By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: Exposition of the Apostles Creed
Author: Dodds, James
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Exposition of the Apostles Creed" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.






       *       *       *       *       *

    Though I am an old Doctor of Divinity, to this day I have not
    got beyond the children's learning--the Ten Commandments, the
    Belief, and the Lord's Prayer; and these I understand not so
    well as I should, though I study them daily, praying with my son
    John and my daughter Magdalen.--LUTHER'S _Table-Talk_.

       *       *       *       *       *







        1. I BELIEVE
        2. GOD
        3. THE FATHER
        4. ALMIGHTY


        2. JESUS
        3. CHRIST
        4. HIS ONLY SON
        5. OUR LORD



        2. WAS CRUCIFIED
        3. DEAD
        4. AND BURIED











       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


Dr. Dodds' _Exposition of the Apostles' Creed_ will supply a real
need. It contains a careful, well-informed, and well-balanced statement
of the doctrines of the Church which are expressed or indicated in the
Creed, and it will be helpful to many as arranging the passages of
Scripture on which these doctrines rest. Though historical references
could have been easily made, the Editors agree with the author in
thinking that to insert them in the discussion of doctrines would have
probably perplexed the readers for whom the book is designed.

_February_ 1896.

       *       *       *       *       *


The title and purpose of this Handbook limit its subject matter to an
exposition of the doctrines which have place in the summary of belief
termed the Apostles' Creed. It is not meant to cover the whole field of
Christian doctrine.

A history of the Creed has not been attempted. There is much that is
interesting in its origin and growth. It did not come into existence all
at once, but was built up from time to time by the insertion of clauses
formulated by Councils or by leading representatives of the Christian
Church. The space available is not sufficient to include a history.

The Handbook being not controversial but expository, references to the
heretics and heresies that gave occasion for the articles which have
place in the Creed are few and brief.


       *       *       *       *       *



While the disciples had Jesus with them, there was no occasion for a
formal summary of the doctrines which His followers were called to
accept and to maintain. He was present to resolve all doubts and settle
all difficulties, so that when their faith was assailed or their
teaching impugned they could refer to Him. Then, as now, faith had Him
for its object,--with this difference, that He was visibly at hand to
counsel and to direct, while now He is passed into the heavens and
guides His people into all truth, not by personal instruction but by
His invisible though ever present Spirit.

Another reason why Jesus gave His disciples no creed may be found in the
fact that His work was not finished until He had laid down His life, and
that no creed could have been satisfactory which did not cover those
great unfulfilled events in His history that lie at the foundation of
the Christian religion.

Jesus did indeed require belief in Himself as a condition on which
healing and salvation were bestowed. Unbelief hindered His work, while
faith in His Messianic claims and mission never failed to secure a rich
blessing to those who confessed Him. The faith which He recognised was
not the acceptance and confession of a summary of doctrine such as any
of the Creeds now existing, but a simple statement of belief in Himself
as the Son of God and the Messiah. On one occasion only does He appear
to have called for a confession which went further than this, when,
having declared to Martha the great doctrine of Resurrection, He put to
her the question, "Believest thou this?"[001]

After His death and resurrection, when Jesus charged His disciples to
preach the Gospel, He bade them teach their followers to observe all
things whatsoever He had commanded them.[002] The Apostles, accordingly,
appear to have furnished the leaders of the churches they planted with
summaries of doctrine, such as we find in the fifteenth chapter of
Paul's first Epistle to the Corinthians.[003] Paul seems to refer to
such a summary when he writes to the Romans commending them for
obedience to the "form of doctrine" which was delivered them,[004] and
when he bestows his benediction on those Galatians who walked according
to "this rule."[005] It was, doubtless, such a compendium of doctrine he
had in view when he charged Timothy to "keep that which was committed to
his trust," contrasting this "deposit" with "profane and vain babblings,
and oppositions of science falsely so called."[006] The bearing of this
charge is made more emphatic when it is repeated by the Apostle in
connection with the exhortation, "Hold fast the form of sound words,
which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ

It would thus appear that from Apostolic times there existed a form of
words of the character of a creed, which, for some reason, came to be
jealously guarded and concealed from all who were not Christians. It was
perhaps Paul's reference to the summary of doctrine as a "deposit" to be
carefully kept, that led the early converts to regard it as a private
possession--a trust to be hidden in the heart and covered from
unfriendly eyes. The Apostle did not mean that it should be so regarded,
but this interpretation given to his words, or some other cause, led to
its being used as a watchword rather than as an open confession, the
consequence of which is that in the writings of the earliest Christian
fathers no statement of doctrines corresponding to a creed is found.

The absence of creeds or of allusions to them in the oldest Christian
treatises gives seeming point to the objection urged by Professor
Harnack and others against the Apostles' Creed as now held and
interpreted by the Church, that it is not a correct summary of early
Christian belief. That such objections are not well founded will become
apparent as the various articles of the Creed are considered in the
light of Apostolic teaching. The absence of creeds in early Christian
writings is sufficiently accounted for by the care with which the
summary was cherished as a secret trust, to be treasured in the memory
but not to be written or otherwise profaned by publicity.

The word "creed"--derived from the Latin "_credo_, I believe"--is,
in its ecclesiastical sense, used to denote a summary or concise
statement of doctrines formulated and accepted by a church. Although
usually connected with religious belief, it has a wider meaning, and
designates the principles which an individual or an associated body so
holds that they become the springs and guides of conduct. Some sects of
Christians reject formal creeds and profess to find the Scriptures
sufficient for all purposes that creeds are meant to serve. The
Christian religion rests on Christ, and the final appeal on any question
of doctrine must be to the Scriptures which testify of Him: but it is
found that very different conclusions are often reached by those who
profess to ground their beliefs upon the same passages of the Word of
God. Almost every heresy that has disturbed the unity of the Church has
been advocated by men who appealed to Scripture in confirmation of the
doctrines they taught. The true teaching of the Word of God is gathered
from careful and continuous searching of the Scriptures, and there is
danger of fatal error when conclusions are drawn from isolated passages
interpreted in accordance with preconceived opinions. It has been found
not only expedient but needful that the Christian Churches should set
forth in creeds and confessions the doctrines which they believe the
Scriptures affirm. They are bound not only to accept Scripture as the
rule of faith, but to make known the sense in which they understand it.
As unlearned and unstable men wrest and subvert the Sacred Writings, it
is fitting that those who are learned and not unstable should publish
sound expositions of their contents. In the light of creeds, converts
are enabled to test their own position, and to put to proof the claims
of those who profess to be teachers of Christian doctrine.

One of the most widely accepted of these forms is the Apostles' Creed,
so called, not because it was drawn up by, or in the time of, the
Apostles--although there is a tradition to the effect that each of them
contributed a clause--but because it is in accordance with the sum of
Apostolic teaching. The history of this Creed is not easily traced. The
care with which it was guarded excluded it from the writings of the
early fathers, and it is impossible, therefore, to assign to their
proper dates, with certainty, some of the articles of which it is
composed. This, however, is evident, that it came gradually into
existence, clauses being added from time to time to guard the faithful
against false doctrine, or to enable them to defend the orthodox belief.
It appears to have been the general creed of the Christian Church, in a
form very similar to that which it now bears, from the close of the
second century.[008] At that time and afterwards it served not only as a
test of Christian doctrine, but was also used by catechists in training
and instructing candidates for admission to the Church.

It is sometimes urged as an objection to this Creed that it is not a
sufficiently comprehensive summary of Christian doctrine. Those who
object to it on this ground should consider the purpose of creeds. They
were not meant to cover the whole field of Christian faith, but to
fortify believers against the teaching of heretics. The Apostles' Creed
was not intended, and does not profess, to state all the things that
Christians ought to believe. There is no reference in it to Scripture,
to Inspiration, to Prayer, or to the Sacraments. It sets forth in a few
words, distinct and easily remembered, the existence and relations to
men of the three Persons of the Godhead--those facts and truths on
which all doctrine and duty rest, and from which they find development.

It is especially objected that there is no reference in this Creed to
the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, though not directly
expressed, this doctrine is really and substantially contained in it.
The Creed is the confession of those whose bond of union is common
faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour. The articles which
treat of Him and of His sufferings and work are intelligible only to
those who believe in the reality and efficacy of the Atonement.

The Creed contains twelve articles, and to each of these, and to every
part of it, the words "I believe" belong. One article relates to God the
Father, six to God the Son, one to God the Holy Ghost, and four to the
Holy Catholic Church and the privileges secured to its members. These
articles are--

    1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and

    2. And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord,

    3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,

    4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and

    5. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the

    6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God
        the Father Almighty;

    7. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

    8. I believe in the Holy Ghost,

    9. The Holy Catholic Church; the Communion of saints;

    10. The Forgiveness of sins;

    11. The Resurrection of the body,

    12. And the Life Everlasting.

In estimating the value of creeds in the early ages of the Christian
Church, it is important to bear in mind that the converts were almost
wholly dependent on oral instruction for their knowledge of Divine
truth. Copies of the Old and New Testaments existed in manuscript only.
These were few in number, and the cost of production placed them beyond
the reach of the great majority. A single copy served for a community or
a district in which the Hebrew or the Greek tongue was understood, but
in localities where other languages were in use the living voice was
needed to make revelation known. It is only since the invention of
printing and the application of the steam-engine to the economical and
rapid production of books, and since modern linguists have multiplied
the translations of the Bible, that it has become in their own tongues
accessible to believers in all lands, available for private perusal and
family reading. It was therefore a necessity that Christians should
possess "a form of sound words," comprehensive enough to embody the
leading doctrines of Christianity, yet brief enough to be easily
committed to memory.

       *       *       *       *       *


_1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth_


The Creed is the expression of personal belief. Whether spoken in
private or in a public assembly, it is the confession of the faith held
by each individual for himself. Each of us has a separate life, and each
of us must personally accept God's message and express his own belief.
Religion must influence men as units before it can benefit them in
masses. Faith that saves is a gift of God which every one must receive
for himself. The faith of one is of no avail for another, therefore the
Creed begins with the affirmation "_I_ believe." In repeating it we
profess our own faith in what God has revealed concerning Himself.

"I _believe_."--The Apostles' Creed is a declaration of things
which are most surely believed among us, and its several parts or
articles are founded upon the contents of Scripture, which is our one
rule of faith. It does not begin with the words _I think_ or _I
know_, but with the statement "I believe." "Belief" is used in
various senses, but here it means the assent of the mind and heart to
the doctrines expressed in the Creed. When we repeat the form we declare
that we accept and adopt all the statements which it covers. "With the
heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession
is made."[009]

Faith differs from knowledge. There are some things which we know to be
true, and there are others of which we say we believe them to be true.
There are certain truths which are termed axiomatic. When the terms in
which they are expressed are understood, the truth they convey is at
once admitted. We know that two and two make four, we know that two
straight lines cannot enclose a space; but we do not know in the same
sense those things which the Creed affirms. It deals with statements
that, for the most part, have never been, and cannot be, tested by
sense, and that cannot be demonstrated by such proof as will compel us
to accept them. We believe them, not because it is impossible to
withhold our assent, nor only because nature, history, and conscience
confirm them, but on the ground of testimony. "Faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the Word of God."[010] We believe because we are assured
on sufficient and competent authority that these things are so. We know
that we live in a material universe, but our knowledge does not extend
to the manner in which the universe came into being. That is a matter of
belief. "Through faith"--not by ocular or logical proof, but on
testimony--"we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of

Faith differs from opinion. When a man believes his mind is made up. By
whatever process it may have been reached, the conclusion commends
itself as one that is fixed and irreversible. Opinion, on the other
hand, is held loosely. It is based not on certainty but on probability.
The possibility of error is recognised, and the opinion is readily
surrendered when the grounds on which it was formed are seen to be
insufficient or misleading. "A man," says Coleridge, "having seen a
million moss roses all red, concludes from his own experience and that
of others that all moss roses are red. That is a maxim with him--the
_greatest_ amount of his knowledge upon the subject. But it is only
true until some gardener has produced a white moss rose,--after which
the maxim is good for nothing."[012]

The testimony on which faith rests is human or Divine. It is human in so
far as it is based on human experience and observation. It is Divine in
so far as it rests upon the direct revelation of God. Faith in man is
continually exercised in business and in all the departments of life. It
is necessary to the very existence of society. Faith in God moves in
another sphere. Its objects are not seen or temporal, and they do not
rest for proof upon the testimony of man. It receives and assents to
statements which are made on the authority of God, who knows all things,
who therefore cannot be deceived, and who is truth and therefore cannot
deceive us. On this Divine rock of faith, and not upon her own
knowledge, the Christian Church rests. "If we receive the witness of
men, the witness of God is greater."[013] Among Christian virtues faith
stands first. It must precede everything else. It is the foundation on
which all Christian character and life are built. "He that cometh unto
God must believe that he is."[014] "Without faith it is impossible to
please God."[015]

That which Christian faith realises and grasps is expressed in doctrine.
Faith is not a separate and self-dependent grace. Its existence and
growth arise from those things which are believed, and therefore it is
necessary to study and understand, as far as we can, the doctrines of
the Christian faith before we can possess or manifest belief. It is
important that we should have a definite knowledge of these doctrines;
that we should study them in relation to the Scriptures upon which they
profess to be founded, and that we should be in a position to defend
them against assailants. Thus faith will gather strength, and believers
will be "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh them a
reason of the hope that is in them with meekness and fear."[016]

SECTION 2.--GOD--[017]

The existence of God is the basis of all religious belief. If there is
no God, there is no moral obligation. If there is no Almighty Being to
whom men owe existence, and to whom they must give account, worship is a
vain show and systems of religion are meaningless. Theologians,
therefore, from the days of the first Christian apologists to our own
time, have endeavoured to establish by proof the doctrine of the Divine
existence. To those who accept the authority of Scripture the existence
of God is a fact which no argument can overthrow; but as there are many
who reject this authority, evidence has been sought elsewhere than in
Scripture to establish the doctrine. The arguments for the Being of God
are mainly threefold, being drawn: (_a_) from the consciousness of
mankind; (_b_) from the order and design that are manifest in the
universe; and (_c_) from the written revelation which claims to
have come to men from God Himself.

(_a_) (_Consciousness_) There is a wonderful agreement among men as
to the existence of a great invisible Being by whom the world was
created and is governed, and who charges Himself with the control and
guidance of its inhabitants and concerns. In a land such as our own, in
which Christianity has held place for many centuries, belief in God,
however it may fail to produce holy living, is almost universal. This
belief exercises a strong influence, and has contributed not a little to
the formation of our national character. It is an atmosphere always
around us, sustaining and promoting the healthy life of those even who
are the least conscious of being affected by it. The belief is indelibly
impressed upon our laws, our literature, and even our everyday
occupations. It is stamped upon the relations men sustain to one
another. It is this which for one day weekly suspends labour that
Christians may have leisure to worship God and to meditate upon the
duties they owe to Him. It is in recognition of this that we see tall
spires pointing heavenward, and churches opening their portals to the
inhabitants of crowded cities and to the dwellers in scattered villages.
In Christian lands the consciousness of men bears testimony to the
existence of God, but it is not in such lands only that this
consciousness exists and confirms belief in the Divine. In the earliest
times, long before history began to be written, such a consciousness was
prevalent, leading men to faith in and worship of a Being or Beings
infinitely greater than themselves, present with them and presiding,
though invisibly, over their destinies. The study of Comparative
Religion has shown how nearly the primeval inhabitants of lands widely
distant from each other were at one in the views they had come to
entertain. Hymns, prayers, precepts, and traditions are found in the
sacred books of the great religions of the East, and archaeologists have
deciphered on ancient monuments, and traced in primitive religious
rites, clear evidence of belief in the existence of the Divine. The
valleys of the Nile, of the Euphrates, and of the Tigris have revealed
facts for the theologian's benefit that are almost exhaustless. In the
Egyptian Book of the Dead, and in the religious hymns and the ritual of
which they formed part in the sacred literature of Babylonia, there is
proof that four thousand years ago hymns were sung in honour of the
gods, and prayers were offered to propitiate them and secure their
favour. But belief in God had place long before these hymns were sung or
these prayers offered. This is shown by the existence of words in the
most ancient hymns, prayers, and inscriptions which could not have been
used unless the ideas which they conveyed had already existed in men's
minds. These words--some of which are preserved in modern tongues--when
traced to their roots, help greatly to explain the character of early
religious thought, and prove the existence of a widely diffused belief
in the Divine Being and His government. They serve as confirmation of a
belief, which is in harmony with many facts, that God had revealed
Himself to humanity before He furnished the revelation which has come
down to us. Words are not originated by accident. They are expressions
of real existences, and before they found place in hymns or prayers the
ideas which they denoted must have been matters of faith or knowledge to
those who used them. Before man is found professing faith in pagan
deities some idea of God must have existed in his mind. Men did not like
to retain God in their knowledge, and so the idea of the Divine became
perverted, and in its first simplicity was lost, and the multitude
followed numberless shadows all illusory and vain. Still, there
lingered remnants and traditions of belief in a Divine Creator and
Governor which must have originated in such a primeval revelation as the
book of Genesis records. We find there the statement that God revealed
Himself to our first parents by direct intercourse. They heard and saw
and talked with God. They therefore knew of the existence of God by
personal perception, and the ideas they held regarding Him were founded
on His own manifestation of Himself.

Closely connected with this consciousness is the sense of responsibility
universally prevalent. There is a law written on the heart of every
rational human being, under the guidance of which he recognises a
distinction between good and evil, right and wrong. He possesses a
faculty to which the name of conscience has been given, that convicts
him of sin when he violates, and approves his conduct when he conforms
to, its dictates. However much different peoples and different ages may
be at variance in their particular ideas of what is right and what is
wrong, the conception itself has place in all of them. There are certain
fundamental notions as to what is just and what is unjust, what is
virtuous and what is vicious, that find universal or all but universal
acceptance. This power of distinguishing between right and wrong
constitutes man a moral being, and separates him by infinite distance
from the lower animals. To the beasts that perish there is nothing right
or wrong. They live altogether according to nature, and have no
responsibility. Man stands in a different relation to the Lawgiver who
bestowed on him the faculty of conscience and impressed on his soul a
conviction that he will have to give account for all his actions. The
Being to whom he must give account is God.

(_b_) (_Order_) Another ground of this belief is the order manifest
in the universe. There is a symmetry that pervades all material things
of which we have knowledge. Part is adapted to part; objects are
accurately adjusted to each other; "wheels within wheels" move smoothly;
every portion fits into and works in harmony with every other portion
without discord or jarring. It is unthinkable that these effects should
be due to chance or to a cause that is without intelligence. The perfect
arrangement of parts that work together must have been planned by a
living Being of infinite wisdom, knowledge, and power. This Being, whose
creatures they are, must exist. Behind the pervading order there must be
personality, purpose, and action. The fool may say in his heart, "There
is no God," but, as nature bears testimony to the existence of an
omniscient and omnipotent Creator, reason calls for another conclusion.

(_c_) (_Scripture_) There is a limit to the knowledge of God which
the consciousness of man and the order and design in the universe
impart. These serve to establish the truth that God is, but they do not
convey the intimation that He is a moral Governor and the rewarder of
them that diligently seek Him. They declare little of His character, and
are silent as to many of the duties which He requires. To make God
known, the teaching of conscience and of reason must be supplemented by
revelation. It is in the Bible that the believer finds the strongest
proofs of the existence of the Divine Being, and from the Bible he
obtains also the most comprehensive and satisfying view of the Deity
and of man's relation to Him. He there finds that what he has to believe
concerning God is, that He is Jehovah--the Being infinitely and
eternally perfect, self-existent, and self-sufficient; the only living
and true God, there being none beside Him. The heathen believed in and
worshipped many gods. The untutored savage peopled the groves with
them, and the pagan philosopher built innumerable temples in their
honour. The Pantheons of Greece and Rome were crowded with the statues
of favourite deities. The doctrine of one living and true God was
prominent in the revelation given to Israel. God's message by Moses had
its foundation--truth in the proclamation: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our
God is one Lord."[018] His glory and His work are shared by no other
being. He is the absolute Sovereign and Lord of all creatures. In the
Bible, too, man learns that God is his own personal God who cares for
him, and to whom he owes love, allegiance, and obedience. All who refuse
to believe in the existence of God reject the testimony of Scripture
regarding Him, but to such as acknowledge its claim to be the Word of
God, the evidence it supplies is convincing and all-sufficient.

