the certain conclusions of unbiased reason, without having respect to the scriptures at all, it can be no other than that God is as really the maker and preserver of all things, as he is God.  For, first, unless he made all things, how can he be termed the First Cause, or by consequence God? unless he be the cause of all causes, how can he be termed the First Cause? and unless he be the cause of all things, how can he be the cause of all causes?  And therefore if there be any thing he is not the cause of, or which he did not make, how is he the cause of all things?  No certainly, to say he made not all things is as much as to say he is not the First Cause, as really as to say he is not the First Cause is as much as to say he is not God.  Again, unless God made all things there is something in the world that was either made by itself, by some other person besides God, or else it was never made at all.  To say any thing was made by itself is a contradiction, for then it would be and not be at the same time: it would not be, because not made; it would be, because it could make itself; it being impossible for any thing to act which doth not exist.  If it was made by any other person besides God, either there must be two infinites, (which I have proved impossible) or else a finite power must be able to make any thing of nothing, which is impossible also; for upon that very account, because it can make any thing of nothing, it is infinite for that which can make any thing of nothing, can do any thing at all, there being nothing harder to be done than that; because there cannot be a greater distance betwixt any two things than there is betwixt any thing and nothing, the one being immediately contradictory to the other.  And he that can do the hardest thing that is possible to be done cannot have any bounds or limits of his power, and therefore must needs be infinite.

      Thus there can be nothing in the world made of itself, or by any other person besides God; it remains therefore, that it was either never made at all, or else made by God.  That there should be any thing in the world besides God never made at all, is impossible; for then God would not be the cause of all things besides himself, and so not God.  Again, if there be any thing in the world besides God that was never made, it must needs be eternal as God himself: for if it was never made, it had no beginning; if it had no beginning, it must needs be eternal.  Now it is impossible any thing should be eternal as God, and not be God; for absolute eternity is a perfection, and therefore cannot but be acknowledged an essential property in God, and so the very essence of God; which therefore no person can have but he that hath the essence of God, which to say any but God can have is a contradiction.  This also would quite destroy that old axiom, * that every thing that is or hath any being is either the Creator or a creature: so that unless it be the Creator, it is a creature; and if it be not a creature, it is a Creator: which likewise was grounded upon a certain truth, that there must be some First Cause upon which all other causes, and so things, necessarily depend; which if there be any thing neither the Creator nor the creature, neither the First Cause itself nor dependent upon the First Cause, is a manifest untruth: which if granted would make all the logic and reason of all the philosophers in the world to be but dreams and fancies.  But that it is not a falsity, but a real truth, such a truth as that the denying of it will force us into a contradiction, I have proved before.

      Having proved the great God to be the maker of all things, I need not heap up many arguments to prove he is the preserver also of all that he hath made.  For the principal reasons which may be brought for the one may be produced for the other too.  The great reason why God must be acknowledged the maker of all things, is, because he cannot but be acknowledged the First Cause.  And if he be the First Cause, it as necessarily follows that he preserves all things now, as that he made them all at the first.  For though he did make all things, and so was the First Cause of all things; yet he cannot be said to be the cause of all things now, unless he preserves them as well as made them.  For not only at the beginning of the world, but even now, there are and will be several causes in the world, till the end of it, all which must necessarily depend upon one another, and therefore at the length come to some First Cause, that hath all other causes depending upon it; itself depending upon nothing.  Now unless God hath now a hand in the preserving, as well as he had in the making of things, no cause could depend upon him, and so now he would not be the First Cause, and therefore not God.

      And if to this we consider how there is as great power requisite for the preserving as for the making of the world, we shall easily find, that as none but God could make it, so there is none but God can preserve it.  Now that there is as great power requisite for the one as for the other is plain.  For preservation is commonly defined by some, and acknowledged by all, to be but a continued creation and they only differ in this, that creation implies the creature to be made now; preservation implies it to be made heretofore.  So that creation includes novelty, which preservation excludes; and excludes precedent existence, which preservation includes but in all things else, and therefore in this also, they agree, that they both proceed from the infiniteness of God’s power.  Again, either an infinite power is required to preservation as well as creation, or else a finite power can do it but it is impossible for any finite power to preserve all things, for itself being finite is a creature too, and therefore needs preservation itself as much as the things it is supposed to preserve, and so will all finite powers whatsoever; and therefore we must at length come to an infinite power that preserves all things in the world: and is itself preserved by nothing but itself, and that is God.

      But could not God make an independent creature, that needed not the continual concourse of his power to uphold and support it in its being?  And may not the world be such a thing?  I answer, it is a contradiction, and therefore no derogation from, but the perfection of God’s power, that he cannot do it.  An independent creature is as much as to say an uncreated creature; for if it be created, it must necessarily depend upon him that created it; yea, to say any thing is an independent creature, is as much as to say, it is both the Creator and the creature; for independency is an essential property of God, and therefore he that is independent must needs be God; and hence it is, that we must conclude that all creatures, and so every thing besides God, in that they are creatures and not God, must necessarily and continually depend upon God their Creator.  So that as if he had not made them they could never have been, so if he doth not preserve them they cannot subsist, or continue in their being.  So that it is far more impossible for a creature to * subsist without God, than for light to subsist without the sun.  His fiat made them, and his fiat can unmake them again.  Yea, he put his everlasting arms under them, and immediately raised them out of nothing, and holds them up in their being; if he should take his everlasting arms from under them, they would lose their beings again, and presently drop down to nothing.  As take a stone from off the ground, so long as you hold it, it will keep up, but let go your hold, and of itself it will fall down to the ground again from which you took it: so here, God takes us out of nothing: so long as he preserves and holds us up, we subsist; but if he let go his hold, alas in the twinkling of an eye, we are where we were at first, in nothing.  All which things being seriously considered, cannot but extort the confession from any person in the world, that God is the maker and preserver of all things visible and invisible.

      And this hath been the Christian faith in all ages, The Fathers all agree in it, usually joining them both (viz. creation and providence) together; and therefore I shall not separate them in my citations of them.  First Justin Martyr: * “But this is the work of Providence (speaking of heaven and earth) which made this universe of various parts, differing both in their nature and use.”  The next is Athenagoras: * “It behoves them that believe God to be the Creator of the universe, to attribute the custody and care of all things to his wisdom and justice, if they will but stick to their own principles and seeing they hold this, there is nothing in earth or heaven that they should think to be destitute of this his care and providence; but that the care of the Creator is over all things whatsoever, visible and invisible, great and little for all things that are want the care of their Creator, and every thing peculiarly according to its own nature, and the end it was created for.”  And Tertullian: * “But that which we worship is one God, who in the glory of his majesty, out of nothing brought all that bulk, with every instrument of the elements, bodies, spirits, by his word commanding it, by his wisdom disposing it, by his power perfecting it.”  And again: * “The rule of truth requires that we first believe in God the Father and Lord Almighty, that is, the most perfect Creator of all things; who hanged the heavens on high, and founded the earth below, diffused the seas, and replenished and adorned all these with their proper and condign instruments and furniture.”  Next to him is Clemens Alexandrinus: * “The doctrine that is according to Christ both acknowledgeth the Creator, and that providence reacheth even to particular things.”  And Arnobius: * “Is there any religion more true, profitable, powerful, and just, than to know God to be the chief, and to know to supplicate this chief God, who alone is the head of all good things, and the fountain, the founder and maker of perpetual things, by whom all celestial and terrestrial things are animated and irrigated by vital motion; and who if he was not, truly there could not be any thing that could bear any name or substance ?”  And so Athanasius: * “There is nothing made that was not made, and doth not subsist in and by him.”  And again: * “But as he is good, by his own Word, which is God too, he governeth and constituteth all things, that the creature being illustrated by the guidance, command, and disposition of his Word and Reason, might stand firm; forasmuch as it is admitted into the communion and fellowship with him, who truly is, and from him it received power to exist, that it might not suffer those things by the flowing of its essence which otherwise it would have suffered; I mean, it would not be, unless that Word preserved it, which is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature; because by him and in him doth every thing consist, invisible and visible.”  And presently after: * “For in a moment, at the beck of the Word of God, are all things alike dispensed, and every thing hath what is peculiar to it, and the same order is perfected in all things; for at the beck and by the power of the Divine and paternal Word, the governor and moderator of all things, heaven is turned about, the stars move, the sun displays his light, the moon runs her course, and the air is enlightened by it.”  And the same Father expounding the Christian faith, begins it thus: * “We believe in one unbegotten God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible, having his being of himself.”  The next is Theodoret: * “Behold the providence of God bending itself, and prying into every particle of the creation, shining in them, sounding and even speaking in them.”  The next is Chrysostom; who upon those words of our Saviour, My Father worketh, hitherto, and I work, saith, * “What manner of work is this?  He looketh over and disposeth all things that are made.  When thou seest therefore the sun rising, the moon running, the lakes, and fountains, and rivers, and showers, and the course of nature in seeds and in bodies, both ours and beasts’, and all things of which this universe consisteth; learn and consider the continual working of the Father.”  For as Cyril of Alexandria saith: * “Without God and the supreme will, the heavens could not water the earth; neither could the earth bring forth its fruit in season.”  * “Yea, it is from him,” as OEcumenius saith, “that we receive both our being, our ability to act, and our preservation from destruction:” so well may the one living and true God be termed the maker and preserver of all things visible and invisible.


And in the unity of this Godhead there he three Persons, of one substance,

power, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

      That there is but one living and true God, was the first part of this article; that in this unity of Godhead there be three Persons is the last; there the Unity of the Godhead, here the Trinity in the Godhead is expressly delivered.  A mystery, which though it be not too great for a divine faith to believe, yet it is too high for our human understandings to conceive.  And therefore having settled my faith firmly upon it, I am * fearful to discourse much about it; being conscious to myself, how easy, and withal how dangerous a thing it is, to mistake and err in so great and * unspeakable a mystery as this is.  If I think of it, how hard is it to contemplate upon one numerically Divine nature in more than one and the same person; or upon three Divine persons in no more than one and the same Divine nature!  If I speak of it, how difficult is it to find out fit words for the explication of it!  If I say, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost be three, and every one distinctly God, it is true; but if I say, they be three, and every one a distinct God, it is false.  I may say, the Divine persons are distinct in the Divine nature; but I cannot say, the Divine nature is divided in those Divine persons.  I may say, God the Father is not the Son, God the Son is not the Father, and God the Holy Ghost is neither Father nor Son; yet I cannot say, the Father is not the same God with the Son, or the Son is not the same God with the Father, or the Holy Ghost is not the same God with the Father and the Son.  I may say, in the sacred Trinity, or among the Divine persons, there is one before another, and one greater than another; yet I cannot say, in the sacred Deity, or in the Divine nature, there is one greater than another, or one * before another.  I can say, God the Father is eternal, God the Son is eternal, God the Holy Ghost is eternal; yet I cannot say there are three eternals.  I may say, the Father is one God, the Son is one God, the Holy Ghost is one God; yet I cannot say, the Father is one God, the Son is another God, and the Holy Ghost is a third God.  Again, I may say, the Father begot the Son, the Son was begotten of the Father, and the Holy Ghost proceeded from the Father and the Son; and so he that was God begot him that was God, and a third person, who was God too, proceeded from two, each of which was God; yet I cannot say, one God begot another God, or from two Gods issued forth a third God.  Or thus, I may say, the Father begat another, who was God; yet I cannot say, he begat another * God: and from the Father and the Son proceeded another, who is God; yet I cannot say, from the Father and the Son proceed another God.  For all this while, though their nature be the same, yet their persons are distinct; and though their persons be distinct, yet their nature is the same.  So hard a thing is it to word so great a mystery aright, or to fit so high a truth with expressions suitable to it, without going one way or other awry from it.

      Hence it is that I shall not use many words about it, lest some or other slip from me unbecoming of it.  In brief therefore, here it is said, that in the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons; that is, though there be but one living and true God, yet there are three Persons, who are that one living and true God.  Though the true God be but one in substance, yet he is three in subsistence; and so three in subsistence as still to be but one in substance.  And these three Persons, every one of which is God, and yet all, three but one God, are really related to one another: as they are termed in the scripture, one is a Father, the other a Son, the other an Holy Ghost.  The first is Father to the second; the second is Son to the first, the third is neither Father nor Son, but the issue or Spirit of both.  The first was a Father from eternity, as well as God , the second was God from eternity, as well as a Son, the third was both Holy Ghost and God from eternity, as well as either of them.  The Father is the first person in the Deity; not begotten, nor proceeding, but begetting: the Son the second person; not begetting nor proceeding, but begotten: the Holy Ghost the third; not begotten, nor begetting, but proceeding.  The first is called the Father, because he begot the second; the second is called the Son, because he is begotten of the Father; the third is called the Holy Ghost, because breathed both from the Father and the Son.

      And though these be really thus amongst themselves distinct from one another, yet are they not distinct in the Divine nature they be not distinct in essence, though they be distinct in the manner of their subsisting in it.  The Father subsists as a Father; the Son as a Son; the Holy Ghost as a Spirit; and so have distinct subsistences, yet have all the same numerical substance.*  I say numerical or individual substance; for otherwise they might have all the same Divine nature, and yet not be the same God.  As Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were three distinct persons, that had all the same human nature, yet they could not all be called one man; because, though they had but one human nature, yet they had it specifically as distinguished into several individuals, not numerically so as to be the same individual man: and therefore, though they had but one specific, they had several numerical natures; by which means Abraham was one man, Isaac another, Jacob a third.  And upon the very same account is it, that among the angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, though they have the same angelical nature, yet they are nut the same angel.  But here the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost have not only the same Divine nature in specie, but in numero; and so have not only one and the same nature, but are also one and the same God.  The Father is the selfsame individual God with the Son; the Son is the selfsame individual God with the Father; and the Holy Ghost is the selfsame individual God with them both.  I say, individual God; for the Divine nature is not *divided into several Gods, as the human is into several men; but only distinguished into several persons; every one of which hath the same undivided Divine nature, and so is the same individual God.  And thus it is, that in the unity of the Godhead there be three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, which great mystery, though we be not able to conceive of it, yet the scriptures give a sufficient testimonial to it.

      Now though this mystery hath received great light by the rising of the Sun of righteousness upon the world, yet it did not lie altogether undiscovered before; there being sufficient testimonies in the Law as well as in the Gospel of it. I shall make use of both, that by the mouth of two infallible witnesses, (the Law and Gospel,) this great truth may be established.  First, of the Old Testament, which will furnish us with several testimonies of it, though not with so many as commonly are forced from it. God being so frequently styled Elohim, and saying in the first of Genesis, * Let us make man, may denote a plurality, but cannot convince any gainsayer of a trinity of persons in the sacred Deity.  And the angels crying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts, Isa. 6:3, may be a stronger argument for the super-eminent sanctity, than for the sacred Trinity in the Divine nature.

      But there are two or three places which seem to be very convincing; as, The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and his word by my tongue, 2 Sam. 23:2.  Where we have Jehovah, the Spirit of Jehovah, and the Word of Jehovah, which is his Son, as I shall shew afterwards, plainly and distinctly set down together.  So also, by the Word of Jehovah were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth, Psalm 33:6.  Where we have again Jehovah himself, his word, and his breath or Spirit distinctly expressed.  And again, Behold my servant whom I uphold, mine elect in whom my soul delighted: I have put my Spirit capon him, and he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, Isa. 42:1.  Where Jehovah the Lord is speaking of Christ his servant, there are two persons; and saith, he will put his Spirit upon him, there is the third.

      Thus we might discover this truth even in the Old Testament, but in the New we can scarce look over it.  Where we may read how, when Jesus was baptized, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.  And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is any beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Matt. 3:16.  Had we, who know nothing but by our senses, been present at this time with Jesus at Jordan, our very senses would have conveyed this truth to our understandings, whether we would or no.  Here we should have heard a voice from heaven; whose was it but God the Father’s?  Here we should have seen Jesus coming out of Jordan; who was that but God the Son? And here we should have seen something else too, in the form of a dove; and who was that but God the Spirit?  Thus was God the Father heard speaking; God the Son seen ascending; and God the Holy Ghost descending upon him.  The first was heard in the sound of a * voice; the second was seen in the form of a man; the third was beheld in the shape of a dove.  O mystery of mysteries! that so high a mystery should be brought within the reach of sense!

      Thus we read how Christ, when upon earth, said, when he went to his Father, he would pray him, and then he would send the Spirit, John 14:16, 17, 26; 15:26; 16:7, 13, 14, 15: where we may observe the Son praying the Father, the Father hearing the Son, and both of them sending the Holy Ghost.  Thus saith the angel to Mary; The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that Holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God, Luke 1:35: where God the Father sends an angel unto Mary; God the Son is promised to be born of her; and therefore God the Holy Ghost to overshadow her.  Thus it is said, God (the Father) hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, Gal. 4:6.  And therefore the apostle wishing all happiness to the Corinthians, concludes his Epistle with a holy prayer to all the Persons in the sacred Trinity for them, saying, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all, 2 Cor. 13:14.

      There is still behind, besides some other that it might be proved from, one eminent place to confirm this truth: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19.  As the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost appeared together when John baptized Christ; so must all Christians, that thenceforth shall be baptized, be baptized in the name of all three.  Where we have observable the Trinity in the Deity, the Deity of the Trinity, and the order of the persons in that Divine Trinity.  1st.  The Trinity in the Deity; for here are plainly three; Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  2ndly.  The Deity of the Trinity, that every person is God; for here Divine worship is to be performed to them all; and all that profess the true religion must be baptized in the name of every one as well as of any one of them: and 3rdly, here is the order betwixt the sacred persons in the Deity, first, the Father; secondly, the Son , thirdly, the Holy Ghost.

      It is clear therefore, that there are no more and no fewer persons in the sacred Deity than three; but how doth it appear that these three persons are all but one God?  Plainly, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one, 1 John 5:7, that is, one God.  Though this place of scripture be not extant in many ancient manuscripts, nor indeed in many ancient translations; yet in the days of * Arius, the grand oppugner of this truth, about three hundred and thirty years after Christ, it was never so much as questioned, and many of the ancient * fathers quote it.  Which plainly shews that it was then received as canonical scripture, and therefore not to be questioned by us now.

      And if we proceed to reason, here also, though the unity of the Godhead be a truth which from natural principles may easily be demonstrated, yet the Trinity in the unity is a mystery which by the light of nature could never be discovered forasmuch as our senses cannot perceive it, our tongues cannot express it, our experience cannot teach it, neither can our reason comprehend it.

      It is true, Trismegist, Plato, and others seem by the light of reason to have seen into this hidden mystery; but if we weigh their words and sentences, we shall find they speak of three Divine essences, rather than of three distinct persons in the same essence.  And the glimmering light they had is thought to be borrowed from such as had seen or heard of the scriptures, rather than to have sprung from their own reasons. it is true also, that reason may offer at some dark resemblances of this great mystery; * as, the sun begets beams, and from the sun and beams together proceed light and heat; yet one is not before another, but only in order and relation to one another.  * So in waters, there is the fountain or wellhead; then there is the spring that boils out of that fountain; then there is the stream that proceeds from both the fountain and the spring; and all these are but one and the same water.  So God the Father is the fountain of Deity; the Son, as the spring, boils up out of that fountain; and the Holy Ghost, that flows from both.  But such and the like instances may serve to illustrate this mystery to such as do believe it, but are no demonstrations of it to such as do deny it.

