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the faith which was once delivered to the Saints (Jude 3); and to fix in your soul a firm resolution never to depart from this faith, of the truth of which you are now so fully convinced, and have so deliberately and so solemnly professed. For St. Peter says, If fying from the defilements of the world, through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, you be again entangled in them and overcome, your latter state will become worse than the former : for it would be better for you, not to have known the way of righteousness, than after you have known it, to turn back from the holy commandment which was delivered to you. (2 Peter, ii. 20.)—Let not, therefore, the solicitations of friends or kindred have any influence on you, to withdraw you from the religion which, with so much deliberation, you have embraced; but let Christ be preferred to them all, who says, He that loves father or mother ......or son or daughter...... more than me, is not worthy of me. (Matt. X. 37. Temporal advantages, likewise, and worldly possessions, when put in competition with religion, must not be regarded; for the salvation of your soul is of infinitely more importance to you than all this world can offer. For, What will it avail a man to gain the whole world, if he lose his own soul ? (Matt. xvi. 26.) Even life itself is to be given up rather than violate your solemn promise to God. For our Saviour says, He that shall
lose his life for my sake, shall find it. (Matt. xvi. 25.)
I must also remind you, that it is not sufficient, merely to believe and to profess the Catholic faith; but it is, moreover, necessary for you to live according to your faith, by practising its maxims. Holiness of life, and a punctual performance of all the duties prescribed by the Catholic Church are, therefore, equally required of you. For as, Without faith it is impossible to please God, (Heb. xi. 6.) so, though you have this faith, if it be not accompanied with good works, it cannot save you. For St. James says, As the body without the spirit is dead : so also faith without works is dead. (James ii. 26.) And our Saviour says, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. vii. 21.) Faith alone, therefore, cannot save any man; and good works without faith likewise avail nothing: but both joined together make the perfect Christian. Let, then, the practice of virtue, and a strict obedience to the laws of God, and of Kis Church, go hand in hand with your belief; and in order to compass this work, fail nut daily to beg of God to assist you by His grace. May the Almighty perfect in you this happy work which He has begun; may He be your father and protector, and may He shower down upon you His choicest blessings in this life, and bring you to the possession of His glory hereafter. Amen.
INSTRUCTIONS AND EXHORTATIONS
IN THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY, Before the contracting parties proceed to solemnize their marriage, the Priest shall instruct them concerning this holy state, and the dispositions with which they ought to enter upon it, in the following manner.
MATRIMONY is a holy state, originally instituted by Almighty God, between our first parents, in the earthly paradise (Gen. ii.), ratified and confirmed by the Son of God in the New Testament (Matt. xix. 4, 5, 6.), honoured by His first miracle (John, ii.), and raised by Him to the dignity of a Sacrament, as a most holy sign, and mysterious representation of the indissoluble union of Christ and His Church: to which He has been pleased to annex in favour of the worthy receivers a sanctifying grace, in order to enable them to love one another according to God: to restrain concupiscence: to bear with each other's weaknesses: mutually to help each other: to walk as it were hand in hand in the way to heaven: and to bring up their
children, if they should be blessed with any, in the fear and love of God.
Seeing, therefore, that this state is so very holy, and instituted for such great and holy ends, and moreover, that it has so great a grace annexed to it (when the Sacrament of Matrimony is worthily received), as to put the married couple into the way of being happy both in this world and in the next: we earnestly exhort you to enter upon this holy state, and to receive this great Sacrament, with such dispositions as may effectually secure to your souls so heavenly a grace. Your first care, therefore, should be, to come to this Sacrament, with a conscience purified by repentance from all wilful sin: lest otherwise you incur the guilt of a sacrilegious profanation of this divine institution : and, instead of a blessing, receive here your condemnation, with evident danger of entailing upon yourselves a long train of miseries in this life, and eternal miseries in the next. Your intention ought also to be pure: that is, you ought to embrace this holy state with a view to promote the glory of God and the salvation of your souls, and to answer the holy ends for which God ordained it: lest, if you should in such manner receive Matrimony as to shut out God from yourselves and from your mind, you should, as the Scripture says, fall under the power of the devil. (Tobias, vi, 17.)
And as you are to come to receive this Sacrament with purity of conscience and purity of intention, you must also take care not to admit of anything in the celebrating of your marriage, which may be either inconsistent with your religion, or contrary to that modesty, decency, and sanctity which becomes Christians at all times, and more especially on so sacred and solemn an occasion. · As to your mutual obligations, and the duties you owe to each other in the married state, you are to learn them from the word of God. Give ear, therefore, to St. Paul, (Ephes. v. 22. &c.), strongly inculcating these duties, by the great example of Christ and His Church. Let women, says he, be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church: he is the Saviour of his body. Therefore, as the Church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things. Husbands love your wives, as Christ also loved the Church, and delivered himself up for it......so also ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife, loveth himself,
Give ear also to St. Peter. (1 Peter iii.) Let wives be subject to their husbands; that if any believe not the word, they may be gained without the word, by the conversation of their wives, considering your chaste conversation with fear. Whose adorning let it not be the outward