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VERY Christian must believe that there is one God, and no more than one God: that this God is a pure Spirit, the Lord and Maker of heaven and earth, who has neither beginning nor end, but
is always the same; is every where present; knows e r and sees all things ; can do all things what
ute soever he pleases; and is infinite in all per20 fections."
2. Every Christian is bound to believe that
in this one God there are three several PerU s ons, perfectly equal, and of the same sub
A stance: the Father, who proceeds from none; 03 the Son, who is born of the Father before
all ages; and the Holy Ghost, who proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son; and that these three Persons are all equally eternal, equal in wisdom and power, and are all three one and the same Lord, one and the same God.
3. We must all believe that this God created the angels to be with him for ever, and that one part of them fell from God by sin, and became devils : that God also created Adam and Eve, the first parents of all mankind, and placed them in the earthly paradise, from whence they were justly banished for the sin they committed in eating of the fruit of the for
bidden tree; and that by this transgression of Adam we are all born in sin, and must have been lost for ever, if God had not sent us a Saviour.
4. We are bound to believe in this Saviour of all mankind, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, true God, and true man; perfect God from all eternity, equal to his father in all things; and perfect man, from the time of his coming down from heaven for us, having a body and soul like us.
5. We must believe that this Jesus Christ, our Saviour, who had been long foretold by the prophets, was, at God's appointed time, conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Ghost, without having any man for his father, and was born of her, she still remaining a pure virgin : that, during the time of his mortal life, he founded the Christian religion by his heavenly doctrine and wonderful miracles, and then offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, by dying upon a cross, to purchase mercy, grace, and salvation, for us ; and that neither mercy, nor grace, nor salvation, either can, or ever could, since Adam's fall, be obtained any otherwise than through this death and passion of the Son of God.
6. We must believe that Jesus Christ, after he had been dead and buried for part of three days, rose again on the third day from death to life, never to die any more; and that, for the space of forty days, he was pleased, at different times, to manifest himself to his disciples, and then ascended into heaven in their sight ; where, as man, he continually intercedes for us. From thence he sent down the Holy Ghost upon his disciples, to abide with them for ever, as he had promised, and to guide them and their successors into all truth.
7. We must believe the Catholic or universal Church of Christ, of which he is the perpetual Head, and his Spirit the perpetual Director; which is founded upon a rock, and is ever victorious over all the powers of death and hell. This Church is always one, by all its members professing one faith, in one communion, under one chief pastor, succeeding St. Peter, to whom Christ committed his whole flock; St. John xxi, 15, 16, 17. This same Church is always holy, by teaching a holy doctrine, by inviting all to a holy life, and by the eminent holiness of many of her children. She is Catholic, or universal, by subsisting in all ages, by teaching all nations, and maintaining all truth : she is apostolical, by deriving her
SUMMARY OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. doctrine, her communion, her orders, and her mission, by an uninterrupted succession from the Apostles of Christ.
8. With this Catholic Church, the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament. were deposited by the Apostles ; she is, in her pastors, the guardian and interpreter of the and the judge of all controversies relating to them. These bcriptures, thus interpreted. together with the traditions of the Apostles, are to be received and admitted by all Christians for the rule of their faith and practice.
9. We must believe that Jesus Christ has instituted in his Church seven sacraments, or mysterious signs and instrumental causes of divine grace in our souls. Baptism, by way of
shed new birth, by which we are made children of God, and washed from sin. Confirmation, by which we receive the Holy by the imposition of the hands of the successors of the Apos; this; Acts viii. The blessed Eucharist, which feeds and nourishes our souls with the body and blood of Christ, really present under the forms of bread and wine, or under either of them. Penance, by which penitent sinners are absolved fron their sins, by virtue of the commission given by Chris ministers ; St. John xx., and St. Matt. xviii. Extreme Unc. tion, which wipes away the remains of sin, and arms the se with
th the grace of God in the time of sickness; St. James v. Holy Orders, by which the ministers of God are consecrau And Matrimony, which, as a sacred sign of the indis union
of Christ and his Church, unites the married couple in a holy band, and imparts a g
holy band, and imparts a grace to them suitable to that state ; Eph. v.