      That which looks the most like a reason is drawn from God’s understanding and knowing of himself, and so in himself begetting the lively image of himself, (as a man that looks in a glass begets the image of his own face,) and this is the second Person in the Trinity, called therefore the express image of his Father’s person: and from this God’s looking upon himself, and representing himself to himself, cannot but proceed delight and rejoicing in himself; whereby the Father and the Son delight in one another (as a man looking in a glass, if he smiles, his image in the glass smiles too, and seems to do whatsoever himself doth); and this mutual love to and joy in one another, is a third manner of being or subsistence in the Godhead, called the Holy Ghost.  But these and the like are subtle speculations rather than solid arguments, and have more of a roving fancy than of convincing reason in them.  Neither did I ever read or hear of any reason brought from natural principles for this mystery, but what by gainsayers might easily be evaded; not because it is contrary (to), but because it is above reason.  But howsoever that the Son is God, we shall prove in the next; that the Spirit is God, we shall prove in the fifth article; and that the Father is God, is acknowledged by all; and yet that there is but one God, we have proved before: from whence it will clearly follow, that there are three Persons, every one of which is God, and yet there is but one God.

      And this was the ancient doctrine of the church of Christ: * Justin Martyr saith expressly: “Truly there is one God over the whole universe, who is made known or acknowledged in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  For seeing the Father of his own substance begot the Son, and issued forth the Spirit, there is all the reason in the world that they that have one and the same essence should be acknowledged to have one and the same Divinity.”  And again: * “It is fit therefore that we should acknowledge and confess one God, made known unto us in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, acknowledging the several subsistences of one Deity; but as God, understanding the communion of those subsistences in the same essence.  For Unity is understood in the Trinity, and Trinity is acknowledged in that Unity.”  And elsewhere: * “There is one God in the coexistence of three Divine persons or subsistences, which are differenced from one another, not in their essence, but in manner of subsistence.  But the difference of the manners of existence doth not divide or difference what is in the essence.”  And so Gregory Nyssen * “In his essence he is but one; and therefore God commanded that they should look but upon one Name but by the known properties or subsistences, it is distinguished into the faith of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”  And so Liberius in his Epistle to Athanasius * “For neither the Son nor the Spirit is divided from the essence of the Father, which filleth heaven and earth.  There is therefore, as I said before, a Trinity in one substance, undivided, but one in essence, one in Deity, one in power, one in dominion, one in glory, one in likeness, and one in Spirit, for the Spirit is not divided.”  And Athanasius sends him word back again: * “And therefore is our faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in his Son the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.  For these are of one unity, one power, one substance, one essence, one glory, one dominion, one kingdom, in the image of the Trinity, consubstantial; by whom all things were made.”  And there are amongst others three questions, which Athanasius answers, that make much to clear this mystery, as well as to shew the judgment of the Fathers upon it.  * First, “What is common to the holy Trinity?”  To that he answers: * “The essence is common; the eternity is common; the power is common; the goodness is common; the wisdom, the justice is common for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost have all things common, or equally, but only their distinct properties.  For it is the property of the Father to be unbegotten; of the Son to be begotten; and of the Holy Ghost to proceed.”  Secondly, * “How many essences dost thou acknowledge in God?  I say, there is one essence, one nature, one form, one kind, one glory, one dignity, one dominion.”  But, thirdly, * “How many Persons dost thou acknowledge in God?  I acknowledge three Persons, three subsistences, three properties, three individuals, three characters.”

      But indeed there is scarce any of the Fathers but offer themselves to bear witness to this truth; but I shall add only some select places out of St. Austin that make for the explanation, as well as confirmation of it.  * “But the Trinity,” saith he, “is only one God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: not as if the Father was the same Person with the Son, or the Holy Ghost the same Person with the Father and Son; seeing there is in the Holy Trinity the Father of the only Son; the Son of the only Father; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit both of the Father and Son; but by reason of one nature, and inseparable life, the Trinity (as far as man by faith can pry into it) is understood to be our one Lord God, or, our one Lord God is the Trinity itself; of whom it is said, Thou shalt worship the Lord, and him only shalt thou serve.”  And presently after: * “And all these are not confusedly one, nor distinctly three; but they are so one as to be three, and so three as to be one.”  And again: * “This Trinity is of one and the same nature and substance; not less in every one than in all, nor greater in all than in every one: but as much in the Father only, or in the Son only, as in the Father and Son together; and as much in the Holy Ghost only, as it is both in Father, Son, and Holy Ghost together.”  And elsewhere: * “Wherefore the true God is a trinity in persons, but one in nature: and by this natural or essential unity the whole Father is in the Son and Holy Ghost; the whole Son in the Father and the Holy Ghost; and the whole Holy Ghost in the Father and Son.  None of them without any of the other; because none of them preceded the other in eternity, exceeds in greatness, or excels in strength.”  And lastly, in another place he saith: * “Plainly therefore, and without all doubt, it is to be believed, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one Almighty God, eternal, unchangeable: and every one of these is God, and all of them but one God: and every one of them is a full and perfect eternal substance, and altogether but one substance; for whatsoever the Father is, as he is God, as he is substance, as he is eternity, that is the Son, that is the Holy Ghost: and so whatsoever the Son is, as he is God, as he is substance, as he is eternity, that is the Father, that is the Holy Ghost: and whatsoever the Holy Ghost is, in that he is God, in that he is substance, in that he is eternity, that is the Father, that is the Son and therefore in all three there is but one Divinity, one essence, one omnipotence, and what else can be spoken substantially of God.”

      Neither hath this truth been affirmed by particular Fathers only, but decreed also in several councils, as by the first general council at * Constantinople, the second council at * Carthage, the fourth council at * Arles, the sixth at * Toledo, the * Lateran council, an. Dom. 649; yea, and by an ancient council here in n England held under archbishop Theodorus, about the year of our Lord 670.  But the fourth council at Toledo speaks the substance of them all: * “According to the holy scriptures,” say they, “ and the doctrine which we have received from the holy Fathers, we confess the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be of one Divinity and substance, believing a Trinity in the diversity of persons, and preaching unity in the Divine nature, we neither confound the Persons nor separate the substances.”  And thus we conclude that in the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Article  II

Of the Word, or Son of God, Which Was Made Very Man.

      The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the Manhood, were joined together in one person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man.


      In the former article we have proved that there is but one God, and that this one God is three Persons, and every one of those three Persons is one God, and yet all but one God.  In this we have the second Person, there spoken of, to be considered, called the Son; because begotten of the Father, not by spiritual regeneration, as other sons of God are, but by eternal generation, as none but himself is.  The Son, who is the * Word of God, which expression is taken from those words, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, John 1:1 which place being clearly to be understood of Christ, he is therefore called the Word in Greek, Logos, a word, or speech; because, as a man utters his mind by the words of his mouth, so doth God reveal his will and effect his pleasure by his * Son.  By the word of God were all things at the first made; he said, Let there be light, and there was light and God said, Let there be a firmament, &c., and there was so.  Hence the Apostle saith, By the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water, 2 Pet. 3:5; and, the worlds were framed by the word of God, Heb. 11:3; and the Psalmist, By the word of God were the heavens made; and all the hosts of them by the breath of his mouth, Psalm 33:6.  All which God is elsewhere said to do by his Son.  All things were made by him; and without him was nothing made that was made, John 1:3; the world was made by him, ver. 10, and by him (speaking of Christ) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, &c.; all things were created by him and for him. Col. 1:16.  And * therefore it is that the Son of God is called the Word of God; as also, because it was by him that he spake unto the Fathers, and gave them the promises; and because, as our words are the birth and effigies of our mind, so did Christ come from the Father, and is the express image and lively portraiture of him.  And though John be the only person that gives him this title in the New Testament, yet he was not the first that gave it him; but is rather thought to have taken it out of the * Chaldee Paraphrase of the Old Testament, which in our Saviour’s time was much in use, where it frequently occurreth.

      This Son, who is the Word of the Father, is said to be begotten of the Father.  Here he is said to be the Word of the Father, and not the Word of God; because he cannot so properly be said to be begotten of God as of the Father.  For here, as in the Trinity, we must have a great care how we speak concerning the Father’s begetting of the Son, and the Son’s being begotten of the Father, we may say the Father begot the Son, and so he that was God begot him that was God, but we must not say God begot God.  We may say one Divine person begot another; but we must not say one Divine nature begot another, for that would imply two Divine natures, one of which is begotten, the other not.  But how may we properly say then, the Son is begotten of the Father?  By receiving from the Father an unbegotten essence.  His person must be begotten of the Father, otherwise he would not be his Son; but his essence must be unbegotten, otherwise he would not be God.  And that Christ was begotten, and so begotten of the Father as to receive an unbegotten essence from him, is clear; but how the person of the Father, and not his essence, did beget; and how the person of the Son, and not his essence, was begotten, and so how the Son was begotten of the Father, is a mystery which was never revealed to us.  And therefore we are not to be too * curious to pry and search into it, especially seeing that it is beyond our capacities and abilities either to * express it aright to others, or to know and apprehend it aright in ourselves.  All the apprehensions that we can frame of it, is only by conceiving the person of the Father to have * communicated his Divine essence to the person of the Son, and so of himself begetting his other self the Son, by communicating his own unbegotten essence to him.  I say, by communicating, of his essence, not of his person, for then they would be both the same person, as now they have both the same essence.  The essence of the Father did not beget the Son by communicating his person to him, but the person of the Father begat the Son by communicating his essence to him; so that the person of the Son is begotten, not communicated; but the essence of the Son is communicated, not begotten.

      And this communication of the Divine essence of the Father to the Divine person of the Son was from everlasting, as the essence itself was.  For eternity is an essential property, yea, the very essence of God itself: and therefore the essence being, its eternity could not but be communicated to the Son; from whence he must of necessity be begotten of the Father from everlasting.  So that as the essence of the Father that was communicated to the Son, had not, so neither had the person of the Son, whose essence was so communicated from the Father, any beginning; but as the essence communicated was, so was the communication of that essence to the Son, from all eternity.

      Hence also it is here said, that the Son is very and eternal God, of one substance with, the Father: that is, of one essence or nature with the Father.  For his essence, as we have heard, is the selfsame individual essence that the Father’s is, communicated from the Father to him, the same eternal, almighty, all-wise, infinite, unbegotten, uncreated essence and therefore he is not another, but the same very and eternal God.  And so there is no difference, no nor distinction at all betwixt the Father and the Son in their essential, but only in their personal properties.  The Son is of the same substance and essence with the Father, but herein they differ, that * the Father hath his essence of himself, the Son of the Father; and so the person of the Father is not from the person of the Son, but from himself; whereas the person of the Son is not from himself, but from the person of the Father.  But his person is so begotten of the Father as to be the same in essence with him, very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.

      This Son of God, a distinct Person, but the same in substance with the Father, being the middle person betwixt the Father and the Spirit, undertakes to be Mediator betwixt God and man; by him the world was made, and by him therefore it was fitting it should be redeemed; which notwithstanding could not have been done by him, unless he became the Son of man in time, as well as he had been the Son of God from eternity.  Hereupon he took man’s nature he that had the nature of God communicated to him, hath the nature of man assumed by him.  Not as if the Divine nature was converted into or confounded with the human, but only the human nature is assumed into the Divine, so as to become perfectly man like unto us in all things, our sinful infirmities only excepted, in time, as he had been perfectly God, like to the Father in all things, his personal properties only excepted, from eternity.  And therefore man having two essential constitutive parts, a soul and a body, Christ in his assuming of the human nature was invested with both, * yea, and the natural infirmities of both too; he had a soul as well as we, he had a body as well as we, and he had his soul and body united together as well as we, and so was hungry and thirsty and weary and sorrowful, as we are.

      *This human nature he took in the Virgin’s womb of her substance.  As he was God, he had no mother; as he was man, he had no father as God, he had his Divine nature from his Father; as man, he had his human nature from his mother, whose womb was as the bride-chamber wherein the marriage knot betwixt the two natures was tied, never to be divided.  Neither did he only take the human nature in the Virgin’s womb, but of her substance, so that his human nature was as really of the same substance with his mother Mary, as his Divine nature was of the same substance with his Father God.  And as he was begotten of his Father without a mother from eternity, so was he born of his mother without a father in time.  His mother being a virgin after he was born, as really as she was a virgin before he was conceived.  I say, before he was conceived; for though he was not begotten of the Virgin by man, yet he was conceived in her by God, even by God the Holy Ghost miraculously overshadowing her.  The manner of which conception is as difficult to be understood by men, as the truth of it is evidently avouched by God.  Only this we know, that he was not so conceived by the Spirit as to have the Spirit for his father, as he had the Virgin for his mother , for though he was conceived by the Spirit, yet it is not said he was begotten of the Spirit and therefore the Spirit cannot be said to be father to him, generation being the ground of paternal relation.  But only he was so conceived by the Spirit of God as not to need to be begotten by man.

      Lastly, He so took the nature of man, as that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and the manhood, were joined together in one Person, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man.  So that as in the Trinity there be three Persons and yet but one nature, so here there be two natures and yet but one Person: so that the two natures do not either of them constitute a distinct Person, but both of them make up one and the same Person.  And therefore we must consider how the human nature had no subsistence in itself, by which it could be a distinct Person of itself, but its subsistence was only in the Divine Person: and also how as it was not a human person, but the human nature that was assumed, so it was not the Divine nature, but a Divine Person that did assume: and therefore this Divine Person, though he hath received one nature from his Father, and another from his mother, yet receiving them both into the * unity of his Person, though he hath two absolutely distinct natures, yet he is but one and the same Person, very God by his Divine, and very man by his human nature; which two natures being thus once united together, they can never be put asunder, but as Christ was God and not man from eternity, he will now be both God and man to eternity.

      And for the truth of all this we shall first consult the scriptures.  And here we have several things to be confirmed.  1. That the Son was begotten from everlasting of the Father.  2. That he is very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.  3. He took man’s nature upon him in the womb of the Virgin.  4. He so took man’s nature upon him, that he is but one and the same Person, having both these natures united together in himself.

      First, that “the Son was begotten from everlasting of the Father.”  And truly this the Father himself, who best knows the Son himself begets, assures us of, saying of this Jesus Christ we are speaking of, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Matt, 3:17.  And, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, Psalm 2:7.  Heb. 1:5.  Hence he is called the Son of the living God, Matt. 16:16: yea, the only begotten of the Father, John 1:14.  And that he was begotten from everlasting is as certain as that he was begotten at all of the Father: for it is expressly said by Christ, * The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.  I was set up from everlasting, or ever the earth was.  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water, before the mountains were settled: before the hills was I brought forth. Prov. 8:22–5.  And he that was brought forth before time must needs be begotten from eternity.  Thus it is said also, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, John 1:1.  Where we may see, that in the beginning, before the world was, the Word was; yea, it was by the Word that the world was created, ver. 3, which could not be unless himself was before it and before the world was, there was nothing but eternity.  And therefore if he be before the world, he must needs have been from eternity.

      But what ground have we in scripture to say, The Son was begotten of the Father by receiving an unbegotten essence from him? or that the Father’s begetting of the Son was by communicating his own essence to him ?

      Why, this notion I ground upon those words, For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he * given to the Son to have life in himself, John 5:26.*  To have life in himself is an essential property of the Divine nature: and therefore wheresoever that is given or communicated, the nature itself must needs be given and communicated.  Now here we see God the Father communicated this his essential property, and so his own essence, to the Son; and by consequence, though he be a distinct person from him, yet he hath the same unbegotten essence with him, and so, as the Father hath life in himself, so hath the Son life in himself, and so all the other properties of the Divine essence, only with this personal distinction, the Father hath this having life in himself, not from the Son but from himself; whereas the Son hath this having life in himself, not from himself but from the Father.

      Secondly, that this Son of God is very and eternal God may be proved from what hath been said concerning the communication of the Divine essence from the Father to him: for if he hath the same nature that the Father hath, he cannot but be the same God that the Father is.  And the same would further appear, if we considered how the names, properties, works, and worship, which is given to the Father, is given to the Son too.  The Father is called Jehovah, and so is the Son, Isa. 4:3, Hos. 1:7.  The Father is called God, so is the Son, John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  With God as to his person, God himself as to his essence; so John 20:28, Acts 10:28, 1 Tim. 3:16, &c.  The Father is Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last, Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, so is the Son, Rev. 1:8, 17.  Is the Father eternal? so is the Son, Isa. 9:6, Apoc. 1:8.  Is the Father almighty? so is the Son, Heb. 1:3.  Is the Father everywhere? so is the Son, Matt. 18:20.  Doth the Father know all things? so doth the Son, John 21:17.  Did the Father make all things? so did the Son, John 1:3.  Doth the Father preserve and uphold all things? so doth the Son, Heb. 1:3.  Doth the Father forgive sins? so doth the Son, Matt. 9:6.  Is the Father to be worshipped? so is the Son, Heb. 1:6.  Is the Father to be honoured? so is the Son, John 5:23.  No wonder then, if Christ, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, Phil. 2:6: he did not think he robbed God of any glory by saying himself was equal to him.  And thus the second thing is clear, that Christ is very and eternal God.

      Thirdly, this Son of God became very man, so that he was not more like to God, yea, very God in his Divine, than he was like to man, yea, very man in his human nature; and as he was begotten of the same substance with God the Father from eternity, so was he conceived of the same substance with us men in time; and therefore is there nothing that belongs to us as men but what he took upon himself.  Have we a body? so had he, Heb. 10:5, 10.  Have we flesh and blood? so had he, Heb. 2:14.  Have we hands and feet? so had he, Luke 24:39.  Have we a soul? so had he, Matt. 26:38.  Are we hungered? so was he, Matt. 4:2 and weary? so was he, John 4:6; and heavy and sorrowful? so was he, Mark 14:33.  Do we grow in stature and knowledge? so did he, Luke 2:52.  Do we die? so did he, he gave up the ghost too, John 19:30.  Thus was he in all things tempted like us, but only in sin, Heb. 2:17, 4:15.  So well may he be called the man Christ Jesus, 1 Tim. 2:5, 1 Cor. 15:21, and Christ Jesus the Son of man, Matt. 26:2.

      Fourthly, We have seen how express the scripture is in asserting him to be both God and man; now we are to inquire, whether he be thus God and man in one Person or in two.  I mean, whether he be God in one Person and man in another, or both God and man in the same Person.  But we need not make much inquiry after it, the scripture being so plain and frequent in attributing to him two natures and yet but one Person; in saying, that the Word was made flesh, John 1:14.  He did not take flesh unto him, but into him; yea, he was made flesh; that is, he that was as really a spirit as God, became as really flesh as man; not by * changing himself into flesh, but by taking flesh into himself, to make up one and the same Person with himself.  Hence the same Person who was in the form of God is said to have taken upon him the form of a servant, Phil. 2:6, 7.  Hence also is the Son of God said to be born of the Virgin Mary, Luke 1:35, which could not be unless the Son of God and the Son of Mary was the same person.  Hence it is also that we are said to have but one Mediator, 1 Tim. 2:5; that is, though our Mediator have two natures, yet being but one Person he is but one Mediator.  And, to name no more, hence it is that God is said to have purchased his Church with his own blood, Acts 20:28.  With the blood of the Divine nature?  No, for that hath no blood.  With the blood of man, a distinct person from God?  No, for then it could not be called God’s own blood.  And therefore it cannot possibly be otherwise interpreted than to signify the blood of a Person who was God as well as man; who being God, and becoming man, and purchasing his Church with that blood himself assumed with the human nature, may justly be said to have purchased his Church with his own blood.  And hence it is, that to denote his two natures in one Person he hath a name given him where they are both joined in one word, Immanuel, Isa. 7:14, which is truly interpreted God with us, Matt. 1:23.  In the beginning of the word Immenu, with, us, there is the human, at the end El, God, there is the Divine nature implied, and both in the same word, to show that though they be two natures, yet one name or word is sufficient to express them both, they both making up but the same Person.  And thus we see how evidently it hath pleased the most high God to unveil this great mystery to us, clearly discovering, not only that Christ was begotten of himself, and so very God from eternity; and that he was born of a woman, and so very man in time; but also that he was and is both very God and very man in the very selfsame Person.

