John Baptist Henry

The Book, The Blood and The Blessed Hope!


Monday, October 06, 2014

Antichrist

TREATISE ON ANTICHRIST
By the ancient Waldenses and Albigenses of Southern France
12th Century

Antichrist is a falsehood, worthy of eternal damnation, covered with an outward appearance of the truth, and the righteousness of Christ and his spouse, but opposite to the way of truth, righteousness, faith, hope and charity, as likewise to the moral life; and also the ministerial verity of the church, administered by the false apostles, and obstinately defended by both powers, ecclesiastical and secular. Or antichrist is a delusion, which hides the truths necessary to salvation, both in things substantial and ministerial. Or it is a fraudulent contradiction to Christ and his spouse, and every faithful member thereof. It is not any special person ordained in any degree, or office, or ministry; but it is that falsehood itself, which opposeth itself against the truth, which covereth and adorneth itself with a pretence of beauty and piety, not suitable to the church of Christ, as by the names, and offices, and scriptures and, and divers other things, may appear. That iniquity which is after this manner, with all the ministers thereof, great and small, with all those that follow them with a wicked heart, and hoodwinked eyes; this congregation I say, thus taken all together, is called antichrist, or Babylon, or the fourth beast, or the whore, or the man of sin, or son of perdition.

His ministers are called false prophets, lying teachers, the ministers of darkness, the spirit of error, the apocalyptic whore, the mother of fornication, clouds without water, trees without leaves, dead, and twice rooted up, waves of a troublesome sea, wandering stars, Balaamites and Egyptians.

He is called antichrist, because being covered and adorned under the colour of Christ, and of the Church, and the faithful members thereof, he oppugneth (contradicts) the salvation purchased by Christ,and truly administered in the church of Christ, whereof the faithful are partakers by faith, hope and charity. Thus he contradicteth the truth by the wisdom of the world, by false religion, by counterfeited holiness, by ecclesiastical power, secular tyranny, riches, honours, dignities and the delights and delicacies.

And therefore let every one take notice thereof, that antichrist could not come in any wise, but by all these things above mentioned that must needs meet together, to make a complete hypocrisy and falsehood; that is to say, the worldly wise, the religious orders, pharisees, ministers, doctors, the secular power, with the people of the world joined together. And thus all of them together make up the man of sin and error complete.

For notwithstanding antichrist was long since conceived in the apostles' times, yet he was then in his infancy, and wanted members both inward and outward. And therefore he was the more easily known and destroyed, and excommunicated, as being but rude and raw, and as yet wanting utterance. For he was then destitute of rational, definitive, decretive, or determinative wisdom; he wanted as yet those hypocritical ministers, and human ordinances, and the outward show of those religious orders. And therefore, though he were fallen away into that error and sin, yet he had then that with which to cover his villainy, or the shame of his errors, or of that sin, yet having none of those riches nor endowments, whereby to allure to himself any minister for his service to be enabled to multiply, preserve, or defend his adherents; for he wanted the secular strength and power, and could not force, nor compel any from the truth unto falsehood. And because he wanted many things yet, therefore he could not defile nor scandalize any by his deceits; and thus being so weak and tender, he could obtain no place in the church.

But growing up in his members, that is to say, in his blind and dissembling members, and in worldly subjects, he at length became a complete man, grew up to his full age, to wit, then when the lovers of the world, both in church and state, blind in faith, did multiply in the church, and get all the power into their hands. And so it came to pass, that as evil as they were, they would be sought unto, and honored in spiritual matters,covering their authority, malice and sins; for which end they made use of the worldly wise, and of their pharisees, in manner aforesaid.

For it is a great wickedness to cover and colour iniquity worthy of excommunication, and go about to establish one's self by such means, as cannot be attributed to men, but belongs to God alone, and to Jesus Christ as mediator. And for men to deprive God of such and such things, by fraud and usurpation, and to arrogate the same unto themselves, and their works, appears to be the greatest felony; as when one doth attribute to himself the power of regeneration, of pardoning sins, of dispensing the gifts of the Holy Ghost, and to represent Christ (as 'Vicar'), and such like matters. And in all these things, to cover themselves with the cloak of authority, and the word, thereby deceiving silly people, who follow the world in such things that are of the world, separating themselves from God and the true faith, and from the reformation of the Holy Spirit, withdrawing themselves from true repentance, pious practice, and perseverance in goodness, and turning their backs upon charity, patience, poverty, and humility; and that which is worst of all, they forsake the true hope, and rely on all evil, and on the vain hope of the world, serving all those ceremonies instrumental hereunto, and deceitfully causing the people to commit idolatry with all the idols of the world, under the name of saints and relics and their worship. The people perniciously err from the way of truth, being persuaded they serve God, and do well.