Examination of ancient heathen religions and of the views they set forth
regarding God shows clearly the distance at which they stand from the
revelation of Scripture. The gods of the heathen were of like passions
with their worshippers--selfish, cruel, vindictive, and without regard
for equity or justice in their treatment of men. The God of the Bible,
on the other hand, is a righteous God, merciful to His creatures, and
desirous of their temporal and eternal wellbeing, and when He inflicts
suffering it is not as a passionate Judge, but as a Father who chastens
His children for their profit.

The doctrine of the Trinity of Persons in the God-head, though not
expressly stared in the Creed, is implied in the clauses which refer to
each of the Persons who compose it. There is one God, but in the Godhead
there are three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, whose
names indicate the relation in which each stands to the others.

Each of the Persons is complete and perfect God. While there are three
Persons in the Godhead, the same in substance, equal in power and glory,
these three are one. The doctrine thus stated is termed the doctrine of
the Trinity. This word is not found in Scripture, but the truth which it
expresses is set forth there, dimly in the Old Testament, distinctly in
the New. In the first chapter of Genesis the word "God" is in the Hebrew
a plural noun, and yet it is used with a singular verb, thus early
seeming to intimate what afterwards is clearly made known, that there is
a plurality of Persons, who yet constitute the one living and true God.
The same indication of plurality in unity appears in the account of
man's creation: "Let _us_ make man."[019] This doctrine of the
Trinity is essentially one of revelation. Natural religion testifies to
the existence, the personality, and the unity of God, but fails to make
known that the unity of God is a unity of three Persons. The doctrine
does not contradict reason, it is above reason.

It is sometimes said that the doctrine of the Trinity involves a
contradiction in affirming that three Persons are one Person. This
charge misrepresents the doctrine. Trinitarians do not say that Father,
Son, and Holy Ghost are three Persons in the sense in which three men
are three individuals. They believe that there is one God, and that
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are yet so distinct that the Father can
address the Son, the Son can address the Father, and the Father can
address and send the Spirit. God's ways are not as our ways. He is not a
man that He should be limited by the conditions of human relationships.
When we say there are three Persons in the Godhead, we use a word
applicable to men, which, though the most fitting one at our disposal,
must come far short of fully describing the relations of Father, Son,
and Holy Ghost to each other. Possessing no celestial language, we
cannot fully describe or understand heavenly things.


The first Person in the Godhead is the Father. This name may be viewed
(_a_) with reference to the second Person, Jesus Christ His only
Son, or (_b_) as descriptive of His relation to believers in Christ
Jesus, or (_c_) as indicating His universal Fatherhood as the
Author and the Preserver of all intelligent creatures. The relation in
which the Father stands to the Son, that He is His Father and has
begotten Him, is one that we cannot explain. Any attempt to do so must
be arrogant and misleading, for who "by searching can find out
God"?[020] Secret things belong unto God, but revealed things unto us
and our children.[021] The term "Father" is a relative one and involves
the idea of sonship. No one who accepts the teaching of Scripture can
doubt that the Father is God. The statements as to His attributes and
universal government are so many and so strong that, but for other
affirmations regarding Deity, we should naturally conclude that the
Father alone is God. But the very name "Father" corrects such a view,
and when we search the Scriptures we find it untenable. God is our
Father, but He was "the Father" before He called man into being. From
all eternity He was Father. As from everlasting to everlasting He is
God, so from everlasting to everlasting He is Father. He did not become
Father when His Son assumed human nature, but is such in virtue of His
eternal relation to the Word as the Son of God. It is the Son's
existence that constitutes Him Father; and that existence was in
eternity. "I and my Father are one,"[022] is the Son's testimony to His
eternal Sonship; and when He prays His Father to glorify Him, He asks to
be glorified with the glory which He had with Him before the world
was.[023] There are other senses in which the first Person of the
Godhead is termed Father. All men are declared to be His offspring, and
those who have received the Spirit of adoption cry, "Abba, Father," and
are taught, when they pray, to say, "Our Father."

In an exposition of the Creed the Fatherhood in relation to men
generally, or to believers in particular, need not be considered. Here
the name is used to indicate the relation in which the First Person
stands to the Second, in virtue of which alone those who are adopted
into fellowship with the Son become the children of God--the children
of Christ's Father and their Father. The Scriptures teach that the
Father is God, that the Son is God, and that the Holy Ghost is God. At
the same time the doctrine of the Divine Unity is affirmed.

The difficulty felt in connection with the doctrine of Trinity in Unity
has led to attempts in ancient and modern times to show that those
passages of Scripture in which it appears to be taught may be otherwise
interpreted. One explanation is, from the name of its first exponent,
termed Sabellianism, or, the doctrine of a Modal Trinity. The view which
it presents of the Divine Being is that the same Person manifests
Himself at one time and in one relation as Father, at another time and
in another relation as Son, and at a different time and in another
relation as Holy Ghost. It attributes divinity to this One Divine Person
in each of His manifestations, but denies that there are three Persons
in the Godhead. The facts of Scripture do not accord with such a view of
the Divine Personality. We find each Person addressing the Others and
speaking of Himself and of Them as distinct Persons. Each speaking of
Himself says "I." The Father says "Thou" to the Son, the Son says "Thou"
to the Father, and the Father and the Son use the pronouns "He" and
"Him" with reference to the Spirit. The Father loves the Son, the Son
loves the Father, the Spirit testifies of the Son.[024]

In the Athanasian Creed we find the following statement of this

    "This is the Catholic Faith, that we worship one God in Trinity,
    and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons nor
    dividing the Substance. For the Person of the Father is one, of
    the Son another, of the Holy Ghost another. But the divinity of
    the Father and the Son and of the Holy Ghost is one, the glory
    equal, the majesty equal. Such as is the Father, such also is
    the Son, and such the Holy Spirit. The Father is uncreated, the
    Son is uncreated, the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father is
    infinite, the Son is infinite, the Holy Ghost is infinite. The
    Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, the Holy Ghost is
    eternal. And yet these are not three eternal Beings but one
    eternal Being. As also there are not three uncreated beings, nor
    three infinite beings, but one uncreated and one infinite

It is sometimes said that the doctrine of the Trinity is of little
practical importance, but such a view of it is inconsistent with the
teaching of Scripture, and with the atoning work of Christ. It is the
Divinity of the Son that gives efficacy to His sacrifice. As sinners we
need pardon. Pardon must be preceded by propitiation, and if Christ is
not Divine there is no propitiation. The doctrines of Scripture are so
linked together that the rejection of one invalidates the others. If we
deny the Trinity we deny the Gospel message of salvation, and we
accordingly find that most of those who reject the doctrine of the
Trinity do not believe in the reality and efficacy of Christ's


The term "Almighty," which occurs twice in the Creed, represents two
Greek words, the one denoting absolute dominion, the other infinite
power in operation. When we say that God the Father is Almighty, we
affirm that He is possessed of entire freedom of action, and that His
power is unlimited. He cannot, indeed, act in opposition to His own
nature. In executing His eternal decrees none can stay His hand from
working, but He can do nothing that would derogate from His eternal
power and Godhead. Such inability has its origin not in any limitation
of power, or restriction imposed from without, but in Himself. He knows
all things and so cannot be tempted of evil. He can do whatever He
wills, but His will cannot contradict His character.

The statement that God is Almighty implies that all beings are governed
and controlled by Him. All things, save Himself, are His creatures and
subject to Him. Even those things that seem to resist and defy His
authority are under His government. Rebellion serves but to make His
omnipotence more apparent, for He causeth the wrath of man to praise
Him, and the remainder of wrath He restraineth.[025] He so governs the
universe that all things work together, and work together for good to
them that love Him.[026]

When we say, "God the Father Almighty," it is not meant that the Son and
the Holy Ghost are not Almighty. The Father is Almighty because He is
God, the Son, who is one with the Father, is God and therefore Almighty,
and the Holy Ghost is also God and therefore Almighty. In the unity of
the Godhead the same attributes mark the three Persons.


Belief in the Almighty power of God is further declared by a confession
of faith in Him as the Maker of heaven and earth, and this is but a
repetition of the statement contained in the first chapter of
Genesis--the only account of Creation which is fitted to solve all
difficulties and to meet all objections. "Maker" in this article is used
in the sense of Creator, implying that heaven and earth were called into
existence out of nothing by the word of Divine power; and by "heaven and
earth" are meant all creatures, visible and invisible, that have existed
or do exist.

Those who object to the Scripture statements regarding Creation have
maintained views as to the origin of the material universe differing
largely from those held by persons who accept this article of the Creed,
and differing also greatly from one another. Various solutions have been
given, among which may be stated:--

    (_a_) The view of those who hold that all phenomena and all
    existence originate in Chance or a blind fortuitous concourse of
    atoms. To state such a doctrine is to refute it. No one
    possessed of reason can believe in his heart that Intelligence
    did not create and organise matter, or that the material
    universe, with all its adaptation of parts, was evolved, and is
    governed, by chance or accident. This theory, if it is worthy of
    the name, seems to have been devised in order to evade the idea
    that man is subject to Divine government.

    (_b_) Another view is that all existence owes its origin to Fate
    or Necessity and is now held in its resistless grasp. The
    advocates of this theory are at variance among themselves. One
    school maintains that all things existed from eternity in their
    present condition, and are destined to continue as they are,
    controlled by relentless and undeviating necessity. Another
    school--the ancient Fatalists--held that at first there was a
    fortuitous concourse of atoms and phenomena, until Fate or
    Chance decided the present order, which became an established
    necessity. A third class hold doctrines of Development. Some of
    them agree with the ancient Fatalists in maintaining that
    development, in a fortuitous concourse and action of matter and
    force, issued in evolution or originated a course of evolution.
    Others again deny fortuitous concourse and affirm that this
    process of evolution had no external beginning, but has
    continued from eternity under the control of evolutionary law.
    The term "law" as used by them has no specific meaning, and is
    simply an adaptation, to a theory naturally atheistic, of a word
    which may serve to commend their doctrine. The "law" of which
    they speak has its origin in matter itself, and is not under the
    control of a Supreme Intelligence. That this is the fact is
    shown by the denial of free-will in man and of the
    superintending providence of God; of the efficacy of prayer and
    of the forgiveness of sin; and by the prominence given in their
    writings to the absolute control of all things by undeviating,
    unchanging law.

    (_c_) A third view affirms that while there is a distinction
    between the Ego and the non-Ego (the me and the not-me), it is
    impossible to know anything about either in its essence. That
    they exist and that they are different are facts within our
    knowledge, but as to the absolute nature of mind and matter we
    can discover and believe nothing. The ultimate or absolute is
    beyond our reach, as is the infinite and unconditioned. We can
    have no knowledge of First Causes, or of the Ultimate Cause, or
    of the Absolute Cause. The infinite cannot even be apprehended,
    and those who undertake to learn or to speculate regarding the
    infinite engage in a task beyond their powers. Such knowledge is
    not practical. The term "God" is merely an expression for a mode
    of the unknowable, conveying no meaning to those who use it. The
    view thus expressed originated in concessions unhappily made by
    certain writers, as Sir William Hamilton and Dean Mansel, who,
    thinking to defend revealed religion, taught that reason cannot
    know the Infinite, and that therefore the Infinite must reveal
    Himself. Herbert Spencer took advantage of this concession, and
    carried it to a logical conclusion, when he argued that, if
    reason could not know or apprehend the Infinite by reason,
    neither could it by revelation.

    (_d_) Another class hold the view which is termed cosmogonies
    than that of Moses, whether contained in the sacred books of
    religions that have long existed, or professing to be based on
    modern scientific discovery, raise difficulties that are
    insuperable. Whence came matter if not from the creative word of
    God? To assign eternity to it is to invest it with an attribute
    that is Divine, and Pantheists carry such an explanation to its
    logical conclusion when they affirm that the universe is God.
    The existence of a single atom is an unfathomable mystery. Man
    cannot create or destroy even a particle of matter. How
    overwhelming, then, if we reject the simple statement of the
    Bible, is the mystery of the great universe, in whose extended
    space suns, planets, stars, and systems unceasingly revolve, and
    in which our own world is but a little speck. All things created
    point to God as their origin and source. "The invisible things
    of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being
    understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power
    and Godhead."[027]

"I asked the earth," wrote Augustine in his _Confessions_, "and it
answered me, 'I am not He.' And whatsoever things are in it confirmed
the same. I asked the sea and the deeps and the living creeping things,
and they answered, 'We are not thy God, seek above us.' I asked the
morning air, and the whole air with its inhabitants answered,
'Anaximenes was deceived, we are not thy God.' I asked the heavens, sun,
moon, stars, 'Nor,' say they, 'are we the God whom thou seekest.' And I
replied unto all the things which encompass the door of my flesh, 'Ye
have told me of my God that ye are not He: tell me something more of
Him.' And they cried out with a loud voice, 'He made us.'"[028]

       *       *       *       *       *


_And in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord_


The first article of the Apostles' Creed has numerous adherents. Jews
and Christians are at one in affirming their belief in God the Father
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. Many too who, unlike Jews and
Christians, have not been favoured with a written revelation, have yet
risen to the conception of such a Divine Being as that article sets
forth. Mohammedans believe in an Omnipotent Creator, and many thoughtful
heathens have accepted and maintained the doctrine as an article of
faith. It expresses a conviction reached by Plato and Aristotle, by
Seneca and Epictetus, and is a truth proclaimed by Old Testament
prophets and New Testament saints. No belief regarding things invisible
is more generally professed.

It is otherwise with the second article of the Creed, "I believe in
Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord," which expresses doctrines so hotly
disputed that they prove the saying true, "This child is set for a sign
which shall be spoken against."[029] It is rejected by the Jew and the
Mohammedan, and finds opponents in many who profess to accept the
Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as a Divine revelation, and to
regard the exemplary life of Jesus as a model to be copied, while they
deny His Divine origin, His sacrificial death, and His universal

The early controversies concerning the Second Person of the Trinity were
disputes regarding His nature and the relation in which He stands to the
Father. Certain heretics affirmed that Jesus was a mere man, selected by
God and specially endowed with the gift of His Spirit. Others maintained
that Christ was not God, but a created spirit, nearest to the Father in
dignity, who took upon Him human nature, and, having finished the work
appointed Him on earth, went up again to God the Father. One class, the
Ebionites, regarded Him as a being essentially human, though begotten of
the Spirit, by whom He was anointed above measure; while another, the
Docetae, regarded Him as a Divine Being seemingly bearing human form and
united with the man Jesus. These views were finally rejected by the
Catholic Church, because they conflicted with the Word of God which
affirms the true Divinity of the Son of God, the true humanity of the
Son of Man, and the true union of the two natures of God and man in One
Person, Jesus Christ.

The Gnostics, who were the leaders in connection with such heretical
views, are generally thought to date from the time of Simon Magus. He
had been enrolled as a disciple of the Apostles, and, professing faith
in Christ, was baptized by Peter. But he had joined the Christian Church
for selfish ends,[030] as Luke's statements show. Hymenaeus,[031]
Phygellus, and Hermogenes,[032] referred to by Paul in his second letter
to Timothy, are believed to have been Gnostics, and towards the close of
the first century Cerinthus and Ebion extended the system.[033]


Jesus is the personal name of our Lord. In ancient times names had often
a meaning and importance which they do not carry now. "Name" means a
word by which any person or thing is known, and names were originally
given from some quality attribute inherent in the person or thing to
which they were attached. Proper names among the Hebrews had a deeper
meaning and a closer connection with character and condition than
elsewhere. The care that marks the Scriptures in recording the origin of
names of individuals and places, the frequent allusions to names as
having a special relation to character or qualities, the solemnity with
which a change of name is stated as marking an epoch in the history of
individuals or nations, and the frequency with which names are
associated with great events, with promises, threats, or prophecies,
show the importance that was attached to them. This feature is most
marked in the use by the Jews of the word "Name" in reference to God.
The "Name of the Lord," or an equivalent expression, constantly occurs
to denote God Himself. His Name is in Scripture identified with His
character, marking His attributes and His nature as distinguished from
all other beings. The Name, Jehovah, by which God revealed Himself to
Moses was so closely identified by the Jews with the Divine Personality
and Holiness that it was never pronounced by them.

In Old Testament times the Deliverer foretold as the object of faith and
hope and love under the Gospel Dispensation was announced by a
declaration of His name. "His name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of
Peace."[034] Immediately before He appeared a messenger was sent from
heaven with the Divine command, "Thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he
shall save his people from their sins."[035] The name is thus not the
ascription to Him of qualities evolved from our own conception of what
He is, or of what God is in Him, but God's disclosure of His infinite
love and of His purposes for man's salvation. In His Divine power and by
His efficacious sacrifice He is Jesus, the Saviour. He does not save, as
some who profess to be Christians hold, by the influence of His own
example and teaching only, just as one man may be said to save another
whom he persuades to abandon evil habits and form good ones. He is our
Saviour because He died as a sacrifice for our sins. Had He not expiated
our guilt by dying for us, His example, teaching, and sympathy would
never have brought us salvation.

The name "Jesus" is a human name. In its Hebrew form Joshua, Jehoshua,
Hosea it had been borne by others. We read of one Jesus in the New
Testament[036] and of many in the pages of Josephus. In this respect, as
in other particulars, Jesus was "made like unto his brethren" and bore a
human distinctive name. "Jesus" was accordingly the name given to Him at
His circumcision, by which He was to be known in His family and among
the people of Nazareth. During His ministry He was described as "Jesus,
the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee";[037] and the title affixed to His
cross by Pilate was "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." Yet, as
if to make emphatic the truth that His humanity did not derogate from
His Divine power and Godhead, the first Evangelist, who describes the
angel's visit, quotes in immediate connection Isaiah's prophetic
announcement, "They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being
interpreted is, GOD with us."[038] In the name Jesus thus bestowed we
have the announcement of Himself as a personal Saviour from sin, in its
power and consequences. Of those who had borne it before Him some were
raised up to deliver the people of their nation from suffering in time,
but He came to be man's everlasting Saviour. "Neither is there salvation
in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men,
whereby we must be saved."[039] It is important therefore to bear in
mind that Jesus is a name not only given to Him by God, but a name
itself Divine; not only the name by which, as that of a Mediator, we
worship God, but the name under which, as that of God Himself, we
worship Him. "God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name
which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should
bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the
earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."[040]


In ancient times no such appellations as those now termed surnames were
given to individuals. One name only was distinctive. Both among the Jews
and among the Greeks this system of nomenclature prevailed, family names
being unknown. It was different with the Romans, by many of whom more
names than one were borne. In reading ancient Greek history, we find
illustrious personages known by one name only, as Plato, Aristotle,
Socrates, Solon. The same feature marks early Jewish history. Abraham,
Isaac, Moses, Job were not known by any other names than these.
Sometimes names were changed or modified in order to express some
speciality of character or achievement--Abram to Abraham, Jacob to
Israel, Hoshea to Joshua. In later times appellations descriptive of the
work or office of individuals were attached to their original names, as
in the cases of John the Baptist, of Matthew the Publican, and of our
Lord Himself, Jesus the Christ. This latter practice prevailed in early
English history, and famous kings appear bearing descriptive epithets in
addition to their original single names--Alfred the Great, Edward the
Confessor, William the Conqueror.

Christ is not a proper name but an official title. Although now often
used to designate the person of the Lord Jesus, it was not so when He
lived in the world. As John was the Baptist or Baptizer, Jesus was the
Christ--the Anointed. The title is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew
Messiah, and means the Anointed. It denotes that He who bore it was
separated, consecrated, and invested with high office. These
distinctions met in Jesus, rendering the title appropriate.

At the time of the birth of Jesus, the coming of a great deliverer was
at once the desire and the expectation not of Jews only, but of many
nations. Roman historians of that period tell us that a redeemer was to
make his appearance from among the nation of Israel. This belief was no
doubt spread abroad by Jewish exiles, who, scattered through many lands,
carried with them the hopes and prophecies which had been given from
time to time to their own people.