      And what scripture affirms, reason cannot but subscribe to as, first, that the Son was begotten of the Father is plain, otherwise he would not be a * Son, nor the other a Father.  Secondly, that he was begotten from everlasting is plain, otherwise he would not be God; God, as I have shown, being everlasting, both from and to eternity.  But, thirdly, that Jesus Christ is God, very God, is as plain as either of the former.  For as he could not be called a Son unless he were begotten, so he could not be called Jesus unless he were very God.  For he cannot be called Jesus unless he brings salvation unto men; but it is impossible for him to bring salvation unto men unless himself be God.  For wherein consists the salvation which this Jesus was to procure for us, but in bearing those punishments which were due from God to us, and in performing that obedience which is due from us to God?  Now it is impossible for one that is not God to do these things for us.

      To unveil this mystery and the reason thereof more clearly, we must consider that there be two things wherein man standeth indebted unto God; first, he owes him obedience to his precepts; secondly, satisfaction to his justice for his disobedience.  The first is the principal debt, the other accessory, proceeding from the forfeiture, as it were, of the bond and breach of the covenant, wherein man was obliged to the payment of the former.  But man in Adam proving bankrupt became non-solvent, unable to pay either; and therefore, unless there be some person found out that is willing to undertake, and is able to perform, the office of suretyship in paying of both these debts for him, he can expect no other than to be cast into prison, and not to come out thence till he hath paid the uttermost farthing, which himself can never do.  The principal debt of obedience he can never pay, because he is become a sinner, one whose actions are all rebellion and disobedience: the accessory he can never pay, it being impossible for a finite creature to make complete satisfaction to infinite justice.

      And as man himself cannot; so neither can any person who is any way inferior unto God pay these debts for him.  First, None but one that is equal to God can perform obedience for man; because every one that is any way inferior unto God depends continually upon him, and therefore is bound to do whatsoever it can do for God upon its own account; it being impossible for a creature to perform more to God than itself is bound to do.  And every creature being bound to do for itself whatsoever itself can do for God, no creature, that is, no person any way inferior to God himself in his essence, can perform obedience for any other persons but itself.  Whereas we must have one to undertake for us who is bound to pay nothing for himself; and therefore one, all whose obedience may justly be set upon our account, and be reckoned as performed in our steads and upon our account.  And such a person as this is we can nowhere find out, unless it be among the Persons of the glorious Trinity; every one of which is perfectly God, and therefore none of them is bound to do more than the other, but whatsoever he doth which the other doth not may justly be accounted as a work of supererogation; and therefore, without violation of justice may be imputed to others, and others may be accounted as obedient by it.  By which means such a Person, and none but such a Person, can perform that obedience, and so pay that debt to God for us which is due from us to God.  And as none but one that is equal to God can perform obedience for us, so neither can any but such a Person make satisfaction to the justice of God for our disobedience to his laws.  For that satisfaction cannot be made otherwise than by bearing the punishments that are due from God to man, for the sins that are committed by man against God which sins, being committed against an infinite God, cannot but deserve infinite punishments, which all creatures, in that they are creatures, and so finite, are both unable and incapable of undergoing.  And therefore as there is none but one that is God, coequal with the Father, can perform obedience to God’s precepts for our souls, so neither can any but one that is coequal with the Father make satisfaction to God’s justice for our sins.  And so if Christ be our Jesus and Saviour, he must of necessity be God.

      Fourthly, That he is man as well as God, reason concludes from the same premises upon which it builds his Godhead: for as he could not be our Saviour and Mediator unless he were God, so neither could he be the Saviour of us unless he was a man like to us.  So that he must be man as well as God, or God-man, in order to his * mediating betwixt God and man.  He must be man, that he may be capable of being bound for us; as well as God, that he may be able to pay our debts.  It was man that stood engaged in the covenant, and therefore man must perform the conditions of it.  Neither is it only reasonable, but absolutely necessary, that Christ should be man as well as God, in order to his redeeming us from prison by paying our debts for us: for as he could neither perform obedience, nor satisfy justice for us, unless he were God as well as man; so neither could he do either of these things for us, unless he was man as well as God.  First, If he was only God, he could not perform any righteousness for us, which by imputation might be laid upon us.  For God in himself is the maker of the laws, and therefore in himself cannot be subject to them.  Especially, not upon the account of man, because the laws were made for men; and therefore man cannot be accounted righteous by any other righteousness than what is performed by man.  The fallen angels were not accounted righteous by the righteousness of Christ, because he was a man, not an angel, that did perform it: so neither could man be accepted as righteous by it, if he had been God only, and not man.  Secondly, As he could not pay the principal, so neither the accessory debt for us, unless he be man as well as God.  For without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins: nor, therefore, any satisfaction to justice: sins could be pardoned, if justice might be satisfied any other ways, the remission of sins necessarily following upon the satisfaction of justice.  Whereas, it is impossible for one that is only God to shed blood, or bear any punishment whatsoever: he cannot shed blood, because he hath none to shed; nor bear any punishments whatsoever, whereby the justice of God could be satisfied for the sins of men.  For God is a pure Act, and by consequence incapable of any suffering or passion, as I have spewed before.  And therefore if he was God only, and not man, he could not suffer any thing whereby to satisfy as well as if he was man only, and not God, he could not satisfy by his sufferings. *  Unless he was a man as well as God, he could not suffer; and unless he was God as well as man he could not satisfy.  If he was man only, his satisfaction could not be sufficient for God; if he was God only, it would not be suitable for man.  And therefore to make him capable of suffering for men, and able to satisfy God, himself must be both God and man.  And not only so, but,

      Lastly, He must be both God and man in one Person: otherwise he would be as far from being our Saviour as if he was man only and not God, or God only and not man.  Man can suffer, but he cannot satisfy; God can satisfy, but he cannot suffer: and therefore if he was God in one Person, and man in another, he might suffer in one and satisfy in another, but both suffer and satisfy in neither.  But for the making of his sufferings for men satisfactory to God, it is necessary the Person that suffers should be the same with him that satisfieth; for it is upon the union of these two natures in one Person that the value and satisfactoriness of his sufferings dependeth.  He therefore by his sufferings made satisfaction, because the same Person that suffered was God as well as man.  And hence it is that the properties of one nature are often * communicated to the other; because, though they be two natures, they be both united in one Person.  So that though we cannot say that either the Godhead suffered or the manhood satisfied, yet we may say God both suffered and satisfied, or man both satisfied and suffered; because, whether we call him God or man, still both natures are implied; so that he that is God is man as well as God, and he that is man is God as well as man.  Hence, I say, it is, that his sufferings, as they were suitable for men, so were they sufficient for God; for though his Godhead did not suffer, yet he that was God did suffer; and though his manhood did not satisfy, yet he that was man did.  Whereas, if he had been God in one Person and man in another, his sufferings would have been only the sufferings of man, and so not satisfactory to God; and his satisfaction would have been only the satisfaction of God, and so not suitable for man. Which things being considered, as we cannot, yea, dare not deny him to be both God and man, so we dare not but believe him to be both God and man in one and the same Person: * that as the soul and body united together make one man, so do the Divine and human nature make one Christ and Mediator, blessed for evermore.

      And this hath been the doctrine of the Church of Christ in all ages.  As, first, That the Word was begotten of the Father, and that from everlasting.  Justin Martyr expressly: * “But the Word of Wisdom testifies this unto me, he being God himself, begotten of the Father of all things; being also the Word, and the wisdom, and the strength, and the glory of him that did beget him.”  And again, * “You understand, oh hearers, if you attend, that the word holds forth, that this offspring was begotten of the Father before all creatures whatsoever; and that he that was begotten is another in number from him that did beget him, every one will confess.”  And Athanasius begins the exposition of the Christian faith thus: * “We believe in one unbegotten God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things, visible and invisible, who hath of himself what he is; and in one only-begotten Word, the Wisdom and the Son, without beginning, and from everlasting, begotten of the Father.”  And so St. Hilary: * “The Son is from him who is the Father.  The only-begotten from the unbegotten: the offspring from the parent: the living from the living.  As the Father hath life in himself, so is it given to the Son to have life in himself.  Perfect of perfect; all of all, without division or scission; because one is in the other, and the fullness of the Godhead in the Son.  Incomprehensible of incomprehensible; for none know their minds but one another.  Invisible of invisible; because he is the image of the invisible God: and he that seeth the Son seeth the Father also.  One of the other; because they are Father and Son not as if the nature of the Divinity was one and another, for they are both the same.  God of God; of one unbegotten God; one only begotten God.  Not two Gods, but one of one: not two unbegottens; for one is begotten of the other unbegotten.”  And again: * “Therefore this unbegotten God did of himself before all time beget his Son: not of any subject matter, for all things are by the Son; nor of nothing, because of himself he begot his Son.”  And St. Augustine: * “The Word of God was always with the Father, and always the Word; and because the Word, therefore the Son.  He was always therefore the Son, and always equal; for he is not equal by growth, but by birth.  Who was always born of the Father, the Son God of God, coeternal of eternal.  The Father is not God of the Son, but the Son is God of the Father; therefore did the Father by begetting of the Son give him to be God; by begetting of him gave him to be coeternal with himself; by begetting of him gave him to be equal with himself.”

      And as the Fathers speak of the Son’s being begotten from eternity of the Father, so do they much contend for his being very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.  As Ignatius: * “If any one saith there is but one God, and confesseth Christ Jesus, but thinks the Lord to be a bare man, and not the only-begotten God, the wisdom and word of God, but thinks that he consisteth only of soul and body; such a one is a serpent, preaching deceit and error to the destruction of men.”  And Justin Martyr, having disputed long with Trypho the Jew, at the length says, * “And that Christ, who is the Lord and God, being the Son of God, and having appeared before in power as a man and an angel, both appeared in the glory of fire, as in the bush, and in the judgment that fell upon Sodom, is abundantly proved by what hath been said.”  And so Tertullian: * “Neither are we ashamed of Christ, seeing it delights us to be judged and condemned for his sake.  Him we have learned to be born of God, and being born, to have been begotten, and therefore to be the Son of God, and called God from the unity of his substance,” viz. being of one essence or substance with the Father.  And this is that which Athanasius so confidently affirms through all his works; I shall produce only one place.  We believe Christ to be * “Omnipotent of omnipotent; for whatsoever the Father rules and governs, that doth the Son rule and govern too.  Perfect of perfect; in all things like unto the Father.”  But for this we have a whole synod of Fathers, the first general council that ever was, express and clear, having delivered their mind concerning this particular in these words: * “We believe in one God Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, the only begotten; that is, of the substance of the Father.  God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, of the same substance with the Father,” or of one substance with the Father, as the convocation that composed these Articles expressed it.  Neither was this council the first that used the phrase of one substance with the Father, for we see Tertullian using of it long before; and Athanasius saith, that it was not * invented by the council, but taken out of the Fathers that lived before them.

      We have seen how express the Fathers are in avouching Christ to be God, and truly they are as express too in averring him to be man.  As Ignatius: * “Mary did therefore truly conceive a body, having God inhabiting in it; and God the Word was truly born of the Virgin, clothed with a body of the like passions with us.  He was truly conceived in the womb, who formeth all men in the womb, and made himself a body of the blood of the Virgin only, without the help of man He was carried in the womb the set time that we are, and was truly born as we are.”  And so Athanasius: * “But on the other side, when once the Word was born of Mary in the fullness of time, to take away sin, (for so it pleased the Father to send his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,) then it is written, that taking flesh he became man, and in that suffered for us, as Peter said; for Christ (saith he) suffering for us in the flesh, that it might be evident, and all might believe, that being God from eternity, and sanctifying whom he came unto, and disposing all things according to the will of the Father, at the last he became man for us.  And the Godhead, as the Apostle saith, dwelt in the flesh bodily, which is all one as if we should say, being God he took to himself a body, and using that as an instrument became man for us.”  And again: * “For the body which our Saviour had of Mary, according to the Divine scripture, was by nature a human and a true body.  It was a true one, because it was the same with ours, for Mary was our sister.”

      And as for the last thing, that Christ is both God and man in one Person, the same Father is clear: * “Christ is but one Person, compounded of God and the human nature, as every common man is of the animal and rational part.”  And St. Augustine: * “Neither because he said (by the obedience) of one man did he separate God, because he became man; because, as I have said, and it is to be observed, he is one Person.  For he is but one Christ, the Son of God from eternity by nature, and the Son of man which in time was assumed.”  Again, * “Let us acknowledge a twofold substance in Christ, to wit, the Divine in which he is equal to the Father, and the human in which the Father is greater than he.  But both together, Christ is not two but one; lest God should be a quaternity, not a Trinity.  For as the rational soul and body are one man, so is God and man one Christ.”  I shall conclude this with that excellent passage of St. Chrysostom: * “When thou hearest of Christ, do not think him God only or man only, but both together.  For I know Christ was hungry, and I know that with five loaves he fed five thousand men, besides women and children.  I know Christ was thirsty, and I know Christ turned water into wine.  I know Christ was carried in a ship, and I know Christ walked upon the waters.  I know Christ died, and I know Christ raised the dead.  I know Christ was set before Pilate, and I know Christ sits with the Father.  I know Christ was worshipped by the angels, and I know Christ was stoned by the Jews.  And truly, some of these I ascribe to the human, the other to the Divine nature; for by reason of this is he said to be both together.”

      But besides particular persons, there are many ancient councils that determined this truth; but passing by * others, I shall only cite the fourth general council gathered together at Chalcedon, both because it was a general council consisting of no less than 630 bishops, and also because it was called on purpose to confirm this truth and when assembled they defined amongst other things that Christ * was begotten of the Father as to his Divinity before all ages, and that in the last days, for us and for our salvation, he was born according to his humanity of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God, and that he is made known as one and the same Jesus Christ, the Son, Lord, and only-begotten, in two natures, without confusion, conversion, division, or separation.  The difference betwixt the two natures being no ways changed by their union, but rather the propriety of both natures preserved, and making up one Person and one subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons.  And thus we have the first part of this article confirmed from scripture, reason, and Fathers: the next followeth.

      Who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.

      That the Second Person in the sacred Trinity was begotten of the First from eternity, and conceived by the Third in time, and that in the womb of a virgin; and so became both perfectly God and perfectly man, perfectly united together in the same Person, we have seen in the foregoing part of this article.  And in this we are to dive into the reason of this so great a mystery, why did the Son of God thus become the Son of man?  Why did he thus take the human nature into his Divine Person?  When he came from heaven to earth, what did he before he went again from earth to heaven?  How did he deport himself towards his fellow creatures, and how did they carry themselves towards him?  Did they not highly honour and extol him, who had so honoured and extolled them as to assume their humanity into his Divinity?  No: he was so far from being honoured amongst them, that he truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried.  But it is strange so great a Deity should be loaded with so much ignominy.  Was it for his own sake he suffered all this?  No: it was to reconcile God to our souls, and to be a propitiation for our sins.

      First, he suffered: though God be without passions, yet God-man is not without his sufferings.  Whilst God and not man, he could not suffer if he would, neither would he suffer if he could.  But when he was man as well as God, he both could suffer what he would, and would suffer what he could; and not only could and would, but did truly (and not in show only, as the Cerdonites, Manichaeans, and others, asserted) suffer many things in his life, and most of all at his death.  For he was then crucified, which was a punishment usual amongst the Romans till abrogated by Constantine the Great, who, being the first Christian emperor, is thought to have forbidden it out of the respect and honour he had unto him whom we have here asserted to have undergone it, and so to have honoured it.*  He was crucified; that is, * there being first a straight and erect piece of wood (which himself first carried towards the place of execution) made fast in the earth, and a transverse beam fastened towards the top of it, and after that another piece of wood fastened to and standing out from that which was fixed in the ground; his body being lifted up was applied to the straight piece of wood that stood in the earth, his hands were nailed to the transverse beam that went across or athwart over the other, his head reached above the transverse beam towards the top of that which was fixed in the ground and towards the bottom of it were his feet nailed, his body resting upon that other piece of wood which was fastened into and stood out from that which was fixed in the earth.  Upon his head was a crown of thorns, above his head was a table fastened, on which, after the Roman custom, his accusation was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin characters, that all might read what it was he was there nailed and crucified for.  Neither was Jesus only thus nailed and fastened to the cross, but there he hung till his soul was forced from his body, and so he died.  After which, he was not suffered any longer to hang there, but was taken down, and laid in a sepulchre, and so buried.

      Neither did he mind his own things in all this; no, it was only upon their account that laid these things upon him, that he was pleased to undergo them.  He suffered for us, only that we might not suffer from God; he was crucified here, that we might be glorified hereafter; he died that we might live, and was buried for a time, that we might not be damned to eternity; for he suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, and all to reconcile God to us.  Man naturally is at odds with God; God hates man’s person, and man God’s precepts.  To make up this enmity betwixt them, Christ joined both their natures in one Person, and so shedding the blood of the human, with it he appeased the wrath of the Divine nature, and so reconciled his Father to us, not only by quenching the fire of his anger towards us, but also by purchasing his love and favour for us.  And by this means also, laying down his life for us, he offered himself a sacrifice to God, a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men; a sin offering, to propitiate God and obtain his pardon, not only for the natural corruption of our sinful hearts, but also for the actual provocations of our sinful lives.  All which appears from the light both of Scripture and reason too.

      And truly that Christ suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, is the whole sum and substance of both Law, Prophets, and Gospel; the first, foreshewing it in types; the second, * foretelling it in prophecies; the third, relating it in history.  Isaac was a type,* the brazen serpent* a shadow of it.  Isaiah was that prophesying evangelist, or evangelizing prophet, that expressly related his sufferings to come as if they had been already past, saying, He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isa. 53:3.  He was oppressed, he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth, ver. 7.  But should I write down all the historical prophecies, or prophetical histories, concerning the passions of this Immanuel, God-man, I should transcribe not only all this chapter, but the greatest part of all the prophets.  And as for the evangelists, though there be some things which only one of them relates, others which only two, others which three only have recorded; yet that he suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, they all with one consent left it on record, for the confirmation of our faith in so great a mystery.  To pass by therefore his tender years, which he spent in subjection to his earthly parents, though themselves and all the world ought always to be subject unto him: if we take a turn in the garden of Gethsemane, or in the mount of Olives, the field, it seems, himself had appointed to fight the Devil and all his angels in, here we may behold a doleful sight, the Son of God beginning to be sorrowful, and very heavy, Matt. 26:36, Mark 14:32, Luke 22:39; presently saying to his disciples, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, whom he had taken with him to behold the combat, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death, Matt. 26:38.  Then leaving them he goes to his Father, pouring forth his mournful soul to him, having prostrated himself upon his face before him, crying out, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt, ver. 39; and elsewhere, Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour, John 12: 27.  And if we view his body, behold sweat gushing out of it, as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground, Luke 22:44.  And whilst his soul is thus surrounded with sorrows, his body is compassed about with enemies.  Judas, his own disciple, betraying him; the soldiers apprehending him , the malicious Jews, resolved against their own salvation, hailing him from one place to another, spitting in his face, striking him with their hands, and crying out, Crucify him, Crucify him.  And at the last, having by their importunity obtained his condemnation from Pilate, who then sat in judgment upon him, away they hurry him with his cross upon his shoulders, and a crown of thorns upon his head, unto the * place of execution; (himself all this while being forced by his almighty power to uphold them, whilst they thus abused him).  But for fear lest he being wearied by bearing of his cross himself should not endure so much pain when borne upon it, they afterward compelled one Simon, a Cyrenian, to carry it for him, not from compassion to him, but design against him; that coming fresh and lively to it, he might be the more able to grapple with the pains of death, and so they might have a longer time to glut their eyes with that pleasing object.  Well, having gotten him to the place, they presently fasten the cross in the ground, and him upon the cross, stretching his joints till his sinews cracked, hanging a table over his head, wherein was written, Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.  And now was his soul exceeding sorrowful unto death indeed, when beholding himself so shamefully abused by his own, as well as his fellow creatures, he cries out, Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Not intimating any spiritual desertion of his Father’s affection towards him, but only a temporal desertion of his Father’s protection of him against his enemies.  As if he should have said, Why hast thou left me to be the object of so much cruelty?  Which words he had no sooner spoken, but himself puts a period b to these his sufferings by giving up the ghost, and so dissolving the union betwixt his soul and body, though both his soul and body still remained * united to his sacred Deity.  And, himself having breathed his soul from his body, Joseph of Arimathea obtained the favour to take his body from the cross, and laid it in a sepulchre, Luke 23:53; and so he that suffered, was crucified, dead, was also buried.  Thus have we seen our Saviour brought from the garden to the judgment hall, from the judgment hall unto the cross, and from the cross to the grave; and so he that came down from heaven is now himself laid under earth.