Stirred up to hate and to be enraged against those that love the truth, even to murder so many of them; so that according to the apostle, we may truly say, this is that man of sin complete, that lifts up himself against all that is called God, or worshipped, and that setteth himself in opposition against all truth, sitting down in the temple of God; that is his church, and showing forth himself as if he were God, being come with all manner of deceivableness for those that perish. And since he is truly come, he must no longer be looked for, for he is grown old already by God's permission.

Nay, he begins even to decay, and his power and authority is abated; for the Lord doth already kill the wicked one, by the spirit of his mouth; by divers persons of good dispositions, sending abroad a power contrary to (antichrist), and those that love him, and which disturbeth his place and his possessions, and puts division into that city of Babylon, wherein the whole generation of iniquity doth prevail and reign.

The first work of antichrist is to take away the truth, and to change it into falsehood, error, and heresy.

The second work of antichrist is to cover falsehood over with the semblance of truth, and to assert and maintain lies by the name of faith and graces, and to dispense falsehood intermingled with spiritual things unto the people under his subjection, either by the means of his ministers, or by the ministry, or any other ways relating to the church.

Now it is certain these two ways of proceeding do contain so perfect and so complete a wickedness, the likes no tyrant and no power in the world were ever able to compass (attain to) since the creation, until the time of antichrist. And Christ had never any enemy like this, so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, and falsehood into truth, and who in like manner did pervert the professors of the one or the other, viz. of truth and of falsehood. For holy mother the church, with her true children, is altogether trodden under foot, especially in the truth, and in what concerneth the true worship, in the truthful exercise of the ministry, and the children who partake thereof; causing her to weep bitterly, in the language and complaint of Jeremiah, saying, Ah! How desolate art thou, O city of the heathen people, and uncircumcised! She is become a widow. Being destitute of the truth of her bridegroom; lady of people by reason of their subjection to errors and to sin; princess of provinces by partaking with the world and the things that are in the world.

Weep and look but abroad a little, and thou shalt find those things now accomplished at this time; for the holy church is accounted a synagogue of miscreants (infidels or heretics), and the congregation of the wicked is esteemed the mother of them that rightly believe in the word. Falsehood is preached up for truth, iniquity for righteousness; injustice passeth for justice, error for faith, sin for virtue, and lies for verity.

THE WORKS OF ANTICHRIST:

The first work of antichrist is that it perverts the service of Latreia; that is, the worship properly due to God alone, by giving it to antichrist himself, his works, and to the poor creature, reasonable and unreasonable, sensible and senseless. To the reasonable, man, male or female, the deceased saints. To the senseless, images, carcasses and relics. The works of antichrist are the sacraments, especially the sacrament of the eucharist, which he adoreth as God, and as Jesus Christ, together with the things blessed and consecrated by him, prohibiting the worship of God alone.

The second work of antichrist is that he robs and bereaves Christ of his merits, together with all the sufficiency of grace, of justification, of regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, confirmation, and spiritual nourishment; and imputes and attributes the same to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own works; unto saints, and their intercession, and unto the fire of purgatory. He separates the people from Christ, leading them away to those things aforesaid, that they may not seek those of Christ, by Christ, but only in the works of their hands, not by a living faith in God, nor in Jesus Christ, nor in the Holy Spirit, but by the will, pleasure and works of antichrist, according to he preacheth, all salvation consists in his works.

The third work of antichrist consists in this: attributing regeneration of the Holy Spirit unto the dead outward work, baptizing children in that faith, and teaching that baptism, regeneration must occur. He confers and bestows orders and other sacraments. His Christianity is grounded on such, and is against the Holy Spirit.

The fourth work of antichrist is that he hath constituted and placed all religion and holiness in going to the mass, and hath patched together all manner of ceremonies, some Jewish, some heathenish, and some Christian. By leading the congregations of people to hear this, he deprives them of the ordinances and spiritual, seducing them from the true religion and from the commandments of God. He withdraws them from the works of compassion by his offerings; and by such a mass he has established the people in vain hopes.

The fifth work of antichrist is that he doth all his works so as to be seen, that he may glut himself with his insatiable avarice (covetousness), that he may set all things to sale, and do nothing without simony (selling pardons, offices, etc).

The sixth work of antichrist is that he allows of manifest sins, without any ecclesiastical censure, and doth not excommunicate the impenitent.

