Hitherto by God’s goodness I have shewed the meaning of the Creed; now to draw to a conclusion, the general uses which are to be made of it follow:
Use 1. And first of all we learn by it that the church of Rome hath no cause to condemn us for heretics; for we do truly hold and believe the whole apostolical Symbol or Creed, which is an epitome of the Scriptures, and the very key of faith. It will be said that we deny the pope’s supremacy, justification by works, purgatory, the sacrifice of the mass for the sins of the quick and dead, the invocation and intercession of saints, etc., which are the greatest points of religion. It is true indeed, we deny and renounce them as doctrines of devils; persuading ourselves that if they indeed had been apostolical, and the very grounds and pillars of religion, as they are avouched to be, they should in no wise have been left forth of the Creed. For it is an oversight in making a confession of faith, to omit the principal points and rules of faith. It will be further said that in the Creed, we believe the church, and so consequently are to believe all these former points which are taught and avouched by the church. But this defence is foolish; for it takes this for granted: that the church of Rome is the church here meant, which we deny, unless they can prove a particular church to be universal or catholic. Nay, I add further that the principal grounds of popish faith, for which they contend with us as for life and death, are not mentioned in any other creeds which were made by the churches and councils for many hundred years after Christ.
Use 2. Secondly, the Creed serves as a store-house of remedies against all troubles and temptations whatsoever:
(1) If a man be grieved for the loss of earthly riches, let him consider that he believes God to be his Creator, who will therefore guide and preserve His own workmanship, and by His providence minister all things needful unto it. And that he hath not lost the principal blessing of all, in that he hath God to be his Father, Christ to be his Redeemer, and the Holy Ghost to be his Comforter; and that considering he looks for life eternal, he is not to be overmuch careful for this life; and that Christ being our Lord, will not forsake us being the servants in His own house, but will provide things needful for us.
(2) If any man be grieved in respect of outward disgrace and contempt, let him remember that he believes in Christ crucified, and that therefore he is to rejoice in contempt for righteousness sake.
(3) They which are troubled for the decease of friends, are to comfort themselves in the communion of saints, and that they have God the Father, and Christ, and the Holy Ghost for their friends.
(4) Against bodily captivity, let men consider that they believe in Christ their Lord, whose service is perfect liberty.
(5) Against the fear of bodily diseases, we must remember the resurrection of the body, in which all diseases and infirmities shall be abolished.
(6) If a man fear death of the body, let him consider that he believes in Christ which died upon the cross, who by death hath vanquished death.
(7) The fear of persecution is restrained, if we call to remembrance that God is a Father Almighty, not only able, but also willing to repress the power of the adversary, so far forth as shall be for the good of His children.
(8) Terrors arising of the consideration of the last judgment are allayed by remembrance of this: that Christ shall be our judge who is our Redeemer.
(9) Fear of damnation is remedied by consideration that Christ died to make satisfaction for us, and now sits at the right hand of His Father to make intercession for us; and by the resurrection of the body to life everlasting.
(10) Terrors of conscience for sins are repressed, if we consider that God is a Father, and therefore much in sparing, and that it is a prerogative of the church to have remission of sins.