      And that it was not for himself, but for us, that this God-man lived sorrowfully, and died so painfully, the scripture is full and clear; and not only in general that it was for our sakes he did it, but in particular, it was for the reconciling his Father to us, and to purchase the pardon of our sins for us, expressly telling us, that he hath reconciled both (Jew and Gentile) unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby, Eph. 2:16.  Yea, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, Rom. 5:10.  So that we, who were sometimes alienated and enemies in our mind by wicked works, now hath, he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present us holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight; Col. 1:21, 22.  And the reason is, because it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; and (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him, to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven. ver. 19, 20.  And this reconciliation of God to us he made by offering up himself a sacrifice for us: for God sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins, 1 John 4:10.  And he is the propitiation, for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world, chap. 2:2.  And therefore, when we see him sweating great drops of blood under the burden of sin, we must not think they were his own sins that lay so heavy upon him: no, they were our sins which he had taken off from us, and laid them upon himself; for he bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed.  Isa. 53:4, 5.  So undoubted a truth is this comfortable assertion, that Jesus Christ by his death and sufferings reconciled his Father to us, and therefore was a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but likewise for actual sins of men.

      From scripture we may proceed to reason: for though that Jesus Christ did truly seer, was crucified, dead and buried, it being a matter of fact cannot be expected to be proved from reason; yet that he should truly suffer, be crucified, dead and buried, in order to his appeasing his Father’s anger against us, and the purchasing his favour for us, may even from natural principles be clearly deduced.  For in order to his [reconciling his] Father to us, we have seen how he must pay all our debts for us, whereof satisfaction to his justice for our transgressions of his law is one, which could not be paid in any other coin than by suffering; that being the debt we were engaged to pay to God for our sins against him.  So that though Christ should have taken our nature upon him, if he had not suffered in it we should have reaped no benefit by it, it being suffering that we owe to God for sin, and therefore that Christ must pay to God for us.  Neither must he only suffer, but suffer to death; for it was death that we had deserved by sin, and therefore it was death that Christ must undergo for us.  In the day that thou, eatest thereof thou shalt die the death, saith the great God; and what he said then, being an unchangeable God, he cannot but always make true; so that we may as well expect God should cease to be God, as not make good his word, in punishing our disobedience with death.  I say, with death, either in ourselves, or another person, whose death may be at the least equivalent with all ours.  So that though Christ had suffered, yet if he had not died, the sufferings of his life could never have freed us from the pangs of death.

      Neither was it only necessary that he should suffer and die, but that he should suffer this death upon the cross; for not only death, but a curse was entailed upon all transgressors of the law: Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them, Deut. 27:26, Gal. 3:10.  And therefore must Christ cut off the entail of curse as well as of death, in order to his instating us in perfect bliss; which he could not do any other was than by being made a curse for us, willingly submitting to that death which was the only death cursed by God himself, and that was the death of the cross: Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree, Gal. 3:13.  Neither was he in reason only to hang upon the cross, but there to hang till dead; otherwise he would not have suffered the cursed death of the cross.  And that being once dead he was buried, it is plain; for his body, left by his soul, must needs have some place or other to lie in; and there, be it where it will, it may justly be said to be * buried.

            [*The grave is commonly distinguished into the artificial and natural grave.  The artificial grave is such a one as is digged in the earth, hewn out of stone, or any way prepared for the body of the dead.  The natural is any place where the body according to that of Seneca: {quoted Latin} L. 8. Controv. 4. [vol. III. p. 495].  And this speaks of, Senec. Epist. 92. [vol. II. p. 434.] saying, {quoted Latin}.  So that our Saviour might well be said to be sepultus, buried, howsoever or wheresoever his body, void of his soul, was laid.  {quoted Latin} Pliny.  Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 54. And therefore though we can only know from scripture that Christ had an artificial grave, yet that he had a natural one reason itself may acquaint us.]

      And that he suffered these things not for himself but us, none that ever read the history of his life and death, and set his reason on work about it, but will easily grant it.  Nay, he being both God and man, it is impossible he should suffer any thing for himself, himself having nothing to suffer for.  For being God, though he might take our human infirmities, he could not possibly take our sinful imperfections into his sacred person; for then he that was God would have been a sinner as well as man; which to affirm is downright blasphemy, yea, and a contradiction too.  So that we cannot but in reason judge him perfect and spotless without the least tincture of sin; and therefore we cannot but in reason also conclude that it was not for himself he suffered, it being impossible for the justice of God to inflict punishment upon any other account than sin; which he not having in himself, he could not have any punishment for himself, and therefore it must needs be for us he suffered, whose nature he had assumed.  I say, for us, there being all the reason and justice in the world, that being it was our nature he suffered in, it should be our sins he should [suffer] for.  Especially considering that it was not any human person in particular,* but the human nature in general, he assumed into his divine person; so that as the whole nature sinned in Adam, so did the whole nature suffer for sin in Christ.  And therefore there is none of us that take this Christ for our surety and believe these things, but, seeing we are all but particular persons comprehended under that general nature, we may justly expect our freedom from that punishment that we have already suffered in Christ.  And as we may expect the pardon of our sins from his sufferings for them, so we may expect the reconciliation of God the Father to us; and the acceptance of our persons with him, upon the account of our nature in general being united and made one person with the divine.  For here we may see how both natures are agreed, and the breach betwixt them so made up, as that they are both married together by the Spirit in the womb of the blessed Virgin, and ever since did, and ever shall live together, like loving mates, unto all eternity: and our nature being so nearly * joined together unto God as to make but one and the same person with him, we may well expect and believe that he will not refuse, but accept of any of the particular persons contained under his assumed nature, that by faith shall lay hold upon him, and by repentance turn unto him; especially, this being the great end of his first assumption of, and all his transactions in, the human nature: so that he suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, and all to reconcile the Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but for actual sins of men; that offering up himself a sacrifice for all our sins, he might reconcile the Father to our souls.

      And this is the doctrine that the Fathers of the primitive church did constantly and unanimously teach.  To begin with Ignatius; * “He truly ate and drank, was crucified and died under Pontius Pilate truly, I say, and not only in imagination, he was crucified and dead; the celestial, terrestrial, subterrestrial creatures all beholding him.”  And again: * “The Judge was judged by the false Jews and Pontius Pilate the governor; he was whipt, struck with the hand, spit upon; he was crowned with thorns, and clothed with purple; he was condemned and crucified truly, and not only in opinion, fancy, or deceit.  He truly died, and was buried, and rose again from the dead.”  And elsewhere: * “Therefore he was truly born, and truly grew up, truly ate and drank, was truly crucified and dead, and rose again.”  And St. Hilary saith: * “But that the only-begotten Son of God was crucified and condemned to death, who by the nativity he had from his eternal Father was himself eternal, we often, yea, always preach.  But this passion he is to be understood to be subject to, not from the necessity of nature, but rather from the mystery of the salvation of mankind, and that he rather willingly subjected himself to these sufferings than was forced by others.”

      And there were some in Athanasius’s time also, as well as in Ignatius’s, who affirmed that Christ did not, as we say, truly suffer, but that he suffered impassibly, in fancy and opinion only, not truly and really.  Against these that renowned Father is very sharp and elegant: * “He suffered impassibly!  Oh foolish wisdom, Oh jocular learning, building up with one hand, and pulling down with the other, like childish sports in sand!  He suffered impassibly!  Before I can hear this word impassibly, I forget what he suffered signifies: for that which is added, impassibly, takes away both his death, burial, and resurrection, upon which our salvation depends.  For if he suffered, how impassibly? or if impassibly, how did he suffer?”  And again: * “Wherefore we must either acknowledge that our Saviour suffered truly, or that others also suffered impassibly, like to whom the Lord is preached to have been tempted.”  And again: * “We must therefore either believe that all things were true and real too, or, if we say that he suffered impassibly, we must of necessity say withal, that all things that are said of him are but figures, fancies, and imaginations.  If he did not truly suffer, neither did he at all truly rise again.  If he did not truly taste of death, neither did he pluck out the sting of death, we are still in our sins, death still reigneth over all; we are still kept out from our inheritance.”  And presently: * “But away with such madness, oh vain man! for the testator is dead, the will is settled, the inheritance is propounded to the faithful, and punishment prepared for such reproachers.”

      And that Christ did not suffer all this for himself, but for us, even to reconcile the Father to us, and to be a sacrifice for our sins: * “for he had his conversation,” saith Ignatius, “without sin, and was truly crucified in the flesh, under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch, for us, by whom also we are redeemed by his divinely blessed passions.  And St. Hierome: * “He was wounded for our iniquities, saying, in the Psalms, They pierced my hands and my feet, that by his wounds he might cure ours.  And he was bruised and made weak for our sins; that being made a curse for us, he might free us from the curse; for cursed is the man that hangeth upon a tree; wherefore the chastisement of our peace was also upon him.  For that which we ought to have borne for our sins he underwent for us, reconciling by the blood of his cross the things that are in earth and that are in heaven; for he is our peace, who hath made both one.”  And so St. Cyprian: * “And the Son of man goeth, as it is written of him, who was himself condemned, that he might free those that were condemned: he grieved, that he might heal the weak: he feared, that he might make us secure: he bare reproaches, that the scoffs of reproachers might not move the elect.”  And this is that which * Athanasius also avers: “For the creature cannot be joined (nor so reconciled) to God by a creature, itself also wanting another to join it.  Neither could part of the creation become the creature’s salvation, seeing itself also wanteth salvation.  Lest this therefore should come to pass, God sent his own Son, and he became the Son of man, assuming created flesh unto him, that seeing all were subject unto death, he being another from all offered his own body to death for all.”  And elsewhere: * “All things truly which our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, as St. Luke saith, did and taught, was done only and altogether for our salvation.”  And therefore, as St. Chrysostom saith, * “He died, that he might give immortality unto thee; he was hungry, that he might feed thee with his own flesh , he was thirsty, that he might give thee to drink of his own blood; he sat upon an ass, that he might set thee above the heavens; he was baptized, that he might set thee at liberty; he travelled, that thou mightest not be weary, and sailed that thou mightest not be fearful; he slept, to make thee secure; he came of a woman, that he might pity the sin that was committed in paradise; he was called a man, that he might call thee the son of God; he took our miseries, that he might give us his merits; and he prayed, that he might make thee believe.”  So that we may well conclude with Cyril of Alexandria; * “If any one say that he offered himself a sacrifice for himself, and not rather for us only, (for he needed no sacrifice who knew no sin,) let him be accursed.”  For fear of which curse, we dare not but acknowledge that Christ truly suffered, was crucified, dead and buried, to reconcile his Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.


Article  III

Of the Going Down of Christ Into Hell.

      As Christ died for us, and was buried so also it is to be believed that he went down into hell.

      Though this article be in itself as clear and certain as any of the rest, yet men having exercised their fancies so variously upon it, they have drawn, as it were, a veil over it, and so eclipsed the light of it.  And hence it is that some do not rightly understand it, others scruple at it, yea, and others do in plain terms contradict and gainsay it.  That the first of these may be taught the truth concerning it, the second resolved about it, and the third convinced of their error in denying it, I shall first lay down some propositions to clear it, and then proceed to the confirmation of it.

      First, It will easily be granted that this article, as it is here delivered, was taken out of that which we commonly call the Apostles’ Creed, it following and foregoing the same things here that it doth there.  In the former article going before this it is said, he suffered, was crucified, dead and buried.  In this, he descended into hell.  In the next immediately coming after it, that he arose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven.  And hence also that the meaning and purport of it must needs be the same in both places.

      Secondly, I must confess that we cannot prove that this article was inserted in that Creed of almost 400 years after Christ, the Aquileian being the first particular church which is known to have inserted it in theirs: according to which * Ruffinus, being baptized into that church, framed his exposition of the Creed, with this article in it, but affirming that in his time (which was about the fourth century after Christ) it was neither in the * Roman nor in the Eastern creeds; which words of his some bring to prove the novelty of this article, but I think they are as great an argument for its antiquity as can be produced: for in that he saith it was not in the Roman nor Eastern creeds, he seems to me plainly to imply it was in some other creeds besides them.  But suppose this article was never in any other before the Aquileian, this derogates nothing at all from the truth of it; for there are other articles of our faith that were never questioned, but always received as undoubted truths; as that of our Saviour’s death, the communion of saints, God’s being the maker of heaven and earth, all left out of the ancient creeds expounded by Ruffinus, Maximus, and Chrysologus, and many * others.  Yea, and there is only one of them, viz. that of God’s being the maker of heaven and earth, expressed in the Constantinopolitan.  Now none can say, because that these are not inserted in these creeds they are no articles of our faith: especially it would be a groundless argument against this under hand, being though we cannot produce any certain proof of its being in the creed before the Aquileian church brought it in, yet it path ever since been received as an undoubted truth for this 1200 years together.  And I can see no reason why we, at the length, after so many centuries acknowledgment of it, should now bring it to the bar, and accuse it of forgery and usurpation.

      Thirdly, I must confess also that the words in the * Greek and * Latin creeds, which we translate he descended into hell, may admit of another interpretation than what in such a translation of them we put upon them.  The word hades especially, which we translate hell, being often used to express the state of the dead in general, without any restriction or limitation of happiness or misery.  In which sense in English we have no one word to give the full meaning or purport of it.  Neither can I tell how to give a better periphrasis of it than by translating of it the other world, that invisible place where the souls that leave their bodies live, whether it be a place of bliss or torments.  And in this sense I confess it is sometime taken * in scripture, the Apocrypha, Fathers, yea, and in heathenish authors too.  And as for the Latin inferi, it is often taken in the same sense, yea, and mostly used to express hades by.

      Fourthly, Though therefore we cannot but acknowledge that the Greek word hades (and so the Latin inferi) may sometimes, both in scripture and other writings, signify no more than the receptacle of souls in general, as the grave is the receptacle of bodies; yet it cannot be denied but that it often, if not mostly, is used to express the receptacle of sinful souls in particular, or that which we in English call hell, the place of the damned.  Especially when the Holy Ghost makes use of it to reveal the will of the great God by in the holy scriptures to us and certainly it is the scriptural use of it which in the exposition of the Creed we are principally to attend unto.  I shall here instance but in two or three places, wherein it cannot possibly be taken in any other sense; as, Luke 16::23. * And in hades he lift up his eyes, being in torments; where we may see how the Holy Ghost himself, to satisfy our scruples in this particular, is his own interpreter, plainly telling us that when he was in hades he was in torments.  And in the next verse he tells Abraham he was tormented in those flames.  So Matt. 11:23. * And thou Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be brought down to hades; where we see heaven and hades opposed to one another, the height of happiness unto the depth of misery.  And here also the Holy Ghost seems to point at the sense he would have us to understand the word in, saying in the next verse, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee: as if he should say, Sodom shall rather escape being thrown into hell and the place of torments, than thou, who hast the light but wilt not walk according to it.  To name no more, Matt. 16:18. * The gates of hades shall not prevail against thee; where hades cannot be taken for any thing else than the place where the devils remain and are tormented; as if he should have said, * All the devils in hell shall never prevail against my church.  There are some other places wherein this word occurs, but these may suffice to clear this truth, that the Holy Ghost doth frequently, if not always, use this word hades in a bad sense, to denote the place of torments and everlasting misery.  And in this sense also did the Fathers of the primitive church usually take the word.  Thus Theodoret commends the ancient philosophers, in that they sent the souls of them that lived well and virtuously to heaven, * but such as lived otherwise to hades.  And what St. Augustine’s opinion concerning the word was is clear from the etymology he giveth of it, saying, it is called hades * because there is nothing sweet there and therefore he must needs account it a place of great bitterness and torments indeed.  And elsewhere the same Father tells us that * inferi (which always answers the Greek hades) in scripture is seldom or never taken in a good part, to signify heaven, but always hell.  And St. Hierome saith * it is a place of punishments and torments.

      Fifthly, Though the word hades in itself may sometimes signify only the other world in general, yet, as it stands in the Creed, it cannot by any means admit of any other signification than what is put upon it when it is translated hell: which any one may easily perceive which considers, first, that the word may well bear it; secondly, that it is the most usual signification of it in scripture, as I have shewed in some places already, and might with the same facility prove it to be so taken in most of the rest.  And certainly, the Creed being taken out of the scripture, it is the scripture that is to give the exposition of the Creed and therefore this word in particular must needs be granted to signify the same in the Creed, which was taken out of the scripture, as it doth in the scripture out of which it was taken.  Especially considering, thirdly, that the general acception of the word, as it denotes the other world, cannot without a great absurdity be forced upon it as it is here used to express an article of the Creed for it will easily be granted, that in so short an * abstract of our Christian faith it is not likely the same thing should be expressed twice over.  Which notwithstanding must be, if the words which we translate he descended into hell should signify no more than he descended or went into the other world; for that was sufficiently expressed before, when it was said that he was dead.  For though death and hades be not the same, yet to be dead and to be in hades are the same thing for in that sense a man cannot be dead but he must be in hades, neither can a man be in hades but he must be dead.  And upon the same account it is that it cannot be admitted that this article should be the same with that of his burial, that he descended into hell and he was buried should be the same, interpreting the word hades of the grave.  For besides that hades is one thing, and the grave another, the grave being the receptacle of the bodies, and hades of the * souls, here would be the same thing expressed twice; yea, and the latter expression of it would not be * exegetical and declarative of the former, but the former would rather be exegetical and declarative of the latter; which how absurd and ridiculous it would be, let any man judge; especially considering that his burial and descent into hell, as signifying two distinct things, seem both necessary to be inserted into the Creed, so that we might know whither both his soul and his body went immediately after his death and crucifixion: his body, that was buried; and his soul, that went down to hell so was he both buried and went down into hell.

      But lastly, Howsoever such an interpretation may be forced upon this article as it stands in the Apostles’ Creed, yet we are sure there can be no such sense put upon it as it is here delivered as the doctrine of the Church of England.  For though the Greek word hades may sometimes signify no more than the other, or invisible world, where souls after separation from their bodies remain, yet our English word hell will bear no such sense, it being always used by learned and ignorant to denote the place of misery and torments prepared for such souls as go from hence in their sins.  And therefore the reverend Convocation that composed these Articles, rendering the Greek hades by the English hell, (as it was always used in our English creeds,) they have put a period to the question; so that we must either acknowledge that Christ did in plain terms descend into hell, or deny this article of our church; to the truth whereof, notwithstanding, all that are admitted into benefices are bound by act of parliament to subscribe: and certainly, if we weigh it thoroughly in the balance of unbiased reason, we shall find nothing in it to deter us from subscribing to it, and that in its literal sense and meaning, which I suppose is no more than this; that our Lord Christ, the Son of God, having taken our human nature upon him, had a real soul as we have, as well as body; which soul being breathed from his body upon the cross did immediately go to hell, or the place of torments, where the Devil and damned souls lay in misery; that as his body went to the grave, so did his soul go to hell.  The end of his descent is not expressed in these Articles, whether to triumph over the devils, or to preach to the souls of men, or any other, (as it was in the * Articles agreed upon in the year 1552): but only in general, that he descended into hell; which that he did,. I can see no other but that scripture and reason do both evince.

