A PLAINE EXPOSITI­ON OF THE ARTICLES OF OVR FAITH, BY SHORT questions and answeres for, the vnderstanding of the simple.

Gathered by Arthur Dent Mi­nister of the word of God: e­speciallie for the benefit of his owne flocke: who hauing taught his people these points, is carefull that they all may learne them:

To this end, that euerie of them of his charge, may be able to giue a reason of their faith.

LONDON Imprinted by Thomas Orwin for William Yong, and Raph Iacson: and are to be sold in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the Swanne. 1589.

¶ A plaine exposition of the articles of our faith by short questions, and answers for the vnderstanding of the simple.

Q. WHat doo the articles of our faith containe in generall?

A. Two things.

Q. Which be they?

A. What haue we to beléeue touching the Trinitie, & what touching the Church.

Q. How many articles doo concerne the Trinitie?

A. The first eight.

Q. Howe many doo concerne the Church?

A. The foure last.

Q. Recite the articles of the faith?

A. I beleeue in God the father almigh­tie, &c.

Q. Why doo you say I beleeue, and not we beleeue?

A. Because euery man must be saued [Page] by his owne faith, and not by another mans. Gal. 6.5.

Q. May not one man receiue benefit by another mans faith.

A. Yes, in the things of this life, but not otherwise. Matth. 8.13. Matth. 9.2.

Q. How is this word beleeue to bee vn­derstood?

A. Of a liuely, and iustifying faith. Iohn. 12.46.

Q. What is your reason?

A. Because a dead faith cannot truly lay hold of those things which are to be belée­ued touching the father, sonne, and the ho­ly Ghost. Iam. 2.16.

Q. What doth this word God implie?

A. The Lord, the Lord strong, iust, merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in goodnes, and trueth, &c. as Exodus. 34.6. where the name of God is proclaimed.

Q. How many persons be there in the Godhead?

A. Three.

Q. Which be they?

A. The father, ye sonne, & the holy ghost.

Q. Are these three persons distinct in themselues?

[Page 2] A. Yea, as appeareth in these words: goe baptise all nations in the name of the father, the sonne, and the holy Ghost. Mat. 28. & againe Matt. 3.6. Ioh. 14.26.

Q. May they not be confounded, as the father to be the sonne, and the sonne the holy Ghost.

A. In no wise: for that hath béen the he­resie of many.

Q. But tel me I pray thee, is the God­head all one, and cannot be deuided?

A. Yea truely: for the scripture saieth, there be thrée which beare record in Hea­uen, the father, the word, and the holy Ghost, and these three are one. 1. Ioh. 5.7.

Q. Tell mee further, is euery person by himselfe God?

A. Yea truely.

Q. Then it seemeth there should be three Gods?

A. Not so: but this is a misterie which in this life we cannot attaine vnto.

Q. But may it not bee somewhat sha­dowed vnto our senses?

A. Yes verely: for wee sée that a foun­taine of water, the filling vp of it, and the running out of it, although they be diuerse things, yet indéed are all one.

Q. Are all the persons in Trinitie of [Page] equall greatnes?

A. Yea.

Q. Is not the father greater than the sonne, nor the sonne greater than the holy Ghost?

A. No, but they are all alike equall, a­like eternall, alike essentiall. Math. 28.19.

Q. What doth this word father note?

A. The first person in Trinitie.

Q. Why is he called father?

A. In two respects, first in respect of his sonne Christ, which is his natural and onely begotten sonne: secondly in respect of vs which are his children by adoption and grace. Ioh. 1.14. Eph. 1.2. 1. Pe. 1.17.

Q. Why is God said to be almighty?

A. To distinguish him from the hea­then gods which haue no might. Iere. 10.11. Psal. 115.3. Cor. 8.5.

Q. Why els?

A. Because all things are gouerned by his prouidence. Act. 17.25, 28.

Q. Doth Gods prouidence stretch to al things in Heauen, in earth, and the sea?

A. Yea, euen to the sparrowes and haires of our head. Matth. 10.29.

[Page 3] Q. Dooth nothing come to passe by fortune or good luck?

A. Nothing truely.

Q. What say you then to these spea­ches, God send me good fortune; giue me good luck, and cast me into the sea?

A. They be prophane, and heathenish speaches denying Gods prouidence.

Q. May a Christian reape any com­fort of this, that all things come to passe by Gods meere direction?

A. Very much truely, for when Gods hand is vpon vs by sicknes, pouertie, slan­ders, or any other crosse whatsoeuer of bo­dy or minde: it is a comfortable meditati­on to think, this is not by chaunce or hap­hazard, but it is God our heauenly fathers dooing, and therefore that we flie to him by praier, & séeke to be reconciled vnto him by true, & vnfeined repentance. 2. Sa. 16.10.

Q. If al things come to passe by Gods prouidence, then is his prouidence also in euill actions?

A. It is so, and what of that.

Q. If it be so, then God is the author of euill?

[Page] A. That followeth not, for God is the au­thor of ye actiō, but not of the euil in ye actiō.

Q. What reason haue you for that?

A. This: there be diuers workers euen in euill actions, as God, the diuell, and wicked men, which he vseth as his instru­ments. Now the euil of the actions, is in the instruments, and not in God: for the actions of themselues as they come from God are good, because he directeth euerie thing to the praise of his mercie, or his iu­stice. Abac. 1.12. Exod. 9.6. Ro. 10.17. Act. 4.28.

Q. Shew this yet more plainely by ex­ample?

A. The carrying of the children of Is­rael captiue into Babilō was euil as Ne­buchadnezzar did it, for he respected no­thing but the satisfying of his malice a­gainst Gods people: but yet good as God did it, for he respected the good of his people in humbling them vnder the crosse for a time, and his owne glory in working out their deliuerance.