That the expected Messiah had come to the world bearing with Him from
heaven a message of salvation was the cardinal doctrine of Apostolic
preaching. To accept Jesus as the Christ was to accept Him as the
Saviour and Deliverer. When Andrew found his brother Simon he said to
him, "We have found the Messias."[041] "Is not this the Christ?"[042]
was the appeal of the woman of Samaria to the people of her city; and
the confession of Peter that Jesus was the Christ, was declared by our
Lord to be a revelation not of flesh and blood, but of His Father in
heaven.[043] Not Apollos only, but Paul and the other inspired teachers
also, set it before them as their appointed work, "to show by the
Scriptures that Jesus was Christ."[044] To confess that Jesus was the
Christ was an acknowledgment that in Him were vested all those
attributes and qualities which the Old Testament Scriptures ascribed to
Messiah, that Jesus of Nazareth was the Deliverer of whom the prophets
testified, to whose coming all the holy men of old looked forward, whom
prophets and kings desired to see, and of whom all Scripture bore
witness. It was the acknowledgment by the common people that Jesus was
Messiah that stirred the indignation of the Jewish rulers. They saw
that, if this were conceded, all His claims must be held valid, and
accordingly the Sanhedrim passed a resolution to the effect that, "if
any man did confess that Jesus was Christ, he should be put out of the

The name "Christ" denotes the offices which Jesus executes as our
Redeemer. Three classes were set apart by anointing--the Prophet, who
made known the will of God; the Priest, who confessed sin and offered
sacrifice for the people; and the King, who acted as their leader and
commander. Jesus was consecrated for His work as our Redeemer by
anointing, but not, so far as we know, with material oil. He who
anointed Him was God the Father, and the oil that descended upon Him was
the Holy Ghost, of whose influence oil was the symbol. "God, even thy
God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy
fellows."[046] He fulfilled the office of a Prophet by revealing the
Father, and making known the will of God for our salvation; of a Priest
in the sacrifice of Himself which He offered up to God for us, and in
the intercession which He makes on our behalf at His Father's right
hand; of a King in the victory He won over man's enemies, and in the
power He imparts to His people, by which they overcome evil in
themselves and in the world. It was not until after He had finished His
work that His followers so closely associated Him with the Messiahship
as to speak of Him not as Jesus only, nor as Christ only, but as Jesus
Christ. This twofold name occurs very rarely in the Gospels--once in
Matthew, once in Mark, never in Luke; but in the Epistles it is the name
by which He is designated and made known to the world. To believe in
Jesus Christ is to accept Him in all His offices, and to take home the
truth which John had in view when he penned his Gospel: "These are
written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing ye might have life through his name."[047]


God is love. Love must have an object, and from eternity the Father was
not alone. The only-begotten and well-beloved Son was with Him, dwelt in
His bosom, and shared His glory. The Filiation or Sonship of our Lord
follows the statement of His proper name and the declaration of His
Messiahship. It is expressed in the designation, "Only Son," which is
His divine name, peculiar to Himself, incommunicable to any other being.
He is the Son of the Father, and is His only Son inasmuch as He alone
partakes of His Divine nature, and in this nature is the Son. The Old
Testament Scriptures foretold that Christ should be the Son of God. "I
will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son;
this day have I begotten thee."[048] Isaiah wrote of Him, "Unto us a
child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon
his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the
Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."[049] The New
Testament in various passages bears the same testimony. "In the
beginning," says John, "was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God"; and "the Word," he goes on to say, "became flesh, and
dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten
from the Father,) full of grace and truth."[050] The writer to the
Hebrews makes a similar declaration: "God, who at sundry times and in
divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath
in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed
heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who is the
brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person."[051] It
has been noted that Christ, in speaking to His disciples, never says
_our_ Father, but either _My_ Father, or _your_ Father, or both
conjoined, never leaving it to be inferred that God is in the same sense
His Father and our Father. It appears from various passages in the New
Testament, that when He came the Jews identified Messiah with the Son of
God, as when Nathanael exclaimed, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou
art the King of Israel";[052] and when Martha said, "I believe that thou
art the Son of God, which should come into the world."[053] He did not
first become the Son of God when He took upon Him the nature of man. The
Divine Sonship existed in the beginning before He was the child of Mary,
the seed of the woman. He was the Son of God before the birth of
Abraham: "before Abraham was I am."[054] Though John the Baptist was
older than Jesus, and preceded Him in His ministry, Jesus was yet
preferred in honour before him, "for he was before him." "The Lord
possessed him in the beginning of his way, before his works of
old."[055] In the relation of the Son to the Father, there is a mystery
which we cannot solve. "Who shall declare his generation?" Earthly
figures fail to set forth Divine realities, and as we are dependent upon
human emblems for the conceptions we form of heavenly things, we see
through a glass darkly. But though we cannot fully understand the sense
in which our Lord is the Son of God, we yet believe that He is so in a
manner analogous to that in which we are our fathers' sons--possessing
the same nature as His Father, and having that nature communicated to
Him as the only-begotten Son. God has other sons. Angels are termed sons
of God. Men are also His offspring, and believers are now the sons of
God; but Jesus is God's son in a higher, special, and perfect sense.

That Jesus claimed to be in this sense the Son of God is clear from many
incidents in His history. It was ostensibly on the ground that He
declared Himself to be "equal with God" that He was arrested and
condemned by the Jewish rulers. The high priest put the question to Him
directly and solemnly, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell
us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God." The reply was distinct
and emphatic. "Jesus said, I am: Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man
sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of
heaven."[056] There is no resisting the meaning which these words
convey. The Sonship they assert is very different from that which is
implied when a mere man who fears God and keeps His commandments is said
to be a son of God. It was a claim to the possession of Divine
personality and power, and was so understood by His accusers. When
Caiaphas heard the reply he accepted it in its full significance,
tearing his clothes and exclaiming, "He hath spoken blasphemy; what
further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his
blasphemy. What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of

His saying that He was the Son of God was the "blasphemy" for which He
was condemned. The horror, real or affected, and the rent robes of the
high priest, the verdict of the court, and the contemptuous treatment to
which Jesus was afterwards subjected, leave no room for doubting that He
declared Himself to be the Son of God, having at His disposal the powers
of heaven and earth.


The last title of the Second Person is expressive of His dominion. The
name "Lord" is the translation of a Greek word, which signifies ruling
or governing. Jesus Christ is not only a Lord, He rules by authority and
in a sense peculiar to Himself, so that He is commonly spoken of in the
New Testament as "the Lord": "Come, see the place where the Lord
lay";[058] "They have taken the Lord out of the sepulchre";[059] "I have
received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you." In the time
of Christ the title "Lord" had for Jews and Jewish Christians a special
personal meaning. "The Lord" was in the Septuagint, as it is still in
the Authorised English version of the Old Testament, the translation of
"Jehovah."[060] When, therefore, the Apostles used this title to
designate their Master, there is reason to think that they did so in the
full belief that He was one with the Father. This view is confirmed by
Paul's statement. "To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are
all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all
things, and we by him."[061] As Lord, the government is upon His
shoulders, His dominion is universal and His kingdom everlasting. This
He claims for Himself "All power is given unto me in heaven and in
earth";[062] "All things are delivered unto me of my Father";[063] "The
Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."[064]
"God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name that
at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and
things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the

While Christ is the "Lord of all,"[066] the Creed yet sets forth the
truth that there is a special sense in which He is the Lord of
believers, "our Lord."

Scripture recognises the existence in the universe of two great armies,
marshalled under their respective leaders--one under the rule of Jesus
Christ, the other under His adversary the Devil, otherwise termed Satan,
Apollyon, and the Old Serpent. These powers are in constant antagonism,
and every man takes his place in the army of Christ or in that of Satan.
Those opposed to the Lord are rebels who, except they repent, must share
the doom of their leader in the place prepared for the devil and his
angels; "for He must reign until He hath put all His enemies under His
feet." He is their Lord for their overthrow and destruction; while to
those who are "with Him,"--"the called, and chosen, and
faithful,"[067]--He is their Lord to secure for them victory and
everlasting salvation. When we use the expression "our Lord," we declare
that we renounce other masters; that we make no compromise with His
enemies, and refuse to have "fellowship with the unfruitful works of
darkness"; that, renouncing the Devil and his works, rejecting the vain
pleasures, pomps, and glories of the world, and denying ourselves the
gratification of sinful desires, we accept Christ as our leader, with
the determination expressed by the prophet, "O Lord our God, other lords
beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make
mention of thy name."[068] As the followers and subjects of an
omnipotent, righteous King we shall strive to "bring into captivity
every thought to the obedience of Christ."

It is noteworthy that a plural pronoun is used in this recognition of
Christ as _our_ Lord, while elsewhere throughout the Creed the
confession of belief is personal, "I believe." The plural form here
indicates that while in following Jesus we are separated from the world,
we are gathered into the fellowship of the saints, and are members of
the whole family in heaven and earth.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary_

The Creed proceeds to declare belief in the doctrine of the Incarnation,
which is thus set forth in the Shorter Catechism: "Christ, the Son of
God, became man, by taking to Himself a true body, and a reasonable
soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the
Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin."[069]

Two Evangelists record the miraculous birth of Jesus. Mark and John do
not refer to it, and their silence has led some opponents of
Christianity to discredit the statements of Matthew and Luke. But while
there is no direct account given by Mark or John of the miraculous
conception and birth of Jesus, the fact of His Divine descent is implied
in many portions of their Gospels. The words with which Mark opens his
narrative clearly express it, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God;"[070] as does the statement he makes that at His
baptism there came a voice from heaven saying, "Thou art my beloved Son,
in whom I am well pleased."[071] John is equally explicit in declaring
his belief in the Divinity of Jesus. The opening words of his Gospel
assert His Divine nature: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with
God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made
that was made."[072]

It is evident, therefore, that each of the Evangelists believed in the
Divine origin of Jesus, for they would not have used such language
regarding one who in their opinion was a mere man, the son of Joseph the
carpenter and of Mary his espoused wife. Matthew, who wrote for Jewish
converts, shows how fully the Old Testament prophecy was accomplished
that Christ should be born, not at Nazareth but at Bethlehem, and
especially that Isaiah's prophecy, "Behold, a virgin shall be with
child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name
Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD with us,"[073] was fulfilled
in the birth of Jesus Christ. Luke, who is termed by Paul "the beloved
physician," gives the fullest account of the Nativity. His writings are
characterised by minuteness of detail and historical accuracy. Recent
investigations have shown that, even in regard to matters about which he
was long thought to have been mistaken, Luke's statements are strictly

The story of the miraculous conception would not, without the strongest
corroborative evidence, have commended itself to a man of his acumen
and his calling. A physician by profession, the companion of Apostles,
and possessing singular penetration and sagacity, he tells us that he
had received the facts he narrates from eye witnesses and competent
authorities. For information as to the events connected with the birth
of her Son, Luke would naturally have recourse to Mary. There is
evidence in his Gospel that he had intimate knowledge of her private
thoughts and actions.[075] Lange, in his _Life of Jesus_, finds in the
specialties of the narrative evidence of a woman's diction.[076] Be this
as it may, the minuteness of detail, the message of the angel Gabriel,
the preservation of the sacred songs, and of the thoughts and words of
the Virgin, justify the belief that Luke received his information from
herself. When we find him assuring his friend Theophilus that he himself
had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, the
inference is natural that his information was obtained from the most
trustworthy sources. There is no reason to doubt that Mary was
associated with the Apostles of her Son, and had opportunities of
imparting information regarding Him which no other could supply Luke's
account corresponds with that of John, to whose care Jesus from the
Cross committed His mother, and who from that time "took her unto his
own home."[077]

It does not necessarily follow, even if the information was supplied by
Mary, that it is therefore to be accepted as true. Human witnesses are
not infallible or invariably honest, and it is conceivable that Mary may
have been a dreamer or a deceiver. This article of the Creed,
contradicting as it does the ordinary course of nature, stands in need
of more than a historic statement. Jesus admitted that if His claims had
been supported by no other evidence than His own word, the Jews would
have had excuse for hesitating to accept Him. "If," said He, "I bear
witness of myself, my witness is not true,"[078] and therefore He
appealed to the testimony borne to His Messiahship by His Father, by
John the Baptist, by His miracles, and by His life. All the evidence by
which the Divine nature and mission of Jesus were accredited goes to
support the account of His super natural birth.

That Jesus was born of Mary is a plain historic truth to which all must
accord belief. "Yes," said Renan, who did not regard Christ as the Son
of God, "this story of Jesus is no fable, but a true history Christ
really lived." The miraculous birth was a fulfilment of prophecy. When
the angel told Mary that the child to be born of her would be the Son of
God, he cited Isaiah's prophecy for the confirmation of her faith, and
indeed the same truth had been foreshadowed when the promise was given
to Eve that her seed should bruise the head of the serpent. The first
Adam had no human father. He was the Son of God. It was therefore
fitting that the second Adam should resemble the first in this respect,
being in a sense infinitely higher than our first father the Son of God,
His only Son. It was fitting too that He who was to assume the nature,
not of any branch of the human family but of universal man, should be
conceived by the Holy Ghost. Other faiths than Christianity are limited
in their adaptation to races. The religion of Mahomet is not practicable
save in Eastern latitudes. The Koran enjoins as duties practices that
cannot be carried out in Western countries. The faiths of Brahma and
Buddha find followers only under Eastern skies, and even Judaism
required observances which could be rendered at Jerusalem only. All
faiths but Christianity are narrowed down by the nationalities of their
founders or adherents. It is otherwise with the religion of Jesus of
Nazareth. He came from God with a mission and a message for the world.
In comparison with the severe requirements of the law and the grievous
exactions of religions devised by men, His "yoke is easy and His burden
is light." With Him there is "neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor
uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free."[079] With Him there
are no distinctions of sect, or country, or caste. "In every nation he
that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted with him."[080]

In being born, Jesus assumed the nature of humanity, and, in so doing,
more than restored to man the likeness to God which our first parents
lost, for themselves and their descendants, through the Fall. He thereby
made it possible for God to dwell with man, and for man to rise into
communion with God. Sin had effaced the Divine image, and no other than
the Son of God could give back to men the power to reflect in their own
lives the character of God. His possession of the human nature gives us
confidence in approaching Him, by assuring us of His brotherhood and
sympathy; while His possession of the Divine nature assures us that He
can make His brotherhood and sympathy effectual.

       *       *       *       *       *


_Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried_


The preceding articles of the Creed appeal to faith. They so far
transcend reason that they can be apprehended only when reason is
sustained by faith. This article, which affirms that Jesus "suffered
under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried," is a simple
historical statement. Pilate is a historic person, the details of whose
life are recorded, not in the Gospels only, but in secular history.
Josephus records several incidents in the life of Pilate which are
strikingly in accordance with his character as set forth in the Gospels.
Tacitus, a Roman historian, who wrote his _Annals_ soon after the
crucifixion of Jesus, relates that, while Pilate was governor of Judaea,
Jesus Christ was put to death. The testimony of the Gospels and the
statement of the Creed are thus confirmed by the Roman and the Jewish
historians. But, indeed, the event itself is not the subject of
controversy. It is the conclusions drawn from it by the followers of
Christ that are disputed. "Christ crucified, to the Jews a
stumbling-block, and to the Greeks foolishness,"[081] still raises
opposition and kindles hostility.

The name of Pilate is inserted not with the view of branding him with
infamy, but in order to fix the date of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is
the only intimation of the time of His death that the Creed contains. It
states that He was born, and that His mother was the Virgin Mary, and
beyond this reference to Pilate there is no intimation as to the time of
the nativity or the death. Bishop Pearson writes:--"As the Son of God,
by His deliberate counsel, was sent into the world to die in the fulness
of time, so it concerns the Church to know the time in which He died.
And because the ancient custom of the world was to make computations by
the governors, and refer their historical relations to the respective
times of their government, therefore, that we might be properly assured
of the actions of our Saviour which He did, and of His sufferings,--that
is the actions which others did to Him,--the present governor is named
in that form of speech which is proper to such historical or
chronological narrations when we affirm that He suffered under Pontius
Pilate."[082] From stating the birth of Christ, the Creed passes by what
at first sight may seem an abrupt transition to His suffering,
crucifixion, and death. There is no reference to His life or works,
though these differed so widely from those of ordinary men. The reason
seems to be that the end for which He came into the world was to suffer
and die. Although He spake as never man spake, and did the works no
other man did, it was not in the first place to teach or to work
miracles that He emptied Himself of His glory and came to earth, but in
order to suffer and die in the room and stead of sinners. Others had
been prophets and teachers, others had worked miracles, others had done
good in their day and generation, but none save Jesus had come in his
own name or wielded power so marvellous as His. No one could share with
Him the work of suffering and dying for sinners. He was lifted up that
He might draw all men unto Him. "He suffered the just for the unjust,
that he might bring us to God."[083] On the cross He tasted death for
every man, and made a sacrificial atonement for the sins of the world.
"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."[084] His dying was the leading thought and
purpose of His life. Those who were with Him fixed their eyes on His
greatness as manifested in His wisdom and miracles, and looked for His
setting up a kingdom of this world, but He Himself from the very
beginning knew that the path to be traversed by Him was one of agony and
death. He was straitened until this baptism of suffering should be
accomplished.[085] At His first Passover He had intimated that, as Moses
lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man should be
lifted up. He used this expression "lifted up" three times, and an
Evangelist gives the explanation: "This he said, signifying what death
he should die."[086] Again and again He told the disciples that He had
come to give His life a ransom for many, that He was to be betrayed and
killed, that as the Good Shepherd He would give His life for the
sheep.[087] He intimated that His death was in accordance with the
deliberate counsel and foreknowledge of His Father, and with His own
free and full assent: "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay
down my life."[088] And when betrayal and apprehension brought His
ministry to a close, He would allow no sword to be drawn in His defence,
but was brought as a "lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her
shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."[089]

The views which the Jews entertained with regard to the triumphant
progress of Messiah did not accord with the statements of their
prophets. The sacred writers who foretold His coming pointed indeed to
victory as the ultimate issue of His mission, but they also clearly
associated His life with conflict and suffering. From the first
intimation of a Deliverer, which spoke of a heel bruised by man's
malignant adversary, there was indicated in every type and prophecy the
truth that Messiah was to be "a man of sorrows and acquainted with
grief," whose triumph was to be achieved through suffering. The
expectation current among the Jews that deliverance would be wrought by
Messiah, without humiliation or suffering, showed that they
misinterpreted the messages of the prophets. Familiar with the letter,
they failed to grasp the spirit of the prophetical writings. Jesus laid
this ignorance to their charge when He said to them, "Ye do err, not
knowing the scriptures";[090] and He upbraided the two disciples on the
way to Emmaus because they had failed to discover that their Redeemer's
glory was to be won through conflict: "O fools, and slow of heart to
believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have
suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?"[091]

The suffering which Jesus endured was both bodily and spiritual.
Persecution followed Him as a babe: Herod sought to slay Him, and Joseph
and Mary had to flee into Egypt.[092] He was "despised and rejected" by
His countrymen. His claims were refused by His kinsmen. He "endured the
contradiction of sinners."[093] He "took our infirmities and bare our
sicknesses." He hungered and thirsted and was weary; He was spit upon,
buffeted, and scourged. The cross on which He was to suffer was laid
upon His shoulders, till His exhausted frame broke down; and on Calvary
a thorny crown was set upon His brow, and the cruel nails pierced His
hands and His feet. But the sorrow within His soul was worse to bear
than bodily buffering. Travail of soul was the consummation of His
afflictions, and while we do not read of a groan wrung from Him by
bodily torture, soul-trouble led Him to ask His Father with "strong
crying and tears," as His frame was agonized and His sweat was like
drops of blood--"If it be possible, let this cup pass from me."[094] As
man's Saviour Jesus was made perfect through suffering.[095] "We have
not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our
infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without
sin."[096] The world is full of suffering, and He alone can understand
and sympathise with it who has experienced it. It is the knowledge that
their Divine Saviour is their Brother-man that gives to believing
sufferers boldness and confidence as they draw nigh to the throne of


Prophecy in the sense of prediction is a very interesting and important
branch of Christian evidence. Old Testament prophets foretold minute
events in the history of the Lord Jesus Christ, such as His lineal
descent, the place and time of His birth, its miraculous character, His
death, His burial, His three days' sojourn in the sepulchre, the casting
of lots for His raiment, the piercing of His hands and feet, His last
exclamation, His resurrection and ascension. Whatever view may be taken
as to the dates of the various books of Scripture, it must be admitted
that the whole body of the Old Testament was in circulation among the
Jews hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. There can be no doubt
that these prophecies were separated by great distance in time from the
events predicted. Even the Septuagint Version, which is a Greek
translation from the original Hebrew Scriptures, existed at Alexandria
about two hundred years before His advent.

