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It was the watchword of the Christian soldier, carefully and jealously guarded by him, as that by which he himself could be distinguished from heretics, and that for which he could challenge others, of whose orthodoxy he might be in doubt.

Another term frequently found in connection with the creed is regula fidei. This is, however, not confined to the creed. It signifies the credenda or main doctrines of the Church rather than the precise form of words in which those doctrines were summed up. Thus we find that the same writer will give us the regula fidei in slightly different terms in different parts of his work; and though Augustine in his Sermo ad Catechumenos, quoted in a note on a previous page, identifies the regula with the Symbolum, yet the former sometimes occurs in such a connection as to make it clear that its meaning is wider than that of the latter, and that it is not quite correct to regard the two as strictly convertible terms.

II. The Apostles' Creed. The Apostles' Creed, in the exact form in which it is


1 Rufinus (2.c.) gives this as one of the reasons for which the Creed was termed Symbolum. “Indicium autem vel signum idcirco dicitur quia in illo tempore sicut et Paulus Apostolus dicit, et in Actibus Apostolorum refertur, multi ex circumeuntibus Judæis simulabant se esse Apostolos Christi, et lucri alicujus vel ventris gratia ad prædicandum proficiscebantur, nominantes quidem Christum sed non integris traditionum lineis nunciantes. Idcirco, istud indicium posuere, per quod agnosceretur is qui Christum vero secundum Apostolicas regulas prædicaret. Denique et in bellis civilibus hoc observari ferunt : quoniam et armorum habitus par, et sonus vocis idem, et mos unus est, atque eadem instituta bellandi, ne qua doli subreptio fiat, symbola distincta unusquisque dux suis militibus tradit quæ Latine signa vel indicia nuncupantur ; ut si forte occurrerit quis de quo dubitetur, interrogatus symbolum, prodat si sit hostis vel socius. Idcirco denique hæc non scribi chartulis aut membranis, sed retineri credentium cordibus tradiderunt, ut certum esset, hæc neminem ex lectione, quæ interdum pervenire etiam ad infideles solet, sed ex Apos. tolorum traditione didicisse."

* See p. 300. note 3.

familiar to us, is in all probability the latest of the three creeds, although in general expression it is the oldest, and the freest from terms inserted for the express purpose of emphasising and guarding the true faith against heresies.

It is strictly a Western creed, being unknown in the East, and the Greek copies of its received text which exist in MSS. are of late date, and bear evident marks of being translations from the Latin.2 This received text represents the ultimate form taken by the Baptismal Creed of the Western Church, and is developed from the older creed of the Roman Church.

This Roman Creed we meet with for the first time in the year 341, when it is given in a letter written by Marcellus of Ancyra to Julius, Bishop of Rome. Marcellus was accused, not without good reason, of something very like Sabellianism, and wrote to Julius to defend himself. The letter, which is preserved by Epiphanius, is in Greek, but there can be no doubt that the creed which Marcellus gives as the expression of his own belief is really the creed of the Church of Rome. With the exception of two phrases, it is identical with the Roman Creed described in the work of Rufinus some fifty years later.

Marcellus omits the word “Father” in the first article, and adds "the life everlasting” at the close. Otherwise the two creeds are identical. By the help, then, of these two documents, the letter of Marcellus, and the exposition of the creed by Rufinus, we

we can recover the text of the old Roman Creed as it stood

* At the Council of Florence (1439) the Greeks expressly denied all knowledge of it, ημείς ούκ έχομεν ούτε είδομεν το σύμβολο των STOOTÓ.wr. See Swainson, Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, p. 153.

• The Greek copy in the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, referred to by Pearson, is now assigned to the fifteenth century.

in the fourth century. follows:

It may be reconstructed as

"I believe in God (the Father) Almighty,

And in Christ Jesus, His only Son, our Lord,
Who was born of the Holy Ghost from the Virgin Mary,
Was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried,
The third day He rose again from the dead,
He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of the Father,
Thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead,
And in the Holy Ghost, the holy Church, the forgiveness of sins,
The resurrection of the flesh.” 1

Three questions present themselves for consideration: (1) Can this creed be traced to an earlier date than the