The seventh work of antichrist is that he doth not govern nor maintain his unity by the Holy Spirit, but by secular power, and maketh use thereof to effect spiritual matters.

The eighth work of antichrist is that he hates and persecutes and searches after and despoils (robs) and destroys the members of Christ.

CONCEALED WORKS AGAINST THE TRUTH:

These things are, in a manner, the principal works which he commits against the truth, they being otherwise numberless, and past writing down. It sufficeth for the present to have observed the most general, and those whereby this iniquity lies most covered and concealed.

First and chiefly, he makes use of an outward confession of the faith; and it is that whereof the apostle speaketh, "For they confess in words that they have known God,but by their deeds they deny him." (1 John 2:4)

Secondly, he covers his iniquity by the length or succession of time, and allegeth that he is maintained by certain wise and learned men, and by religious orders of certain votaries of single life (vows of celibacy), men and women, virgins and widows; and besides, by numberless people, of whom it is said in the Revelation that "Power is given him over every tribe, language, and nation, and all that dwell on the earth shall worship him." (Revelation 13:7-8)

In the third place, he covers his iniquity by the spiritual authority of the apostles; against which the apostle speaketh expressly, "We are able to do nothing against the truth, and there is no power given us for destruction." (2 Corinthians 13:8-10)

Fourthly, by many miracles here and there, according to that of the apostle, "Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, by all manner of miracles, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

Fifthly, by an outward holiness, by prayers, fastings, watchings, and alms-deeds; against which the apostle testifies, saying, "Having a show of godliness, but having denied the power thereof." (2 Timothy 3:5)

Sixthly, he covers his iniquity by certain sayings of Christ, and by the writings of the ancients, and by councils. These they observe only so far as they do not destroy and overthrow their wicked life and pleasures.

Seventhly, by the administration of the sacraments in which they lay open the universality of their errors.

Eighthly, by correction or discipline and mere verbal preachings against vices; for they say and do not. (Matthew 23:3)

Ninthly, by the virtuous lives of some, who seemingly live so, but especially of such as really live so among them. For the elect of God, which desire and do that which is good, are detained there, as in Babylon; and are like unto gold, wherewith the wicked antichrist doth cover his vanity, not suffering them to serve God alone, nor to put all their hope in Christ alone, nor to embrace the true religion. These things, and many others, are, as it were, a cloak and garment wherewith antichrist doth cover his lying wickedness, that he may not be rejected as a pagan, or infidel, and under which he can go on to act his villainies boldly, and likethe whore. the whore of Babylon.

SEPARATION FROM ANTICHRIST:

Now it is evident, as well in the Old, as in the New Testament, that a Christian stands bound, by express command given him, toseparate himself from antichrist.

For the Lord saith, Isaiah 52:11-12, "Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing,go ye out of the midst of her, be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord.For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight," etc. '

And Jeremiah 1:8, "Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks. For lo, I will raise and cause to come up against Babylon an assembly of great nations from the north country, and they shall set themselves in array against her, from thence she shall be taken."

In the 16th chapter of Numbers, verse 21, "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment."

And again verse 6, "Depart, I pray you, from the tabernacle from the tabernacle of the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins."

In Leviticus 20:24, 25, 27, "I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make yourselves abominable by beast,or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean."

Again, in Exodus, chapter 34:12, "Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land wither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee."

And a little further, verse 15, "Make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land, lest they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice. Nor shalt thou take thee a wife from among their daughters, lest they having played the harlot;" That is to say, committed idolatry.

Leviticus 15:31, "And therefore ye shall teach your children and bid them beware of their uncleanness, and that they may not die in them, having polluted my sanctuary."

Ezekiel 11:21, "But the heart that walks on offending and in its offences, I will render their way upon their head, saith the Lord."

Deuteronomy 20, "When thou shalt enter into the land, which the Lord thy God shall give thee, take heed thou do not according to the abominations of those people; forthe Lord abhorreth all those things: and by reason of such sins, he will blot them out. When thou shalt enter their land, thou shalt be clean, and without spot with thy God. Those people whose land thou goest to possess, hearken to the soothsayers and diviners; but thy God hath disposed otherwise in thy behalf."

Now it is manifest in the New Testament, John 12, that the Lord is come and hath suffered death, that he might gather together the children of God; and by reason of this truth of unity and separation from others, it is that he saith in St. Matthew 10:35-36, "For I am come to separate a man from his father, and set the daughter against the mother, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-in-law; and they of a man's household shall be his enemies."

