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Christians, in all ages and in all places, did confess to be the catholic and apostolic faith".
The communion of saints.
That is, the communion of all Christians, because, by reason of their holy faith, they are called saints in Scripture, as being begotten by God into a lively faith, and cleansed by believing; and by this faith, and the profession of a holy life in obedience to Jesus Christ, they are separated from the world, called to the knowledge of the truth, justified before God, and endued with the Holy Spirit of grace, foreknown from the beginning of the world, and predestinated by God to be made conformable to the image of his Son, here in holiness of life, hereafter in a life of glory; and they who are saints in their belief and profession, must be so also in their practice and conversation, that so they may make their calling and election sure, lest they be saints only in name and title, in their profession and institution, and not in manners and holiness of living, that is, lest they be so before men, and not before God. I believe that all people who desire the benefit of the Gospel, are bound to have a fellowship and society with these saints, and communicate with them in their holy things, in their faith, and in their hope, and in their sacraments, and in their prayers, and in their public assemblies, and in their government; and must do to them all the acts of charity, and mutual help, which they can and are required to; and without this communion of saints, and a conjunction with them who believe in God through Jesus Christ, there is no salvation to be expected: which communion must be kept in inward things always, and by all persons, and testified by outward acts always, when it is possible, and may be done upon just and holy conditions *.
The forgiveness of sins.
I believe that all the sins I committed before I came to
* 1 Tim. iii. 15. Matt. xviii. 17, 18. Heb. xiii. 8, 9.
Eph. iii. 21. Heb. ii. 12. x. 24. 1 Cor. xiv. 26, &c.
Acts, xxvi. 10. ix. 13, 32, 41. 1 Cor. vi. 11. and i. 2.
Matt. xxii. 14.
1 Pet. i. 2, 14, 15, 16. Pet. iii. 11. Matt. xviii. 17, 18. Heb. x. 25.
Phil. ii. 4. and i. 27.
1 Cor. xi. 23, &c. Rom. xvi. 16, 17.
Eph. iv. 13. v. 1 John, iii. 18.
6, 7, 21. vi. 18.
the knowledge of the truth, and all the slips of human infirmity, against which we heartily pray, and watch and labour, and all the evil habits, of which we repent so timely and effectually, that we obtain their contrary graces, and live in them, are fully remitted by the blood of Christ; which forgiveness we obtain by faith and repentance, and therefore are not justified by the righteousness of works, but by the righteousness of faith and we are preserved in the state of forgiveness or justification by the fruits of a lively faith, and a timely active repentance.
The resurrection of the body.
I believe, that at the last day all they, whose sins are forgiven, and who lived and died in the communion of saints, and in whom the Holy Spirit did dwell, shall rise from their graves, their dead bones shall live, and be clothed with flesh and skin, and their bodies, together with their souls, shall enter into the portion of a new life; and that this body shall no more see corruption, but shall rise to an excellent condition; it shall be spiritual, powerful, immortal, and glorious, like unto his glorious body, who shall then be our Judge, is now our Advocate, our Saviour, and our Lord.
And the life everlasting.
I believe that they who have their part in this resurrection, shall meet the Lord in the air; and when the blessed sentence is pronounced upon them, they shall for ever be with the Lord in joys unspeakable, and full of glory; God shall wipe all tears from their eyes; there shall be no fear or sorrow, no mourning or death, a friend shall never go away from thence, and an enemy shall never enter; there shall be fulness without want, light eternal, brighter than the sun; day, and no night; joy, and no weeping; difference in degree, and yet all full; there is love without dissimulation, excellency without envy, multitudes without confusion, music without discord; there the understandings are rich,
y Rom. iii. 28. Acts, ii. 38. xiii. 58. 1 John, ii. 1, 2, 12. Gal. vi. 1. John, xx. 23. Mark, xvi. 16. 2 Pet. i. 5, &c. Eph. i. 13. 1 Pet. i. 15, 16, 17, 18. Jam. ii. 17, 20, &c. 1 John, iii. 21, &c. Heb. xii. 14, 15, 16, 21 Cor. xv. $9, &c. Matt. xxii. 31. Rom. viii. 11, 23. John, vi. 39. Phil. iii. 20. 2 Cor. v. 1.
the will is satisfied, the affections are all love, and all joy, and they shall reign with God and Christ for ever and evera.
This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.