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The Greek as given by Marcellus (Epiphanius, Hær. lxxii.) is the following:-πιστεύω εις θεόν παντοκράτορα και είς χριστον Ιησούν τον υιόν αυτού τον μονογενή, τον κύριον ημών, τον γεννηθέντα εκ πνεύματος αγίου και Μαρίας της παρθένου, τον επί Ποντίου Πιλάτου σταυρωθέντα και ταφέντα και τη τρίτη ημέρα αναστάντα εκ των νεκρών, αναβάντα εις τους ουρανούς και καθήμενον εν δεξιά του πατρός, όθεν έρχεται κρίνειν ζώντας και νεκρούς και εις το άγιον πνεύμα, αγίαν εκκλησίαν, άφεσιν αμαρτιών, σαρκός ανάστασιν, ζωήν αιώνιον. . The Latin of Rufinus runs thus: Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem. Et in Christum Jesum, unicum Filium ejus, Dominum nostrum. Qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine, crucifixus sub Pontio Pilato et sepultus. Tertio die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit in coelos, sedet ad dexteram Patris ; inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. Et in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam ecclesiam, remis: sionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem." So Hahn, p. 24. But the text of Rufinus has the ablative throughout, in Deo Patre, etc. With regard to the two variations noticed above in the text, the other authorities for this old Roman form of the creed agree with Rufinus as against Marcellus. Though the latter omits Patrem, as does Tertullian in giving the rule of faith, yet the word is found in Novatian's rule of faith, as also in Cyprian (Ep. lxix.), as well as in three MSS., two of which give the same creed as formerly used in England (Brit. Museum, Royal, 2 A. xx ; Galba, A. xviii. (where the creed is given in Greek]), and one of Sardinian origin (Bodleian, Codex Laud. Gr. 35). These three MSS. also agree with Rufinus in omitting vitam æternam, and moreover S. Jerome expressly says that the creed ends with “the resurrection of the flesh."- Conti. Joannem Hieros ad. Pammach. § 28. The African Creed, however, as early as the days of S. Cyprian, had the clause “vitam æternam per sanctam ecclesiam." But there can be no doubt that it has rightly no place in the old Roman form.

fourth century? (2) When and where were the addi- . tions made which transformed it into its present form? (3) How came the fuller form to be substituted for the old Roman text ?

1. With regard to the first of these, it is now generally admitted that the creed must have taken shape not later than the middle of the second century. The ground for believing this is the fact that in writers of other Western churches, from the latter part of the second century onwards, we can trace allusions and references to creeds which are very similar to, and apparently derived from, the Roman Creed. “ All the Western provincial creeds," says Harnack, “are evidently offshoots of the Roman,” and thus, to quote the same writer, "we may regard it as an assured result of research that the old Roman Creed came into existence about, or shortly before, the middle of the second century.” 1

2. In considering the second question just raised, we note that the words and phrases wanting in the old Roman Creed, which are found in the current text of it, are these :

1. Maker of heaven and earth
2. Who was conceived.
3. Suffered.
4. Dead.
6. Descended into hell.
6. God . . . Almighty, in the article "Sitteth at the right hand."
7. Catholio.
8. The Communion of Saints.
9. The life everlasting.

Of these, one or two were already in use elsewhere, although not in Rome, before the close of the fourth century. We have already seen that “descended into

* Das apostolische Glaubensbekenntniss, translated in the Ninetoonth Century, July 1893, p. 162

hell” was found at Aquileia in the time of Rufinus, though not at Rome, and that “the life everlasting” was adopted in very early days in the African Church. It would also seem possible that “suffered” had found its way into the African Creed before the days of Augustine. But though one or two articles thus appear here and there at an earlier date, there can be no doubt that the bulk of the additions first secured a fixed position in the creed in Gaul during the fifth century, and that the Apostles' Creed, as we know it, is a Gallican recension of the old Roman Creed. For the creed of the Gallican Church, during the fifth and early part of the sixth century, we have three principal authorities, Faustus of Riez (circa 480), Cæsarius of Arles (470-542), and his friend and contemporary Cyprian, Bishop of Toulon.* From these three writers we can see that by the close of the fifth century the Gallican Church had received the words “ who was conceived," “suffered," "catholic," "the communion of saints," and "the life everlasting." It is possible that “descended into hell,” had already found its way from the Aquileian into the Gallican Creed.5 There is some reason also

· Passus is not given in the creed commented on in De fide et Symbolo, De Genesi ad literam, opus imperf., or the Enchiridion. It appears, however, to have found a place in the creeds of the Sermo de Symbolo ad Catech., and of Sermon ccxii. ; cf. Heurtley, Harmonia Symbolica, p. 40.

* See Hahn, p. 70, and cf. Fausti Reiensis Opera (Ed. Engebrecht), Ep. 7, and De Spiritu Sancto, 1, 2.

• That is, if the sermon in the Appendix to vol. v. of Augustine (Serm. ccxliv.) is rightly assigned to him, as it is by several authorities after the Benedictines.

• In his letter to Bishop Maximus, of Geneva, first printed by Gund. lach in the Monumenta Germaniæ Hist. Epistolæ ævi Merovingici.

• It is found in the sermon assigned to Cæsarius, but is not in the creed given by Cyprian of Toulon. There may be a possible reference to the creed in Faustus, Serm. ii., “Mortem suscepit, pretioso nos sanguine liberavit, ad inferna descendit."

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