And he hath commanded this separation, saying, "Whosoever doth not forsake his father and his mother," etc.

And again, "Beware of false prophets which come unto you in sheep's clothing."

Again, "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees."

"Take heed lest any seduce you; for many shall come in my name, and seduce many. And then if any tell you, behold, Christ is here or there, believe them not, and walk not after them."

And in the Revelation, he warneth by his own voice, and chargeth his to go out of Babylon, saying, "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, O my people, come forth out of her, and be not partakers of her sins, that ye receive none of the plagues: for her sins are come up into heaven, and the Lord remembereth her iniquity." (Revelation 18:4)

The apostle saith the same, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple ofthe living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Again, Ephesians 5:7-8, "Do not partake with them, for ye were in the way of darkness, but now ye are in the light of the Lord."

Again, 1 Corinthians 10:20-21, "I would not have you become the companions of the devil. Ye can not participate of the Lord's table and of the table of devils."

So 2 Thessalonians 3:6-7, "O brethren, we declare unto you, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,that you beware of every brother walking dishonestly, and not according to the customs which you received from us. For ye know after what manner ye ought to be followers of us."

And again, a little after he saith, "If there be any that obey not our word, set down in this Epistle, haveye nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed."

Again, Ephesians 5:11, "Have no communion with the works of darkness, which are unfruitful."

And 2 Timothy 3:1, "Be it known unto you that in the latter day, there will be troublesome times."

And afterwards, "Having a show of piety, but denying the power thereof, turn thyself away from such."

By what hath been said hitherto, it appears clearly what is the wickedness of antichrist, and his perverseness. Also the Lord commands our separating from him, and joining ourselves with the holy city Jerusalem. Therefore,knowing such things, the Lord having revealed them to us by his servants, and believing this revelation, according to the holy Scriptures, and being admonished by the commandments of the Lord, we do both inwardly and outwardly depart from antichrist; because we know him to be the same: and we keep company and unity with another, freely and uprightly, having no other intent or purpose, but purely and singly to please the Lord, and be saved. And by the Lord's help, we join ourselves to the truth of Christ, and his spouse, how small soever she appear, as far forth as our understanding is able to comprehend. And therefore we thought good to set down here for what causes we departed, and what kind of congregation we have, to the end that if the Lord be pleased to impart the knowledge of the same truth unto others, those that receive it may love it altogether with us.

CAUSES OF SEPERATION FROM ANTICHRIST:

Now then the causes of our separation are these ensuing. Be it known to everyone in general, and in particular, that the cause of our separation is this: namely, for the real truth's sake of our faith, and by reason of our inward knowledge of the only true God, and the unity of the divine essence in three persons; which knowledge flesh and blood doth not afford; and for the befitting service due only God; for the love of him above all things; for sanctification; and for his honour above all things and above every name; for the living hope through Christ in God; for regeneration and the inward renewing by faith, hope and charity; for the merit of Jesus Christ, with all the sufficiency of his grace and righteousness. for the communion of saints; for the remission of sins; for a holy conversation; and for a faithful accomplishment of all the commandments in the faith of Christ; for true repentance; for final perseverance and life everlasting.

The ministerial truths are these: the outward congregating of the pastors with the people in convenient place and time, to instruct them in the truth by the ministry; leading, establishing and maintaining the church in the truth aforesaid. The said ministers press faith and a good life, and are exemplary for manners and obedience, and watchfully follow the example and work of the Lord towards the flock.

The things which the ministers are obliged to do for the service of the people are these; the preaching of the word of the gospel; the sacraments joined to the word, which do certify what the intent and meaning thereof is, and confirm the hope in Christ, unto the faithful; the ministerial communion hath all things by the essential truth. And all other ministerial things may be reduced to the aforesaid. But as to the particular truths, some of them are essentially necessary to man's salvation, other some conditionally. They are contained in the twelve articles of the Christian faith. As for Antichrist, he hath reigned a good while already in the church by God's permission.
A various and endless idolatry, against the express command of God and Christ.
Divine worship offered not to the Creator, but to the creature, visible and invisible, corporal and spiritual, rational and sensible, natural and artificial, under the name of Christ, or saints, male and female, and of relics and authorities. Unto creatures they offer the service of worship of faith, hope, works, prayers, pilgrimages, alms, oblations and sacrifices of great price.
And those creatures they serve, honour, and adore several ways: by songs and hymns, speeches, solemnities, and celebration of masses, vespers fitted unto the same, by certain hours, vigils, feast-days, thereby to obtain grace, which is essentially in God alone, and meritoriously in Christ, and is to be obtained by faith alone through the Holy Spirit.
And indeed there nothing else that causeth idolatry, but the false opinions of grace, truth, authority, invocation, intercession, which this antichrist hath deprived God of, to attribute the same to these ceremonies, authorities, the works of a man's own hands, to saints, and to purgatory. And this iniquity is directly against the first article of faith, and against the first commandment of the law.