Q. Let me haue one plaine exāple more to proue, that God & the diuel work to­gether, [Page] in one and the selfe same action?

A. In the second booke of Samuel and foure and twentie chapter, it is said that God mooued Dauid to number the peo­ple: but in the first booke of the Chro. cap. 21. it is said that sathan prouoked Dauid to number them: so that here we sée God, and satan both together in one action, but yet to diuers ends, as hath béen shewed.

Q. Wel now I am satisfyed in this point, let vs proceede & tel me what is ment by this, that God made heauen and earth?

A. By Heauen and earth are vnderstood all things in Heauen and earth. 2. Reg. 19.15. Act. 4.24.

Q. By whom, and in whom hath God made Heauen and earth?

A. By and in his sonne Christ. Iohn. 1.1. Heb. 1.1. Heb. 11.3. Col. 1.16.

Q. God hauing created al things, doth he cease to gouerne the things which he hath once created?

A. No, for God rested the seauenth day from creating but not from gouerning. Iohn 5.17.

Q. If God haue created al things, then also he made the diuels?

Q. God indéed created them, but yet not [Page] diuels but Angels of light. Col. 1.16.

Q. How then became they diuels?

A. By their fall.

Q. How prooue you that they fell?

A. Out of the eight of Iohn, when Christ saieth he aboade not in the trueth: therefore it followeth he was in the truth.

Q. VVhat other places haue you to prooue the fall of Angels?

A. S. Peter saieth that God spared not the Angels, that sinned, &c. 2. Pet. 2.4. & 5. Iude saieth the Angels which kept not the first estate, &c. and Iob saieth he found folly in his Angels. Iob. 4.18.

Q. What was the cause of the fall of Angels?

A. We may not curiously search that, because it is not reuealed.

Q. Did God make man also?

A. Yea.

Q. Whereof did hee make him?

A. Of the dust of the earth. Gen. 2.7.

Q. Was his soule made of the dust of the earth?

A. No, for of his soule, it is said, God breathed in his face the breath of life. [Page 5] Genesis. 2.7.

Q. It is said that God created man in his owne likenesse, how is that to be vn­derstood?

A. Of the gifts, and qualities of the bo­dy, and minde, wherein hee did resemble God.

Q. Which be those qualities, and gifts?

A. Righteousnes, & true holinesse, per­fect knowledge of God, in perfect both vn­derstanding, and kéeping of the law which was written in his heart. Col. 3.10. Eph. 4.24.

Q. How was this glorious image of God lost?

A. By the fall, and disobedience of our first parents.

Q. By what meanes did they fall?

A. The diuell in the serpent beguiled the woman, and shee entised the man, and so they sinned. Gene. 3.

Q. What followed vpon this?

A. The very flouds of Gods wrath, and all miserie brake in vpon vs all: sinne entred into the world, and together with sinne came death, and the curse of GOD [Page] vpon all mankinde. Rom. 5.12.

Q. Now that ye haue shewed me how we were al lost, & by whom: shew me also how this losse is recouered, & by whom?

A. This losse is recouered thorow the infinit mercy of God, and that only by the meanes of his sonne Christ. Rom. 5.19. Iohn. 3.16.

Q. VVhere is this shewed?

A. In the sixe articles following.

Q. What do they generally teach?

A. How, and by what meanes Christ wrought out our redemption.

Q. What doth this name Jesus signifie?

A. A sauiour.

Q. VVhy was he so called?

A. Because hee should saue his people from their sinnes. Matth. 1.21.

Q. What doth this name Christ signify?

A. Annointed.

Q. VVhereunto was hee annointed?

A. To the thrée great offices of King, Priest, & Prophet. Esa. 61.1, 2. Luk. 4.18.

Q. Were these three kinde of persons wont to be annointed in old time?

A. Yea, as appeareth in the scriptures. [Page 6] 1. Sam. 10.1. 1. Reg. 1.39. Exod. 30.30. Leuit. 8.12. 1. Reg. 19.6.

Q. With what ointment were they an­nointed?

A. With materiall, & common ointmēt.

Q. VVhat did the ointment signifie?

A. The graces, and gifts of Gods spi­rit. Iohn. 2.27.

Q. Why were Kings, Priests, and Pro­phets annointed, rather than any other sort of men?

A. Because the weightinesse of their cal­lings, did most of all require it.

Q. Was Christ annointed with materi­all oile?

A. No, but with the oile of gladnesse, that is the graces, and gifts of Gods spi­rit aboue his fellowes. psa. 45.7. Io. 3.34.

Q. VVhy is Christ called a King?

A. Because he ruleth and gouerneth his Church, as King and head thereof. Iere. 23.5. Ezech. 34.23. Hosea. 3.5.

Q. How doth he gouerne his Church?

A. Outwardly by the scepter of his word and the externall gouernement therein set downe, and inwardly by his Spirite. [Page] Esa. 11.4. Psalm. 2.9. Ro. 12.7. 1. Tim. 5.17. Luk. 17.21. Rom. 14.17.

A. Was his kingdome earthly?

Q. No, but altogether spirituall, for he saith, my kingdome is not of this worlde. Ioh. 18.36.

Q. To what end is he a king?

A. To deliuer vs from all our spiritu­all enemies, & to gouerne vs in true righ­teousnes. Psalm. 72.2. Heb. 1.8.

Q. What profit haue we by his being of a king?

A. Very much, for thereby we are made kings in him, we are enritched with spiri­tuall graces, and made frée citizens with the saints, and of the houshold of GOD. Apoc. 1.6. Ephe. 4.8. Ephe. 2.19.