Regula quidem fidei, una omnino est, sola immobilis et irreformabilis, credendi scil. in unicum Deum Omnipotentem, &c. Hac lege fidei manente, cætera jam disciplinæ et conversationis admittunt novitatem correctionis, operante scil. et proficiente usque in finem gratiâ Dei":"
"The rule of faith is wholly one, unalterable, never to be mended, never changed; to wit, I believe in God, &c. This law of faith remaining,-in other things, you may increase and grow.
"Hæc est fides, quæ paucis verbis tenenda in symbolo novellis datur; quæ pauca verba fidelibus nota sunt: ut credendo subjugentur Deo, subjugati rectè vivant, rectè vivendo cor mundent, corde mundo quod credunt, intelligants :"
"This is the faith, which in few words is given to novices; these few words are known to all the faithful; that by believing they may be subject to God; by this subjection they may live well; by living well they may purify their hearts; and with pure hearts they may relish and understand what they do believe.”
Symbolum tessera est et signaculum, quo inter fideles, perfidosque secernitur:"
"This creed is the badge or cognizance, by which the faithful are discerned from unbelievers."
"Hujus catholici symboli brevis et perfecta confessio, quæ duodecim apostolorum totidem est signata sententiis, tam instructa est in munitione cœlesti, ut omnes hæreticorum opiniones solo possint gladio detruncarie;"
"This short and perfect confession of this catholic creed, which was consigned by the sentences of twelve apostles, is so perfect a celestial armour, that all the opinions of heretics may by this alone, as with a sword, be cut in pieces."
* 1 Thess. iv. 17. Rev. xxi. 4. Tertull, de velandis Virgin. Max. Taurin. de Tradit. Symb.
Rev. xxii. 5. Matt. xxv. 34.
S. Aug. de Fide et Symb. e Leo M. ad Pulcheriam Aug.
THINGS TO BE DONE.
Inscripta Christo pagina immortalis est;
Prudent. Tigi repávov. Hymn. 10.
The Diary; or, a Rule to spend each Day religiously.
1. SUPPOSE every day to be a day of business; for your whole life is a race, and a battle, a merchandise, and a journey. Every day propound to yourself a rosary or a chaplet of good works, to present to God at night.
2. Rise as soon as your health and other occasions shall permit; but it is good to be as regular as you can, and as early. Remember, he that rises first to prayer, hath a more early title to a blessing; but he that changes night into day, labour into idleness, watchfulness to sleep, changes his hopes of blessing into a dream.
3. Never let any one think it an excuse to lie in bed, because he hath nothing to do when he is up; for whoever hath a soul, and hopes to save that soul, hath work enough to do to "make his calling and election sure," to serve God, and to pray, to read, and to meditate, to repent, and to amend, to do good to others, and to keep evil from themselves. And if thou hast little to do, thou oughtest to employ the more time in laying up for a greater crown of glory.
4. At your opening your eyes, enter upon the day with some act of piety:
1. Of thanksgiving for the preservation of you the night past.
2. Of the glorification of God for the works of the creation, or any thing for the honour of God. 5. When you first go off from your bed, solemnly and devoutly bow your head, and worship the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
6. When you are making ready, be as silent as you can, and spend that time in holy thoughts; there being no way left to redeem that time from loss, but by meditation, and short mental prayers. If you choose to speak, speak something of God's praises, of his goodness, his mercies, or his greatness: ever resolving, that the first fruits of thy reason, and of all thy faculties, shall be presented to God, to sanctify the whole harvest of thy conversation.
7. Be not curious, nor careless in your habit, but always keep these measures :
1. Be not troublesome to thyself, or to others, by unhandsomeness or uncleanness.
2. Let it be according to your state and quality. 3. Make religion to be the difference of your habit, so as to be best attired upon holy or festival days. 8. In your dressing, let there be ejaculations fitted to the several actions of dressing: as, at washing your hands and face, pray God to cleanse your soul from sin; in putting on your clothes, pray him to clothe your soul with the righteousness of your Saviour: and so in all the rest.
For religion must not only be the garment of your soul, to invest it all over; but it must be also as the fringes to every of your actions, that something of religion appear in every one of them, besides the innocence of all of them.
9. As soon as you are dressed with the first preparation of your clothes, that you can decently do it, kneel and say the Lord's Prayer; then rise from your knees, and do what is necessary for you in order to your further dressing, or affairs of the house, which is speedily to be done; and then finish your dressing, according to the foregoing rules.
10. When you are dressed, retire yourself to your closet; and go to your usual devotions, which it is good that, at the first prayers, they were divided into seven actions of piety: 1. An act of adoration.