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1688.

of the learned moderns, but bringing in some farther materials, from his own searches, to add new light to the subject. He determines nothing; but leaves it to the reader to make a judgment as he sees cause from a full view of the pleadings.

I may place here the learned Pagi, who in his Critick upon Baronius passes his judgment of this Creedy: which being the same with Quesnel's, and little more than repetition from him, I need not be more particular about him.

1693. Joseph Antelmi, a learned Paris divine, first began directly to attack Quesnel's opinion; and to sap the reasons on which it was founded. He published a particular Dissertation to that purpose, consisting of eighty-five pages in octavo. He ascribes the Creed to Vincentius Lirinensis, who flourished in the year 434.

1695.

1698.

The famous Tillemont wrote after Antelmius; for he makes mention of his Treatise, and examines his hypothesis and yet it could not be long after; for he died in the year 1697. He commends Mr. Antelmi's performance as a considerable work; but inclines still rather to Quesnel's opinion. All that he pronounces certain is, that the Creed is none of Athanasius's, but yet as old as the sixth century, or oldera.

In the year 1698, Montfaucon published his new and accurate edition of Athanasius's works. In the second tome he has an excellent dissertation upon this Creed; the best that is extant, either for order and method, or for plenty of useful matter. The sum of his judgment is, that the Creed is certainly none of Athanasius's, nor yet Vigilius Tapsensis's, nor sufficiently proved to belong to Vincentius Lirinensis; but probably enough composed about the time of Vincentius, and by a Gallican writer or writers b.

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y Pagi, Critic. in Baron. an. 340. n. 6. p. 440.

Josephi Antelmii Disquisitio de Symbolo Athanasiano. Paris, 1693. 8vo. a Tillemont, Mémoires, tom. viii. p. 667.

Symbolum Quicunque Athanasio incunctanter abjudicandum arbitramur

In the same year, Ludovicus Antonius Muratorius, an 1698. Italian writer, published a second tome of Anecdota out of the Ambrosian Library at Milan. Among other manuscripts there, he had met with an ancient Comment upon this Creed, ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus, who was Bishop of Poictiers in France in the sixth century. He publishes the Comment, together with a Dissertation of his own, concerning the author of the Creed: concluding, at length, that Venantius Fortunatus, the certain author of the Comment, might possibly be the author of the Creed too. He entirely rejects the opinion of those that would ascribe it to Athanasius, and disapproves of Quesnel's persuasion about Vigilius Tapsensis; but speaks favourably of Antelmi's, as coming nearest to the truthc. Fabricius, in his Bibliotheca Græcad, (highly valued by 1712. all men of letters,) gives a summary account of the sentiments of the learned relating to this Creed. His conclusion from all is, that thus far may be depended on as certain; that the Creed was not composed by Athanasius, but long after, in the fifth century, written originally in Latin, and afterwards translated into Greek.

In the same year, the learned Le Quien published a 1712. new edition of Damascen, with Previous Dissertations to it. In the first of these, he has several very considerable remarks, concerning the age and author of the Athanasian Creed. He appears inclinable to ascribe it to Pope Anastasius I. (who entered upon the Pontificate in the year 398,) because of some ancient testimonies, as well as manuscripts, carrying the name of Anastasius in the title of the Creed: but he is positive that the Creed must

-Afro itaque Vigilio nihil est quod symbolum Quicunque tribuatur.Non ægre quidem concesserim Vincentii ætate editam fuisse illam fidei professionem.- —Haud abs re conjectant viri eruditi in Galliis illud (symbolum) fuisse elucubratum. Montf. Diatrib. p. 723.

Hæc et similia pluribus pertractavit eruditissimus Anthelmius, cujus opinioni, quorumnam eruditorum suffragia accesserint, me penitus fugit: fateor tamen ad veritatem omnium maxime illam accedere. Murator. tom. ii. p. 222.

Fabricii Biblioth. Græca, vol. v. p. 315.

1714.

1715.

1719.

be set as high as the age of St. Austin, Vincentius, and Vigilius. And, as Antelmius before had made light of the supposition that the internal characters of the Creed show it to be later than Eutyches; he makes as light of the other supposition of the internal characters setting it later than Nestorius.

Natalis Alexander's new edition of his Ecclesiastical History bears date A. D. 1714. He had examined into our present question some years before, (about 1676, when his first edition came abroad,) subscribing to the opinion of Quesnel and he does not appear to have altered his mind since. He takes notice of Antelmi's opinion, and speaks respectfully of it, as also of the author; but prefers the other hypothesis.

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I ought not here to omit the late learned Mr. Bingham, to whom the public has been highly indebted for his Origines Ecclesiastica, collected with great judgment, and digested into a clear method. He had a proper occasion to say something of the Athanasian Creed, in passing, and very briefly. He observes, that it was not composed by Athanasius, but by a later, and a Latin writer; and particularly Vigilius Tapsensis; referring to such learned moderns as I have above mentioned, for the proof of it; and giving no more than short hints of their reasons.

Dr. Clarke of St. James's, in his second edition of his Scripture Doctrineh, gives us his last thoughts in relation to this Creed. Referring to Dr. Cave, he informs us, that "this Creed was never seen till about the year 800, near "400 years after the death of Athanasius," (they are his own words,) nor was received in the Church till so very "late as about the Yet Cave does not say, was never seen, (for he himself ascribes it to Vigilius Tap

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year 1000."

• Omnino fateri cogor Augustini, Vincentii, et Vigilii ætate extitisse expositionem Latinam fidei, quæ postmodum Athanasio Magno attribui meruerit. Le Quien, Dissert, i. p. 9.

f Natal. Alexand. Eccl. Hist. tom. iv. p. 111.

g Binghan's Antiq. of the Christian Church, vol. iv. p. 118, &c.
h Clarke's Script. Doctr. p. 379. 2d edit.

sensis, of the fifth century,) but only that it was not quoted before the year 800, or nearly; which yet is a very great mistake. What the learned Doctor intended by saying "about the year 800," and yet only "near 400 years "after the death of Athanasius," or, as he elsewhere i expresses it," above 300 years after the death of Athana"sius," I do not understand; but must leave to those that can compute the distance between 373 (the latest year that Athanasius is ever supposed to have lived) and the year 800. I am persuaded, the Doctor was thinking, that if Athanasius had lived to the year 400, then the distance had been just 400 years; but as he died 27 years before, the distance must be so much the less, when it is

quite the contrary.

The last man that has given his sentiments in relation 1722. to this Creed, is Casimirus Oudinus, in his new edition of his Supplement (now called a Commentary) to the Ecclesiastical Writers. I need say no more than that he does not seem to have spent much pains in reexamining this subject, but rests content with his first thoughts; ascribing the Creed, with Quesnel, to Vigilius Tapsensisk.

These are the principal moderns that have fallen within my notice and of these, the most considerable are Vossius, Usher, Quesnel, Tentzelius, Antelmius, Tillemont, Montfaucon, Muratorius, and Le Quien; as having particularly studied the subject, and struck new light into it, either furnishing fresh materials, or improving the old by new observations. Some perhaps may wish to have the several opinions of the moderns thrown into a narrower compass for which reason I have thought it not improper to subjoin the following table, which will represent all in one view, for the ease and conveniency of every common reader.

i Clarke's Script. Doctr. p. 447. 1st edit.

* Vid. Oudin. Commentar. de Scriptor. Eccl. vol. i. p. 345, 1248, 1322.

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