Q. Was he also a priest?

A. Yea.

Q. After what order?

A. After the order of Melchizedech. Heb. 7.17.

Q. What was that?

A. Such, as wherein nothing was car­nall, as in the priesthood of Leui: but all things heauenly, and spirituall. He. 7.16.

[Page 7] Q. What manner of sacrifice did hee offer?

A. Not the bloud of bulls, and goates but his owne bloud. Heb. 9.12.

Q. How did he offer himselfe and his owne bloud?

A. Through the eternall spirit that is his Godhead, for otherwise hee could not haue obtained eternall redemption for vs. Heb. 9.4.

Q. Can none offer his bodie, and bloud but himselfe?

A None trulie: for the Scripture v­seth these phrases verie much, hee offered himselfe, hee gaue himselfe. Heb. 1.3. 1. Tim. 2.6. Heb. 9.26.

Q. Is his sacrifice once offered suffici­ent for al, yesterdaie, to day, and for euer.

A. Yea vndoubtedlie, for the scriptures haue this word once, verie often, and a­gaine with one sacrifice hath he consecra­ted for euer them that are sanctified. Heb. 26. Heb. 7.27. Heb. 10.4.

Q. May it not be repeated?

A. In no wise, for that is blasphemie, it accuseth Christ his death of imperfecti­on: [Page] it encrocheth vpon his right; it spoy­leth him of his office. Heb. 9.26. He. 10.18.

Q. What is the reason hereof?

A. Because it is omnisufficient, & as the holie Ghost saith; after he had offered one sacrifice for sinnes, he sitteth for euer at the right hand of God. Heb. 10.12. Heb. 7.25.

Q. What els?

A. Because the Priesthood of Christ is eternal: and as all the Leuitical Priests and Priesthood, and shadowish seruice of the tabernacle, did aime and poynt at him: so all that is ended in him, together with all other Priests and Priesthood. Heb. 7.24. Heb. 8.5. Heb. 9.8, 9. Heb. 7.18.12.

Q. To what end did this great priest offer vp this great sacrifice?

A. To purge our consciences from dead works, to serue the liuing GOD. Heb. 9.14.

Q. What profite haue wee by this Priesthood and sacrifice of Christ?

A. Exceeding great: for thereby we are reconciled vnto God, haue free accesse to [Page 9] the throne of grace, and are made Priests in him. Rom. 5.10. Rom. 5.2. 1. Pet. 2.5.

Q. Let vs proceede, was he also a Pro­phet?

A. Yea, euen that great Prophet, which Moses forespoke of. Deut. 18.15. Act. 3.22.

Q. Why is he said to be a Prophet?

A. Because hee hath fully declared vn­to vs the will of his father. Iohn. 1.18. Iohn. 15.15.

Q. Wherein did the office of the Pro­phets consist in old time?

A. In foure things especially.

Q. Which be they?

A. First, in expounding the law. Hos. 6.6. Micah. 6.8.

Secondly, in preaching the couenant of grace. Iere. 31.31. Nahum. 1.15.

Thirdly, in denouncing Gods wrath against the rebellious people. Mal. 4.1. Zeph. 3.1.

Fourthly, in foretelling thinges to come. Esa. 7.8. Zach. 14.4, 20.

Q. Hath Christ answered to al these?

A. Yea.

[Page] Q. Shew where?

Hee hath expounded the law most sin­cerely. Matth. 5.28.

Hee hath preached the couenant of grace. Matth. 11.28.

Hee hath threatned the iudgements a­gainst the wicked. Matth. 23.33.

Hee hath foretold of thinges to come. Matth. 24.2.29.

Q. Let vs goe forward, why is Christ said to be a Lord?

A. Because hee hath dominion ouer men and Angels. Ephe. 1.21. Phil. 2.9.

Q. Doo you beleeue that Christ was conceiued by the holy Ghost?

A. Yea, most constantly.

Q. What proofe haue you for it?

A. The first of Luke where it is writ­ten, that the holy Ghost should come vp­on the virgin Mary, and the power of the most high should ouershaddow her, and so she should conceiue, and beare a child.

Q. Was it of necessitie that hee should be conceiued by the holy Ghost?

A. Yea, for if hee had been conceiued after the common course of nature, then [Page 9] he should haue béen conceiued, and borne in sinne, because the séede of man was wholly defiled in Adam. Psalme. 51.5. Ioh. 3.6.

Q. And what then?

A. Then hee could not haue saued vs béeing himselfe sinfull, for hee shoulde haue needed a sauiour for himselfe. Heb. 7.26.

Q. VVhat other reason haue you to shewe that Christ must needs be without sinne?

A. Because otherwise the most glori­ous Godhead could not bee coupled with sinfull flesh to make one person. Col. 1.19. Col. 2.9.

Q. Was this perfect holinesse of Christ shadowed in the lawe?

A. Yea, by the paschall lambe, which therefore must bee without ble­mish; by the Passouer Breade, which might not bee sowred with any leauen, and by all the sacrifices, which must bee of cleane, and sounde beastes. Exodus. 12.5.15. Leuit. 4, 28. Mal. 1.8.

[Page] Q. What good haue we by this?

A. Hereby we are assured, that our me­diator is perfectly able to saue all those which come vnto him. And againe that the same spirit which sanctified the concep­tion of the virgin, is able also to sanctifie our mortall bodies. Heb. 7.25.

