The Confession, improperly called the "Creed of Athanasius," is acknowledged to embody the (Athanasian) doctrine of the Nicene Council; and I append it here as an index to the state of theology at the period which is the limit of our series. Nothing is properly a "creed" which has never been accepted as such by the whole Church, and the Greeks knew no other creed than that called Nicene. The Anglo-American Church has ceased to recite this Confession in public worship, but does not depart from it as doctrine. The "Reformed" communion in America 1 retains it among her liturgical forms, and I suppose the same is true of the Lutherans. It is a Western Confession, and, like the Te Deum, is a hymn rather than a symbol, though breathing the spirit of the Creed.
Usher adopts a.d. 447 as its date, and Beveridge assigns it to the fourth century. Dupin gives it a later origin than Usher, and a considerable number of eminent authorities agree with him in the date a.d. 484.
What are called the anathemas are the enacting clauses (so to speak), and, like the same in the Nicene Creed, may be regarded as no part of the Confession itself. If they have disappeared from the Great Symbol itself, as unsuitable to liturgical recitation, why not apply the same rule here?
confession of our christian faith, commonly called the creed of st. athanasius.
Â¶ Whosoever will be saved: before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholick Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled: without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
Commonly called "the Dutch Church;" i.e., the Church of Holland. ↩