Also, the excessive love of the world that is in antichrist is that from which springs such a world of sin and mischief in the church, as well in them that govern, as in them that officiate in the same; who sin without control. They are against the truth of faith, and against the knowledge of God the Father. Witness St. John saying, "He that sinneth, knoweth not, nor seeth God: for if any love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)

THE INIQUITY OF ANTICHRIST:

The iniquity of antichrist lies in the hope which he giveth of pardon, grace, justification, truth and life everlasting, as things not to be sought and had in Christ, nor in God by Christ, but in men, either living or already deceased; in human authorities, in ecclesiastical ceremonies,in benedictions, sacrifices, prayers, and such other things as were before mentioned; not by a true and lively faith, which worketh repentance by love, and causeth one to depart from evil, and give himself up to God. Again, antichrist teacheth not to settle a firm hope in regeneration, spiritual confirmation, communion, remission of sins, sanctification of eternal life; but to hope through the sacraments, or by means of his wretched simony (sale of indulgences), wherewith the people are greatly abused; insomuch, that putting all things to sale, he invented a number of ordinances, old and new, to get monies; that if any do such and such a thing, he shall get grace and life. And this two-fold iniquity is properly called in the Scriptures, adultery and fornication; and therefore such ministers as lead the simple people into these errors are called the whore of the Revelation. And this iniquity is against the second article, and again, against the second and third commandment of the law.
The iniquity of antichrist consists in this: that he hath invented besides the matters aforesaid, certain false religious orders and rules of monasteries, putting men in hope of acquiring grace, by building certain churches; and also because they do therein often and devoutly hear mass, receive the sacraments, make confession to the priest, though seldom with contrition, observe his fasts, and empty their purse for him, and be a professed member of the church of Rome. Or if he hath dedicated or vowed himself to be of such an order, cap, or frock, all that he does press as duties contrary to all truth. And this iniquity of antichrist is directly against the eighth article of the creed, "I believe in the Holy Ghost."

The iniquity of antichrist is, notwithstanding his being the fourth beast described by Daniel, and the whore of the Revelation, he nevertheless adorns himself with the authority, power, dignity, ministry, offices, and the Scripture, and makes himself equal with the true and holy mother the church, wherein salvation is to be had ministerially, and nowhere else; wherein is found the truth of life, and doctrine, and of the sacraments,and subjects. For if he should not cover himself in this manner, his ministers being such notorious sinners, he would soon be abandoned by all: for kings and princes supposing him to be like, or equal to the true and holy mother the church, they loved him, and endued him against the commandment of God. And this iniquity of the ministers, subjects and ordained persons, given up to error and sin, is against the ninth article, "I believe a holy church."

In the second place, those that being partakers of the outward ceremonies, instituted only by human inventions, do believe and hope to partake of the reality of pastoral cures and offices, if they be shaved or shorn like lambs, and anointed or daubed like walls, and made holy by touching the mass book; and by taking the chalice into their hands, they proclaim and publish, that they are ordained lawful priests to all intents. In like manner, as is said before, the people subject to them, communicating with them by words, signs, andother outward exercises, they conceive that they partake of the truth. And this is against the other part of the ninth article, "I believe the communion of saints." But it behooves us to depart from the wicked communion of the monks, by whom carnal men were easily drawn away. Through covetousness, make men trust in things of naught, riotous and wretched, provided give liberally unto them, such men are made partakers of their poverty and chastity.

The iniquity of antichrist consists in this: that he doth feign and promise remission of sins unto sinners, not unto the truly contrite, but such as are wilfully persevering in their evil practices: in the first place,he doth promise them forgiveness of their sins for their auricular confessions' sake, and human absolution, and through their pilgrimages. This he does out of covetousness. And this iniquity is against the eleventh article, "I believe the remission of sins." For this is in God authoritatively, and in Christ ministerially, through faith, repentance and charity, and obedience to the word, and in man by participation.