      Many scriptures have been brought for the proof of this truth; some whereof were of sufficient force to convince gainsayers of it in ancient times, which are not of the same validity now; as that in Peter, Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit, by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison, 1 Pet. 3:18, 19.  Which place many of * the ancients interpreted of the descent of Christ into hell, or the place of damned spirits.  Which interpretation was so generally received in the primitive church, that they did not for a great while seek out for any other, but took this to be the undoubted meaning of the place; so that to name the place to them was a sufficient proof of the thing.  But another exposition universally possessing men’s hearts now, the argument is rendered now altogether useless and invalid for the purpose aforesaid.  Though I do confess, that was a man resolved to hold it, that this place is to be understood of the soul or spirit of Christ’s real descent into hell, I know no reasons strong enough to draw him from his error in it.  I am sure the ancient * Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic translations seem clearly to carry the sense that way.

      There is another place also that seems to have been an argument for this truth in the primitive church, that hath lost much of its virtue now; and that is this, Acts 2:24, where it is said of Christ, Whom God hath, raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it: where, instead of the pains of death, some of the * ancient Fathers read the pains of hell, or hades, (Vulgar Latin, inferni), and so doth the Syriac render it plainly, the * sorrows of scheul, or hell.  And truly, was I deprived of the original Greek, and confined to a translation of the New Testament, I should choose the Syriac above all the rest, it being (as may easily be demonstrated) the first translation that was ever made of it; and therefore, in all probability, made before the malice of heretics or the negligence of transcribers had brought any various readings into it.  And for my part, the Syriac in this place rendering the Greek word by scheul, I cannot but persuade myself the word in Greek, when this translation was made, was nothing else but hades, there being no other word it renders by scheul but only that.  Especially many of the Fathers seeming to have read it so too; yea, St. Augustine produceth this place to prove that Christ descended into hell; as we may see in our quotations of him at the end of this article and in the * margent.

      But there are some places which ever were and ever will be clear proofs of this truth.  As, first, Eph. 4:9, Now that he ascended, what is it but that he descended first into the lower parts of the earth.  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things: where the lower parts of the earth, to which Christ descended, I cannot see how they can be otherwise interpreted than of hell.  For to say by the lower parts of the earth is meant no more than earth itself, to me it seems but a poor evasion.  For where in scripture do we find the lower parts of earth put for earth itself?  Or suppose it was so, yet here his ascending and his descending have reference to one another.  So that the apostle seems clearly to intend the descent which immediately preceded his ascent into heaven, which could be no other than his descent into hell.  It was many years after his descending to earth before his ascending to heaven; but his ascent into heaven was not much more than so many hours after his descent into the lower parts of earth, or hell.*  Neither can we think that by the lower parts of earth here we must understand his grave, for that is seldom six foot deep in the earth, and therefore cannot well be called the lower parts of it.  But again, here we see not only his ascending and his descending opposed to one another, but the lower parts of earth to the highest parts of heaven.  So that we are to look out for the extremes that are the most distant from and contrary to one another in heaven and earth, the highest place in heaven and the lowest place in earth.  The highest place in heaven, what is it but the right hand of God, whither Christ ascended?  The lower parts of earth, what is it but hell, whither Christ descended?

      Another place upon which we may build this truth is Rom. 10:6, But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring Christ up again from the dead).  In which words we may observe, first, that Christ was among the dead; otherwise it could not be said, that is, to bring him from the dead.  Secondly, as he was amongst the dead, so it was a deep place, otherwise it could not be said, Who shall descend into the deep?  Nay, thirdly, it was such a deep as the Greeks call an abyss, a bottomless pit, by which name hell is called, Apoc. 9:1, 2; 11:7; 20:1, 3.  And I know not where the Greek word can well be otherwise interpreted; howsoever not here, and therefore doth the Syriac give us the explication as well as the translation of the word, rendering it the deep, or * abyss of hell.  And therefore also do many, both ancient and modern * writers, expound and interpret the words in this sense; and whosoever goes after them will not have many rubs in his way to stop his course.

      But, thirdly and lastly, the main foundation of this truth is still behind, and that is, Psalm 16:10 compared with Acts 2:31, David saith, For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine holy One to see corruption.  These words doth St. Peter in the Acts apply to our Saviour, chap. 2:27 and 51, saying, that David seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption: which to understand aright, we must consider how St. Peter is here handling the great point of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Christ.  And in treating of the resurrection, to satisfy all scruples that might arise upon his delivery of so great a mystery, he tells us from whence both the essential parts of his human nature arose, or were raised up: his soul, that was raised out of hell, and his body from the grave: for, saith he, His soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption.  His soul went indeed to hell, but it was not left there: his body was carried to the grave, but it did not see corruption there.  And so there is no place can be a clearer proof of any, than this is of this truth, that the soul of Christ, when separated from his body, was in hell.  For if it was not left there, but raised thence at his resurrection, certainly it was there before his resurrection; it being impossible it should be raised thence if it was never there.  It is certain therefore that the soul of Christ was in hell before his resurrection, and as certain it was not there before his death and crucifixion.  For before that time his soul was in his body, and both on earth; and therefore it cannot be otherwise understood than that after he was crucified and dead, his body was carried to the grave, and his soul to hell: yet so as that the one was not left in hell, neither did the other see corruption in the grave; for within three days after they were both raised up again, the one from hell, and the other from the grave, as St. Peter in this his sermon declares, and the immediately succeeding article asserts.

      But as there is no truth but hath been oppugned, so there is no place of scripture but hath been eluded; yea this very place which in itself is as clear as the meridian sun, hath been obscured by false glosses; some labouring much to persuade us, that the word here translated soul signifies no more than a body, or his person; and the word translated hell, no more than the grave.  But let such consider, first, whether it be not a certain rule always to be followed in the interpretation of scripture, to expound every word in its most usual and common signification, if the place will as well bear it, rather than force an unusual sense upon it I confess the word * nephesh in Hebrew may sometimes signify no more than a body without a soul; sometimes both soul and body in one person; but where there is one place where it is taken in that sense, there are at the least twenty wherein it signifies no more than the soul.  And because it sometimes signifies the body, must we always translate it so?  This is just as if because * berech in some few places signifies to curse, we should always translate it so.  But again, grant the word may signify no more than the body, here it cannot be taken in that sense, for his body is after expressed by another word plainly signifying flesh.  His soul was not left in hell, saith the apostle, neither did his flesh see corruption.  Where it is plain that the word used for his soul, and that for his body, denote two several things.  Again, we cannot take this, but we must take the other word hades in its unusual sense too for as nephesh, doth but rarely signify the body, but most commonly the soul; so doth hades most commonly denote the receptacle of souls, but very rarely, if ever, the receptacle of our bodies.  And what a ridiculous thing is it to force such far-fetched significations upon words, when the literal sense is not dissonant from, but consonant to all the other scriptures?  Certainly this is to turn the word of God all into allegories, synecdoches, and other tropes and figures.  Lastly, it is not unworthy our observation, that it was the same St. Luke that wrote the Gospel who also wrote the Acts of the Apostles; and it is not very probable that he would use the word hades to signify the place of torments in his Gospel, Luke 16, and I know not in what sense here in the Acts.  And they that would put this sense upon the words must pretend to a far greater knowledge and skill in the interpretation of the scripture, than most or all the Fathers of the primitive church had, who generally translated and expounded the words in a common and usual sense, That his soul was not left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption.  And therefore we cannot but acknowledge, that though this doctrine be not verbally contained in the scripture, yet it, may, by necessary consequences, be deduced from it; and so cannot but be received as one of those great truths which the most high God hath been pleased to make known to us in his holy scriptures.

      From scripture, if we proceed to reason, we may argue thus.  The soul of Christ, after its separation from the body, and before his resurrection from the dead, was either in heaven or in hell; but it was not in heaven, therefore it must needs have been in hell.  First, that it was in one of these two places I take for granted, being now reasoning against such as rightly deny all third places whatsoever appointed for the reception of souls when forced from their bodies, distinct from those two.  And as for limbus patrum, purgatory, and the like, we shall prove hereafter that they are human fancies, rather than divine truths.  But the great question here to be agitated is, whether Christ’s soul, when breathed from his body, went to heaven or no?  For certainly, if it did not go to heaven, we need no more arguments to prove it went to hell, there being no other place it could go to.  Therefore, secondly, that the soul of Christ when separated from his body did not immediately go up to heaven, I think will easily be granted by such as do but seriously, and without prejudice, consider these things: First, that the Lord Christ, both while living and when dying, was still accounted as a sinner; though he had no sin inherent in him, or committed by him, yet he had sin imputed to him, and laid upon him; yea, so far, as that he is in plain terms said to be made sin for us, as well as we are made the righteousness of God in him.  And hence it is, that bearing the weight (though not doing the work) he received the wages of sin, death.  And he thus dying as a sinner cannot in reason be thought to go whither saints, but whither sinners go when dead.  His body, that was laid where the bodies of sinners are, in the grave; and so his soul, it is fitting that should go whither the souls of sinners go, to hell; and that he that died for sin should go to the same place whither such go as die in it.  Not to be tormented there as sinners are, because he had not committed sins here as sinners had; but only he having taken our nature upon him, and satisfied for our sins in his death and passion; and it being three days before his soul and body, when once separated, were to be united together again, he suffered his body to be laid so long under the earth; in the meanwhile his soul, that went down to hell, and there remained all that time, not to be tormented, for he had already suffered for us whatsoever the law of God could exact of us; but, first, that he might undergo the state and condition of a dead, as well as of a living * sinner, and so, secondly, that he might give us security for our pardon and redemption from hell.  For, seeing he was even in the Devil’s mouth, yet that roaring lion could not prey upon him; seeing he was in hell itself, yet could be kept there no longer than just as himself pleased; we may be assured he had conquered and overcome the Devil for himself, and in himself for us, who are but as so many members of himself; and thus by his descending thither he hath * freed us for ever coming thither, or remaining there.  But, thirdly, his soul, I suppose, did principally go to hell, and remained there whilst his body was in the grave, that so it might be in a state of humiliation, as well and as long as his body.  His body was brought to the lowest place it could possibly be brought to, even to the grave; and so was his soul brought too to the lowest place it could possibly be brought unto, even to hell.

      And this leads me to the second reason why we are not to think that the soul of Christ went not to heaven but to hell; because, if his soul had ascended to heaven, as his body descended into the grave, then one part of his human nature had been exalted, whilst the other had been debased.  For his soul, that would have been shining in the highest heavens, whilst his body was lying under a piece of earth; and so this would have been in a state of humiliation, whilst the other was in its state of exaltation.  By which means, at that time he would have been wholly in neither state, but partly in both.  And so most of the systems of divinity that ever were made, teaching only a double state of Christ, the one of his humiliation, the other of his exaltation, must be changed, and a third state added, partly of exaltation, partly of humiliation.  But that needs not, for certainly Christ was never in more than one state at one time: when he was in a state of humiliation he was in a state of humiliation, not of exaltation; when in a state of exaltation he was in a state of exaltation, not of humiliation.  In one of which estates he purchased salvation for us, in the other he applies it to us.  And therefore there can be no need of making a mixed estate, unless it be to build the error upon it, that Christ went not to hell, but heaven.  And therefore, until it can be proved that there is more necessity than that of holding a mixed estate of Christ, wherein part of him for a time was exalted, and part of him debased (which I believe can never be), we cannot but maintain that the soul was in a state of humiliation, as well and as long as the body, and so not in heaven when this was upon earth, but under earth in hell, whilst his body was under earth in the grave.  And when one rose they both rose; the soul being fetched from hell to be united again to its body.  But in few words, to put this question out of question, that the soul of Christ was not in heaven (but therefore in hell), in the third place, our Saviour himself, who best knows when he first ascended up to heaven, tells us plainly, the third day after his death, being the day of resurrection, that he was not then ascended up to heaven, saying to Mary, Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my Father, John 20:17.  Which certainly cannot be meant only of his body, but of his soul also, or rather both soul and body together.  For if either of them, especially if his soul had been ascended to his Father, I cannot see how he could have said, I am not yet ascended to my Father, for the soul is the principal part whence the whole is denominated; and so, whatsoever the soul doth, the whole person is looked upon as doing: as when our souls go to heaven, we are said to go thither.  And therefore might Christ, if his soul had been then in heaven, better have said, I am now descended from my Father, than I am not yet ascended to my Father; for he had ascended and come down again.  But we cannot, we dare not, but believe, that Christ meant really as he spake, that he then was not ascended to his Father, that the human nature which he assumed upon earth was not as yet gone up to heaven, but one part of it had been in hell, the other in the grave; and being both joined together again, the whole human nature appeared visibly to Mary after his resurrection, as it had done before his passion.  Whence we cannot but judge, that if we weigh things in the equal balance of unbiased reason, we must needs believe that the soul of Christ, when breathed from his body upon his cross on earth, went not up to his crown in heaven, but stayed in hell until the time that it was to be tied to its body again, that as both had been all along together in a state of humiliation upon earth, so both might go together to his estate of exaltation in heaven.

      And if from producing arguments for this truth we go on to consider such as have been produced against it, we shall not find any thing very material.  Indeed there is scarce any thing that looks like an argument against it; only there are two scriptures, and but two only, that they make use of to batter it; and they are, first, the words of our Saviour to the thief, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise, Luke 23:43.  But surely they were much busied that had not leisure to consider what it is to be with Christ in paradise, and so, what our Saviour meant when he promised the thief he should be that day with him in paradise; certainly he did not promise him that he should be with his soul, or with his body, but with his Deity.*  It is that that maketh paradise to be paradise; and if the thief had been that day with his soul, without his Godhead, or the enjoyment of the Divine nature, he could not be said to be in paradise.  So that to be with Christ in paradise is plainly no more than to be in heaven; for he that is in heaven must needs be with Christ in paradise, and he that is with Christ in paradise must needs be in heaven.  And so I believe was Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with Christ in paradise before his birth and incarnation; and so might the thief be immediately after his death and passion.  For though his human nature was not there, yet his Divine nature was; and so the very same person that was at that time with the thief upon the cross was there, though the nature he had assumed into that person was not; and that certainly was all our Saviour did; more than which he could not promise to the thief when he said, that that day he should be with him in paradise.

      The other place is that of St. Luke, where our Saviour, as he was giving up the ghost, crieth out, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, Luke 23:46.  From hence they argue, that the spirit of Christ being committed into the hands of God, it must needs go to heaven.  But I wonder whether the hands of God could not reach into hell as well as heaven: If I make my bed in hell, saith David, behold, thou art there, Psalm 139:8.  And why might not the spirit of Christ be commended into the hands of God, though it should go to hell, as well as if it should have gone to heaven?  May we not commit our bodies into the hands of God, which perhaps may lie many years rotting in their graves, as well as our souls, that go immediately to him?  Nay, certainly, seeing Christ went to hell, he may well be thought to have more need to commend his spirit into the hands of God, that he might protect and defend it in the midst of so many devils and hellish fiends.  So that when our Saviour Christ saith, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, what is it more than this, Father, seeing my spirit is now going from earth to hell, I commend it into thy hands, that thou mayest preserve it in hell as thou hast on earth?  And so these words, instead of fighting against us, seem to be clearly on our side; and these two places failing, I know not of any other that can be brought to enervate this truth, that Christ descended into hell.

      Neither is this a truth of yesterday’s growth, but almost all the Fathers of the primitive church have acknowledged and received it as an article of their faith.  Though they much differ about the end of his going, yet that he did go thither they all agree.  Some said he went to preach, others to loose whom himself thought fit, others to triumph over his conquered enemy the Devil, but all affirm that he did go to hell.  But passing by many others, I shall only pack one jury of them that bring in their verdict for this truth.

      And the foreman is Ignatius,* who saith expressly, “He descended into hell alone, but ascended with a multitude.”

      The next is Clemens Alexandrinus, whose opinion was not only that he descended, but that he descended on purpose to preach to the spirits there detained, saying, * “The Lord therefore descended for no other end, but only to preach the gospel, either to all, or else to the Jews only”; and adds, * “That at that time things were so ordered in hell, that all the souls that there heard the preaching, might either manifest their repentance, or acknowledge their punishment to be just, because they did not believe.”

      The next is Tertullian, who saith, * “The God Christ, being also a man, and dying according to the scriptures, and being buried also according to the same, he satisfied this law also undergoing the manner of an human death in hell.”

      The fourth is famous Athanasius,* who tells us, “Christ was buried; his soul, that went to hell, but seeing it could not be held there, it was restored to his body, and so he rose again.”

      The fifth is St. Hilary, * who saith, “It is the law of human necessity that their bodies being buried, their souls should descend to hell; which descent the Lord did not refuse for the consummation of a real man, viz. that he might do for man whatsoever man was bound of necessity to do.”

      The sixth is St. Ambrose; * “Though the soul of Christ was in the abyss of hell, yet now it is not, because it is written, Thou wilt not leave my soul is hell.”

      The seventh is St. Basil, who upon those words, But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, (or from the hand of hell, as this Father translates it), for he shall receive me, saith, * “He clearly foretelleth the descent of the Lord into hell; who shall redeem this prophet’s soul with others that it may not remain there.”

      The eighth is St. Hierome, who saith, * “ Hell is a place of punishments and of torments, where the rich man that was used to be clothed in purple was seen whither also the Lord descended, that he might loose those from prison that were bound there.”  And again: * “For none is delivered from hell but only by the grace of Christ, and therefore did Christ descend thither after his death.  As the angel descended into the furnace at Babylon to deliver the three children, so did Christ descend into the furnace of hell, where the souls of the just were shut up.”

      The ninth is Macarius, who lived before the five last cited; and in his disputation in the first general council of Nice affirmed, * “After death we are carried into hell.  This also did he (Christ) take upon himself, and descended willingly into it.  He was not detained there as we are, but he descended.”

      The tenth is Fulgentius, who thus delivereth his opinion in this particular: * “But the humanity of the Son of God was neither wholly in the grave nor wholly in hell, but as to his real flesh, Christ being dead lay in the grave, but in his soul Christ descended into hell, and in the same soul returned from hell again to the flesh he had left in the grave.”

      The eleventh is Anastasius Sinaita, * who avers the selfsame thing with him: “The grave truly received his body only, but hell his soul only.”

      The twelfth and last is St. Augustine, who, though in time he was before the two last named, shall bring in his verdict after them: and his opinion is, * “That if those words, This day shalt thou be with me in paradise, be spoken of the humanity which the Word of God assumed, paradise is not there to be thought to be in heaven.  For the man Christ was not that day to be in heaven, but in hell as to his soul, and in the grave as to his body.”  And again: * “And that the Lord being put to death in the flesh came to hell is clear; for none can contradict either that prophecy that saith, Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, which lest any one should understand otherwise, the same Peter expoundeth in the Acts of the Apostles; nor those words of the same Peter, whereby he asserteth, that he loosed the pains of hell, of which it was impossible he should be held.  Who therefore but an infidel can deny that Christ was in hell?”  And that it ought to be received as one of the principal articles of our faith, the same Father teacheth us, saying, * “Wherefore let us hold firmly what faith hath received upon the surest grounds, that Christ died, according to the scriptures, and was buried, and rose again the third day, according to the same; and the other things that are written of him, the truth being witness; of which also this is one, that he was in hell, having loosed the pains thereof, whereby it was impossible he should be held.

