(BE) - A Brief Exposition of the Teachings for the New Church Meant by the New Jerusalem in the Book of Revelation

BE 31

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We will first say something concerning the origin or source from whence the idea of a Trinity of Persons in the Divinity, and thereby of three Gods, proceeded. There are three Creeds, which are called the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, which specifically teach a Trinity: the Apostles' and the Nicene assert simply a Trinity, but the Athanasian a Trinity of Persons. These three Creeds are to be met with in many Psalters, the Apostles' Creed next the Psalm which is sung, the Nicene after the Decalogue, and the Athanasian apart by itself.* The Apostles' Creed was written after the times of the Apostles; the Nicene Creed at the Council of Nice, a city of Bithynia, to which all the bishops in Asia, Africa, and Europe, were summoned by the Emperor Constantine, in the year 325**; but the Athanasian Creed was composed since that council by one or more persons, with an intent utterly to overthrow the Arians and was afterwards received by the churches as oecumenical. In the two former creeds the confession of a Trinity was evident, but from the third or Athanasian Creed the profession of a Trinity of Persons was spread abroad: that hence arose the idea of three Gods, shall now be shown.
* This relates to the Protestant churches on the continent of Europe.
** The original Latin has "anno 318," in the year 318. There were 318 bishops in attendance; the Council met in the year 325.


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