One of the most striking features of Old Testament prediction is its
bearing upon the closing scenes of Christ's history. In its types as
well as in its prophecies His death was foreshadowed, and the
humiliating and ignominious treatment to which He was subjected minutely
described. The predictions involved events that appeared contradictory
and paradoxical until their fulfilment furnished the key. He Himself
told the disciples again and again that He should be crucified. This
form of execution was a Roman punishment reserved for slaves and the
vilest criminals; and the fact that Jesus was subjected to it depended
on a combination of events which no mere human sagacity could have
foreseen. It required that, though he should be apprehended, accused,
tried, and found guilty by Jews, His death-sentence should be inflicted
by Gentiles; that the Roman governor of Judaea should, against his
better judgment, surrender to the clamorous cry of a mob who demanded
that the prisoner should be crucified. It required that the betrayal and
condemnation of Jesus should take place during the Passover week, when
it was unlawful for the Jews to put any man to death. The excuse of the
Jewish rulers, that they could not inflict death, did not mean that this
power had been withdrawn from them, but that it was against their law to
exercise it then. Had the season been different, had the Jews themselves
carried out the sentence of death, it would have been accomplished not
by crucifixion, but by stoning. Such an execution would not have
fulfilled prophecy or have been associated with the ignominy that marked
the Roman death-penalty. Thus the Scripture was fulfilled in Him,
"Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."[097] There is but one
explanation that meets these facts, which is that they were directed by
the counsel and foreknowledge of God, and that holy men of God spake as
they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

The death of Jesus by crucifixion fulfilled in a wonderful manner the
types and figures of the Old Testament. He applied the type of the
brazen serpent to His death on the cross on which He was to be lifted
up, and from which He was to exercise His healing power on those whom
sin had bitten. The surrender of Isaac by Abraham, when he that had
received the promises offered up his only begotten son, prefigured the
unspeakable gift by the Father, who spared not His own Son, and the
self-surrender of the Son, who gave Himself for us. As Isaac went forth
bearing the wood on which he was to be offered, he was a type of Him who
went forth from Jerusalem to Calvary bearing His cross. Had His sentence
been any other than death by crucifixion, He would not have come under
the doom which required that a prisoner should bear his cross. The
Paschal Lamb, of which not a bone was to be broken, prefigured the
Antitype in His exemption from the treatment to which the two thieves
crucified with Him were subjected. In crucifixion He was numbered with
the transgressors and associated with accursed criminals, and so
prophecy received fulfilment.

It is a standing testimony at once to the reality of Christ's suffering,
and to the power which He exercises over men's minds and consciences,
that from being associated with shame and scorn, the sign of the cross
has been elevated to the highest place of honour and dignity. Through
his reverence for Jesus, Constantine the Great, the first Christian
Emperor of Rome, abolished crucifixion. It is recognised that through
Christ's death upon the cross man obtains all that makes life precious.
Instead of being regarded with scorn, a cross is the coveted emblem now
of valour and exalted achievement. The instrument wherewith capital
punishment was inflicted on abandoned criminals has come to be an
ornament of monarchs. Such a change is to be explained only by the fact
that it is the sign of Christ's redeeming sacrifice, and that to
multitudes who glory in the Cross, He who suffered the painful death on
Calvary is the "power of God and the wisdom of God unto salvation."


The death of Jesus Christ was the result of His being crucified. When He
died, the great sacrifice for the sins of the world was accomplished.
Death was necessary for the completion of His work, and this was the
fact most prominent in Old Testament type and prophecy. "Without
shedding of blood is no remission,"[098] and it was to His death as the
procuring cause of salvation that the Apostles directed their converts.
To the Corinthians Paul wrote, "I delivered unto you first of all that
which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to
the scriptures."[099] It was necessary that the lamb which formed the
chief part of the Passover meal should be slain, and so Messiah was
brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and when John saw Him in vision it
was as a Lamb that had been slain.[100] It is the death of Jesus that we
commemorate in the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The bread represents
His body "broken for us"; the wine, His blood which was "shed for many
for the remission of sins."[101] "We are reconciled to God by the death
of His Son."[102] "We have redemption through his blood, even the
forgiveness of sins."[103] Statements such as these fail to convey any
meaning if Christ did not really die on the cross, or if salvation comes
to us in any other way than through His death as an atoning sacrifice.
Of the reality of the death there is abundant evidence. It is recorded
that, after six hours of suffering on the cross, Jesus gave up the
ghost. The soldiers did not break His legs as they did in the case of
the malefactors, because they saw and pronounced Him dead already; but
one of them inflicted a spear-wound with a force that would have caused
death had any life remained. The result was an outflow of blood and
water, of itself sufficient evidence that death had done its work upon
the Sufferer. Before Pilate permitted the body of Jesus to be delivered
to Joseph, he was careful to make sure, by questioning the centurion in
charge, that the wonderful prisoner who had caused him so great anxiety
was dead. Thus Messiah was cut off, but not for Himself. He stood in the
room and stead of sinners, and, though Himself without sin, He tasted
death for every man. "He was delivered for our offences." "The Lord laid
on him the iniquity of us all." His death was not the result of
unavoidable circumstances, for it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; and
His sacrifice was voluntary, for He said, "I lay down my life ... no man
taketh it from me."[104] The penalty of death which He endured did not
pertain to Him but to those for whom He died. "He bore our sins in his
own body on the tree."[105] We are "justified by his blood."[106] "God
hath set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to
declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,
through the forbearance of God ... that he might be just, and the
justifier of him that believeth in Jesus."[107] "Therefore as by the
offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by
the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men to
justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made
sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."[108]

In the statement that Jesus Christ "was dead," the Creed affirms the
reality of Christ's death in opposition to certain early heretics, the
Docetae, who said that His death was not real but only apparent. A
similar view has been adopted by some modern writers, who assert that
what the witnesses of the crucifixion saw was not death but a swoon,
from which, through the ministry of His disciples, Jesus was restored
after He had been taken down from the cross. It is urged in support of
this view that a crucified criminal did not usually die as Jesus is said
to have died, six hours after He was crucified, but lingered on for
days, before being relieved from his sufferings by death. Jesus' legs
were not broken by the soldiers, because they believed Him to be dead,
but--say those who deny the reality of the death--the soldiers were
mistaken, the seeming lifelessness was not real, and recovery soon
followed, so complete that He was able to appear in public on the third

In considering this statement, we must take into account the physical
condition of Jesus when He was crucified. On the night of His betrayal,
and after His apprehension, He had been subjected to intense suffering
in body and to sorrow of soul such as human thought cannot conceive. In
Gethsemane He had passed through an experience of agony from which He
must have risen weakened, to endure new forms of suffering. He had been
scourged by Roman soldiers, whose cruel loaded weapons inflicted wounds
that left deep scars upon His flesh and caused intense pain and
exhaustion. His hands and feet had been fixed to the cross with nails.
He had been crowned with thorns and mocked and hooted by a reckless mob.
He had been hurried from the Sanhedrim to the Judgment-hall, and had
carried the cross until He sank beneath its weight. He had for six hours
endured intense suffering from pain and thirst, and when, after a strong
Roman soldier had thrust a spear into His side, He was taken down from
the cross, and declared by the centurion and his company to be dead, He
was laid without food, and remained for two nights and a day, in a cold
rock-sepulchre, whose door was barred by a great stone, sealed, and
guarded by soldiers. Suppose for a moment that Jesus had survived this
terrible ordeal of suffering, and that, having eluded His Roman guard
and His Jewish persecutors, He had again entered into Jerusalem, it must
have been as a weak, disabled invalid, not as a man possessing normal
strength and vigour. Yet on the third day He showed Himself alive,
bearing no traces of the suffering He had endured except the marks of
His wounds. The feet that had been pierced bore Him from Jerusalem to
Emmaus, a journey of threescore furlongs; and He passed from place to
place with a swiftness of movement and a superiority to obstacles that
filled the disciples with amazement.

In the light of these facts, the view we have been considering is
utterly untenable. It is no matter for wonder that Jesus, after such
exhaustion, died six hours after He had been lifted up on the cross. The
circumstances which preceded His dying are not consistent with the
opinion that while in the sepulchre He recovered from a swoon. It is not
possible to conceive that a man, wounded and bruised--His hands, feet,
and side pierced with nails and spear--could appear so soon, bright and
radiant, strong and vigorous, undistressed by pain or weakness, and
possessing power of movement not only restored, but marvellously
augmented. If Jesus was not really "dead," no explanation can be given
of His disappearance from history. If He had really lived as a man after
His crucifixion, we should have looked for a fresh outbreak of
persecution directed against Him. We have His own testimony by the
Spirit, "I am he that liveth, and was dead."[109]


Isaiah thus prophesied regarding the burial of the Messiah: "He was cut
off out of the land of the living ... and he made his grave with the
wicked, and with the rich in his death."[110] In ordinary circumstances,
the body of a crucified person would not have received burial. It was
the Roman custom to leave the bodies of slaves and criminals, who alone
were subjected to this punishment, suspended on the cross, a prey to
beasts and birds, and when these and the elements had done their work
upon the flesh, the remains were ignominiously cast out. The Jews, who
inflicted capital punishment not by crucifixion but by stoning, did not
thus deal with the bodies of malefactors; but, as the law directed, gave
them burial on the night of execution.[111] The presence of dead bodies
in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem during the Passover festival was
regarded as a defilement, and steps were taken to have those of Jesus
and the malefactors removed. The Jews could not themselves dispose of
the bodies, because they would have sustained pollution by contact with
them, and also because they had made over to the Romans the execution of
the death-sentence. "The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation,
that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day,
(for that Sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs
might be broken, and that they might be taken away."[112] This request
was granted, but, through the interposition of Joseph, a rich man of
Arimathaea--to whom, as a member of the supreme council, the resolution
for the removal of the bodies would be known--that of Jesus escaped the
ignominious treatment to which the others were subjected. He came and
went in boldly unto Pilate and craved the body of Jesus, securing for it
an honourable burial such as the Jews had not contemplated. Pilate
"gave" the body to Joseph, and he bought fine linen, and took Him down
and wrapped Him in the linen and laid Him in a sepulchre, which was hewn
out of a rock.[113]

It was a new sepulchre, "where never man had yet lain."[114] In Joseph's
holy task there was associated with him Nicodemus, who brought costly
spices wherewith to embalm the body, "as the manner of the Jews is to
bury." The disciples of Jesus do not appear to have shared in this work,
which was watched from a distance by certain women from Galilee, who
followed and saw where He was laid. They, too, made ready spices and
ointment with which to honour the body of the Lord; but when they came
to the tomb on the morning of the first day of the week, they found it
empty, for Jesus had risen. It is not without meaning that the tomb in
which the body of Jesus was laid was a new one. It was thus impossible
to affirm that any other than He had opened a way out of its dark
recess, the conqueror of death.

Such was the wonderful combination of circumstances that led to the
fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy, "He made his grave with the wicked, and
with the rich in his death." The Jews desired that He should be buried
with the wicked. When they besought Pilate to remove the bodies, they
wished that Jesus and the malefactors should be laid together. If the
Jewish rulers had not parted with their right to dispose of the bodies,
the three who had been crucified together would have been consigned to
the burying-ground set apart for the interment of Jewish criminals; but
it was the Divine decree that Jesus should make His grave with the rich,
and therefore the event was so overruled that the bodies of Jesus and
the malefactors were at the disposal not of the Jews, but of the Roman
governor, who delivered the body of Jesus to the rich Joseph. While,
therefore, Jesus was executed in such a way that, but for the
intervention of the Jews and Pilate and Joseph, He would have been
buried with criminals, "he made his grave with the rich in his death."
Thus He who had humbled Himself in dying was honoured in His burial.
Joseph and Nicodemus were timid men. The one was a secret disciple and
the other, through fear of the Jews, came to Jesus by night. Though
members of the Sanhedrim, they had lacked courage to defend Jesus when
He was under trial; but now, grown bold, they identified themselves with

The sepulchre was carefully watched. The Jews, thinking that they might
hear something about the resurrection of Him whom they called "that
deceiver," went to Pilate and made known their fear that the disciples
would steal His body and say that He had risen from the dead.[115] The
Roman governor made light of their apprehension, and said to them,
perhaps sarcastically, "Ye have a watch: make it as sure as ye can." "So
they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a
watch,"[116]--proceedings which eventually furnished strong confirmation
of the reality of Christ's death, burial, and resurrection.

       *       *       *       *       *


_He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead_


It is somewhat startling to find in the Creed this statement regarding
our Lord, "He descended into hell." The clause, which was one of the
latest admitted into the Creed, was derived from another creed known as
that of Aquileia, compiled in the fourth century. It does not appear in
the Nicene Creed, but it has a place in the Thirty-nine Articles of the
Church of England, where we read, "As Christ died for us, and was
buried, so also it is to be believed that He went down into Hell." The
Westminster Divines, who gave the Creed a place at the close of their
Shorter Catechism, appended a note explanatory of the clause to this
effect, "That is, continued in the state of the dead, and under the
power of death, until the third day."

The word "hell" is used in various senses in the Old Testament.
Sometimes it means the grave, sometimes the abode of departed spirits
irrespective of character, sometimes the place in which the wicked are

In the English New Testament, also, the word "hell" has not in every
place the same meaning. It represents two different nouns in the
original Greek--Gehenna and Hades. _Gehenna_ was the name of a deep,
narrow valley, bordered by precipitous rocks, in the neighbourhood of
Jerusalem, which had been desecrated by human sacrifices in the time of
idolatrous kings, and afterwards became the depository of city refuse
and of the offal of the temple sacrifices. The other noun, rendered by
the same English word _Hell_, is _Hades_, which means "covered,"
"unseen" or "hidden." _Hades_ is the abode of disembodied spirits until
the resurrection. The Jews believed it to consist of two parts, one
blissful, which they termed _Paradise_--the abode of the faithful; the
other _Gehenna_, in which the wicked are retained for judgment. Lazarus
and Dives were both in Hades, but separated from each other by an
impassable gulf, the one in an abode of comfort, the other in a place of

As long as the spirit tabernacles in the body there are tokens of its
presence in the visible life which is sustained through its union with
the body. But when it departs from its dwelling-place in the flesh,
death and corruption begin their work on the body. Death is complete
only when the spirit has departed, and it is probable that this
statement in the Creed was meant to express in the fullest terms that
Christ's death was real. As man He had taken to Himself a true body and
a reasonable soul, and when His body was crucified and dead, His spirit
passed, as other human spirits pass at death, into Hades. It is not
without a meaning that we read, "When Jesus had cried with a loud voice,
he gave up the ghost."[118] Ghost is simply spirit, and in His case, as
in that of every man, there was a true departure of the soul from the
body at death. It was with His spirit that His last thought in life was
occupied. He knew that though it was to depart from the battered,
bruised tabernacle of His body, it was not to pass out of His Father's
sight or His Father's care. "Father, into thy hands I commend my
spirit,"[119] were His last words on the cross.

The descent into hell is not referred to in the Westminster Confession,
but in the Larger Catechism this statement is found: "Christ's
humiliation after His death consisted in His being buried, and
continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death, till
the third day, which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, 'He
descended into hell'"[120] What the Westminster Divines meant was, that
while Christ's body was laid in the grave His spirit passed from the
visible to the invisible world, that, as He shared the common lot of men
in the death and burial of His body, so He shared their common lot in
passing as a spirit into the abode of spirits. The statement of this
clause follows naturally what is said of the body of Jesus in that which
precedes it. As His body was crucified, dead, and buried, so His spirit
passed into the abode of spirits. "In all things it behoved him to be
made like unto His brethren."[121]

Those who maintain that the spirit of Christ descended into hell in a
sense peculiar to Himself, ground their opinion upon certain passages of
Scripture. Psalm xvi. 10--"Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, nor wilt
thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption"--is quoted in support of
this opinion, but does not really justify it. It expresses the
confidence of the speaker, that God will not deliver His soul to the
power of Sheol (the Hebrew word equivalent to the Greek Hades), or
suffer His body to see corruption, and in this sense the passage is
quoted by Peter, as a proof from prophecy of the resurrection of Christ.
Ephesians iv. 9 is also regarded as giving sanction to this view--"Now
that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the
lower parts of the earth?" By the "lower parts of the earth" some
understand parts lower than the earth, but such a view rests on a
strained interpretation of the passage. Paul's argument is that ascent
to heaven must have been made by one who, before ascending, was below.
Christ had come down from heaven to earth, and was below therefore, he
argues, Christ is the subject of the prophecy he has quoted. He it was
that hid ascended up on high, not the Father, who is everywhere.[122]

In Isaiah xliv. 23 we have corroboration of this view: "Sing, O ye
heavens ... shout, ye lower parts of the earth." Here "lower parts"
means simply the earth beneath; that is, beneath the heavens.

The most difficult and important passage bearing on the clause is 1
Peter iii. 18, 19. "Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by
the spirit by which also he went and preached to the spirits in prison."
In the Revised Version the rendering is not "by" but "in," "which"
referring to the word "spirit,"--not the third Person of the Godhead,
but the human spirit of Jesus--in which spirit, separated from the body
yet instinct with immortal life, He went and "preached to the spirits in
prison," or rather to the spirits in custody. The passage marks an
antithesis between "flesh" and "spirit." In Christ's "flesh." He was put
to death. His enemies killed His body, but His soul was as beyond their
power. His body was dead, but in the abode of souls His "spirit" was
alive and active.

So far there is here simply the statement that our Lord's disembodied
spirit passed to Hades, but the Apostle adds that He "preached to the
spirits in prison," and it is inferred by some that He preached
repentance, but this is an assumption for which there is no Scripture
warrant. We are not told what was the subject of Christ's preaching. He
had finished His work on earth, had atoned for sin, had overcome death
and conquered Satan. Even angels did not fully know the work of grace
and salvation which Christ accomplished for man, and it is not likely
that the spirits of departed antediluvians and patriarchs understood its
greatness. The least in the Kingdom of Heaven knows more than the
greatest of patriarchs or prophets knew. While in the flesh they had
seen His day afar off, and, as disembodied spirits, they knew that
Messiah by suffering and dying was to work out their redemption, but
before the work was finished neither men nor angels understood the
mystery of it, and what is more likely than that the completion of His
redeeming work was first made known to them in the spirit by the
Redeemer Himself? If we accept this view, the preaching to the spirits
in prison was the intimation to those already blessed, who had while on
earth repented and believed, that Messiah by dying had brought in
everlasting salvation for His people.

There is still a difficulty in Peter's words. Christ is said to have
preached to those who were disobedient in the days of Noah. Peter says
that in the writings of Paul there are some things hard to be
understood, but what he himself writes regarding Christ's work in Hades
is also difficult, and the passage has found a great variety of
interpretations. It would seem to imply that Christ in the spirit
carried a special message to the antediluvians who had been disobedient
and had perished in the Flood. What that message was we are not told,
and human conjecture may not supply what the Spirit of God has seen fit
to conceal. While the passage is a difficult one, the inference is not
warranted which some have drawn from it, that those who are disobedient
to Christ and reject His Gospel may, though they die impenitent,
nevertheless obtain salvation after death. The plain teaching of
Scripture is that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that
the judgment.[123] And whatever the statement of Peter may mean, it does
not sanction belief in purgatory or in universal restoration. Romanists
teach that the department of Hades to which the spirit of our Lord
descended was that in which dwelt the souls of believers who died before
the time of Christ, and that the object of His descent was the
deliverance and introduction into heaven of the pious dead who had been
imprisoned in the _Limbus Patrum_, as they term that portion of Hades
which these occupied. This they say was the triumph of Christ to which
Paul refers in Ephesians iv. 8, when, quoting the 68th Psalm, he tells
us that He ascended up on high, leading captivity captive.