      Seeing therefore that scripture is so clear for it, seeing reason also subscribeth to it, seeing so little or nothing can be brought against it, seeing a whole jury of Fathers, besides others, give in their verdict for it, we cannot but conclude, that as Christ died for us, and was buried, so also it is to be believed that he went down into hell.



Of the Resurrection of Christ.

      Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature.

      When the Son of God had assumed our human nature into his Divine Person, our nature so assumed did not always remain in one and the same condition; but there was a double state we are to believe it to have been in; the one of humiliation, the other of exaltation: in both of which likewise there were several degrees.  In his state of humiliation he was debased, 1, as low as death itself, yea, the death of the cross.  Nay, 2, lower than that, even to the grave.  Nay, 3, lower still than either of them, even unto hell itself.  And so also in his state of exaltation there are the same steps; for he was exalted, 1, so high, as to rise from the dead.  Nay, 2, higher than that, to ascend up to heaven.  Nay, 3, highest of all, to sit at the right hand of God.  His estate of humiliation, with its several degrees, we have already considered; having in the second article shewn how he was crucified, dead and buried; and in the third, how he descended into hell.  In this we have the three degrees of his exaltation, his resurrection, ascension, and sitting at the right hand of God.  Of which in their order, as they are here placed.  And first therefore of his resurrection Christ did truly rise from death.  As he did truly suffer, was truly crucified, truly dead, truly buried, and did truly descend into hell; so did he also truly rise again from death.  The soul of Christ, being breathed from his body, went down to hell; the body of Christ, being deprived of its soul, was carried to the grave.  And here they both continued, the one in the grave, and the other in hell, until the third day after the divorce was made: at which time the soul, that went from the body down to hell, comes up again from hell unto the body.  And, as it left the body upon the cross, it now finds it in the grave; even the selfsame body that three days before was nailed to the cross; not any way broken, bemangled, or corrupted, but in the same condition the soul had left it in.  This selfsame body, which the soul before was forced from, is it now again united to.  After which union of the soul to the body, immediately follows the return, or resurrection both of soul and body from the state of death.  The separation of the soul from the body had brought (though not the soul, yet) the human nature into a state of death; the union of the soul to the body brings it back again into a state of life.  So that Christ after his resurrection, as well as before his passion, had all things appertaining to the human nature; having the same soul and the same * body, the same flesh and the same bones that he had before, and the same of every thing that belongeth to the perfection of man’s nature.  So that whatsoever is essential to the constitution of the human nature, without which he could not be man as well as God, that was the Lord Christ invested with after his resurrection, as well as before his passion.

      Christ from his birth to his death, from the first moment wherein he was conceived by the Holy Ghost until the last wherein himself gave up the ghost, was a real living man; having not only a soul and body as we have, but a soul united to his body as ours are.  But when his soul was separated from his body, for the time he was not a living but a dead man, the union of the two essential parts being as necessary to the making up of a living man, as the parts themselves are to the making up of a man.  Whereas, though the soul and body of Christ retained their personal union to the Son of God after his death and before his resurrection, as well as after his birth and before his passion, yet in the meanwhile they were separated from one another; one of them was not united to the other, though they were both united to the Divine Person.  And therefore as we, when our souls are in heaven or hell, and our bodies in the grave, are not for the present living men, so neither was Christ.  He had indeed at that time both parts of the human nature united to him, but yet he had them not united together, but one in one place, and the other in another; but now, when the time appointed comes, these the parts of the human nature, which for a while had been divorced, are joined together again, and so do constitute a perfect living man as they had done before; and being the same parts, they cannot but make the same man too.  And this is that which we are to understand when we say Christ rose from the dead, even that the soul and body which Christ assumed being separated from one another, the third day after, they were united again.  And so the man Christ is now alive, who before was dead; so alive as to walk up and down the earth, and to discourse with his disciples as he had done before; and that he did thus rise again from death, scripture is express and reason clear.

      And in producing of scriptures for this great fundamental truth, I shall first confirm it from the prophecies of the Old, and then from the histories of the New Testament.  The Law foretold the Messiah should, the Gospel relates how Christ did really rise from death.  First, from the Old Testament.  And verily had we all the scriptures our Saviour himself made use of, when beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself, Luke 24:27, or those whereby St. Paul persuaded his hearers, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening, Acts 28:23, certainly we should be richly furnished with convincing arguments for this truth.  But in the meanwhile let these two or three convince us of it, and confirm us in it.  As, first, My flesh, also shall rest in hope.  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption, Psalm 16: 9, 10.  That these words were spoken prophetically of Christ is clear, because the same Spirit that here speaks them in the Psalmist David, applies them to Christ by the apostle Peter, Acts 2:31.  And if the soul of Christ must not be left in hell, nor his flesh see corruption, they must of necessity rise again; for otherwise the one could not but be left in hell, nor the other but see corruption in the grave.  Another place is that, When thou shalt make his said an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, Isa. 53:10.  Where the first words plainly imply his offering up himself a sacrifice upon the cross for sin, and the latter his rising from the dead, without which it would be impossible for him after that to prolong his days.  Thus it is said also, that of the increase of his government there shall be no end, Isaiah 9:7; which notwithstanding, if he should not rise again, would be determined in his death.

      And what was foretold in the Old concerning the Messiah, is recorded in the New Testament concerning this Jesus, that he was indeed raised from the dead, telling us, that though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth, by the power of God, 2 Cor. 13:4.  And again, For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of dead and living, Rom. 14:9.  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead, dieth, no more, ch. 6:9.  But besides these and the like places, that expressly assert this truth, we have in the gospel the testimonies of several eyewitnesses recorded, that saw him as really alive after his death as they had done before.  As, 1. Mary Magdalene saw him at the sepulchre, presently after he was risen, Mark 16:9, John 20:14.  2. Cleopas and another of the disciples enjoyed his company and his discourse as they were going to Emmaus, Luke 24:13, 14; Mark 16:12.  And again, 3. All the eleven disciples being met the same day, (Thomas excepted, who then was absent,) saw him standing amongst them, heard him speaking unto them, and breathing the Spirit upon them, John 20:19.  And, 4. above five hundred brethren had the happiness to behold him at the same time, 1 Cor. 15:6.  And, 5, after that, James saw him by himself, ver. 7.  6. After that, he was seen of all the apostles, Thomas being present with them, John 20:26, 1 Cor. 15:7; at which time Thomas, having not seen him before, mistrusted and doubted whether it was he or no, which our Saviour knowing presently convinced him of his error, saying to him, * Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing, John 20:27; which Thomas doing was forced immediately to cry out, My Lord and my God, ver. 28.  After he had touched him, he perceived him to be the same man, and, by consequence, * God too.  He believed him to be the same man, because he could touch him; and God, because that body which he touched was raised from the dead.  And so Thomas’s former unbelief maketh much for the confirmation of our faith.*  But, 7. after this the disciples saw him again at the sea of Tiberias, John 21:1, 2, &c.  8. They saw him again immediately before his ascension, Luke 24:36, Acts 1:9.  And at this time it is observable, the disciples had clear evidences of the reality, not only of his body, but his soul too; for he * ate and drank with them, and so manifested his vegetative soul, Luke 24:43; he discoursed with them, which he could not do unless he heard them speaking unto him, and so by that he manifested his sensitive soul; and he reasoned also with them, saying unto them, These are the words which I said unto you whilst I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.  And again, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to seer, and to rise from the dead the third day, ver. 44, 46; and this was a clear discovery of his rational soul too.  And last of all he was seen of Paul also, as one born out of due time, 1 Cor. 15:8.  And these are the witnesses chosen before of God, which he shewed himself openly unto, Acts 10:40, 41; and of these men it was that Peter saith, One must be ordained to be a witness with the apostles of his resurrection, chap. 1:22.  But these were all the friends of Christ, and so their testimony may not be thought perhaps so valid in this case.  And therefore, to take away all objections St. Matthew relates how the very * adversaries of Christ attested this truth; for some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all that were done, Matt. 28:11.  And that the things they told them was, that he whom they had crucified the day before the passover was now risen again from the dead, is clear, from the issue of their consultation about the matter, for they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept, ver. 12, 13.  If the soldiers had not told them he was risen of himself, what need had they to have bribed them to say he was stolen away by his disciples?  And thus have we this great truth, that Christ rose from the dead, attested both by his friends and enemies; both by those that believed in him, and also by those that scoffed at him.

      And the scripture having left on record the testimony of so many witnesses for the confirmation of this truth, there is nothing left for reason to do in the case (it being a matter of fact), but, first, to show that the body that those witnesses saw Christ have, after his resurrection, was the selfsame body that he had before his passion; and, secondly, to examine the plea that the high-priest and elders invented to cloak and palliate the business withal.  As for the first, that the body which Christ appeared in after, was the same that he had before he was crucified, is clear.  First, from Mary’s knowing him by his voice: Jesus saith, unto her, Mary: she turneth herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, John 20:16.  He had no sooner called her by her name, but she knew him by his voice; which is a plain argument that the organs of his body, whereby he spake, were the same now that they were before, and so his body the same; the distinction of our voices proceeding from the difference there is in the organs or instruments of our bodies that we speak by; so that where the organs of our bodies are different, the voice cannot be the same; and where the voice is the same, the organs cannot be different.  Secondly, as it appears from Mary’s knowing him by his voice, so also from the apostles’ knowing of him by his visage, John 20:20, 21:12; for this shews that not only the organs or instruments of speech, but the whole shape of his body, and all the lineaments of his face, were the same now that they were before; these being the several marks whereby one man is always known from another.  Lastly, to name no * more, this clearly appears from the words of the angels to the women, Why seek ye the living among the dead? he is not here, but is risen, Luke 24:5, 6; as also from what the soldiers told the elders, that the body that they watched, being the same body that was nailed to the cross the day before the passover, was now risen out of the place where it was laid.  So that the selfsame body that was laid there the day before the passover, the selfsame body was raised thence the day after.

            [*Another proof of the identity of our Saviour’s body after, with that it was before his resurrection, might be brought from the words of our Saviour to Thomas, Behold my hands, and my feet, and my side; from whence the Fathers, as I before have shewed, conclude that the print and footsteps of the sounds our Saviour had in his hands and feet and side remained also after his resurrection; by which St. Thomas could no longer doubt whether it was the same body or no.  Many testimonies of the Fathers I have before cited, to which we may add that also of St. Chrysostom, where he brings in Christ saying to Thomas {quoted Greek} Chrysost. εις τον άγιον αποστ. Θωμαν, vol. V. p. 839.]

      But let us now, in the second place, set upon the examination of what the soldiers, being bribed by the elders, reported among the Jews, to hide this so great a mystery from them, that so it might not have any effectual work upon them.  Christ, whilst living amongst them, had frequently forewarned them of his resurrection, that he must rise again the third day, Mark 8:52; and, Destroy this temple, and in three days * I will raise it up, John 2:19; which and the like expressions stuck foully in the Jews’ stomachs after he was dead.  And therefore the chief priests and scribes came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet living, After three days I will rise again.  Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Matt. 27:62, 63.  Pilate said unto them, You have a watch; go your way, make it as sure as you can, ver. 65.  And so, they having gotten leave of Pilate, they presently went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch, ver. 66.  The watch being set, did faithfully discharge the trust committed to them, watching all night at the sepulchre, that none might steal away the body that lay there.  But notwithstanding all their care and watchfulness, in the morning they found the body gone; and that for all that they could do, it did fall out as he had foretold; for he was indeed risen from the dead.  Upon this they haste to the chief priests and Pharisees, from whom they had received their command, and acquaint them with the business, which caused them immediately to call a council to consult what to do in this case, who, after some debate about the matter, resolved to corrupt the soldiers with large sums of money, that they might not tell the truth of the business, but to report it about that the disciples stole him away while they slept. Matt. 28:12, 13.  The soldiers, preferring the money, it seems, before their credit, noise it abroad accordingly, that the disciples of Christ stole him away while they slept which how unlikely and incredible a thing it is that they should do, let any one judge that doth but consider these following particulars.

      First, Is it probable that the disciples, a company of fearful * cowards, that had all run away from their master when apprehended, should dare to come to steal him away when crucified; especially when the guard, picked and culled out, it is likely, for the present service, was set to watch, and to watch upon that very account, that his disciples might not steal his body away?  Or if they had intended to come at all, why not the night * before, when the watch was not yet set?  It is said, the next day that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together to Pilate, &c. Matt. 27:62.  And so there was one night wherein there was no guard set to watch it.  Is it credible that they should let slip such an opportunity, wherein they might have conveyed away the body without any opposition at all, and venture to attempt it when so strong a watch was set to oppose and apprehend them?  But, secondly, suppose the disciples should have put on courage to enterprise such a business, is it likely that they could steal away his body while the watch slept, and awake none of them at all?  There was a great * stone to be rolled away, so big, it seems, that the two women that went to anoint the body were consulting by the way how to get it removed from the mouth of the sepulchre, Mark 16:8.  And could such a stone be rolled away, unless it was by the hand of an angel, and not awake the sleeping watch that sat hard by?  Thirdly, suppose the disciples should have rolled away the stone, the watch still snorting on, is it credible that they could have leisure to have laid his winding sheet decently wrapped up in one place, and the napkin, or kerchief, that was upon his head, in another place by itself, as we read they were, John 20:6, 7?  Certainly, at such a time, they must needs have been in more haste than to spend their time in such needless curiosities as they were, especially, considering that he was wound up in a linen cloth, with beaten myrrh, and cassia, and other spices, which were of a clammy and * sticking nature, and so would require much time and pains too to strip him of, John 19:40.  Fourthly, suppose the body was indeed gone, yea, stolen away by some that had courage and leisure to do the feat, yet how did they know it was the disciples that did it?  They profess themselves that they were asleep, and how could they then * know who it was that so surprised them while they slept?  Fifthly, suppose further, that it was the disciples that indeed stole him away, is it credible that they durst go and say they did it whilst they slept?  When Peter was miraculously delivered out of prison by an angel, the keepers that were set to watch him being examined and found guilty, (though alas! they were as far from being guilty of letting Peter go out of prison as these were of letting Christ’s body be stolen by his disciples,) I say, being though upon unjust and false grounds, found guilty, they were presently commanded to be put to death, Acts 12:19.  And what could these expect, who were guilty of the like crime, but to be served the same sauce?  And it is probable they feared no less, if they should but report such a thing abroad, that the body was stolen while they slept, from the Pharisees’ words to them, And if this come to the governor’s ears, we will persuade him and secure you, Matt. 28:14; which plainly implies, that if the governor should come to hear of it that the watch slept, and suffered the body to be stolen, he would presently call them to an account for it.  And is it credible, that they should thus prove their own accusers and hazard their lives, yea condemn themselves out of their own mouths?  But we find the contrary here, for they tell every one they meet, that whilst sleep kept all their senses locked up, there come the disciples and steal the body away they were set to watch; and yet none calls them into question about it, nor inflicts any punishment upon them for it.  Which clearly shews, that there was daubing in the business; and that, let the soldiers say what they will, he was not stolen away privately while they slept, but was raised up insensibly whilst they watched.  Sixthly, if the disciples had stole him away by night, is it likely that they would go up and down the world, and preach obedience to him that had promised indeed to rise again the third day, but before that day came they were forced to take him up, otherwise he had not been raised at all?  Certainly it was the mystery of his * resurrection that emboldened them to proclaim his name over all the world; which had it not been a real thing, they who were so wise, as appears from their actions, as to put all the learned Jews to it, to call council upon council to suppress them, would never have been so sottish as to have spent their time in persuading men to believe in a crucified Christ, who still lay in the jaws of death, contrary to the promise that he made them, that he would rise again to life. But seventhly, though they might be so much overseen as to extol and preach obedience to his name a while, is it probable that they would all venture their very lives for him who still lay dead amongst them?  Ecclesiastical history * assures us, that there was not one of the apostles, except John, but suffered martyrdom for the sake of Christ.  James had the sword of king Herod sheathed in his bowels, and so his blood let out for Christ who shed his blood for him, Acts 12:1, 2.  Peter was crucified with his heels upwards, looking upon himself as unworthy to be crucified like his Lord Christ.  Matthew was run through with a sword, or, as others think, he was fastened to the ground with nails or spears.  Andrew was crucified by Egeas, king of Edessa.  Philip was stoned to death at Hierapolis in Phrygia.  Bartholomew was beaten down with clubs as he was preaching in Armenia, his skin being afterwards flead off.  Thomas was slain with a dart at Calamina, in India.  The other James was cast headlong from the temple, as some think.  Lebbeus was slain by Agbarus, king of Edessa.  Simon the Canaanite was crucified in Egypt, or, as others think, he and Jude were slain in a popular tumult.  Matthias was first stoned, and then beheaded: and John himself, though he did not suffer death for Christ, yet he was cast into burning oil, as it is thought, by Nero at Rome, as some, at Ephesus as others suppose, and suffered no harm thereby; and afterwards he was banished by Domitian into the isle of Patmos.  Now is it likely that all these should suffer such deaths and tortures for one, who their own consciences could not but tell them still remained under the power of death, and none of them bewray the matter before they die, but all of them lay down their lives for him?  Could grim death himself, in his most ghastly posture, wrest nothing from them?  What! live and die too in the same faith, that he that was crucified by men was raised up by God?  Who could think that they, of any men in the world, should have had any hand in such a thing?  Certainly they might have fathered their lie and forgery upon any one rather than these, who so unanimously sealed it with their own blood, that it was God himself that raised him from the grave.  Lastly, suppose after all this, that yet it was the disciples that stole his body away while the watch slept.  Yet how came he to live again?  Though they might take his body from the grave, could they put life into his body too?  We have read that there were many hundreds that saw him after he was crucified, as really alive as he was before.  And this may put the matter quite out of doubt, that it was a mere fable, a downright lie, that was famed abroad, that his disciples stole him away while the watch slept; and that it is a real truth, that he alone who could call back his soul again into his body, was the person who raised up his body from the grave; and so that Christ did truly arise from the dead.

      And this, the foundation of our Christian religion, the Fathers do frequently insist upon, and give their assent to.  To begin with Clemens, bishop of Rome, who was contemporary with St. Paul himself. * “Let us consider with ourselves, beloved,” (saith he) “how the Lord continually sheweth that the resurrection is to come, the firstfruits whereof he hath made the Lord Jesus Christ, having raised him from the dead.”  The next to him is Ignatius, who doth frequently press the belief of this Article; but there is one place in his Epistle to the church of Smyrna more remarkable than any of the rest; where he saith, * “But I (do not only know by his nativity and crucifixion, that he was really incarnate, but) after his resurrection saw him in the flesh, and believe that he is so still.  And when he came to those that were with Peter, and said to them, Take and handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me have.”  Where, I confess, what I translate, “I saw him in the flesh,” * others expound, “I know he was in the flesh”; and I must also acknowledge that St. Chrysostom saith, that he neither saw Christ nor enjoyed any converse with him.*  But St. Hierome (and so his interpreter Sophronius) expressly renders the words of Ignatius, * “But I also, after his resurrection, saw him in the flesh.”  And Nicephorus saith, * “Ignatius, when a child, was one of those little children that our Saviour took up in his arms, when he said, Unless ye become like one of these little children, you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

      From Ignatius we shall go to Justin Martyr, who tells us, that “the * Lord remained upon the cross almost until the evening, and about evening they buried him; but afterwards he rose again the third day.”  And elsewhere, * “But upon Sunday we commonly all meet together, because that was the first day, wherein God turning over the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour upon that day arose from the dead.  For the day before Saturday they crucified him, and the day after Saturday, which is Sunday, appearing to his apostles and disciples, he taught them those things which we, for your understanding, deliver unto you.”  And that Christ rose from the dead, Tertullian also expresseth, though obscurely and paradoxically, yet very acutely and elegantly: * “The Son of God was born: I am not ashamed of it, because it is a thing to be ashamed of.  The Son of God died: this is altogether credible, because it is absurd.  And after he was buried he arose again: it is certain, because it is impossible.”  And Athanasius doth not only assert the truth of his resurrection, but gives the reason also why he rose no sooner, and why he lay no longer than three days, saying, “But * he suffered not the temple of his body to remain long (in the grave); but having shewn only that it was dead, by its conflict with death, upon the third day he presently arose, bringing with him his trophies and victories over death, even incorruptibility and impassibility in his body.  He could indeed presently after death have raised up his body, and have shewn it alive again; but our Saviour, well foreseeing the issue, would not do it.  For then some might have said he was not truly dead, or not fully struck with death, if he had immediately after death manifested his resurrection: and perhaps also, if there had been no interval betwixt his death and resurrection, the glory of his incorruptibility would not have been so manifest.  Wherefore, that his body might clearly appear to be dead, the Word tarried one middle day (in the grave) and upon the third day shewed it incorruptible unto all.  That therefore he might manifest death in his body, he arose the third day.  Neither would he suffer his body to be longer detained there and corrupted, lest at the last, when he did rise, he should not be believed to have the same, but another body.  (For then it might come to pass, that by reason of the length of the time, they would not believe when he did appear, and that the things that were done should be forgotten.)  And for that he would not remain longer than three days, neither would he keep those that had heard him foretelling his resurrection any longer in suspense.”