Q. Tell me further, doo you beleeue that Christ was borne of rhe virgin Ma­ry?

A. I doo.

Q. What reason is there that he should be borne of a virgin?

A. This, that the scriptures did so fore­tell. Esa. 7.14.

Q. Are you perswaded that hee tooke verie flesh of the virgin?

A. Yea, for the scripture saieth he was made flesh, and that his body was of flesh. Iohn. 1.14. Col. 1.22.

Q. Some haue held that his bodie was of the aire: others that it was an ima­ginarie bodie, and some againe that hee tooke no flesh of the virgin, but passed through her as water through a condiut pipe?

[Page 11] A. True, but the holy Ghost saith, hée was made of the séede of Dauid, and hee was made of a woman. Ro. 1.3. Gal. 4.4.

Q. Then you are perswaded that hee had the verie powers of a humaine body, the actions, and the senses?

A. I am so.

Q. And are you likewise perswaded that he had the infirmities of the same, as wearinesse, hunger, thirst, &c?

A. Yea also, for the scriptures saieth it. Iohn. 4.6. Matth. 4.2. Iohn. 19.28.

Q. Doo you also beleeue that he had a verie humaine soule, with the powres thereof, as will, reason, affections?

A. I doo so beléeue.

Q. And are you perswaded that hee had the infirmities of a humaine soule?

A. Yea, for it is written, hee increased in wisdome, and againe not my will, but thy will bee done. Luke. 2.52. Matth. 26.39.

Q. VVell, I see that you are strongly perswaded of the manhood of Christ, are you not likewise also perswaded of his Godhead?

[Page] A. Yea altogether as much, for the word was God. Ioh. 1.1.

Q. VVas hee then both GOD and man?

A. He was both. Zach. 13.7.

Q. VVas he then two Christs, or two persons?

A. No, but the two natures of God, and man were knit together in one person Christ. Esa. 7.14.

Q. Shew this more plainely?

A. Euen as the soule and bodie of man, although they bee of diuerse natures, yet make but one person: so the nature of God, and of man, although they bee di­uerse; make but one Christ.

Q. VVas then the Godhead turned into the manhood, or the manhood into the Godhead?

A. Neither, but both did retaine their seuerall properties without any confusi­on.

Q. VVhether was hee our media­tour as hee was man, or as hee was God?

A. Neither as he was man alone, nor [Page 11] as he was GOD alone, but as hee was Christ, that is both GOD and man. 1. Tim. 2.5.

Q. VVas it then necessarie that hee should be both God and man?

A. Yea, altogether.

Q. VVhy was it necessarie that hee should be God?

A. Because otherwise he had not béen able to saue vs. Heb. 7.25, 26.

Q. VVhy was it necessarie that hee should be man?

A. Because it was the wil of GOD, that that which was lost in the nature of man should bee recouered in the na­ture of man. Genesis. 3.15. Hebrues. 2.16.

Q. What other reason haue you?

A. Because otherwise wee could haue no accesse to the father. Ioh. 14.6.

Q. VVell, let vs goe on: what was Pon­tius Pilate?

A. An heathen iudge, the gouernour of Iudea.

Q. VVhy is there mention made of him?

[Page] A. To shew that the Iewes were now subiect to a forraine power, according to olde Iacobs prophesie. Gen. 49.10.

Q. Did Pilate giue sentence of con­demnation against Christ?

A. Yea, as appeareth. Luk. 23.24.

Q. But he seemed often to cleare him, and to pronounce him innocent, as when hee washed his hands before the multi­tude, saying, I am innocent of the bloud of this iust man, looke you to it. Matth. 27.24.

A. True, but therein he plaied the hi­pocrit. But in very déed, it was the proui­dence of the father, to auouch the innocen­cie of his sonne, that he should iustifie him which did condemne him.

Q. Was the sentence of Pilate ratified by God?

A. Yea, and the outward condemnati­on of Christ before Pontius Pilate, was a patterne of his condemnation before his father withall our sinnes vpon him. Act. 4.28.

Q. What did Christ suffer vnder Pon­tius Pilate?

[Page 13] A. The curse of God, the wrath of his father, all torments due vnto our sinnes. 1. Pet. 2.24. Gal. 3.13. Esa. 53.5.

Q. If he suffered all torments due vn­to our sinnes, then he suffered eternal con­demnation?

A. What of that.

Q. Why, was hee not then finally con­demned for euer?

A. Because he was God, and therefore could not bee ouercome of death: nor the diuell. Heb. 2.14. 1. Cor. 15.55.

Q. Why was Christ content thus to be condemned before Pontius Pilate as an open malefactor?

A. That he might cleare vs before the iudgement seat of his father. 2. Cor. 5.2. Esa. 53.8.

Q. Did our Lord Iesus suffer willing­ly that which he suffered?

A. Yea: for he saieth, I lay downe my life of my self, that I might take it againe. Iohn. 10.17.

Q. What dooth the word crusifie sig­nifie?

A. A nailing to the crosse, because [Page] Christ was fastened with nailes through the handes and féete, to a crosse péece of wood.

Q, Was that a more shamefull kind of death than anie other?

A. Yea, amongst the Iewes it was counted most odious, and reproachfull. Deut. 21.23. Phil. 2.8.

Q. What do you beleeue, touching this that he was dead?

A. I doe beléeue that hee was wracked and tormented vnto death, and vntill the kall of his hart burst, and hee gaue vp the Ghost Ihon. 19.30.

Q. What did followe Christs giuing vppe the Ghost?

A. Verie fearefull things, for the vaile of the temple rent, the earth did quake, the stones did cleaue, the graues did open, the bodies of the saintes did arise and appéere to manie. Mat. 27.51.

Q. And what more?

A. The Centurion & others were con­strained to confesse him to bee a iust man, and the Sonne of GOD. Luke 23.47. [Page 13] Matth. 27.54.