According to the Romanists, Hades consists of three divisions--heaven,
hell, and purgatory. Heaven is the most blessed abode reserved for three
classes of persons:--1st, Those Old Testament saints whose spirits were
detained in custody until Christ arose, when they were led out by Him in
triumph; 2nd, Those who in this life attain to perfection in holiness;
and 3rd, Those believers in Christ, who, having died in a state of
imperfection, have made satisfaction for their sins and receive
cleansing through endurance of the fires of purgatory. Hell is the abode
of endless torment, where heretics and all who die in mortal sin suffer
eternally. Purgatory is supposed to complete the atonement of Christ.
His work delivers from original sin and eternal punishment, but
satisfaction for actual transgression is not complete until after the
endurance of temporal punishments and the pains of purgatory. The Church
of Rome claims the right to prescribe the nature and extent of such
punishments, and having devised a complicated system of indulgences,
penances, and masses, professes to hold the Keys of Heaven and to
possess authority to regulate penalties and obtain pardon for the living
and the dead. Such claims are unfounded and false. God alone can forgive
sin, and He recognises only two classes--the righteous and the
wicked--here and hereafter; and only two everlasting
dwelling-places--heaven and hell. The Romanist doctrine has no authority
in Scripture, but is of heathen origin, being derived from the Egyptians
through the Greeks and Romans, and having been current throughout the
Roman Empire. Its effect has been the aggrandisement and enrichment of
the papal priesthood and the subjection of the people. It contradicts
the Word of God, which declares that there is no condemnation to the
believer in Christ Jesus; that he hath eternal life; that for him to
depart is to be with Christ, to enjoy unalloyed, unending blessedness.
Protestants, therefore, hold that "the souls of believers are at their
death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into

Between those who hold the doctrine of purgatory and believers in
universal restoration, there is not a little in common. Universalists
reject the Atonement, and say that God always punishes men for their
sins. The wicked must expect to suffer in the next world, but the mercy
of God will follow them, the punishment endured will in time effect
deliverance, and the result will finally be the restoration of all to
purity and happiness. They thus maintain with regard to all, what
Romanists hold respecting those who pass to purgatory, and both are to
be answered in the same way. We cannot make satisfaction, and we need
not, for Jesus has borne "our sins in his own body on the tree."[125] By
this "one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified";
so that "there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain
fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall
devour the adversaries."[126]

This clause has place in the Creed as a protest against the heresy of
Apollinaris, a Bishop of Laodicea, who taught that Christ did not assume
a human soul when He became incarnate. He thus denied the perfect
manhood of Christ, and in support of His doctrine appealed to the fact
that the Scripture says,[127] "The Word (in Greek, Logos) was made
flesh," "God was manifest in the flesh," while it is never said that He
was made spirit. He sought to establish a connection between the Divine
Logos and human flesh of such a kind that all the attributes of God
passed into the human nature and all the human attributes into the
Divine, while both together merged in one nature in Christ, who, being
neither man nor God, but a mixture of God and man, held a middle place.
His heresy found many supporters, though it was promptly met by Gregory
Nazianzen, who showed that the term "flesh" is used in Scripture to
denote the whole human nature, and that when Christ became incarnate He
took upon Him the complete nature of humanity, untainted by sin. Only
thus could He be qualified to become man's Saviour, for only a perfect
man can be a full and complete Redeemer. Man's spirit, his most noble
element, stands in need of redemption as well as his body, for all its
faculties are corrupted by sin.

In affirming that Jesus descended into hell, this clause of the Creed
declares that He possessed the complete nature of humanity; that His
true body died, and that His reasonable soul departed to Hades.


On the morning of the first day of the week, thenceforth hallowed as the
Lord's Day--the Christian Sabbath--the soul of Jesus left Hades, and
once more and for ever entered the body, and formed with it the
perfected humanity of the "Word made flesh." The resurrection of Jesus
is a well-attested fact of history. The close-sealed, sentinelled
sepulchre, the broken seal, the stone rolled away, the trembling guard,
the empty tomb, and the many appearances of Jesus to the women, the
disciples, the brethren, and last of all to Saul of Tarsus, prove that
He had risen.[129]

The Resurrection was a fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy. Peter thus
interprets Psalm xvi. 10, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell;
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption," affirming
that David in that Psalm speaks of the Resurrection of Christ.[130]
Jesus Himself often foretold, both figuratively and directly, His own
resurrection, as when He spoke of the coming destruction of the Temple,
and connected it with the death and resurrection of His body;[131] or
when He told the disciples that in a little while they should not see
Him, and again in a little while they should see Him.[132] The place
which this doctrine holds in the Christian faith is shown by the
numerous references to it in the Epistles.

The Apostles had not grasped the statements of Christ in such a way as
to lead them to look with confidence for His return, or to gather hope
of His resurrection. On the contrary, they did not expect His
resurrection, and, when they heard of it, they could not believe it to
be real.[133] Yet, convinced by the evidence of their own senses, they
came to hold it fast as the fact that crowned all their hopes in life
and death. Although the preaching of "Jesus and the Resurrection"
exposed them to persecution and martyrdom, they nevertheless continued
to proclaim a risen Lord. "If Christ is not risen," says Paul, "then is
our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain,"[134] and he goes on to
admit that if the Resurrection had not taken place, he was altogether
mistaken in the view of God's character set forth in his preaching and
epistles. Peter makes a similar statement: "We are begotten again unto a
lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."[135] It is His victory
over death that confirms the truth of His claims. He is proved to be the
Son of God by His resurrection from the dead.[136] So important a fact
was it regarded in connection with their work, that when they met to
select a successor to Judas in the apostolic college, it was held to be
essential that no one should be appointed who was not able to testify
that he had seen the risen Lord.[137] Paul regarded this doctrine as so
necessary, that he made it the basis of faith and salvation: "If thou
shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine
heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved."[138]

The life of Paul is an unanswerable argument for the truth of the
Resurrection. Not only did he preach this as the central doctrine of
Christianity; he maintained it at the cost of all that, before his
conversion, he had held dear. He was not a man to give his faith to such
a doctrine without overwhelming evidence of its truth. As Saul of Tarsus
he had been in the fullest confidence of the Jewish rulers, and knew all
that they could urge against the reality of the Resurrection, but their
arguments had no weight with one who had seen the risen Lord on the way
to Damascus.

The importance of the Resurrection of Christ as an argument for the
Divine origin of Christianity is recognised alike by those who receive
and by those who reject it. Negative criticism has assailed the doctrine
and has devised ingenious theories to explain on natural grounds the
testimony on which it is received. The diversity of such explanations
goes far to refute them, and their utter failure to account for the
marvellous effects which the appearances of the risen Jesus produced on
the witnesses, or for the place which the doctrine held in their
teaching, has tended rather to establish than to discredit the reality
of the Resurrection.

Various sceptical theories, to which much importance was attached for a
time, are now almost forgotten. The Mythical theory fails to account for
the immediate effect produced by belief in the Resurrection. Myths
require time for their growth and development, but the disciples of
Jesus set the Resurrection in the forefront from the very first. On the
day of Pentecost Peter sounded the keynote of Apostolic preaching when
he declared, "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are
witnesses." And so from this time forward, "with great power gave the
Apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus." The historical
fact not only rests upon the most irresistible evidence; it is the very
corner-stone of the whole fabric of Gospel teaching.

Another view of the testimony for the Resurrection has found advocates
who claim that it explains, without having recourse to supernaturalism,
the belief of the disciples and others in the doctrine. With some minor
differences of detail, they agree in attributing the persistency of
those who said that they had seen Jesus alive, to the impression
produced on them by His wonderful personality. This, they hold, was so
strong that the effect continued after His death, and the disciples saw
visions of Him so vivid that they believed them to be real appearances.
He had filled so much of their lives while He was with them, that they
were unable to realise His departure, and retained His image in their
hearts continually. Exalted and excited feeling projected His figure so
that they saw Him apparently restored to life.

A theory such as this will not stand, in the face of the evidence for
the Resurrection. It was no subjective impression, but the Saviour
Himself, that brought conviction to the minds of the numerous witnesses.
It was no apparition, it was a body that they saw and handled and tested
and proved to be of flesh and blood. They heard their Master speak, and
saw Him eat; and at frequent intervals for forty days He showed Himself
to them. Sometimes He was seen by one, sometimes by many; and before His
ascension He charged them to carry on the work He had committed to them:
to feed His sheep, to feed His lambs, to go into all the world and
preach the Gospel to every creature. "Him," said Peter, "God raised up
on the third day, and showed him openly; not to all the people, but unto
witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with
him after he rose from the dead."[139]

What they saw was the true body of their Lord, the same that had been
crucified, dead, and buried, but a marvellous change had passed over it.
It was now possessed of spiritual qualities, suddenly appearing,
suddenly vanishing; now felt to be made of flesh and bones, and now
passing through closed doors, or walking upon water. It was no longer
subject to natural law as it had been before the Resurrection; and when
the disciples beheld the Lord, they had not only proof of His continued
existence, of His being God as well as man, and of God's seal having
been set upon His atoning work,--they had also an intimation of what
life hereafter will be for His followers, who shall be like Him, for
they shall see Him as He is.

How full and widespread was the belief in the Resurrection of Jesus in
the hearts of those who were its witnesses, is apparent not only from
the fact that the great theme of their preaching was "Jesus and the
resurrection," but is also evident from the importance they attached to
the Lord's Day and the Lord's Supper. These institutions have a direct
connection with the Resurrection, the former having been substituted for
the Jewish Sabbath expressly on the ground that on that day the Lord
rose; the latter, while it commemorates His death, sets forth also His
resurrection life.

       *       *       *       *       *


_He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of
    God the Father Almighty_

Forty days after His resurrection Jesus charged the Apostles, in the
last words He is known to have spoken on earth, to testify of Him
throughout the world, and assured them that they should receive power
through the descent of the Holy Spirit. This last-recorded utterance
called His Church to missionary enterprise: "Ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the
uttermost part of the earth."[140] It is when believers in Christ are
faithful in the performance of this duty that fulfilment of the promise
may be confidently looked for, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world."[141]

We are told that, when Jesus had spoken these things, "He led them out
as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And
it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and
carried up into heaven."[142]

Ascension is the completion of Resurrection. "If he were on earth," says
the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, "he should not be a
priest."[143] No part of His work would have corresponded to that of the
high priest, who, when he had offered up sacrifice, passed into the holy
place with the blood of the victim, and laid it upon the altar. The act
thus foreshadowed in the type was accomplished when our great High
Priest passed into the heavens, and "entered not into the holy places
made with hands, which are the figure of the true; but into heaven
itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."[144]

The Ascension took place in open day and in the sight of the Apostles.
"While they beheld, he was taken up."[145] That they might be witnesses
of the fact, it was necessary that they should see Him go up from earth.
Unlike the Ascension, the Resurrection of Christ took place unseen by
mortal eye. Eye-witnesses of His rising from the dead were not needed.
The fact that they had seen Jesus after He rose qualified them to be
witnesses of His Resurrection, but it was only because they had seen Him
taken up that they could bear personal testimony to His Ascension.

Thus our Lord "ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of
God the Father Almighty." This Article expresses the honour and dignity
of His Person and character. To sit on the right hand is an honour
reserved for the most favoured.[146] When the Scriptures speak of the
right hand of God, it is meant that, as the right hand among men is the
place of honour, power, and happiness, so to sit on the right hand of
God is to obtain the place of highest glory, power, and satisfaction.

At God's right hand our Lord entered into everlasting and perfect glory
and dominion. Being one with the Father, all that is the Father's is
His. He is exalted a Prince and a Saviour, having an eternal life and
all the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in Him bodily. The Father
Himself gave Him the place at His right hand, having highly exalted Him
and given Him a name which is above every name. None can dethrone Him or
successfully plot against His kingdom. No weapon, carnal or spiritual,
can ever prevail against Him. It is this that gives to Christianity its
stability and power, for Christianity is Christ Himself sitting at the
right hand of God. The ascended Christ exercises absolute authority and
unlimited dominion. The Father on whose right hand the Son sits is, in
this clause, as in that which stands at the beginning of the Creed,
termed the "Father Almighty." Though the distinction is not apparent in
the English version of the Creed, "Almighty" in the original Greek is in
these clauses expressed by two different words. In the earlier clause,
the word so rendered signifies God's supreme, universal dominion, while
here the word employed denotes the fact that His power and operation are
always efficacious and irresistible, and that all things are under His
absolute control. This word "Almighty" warrants the belief which the
clause declares, that the Son, sitting on the right hand of the Father,
possesses absolute and universal power, and that in executing His office
as Mediator none can resist or oppose Him.

The word "sitteth" is expressive not so much of the attitude as of the
settled and continuous character of Christ's exaltation. At God's right
hand in heaven He executes the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, as
He did on earth. The prophet, as teacher of the revealed truth, held
office in Old Testament times; and when Jesus entered on His public
ministry, it was as a Divinely-accredited teacher that He claimed to be
received. He brought out of His treasury things new and old, and
exhorted men to hear, believe, and obey Him. By His words and His life,
He made known the will of God for man's salvation; and when He was
lifted up upon the cross, it was to the end that, by the sacrifice He
offered and the truth He taught, He might draw all men unto Him. He
brought life and immortality to light, and since His departure He has
not ceased to be the Teacher and the Guide of all who receive Him. His
word abides with us, and His first gift to the Church after He rose was
the Holy Ghost, who came to lead men to all truth. When the Lord
ascended on high He received gifts for men, "and he gave some, apostles;
and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."[147] It is in Him
that all Christian teaching originates, and through His Spirit that it
takes hold of men's hearts. Our Lord does not indeed now appear in
visible form, speaking face to face with men as He did in Palestine, but
He speaks in and through every believer who in His name seeks to win
souls for His Kingdom. Paul recognised this when he wrote to the
Corinthians, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did
beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to

In His exaltation, Christ executes the office of a Priest. The functions
of the Jewish high priest were not limited to the offering of sacrifice.
When he had made an end of offering, he carried the blood of the victim
into the Holy Place and made intercession for the sins of the
congregation. As the mediator between God and His people, he thus
foreshadowed the work of Him who is a "priest for ever, after the order
of Melchizedek,"--succeeding none, and being succeeded by none, in His
priestly office. As the high priest's work was partly without and partly
within the Holy Place, so Christ's priestly work is twofold, consisting
of His satisfaction for sin upon earth and His intercession in heaven.
"Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." He was once offered to bear
the sins of many, thereby satisfying Divine justice and reconciling men
to God. After having as our great High Priest offered the sacrifice of
Himself, He passed into the heavens. There He makes continual
intercession for us.

At the right hand of God He exercises kingly prerogatives also. He was
anointed to the royal office at His baptism, when the Holy Ghost
descended on Him.[149] When by death He overcame him who had the power
of death; when He rose from the grave and announced to His disciples
that all power was given Him in heaven and earth, He asserted His kingly
office; and when God, having raised Him from the dead, set Him at His
own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principalities, and
powers, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only
in this world, but also in that which is to come, all things were put
under His feet, He was given to be Head over all things to the
church,[150] and received dominion and glory and a kingdom. He must
reign until all His enemies are under His feet. "To which of the angels
said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies
thy footstool?"[151]

       *       *       *       *       *


_From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead_

This clause of the Creed points to the future. As those who saw Jesus
ascend stood gazing up, two heavenly messengers in white apparel
appeared and said to them, "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."[152] Jesus Himself often warned the disciples that the time was
at hand when He should leave them and return to His Father, but that His
departure was not to be final, for He would come again to gather all
nations before Him, and to judge the quick and the dead. He comforted
them by the statement that His going away was expedient for them. "I go
to prepare a place for you." "I will come again, and receive you unto
myself."[153] But the return was not to be only for the reception of the
faithful into His kingdom and glory, but for judgment upon all mankind.
"The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;
and then shall he reward every man according to his works."[154]
"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they
also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because
of him."[155]

The time of Christ's return to judgment has not been revealed. "Of that
day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father
only."[156] The first Christians looked for it with joyous expectation,
believing that their Lord and Master would speedily appear and redress
their wrongs. Cruelly persecuted by Jew and Gentile, it is no wonder
that Apostles and other believers associated the second advent with
emancipation and victory, and termed it "That blessed hope, the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."[157] Under the
influence of false teachers, this expectation gave rise to unhealthy
excitement and consequent disorder in the Church. In his second Epistle
to the Thessalonians Paul set himself earnestly to counteract their
teaching. He indignantly repudiated the doctrine attributed to him,
apparently in connection with a forged epistle, and he supplied a test
by which the genuineness of his letters might be proved.

The mistake of the Thessalonians has often been repeated. Attempts have
been made to fix the time of the Lord's second coming, and the work of
predicting goes on busily still. Enthusiasts and impostors have been
more or less successful in finding credulous followers. Again and again
the progress of time has falsified such predictions, but would-be
prophets have not been discouraged by the blunders of their

All men, quick and dead, are to be brought before the Judgment-seat, the
faithful that they may be raised to everlasting blessedness, and the
wicked to be dismissed to everlasting punishment. Paul describes the
events of the great day of Christ's appearing as it will affect the
saints. "The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with
the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in
Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the
air."[158] He gives a similar description to the Corinthians: "We shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and
the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."[159]
"He commanded us to testify," says Peter, "that it is he which was
ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead."[160] And Paul writes
to Timothy that "the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the
dead at his appearing."[161]

The most awful descriptions of the Judgment, as it will affect the
wicked, are given by the Lord Jesus Himself. In Matthew xxv. we have a
series of images, in which the terrors of the "great day of the Lord"
are set forth. The virgins that go out to meet the Bridegroom, the
servants with their talents, the Judge dividing all brought before Him
as a shepherd divideth the sheep from the goats, are warnings of the
certainty and severity of judgment, and of the doom reserved for the

"The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the
Son."[162] As God, He has all things naked and open before Him. As man,
He became subject to human conditions, and was in all points tempted as
we are, yet without sin. Our Judge knows our frame, our temptations, our
weakness, our difficulties; and in the Judgment, as in His life on
earth, He will not break the bruised reed, or apply to men's conduct a
harsher measure than they have merited. Judgment will begin at the house
of God, and sentence on the ungodly will be severe in proportion to
knowledge, privilege, and opportunity. Men will be judged by their
works, and in this doctrine of Scripture there is no opposition to that
of justification by faith. Men cannot be justified by their own works,
but if Christ be in them and the Spirit of God dwell in their hearts,
then, being dead to sin, they follow holiness. The distinction between
the children of God and the children of the devil is this, that the
former class bring forth the fruits of righteousness, and the latter the
fruits of sin. "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart
bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things."[163] In the Judgment the works of every man
shall be brought to light, whether they be good or evil. "There is
nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be
known."[164] The just shall be rewarded, not on account of their good
works, but because of the atonement and righteousness of Christ; yet
their works will be the test of their sanctification and the proof that
they are members of Christ and regenerated by His Spirit.

       *       *       *       *       *


_I believe in the Holy Ghost_

The eighth article of the Creed declares belief in the third Divine
Person--the Holy Ghost.

The words "I believe," implied in every clause, are here repeated, to
mark the transition from the Second to the Third Person of the Trinity.

While this doctrine underlies all the teaching of the Old Testament
Scriptures, it was yet in a measure not understood or realised by the
Jews, and as Christ came to make known the Father, so to Him we owe also
the full revelation of the Holy Spirit. Prophets and Psalmists had
glimpses of the doctrine, but they lived in the twilight, and saw
through a glass darkly many truths now clearly made known.

While we speak freely of spiritual life, our conception of it is so
vague that we are apt to overlook, or to regard lightly, the work of the
Holy Spirit in redemption. The disciples of John, whom Paul met at
Ephesus, believed in Jesus and had been baptized, and yet they told the
Apostle that they had not so much as heard whether there was any Holy
Ghost.[165] John tells us that even while Jesus was on earth the Holy
Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.[166]

That the Holy Ghost is a Person, and not, as some hold, a mere energy or
influence proceeding from the Father, or from the Father and the Son, is
apparent from the passages of Scripture which refer to Him. An energy
has no existence independent of the agent, but this can not be
maintained with reference to the Holy Ghost. He is associated as a
Person with Persons. In the baptismal formula and in the apostolic
benediction the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the same terms as the Father
and the Son, and is therefore a Person as they are Persons. He is said
to possess will and understanding. He is said to teach, to testify, to
intercede, to search all things, to bestow and distribute spiritual
gifts according to His will.

The Holy Ghost addresses the Father, and is therefore not the Father. He
intercedes with the Father, and so is not a mere energy of the Father.
Jesus promised to send the Spirit from the Father, but the Father could
not be sent from or by Himself. It is said that the Spirit when He came
would not speak of Himself--a statement that cannot apply to the
Father; and while Christ promised to send the Spirit, He did not promise
to send the Father.

