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A Rationale upon the Book of Common Prayer
by Anthony Sparrow, D.D.

London, 1672.

Of Athanasius's CREED.

Besides the Apostles Creed, holy Church acknowledges two other, or rather two explications of the same Creed, the Nicene, and Athanasius his Creed: of the Nicene Creed shall be said somewhat in the proper place, the Communion-Service where it is used. Athanasius his Creed is here to be accounted for, because it is said sometimes in this place in stead of the Apostles Creed. It was composed by Athanasius, and sent to Pope Iulius, for to clear himself and acquit his Faith from the slanders of his Arian Enemies, who reported him erroneous in the Faith. It hath been received with great Veneration as a treasure of an inestimable price, both by the Greek and Latin Churches, Nazianz. de laud. Athan. orat. 21. and therefore both for that authority, and for the restification of our Continuance in the same Faith, to this day, the Church rather uses this and the Nicene explanations, than any other Gloss or Paraphrase devised by our selves; which, though it were to the same effect, notwithstanding could not be of the same credit nor authority.

This Creed is appointed to be said upon the dayes named in the Rubrick, for these Reasons, partly, because those daies, many of them are most proper for this Confession of the Faith, which of all others is the most express, concerning the Trinity, because the matter of them much concerns the manifestation of the Trinity, as Christmas, Epiph. Trinity Sunday, and S. Iohn Baptists day, at the highest of whose Acts, the Baptizing of our Lord, was made a kind of Sensible manifestation of the Trinity; partly, that so it might be said once a moneth at least; and therefore on S. Iames, and S. Barthol. daies, and withal at convenient distance from each time, and therefore on S. Matt. Matthias, Sim. and Iude, and S. Andrew's.

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