Q. Doo you beleeue, that Christ was laid in a graue, and buried?

A. Yea: for the Scripture saith, hee was laid in a new sepulcher, wherein ne­uer man was laid before. Iohn 19.41.

Q. By whom was he buried?

A. By two worthie persons, Nicode­mus and Ioseph of Arimathea. Iohn. 19.38, 39.

Q. Why was he buried?

A. For the greater certaintie of the matter: for otherwise they might haue said after his resurrection, that his bodie was neuer laid in the graue.

Q. What is the meaning of this, that he descended into hell?

A. That hee suffered, not onely in his bodie, but also in his soule, all punish­ments due to our soules. Esay 53.10, 11. Mar. 14.33, 34.

Q. VVhere did hee suffer these tor­ments?

A. Vpon the Crosse: for the Scripture saith, all was dispatched & done vpon the [Page] crosse. Col. 2.14, 15. Col. 1.20.

Q. When did hee suffer these horrors, of death and condemnation?

A. Before his death in the garden Gethsemane. Matth. 26.36.

Q. What signes were there of his suffe­ring, condemnation, and the verie hellish torments in his soule?

A. His strong cries, and teares vnto his father, his sweating as it were drops of bloud, his praying that if it were possi­ble the cup might passe. Heb. 5.7. Luke. 22.44. Matth. 26.39.

Q. Was it not for feare of bodily death that our Lord Iesus did thus crie out?

A. No, for it were against all reason to think that the sonne of God could bee so shaken with any feare of naturall death.

Q. VVhat was it then?

A. Surely (as hath béen said before) it was the vntollerable wrath of his fa­ther, and the vnspeakeable torments of condemnation due to our sinnes, which caused him, which had al fulnesse and per­fection of faith, to crie out as a man con­demned and forsaken.

[Page 15] Q. You said euen now that he suffered al vpon the crosse, did hee then suffer no­thing after his death?

A. Nothing truely.

Q. How prooue you that?

A. Because hee said before hee gaue vp the Ghost that all was finished; meaning the work of our redemption, and to what end then should he suffer any more. Iohn. 19.30.

Q. Did not his soule goe downe to the place of the damned?

A. No, for his soule went to Paradise, but Paradise is not the place of the dam­ned, therefore his soule came not there. Luk. 23.43.

Q. Yea, but this word of Descending, dooth seeme to importe that hee went downe some whether after his death?

A. The word of desending dooth not imploye any mutation of place in body, or soule, but of state and condition. Ioh. 3.13.

Q. It may be further obiected, that this word hel, doth note the place of the dam­ned; therefore Christs soule was in hell?

A. The word hel, dooth not alwaies in [Page] the Scripture note the place of the dam­ned, but sometimes the graue, and some­times extremitie of afflictions. Gen. 42.38. Psal. 6.5. Psal. 86.13. Ion. 2.2.

Q. VVell, but Saint Peter saith, that Christ in his spirit, went and preached to the spirites that are in prison, therefore Christs soule was in hel amōg the dam­ned. 1. Pet. 3.19.

A. Saint Peter in that place dooth not meane by the word spirit, his humane soule, but his Godhead.

Q. VVhat reason can you alledge for that?

A. This: Christ went and preached in the same spirit, wherein he was raised vp from the dead: but he was not raised vp from the dead by the power of his humane soule, but by the power of his Godhead, therefore he went and preached, not in his humane soule, but in the power of his Godhead.

Q. How prooue you that he went and preached to the spirites in prison, in the same spirit wherein he was raised vp?

[Page 15] A. The verie text saith that he was put to death as concerning the flesh, but was quickened or raised vp in the spirit, by the which spirite hee went and preached, &c. 1. Pet. 3.19.

Q. I pray you then tell me, what is the meaning of Saint Peter in that place?

A. Saint Peters meaning is this, that Christ by the power of his Godhead, and diuine spirit in Noah, and not in his own humane flesh, did preach to the old world, who woulde neither heare nor obey the warning of Noah, and therefore are now in hell fire because of their disobedi­ence.

Q. You say well: but I haue not yet done. For it is written in the sixteenth Psalme; Thou wilt not leaue my soule in hell, &c. Therefore Christs soule was in hell.

A. The Holie Ghost himselfe by the mouth of his Apostles Peter and Paule, dooth expound that place, as a prophecie of the resurrection of Christ. Actes. 2.31. Act▪ 13.37.

[Page] A. How then must the words bee in­terprered?

A. Thus thou wilt not leaue my soule, that is my dead bodie in hell, that is in the graue, for so it should be translated.

Q. Where doo you reade in the scrip­tures that the word soule, is put for a dead bodie?

A. In the second of Leuiticus, and ve­ry often in the scriptures it is put for the bodie, and the whole person. Iosua. 10.30. 1. Pet. 3.20.

Q. Some hold that Christ went downe after his death to Lembus Patrum (that is as they say the brimme of hel) to fetch our fathers from thence, and I pray you what say you to that?

A. I say they erre, not knowing the scriptures.

Q. Why?

A. For there is no such place, neither were our forefathers euer in any such place, and therefore how could Christ fetch them out, where they neuer were.

Q. How prooue you that our forefa­thers were neuer in any such place?

[Page 16] A. Because they were saued by the [...]romised séed, as we are. Ihon. 8.56. Heb. [...] 15.

Q. How could they be saued by Christ, before he suffered?

A. Because the sauing power of his death was from the beginning. Heb 13.8. 1. Pet. 1.20. Apoc. 13.8.

Q. Nowe tell mee one thing further, whether did Christ suffer these foresaide tormentes in his Godhead, or in his man­hood?

A. In his manhood: for his Godhead could not suffer, but did as it were hide it selfe in the time of his suffering. Phi. 2.7.