The Holy Ghost is not the Son, for the Son says He will send Him. He is
"another Comforter," who speaks and acts as a person. The Holy Ghost
said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where-unto I have
called them."[167]

The arguments for the distinct personality of the Holy Ghost prove also
that He is God. The baptismal formula and the apostolic benediction
assume His Divinity. The words of Christ with reference to the sin
against the Holy Ghost imply that He is God, and Peter affirms this
doctrine when, having accused Ananias of lying to the Holy Ghost, he
adds, "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God."[168] Paul also
asserts it when, in arguing against sins of the flesh, he affirms that
the body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, and also declares of it that
the temple of GOD is holy. Divine properties are ascribed to the Holy
Spirit. Thus _Omnipotence_ is attributed to Him--"The Spirit shall
quicken your mortal bodies",[169] _Omniscience_--"The Spirit searcheth
all things",[170] _Omnipresence_--"Whither shall I go from thy
Spirit?"[171] Divinity is attributed to the third Person in the
statement that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Ghost,"[172] taken in connection with the other statement, "all
Scripture is given by inspiration of God."[173]

Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and, because of this, though born
of a woman, He was in His human nature the Son of God. "The Holy Ghost
shall come upon thee ... therefore also that holy thing which shall be
born of thee shall be called the Son of God."[174] Each of the three
Persons has part in the work of redemption. The Father gave the Son, and
accepted Him as man's Sinbearer and Sacrifice; the Son gave Himself, and
assumed human nature that He might suffer and die in the room and stead
of sinners, and the Holy Ghost applies to men the work of redeeming
love, taking of the things of Christ and making them known,[175] till
they produce repentance, faith, and salvation. The Father's gift of the
Son and the Son's sacrifice of Himself are of the past; the work of the
Holy Spirit has gone on day by day, ever since the risen and glorified
Redeemer sent Him to make His people ready for the place which He is
preparing for them. It is through Him that we understand the Scriptures,
and receive power to fear God and keep His commandments. He comes to
human hearts, and when He enters He banishes discord and bestows
happiness and peace. Then with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness, and the fruits of the Spirit are manifested in his life.
The love of the Father and the redemption secured by the Son's
Incarnation and Passion fail to affect us if we have not our share in
the Spirit's sanctification. There is a sense in which the Holy Ghost
comes nearer to us, if we may so speak, than the other Persons of the
Godhead. If we are true believers, the Holy Ghost is enthroned in our
hearts. "He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."[176] Our bodies
become the temples of the Holy Ghost.[177] It is through Him that the
Father and the Son come and make their abode in the faithful.[178] We
are made "an habitation of God through the Spirit."[179] "If any man
have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."[180] When we consider
the work He carries on in convicting men of sin, of righteousness, and
of judgment, and in converting, guiding, and comforting those whom He
influences, we can understand that it was expedient for us that Christ
should go away, in order that the Comforter might come.[181] If we are
receiving and resting on Jesus as our Saviour, then His Spirit is within
us as the earnest of our inheritance.[182] His presence imparts power
such as no spiritual enemy can resist. How different were the Apostles
before and after they had received the gift of the Spirit! One of them
who, before, denied Christ when challenged by a maid, afterwards
proclaimed boldly in the presence of the hostile Jewish council, "We
ought to obey God rather than men."[183] Those who, when He was
apprehended, had forsaken Him and fled, gathered courage to brave kings
and rulers as they preached salvation through Him. The disciples, who,
in accordance with Christ's injunction, awaited the descent of the
Spirit, were on the day of Pentecost clothed with power before which
bigotry and selfishness passed into faith and charity and
self-surrender; and there was won on that day for the Church a triumph
such as the might of God alone could have secured--a triumph which the
ministry of the Spirit, whenever it is recognised and accepted, is
always powerful to repeat and to surpass.

All good comes to man through the Spirit. Every inspiration of every
individual is from Him, the Lord and Giver of light, and life, and
understanding. Every good thought that rises within us, every unselfish
motive that stimulates us, every desire to be holy, every resolve to do
what is right, what is brave, or noble, or self-sacrificing, comes to
man from the Holy Ghost. He is instructing and directing us not only on
special occasions, as when we read the Bible or meet for worship, but
always, if we will listen for His voice. His personal indwelling in man,
as Counsellor and Guide, is the fulfilment of the promise--"I will dwell
in them, and walk in them." "He will guide you into all truth" is an
assurance of counsel and victory that is ever receiving fulfilment, and
that cannot be broken.[184]

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints_


In the clause of the Creed which expresses belief in Jesus Christ, He is
called our Lord "And in Jesus Christ our Lord." That He is their Lord is
declared by believers, when they term the society of which they are
members "the Church." This word is derived from the Greek _kurios_,
Lord, in the adjectival form _kuriakos_, of or belonging to the
Lord--the Scottish word "kirk" being therefore a form nearer the
original than the equivalent term _Church_. The Greek word translated
"church" occurs only three times in the Gospels. In English the word is
used in different senses, all of them, however, pointing to the Lord
Jesus as their source and sanction. By "church," we sometimes mean a
building set apart for Christian worship. The Jew had his Tabernacle in
the Wilderness, his Temple at Jerusalem, and his Synagogue in the
Provinces; the Mohammedan has his Mosque, and the Brahmin his Pagoda;
but the Christian has his Church, in whose very name his Lord is
honoured. Sometimes the word denotes the Christians of a specified city
or locality--the Church at Ephesus, the Church at Corinth. Sometimes it
is limited to a number of Christians meeting for worship in a house, as
in Romans xvi. 5 and in Philemon.[185] Sometimes "Church" denotes a
particular denomination of Christians, as the Presbyterian Church, the
Episcopal Church. Sometimes it expresses the distinctive form which
Christianity assumes in a particular nation--the Church of England, the
Church of Scotland. In the Creed the Holy Catholic Church means the
whole body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, all who anywhere and
everywhere are looking to Him for salvation, and are bringing forth the
fruits of holiness to His praise and glory.

The Lord Jesus Christ did not, during His ministry, set up a Church as
an outward organisation. He was Himself to be the Church's foundation;
but in order to be qualified for this office it was necessary that He
should first lay down His life. The work of building and extending, in
so far as it was to be effected by human agency, must be undertaken by
others after His departure. He came to fulfil the law, and so He was not
sent save to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. He worshipped,
accordingly, in the Jewish temple and synagogues, observed the
sacraments and festivals of the Old Testament Church, and during His
earthly ministry bade His disciples observe and do whatsoever the men
who sat in Moses' seat commanded. "The faithful saying, worthy of all
acceptation," with which the Christian Church was to be charged as God's
message to the world, was not yet published, for Christ had still to
suffer and enter into His glory, and the Holy Ghost had yet to be sent
by the Father before the standard of the Church could be set up. While
the Church rests on Christ, it is founded upon His Apostles also, to
whom He committed the work for which He had prepared them, and for which
He was still further to qualify them by bestowing power from on high.
The gifts which He received for men when He ascended were needed to
equip them for the work of founding that Church, which became a
possibility only through His death and resurrection. Applying to them
the redemption purchased by Christ, the Holy Ghost wrought in and with
them, and crowned their labours with success. The Christian Church was
set up on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost came down upon a
band of believers assembled at Jerusalem waiting for the promise of the
Father. Under His inspiration Peter preached the first Christian sermon
with such power that the same day there were added unto the Church three
thousand souls.

The Church is termed the _Holy_ Catholic Church. When the epithet "holy"
is applied to the Church, it is not meant that all who profess faith in
Jesus Christ and are in connection with the visible Church, are holy, or
that any of them are altogether holy. Our Lord taught that while in the
world His Church would contain a mixture of good and bad. He likened it
to a net in which good and bad fishes are caught, and to a field in
which wheat and tares grow together. Though all are called to be saints,
"there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth
not."[186] The sanctification of believers is the work of the Holy
Spirit, effected not by a momentary act but by degrees, and never
perfected in this life.

Upon all who truly receive the Lord Jesus a change is wrought by the
Holy Spirit of God, which results in holiness. Looking unto Jesus, they
behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the
same image. The transformation which they undergo extends to every part
of their being. The subject of sanctification is the whole man. The
understanding, will, conscience, memory, affections are all renewed in
their operations, and the members of the body become instruments of
righteousness unto holiness. As believers are enabled to die unto sin,
they live unto righteousness. Being renewed in the inner man by the
Divine Spirit, they bring forth the fruits of the Spirit. Their desire
is after holiness, for they know that the restoration of holiness is the
end for which Jesus died and for which the Spirit works. "Christ loved
the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse
it with the washing of water by the word, 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."[187] Now, the
Church is marred by many blemishes, but her imperfection is for a time
only. When her period of work and probation is accomplished she will be
purged and perfected, and will be a church without spot or wrinkle.
Meantime she is the Holy Church because her Head is holy, and because
she is called out of the world and consecrated to the service of God.
She is holy because she is the body of Christ, of whose fulness she
receives, and whose graces she reflects, and because it is through her
teaching, prayers, and institutions that the Holy Spirit usually works
and influences men to follow holiness. The ministry, the preaching, the
sacraments, the laws, and the discipline of the Church have as their end
the turning of men from their sins and persuading them to follow

The Christian Church is a _Catholic_ Church. The word "Catholic" means
universal, and implies that, unlike the Jewish Church, which was narrow
and local, requiring admission to earthly citizenship as the condition
of receiving spiritual privilege, the Church of Christ is coextensive
with humanity, and accessible to all. The Master's charge was that the
Gospel should be preached to every creature. The Church's field is the
world, and her commission sets before her as a duty that she shall go
into all the world bearing the glad tidings of salvation. The disciples
did not at first realise this comprehensiveness of the new faith. Even
after his address on the day of Pentecost, Peter had not risen above his
Jewish prejudices. It was not until after he beheld in vision the great
sheet let down from heaven, and was forbidden to regard anything which
God had cleansed as common or unclean, that the fulness of the Gospel
dispensation was understood by him, and he discovered to his
astonishment that God is no respecter of persons, but that in every
nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is acceptable to

The Catholic Church is _One_. It is _the_ Holy Catholic Church, one in
its origin as the household of God built upon the foundation of the
Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone;[189]
one body, with one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism.[190] The
distinctive marks of the true Church are allegiance to one Lord,
confession of a common creed, and participation in the same Sacraments.

The unity of the Catholic Church is quite compatible with the existence
of separate organisations that differ in regard to details of government
or worship. There is no outward organisation which possesses a monopoly
of Christian truth and privilege. While all who "hold the Head" stand
fast in one spirit, they are not all enrolled as members of one
ecclesiastical body, or subject to the authority of one earthly ruler.
Their citizenship is in heaven; not in Rome or in any city of this
world. The claim asserted by the Bishops of Rome to be infallible
representatives of Christ and exclusive possessors of the keys of the
kingdom of heaven, to whom all men owe allegiance, and whose decrees and
discipline cannot be questioned without sin, has no support in
Scripture, which, while it enjoins unity of spirit, never prescribes
uniformity of organisation.

What the Romanist claims for the Pope is virtually claimed for the
Church by some who reject Papal authority. By the Church they mean one
visible body of Christians under the same ecclesiastical constitution
and government, and they maintain that the right to expound with
authority the will of God is vested in this body, and that private
judgment must be subordinated to its decisions. To constitute the Church
they say there must be bishops at its head, ordained by men whose
ecclesiastical orders have come down from apostolic times in unbroken
succession. Without this apostolical succession, it is affirmed, there
can be no Church, no true ordination, no valid or effectual
administration of sacraments.

Such a definition of the Catholic Church excludes from participation in
the ordinary means of grace the whole body of Presbyterians, nearly all
the Protestant Churches of Europe, and all who refuse to admit direct
transmission of orders from the Apostles as a primary condition of the
Church's existence. Carried to its logical conclusion, it would exclude
even those who maintain it; for all attempts to trace back a continuous
and complete series of ordinations from modern times to the apostolic
age fail to show an unbroken line. It is therefore not possible for any
bishop or minister in Christendom to be certain that, in this sense, he
is a successor of the Apostles. The Catholic Church is not exclusively
Episcopalian or Presbyterian or Congregational. It is found in all
Christian communities, and maintains its identity in all. It is said by
Paul to be made up of "them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called
to be saints, with all that call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
in every place, their Lord and ours."[191] As it is not the Pope that
admits to, or excludes from, heaven, so it is not the prerogative of any
church to bestow or to withhold salvation. The right of private
judgment, asserted and secured by the Scottish Reformers, is one which
we are not only entitled but bound to exercise. We must search the
Scriptures for ourselves, that in their light we may prove all things
and hold fast that which is good. A famous saying of Ignatius, who first
applied the term "Catholic" to the Church, supplies the true description
of a living church--"Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic


This article appears to have first found place in the Creed as a protest
against the tenets of a sect called the Donatists, from Donatus their
leader. He seceded (314 A.D.) from the Christian Church in North Africa,
carrying with him numerous followers, and set up a new church
organisation, claiming for it place and authority as the only Church of
Christ. Circumstances put powers of excommunication and persecution at
his disposal, which he directed against those who refused to become his

Augustine was for a time a Donatist, but his truth-loving spirit soon
discovered the real character of Donatus, and then he became his active
and uncompromising opponent. It was probably as a protest against the
arrogance of the Donatists, and in deference to Augustine's wish, that
the clause was inserted. In this profession it is declared that the Holy
Catholic Church is one not in virtue of outward forms, or even through
perfect agreement among its members upon all details of doctrine, but
because of the holiness of those who compose it. It refuses to
excommunicate any who hold fast the form of sound words, and who adhere
to one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. It is a
brotherhood of which all who have the spirit of Christ are members.
Differences in colour, or country, or rank do not suffice to separate
those who are "the body of Christ and members in particular." The spirit
of Christian fellowship that marks the saints finds fitting expression
in the noble words of Augustine, "In things essential, unity; in things
doubtful, liberty; in all things, charity."

The primary meaning of the word "saint" is a person consecrated or set
apart. In this sense all baptized persons who are professing members of
the Church of Christ are saints. In the New Testament the whole body of
professing Christians resident in a city or district are called saints,
although some among them may have been unworthy; just as in the Old
Testament the prophets even in degenerate times termed the people of
Israel an "holy nation," that is, a nation separated from the rest of
the world and consecrated to God's service. Thus we read that Peter
visited the saints which dwelt at Lydda.[193] Paul speaks of a
collection for the poor saints at Jerusalem, and writes letters to all
the saints in Achaia,[194] to all the saints in Christ Jesus at
Philippi, and to the saints at Ephesus; and Jude speaks of the faith
once delivered to the saints. In these passages the title is applied to
all who were in outward fellowship with the Christian Church.

The term "saint" is used also in a more restricted sense. As they were
not all Israel who were of Israel, and as not every one that saith
"Lord, Lord" shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, so all who are
enrolled as members of the Christian Church do not lead saintly lives,
and those only are truly saints who are striving to live godly in Christ
Jesus, and to be holy, even as He who hath called them is holy. This
clause of the Creed expresses the doctrine that Christians ought to have
fellowship one with another, and that there ought to be harmonious
relations and stimulating communion between their several churches and
congregations--such fellowship and communion as may lead the world to
believe that they are one in Christ, and that, though compelled by
circumstances to assemble in different places and to form separate
societies, they are, nevertheless, all members of one body, of which
Jesus Christ is the Head; all stones in one building, of which He is the
chief Corner-stone; all branches in one true vine, of which He is the
Stem; and all animated and directed by the same Spirit. Thus regarded,
the clause is a protest against the exclusiveness which often marks
Christian churches, and is a recognition of the spirit of charity.

The extent of this Communion of the Saints is not revealed. Much of it
is spiritual, and is therefore invisible to us. God alone marks in full
measure the fellowship of the churches, and is acquainted with the
character and conduct of all their members. He knew the seven thousand
in Israel who had never bowed the knee to Baal, and the real, though
unrecognised, communion they had with one another in their common
fidelity and prayer to Him; but Elijah did not know how much true
fellowship he had, when he denounced the idolatries of Jezebel and
pleaded with God for Israel. The ignorance of the prophet, who thought
he was the only faithful Israelite, has its counterpart in our own
times. God knows, but we do not know, how many faithful saints there are
in the world who are in fellowship with one another because they are in
fellowship with Him. We are excluded by many barriers from the knowledge
of our brethren and sisters in Christ Jesus. Natural and moral
difficulties stand in the way, hindering this knowledge; differences in
language, in environment, in habits and modes of thought, and other
limitations, disable us for truly gauging the character of those with
whom we are brought into close contact. Communion is nevertheless real
and true. The members of the Church of the living God, however they may
be scattered and divided, have communion and fellowship with the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and being in fellowship with God, they are
of one mind, and are knit together by common faith and mutual sympathy.
They are all one with the same Head, and they have all one hope of their

Our Lord brought life and immortality to light, and taught men that
between the Church militant and the Church triumphant there is
indissoluble fellowship. Those who followed holiness in this life are
saints still in the life to which they have passed. In the Epistle to
the Hebrews, believers are told that they "are come to the general
assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven ...
and to the spirits of just men made perfect."[195]

While the clause was probably inserted at first to vindicate the
doctrine of communion of saints in this life, it has long been regarded
as extending to a communion subsisting between the spirits of just men
made perfect and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ who are still on
earth. The passage last quoted justifies the inference that death does
not suspend the fellowship which believers in Jesus Christ have with
Him, their common Lord. Death separates the soul from the body, but it
does not cut off the dead from communion with the Father or the Son. He
who is the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob is the God not of the
dead, but of the living. Of the whole family of the saints, some are in
heaven and some on earth, and, between those who are there and those who
are here, there is communion. Since the heavenly Church received Abel as
its first member, there has been unceasing fellowship between militant
and glorified saints. Those who are here are shut out by the tabernacle
of the body from personal intercourse with the souls of the departed,
but are yet in a fellowship with them that is very real and precious.
The holy dead act upon the living, and, it may be, are reacted upon in
ways we do not understand. Of Abel we are told that "being dead, he yet
speaketh."[196] Those whom death has taken do not cease to exert an
influence on the lives of friends left behind. Their example, their good
deeds, their writings, the undying consequences of what they did while
on earth affect us. The veil which death interposes between us and them
hinders us from witnessing their spirit life, and we know not whether,
or in what measure, or how, they contemplate us. We do not go to them to
ask them to intercede for us with the Father, for we believe there is
but one Mediator between God and man. We do not invest them with
attributes which belong to God alone; all that we are warranted to say
about their relation to us is, that what is revealed does not forbid,
but rather encourages, the thought that they are interested in us and
concerned for our happiness. If the angels rejoice over the conversion
of a sinner, are we to think that the spirits of just men made perfect
are strangers to this joy? They are within the veil, we cannot see them,
but we know they are in communion with God. The condition of the
departed saints is one of waiting as well as of progress. They have not
attained to fruition. There are doctrines which to them, as to us, are
still matters not of experience but of faith and hope. The souls of the
martyrs seen by John under the altar were in a state of expectation,
desiring and pleading as when in the flesh they had desired and pleaded
for the consummation of Messiah's kingdom; and from them the Apostle
heard the cry ascend, "How long, O Lord?"[197] Saints here and saints
who have passed through the valley into the unseen must surely hold many
beliefs in common. Both alike believe the promises of God, and
anticipate the glorious consummation for which they wait and watch, when
the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the living God.
They believe in the resurrection of the body and in its reunion with the
soul for ever. They have common affections. Their love is given to the
same God. They have community of worship, and have communion in
thanksgiving, praise, and, may we not say, in prayer for the overthrow
of the kingdom of darkness and the advent of the kingdom of glory? As
those who are still in the body keep the New Testament feast, they feel
that there is fellowship between them and saints departed, seeing that
they honour the same Saviour, glory in the same cross, partake of the
same heavenly food, and look for the same inheritance of perfect

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Forgiveness of Sins_

The Creed acknowledges God as the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and
earth; but there is another relation which He sustains to His creatures
besides those of Creator and Father. In Scripture He is represented as
the King, Ruler, Governor of the universe, who imposes laws upon all His
creatures, and requires of them scrupulous obedience. With the exception
of man, the visible creatures have these laws, from which they cannot
swerve, within their constitutions. The planet never deviates from its
appointed orbit; the insect, the bird, the beast all live in strict
accordance with their instincts; but, unlike them, man possesses freedom
of will and power of choice. This freedom, if rightly exercised, is a
noble possession, but, perverted, it is an instrument of destruction.
The lower animals cannot sin because the law of their lives is within
them, constraining them to act in accordance with its dictates. Upon
man, free to choose, God imposed law. With freedom of will he received
the gift of conscience, which, enabling him to distinguish between right
and wrong, invested him with responsibility, and made disobedience sin.
That he can sin is his patent of nobility, that he does sin is his ruin
and disgrace.

