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ing received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.
15. Q. How long shall the Holy Ghost continue thus to comfort, sanctify, and guide the faithful?
A. As long as there shall auy faithful remain in need of his assistance; which because there will be to the end of the world, therefore Christ has promised that he shall also, till then, continue to conduct and govern his faithful servants. John, xiv. 16. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Matt. xxviii. 20. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Of the Catholic Church, and of Heretics and Schismatics.
1. Q. What does the fourth and last part of your Creed relate to?
A. To the church of Christ: its duty and privileges here; and its future hope of glory and immortality hereafter.
2. Q. What is the first thing which you are taught to believe concerning Christ's church?
A. That there is a tjfjlp Catf)0Wc fljUCCl).
3. Q. What is that church, of which this Article
A. It is the universal church of Christ; the general assembly of all those, who, from the time of the first publishing of the Gospel, to this day, have believed in Christ; or shall hereafter profess his faith, to the end of the world.
Proofs Subjoined.—Matt. xvi. 18. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 1 Cor. xii. 27, 28. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular: and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers; after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Eph. i. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, v. 25, 27. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy, and without blemish. Col. i. 18, 24. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. Whereof I, Paul, am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.
4. Q. How can such a church be the object of our faith?
A. Not as to that part of it which we see, and communicate with; but chiefly in these two respects. First, as we believe, by the word of God, that those who have gone before us, in the true faith of Christ, and the fear of his holy name, though out of all visible communion, at present, with us, do yet live to God; and are still members of Christ's church, though in a different state from us, and shall, together with us, be gathered into one glorious society, at the last day. And, secondly, as upon the same grounds we do also farther believe, that in all the ages yet come, to the end of the world, Christ shall continue to have a church upon earth; so that no power of men, or malice of the devil, shall ever be able utterly to root it out, or to destroy it.
Proofs Subjoined.—Luke, xx. 38. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. 1 Cor. xv. 22, 23. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward, they that are Christ's at his coming. 1 Thess. iv. 13, 15. But I would not have you'to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others, which have no hope. For, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
Matt. xvi. 18. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoecer ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven, xxviii. 20. Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever 1 have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.
5. Q. How can a society, consisting of such different members, and those at so great a distance, both in time and place, from one another, yet all together make but one church?
A. Because how different soever the members of this church may otherwise seem to be; yet they are all * united together under one head, the Lord Jesus: are * sanctified and ruled by the same Holy Spirit: * are endued with the same love to God, and towards one another: * live by the same laws: * profess the same faith: * partake of the same sacraments: * have the same hope of salvation set before them: * worship the same God, by the same advocate and Saviour, Jesus Christ: and (as to what concerns all the true and lively members of this society,) * shall one day be gathered together into one actual place, and portion: in the glorious kingdom of God for ever.
Proofs Subjoined.—Acts, ii. 41, 46. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and with singleness of heart. Rom. xii. 4, 5. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 1 Cor. x. 17. For we, being many, are one bread, and one body : for we are all partakers of that one bread. xii. 27, 28. Now, ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Eph. iv. 3, 4, 5, &c. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling: one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Col. i. 18. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead: t/iat in all things he might have the pre-eminence.
Heb. xii. 23. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels; to the general assembly and church of the first-born, which are written in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of just men, made perfect.
6. Q. Wherefore do you give this church the title of Catholic?
A. Upon several accounts, but chiefly these two: first, to distinguish it from the * Jewish church, which was confined to a certain people, and was to continue but for a certain time; whereas the Christian church takes in all mankind; and is to last to the end of the world. Psalm ii. 8. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Acts, x. 34, 35. Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that fe.are.th him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Matt. xxviii. 19, 20. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world. Mark, xvi. 15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. Luke, xxiv. 47. That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name, among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 1 Cor. xii. 13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free.
And, secondly, to shew that in this Creed, which comprehends what is to be believed by all Christians, we profess not our faith of any one particular church; which may cease, and fail, (such as the church of