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posal which I have before me; give me understanding and courage, as the affair requires; and suffer me not to be deluded while thou knowest my whole desire is to find thee, and to do thy will. Stand by me, O God, and be thou my guide, for thus only can I come to thee.
O almighty and eternal God, Father of merand Saviour of mankind, I humbly intreat thee, by thy sovereign goodness, to enlighten my mind, and to touch my heart-that by true faith, hope, and charity, I may live and die in the true religion of Jesus Christ. I am sure, that as there is but one true God, so there can be but one faith, one religion, one way of salvation-and that every other way which is opposite to this, can only lead to endless misery. It is this faith, O my God, which I earnestly desire to embrace, in order to save my soul. I protest, therefore, before thy divine majesty, and I declare by all thy divine attributes, that I will follow that religion which thou shalt shew me to be true; and that I will abandon, at whatever cost, that in which I shall discover error and falsehood. I do not deserve, it is true, this favour, on account of the greatness of my sins, for which I now have a profound sorrow-because they offend a God so good, so great, so holy and worthy of my love: but what I do not deserve I hope to obtain from thy infinite mercy; and I conjure thee to grant it, through the merits of the precious blood which was shed for us poor sinners, by thy only begotten Son, Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen. –
THE CHRISTIAN'S PROFESSION OF FAITH;
COMMONLY CALLED THE CREED OF
IN. N. with a firm faith, believe and profess
all and every one of those things which are contained in that creed which the holy Roman Church maketh use of.
To wit, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible:
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages; God of God; Light of light; true God of the true God; begotten not made; consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made: who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man. Was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the scriptures; he ascended into heaven, sits at the right hand of the Father, and is to come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; of whose kingdom there shall be no end.
And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Lifegiver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.
And I believe one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church; I confess one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
I most steadfastly admit and embrace apostolical and ecclesiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the same church.
I also admit the holy scriptures, according to the sense which our holy mother the Church has held and does hold, to which it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the scriptures; neither will I ever take and interpret them
otherwise than according to the unanimous consent of the Fathers.
I also profess, that there are truly and properly Seven Sacraments of the New Law, instituted by Jesus Christ, our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind, though not all for every one-to wit, Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist, Penance, Extreme-unction, Order, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace: and that these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Order, cannot be reiterated without sacrilege.
I also receive and admit the received and approved ceremonies of the Catholic Church, employed in the solemn administration of the aforesaid sacraments.
I embrace and receive all and every one of the things which have been defined and declared in the holy council of Trent, concerning original sin and justification.
I profess likewise that in the Mass there is of fered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory saerifice for the living and the dead. And that in the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist, there is truly, really, and substantially, the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ: and that there is made a change in the whole substance of the bread into the body, and the whole substance of the wine into the blood; which change the Catholic Church calls Transubstantiation. I also confess, that under either kind alone, Christ is received whole and entire, and a true sacrament.
I constantly hold that there is a purgatory; and that the souls therein detained are helped by the suffrages of the faithful.
Likewise that the saints, reigning together with Christ, are to be honoured and invocated; and that they offer prayers to God for us, and that their relics are to be held in veneration.
I most firmly assert, that the images of Christ -of the Mother of God, ever Virgin-and also of other saints, ought to be had and retained; and that due honour and veneration is to be given them.
I also affirm, that the power of indulgences: was left by Christ in the Church, and the use of them is most beneficial to Christian people.
I acknowledge the Holy, Catholic, Apostolie, Roman Church for the mother and mistress of all churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, prince of the apostles, and vicar of Jesus Christ.
I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared, by the sacred canons and general councils, and particularly by the holy council of Trent.
condemn, reject, and anathematize, all things contrary thereto, and all heresies which the church has condemned, rejected, and anathematized.
1 N. N. do at this present time freely profess, and sincerely hold this true Catholic faith, without which no one can be saved:* and I promise most constantly to retain and confess the same entire and unviolated, with God's assistance, to the end of my life..
ARTICLES OF FAITH EXPLAINED.
I. Of the Creeds approved by the Church.
THE Nicene Creed, St. Athanasius's creed, and what is commonly called the Apostles' creed, form the ground-work of the christian faith—and,
* These words have the same meaning, as in the Athanasian Creed..
together with the creed of Pope Pius the fourth, which is an extract of the decrees of the Council of Trent, are received by every member of the Catholic Church, as the substance of the faith revealed to her by Jesus Christ.
II. Of the Certainty of Faith.
IT is not to be imagined that the knowledge we receive by faith, is less certain, because the objects proposed to our belief are not evident. For altho' that Divine light, by which we perceive them, does not exhibit them with physical perspicuity, yet it leaves us no room for doubt. Because God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, himself shines in our hearts, that the gospel may not be hidden from us, as it is from those who perish.
It follows therefore, of course, that he who has been instructed in the heavenly knowledge of faith, must banish all curious inquiry. For when God commanded us to believe, he never intended that we should search into his Divine judgments, or that their design and object should be examined by any one.
The immutability of faith prescribes, that the mind quietly rest in the knowledge of eternal truth. And really if the Apostle has declared that God is true, but every man a liar, if it be arrogant and impudent not merely to refuse credit to a grave and wise man, but moreover to insist that he establish what he affirms, by arguments and proofs: what must be his temerity and folly, who, hearing a revelation of God, shall curiously scrutinize his heavenly word? It is our duty to believe therefore, not only without doubting, but even without seeking an explanation of the mys tery.
III. Of the Mystery of the Trinity.
THE mystery of the Holy Trinity, which com