The effect of sin is separation from God, who can have no fellowship
with evil, for sin is the abominable thing which He hates, and on which
He cannot even look. A breach, altogether irreparable on man's part, was
made between man and his Creator when the first transgression of the law
of God took place. The impulse of every sinner, which only Divine power
can overcome, is to flee from God. Hence arises the necessity for
reconciliation, and for the intervention of God to effect it. That the
unity thus broken may be restored, expiation must be made by one
possessing the nature of the being that had sinned, and yet, by His
possession of the Divine nature, investing that expiation with
illimitable worth, so that all sin may be covered, and every sinner find
a way of escape from the power and the penal consequences of
transgression. These conditions meet in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him
alone. That God might, without compromising His attributes, be enabled
to bring man back into fellowship with Himself, He spared not His own
Son, and the Son freely gave Himself to suffering and death for the
world's redemption.

In the felt necessity of atonement, which has associated sacrifice with
every religion devised by man, we have evidence of the universality of
sin. All feel its crushing pressure, and fear the punishment which,
conscience assures them, is deserved and inevitable. The heathen
confesses it as he prostrates himself before the image of his god, or
immolates himself or his fellow-man upon his altar; and the Christian
feels and confesses it as, fleeing for refuge, he finds pardon and
cleansing in the blood of Jesus Christ.

Sin is original or actual, the former inherited from our parents, the
latter, personal transgression of the Divine law. Every man descending
from Adam by ordinary generation is born with the taint of original sin.
As the representative head of humanity, Adam transmitted to all his
descendants the nature that his sin had polluted. The fountain of life
was poisoned at its source, and when Adam begat children they were born
in his likeness. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by
sin; and so death passed upon all men." "Death reigned ... even over
them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression."
"By one man's disobedience many were made sinners."[198]

Actual sin consists in breaking any law of God made known to us by
Scripture, conscience, or reason. It assumes many forms. There are sins
of thought, of word, of deed; sins of commission, or doing what God
forbids; of omission, or leaving undone what God commands; sins to which
we are tempted by the world, the flesh, or the devil; sins directly
against God; sins that wrong our neighbours, and that ruin ourselves;
sins of pride, covetousness, lust, gluttony, anger, envy, sloth. In many
things we sin, and "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,
and the truth is not in us."[199]

Man's sinfulness is set forth in Scripture by a great variety of
figures. The word rendered "sin" means the missing of a mark or aim. Sin
is sometimes described as ignorance, sometimes as defeat, sometimes as
disobedience. The definition of the Shorter Catechism is clear and
comprehensive. "Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of,
the law of God."[200] The taint of original sin, extending to man's
whole nature, inclines him to act in opposition to the law of God, and
every concession to his corrupt desire, in thought, word, or deed, is
actual sin. Because of it he is not subject to the law of God, neither,
indeed, can be.

Sin is always spoken of in Scripture as followed by punishment or by
pardon. There is no middle way. Salvation for man must therefore involve
deliverance from condemnation.

The word which expresses man's liability to punishment is "guilt," and
only a religion which makes known how he may be set free from guilt will
suit his necessities. We cannot set ourselves free from condemnation.
"Man," says the Confession of Faith, "by his fall into a state of sin,
hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying
salvation; so, as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,
and dead in sin, is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself,
or prepare himself thereunto."[201] Forgiveness of sin must come from
God. There is nothing in nature or in human experience to warrant hope
of pardon. Nature never forgives a trespass against her law. The
opportunity that is lost does not return. The mistake by which a life is
marred cannot be undone. The constitution shattered by intemperance
cannot be restored, the birthright bartered for a mess of pottage is
gone for ever, and no bitter tears or supplications have power to bring
it back. Whether we repent of it or not, every sin we commit leaves its
dark mark behind, and in this life at least the stain can never be
effaced; and yet we believe in the forgiveness of sin through the grace
of God.

The forgiveness of sin is a free gift purchased by "the Lamb of God that
taketh away the sin of the world," who by His Cross and Passion obtained
for men this unspeakable benefit, and commanded that repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations.[202]

In order that the grace of God may bring salvation, it is required that
there shall be (_a_) Repentance. In Scripture repentance is set forth as
necessarily preceding pardon: "Jesus began to preach, and to say,
Repent."[203] "Peter said unto them, Repent."[204] "Him hath God exalted
with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance
to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."[205] Repentance begins in
contrition. "Godly sorrow for sin worketh repentance to salvation."[206]
(_b_) Before the good gift of God can be received, it is necessary that
we confess our sin. It is when we confess our sins that we obtain
forgiveness and cleansing. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and
just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all
unrighteousness."[207] To produce conviction and confession is the work
of the Holy Ghost. He reveals to the sinner the sinfulness of his life,
and so works in him repentance. (_c_) Another requirement is unfeigned
faith. "He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a
rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." "Without faith it is
impossible to please him."[208] "Being justified by faith, we have peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."[209] "Let him ask in faith,
nothing doubting: for he that doubteth is like the surge of the sea
driven by the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall
receive anything of the Lord."[210] (_d_) There must be also humble,
earnest resolution to be obedient to the will of God. The forgiveness
secured by the death of Jesus is more than mere deliverance from the
penalty of sin or the acquittal of the sinner. It is the remission of
sins, the putting away of the sin. With pardon there is a renewal of the
inner man. Return to holiness is secured, and the lost image of God is
restored to man, so that he dies to sin and lives unto holiness. Nothing
less than this will satisfy the true penitent, who asks for more than
pardon, whose cry is, "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a
right spirit within me."[211] It is not sufficient to be set free from
punishment, there must be the abiding desire to have the life conformed
to the Divine will. "The grace of God that bringeth salvation" teaches
and enables all who receive it "to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,
and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."[212]

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Resurrection of the Body_

ANIMISM--the doctrine of the continuous existence, after death, of the
disembodied human spirit--has a place in the majority of religious
systems; but belief in the resurrection of the body is almost peculiar
to the Christian faith. In Old Testament times the hope of immortality
for body and soul seldom found expression. Job seems to have had at
least a glimpse of the doctrine, although his words in the original do
not express it so strongly as those of the English version: "I know that
my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the
earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh
shall I see God."[213] In the Psalms there are various intimations that
faithful servants of God looked for a future life in which the body as
well as the spirit should find place. Isaiah prophesied, "Thy dead men
shall live, my dead body shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in
dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out
the dead."[214] Daniel still more emphatically declares, "Many of them
that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting
life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."[215] The story in the
second book of Maccabees of the seven martyr-brothers, who would not
accept life from the tyrant on condition of denying their God, proves
that they were strengthened to endure by the sure hope of "a better
resurrection." One of them thus confessed his faith: "Thou like a fury
takest us out of this present life, but the King of the world shall
raise us up, who have died for His laws, unto everlasting life." Another
of the brothers, about to have his tongue plucked out and his hands cut
off, "holding forth his hands manfully, said courageously, These I had
from heaven ... and from Him I hope to receive them again." Their
mother, who is thought to have been one of the saints that in the
Epistle to the Hebrews are said to have been tortured, not accepting
deliverance, encouraged her sons to be faithful unto death by telling
them that God who had given them life at the first would restore it. "I
am sure," she said, "that He will of His own mercy give you breath and
life again as ye now regard not your own selves for His laws'
sake."[216] The Pharisees in the days of our Lord held by the doctrine,
which the Sadducees, who rejected belief in angels and spirits, denied.
The belief expressed by Martha when she said of her brother Lazarus, "I
know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day,"[217]
was in all likelihood current in her time. It may have been to impress
the truth of resurrection-life for the body that Enoch, before the
flood, and Elijah, in later Old Testament times, were translated; but it
is in the New Testament, in words spoken by the Lord Jesus, that
resurrection is fully revealed. "Marvel not at this," said He to the
Jews; "for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves
shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; they that
have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."[218] In reply to the
Sadducees, who attempted to ridicule His statements regarding
resurrection, He said, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the
power of God";[219] and He put them to silence by showing that the truth
of resurrection was implied in the name by which God revealed Himself to
Israel, "I am the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob." He showed
His power over the dead body, and furnished assurance of resurrection,
by raising the dead. He thus restored the daughter of Jairus and the son
of the widow of Nain, and raised Lazarus from the tomb four days after
he had died. In His own resurrection we have the most signal pledge of
our bodily immortality. When He arose triumphant from the grave and
showed Himself alive by many infallible proofs, He manifested His power
as the conqueror of death.

It is clearly taught in Scripture that there is to be a general
resurrection of the righteous and the wicked. In addition to texts
already quoted, we find John declaring, "I saw the dead, small and
great, stand before God, ... and the sea gave up the dead which were in
it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them";[220]
and Paul writes to the Thessalonians, "We that are alive, that are left
unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are
fallen asleep ... and the dead in Christ shall rise first."[221]

The resurrection is associated with the second coming of Christ. It is
His voice that shall awake the dead, and the angels who will accompany
Him are to gather them from the four winds of heaven to the
judgment-seat of Christ, "that everyone may receive the things done in
his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or

In resurrection, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost take part. God the Father,
who "both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own
power":[223] God the Son: "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and
quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will":[224] God the
Holy Ghost, who, as the Giver of life, by His special action will raise
our bodies: "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken
your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you."[225] The Lord
Jesus Christ is the meritorious cause of resurrection: "By man came
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."[226] His resurrection
is the pledge and the pattern of ours. "If we have been planted together
in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his

Christianity teaches that the body as well as the soul is redeemed by
the Lord Jesus Christ, "the Saviour of the body."[228] We are called to
glorify God in our bodies, which are temples of the Holy Ghost, and we
must give account for the deeds done in and through the body, as well as
for those sins which are rather of the mind and will than of the body.
The body will be raised and will be judged. God will bring to light all
hidden things--actions forgotten by ourselves, deeds of which the world
knows nothing, as well as those which memory retains and the world knows
of. Before that "great and notable day" our bodies as well as our souls
must have been purged, else we shall never see God. The bodies of the
unjust will rise; but theirs will be resurrection to shame and
everlasting contempt.

It is fitting that reward or punishment should be the portion of the
same souls and bodies that have been faithful or unfaithful. Christ rose
in the same body as He had before His death, and so shall we. How this
is to be accomplished we cannot tell, but with God all things are
possible, and faith rests with confidence in His power and in His Word.
"We wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall fashion anew
the body of our humiliation, that it may be conformed to the body of his
glory."[229] While the body is the same as that in which the soul
tabernacled, it will undergo transformation. Christ will renew the
bodily as well as the spiritual nature of His people. Every part of
their being will be transformed, and their bodies, like Christ's, will
be spiritual bodies. We are to be sanctified wholly; our whole spirit
and soul and body preserved blameless unto His coming.[230] In this
present life the body builds up a character which it will retain
throughout eternity. Every act we do affects it, not for the time only,
but for ever. The lost soul will assume the polluted body, and while it
may shrink in horror from the union, will find no way of escape. "He
that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is holy, let him be
holy still."[231] "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also
reap,"[232] and the harvest will abide with him for ever.

       *       *       *       *       *


_And the Life Everlasting_

The great truth affirmed in the concluding article of the Creed is the
Life Everlasting: "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is
eternal life."[233] This life will be the portion of all who are
acquitted in the day of judgment, and they will then enter upon new
experiences. Death and hell shall be cast into the lake of fire, and the
redeemed, no longer subject to imperfection, decay, or death, shall be
raised to the right hand of the Father, where there is fulness of joy;
to partake of those pleasures for evermore which have been purchased for
them by the blood of the Lamb.

It is interesting to note the gradual development of this doctrine,
which was first fully expressed by Him who brought life and immortality
to light. We have the statement of the writer to the Hebrews that the
faith of Old Testament saints had in view the continuance of life after
death in "a better country, that is, an heavenly." Whether this faith
grasped the doctrine of bodily resurrection, in addition to that of the
immortality of the soul, we are not told. It is remarkable that
throughout the books of Moses there is an absence of reference to the
future life as a motive to holy living. Prosperity and adversity in this
life are set forth as the reward or punishment of conduct, leading to
the inference, either that retribution in the future life was not
revealed, or that it exercised little practical influence. As time
passed the doctrine of everlasting life for body and soul emerged in the
Psalms and in the prophetical writings, but sometimes side by side with
such gloomy views regarding death and its consequences as to leave the
impression that belief in it was weak and fitful. In the long period
that passed between the time when Old Testament prophecy ceased and the
advent of Christ, the fierce persecutions to which the Jews were
subjected appear to have strengthened their faith in a future life of
blessedness, in which the body, delivered from the grave and again
united to the soul, shall participate.

The author of the Apocryphal Book termed _The Wisdom of Solomon_ thus
records his belief:--

    The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
    And no torment shall touch them.
    In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died;
    And their departure was accounted _to be their_ hurt,
    And their journeying away from us _to be their_ ruin,
    But they are in peace.
    For even if in the sight of men they be punished,
    Their hope is full of immortality:
    And having borne a little chastening they shall receive great good;
    Because God made trial of them, and found them worthy of Himself.
    As gold in the furnace He proved them,
    And as a whole burnt offering He accepted them.
    And in the time of their visitation they shall shine forth,
    And as sparks among stubble they shall run to and fro.
    They shall judge nations, and have dominion over peoples;
    And the Lord shall reign over them for evermore.
    They that trust in Him shall understand truth,
    And the faithful shall abide with Him in love;
    Because grace and mercy are to His chosen.[234]

Again he writes:--

    The righteous live for ever,
    And in the Lord is their reward,
    And the care for them with the Most High.
    Therefore shall they receive the crown of royal dignity
    And the diadem of beauty from the Lord's hand.[235]

The happiness of the kingdom of heaven is in Scripture termed "life,"
because it constitutes the life for which man was created. Being made in
the likeness of God, his nature can obtain full satisfaction, and his
powers will expand into fruition, only when he enters upon a life which
resembles, in proportion to its measure and capacity, the life of God.
Jesus spoke of regeneration as entering into life. Those who receive the
Gospel message and walk in the footsteps of Christ are said to be born
again--to receive in their conversion the beginning of a new existence,
of which the entrance of the infant into the world is a fitting emblem.
They possess now not only a natural life, but a life hid with Christ in
God, which is a pledge to them that "when he who is their life shall
appear, they also shall appear with him in glory."[236] Knowledge of God
the Father and of Jesus Christ, imparted by the Holy Spirit, is said by
our Lord to be Life Eternal. "This is life eternal, to know thee the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."[237]

Standing at the end of the Creed, this article expresses the
consummation of the work accomplished for man by the Three Persons of
the Godhead. The Father created man and breathed into his nostrils the
breath of life, that he might glorify God and enjoy Him for ever; and
when, through the fall, man had forfeited the gift of life, God spared
not His own Son, that, through His dying, pardon and blessed life might
be brought within the reach of the fallen; the Son assumed human nature
and suffered and died, that He might deliver men from death, temporal
and eternal, and procure for them everlasting life; the Holy Ghost, the
Giver of life, sanctifies the believer and makes him meet for the
inheritance of the saints. All the means of grace were given for the
purpose of convincing and converting men, and of preparing them for
entrance into and enjoyment of the blessed life in eternity.

The _Everlasting Life_ of the Creed covers more than the immortality of
the soul. Even heathens grasped in some measure the fact that the spirit
of man survives separation from the body; but life for the body in
reunion with the soul is a doctrine of revelation. In the Pagan world
various conflicting beliefs were held as to the condition of men after
death. Some thought that existence terminated at death; others that men
then lost their personality and were absorbed into the deity; and others
that the spirit was released by death and then entered on a separate
existence, possessed of personality and capable of enjoyment; but of the
Christian doctrine of resurrection-life for soul and body in abiding
reunion they were altogether ignorant. Those consolations which
Christianity brings to the mourner were unknown. There is an interesting
letter extant which was written to Cicero, the Roman orator, by a friend
who sought to comfort him after the death of his daughter Julia, in
which the consolation tendered strikingly marks the distinction between
Pagan and Christian views regarding death. Cicero was reminded by his
friend that even solid and substantial cities, such as those whose
ruined remains were to be seen in Asia Minor, were doomed to decay and
destruction; and if so, it could not be thought that man's frail body
can escape a similar experience. This is poor comfort in comparison with
the hope of glory which sustains the Christian under trial. He knows not
only that his soul shall live for ever, but that the life of eternity is
one in which the body too, then incapable of pain, weariness, or death,
shall have part. "We know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle
were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands,
eternal in the heavens."[238]

Everlasting existence after resurrection will be the portion of the
righteous and the wicked. Attempts have been made to explain away
various emphatic Scripture statements regarding the doom of the ungodly,
with the view of lessening its terrors; but, if we are to accept the
plain meaning of these statements, there seems to be no reasonable
interpretation of them which gives sanction to the belief that this doom
can be escaped.

What is called the doctrine of Conditional Immortality finds not a few
advocates and adherents, who hold that existence in the future state is
exclusively for the faithful, and that the sentence to be executed upon
the wicked at death or at judgment is annihilation. A different belief,
termed "The Larger Hope," is maintained by others, who affirm that the
punishment to which those dying impenitent are to be subjected will in
time work reformation and cleansing, after which, restored to God's
favour, they will enter upon a life of happiness.

It is a strong argument against such doctrines that the same word which
our Lord employs to describe the permanent blessedness of the redeemed
is used by Him to denote the punishment of the wicked. The reward and
the punishment are both declared by Him to be everlasting or eternal.
The same Greek word is in the English New Testament sometimes rendered
eternal and sometimes everlasting. The portion of the righteous will be
life--life everlasting; that of the wicked is described as consisting,
not in annihilation or in terminable suffering, but in "everlasting
destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his

While this article may be regarded as bearing upon the doom of the
ungodly, it is rather to be viewed as affirming the eternal blessedness
of the risen saints. The everlasting life begins on earth, but is
perfected only in eternity. It is sometimes spoken of as a present
possession: "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me,
hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is
passed from death unto life."[240] Again it is spoken of as a reward in
futurity: "He shall receive an hundredfold now in this time ... and in
the world to come eternal life."[241] Our knowledge of what that life
will be is very limited. Human words cannot describe it; human beings in
this life cannot understand it. We know that it will arise from
knowledge of God. Men will be equal to the angels who see God. "Now we
see through a glass darkly,"[242] but "we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is."[243]

Statements regarding the happiness of the saints are in Scripture
expressed sometimes in negative and sometimes in positive terms. In the
new heavens and the new earth the redeemed "shall hunger no more,
neither thirst any more";[244] "There shall be no night there; and they
need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them
light."[245] Pain and sorrow and death can never touch them; they shall
be delivered from perplexing doubts, from all misery and trouble. Care
and anxiety shall be banished for ever, and God will wipe away all tears
from every eye.

There are also many positive statements regarding the future life. Not
only will there be the absence of all that is painful and productive of
sorrow; those for whom it is prepared shall enter into rest. They shall
possess abiding peace, and the joy of their Lord will become their own.
Their bodies shall be like Christ's own glorious body, which, when
transfigured on Tabor, shone as the sun, and was white as the light.
They shall be satisfied, when they awake, with the Divine likeness.[246]
"They shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars
for ever and ever."[247] They shall sit down with Christ upon His
throne, and shall be rulers over cities. "They are as the angels of God
in heaven."[248] In the many mansions of the Father's house there will
be a place for every saint. Each will be rewarded according to his
works. Some are to be raised to higher glory than others--some are to
have authority over ten cities, and some are to bear rule over five--but
all the saints will be happy in the eternal enjoyment of God's favour,
which is life; and of His loving kindness, which is better than life.

