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the Greeks: which is as much as to say, the Pure and Peculiar ; inasmuch as it hath no Admixture of Novelty, from other Religions.
It was originally composed in the Rusian Church, which, for a long series of Time, hath conformed herself to the orthodox Canon of the Eastern Church, on the following Occasion.
Peter Mogilas, who lately departed piously, and holily, unto God, being chosen, and ordained, an orthodox Metropolitan, by the most holy, and eminent, the Lord Theophanes, Patriarch of Jerusalem ; when he took upon him the Government of the Church of Kiow, that was committed to his Charge, he found his Flock confused, and infected; with certain novel Opinions of Sectaries, entirely contrary to the genuine, and ancient Doctrines of their Forefathers... Wherefore, as became a good Shepherd, and zealous Defender of the Faith, he entered immediately on a Resolution the most pious, and pleasing to God, of restoring, and conducting the Russian Church, into that purity of the holy Doctrine, in: which it had flourished from its first Beginning: And of utterly rooting out again, those novel Opinions, which then began to spring up in those Parts”; and also of filling his spiritual Garner with a joysul Harvest of good and wholesome Fruits.
Having thus wisely and duly determined with himself, he entered upon the Work without any Delay; and convened, in his metropolitical City, a number of the learned and eminent Persons of his Province: Having first of all gathered toge
ther his three Bishops, who were ordained at the same time together with him, by the same most praise-worthy Patriarch of Jerusalem. Here, after many Disquisitions, it was, with one Consent, and one Voice, agreed by all; that they should consign this their Expofition of the Faith to writing, Point by Point, and lay it before the Church of Constantinople, and her holy Synod, for a more mature Examination, and Judgment of the Matter: (for, at that time, they followed the Authority of that Church, and unto her, as to an Head, did all the orthodox Greeks fubmit themselves, and on her fixed their Attention, as on a most sure Guide) to the end, that whatsoever Articles she confirmed by her Approbation, the same they should firmly retain ; and reject, as fpurious and false, whatsoever she condemned. Having in this manner finished the Book, which they called, The Exposition of the Russian Faith; they follicited, that some Synodical Curators, and Patriarchal Exarchs, might be sent into Moldavia; and promised, that they would send thither also, certain Delegates from themselves; by whom these Heads of their Faith should first be accu: rately examined, namely, whether they agreed, or not, with the sound, and right Doctrines of the Eastern Church: After which they should be publickly, and solemnly, communicated to the Church of Constantinopk. There were therefore sent for this Purpose, from the holy Synod, the most holy Metropolitan of Nice, Porphyrius ; and Meletius Syrigus, Doctor of the great Church ; a
Man, 'who from his Childhood, having been nourished and brought up in true, and holy Doctrines, was most eminent for Sanctity of Life and exquisite Learning; and was deservedly esteemed to be, and really was, the Preacher, Interpreter, and very Rule itself, of the most genuine and true Doctrines of the Faith. Representing therefore, the very Person of the Patriarch; and vested with the most full and plenary Powers of the whole sacred Synod; he went into Moldavia, as we have faid, together with Porphyrius; whither also, fent from the Russians, came, Isaias Trophimus, and Conovicius, and Xenovicius; Men truly excellent, adorned with all kind of Learning and liberal Knowledge. These three, taking God only for their Guide and Master, who is the Giver of all Knowledge, and of all true Holiness and Understanding, brought the Book to this excellent Conclusion; having by many mutual Disquisitions, and Disputations, thoroughly purged it from all foriegn Doctrines, and Defilements of Novelty ; and then forth with sent it to the most holy four orthodox Patriarcbs, the Succeffors in the Seats of the Apoftles, to be reviewed and considered of.
They also confirmed it with their Approbation, as containing the true and genuine Doctrines, and in nothing departing from the fincere, and catholic Faith of the Greeks: And declared it to be pure and uncorrupt; by the universal Judgment, Determination, and Consent of all. And furthermore, by their own proper Subscriptions, and of their Clergy, as appears hercunto annexed; they decreed and confirmed it; and entitled it, not only of the Ruffans, but by a more universal Appellation, The orthodox Confession of all the Greeks.
Yet however, this Book, as it was but lately to be had in print among the Russians ; so among
the Greeks, it was only to be found in Manuscripts ; and that but very rarely: Whereupon, the Lord Panagiotta, Interpreter to his imperial Majesty of the East and West, a Person of great Wisdom and Piety; and entirely devoted to true Religion ; as he is most regardful and affectionate of our Greek Nation, and a zealous Contender for the orthodox Faith ; among his many other magnificent Works, and public Employments, wherein he is daily and hourly engaged, he willingly undertook the Care and Patronage of this also; and caused this Book to be printed at his own Expence, in our, and the Latin Languages: That every one, who was desirous to encrease in Piety, might, without any Expence (for he caused the Copies to be distributed to all gratis) be provided with a Book ; from whence, as from a source of pure and living Water, and out of the genuine Fountains of Salvation, (Isaiah xii. 3.) draw the sacred Doctrines of our Church, unpollutted with the muddy and foreign Opinions of Sectaries. And now, let no one marvel, that this Book is expressed in a plain Style, and unadorned with Eloquence ; seeing that thereby, it is not only fitted for the learned, but the unlearned Multitude also: For the wise and prudent Reader ought not to regard the unpolished Manner of Ex
pression, pression, but the Truth of the Words and Thoughts: but rather we are bound to render the highest, and most perpetual Thanks unto him, who hath bestowed fo great a Benefit upon us ; and implore God, with ceaseless Prayers, that he would be pleased abundantly to reward him; and in the World to come, crown him with an everlasting Retribution.
Given at our Court at- Constantinople, in our Monastry, the xx Day of November, ciɔɔCLXII,
By the Mercy of God, Archbishop of Conftanti
nople, New Rome, and Universal Patriarch.
UR Mediocrity, together with the sacred
Congregation of Archbishops, and Clergy, here present, having carefully perused a Book transmitted unto us from our own Sister, the Church of Little Russia, entitled, The, Orthodox Contefion of Faith of the Catholic and Apoftolic Church of Christ: Wherein those Things are treated of under a threefold Division, of Faith, and Charity, and Hope ; so that Faith is set forth in the Twelve Articles of Faith, or the holy Nicene Creed: Charity in the Ten Commandments, and in the holy and divinely inspired Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, thewing what is ne