      Next to Athanasius comes St. Cyril of Hierusalem; for this was an article of his faith too, that Christ arose from the dead, “I believe” * (saith he) “that Christ was raised from the dead.  For, for this I have many witnesses, both out of the Divine scriptures, and from the testimony and operation unto this day of him that rose again.”  And St. Chrysostom, “But * that they may learn, that whilst he was living, what he suffered he suffered willingly; behold the seal, and stone, and custody, and watch, all could not detain him that was dead, but that one thing fell out alone, that even from thence his resurrection was published abroad.”  Yea, so that St. Augustine tells us, “that the resurrection * of Christ, and his ascent into heaven with that body wherewith he arose, is now preached and believed over the whole world; and if it be incredible, how comes it to be believed in all the earth?”

      But these, you will say, are all Christians; and therefore it is no wonder if they avouch all this and more of Christ; but where is there a Jew that will say as much?  Yes, there is Josephus by name, a Jew by nation and religion too, yet speaketh as much concerning this particular as any Christian hath or can speak; for he, speaking of Christ by the bye, gives us this short but full and true relation of him.  “But * about this time lived one Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he did many strange and admirable works, and was the teacher of such as willingly received the truth; and he drew unto him many of the Jews, and many of the Greeks too, to be his followers.  This was the Christ and him did the chief men among us accuse.  And after Pilate had crucified him, they that loved him before did not yet forsake him: for he appeared unto them the third day alive again, the divine prophets having spoken these, and a thousand such wonderful things before of him.  And unto this moment, the race of the Christians, called so from him, hath never ceased.”  Thus we see both scripture, reason, and Fathers asserting the truth of this Article; yea, and the very enemies of Christ forced into the acknowledgment of it so that he must be worse than a Jew that will not subscribe unto it, that Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again, his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature.


Wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the last day.

      The selfsame person that was betrayed by Judas, apprehended by the officers, accused by the Jews, condemned by Pilate, and crucified by the soldiers, being restored again to life, after he had remained three days in the state of death did as really appear to and converse with his apostles and disciples after this his resurrection, as he had done before his passion.  He did not immediately ascend to heaven so soon as raised from the grave, but still continued some time upon the face of earth, the more to * confirm his disciples in this great mystery of his resurrection, and other articles of the faith he had before instructed them in.  In which space of time (to wit forty days), as he appeared to none but his disciples, * so neither did he appear to them * continually, but only now and then, that so he might by degrees wean them from his bodily presence, which within few days they were no longer to enjoy; and raise up their minds to the contemplation of the greater mysteries of the gospel he had revealed unto them.

      But as he did not ascend to heaven so soon as raised from the grave, so neither was it long after he was raised from the grave before he ascended up to heaven; for it was but forty days; and so the same time that he had remained in the wilderness, before his temptation by Satan, the same time he now remains upon earth before his ascension to God; which time being expired, he is now carried up to heaven to be glorified by God, as he was then carried into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.  Not as if Christ, as God, thus * ascended from earth to heaven, for as God he never was so in heaven as not to be upon earth, nor so on earth as not to be in heaven at the same time: as God he is included in no place, nor excluded out of any, and so is incapable of descending from an higher place to a lower, or ascending from a lower place to a higher.  But though not as God, yet he that was God as well as man, in that nature wherein he was man as well as God, was truly and locally translated from these lower parts of the world where we live, unto those higher regions where the angels and glorified saints reside.  So that the body of Christ (was not, according to that wild opinion of some of * the heretics of old, left in the sun, but it) was by a true and real local motion conveyed from earth to heaven, so as to be as really and substantially afterwards in heaven, and not on earth, as it was really and substantially before on earth, and not in heaven.

      Neither did the human nature of Christ thus ascend from earth to heaven presently to descend again from heaven to earth, but thither it ascended, and there it hath remained for above this sixteen hundred years together; and there it now, even at this very moment, sitteth at the right hand of God, and there it will sit until his second coming to judgment.  I say, and there he sitteth at the right hand of God; which words though they be not expressed here, they are in the Creed; yea, and in the scriptures it is said, He was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God, Mark 16:19; which was no more than what David had long ago foretold of him, saying, * The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool, Heb. 1:13.  In which and the like places, by the right hand of God we must not understand it as if God had any right or left hand, as the words signify amongst us; for God, as I have shewn, is a Spirit, having no body or parts, nor by consequence any right or left hand; but by Christ’s sitting at the right hand of God we are to understand (with the * Fathers) that glory, happiness, and honour which was conferred upon Christ when ascended up to heaven.  Though it was in the human nature that he ascended, yet that nature was there exalted above all other creatures whatsoever; and therefore may well be said to sit at the right hand of God; that being the place which amongst us, who have right and left hands, is accounted the highest.  Thither it was that Christ at the first ascended; there it is that he hath ever since remained; there it is that he now sitteth whilst I am speaking of him, and there it is that he will sit until the time that both quick and dead shall be assembled before him to receive their doom and final sentence from him.

      And if we search the scriptures for their testimony unto this great truth, the ascension of Christ into heaven, we shall find them both typically representing and prophetically foretelling in the Old, and also positively asserting and historically relating of it in the New Testament.  First, in the Old Testament we have it typically represented, and prophetically foretold.  First, typically represented * both in Enoch’s translation and in Elijah’s ascension into heaven; but more fully in the high priest’s entering into the holy of holies.  For the high priest under the law, being to make atonement for the sins of the people, was appointed once, and but once, every year to enter into the holy of holies.  For the Lord said unto Moses, Speak unto Aaron thy brother, that he come not at all times into the holy place within the nail, before the mercy seat, which is upon the ark; that he die not, Lev. 16:2.  And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of the altar once in a year with the blood of the sin offerings of atonements, Exod. 30:10.  This doth the apostle apply to Christ: But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us, Heb. 9:11, 12.  The tabernacle, that did signify the world below, the holy of holies, the heavens above.  Now as the high priest did once, and but once, every year pass with the blood of the sacrifice through the tabernacle into the holy of holies; so did Christ, having offered up himself a sacrifice for sin, and with his own blood passed through this world below, he entered into the highest heavens.  And this is that which we call his ascension.

      And as this mystery was typically represented, so was it also prophetically foretold in the Old Testament; as in that of David, Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in, Psalm 24:7.  Which words, though they may have another literal, yet this is the mystical and prophetical sense the * Fathers put upon them, even to denote the ascension of Christ, the King of Glory, into the highest heavens.  But the clearest prophecy of this so great a mystery is delivered in those words, Thou hast ascended on high; thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell amongst them, Psalm 68:18.  Which place, that it is to be understood of Christ, the same Spirit that dictated it to David certifies us by St. Paul, who, speaking of Christ, tells us, Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men, Eph. 4:8.  It was Christ who, rising from earth to heaven, sent down his gifts from heaven to earth.  It was here that he bought them for us4 but it is from thence that he poureth them forth upon us.  And this place must needs be understood (as after St. Paul the Fathers* generally interpret it) of the ascension of the Messiah, there being no other person that ever did so ascend on high, as to lead captivity captive and to give gifts to men, but he who, ascending up to heaven, triumphed over all our spiritual enemies, captivating sin, Satan, and death, that used to captivate us; and after his ascending up to the right hand of God sent such gifts to the sons of men as we shall presently see he did.

      We have seen the typical representations and the prophetical predictions of this in the Old, we now come to consider the positive assertions and historical relations of it in the New Testament.  As for the first, Christ before his ascension asserted that he would ascend: Jesus saith, unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God, John 20:17.  And what our Saviour said he would do, St. Paul asserts he did, saying, that He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, Eph. 4:10.  As it was Christ that descended, so was it Christ that ascended.  But it is the historical relation of this grand mystery that giveth both the greatest light and testimony to it.  And that we might be throughly confirmed in it, it is no less than three times recorded to us; first by St. Mark, who briefly relates it thus: So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God, Mark 16:19.  Something more fully by St. Luke in his Gospel, And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lift up his eyes and blessed them.  And it came to pass while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up to heaven, Luke 24:50.  But fullest of all by the same St. Luke in his history of the Acts of the Apostles, where it is left on record, that this Christ shewed himself alive to his apostles after his passion, and that he was seen of them forty days, at the end whereof he had assembled them together, instructing them in the things pertaining to the kingdom of God; And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven, Acts 1:9–11.  In which words we have these things observable.  First, that Christ did really ascend; he was really taken away from the apostles he was conversing withal, and that upwards, for they saw that he that was talking with them before is taken up from them now.  Secondly, that it was into heaven that he ascended; which that we might be assured of, the inhabitants of that glorious place, the citizens of that New Jerusalem, come down to acquaint us.  The apostles saw he was taken up, but whither he went they could not see; their eyes could reach no further than the cloud he rode in; what afterwards became of him they could not tell.  But to resolve them, the great God, as Christ ascended up to heaven, caused two angels to descend down to earth, to * assure them of the place he was carried to, saying to them, This same Jesus that is taken from you into heaven; and so shewing them that it was indeed into heaven that he was taken, and * comforting them also in this their seeming loss of so good a friend, by telling them that he shall so come in like manner as they saw him go into heaven.  Though he was gone, he would come again; though they were for the present deprived of his company, yet it was not long but they should enjoy it again, beholding him come down again from heaven to earth, as they now saw him go up from earth to heaven.  Thirdly, it is here observable that the apostles saw him ascend: * they did not see him when he rose from earth, but they saw him when he ascended to heaven.  And indeed there was no need of their seeing him rising, because they were to see him when risen: but there was need. they should see him when ascending, because they were to see him no more as yet when once ascended.  And therefore it is that he was not immediately snatched out of their sight, but ascended * by degrees; for it is said, And while they looked stedfastly towards heaven, as he went up, implying that they saw him going farther and farther from them, until he was gone quite out of their sight; and then had messengers presently sent from heaven to acquaint them with his arrival there.  Lastly, it is observable from these words, that Christ did not only ascend to heaven then, but remaineth there now, and there shall remain until his second coming.  For it is here said, that when he comes from thence he shall descend as he ascended, visibly and apparently to others.  Now it is certain, that he did never yet descend so as he then ascended, and therefore must needs be there still, sitting at the right hand of God until his enemies be made his footstool.  Other proofs from scripture might be brought for it, but these may suffice to shew that the same body wherein Christ arose from the grave he afterwards ascended up to heaven in, where he sitteth until he descend to earth again at the last day.

      And truly there was much reason that Christ should thus ascend to heaven after his resurrection from the grave.  For Christ having undertaken to be a Mediator betwixt God and man, there was a threefold office he took upon himself, as so many parts of his Mediatorship, a Priestly, Prophetical, and Kingly office; the first respecting God, the other man.  As for the two last, his Kingly and Prophetical office, though he did begin them both, he could finish neither of them upon earth.  His Prophetical office could not any other way be perfectly performed for us than by pouring forth of his Spirit upon us; it being part of his Prophetical office to make us to understand his Father’s will, as well as to reveal it to us; even not only to explain it to us, but to instruct us in it.  Now the only way whereby our understandings are thus enlightened by him, is by receiving his Spirit from him: which Spirit, himself tells us, was not to be given to us until himself was taken from us: For if I go not away, saith he, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him to you, John 16:7.  So that the Person of Christ was first to ascend from us to God, before the Spirit of Christ was to descend from God to us.  And therefore had Christ never ascended to heaven, we had never been instructed upon earth and so Christ could not have been faithful in discharging his Prophetical office for us, unless he had ascended unto God.  No, nor his Kingly office; it being the principal part of his Kingly office to triumph over all his conquered enemies, to gather together his scattered friends, to govern them when gathered, to defend them from their enemies, and to apply those privileges to them which by his own blood he hath purchased for them: all which he could not do till first ascended from them.

      We have seen the necessity of Christ’s ascension in order to the discharging of his Prophetical and Kingly office; and indeed it was as necessary in regard of his Priestly office too.  For the office of the high priest under the law was not only to expiate the sins of the people, but also with the blood of the sin offering to go into the holy of holies, and there to intercede for them too.  And so was Christ (the substance of that shadow) not only to make satisfaction to God’s justice for our sins, but also to make intercession to his mercy for our souls.  Which part of his Priestly office was only to be performed within the veil in the holy of holies, even in heaven: whither had not Christ ascended, the apostles could never have said, We have an Advocate with the Father, 1 John 2:1 it being only in the court of heaven that this our Advocate was to plead our cause, as before he had shed his blood for us.  And hence it is, that supposing Christ to be our Mediator, and so our Prophet, Priest, and King, (which no Christian but will grant,) we must needs confess, that he who rose from death ascended up to heaven, and that * he hath the pledge of our flesh there, as we have the pledge of his Spirit here.

      But now to convince an infidel, Jew or heathen, of this great truth, we must produce our arguments from the miracles which were wrought for the confirmation of it.  For as it was by miracles that the gospel was first established by our Saviour in his life, so was it by miracles also that it was propagated by his apostles after his death.  It was because he had heard of his miracles that Agbarus,* king of Edessa, sent to Christ for the cure of his sickness.  And it was because of the miracles that were performed that so many kings and kingdoms have since believed in him for the pardon of their sins.  Miracles, I say, wrought by his apostles after, as well as by Christ himself before his passion as, that men that understood no more than one or two languages at the most should immediately understand and speak all manner of languages whatsoever, Acts 2:4–6: that a man lame from his mother’s womb should in the name of Christ be raised up to perfect health and strength by them, Acts 3:6, 7, 8 that all sick folks, and such as were vexed with unclean spirits, should come to them, and be healed by them, Acts 5:16; so that by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders clone among the people, ver. 12, which were so convincing to the beholders, that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them, 5:15.  So that * none can deny but that there were many miracles wrought for the confirmation of this great fundamental truth, and so for the propagation of the gospel that was built upon it.  And truly we cannot but grant that the gospel was propagated by miracles; for if it had been propagated without miracles, that would have been the greatest miracle of * all.  That it was propagated none can deny, so many, not only persons, but whole kingdoms and countries, believing in it and adhering to it.  And whether it were propagated with miracles or without miracles, be sure it was a great miracle that it was ever propagated at all; especially considering, first, it was a * new doctrine, and a new religion never heard of before; yea, a religion contrary to all other religions whatsoever which being once brought in, all other religions must be thrown out.  The Jews must down with their typical priests, their altars, their sacrifices, and their ceremonies; down with their sabbaths and new moons and passover.  The Gentiles must cease worshipping the sun, moon, and stars, believing all their former gods to be no gods, but idols; and that one Christ that was crucified at Hierusalem was the only true God. Secondly, it was a strange doctrine, beyond the reach of human reason to comprehend, or indeed to conceive: as, that in the Trinity there should be three Persons, and yet but one nature; in Christ two natures, and yet but one Person.  That a virgin should bring forth a son, and yet remain a virgin still that he that made the virgin should be made of her; and he become a man in time who had been God from eternity.  That this Christ should come into the world to save it, and yet was himself condemned by it, and that his being condemned by it was the way whereby to save it.  That he that finds his it shall lose it, and he that loseth, his life shall find it, even such a life wherein he expects to labour continually, and yet hopes to rest unto all eternity.  Nay, thirdly, it was not only a doctrine above reason, but contrary to flesh and blood; a doctrine that none can truly embrace, but he must forsake all his former sins, and commence holy.  The covetous must become liberal; the drunkard sober; the glutton temperate, the impatient thankful; the rebellious obedient; the malicious loving, not only to his friends, but his very enemies this, this is the religion that was propagated.  And by whom was it propagated?  Even by a company of silly fishermen, * who had neither authority to command, eloquence to persuade, nor power to constrain any one into the embracement and profession of it.  So that whether we will or no, the premises considered, we must be forced to conclude that there was something more than ordinary in the business; even that Christ, which they had so much success in the preaching of, was faithful to the promise he had made them, when amongst them, to be with them unto the end of the world; though not in his Person, yet by his Spirit, which being ascended up to his Father in heaven, he sent down to his apostles upon earth, to furnish them with all graces whatsoever requisite for that work they were to be engaged in; and not only thus to enable them to preach the gospel to the world, but also to prepare the world to receive the gospel from them.  All which none certainly can think the apostles could do on earth, had they not had continual supplies of grace from Christ in heaven.  Which things are * a clear argument, both that Christ is risen and ascended into heaven, and that he there sitteth, governing, protecting, and prospering his church on earth still, as he * enabled his apostles to propagate it at first.

      And indeed this is so necessary a truth to be believed, that none can be a Christian and not believe it and therefore is there scarce any of the Fathers but make mention of it, and give their assent unto it.  Let these few speak for all the rest.  First, Justin Martyr, who speaks fully both to his. ascending into heaven at the first, and his sitting there still.  * “But that God the Father of all was to bring Christ after his resurrection from the dead to heaven, and to detain him there until he had destroyed the devils that were enemies against him, and that the number of the good and virtuous people that were foreknown to him was accomplished, for whose sakes also he hath not yet finished his decree (for the consummation of all things), hear the words of the prophet David, which are on this wise; The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”  And before him Ignatius said, * “That Christ rose the third day, the Father raising him up, and conversed with his disciples forty days, and afterwards was taken up to his Father, and sitteth at his right hand, expecting till his enemies be put under his feet.”  And St. Augustine excellently to the purpose;* “For as to his majesty, as to his providence, as to his unspeakable and visible grace, it is fulfilled what was said by him, Behold I am always with you unto the end of the world.  But as to the flesh which the Word assumed, as to that whereby he was born of the Virgin, as to that whereby be was apprehended by the Jews, whereby he was fastened to the wood, whereby he was taken from the cross, whereby he was wrapped in linen, whereby he was laid in the sepulchre, whereby he was manifested in the resurrection, you shall not always have me with you.  Why?  Because lie conversed as to his bodily presence forty days with his disciples; and they accompanying him, by beholding, not by following, he ascended into heaven, and is not here, for he there sitteth at the right hand of the Father, and here he is.”  And St. Cyprian to the same purpose saith, “That after he had spent forty days with his disciples, * he was then taken up into heaven, a cloud being spread about him, that the human nature which he loved, which he assumed, which he protected from death, he might triumphantly carry to his Father.”  And St. Gregory;* “But our Redeemer, because he did not put off his death he conquered it, and destroyed it by rising again; and manifested the glory of his resurrection by ascending up to heaven.”  And not long after him Isidorus Hispalensis said, * “The solemnity of the ascension of our Lord is therefore celebrated, because upon that day, after his victory over the world, after his return from hell, Christ is recorded to have ascended into heaven, as it is written, He ascended on high, he led captivity captive, he gave gifts to men.  Which festivity is therefore celebrated every year, that the humanity of the assumed flesh, which ascended to the right hand of the Father, might be remembered; whose body is believed to be now in heaven, as it was when it ascended.”  And hence we dare not but believe with St. Basil, * “That Christ, after he had risen from the dead the third day, according to the scriptures, he was seen of his holy disciples and the rest, as it is written, and he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from whence he will come at the end of the world to raise up all men, and to give to every one according to his works.”  And so that Christ did truly rise from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all men at the last day.