Q. How then was he our mediator, ac­cording to both natures?

A. Yes verie wel notwithstanding, for hee was God, not to suffer, but to ouer­come by suffering: which was a part of his mediation.

Q. VVhat profite haue wee by the death, and sufferings of Christ?

A. Exceeding much.

Q. Shew wherein?

A. First, thereby our sinnes are forgi­uen. [Page] 1. Ihon. 1.7.

Secondly, hee hath set all at peace in heauen and earth. Col. 1.20.

Thirdlie, he hath taken awaie the sting of death. 1. Cor. 15.55.

Lastlie, he maketh sinne die in our mortall bodies. Rom. 6.4.

Q. Now that you haue shewed me the sufferings of Christ: and the profite wee haue by them: tell me further what be­came of him after he was dead & buried?

A. He rose againe the third daie.

Q. Are you perswaded that he did arise againe?

A. Yea, according to the scriptures.

Q. What Scripture haue you for that?

A. The 15. chapter of the first epistle to the Cor. where it is written that Christ rose againe according to the scriptures.

Q. Was he seene after his resurrection?

A. Yea.

Q. Of whome?

A. Of Cephas, of Iames, of Paul, of Marie, of the two disciples, of the twelue, of all the Apostles: of more then fiue hun­dred brethren at once. 1. Cor. 15.5. Iohn. 20.18. Luk. 24.34.

[Page 17] Q. How could he possiblie rise againe, seing the sepulchre was watched, and the stone sealed. Mat. 27.66.

A. Because he was God. Rom. 1.4.

Q. VVhat learne we out of this?

A. That neither death, hell, the graue, nor corruption, could seaze vpon him.

Q. VVhat more?

A. That hee hath fully satisfied for all our sinnes: for if there had béene but one sinne vnpaid for, it would haue held him downe still in the graue. 1. Cor. 15.17.

Q. VVhat profite haue we by the re­surrection of Christ?

A. First, thereby wee are iustified. Ro. 4.25.

Secondlie, we are assured that our bo­dies shall rise againe. Rom. 8.11.

Thirdlie, thereby wee are raised vp to newnesse of life. Rom 6.4.

Q. What followed his resurrection?

A. His ascention into Heauen.

Q. Did he ascend into Heauen imme­diatlie after his resurrection?

A. No, he staied fortie daies vpon the earth. Acts. 1.3.

[Page] Q. What did he those fortie daies?

A. He presented himself aliue to his disci­ples, he had conference with them, he in­structed them, he armed & prepared them against the time of triall. Acts. 1.2, 3.

Q. How was he taken vp?

A. In a Cloud, after a visible manner, in his humaine bodie, his disciples looking stedfastlie after him. Acts. 1.9.10.

Q. Was it necessarie that our Lord Iesus should thus ascend into Heauen?

A. It was verie meete and necessarie, that after all his sorrowes and sufferings, he should possesse his chaire of estate.

Q. Had it not bene better that hee had taried still with vs vpon the earth?

A. No: for that would destroy our faith, our spiritual loue, and al our hope. 2. Cor. 5.16. Heb. 11.1. 2. Cor. 5.7. 1. Pet. 1.8.

Q. Is Christ so ascended, that hee is no more with vs vpon the earth?

A. No: for although hee be absent from vs, as touching his bodilie presence: yet is hee with vs in the power of his spirite. Math. 28.20.

Q. What profite haue we by the as­cention [Page 18] of Christ?

A. First, thereby hee hath set open the gates of heauen, & made an open entrance to al that wil come in. Ep. 2.13. He. 10.19

Secondlie, he maketh continuall inter­cession for vs. Heb. 7.25.

Thirdlie, he being ascended, will draw all vs his members vnto him. Iho. 12.32.

Fourthly, because our head is aboue the water: therfore although we may be foun­dred, yet can we not be stifled. 2. C [...]r. 4.8.9. 2 Cor. 6.9.

Q. What is ment by this, sitting at the right hand of his Father?

A. That hee is exalted farre aboue the Angels, and all creatures whatsoeuer. Ephes. 1.20. Phil. 2.9. Marke. 16.18.

Q. Hath God a right hand of flesh & bloud like a man?

A. No: for God is like no creature. Esa. 40.18. Acts. 17.29.

Q. How then?

A. It is a borrowed speech taken from kings, who are accustomed to set them on their right hand whom they will highlie aduance. 1. Reg. 2.19. Psalm. 45.9.

[Page] Q. But the scripture speaketh of Gods head, eies, nose, mouth, hands, and feete: as if he were a man?

A. That is for the weakenes of our vn­derstanding, and not because he hath anie such members indeed.

Q Shew this more fullie?

A. We cānot vnderstand heauenly things in their proper nature and being, but as they are made plaine vnto vs by earthly simil [...]udes.

Q. What may wee learne out of this so high exaltation of our Lord Iesus?

A. That as he is able to vanquish al his e­nemies, so also he is able to help his frēds

Q. How long shall Christ sitte at the right hand of his father?

A. Vntil the consūmation of al things Acts. 3.21.

Q. wil he thē come again in the end of the world?

A. Yea, and that in visible sort, as he as­cended. Acts. 1.11. 2. Thess. 1.7.

Q. Will hee come poorely & basely as in his first comming?

A. No, but after a most glorious, won­derfull, and dreadfull manner.

[Page 19] Q. How is that?

A. In the clouds of heauen wt a shoute, with the voice of the Archangell, with the sound of the last trumpet: in flaming fire, with tenne thousand thousands of An­gels. 1. Th. 4.16. 2. The. 1.7. Dan. 7.10.