10. We must believe that Jesus Christ has also institu the great Eucharistic Sacrifice of his body and blood in remembrance of his death and passion. In this sacrifice he is mystically immolated every day upon our altars, being more both priest and victim. This sacrifice is the principal worship of the new law, in which, and by which, we unite ourselves to. Jesus Christ, and with him and through him we adore God in spirit and truth, give him thanks for all his blessings, obtain his grace for ourselves and the whole world, and pardon for all our sins, and those of the living and the dead.
11. We must believe that there is, in the Catholic or universal Church
nd, a communion of saints, by means of which we
te with all holy ones and in all holy things.
licate with the saints in heaven, as our fellow
r the same head, Christ w we give
thanks to God for his gifts to them, and we beg a share in their prayers. We communicate with all the saints upon earth in the same sacraments and sacrifice, and in a holy union of faith and charity. And we communicate with the faithful, who have departed this life in a more imperfect state, and who, by the law of God's justice, are for a while in a place of suffering, by offering prayers and alms and sacrifice to God for them.
12. We must believe also the necessity of divine grace, without which we cannot make so much as one step towards heaven; and that all our good and all our merits are the gift of God; that Christ died for all men ; that God is not the author of sin; and that his grace does not take away our free will.
13. We must believe that Jesus Christ will come from heaven at the last day to judge us all; that all the dead, both good and bad, shall rise from their graves at the sound of the last trumpet, and shall be judged by him according to their works; that the good shall go to heaven with him, body and soul, to be happy for all eternity in the enjoyment of the Sovereign Good; and that the wicked shall be condemned, both body and soul, to the torments of hell, which are most grievous and everlasting.
II. What every Christian must do. 1. EVERY Christian, in order to life everlasting, must worship God as his first beginning and last end. This worship is to be performed, first, by faith, which makes both the understanding and the will humbly adore and embrace all those truths which God has taught, however obscure and incomprehensible they may be to our weakness. 2dly, By hope, which honours the infinite power, goodness, and mercy of God, and the truth of his promises ; and, upon these grounds, raises the soul to an assured expectation of mercy, grace, and salvation, through the merits of Jesus Christ. 3dly, By charity, which teaches us to love God with our whole hearts, for his own sake, and our neighbours as ourselves, for God's sake. 4thly, By the virtue of religion, the chief acts of which are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, oblation of ourselves to God, sacrifice, and prayer, which ought to be the daily employments of a Christian soul.
2. We must fly all idolatry, all false religions and supersti
tion; under which name are comprehended all manner of divinations or pretensions to fortune-telling; all witchcraft, charms, spells, observations of omens, dreams, &c. All these things are heathenish, and contrary to the worship of the true and living God, and to that dependence a Christian soul ought to have on him.
3. We must reverence the name of God and his truth by a religious observance of all lawful oaths and vows, and by carefully avoiding all false, rash, unjust, or blasphemous oaths and curses.
4. We must dedicate some notable part of our time to his divine service; and, more especially, consecrate to him those days that he has ordered to be sanctified or kept holy.
5. Under God, we must love, reverence, and obey our parents and other lawful superiors, spiritual and temporal, and observe the laws of the Church and State ; as also, we must have a due care of our children, and of others that are under our charge, both as to their souls and bodies.
6. We must abstain from all injuries to our neighbour's person, by murder or any other violence; and from all hatred, envy, and desire of revenge ; as also from spiritual murder, which is committed by drawing him into sin, by words, actions, or ill example.
7. We must abstain from adultery, and from all uncleanness of thoughts, words, and actions, beyond the lawful use of the marriage-bed.
8. We must not steal, cheat, or any other way wrong our neighbour in his goods and possessions; we must give every one his own, pay our debts, and make restitution for all unjust damages which we have caused.
9. We must not wrong our neighbour in his character or good name, by detraction or rash judgment; or in his honour, by reproaches and affronts; or rob him of the peace of his mind, by scoffs and contempt; or of his friends, by carrying stories backwards and forwards. In all which cases, whosoever wrongs his neighbour is obliged to make restitution or satisfaction.
10. As we are commanded to abstain from all deeds of lust and injustice, so are we also strictly obliged to restrain all desires in these kinds, and to resist the irregular motions of concupiscence. So far the Ten Commandments; which are a short abridgment of the whole eternal and natural law, which admits of no dispensation.