Article  V

Of the Holy Ghost.

      The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.

      Of the three Persons in the sacred Trinity, every one of which is God, and yet all but one God, the two first have been already considered.  I say the two first, * not in nature or time, but order; for as to their nature one is not better or more God than another, neither as to time is one before another, none of them being measured by time, all of them and every one of them being eternity itself.  But though not in nature or time, yet in order one must needs be before another.  For the Father is of himself, receiving his essence neither from the Son nor the Spirit, and therefore most needs be in order before both Son and Spirit; the Son received his essence from the Father but not from the Spirit, and therefore must needs be in order before the Spirit, as well as after the Father; but the Spirit received his essence both from the Father and the Son, and therefore must needs be in order after both Father and Son.  Hence it is that the Father is called the first, the Son the second, the Holy Ghost the third Person in the Holy Trinity.  Which order is observed by St. John; There be three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. 1 John 5:7.  And by our Saviour himself, Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19.  And of these three, the two first in order being considered in the four preceding articles, the third is set down in this; of whom it is here said, that he, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance and glory with the Father and the Son.

      The Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son which last words, (and the Son,) as they were inserted into the Constantinopolitan Creed by our ancestors in these Western churches (which * was the occasion of the vast schism betwixt them and the Eastern), so are they here inserted into the articles of our faith, both to shew the constancy of our church in so great a truth, and to keep her children still constant and faithful to it.  And though this the Spirit’s procession from the Son be not expressly delivered in the scriptures as the procession from the Father is, John 15:26, yet is the substance and purport of it virtually contained in the scriptures, and may clearly be deduced from them; for as he is called the Spirit of the Father, Matt. 10:20, so is he called the Spirit of the Son, Gal. 4:6, and the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8:9, 1 Pet. 1:11, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ, Phil. 1:19.  Now why is he called the Spirit of the Father, but because he proceedeth from the Father?  And how therefore could he be called the Spirit of the Son, unless he proceeded from the Son also?  Hence also it is that as the Father is said to send the Spirit, John 14:26, so is the Son also said to send the Spirit, chap. 15:26, 16:7.  The Father is said to send the Spirit, because the Spirit proceeds from the Father; for the right of the Father’s mission of the Spirit is grounded upon his communication of his essence to him.  And by consequence, the Father sending the Spirit, therefore because the Spirit proceeds from the Father, the Spirit must needs proceed from the Son also, because the Son also is said to send the Spirit; for if the Son also did not communicate his essence to him, and so he proceed from the Son, the Son would have no relation at all to him, much less any right of mission over him.

            [*The first general council assembled at Nice, an. Dom. 325, having composed a excellent creed, or rule of faith (which in the eighth Article, God willing, we shall treat of), and having said no ore in it concerning the Holy Ghost, than και εις το πνευμα το άγιον, and (we believe) in the Holy Ghost, there being another general council about fifty years after, held at Constantinople, they thought good, for the better suppressing of Macedonius, who denied the Divinity of the Holy Ghost, to confirm the same creed, with this addition amongst others to it, και εις το πνευμα το άγιον, το κύριον, το ζωοποιον, το εκ του πατρος εκπορευόμενον.  Which creed, with this addition, general council at Ephesus, an. Dom. 431, not only continued, but also denounced an anathema against all such as should make any more additions to it.  Yet notwithstanding the controversy being started in the Western churches, Whether the Spirit proceed fro the Son or not, as well as from the Father, the eighth council at Toledo in Spain, an. Dom. 653, debating the question, and carrying it in the affirmative, they after those words in the Constantinopolitan Creed, εκ του Πατρος, put in και υιου, and so made it run in Latin, Credimus et in Spiritum Sanctum, dominum, vivificatorem, ex Patre Filioque procedentem; and not only so, but they caused this Creed, so enlarged and altered by them, to be put into their public liturgies, and so sung continually in their churches, the French joining with them, and afterwards the English too, as we may see in our public Liturgy.  But in the council held at Akens, in Germany, the matter was after debate referred to pope Leo the Third, and he was so far from allowing of that addition, that he desired it might by degrees be quite left out of the Creed.  For the legates being come from the council to him, we find in the Acts of the said council one of them saying to him, Ergo ut video illud a vestra paternitate decernitur, ut primo illud, de quo quaestio agitur, de saepe fato symbolo tollatur: et tunc demum a quolibet licete et libere, sive cantando, sive tradendo, discatur et doceatur: to whom Leo answers, Ita proculdubio a nostra parte decernitur; ita quoque ut a vestra assentiatur, a nobis omnibus modis suadetur.  [vol. IV. p. 973.]  And that a true copy of the said Creed, without any such addition to it, might be recorded and perpetuated, he caused it to be graven in Greek and Latin upon silver plates, and placed in the church for everyone to read.  So Lombard: Leo tertius (symboli illius) transcriptum in tabula argentea post altare beati Pauli posita posteris reliquit, pro amore, ut ipse ait, et cautela fidei orthodoxae.  In quo quidem symbolo in processione Spiritus Sancti solus commemoratur Pater his verbis, et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum vivificatorem, ex Patre procedentem.  Sent. l. r. dist. 11. [p. 27.]  But afterwards these tables were neglected, and pope Nicholas the First caused this clause, Filioque, to be added again to the Creed, ad so to be read in all the churches sunder his power But Photius, patriarch of Constantinople, condemned him for it: and in the council of Constantinople, an. Dom. 879, it was declared that the addition would be quite take away again; and after that again; and after that Cerularius, Theophylact, and the Grecians generally, inveighed against it.  For which the popes of Rome branded them, and so all the Greek churches, with heresy.  And so the quarrel betwixt the Greek and Latin, or Eastern and Western churches, began and hath been continued: the Eastern churches condemning the Western for inserting the clause Filioque into the Creed of a general council without the consent of the like authority; the Western churches, on the other hand, condemning the Eastern for keeping it out.]

      And indeed I cannot see in reason as well as scripture how the Spirit can be denied to proceed from the Son as well as from the Father.  For the Father in begetting of the Son communicated his whole essence and nature to him, so that whatsoever the Father is or hath, as God, that hath the Son also only with this personal distinction, that the Father hath all things not only: in himself, but of himself also, whereas the Son hath all things though in himself, yet not of himself, but only by communication from the Father.  Now the Son receiving from the Father whatsoever the Father is in himself, and being every way the same God with the Father, he must needs issue forth the Spirit from himself, as well as the Father doth from himself.  For the Spirit doth not proceed from the Father as he is a Father (for then he would be a Son too as well as the Word), but only as he is God. And therefore the Son being God as well as the Father (though not a father), the Spirit must needs proceed from him as well as from the Father; only with this distinction, that the Father hath the Spirit proceeding from him of himself, but the Son hath the Spirit proceeding from him of the * Father, who communicating his own individual essence, and so whatsoever he is (his paternal relation to him excepted), to the Son, could not but communicate this to him also, even to have the Spirit proceeding from him, as he hath it proceeding from himself.  So that as whatsoever else the Father hath originally in himself, the Son hath also by communication from the Father, so hath the Son likewise this, the Spirit’s proceeding from him, by communication from the Father, as the Father hath the Spirit proceeding from him originally in himself.  Neither is our church singular in this assertion, that the Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father; for the ancient Fathers of the church of Christ did generally teach the same: the Latin * Fathers expressly avouching it, that the Spirit did in plain terms proceed both from the Father and Son.  And the * Greek Fathers, though they do not expressly deliver that he proceeds from the Son (because the scriptures do not expressly assert it), yet they say that he * receiveth from the Son, that he is * the Spirit of the Son, * the Word of the Son, yea, * God of the Son; plainly implying that what he hath is communicated from the Son as well as from the Father, which is the same thing that the others understood by his proceeding from the Father and Son.

      This Holy Ghost, thus proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son; so that as the Son doth so receive his Divine essence from the Father, as to be the selfsame individual God with the Father; so doth the Spirit receive his essence from the Father and Son, as to be of one substance and glory with the Father and Son.  The Father did not communicate another, but his own numerical or individual nature to the Son, and so both Father and Son being of one nature betwixt themselves communicate that their nature to the Spirit; by which means though he proceed from both, and so is a distinct Person from both, yet he hath the same nature and substance with both, and so is as truly that one God which we worship and adore, as either or both of them.  Insomuch that as though the Father be the root, origin, and fountain of Deity to the Son, and yet the Son hath as much of the Divine nature in him as the Father; so here though it be from the Father and the Son that the Spirit doth proceed, yet he hath the Divine nature in him as perfectly as either of them, and so is truly and eternally God, that one God blessed for evermore, which angels and men are bound continually to worship and adore.

      And that the Holy Ghost is thus very and eternal God is frequently asserted by himself in the holy scriptures which himself indited.  Indeed his inditing of the scriptures is a clear argument of his Deity, as well as the scriptures which were indited by him.  What man, what creature, who but God, could compose such articles of faith, and enjoin such divine precepts as are in the scriptures expressed?  Neither doth his inditing of the scriptures only, but the scriptures that were indited by him also give a full testimony unto this truth.  Nay, the scriptures do therefore testify that the Spirit is God, because they do testify that themselves were written by that God who is a Spirit; and that it was the Lord Jehovah that spake by the prophets, and other writers of the Word of God; himself saying, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet amongst you:, I the Lord (Jehovah) will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream, Num. 12:6.  And hence it is that the prophets so frequently cry out, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, to wit, because what they speak from the Lord of Hosts, the Lord of Hosts had first spoken unto them.  Now who was this Lord of Hosts that thus spake by the prophets, and instructed the penmen of the scriptures what to write?  Was it God the Father or God the Son?  No, but it was God the Holy Ghost: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1:21.  It was the Holy Ghost that spake by the prophets, and therefore it must needs be he the prophets mean when they say, Thus saith, the Lord of Hosts.  So that he that bade them say, Thus saith the Lord of Hosts in the Old Testament, hath also discovered who is the Lord of Hosts in the New, even it is the Spirit of God that was this Lord of Hosts, and being the Lord of Hosts he must needs be God; there being no person that is or can be called the Lord of Hosts but he that is the very and eternal God.

      This truth is also unveiled to us in these words, Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth, in you?  Cor. 3:16.  None can be the temple of God but he in whom God himself dwells, for it is God’s dwelling in a place that makes that place the temple of God; and whosoever else dwells in it, unless God himself dwells in it, it is no temple.  Now we are here said to be the temple of God, and that because the Spirit of God dwelleth in us; we know we are the temple of God if God dwelleth in us, and that God dwelleth in us if we be the temple of God, and the God that dwelleth in us, and so makes us the temple of God, is here said to be the Spirit of God.  As also in these words, What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you?  1 Cor. 6:19.  And * therefore the Spirit of God must needs himself be God; none can have a temple but God, but the Holy Ghost hath a temple, and therefore the Holy Ghost is God.

      But one of the clearest discoveries of this great truth is made in the story of Ananias and Sapphira, recorded Acts 5 where Peter propounds this question to Ananias, Why hath Satan filled thy heart * to lie to the Holy Ghost? and tells him in the next verse, Thou hast not lied to men, but God; by which words the apostle plainly shows that Ananias lied, and that he lied not to men only but to the Holy Ghost, and that in lying to the Holy Ghost he lied not to any creature, but to God himself, and so that the Holy Ghost to whom he lied is the very and eternal God, otherwise, though he had lied to him, he would not have lied to God.

      But beside such places of scripture wherein it hath pleased the Holy Ghost expressly to call himself God, there are several other scriptures which reason will gather this truth from; all, or the most of which we may crowd together into this or the like syllogism: He that is the same in essence that the Father or Son is, hath the same worship that the Father or Son hath, and doth the same works as the Father or Son as God doth, is himself the very and eternal God as well as either Father or Son.  But the Holy Ghost is the same in essence that the Father or Son is, hath the same worship due to him as the Father or Son hath, and doth the same works that the Father or Son as God doth: therefore the Holy Ghost is the very and eternal God.  The first of these propositions is unquestionable, and the last is undeniable, and therefore it is the second only that requires proof, to wit, that the Holy Ghost is, hath, and doth, whatsoever the Father or Son is, hath, or doth.  First, the Holy Ghost is in essence the same that the Father and Son is.  For the essence and the properties of God are not at all distinguished, so that as whosoever hath the essence cannot but have the properties, so whosoever hath the properties cannot but have the essence of God: now the same essential properties that are attributed to the Father and Son are ascribed also to the Spirit in the holy scriptures.  Is the Father and Son holy? so is the Spirit; who therefore is so frequently called the Holy Ghost; holy not as creatures are, secondarily, derivatively, finitely holy, but so as none but God himself is, essentially, originally, infinitely holy; so that we may conclude the Holy Ghost to be God upon that very account, because he is the * Holy Ghost.  Again, is the Father and Son eternal? so is the Spirit: for Christ through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, Heb. 9:14.  Is God the Father and the Son everywhere? so is the Spirit; for, whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or whither shall Like from thy presence?  Ps. 139:7.  Is God the Father and Son a wise, understanding, powerful and knowing God? so is the Spirit too; he is the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord, Isa. 11:2.  Secondly, as the same properties are ascribed, so is the same worship to be performed to the Spirit that is to be performed to the Father and Son as God.  As we are to pray to the Father and pray to the Son, so are we to pray to the Spirit also; as we are baptized in the name of the Father and in the name of the Son, so are we baptized in the name of the Spirit also; for thus saith our Saviour, Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Matt. 28:19.  And so in baptism, as we are not baptized only in the name of the Father and of the Son, but also of the Holy Ghost; so in baptism we dedicate ourselves to the worship of the Holy Ghost, as well as of either the Father or Son.  And hence it is that we may sin against the Holy Ghost as well as against Father or Son; nay, the sin against this Person only is accounted by our Saviour himself as a sin never to be pardoned, Matt. 12:31, 32.  We may sin against God the Father, and our sin may be pardoned; we may sin against God the Son, and our sin may be pardoned; but if we sin against God the Holy Ghost, that our sin shall never be pardoned. But if the Holy Ghost be not God, how can we sin against him? or how comes our sin against him to be unpardonable unless he be God?  I know it is not therefore unpardonable because he is God, for then the sin against the Father and Son would be unpardonable too, they being both God as well as he: but though this sin is not therefore unpardonable because he is God, yet it could not be unpardonable unless he was God.  For supposing him not to be God, and yet the sin against him to be unpardonable, then the sin against the creature (as every one is that is not God) would be unpardonable, when the sins against God himself are pardoned; which to say would itself come near, I think, to the sin against the Holy Ghost.  But, thirdly, as the same properties and worship which are attributed to the Father and Son are ascribed also to the Spirit, so are the same works likewise performed by the Spirit that are performed either by Father or Son as God.  It was he that moved upon the face of the * waters, Gen. 1:2, and so had a hand in the creation of the world.  It was by his Spirit that God garnished the heavens, Job 26:13.  It is the Spirit that scattereth his gifts, and distributeth his graces amongst the children of men, 1 Cor. 12:4.  It was the Spirit that instructed the prophets, 2 Pet. 2:21, and ordained the apostles, Acts 13:2, and appointeth overseers in the church of Christ, Acts 20:28.  Yea, it was by the Spirit of God that Christ cast out devils, Matt. 12:28.  It was the Spirit that wrought miracles then by casting devils out of possessed bodies, and it is he that worketh miracles still by casting sin out of corrupted souls; for it is he that throweth the old man out of us, and maketh all things to become * new within us, Tit. 3:5.  All which being throughly considered, the Spirit, that proceedeth from the Father and the Son, cannot but be acknowledged to be the one very and eternal God as well as either Father or Son; and that though he proceed from both, yet as God he is inferior to neither; nay, that he so proceedeth from them both as to be the same individual God with them both.

      And this hath been the constant doctrine of the church of Christ in all ages.  To begin with Athenagoras,* who saith, “The Holy Ghost also, that acted those that spake prophetically, we say is a procession or effluxion from God, flowing from him and reflected to him, as a beam of the sun.  Who therefore doth not wonder to hear us called atheists, that profess and preach God the Father, God the Son, and Holy Ghost, teaching their power in unity and distinction in order?” viz. that in power, and all other essential properties, they are but one and the same God, but distinguished in their order and relation to one another.  And Justin to the same purpose;* “But we have the same notion also concerning the Holy Ghost; for as the Son is of the Father, so is the Spirit too, but only that they differ in the manner of their subsisting.  For he (the Son) is Light of Light, shining by way of generation.  But this (the Spirit) is himself also Light of Light, but not flowing as one begotten but as one proceeding, and so coeternal with the Father, and so the same in essence with him, so impassibly proceeding from him and so it is that we understand an Unity in Trinity, and acknowledge a Trinity in Unity.”  And St. Basil * clearly; “Seeing those things that are common to the creatures are not communicable to the Holy Ghost, and those things that are proper to the Holy Ghost are not communicable to the creatures, it is hence gathered that the Spirit is not a creature.  Seeing what is common to the Father and Son is common also to the Spirit; seeing by the same things that God the Father and the Son are characterized and described in scripture, by the same things is the Holy Ghost characterized and described; it is hence gathered that the Spirit is of the same Deity with the Father.  Seeing that whatsoever is in the Father as God only and not as a father, and whatsoever is in the Son as God only and not as a son, the same is also in the Holy Ghost, but not in any creature, as names and things incommunicable to the creatures, common only to the Trinity, it is hence gathered that the Trinity is of one substance and glory.”  And so Gregory Nyssen * saith, “The Holy Ghost hath, in common with the Son and the Father, an untreated and eternal nature, and is distinguished from them only by his own proper notions or personal properties.”  And St. Chrysostom, speaking of the Son and the Spirit, saith,* “There is one nature of the Son and Spirit, one power, one truth, one life, one wisdom.”  And St. Augustine shews also how the Spirit is so of one nature and substance with the Father and Son, that they are all but one God; * “For so the Father is God, and the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God, and altogether one God; and yet it is not in vain that in this Trinity none of them is called the Word of God but the Son, nor the gift of God but the Holy Ghost.”  And Maxentius * to the same purpose: “The Father is God, the Son, and Holy Ghost is God; not three but one God, one substance or nature, one wisdom, one power, one dominion, one kingdom, one omnipotence, one glory, and yet three subsistences or Persons.”  I shall conclude this with that of Eugenius: * “Let us therefore make a rehearsal of what hath been said If the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, if he sets at liberty, if he be the Lord and sanctifieth, if he createth with the Father and the Son and quickens, if he hath the same dignity with the Father and the Son, if he be everywhere and filleth all things, if he dwelleth in the elect, if he convinceth the world, if he judgeth, if he be good and upright, if it be said of him, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, if he appoints prophets and sends apostles, if he prefers bishops, if he be a comforter, if he orders all things as himself pleaseth, if he washeth and justifieth, if he kills those that tempt him, if he that blasphemeth against him shall have no forgiveness, neither in this world nor in that which is to come, which is also proper to God; seeing these things are so, why should it be doubted whether he be God; seeing the greatness of his works manifest him what he is?” even that he the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.