       *       *       *       *       *


The, following arrangement is from Professor Lumby's _History of the
Creeds_. It shows that the portions of the Apostolic Creed which do
not appear in the earlier forms are very few. Irenaeus omits the
conception by the Holy Ghost, while Tertullian inserts it. Neither Creed
contains the first part of the fifth article, and in both the ninth and
tenth are wanting. With these exceptions the substance of the Apostles'
Creed was in circulation as early as A.D. 180.

                            (A.D. 180).                 (A.D. 200).

1. I believe in God the     I believe in one God,       I believe in one God,
Father Almighty, Maker      the Father Almighty, who    the Creator of the
of heaven and earth:        made heaven and earth;      world, who produced all
                                                        out of nothing ...

2. And in Jesus Christ      And in one Christ Jesus,    And in the Word His Son
His only Son our Lord,      the Son of God [our         [Jesus Christ],

3. Who was conceived by     Who was made flesh [of      Who through the Spirit
the Holy Ghost, born of     the Virgin];                and Power of God the
the Virgin Mary,                                        Father descended into
                                                        the Virgin Mary, was
                                                        made flesh in her womb,
                                                        and born of her;

4. Suffered under           And in His suffering        Was fixed on the cross
Pontius Pilate, was         [under Pontius Pilate];     [under Pontius Pilate];
crucified, dead, and                                    was dead and buried;

5. He descended into        And in His rising from      Rose again the third
hell; the third day He      the dead;                   day;
rose again from the

6. He ascended into         And in His ascension in     Was taken into heaven,
heaven, and sitteth on      the flesh;                  and sat down at the
the right hand of God                                   right hand of God;
the Father Almighty;

7. From thence He shall     And in His coming from      He will come to judge
come to judge the quick     heaven ... that He may      the wicked to eternal
and the dead.               execute just judgment on    fire.

8. I believe in the Holy    And in the Holy Ghost.      And in the Holy Spirit
Ghost;                                                  sent by Christ.

9. The Holy Catholic
Church; the Communion of

10. The Forgiveness of

11. The Resurrection of     And that Christ shall       And that Christ will,
the body;                   come from heaven to         after the revival of
                            raise up all flesh ...      both body and soul with
12. And the                 and to adjudge the          the restoration of the
Life Everlasting.           impious and unjust ...      flesh, receive His holy
                            to eternal fire, and to     ones into the enjoyment
                            give to the just and        of life eternal and the
                            holy immortality and        promises of heaven.
                            eternal glory.

       *       *       *       *       *


Footnote 016 amended from "1 Peter iii. 1." to "1 Peter iii. 15."

Footnote 198 amended from "1 Rom v. 19" to "Rom v. 19"

Footnote 243 amended from "2 John iii. 2" to "1 John iii.2."

       *       *       *       *       *


[Footnote 001: John xi. 25, 26.]

[Footnote 002: Matt, xxviii. 20.]

[Footnote 003: 1 Cor. xv. 1-4.]

[Footnote 004: Rom. vi. 17.]

[Footnote 005: Gal. vi. 16.]

[Footnote 006: 1 Tim. vi. 20.]

[Footnote 007: 2 Tim. i. 13, 14.]

[Footnote 008: See Appendix]

[Footnote 009: Rom. x. 10.]

[Footnote 010: Rom. x. 17.]

[Footnote 011: Heb. xi. 3.]

[Footnote 012: _Table-Talk_, 1852, p. 144.]

[Footnote 013: 1 John v. 9.]

[Footnote 014: Heb. xi. 6.]

[Footnote 015: Heb. xi. 6.]

[Footnote 016: 1 Peter iii. 15.]

[Footnote 017: See Handbook of Christian Evidences, Principal Stewart,
chap. i.]

[Footnote 018: Deut. vi. 4.]

[Footnote 019: Gen. i. 26; iii. 22; xi. 7. Different views have been
taken of these passages. Some commentators think the plural forms
represent the plural of majesty. There is, however, no indication in the
Old Testament or in ancient monumental inscriptions that sovereigns had
adopted this style of speech. Nebuchadnezzar and Darius begin their
proclamations with the singular first personal pronoun "I"; not with the
plural "We" which modern kings assume. On the Moabite stone Mesha uses
"I," not "We," throughout the inscription in which he records his
achievements. Another view is that Moses, accustomed to hear of the
numerous gods of Egypt, used the plural inadvertently. This supposition
does not accord with any view of inspiration held by evangelical
churches. The interpretation which regards the passages as early
indications of the doctrine of the Trinity is simple and natural, and
accords with the principle of gradual revelation which is apparent in

[Footnote 020: Job xi. 7.]

[Footnote 021: Deut. xxix. 29.]

[Footnote 022: John x. 30.]

[Footnote 023: John xvii. 5.]

[Footnote 024: See Hodge's _Systematic Theology_, vol. i. p. 444.]

[Footnote 025: Psalm lxxvi. 10.]

[Footnote 026: Rom. viii. 28.]

[Footnote 027: Rom. i. 20.]

[Footnote 028: _Confessions_, Bk. x. chap. vi.]

[Footnote 029: Luke ii. 34.]

[Footnote 030: Acts viii.]

[Footnote 031: 2 Tim. ii. 17.]

[Footnote 032: 2 Tim. i. 15.]

[Footnote 033: See _Landmarks of Church History_, by Professor Cowan,
D.D., p. 16.]

[Footnote 034: Isaiah ix. 6.]

[Footnote 035: Matt. i. 21.]

[Footnote 036: Col. iv. 11.]

[Footnote 037: Matt. xxi. 11.]

[Footnote 038: Matt. i. 23.]

[Footnote 039: Acts iv. 12.]

[Footnote 040: Phil. ii. 9-11.]

[Footnote 041: John i. 41.]

[Footnote 042: John iv. 29.]

[Footnote 043: Matt. xvi. 16, 17.]

[Footnote 044: Acts xviii. 28.]

[Footnote 045: John ix. 22.]

[Footnote 046: Psalm xlv. 7; Heb. i. 9.]

[Footnote 047: John xx. 31.]

[Footnote 048: Psalm ii. 7.]

[Footnote 049: Isaiah ix. 6.]

[Footnote 050: John i. 1, 14 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 051: Heb. i. 1-3.]

[Footnote 052: John i. 49.]

[Footnote 053: John xi. 27.]

[Footnote 054: John viii. 58.]

[Footnote 055: Prov. viii. 22, 30.]

[Footnote 056: Matt. xxvi. 63; Mark xiv. 61.]

[Footnote 057: Matt. xxvi. 65, 66.]

[Footnote 058: Matt. xxviii. 6.]

[Footnote 059: John xx. 2.]

[Footnote 060: 1 Cor. xi. 23.]

[Footnote 061: 1 Cor. viii. 6.]

[Footnote 062: Matt. xxviii. 18.]

[Footnote 063: Matt. xi. 27.]

[Footnote 064: John iii. 35.]

[Footnote 065: Phil. ii. 9-11.]

[Footnote 066: Acts x. 36.]

[Footnote 067: Rev. xvii. 14.]

[Footnote 068: Isaiah xxvi. 13.]

[Footnote 069: Ques. 22.]

[Footnote 070: Mark i. 1.]

[Footnote 071: Mark i. 11.]

[Footnote 072: John i. 1-3.]

[Footnote 073: Isaiah vii. 14.]

[Footnote 074: See _The Origin and Connection of the Gospels of Matthew,
Mark, and Luke_, and _The Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul_, by Mr.
Smith of Jordanhill.]

[Footnote 075: Luke i. 29, ii. 19, 51.]

[Footnote 076: Vol. i. p. 376.]

[Footnote 077: John xix. 26, 27]

[Footnote 078: John v. 31]

[Footnote 079: Col. iii. 11.]

[Footnote 080: Acts x. 35.]

[Footnote 081: 1 Cor. i. 23.]

[Footnote 082: Pearson _On the Creed_, vol. i. p. 337.]

[Footnote 083: 1 Peter iii. 18.]

[Footnote 084: Isaiah liii. 5. In this chapter, which all the earlier
Jewish authorities understood to refer to Messiah, there are no fewer
than eleven expressions which clearly describe the vicarious character
of these sufferings. See _Speaker's Commentary, in loco_.]

[Footnote 085: Luke xii. 50.]

[Footnote 086: John xii. 33.]

[Footnote 087: Matt. xx. 28; xvii. 22; xxvi. 2; John x. 11.]

[Footnote 088: John x. 17.]

[Footnote 089: Isaiah liii. 7.]

[Footnote 090: Matt. xxii. 29.]

[Footnote 091: Luke xxiv. 25, 26.]

[Footnote 092: Matt. ii. 13-15.]

[Footnote 093: John i. 11; John vii. 5; Heb. xii. 3.]

[Footnote 094: Matt. xxvi. 39.]

[Footnote 095: Heb. ii. 10.]

[Footnote 096: Heb. iv. 15.]

[Footnote 097: Gal. iii. 13.]

[Footnote 098: Heb. ix. 22.]

[Footnote 099: 1 Cor. xv. 3.]

[Footnote 100: Rev. v. 6.]

[Footnote 101: Matt. xxvi. 26, 28.]

[Footnote 102: Rom. v. 10.]

[Footnote 103: Col. i. 14.]

[Footnote 104: John x. 17, 18.]

[Footnote 105: 1 Peter ii. 24.]

[Footnote 106: Rom. v. 9.]

[Footnote 107: Rom. iii. 25, 26.]

[Footnote 108: Rom. v. 18, 19.]

[Footnote 109: Rev. i. 18.]

[Footnote 110: Isaiah liii. 8, 9.]

[Footnote 111: Deut. xxi. 22, 23.]

[Footnote 112: John xix. 31.]

[Footnote 113: Mark xv. 46.]

[Footnote 114: Luke xxiii. 53 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 115: Matt. xxvii. 63, 64.]

[Footnote 116: Matt. xxvii. 65, 66.]

[Footnote 117: Luke xvi. 19-26.]

[Footnote 118: Mark xv. 37.]

[Footnote 119: Luke xxiii. 46.]

[Footnote 120: Ques. 50.]

[Footnote 121: Heb ii. 17.]

[Footnote 122: John iii. 13.]

[Footnote 123: Heb. ix. 27.]

[Footnote 124: S.C. Ques. 37.]

[Footnote 125: 1 Peter ii. 24.]

[Footnote 126: Heb. x. 14, 26, 27.]

[Footnote 127: John i.; 1 Tim. iii.]

[Footnote 128: See Principal Stewart's _Handbook of Christian
Evidences_, chap. vi.]

[Footnote 129: Jesus appears to have shown Himself during the forty days
after His Resurrection at least ten times, viz.--

1. To Mary Magdalene, Mark xvi. 9; John xx. 11-18.

2. To two disciples, Mark xvi. 12; Luke xxiv. 13-32.

3. To Peter on same day, Luke xxiv. 34; Cor. xv. 5.

4. To ten Apostles, Thomas only being absent, John xx. 19-25.

5. To all the Apostles, Mark xvi. 14; John xx. 26-29; 1 Cor. xv. 7.

6. To the women at the sepulchre, Matt, xxviii. 9, 10.

7. To the Apostles, and at this time probably to five hundred others, on
a mountain in Galilee, Matt, xxviii. 16-20; 1 Cor. xv. 6.

8. To seven disciples at Tiberias, John xxi. 1-24.

9. To James, 1 Cor. xv. 7.

10. To the Apostles at His Ascension, Mark xvi. 15-18: Luke xxiv. 44-50;
Acts i. 4-8; 1 Cor. xv. 7.

These seem to be all the appearances recorded, but there were probably
many others, Acts i. 3. After His Ascension He appeared to Saul of
Tarsus, Acts ix. 3-18; 1 Cor. xv. 8. He was seen by Stephen also, Acts
vii. 55, 56.]

[Footnote 130: Acts ii. 25-32.]

[Footnote 131: John ii. 19.]

[Footnote 132: John xvi. 16.]

[Footnote 133: For proof of this, see Mark xvi. 1; Luke xxiii. 56 and
xxiv. 1; Luke xxiv. 11; John xx. 9; John xx. 11-18; Luke xxiv. 13-32;
Mark xvi. 13; Luke xxiv. 37, 41; John xx. 25; Mark xvi. 14; Matt.
xxviii. 17.]

[Footnote 134: 1 Cor. xv. 14.]

[Footnote 135: 1 Peter i. 3.]

[Footnote 136: Rom. i. 4.]

[Footnote 137: Acts i. 22.]

[Footnote 138: Rom. x. 9.]

[Footnote 139: Acts x. 40, 41.]

[Footnote 140: Acts i. 8.]

[Footnote 141: Matt, xxviii. 20.]

[Footnote 142: Luke xxiv. 50, 51.]

[Footnote 143: Heb. viii. 4.]

[Footnote 144: Heb. ix. 24.]

[Footnote 145: Acts i. 9.]

[Footnote 146: 1 Kings ii. 19; Psalm xvi. 11; Heb. ix. 24.]

[Footnote 147: Ephes. iv. 11, 12.]

[Footnote 148: 2 Cor. v. 20.]

[Footnote 149: Matt. iii. 16; Acts x. 38.]

[Footnote 150: Ephes. i. 22.]

[Footnote 151: Heb. i. 13.]

[Footnote 152: Acts i. 11.]

[Footnote 153: John xiv. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 154: Matt. xvi. 27.]

[Footnote 155: Rev. i. 7.]

[Footnote 156: Matt. xxiv. 36.]

[Footnote 157: Titus ii. 13.]

[Footnote 158: 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17.]

[Footnote 159: 1 Cor. xv. 51, 52.]

[Footnote 160: Acts x. 42.]

[Footnote 161: 2 Tim. iv. 1.]

[Footnote 162: John v. 22.]

[Footnote 163: Matt. xii. 35]

[Footnote 164: Matt. x. 26.]

[Footnote 165: Acts xix. 2.]

[Footnote 166: John vii. 39.]

[Footnote 167: Acts xiii. 2.]

[Footnote 168: Acts v. 4.]

[Footnote 169: Rom viii. 11.]

[Footnote 170: 1 Cor. ii. 10.]

[Footnote 171: Ps. cxxxix. 7.]

[Footnote 172: 2 Peter 1, 21.]

[Footnote 173: 2 Tim iii. 16.]

[Footnote 174: Luke i. 35.]

[Footnote 175: John xvi. 15.]

[Footnote 176: John xiv. 17.]

[Footnote 177: 1 Cor. vi. 19.]

[Footnote 178: John xiv. 23.]

[Footnote 179: Ephes. ii. 22.]

[Footnote 180: Rom. viii. 9.]

[Footnote 181: John xxi. 7.]

[Footnote 182: Ephes. i. 14.]

[Footnote 183: Acts v. 29.]

[Footnote 184: 2 Cor. vi. 16; John xvi. 13.]

[Footnote 185: See _The New Testament and its Writers_, by Dr. M'Clymont
(Guild Library), p 123, note 1.]

[Footnote 186: Eccles. vii. 20.]

[Footnote 187: Ephes. v. 25-27.]

[Footnote 188: Acts x. 34, 35 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 189: Ephes. ii. 20.]

[Footnote 190: Ephes. iv. 4-6.]

[Footnote 191: 1. Cor. i. 2 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 192: _Epistle to Smyrna_, c. 8.]

[Footnote 193: Acts ix. 32.]

[Footnote 194: 2 Cor. i. 1.]

[Footnote 195: Heb. xii. 23.]

[Footnote 196: Heb. xi. 4.]

[Footnote 197: Rev. vi. 10.]

[Footnote 198: Rom. v. 19]

[Footnote 199: 1 John i. 8.]

[Footnote 200: Ques. 14.]

[Footnote 201: Chap. ix.]

[Footnote 202: Luke xxiv. 47.]

[Footnote 203: Matt. iv. 17.]

[Footnote 204: Acts ii. 38.]

[Footnote 205: Acts v. 31.]

[Footnote 206: 2 Cor. vii. 10.]

[Footnote 207: 1 John i. 8.]

[Footnote 208: Heb. xi. 6.]

[Footnote 209: Rom. v. 1.]

[Footnote 210: James i. 6, 7 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 211: Psalm li. 10.]

[Footnote 212: Titus ii. 12.]

[Footnote 213: Job xix. 25.]

[Footnote 214: Isaiah xxvi. 19.]

[Footnote 215: Dan. xii. 2.]

[Footnote 216: 2 Maccabees, chap. vii.]

[Footnote 217: John xi. 24.]

[Footnote 218: John v. 28, 29.]

[Footnote 219: Matt. xxii. 29.]

[Footnote 220: Rev. xx. 12, 13.]

[Footnote 221: 1 Thess. iv. 15, 17 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 222: 2 Cor. v. 10.]

[Footnote 223: 1 Cor. vi. 14.]

[Footnote 224: John v. 21.]

[Footnote 225: Rom. viii. 11.]

[Footnote 226: 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22.]

[Footnote 227: Rom. vi. 5.]

[Footnote 228: Ephes. v. 23.]

[Footnote 229: Phil. iii. 20, 21 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 230: 1 Thess. v. 23.]

[Footnote 231: Rev. xxii. 11.]

[Footnote 232: Gal. vi. 7.]

[Footnote 233: Rom. vi. 23.]

[Footnote 234: Wisdom, chap. iii. 1-9 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 235: Chap. v. 15, 16 (R.V.).]

[Footnote 236: Col. iii. 4.]

[Footnote 237: John xvii. 3.]

[Footnote 238: 2 Cor. v. 1.]

[Footnote 239: 2 Thess. i. 9.]

[Footnote 240: John v. 24.]

[Footnote 241: Mark x. 30.]

[Footnote 242: 1 Cor. xiii. 12.]

[Footnote 243: 1 John iii. 2.]

[Footnote 244: Rev. vii. 16.]

[Footnote 245: Rev. xxii. 5.]

[Footnote 246: Psalm xvii. 15.]

[Footnote 247: Dan. xii. 3.]

[Footnote 248: Matt. xxii. 30.]

       *       *       *       *       *


1. _The History of the Apostles' Creed_. Anon. 1719.

2. _An Exposition of the Creed_. By John Pearson, D.D., Bishop of
Chester. 1820.

3. _An Exposition of the Creed_. By Robert Leighton, Archbishop of
Glasgow. 1825.

4. _The Creeds of the Church in their Relation to the Word of God_.
Hulsean Lecture, 1857. By Charles Anthony Swainson.

5. _Lectures in Divinity_. By George Hill, D.D. Edinburgh, 1837. 4th

6. _The Fatherhood of God_. By Thomas J. Crawford, D.D., Professor of
Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. 1867.

7. _Theism_, being the Baird Lecture for 1876. By Robert Flint, D.D.,
Professor of Divinity in the University of Edinburgh. 1877.

8. _Anti-Theistic Theories_, being the Baird Lecture for 1877. By Robert
Flint, D.D. 1879.

9. _The Historic Faith_. By B.F. Westcott, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of
Durham. 1883.

10. _The Creeds of Christendom_. By Philip Schaff, D.D., 1877.

11. _The History of the Creeds_. By J. Rawson Lumby, D.D. 1887.

12. _An Exposition of the Apostles' Creed_. By J.E. Yonge, M.A. 1888.

13. _The Foundations of the Creed_. By Harvey Goodwin, D.D., D.C.L.,
Bishop of Carlisle. 1889.

14. _Outlines of Christian Doctrine_. By the Rev. H.C.G. Moule, M.A.

15. _The Faith of the Gospel_. By Arthur James Mason, B.D. 1889.

16. _Rudiments of Theology_. By John Pilkington Norris, D.D.

17. _The Creed in Scotland_. By James Rankin, D.D. 1890.

18. _The Apostles' Creed_. Sermons by Robert Eyton. 1890.

19. _Christian Theism_. By C.A. Row, M.A. 1890.

20. _Christianity in Relation to Science and Morals_. By Malcolm
MacColl, M.A. 1891.

21. _Primary Convictions_. By William Alexander, D.C.L., Bishop of
Derry. 1893.

22. _The Apostles' Creed, its Relation to Primitive Christianity_. By
H.B. Swete, D.D. 1894.

23. _The Nicene Creed_. By H.M. Thomson, M.A. 1894.

24. _Dissertations on Subjects connected with the Incarnation_. By
Charles Gore, M.A. 1895.

25. _Defence of the Christian Faith_. By Professor F. Godet. 1895.


       *       *       *       *       *

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Exposition of the Apostles Creed" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.