The iniquity lies herein, that to the very end of their lives they goon, hoping and trusting thus in the forementioned iniquities and coverings, especially till they come to the extreme unction, and their invented purgatory; insomuch, that the ignorant and rude multitude do persevere in their error, they being taught and made to believe, that they are absolved of their sins, though they never really depart from them, so as to hope for forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting. And this iniquity is directly against the eleventh and twelfth articles of the faith.


SOURCE:
Perrin, Jean Paul, History of the Old Albigenses Anterior to the Reformation, originally published in 1618. Book III: Precious Remains of the Doctrine and Discipline of the Old Waldenses and Albigenses, and their Noble Testimony Against the Roman Antichrist.


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Waldenses Confession of 1120


1. We believe and firmly maintain all that is contained in the twelve articles of the symbol, commonly called the apostles' creed, and we regard as heretical whatever is inconsistent with the said twelve articles.
2. We believe that there is one God - the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
3. We acknowledge for sacred canonical scriptures the books of the Holy Bible. (Here follows the title of each, exactly conformable to our received canon, but which it is deemed, on that account, quite unnecessary to particularize.)
4. The books above-mentioned teach us: That there is one GOD, almighty, unbounded in wisdom, and infinite in goodness, and who, in His goodness, has made all things. For He created Adam after His own image and likeness. But through the enmity of the Devil, and his own disobedience, Adam fell, sin entered into the world, and we became transgressors in and by Adam.
5. That Christ had been promised to the fathers who received the law, to the end that, knowing their sin by the law, and their unrighteousness and insufficiency, they might desire the coming of Christ to make satisfaction for their sins, and to accomplish the law by Himself.
6. That at the time appointed of the Father, Christ was born - a time when iniquity everywhere abounded, to make it manifest that it was not for the sake of any good in ourselves, for all were sinners, but that He, who is true, might display His grace and mercy towards us.
7. That Christ is our life, and truth, and peace, and righteousness - our shepherd and advocate, our sacrifice and priest, who died for the salvation of all who should believe, and rose again for their justification.
8. And we also firmly believe, that there is no other mediator, or advocate with God the Father, but Jesus Christ. And as to the Virgin Mary, she was holy, humble, and full of grace; and this we also believe concerning all other saints, namely, that they are waiting in heaven for the resurrection of their bodies at the day of judgment.
9. We also believe, that, after this life, there are but two places - one for those that are saved, the other for the damned, which [two] we call paradise and hell, wholly denying that imaginary purgatory of Antichrist, invented in opposition to the truth.
10. Moreover, we have ever regarded all the inventions of men [in the affairs of religion] as an unspeakable abomination before God; such as the festival days and vigils of saints, and what is called holy-water, the abstaining from flesh on certain days, and such like things, but above all, the masses.
11. We hold in abhorrence all human inventions, as proceeding from Antichrist, which produce distress (Alluding probably to the voluntary penances and mortification imposed by the Catholics on themselves), and are prejudicial to the liberty of the mind.
12 We consider the Sacraments as signs of holy things, or as the visible emblems of invisible blessings. We regard it as proper and even necessary that believers use these symbols or visible forms when it can be done. Notwithstanding which, we maintain that believers may be saved without these signs, when they have neither place nor opportunity of observing them.
13. We acknowledge no sacraments [as of divine appointment] but baptism and the Lord's supper.
14. We honour the secular powers, with subjection, obedience, promptitude, and payment.


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The Apostles' Creed


I believe in God the Father Almighty
And in Christ Jesus, his only Son, our Lord
Who was born of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
Who was crucified under Pontius Pilate and was buried
And the third day rose from the dead
Who ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of the Father
Whence he cometh to judge the living and the dead.
And in the Holy Spirit,
The holy church,
The resurrection of the flesh,
The remission of sins,
The life everlasting.

A similar statement of faith was used during baptism by Hippolytus (170–235 AD), Pastor of the Church of Portus near Rome. Hippolytus wrote:

When the person being baptized goes down into the water, he who baptizes him, putting his hand on him, shall say: "Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?" And the person being baptized shall say: "I believe." Then holding his hand on his head, he shall baptize him once. And then he shall say: "Do you believe in Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and was dead and buried, and rose again the third day, alive from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the living and the dead?" And when he says: "I believe," he is baptized again. And again he shall say: "Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, in the holy church, and the resurrection of the body?" The person being baptized shall say: "I believe," and then he is baptized a third time."

Hippolytus was a disciple of Irenaeus, Pastor at Lyons, who was a disciple of Polycarp, the pastor at Smyrna, who was a disciple of the Apostl John, who was a disciple of Christ Jesus, the only Son of God.

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