Q. When shall he come?

A. Of that day and houre knoweth no man, but the scripture saieth it is at hand. Mat. 24.36. Heb. 10.37. 1. Pet. 4.7.

Q. Will he giue no warning of his comming?

A. Hee wil come very suddeinly as a thiefe in the night, and as the trauaile of a womā. 2 Pet. 3.10. 1. Th. 5.3. Luk. 21.25

Q. What will he do when he commeth?

A. He wil iudge both the quick & dead.

Q what is ment by the quick and the dead?

A. Al yt euer haue bin, are, & shalbe to the end of the world, as well those yt are dead & rotten in the earth, as those which shalbe found aliue at his comming. Ap. 20.12.

Q Shal not the rich, mighty, & great Potentates of the earth be dispensed with, & exempted from this iudgment.

A. No, but all must make their perso­nal appéerance. 2. Cor. 5.10.

Q How shall we be iudged?

A. By the word of god: the books of our [Page] consciences shall bee opened, and euerie man shal receiue according to his works. Iohn. 12.48. Daniel. 7.10. Apoc. 20.12. 2. Cor. 5.10.

Q. Wil not learning, wit, policie, speach, friendship, flattery, riches, strength; beau­tie, gold nor siluer helpe in that day?

A. All these will auaile nothing: for he will iudge the world with righteousnes, and the people with equitie. Psal. 96.13.

Q. What learne wee out of this, that Christ shall be our iudge?

A. First, wee learne to our comfort, that hee shall bee our iudge, which is our mediator.

Secondly, that in the meane time wée liue an holy and godly life, in feare, and trembling, as those which looke for that great day of appearing. 2. Peter. 3.11. Tit. 2.13.

Q. Now that you haue shewed mee your faith in the Sonne: it remaineth that you tell me also, what you beleeue con­cerning the holy Ghost?

A. I beleeue the holy Ghost to be God, coequall, coeternall, and coessentiall with [Page 20] the Father and the Sonne.

Q. Where doo you finde in the scrip­tures that the holy Ghost is God?

A. In the first of the Acts hee is called God: & many other places doo ascribe vn­to him those thinges which belong vnto none but God. 1. Cor. 2.10. 1. Cor. 12.11. Act. 13.2. Matth. 12.31.

Q. Why is the holy Ghost distingui­shed from the Father and the Sonne, by this adiunct holy, & why is he thus called?

A. Not in respect of himselfe, whose Godhead is no more holy than the father, and the sonne: but in respect of his operati­on and work, which he worketh in vs.

Q. Which be the speciall works of the holy Ghost in the hearts of the elect, whereby he maketh them holy?

A. He worketh in them all holy and hea­uenly affections. Ephe. 5.18.

He sealeth the benefits of Christs death to their soules. Ephe. 4.30.

He openeth their hearts to beleeue the Gospell. Act. 16.14.

Hee certifieth them of their election. Rom 8.16.

[Page]He leadeth them into all trueth. Iohn. 16.13.

Hee teacheth them to pray. Roman. 8.16.

Q. Let vs now come to the second part of the Creede which concerneth the Church: and first tell mee what is it which ye call the Church?

A. The whole companie of those which GOD hath appointed vnto sal­uation.

Q. What dooth this word Catholique signifie?

A. Vniuersall, or that which goeth through the whole.

Q. VVhy is the Churche so cal­led?

A. Because it containeth all the godlie that euer were, are, or shall bee, of what place, language, or condition so euer.

Q. Is the Church alwaies visible?

A. No▪ the Church is sometimes hid as the Moone vnder a cloude, as it was in the daies of Elias. 1. Reg. 19.10. Apoc. 12.6.

[Page 21] Q. Dooth it not followe then that there is no Church at all?

A. No more, than if a man shoulde conclude there is no Moone in the Hea­uens, because sometimes there is none seene.

Q. Wherefore doo you call it the holy Church?

A. Because al the members thereof are holy.

Q. Can none of the wicked, and vn­holy, be of the Church?

A. No: for hee that hath not the Spi­rit of Christ is none of his. Romanes. 8.9.

Q. Many perswade themselues to be of the Church, who notwithstanding mock at holinesse?

A. Such doo plainely shew that they beleeue not the holy but the vnholy Church.

Q. Shal none be saued but those which be of the Church?

A. None verely: for as a vine branch cannot liue except it abide in the vine: no more can wee, except wee abide in [Page] Christ, and be of his Church. Iohn. 15.4.

Q. What other reason haue you to prooue this by?

A. Because none haue any interest in the benefits of Christs death, but only the Church. Ephe. 5.25.

Q. Are all that are in the Church, of the Church?

A. No: for there bee many hipocrites in the church, which be not of the church. Matth. 10.36. Act. 20.30.

Q. Let vs proceed, what is ment by the communion of Saints?

A. The holy fellowship of the faith­full.

Q. What dooth this word Communion signifie?

A. A knitting together in one.

Q. How are the faithful knit together in one?

A. In two respects.

Q. Which be they?

A. First in respect of Christ their head. Secondly, in respect one of another. Ro. 12.5. Ephe. 4.16.

Q. Doo you beleeue that the faithful [Page 22] are so linked together, that they are of one minde, of one heart, and of one soule?

A. Yea, for so saith the Scriptures. Acts. 4.32.

Q. What is the reason hereof?

A. Because they are all lead with one spirite, they are children to one Father, seruaunts to one master, souldiers vnder one captaine, &c. Eph. 4.4.

Q. It is much obiected by prophane men, that there is no loue now a daies, there was neuer so little loue as now.

A. Amongst prophane Atheists and worldlings, there was neuer anie true loue, nor euer will be: but amongst the people of God there hath alwaies beene true Loue, and euer will be, Apocalips. 14.2.

