Imatges de pÓgina

their mutual necessities; and that God accepts the satisfactions which the living offer up to him for THE DEAD. But it must never be forgotten that all we are, belongs to God, and that all the love which his tenderness manifests for the faithful, who are members of Jesus Christ, is necessarily referred to their head: and certainly when we read and consider how God himself inspires his servants with a desire to afflict themselves with fasting, hair-cloth and ashes, not only for their own, but for the sins of other people, we no longer wonder that being moved with the delight he has to gratify his faithful servants, he mercifully accepts the humble sacrifice of their voluntary mortifications, in abatement of those chastisements he had otherwise prepared for all delinquents. Because it shews that being satisfi ed by some, he renders himself more mild towards the others; by these means honouring his Son, Jesus Christ, in the communion of his members and in the holy society of his mystical body.

XXXIII. Of Religious Worship.

THE Catholic Church teaches us that all religious worship must terminate in God alone; and that it principally consists in believing him to be the Creator and Lord of all things, and in adhering to him with all the powers of the soul, by faith, hope, and charity, as to one who alone can make her happy, by the communication of an infinite good, which is himself.

This interior adoration, however, which we render to God in spirit and in truth, has its exterior marks; whereof the principal is sacrifice, and which can be offered to none but God.

XXXIV. Of the Invocation of Saints.

THE church in teaching that it is profitable to

pray to saints, enjoins us to address them in the same spirit of charity, and according to the same order of fraternal society, which moves us to demand assistance of our brethren living on earth. Indeed the extreme difference there is, between our manner of imploring God's assistance, and that of imploring the aid of the saints, is evident. To God the proper manner of speaking is to say: Have mercy on us : hear us. Whereas while we only desire the saints to pray for us, we in reality obtain those benefits, received by their intercession, no otherwise than through Jesus Christ, and in his name; since these saints themselves pray in no other manner than through him, and are only heard in his name.

In the same manner, all the honour we render them in sacrificing, consists in naming them, in the prayers we offer up to God, as his faithful servants, and in thanking him for the victories they have gained, whilst we beseech him that he would favour us by their intercession.

XXXV. Of Images and Relics.

THE Council of Trent forbids us expressly "to believe any divinity or virtue in them, for which they ought to be reverenced; to demand any favour of them, or to put any trust in them, and ordains, that all the honour which is given to them should be referred to the originals represented by them." (Sess. 25.)

The honour we pay to images and relics is grounded on the circumstance, that as memoriats of holy persons, they excite us to an imitation of them, by recalling their virtues to our reImembrance. Thus in honouring the image of au apostle or martyr, the church directs us, to refer the act to that internal sensation, which the sence of the image has excited in our soul.


XXXVI. Of Indulgences.

Ax indulgence is a free discharge by Jesus Christ, of the debt of temporal satisfaction to divine justice in consideration either of the sinners compunction, or of satisfaction offered by the church. Or it is a commutation of one satisfaction for another of a longer penance for a shorter, and hence it is styled an INDULGENCE, or favour done. us. Thus an indulgence which requires that the individual be in a state of grace, has nothing to do with the pardon of sin, nor with the eternal punishments due to sin, but only with that debt of temporal penance, which the sinner has to discharge after the eternal guilt of his sin has been forgiven. The council of Trent proposes nothing else to be believed concerning indulgences than that the power to grant them, has been given to the church by Jesus Christ, and that the use of them is very beneficial to the soul. The granting them for money, if ever done, is a scandalous abuse, most strictly forbidden and condemned by the same council. (Sess. 25.)

XXXVII. Of obtaining Salvation in any Church or Religion.

As there is but one God, one Christ, the Messiah, so there can be but one religion. For God who alone is the author of all true religion, cannot reveal several without contradicting himself. Thus the religion of the Patriarchs, the religion of the Jews, the religion of Christ's disciples on earth, and of the blessed in heaven, is one and the same, and may be compared to the four vegetating seasons of the year. Consequently that only can be the true church in which this true religion is practised.


XXXVIII. Of the Churches of Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and of Rome.

THE word Church signifies a collective body of people, holding spiritual communion together under one spiritual authority; which is the definition of the church of Christ. But as the parts

of every whole may be distinguished by particular names, as certain parts of great Britain are called the Isle of Wight, Wales, Scotland, &c. so writers have spoke of the church of Jerusalem, of the church of Alexandria, and of the church of Antioch, as of portions or branches of the church of Christ; and verily they continued parts or branches of the same so long as they were joined in communion with it. Moreover, as every part or portion is a whole, in respect to itself, so they were properly called churches: and therefore when these churches failed, they failed as parts and branches, and in separating from the commuuion of other churches, ceased to be parts of the Church of Christ.

Whereas the Church of Rome having originally been (Rom. xi. 7, 8.), and having always continued to be an integral part of the whole Catholic church, she cannot be said to have erred, in any essential truth or article of faith, without including in the same charge the whole church of Christ, which cannot be done without committing blasphemy. For against her the gates of hell shall not prevail.

XXXIX. Of the Pope.

THE word Pope is derived from the Greek word, PAPPAS, signifying reverend father. Whoever fills the apostolical chair of Peter, as Bishop of Rome, is Pope, or Primate, and chief-bishop of Christ's Catholic Church. So far he is our common father, and we are all his common child

ren in Christ, (John xxi. 16, 17.) His office is to watch over the whole church; to assemble and preside in general councils; to see that all the faithful are duly instructed, and that the precepts and canons of the church are observed; and to dispense with their observance when a good cause requires it.

XL. Of the King and civil Magistrates.

ALL men, whatever be their profession or religion, are subject to the civil powers under which they live and therefore must never suppose that any spiritual authority can lawfully claim civil obedience from them in any civil matter, when such obedience would be a violation of the laws of their country. In morals and religion they must be directed by their proper pastors; but in state affairs are to own no authority but what is sanctioned by the LAW.

XLI. Of a Christian's Oath.

An oath is a solemn appeal to God, and never lawful but on solemn occasions and when we are in earnest. To take an oath without the intention of faithfully keeping it, is a manifest perjury. Those are truly calumniators of truth therefore who say, that oaths given to a Protestant government are not binding; or that those who have taken them can be absolved from their obligations.

XLII. Of Anathemas.

As the authority of the church is strictly spiritual, so it cannot extend to matters of a temporal nature. And tho' some particular canons of general councils have related to subjects of a mixed nature, yet they have never been considered binding in any country till they were received and

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