Q. Is there anie loue betwixte the wicked and the godlie?

A. No: for the one is an abhominati­on to the other, and what fellowship hath light with darknesse. Prouerbes. 29.27. 2. Cor. 6.14. Gen. 25.22. Gal. 4.29.

Q. Doo the godly hate the wicked, [Page] as they are hated of them?

A. No: for the godly hate not the per­sons of the wicked, but their sinnes: but the wicked hate them with a deadly ha­tred. Acts. 7.60. Prouer. 29.10. 2. Chro. 18.7.

Q. Doo the godly loue one another whome they haue neuer seene?

A. Yea, and therefore it is put within the compasse of things which are to be be­leeued.

Q. Wherein doth this holy fellowship of the faithfull consist?

A. In this, that they haue all things common. Act. 2.44.

Q. How vnderstand you that, haue none any propertie in their owne?

A. Yes, but amongst them things are common in vse, though not in possession. Acts. 4.32. Acts. 5.4.

Q. Expresse your meaning more plaine­ly in this point?

A. My meaning is, that all the faith­full hold themselues bound before God to imploy whatsoeuer gifts of bodie or mind the Lord hath indued them withall, to the [Page 23] mutuall benefite and comfort one of an­other.

Q. Is this a certaine token that wee are of God, when we loue his children, and are neerely knit vnto them in our hearts?

A. It is an infallible proofe that wee are of God, when our hearts are knit vn­to this holy communion of saints. 1. Ioh. 3.14.

Q. Is it not also true in the contrarie, that they are not of God which hate his peo­ple, and their holy societie?

A. Yes verely, for it is the spirit of sa­tan that enuieth the spirit of God, in his elect.

Q. What is ment by Saints?

A. Al the faithful both in heauen & earth.

Q. Be there any Saints in the earth?

A. Yea, for Dauid saith, all my delight is in the Saints, that are on the earth. Psal. 16.2.

Q. What say you to our mocksaints, which scornefully say these men be Saints they be all of the spirit, they knowe their seat in heauen?

A. I say they be scoffing Ishmaelites.

[Page] Q. Why, must wee liue like Saints in this world?

A. Yea, or els wee must burne like di­uels in hell fire after this world.

Q. But we cannot liue as Christ did.

A. True: but yet we must endeuour to be holie as he is holie. Matth. 5.48. 1. Pet. 1.15.

Q. Let vs come to the next Article: Doo you beleeue the forgiuenes of sinns.

A. Yea vndoubtedly.

Q. By whom haue we forgiuenesse of our sinnes?

A. Onely by Christ.

Q. Is there no other name in heauen, nor earth, whereby we may purchase re­mission of sinnes?

A. None at all. Act. 4.12.

Q. Are we not able to satisfie for our sinnes.

A. No: none is able. Luk. 17.10.

Q. But is not satisfying flat contrarie to our faith in the free forgiuenes of our sinnes?

A. Yes altogether.

Q. Shall all men haue forgiuenesse of [Page 24] their sinnes by Christ?

A. No: but those onely which are of the Church, and therefore this Article is ioyned to the former.

Q. May a Christian be fully perswa­ded of the forgiuenesse of his sinnes in this life?

A. Yea, or els hee doth not beleeue: for faith carrieth home a perswasion into the soule. Col. 2.2.

Q. Then belike a Christian may bee assured of his saluation in this life?

A. What els, he that knoweth not in this life that he shall be saued: shall neuer be saued after this life. 1. Ihon. 3.2.

Q. Nay, but we must thinke wel: and hope well in Gods mercie: but we cā ­not be assured till we be in Heauen?

A. I say againe, that faith is no think­ing: nor vaine hoping; but a full perswasi­on. Heb. 11.1.

Q. Shew this more plainelie?

A. There it nothing letteth vs from saluation but our sinnes: now then if wee beleeue that our sinnes are forgiuen, what [Page] is there that should hinder vs, why wee should not be perswaded.

Q. What doo you beleeue concer­ning the resurrection of the bodie?

A. That as verely as Christ our head is risen from death, so shal our bodies glo­riously rise againe in the end of the world. Rom. 8.11.

Q. How is it possible that the bodies of such as died many hundred yeares a­goe, and are consumed to nothing should euer rise againe?

A. There is nothing vnpossible with God: it is as easie for him to raise the dead bodies out of the dust, as it was to create all things of nothing.

Q. Shall these same bodies of ours a­rise againe?

A. Yea, the same in substance: but changed in qualities, for this corruptible, must put on incorruption. 1. Cor. 15.53. Phil. 2.21.

Q. Do ye thē beleeue that euerie one shall stand vp with the same bones and flesh which he liued in heere, or shal God [Page 26] giue new bodies?

A. It shall bee the verie same flesh, and the same bones, otherwise how should we be said to rise againe. Iob 19.27.

Q. What is the reason hereof?

A. Because it doth not stand with gods iustice to make new bodies: which neuer had done good, or euill: either to reward them, or to punish them.

Q. What do you conclude then?

A. That the verie same flesh which hath sinned, shall be cast into hell: and the same flesh which hath glorified GOD in this life, shall be glorified of him for euer.

Q. What shall then follow after this resurrection?

A. Our bodies and soules being most gloriously ioyned againe togeather: wee shall raigne for euer with our Christ in the vnspeakable ioyes of Heauen.

Q. VVhat learne wee out of this?

A. First, to long after it as our home.

Secondlie, to studie to please GOD in the meane while.

Thirdlie, with patience and courage [Page] to go thorough stitch with all afflictions and troubles, which are incident to the profession of the Gospell, knowing in our selues: that there is an infinite recompence of re­ward laid vp for vs in the heauens.


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