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That the Church was intrusted with such an authority by Christ, and hath in every age exercised this authority, must be acknowledged by all, who are not strangers to Scripture and Church-history. St. Paul had justly excommunicated the incestuous Corinthian; but, in consideration of the fervour of his repentance, he restored him again to the facraments and the communion of the faithful, in consequence of the power of Joofing, as well as binding, which Chrijl had left in the Church. And in the primitive ages we meet with nothing more frequent, than a relaxation of the canonical pennances at the intreaties and request of the Martyrs.
The following decree therefore of the Council of Trent, S:1.24 de Reform. cannot but be applauded by every sober and dilpasionate man. “As the power of bestowing Indul. “ gences was granted by Christ to the Church, and as the “ Church, even in the moft early ages, made use of this “power...the holy fynod teacheth and appointeth the use " of indulgences, so very falutary to Christian people, and “ approved of by the authority of the sacred Councils, « to be retained in the Church..but desires that modera“ tion should be used in the grant of them, according to “the ancient and approved use of the Church ; leit, by “ too much ease, the discipline of the Church be enerva“ted. But defiring likewise that the abuses that have
crept therein may be corrected, she orders in general “ the abolishing all traffick for gaining the fame.” And desires all the Lithops to apply “proper remedies to what"ever abuses may have arisen from superstition, ignorance, “and irreverence, in the are thereof.”
The conditions upon which alone we can receive the efees of any Indulgence, are, 1. To be truly sorry for our fins. 2. To have a fincere desire of satisfying for them. 3. To satisfy as far as is in our power. 4. To have ob. tained the remiffion of sin as to the guilt of it. 5. To fulfil the acts of religion prescribed for the obiaining the Indulgence; such as fafting, praying, vifiing churches, giving alıns, receiving the bleficd Eucharift, c.
fufion of countenance and contrition of heart that I present myself in this posture of humility on
my bended knees before thy divine Majesty, whom I have offended most grievously by my manifold crimes and offences. Great hath been their enormity, and such as thy justice would have punished with eternal torments, had not thy mercy interpofed, and saved me from thy wrath by the blood of thy holy only Son, which hath been applied to my soul by thy minister in the facrament of pennance. Thou hast again therefore, in thy infinite goodness, admitted me into favour: thou hast placed me again at thy table with thy children, and fed me with the food of life, and the bread of Angels. But I can never forget my past ingratitude to thee, O my God, my Father, and my King. I deteft again all the crimes I have ever committed against thy divine Majesty. I acknowledge, that iho’thou haft taken away my fins, there remaineth yet a punishment due to them. The discipline of thy Church, tho' ever unchangeable in the spirit that guides and directs it, requires no longer those external rigours of pennance formerly practised, and which I know the enormity of sins demand, but thy justice is ftill the same, and fin must still be satisfied for. This, my God, I have in some measure endeavoured to do, and will still increase my efforts to perform in the best manner I am able.
But do thou, O God, confirm and ratify what thy Vicar on earth hath done. He hath opened the treasures of the Church, and I may now apply to my foul the fuperabundant merits of Jesus Chrift, thy only Son, and those of all his saints, which are his own gifts in them, to supply all the defects of the satisfaction I have or may perform for my sins.
Accept therefore the alms, fasts, and prayers which I offer to thy divine Majesty. I pray not for myself only, but for the whole Catholick Church all over the world. For the supreme Paftor thereof, the successor of St. Peter, the chief of thy Apofiles : for the Prelate, to whom thou hast comnit
ted the care of thy flock in this district, and for all the Pastors, who labour under him in the salvation of souls: for the Prince appointed by thee for the government of these realms. I pray also for all Christian Princes, that they may live in peace and perfect concord, and avoid all the profanations, horrors, and devastations of war. Look down alfo, in thy mercy, on all those unhappy fouls that know not thee, the true and living God, or refufe to believe thofe truths thou hast revealed to thy holy Catholick Church, or obstinately remain separate therefrom, and by schism destroy that unity, which thy only-begotten Son appointed to be kept by all his disciples. Grant this my humble petition, I beseech ihee, O almighty God, thro’ the fame pefus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth one God world without end. Amen.
A PROFESSION Of the CATHOLICK FAITH publifhed by Pope
PIUS IV. usually made by Graduates, &c. in Catholick Countries. N. N. with a firm faith believe and profess all
and every one of those things, which are contained in the Creed, which the holy Catholick Church maketh use of, viz. I believe in one God, the Father almighty, &c. in the Nicene Creed, at Mofs.
I most stedfastly admit and embrace Apostolical and Ecclefiastical traditions, and all other observances and constitutions of the church.
I also admit the holy Scripture according to that sense which our holy Mother, the Church, hath held, and doth 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 confent of the Fathers.
I also profess, that there are truly and properly seven Sacraments of the new law, instituted by JeJus Christ our Lord, and necessary for the salvation of mankind; tho' not all for every one, viz. Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharisl, Pennance, ExtremeÚnition, Order, and Matrimony; and that they confer grace: and that of these, Baptism, Confirmation, and Order cannot be reiterated without facrilege. I also receive and admit the received and approved Ceremonies of the Catholick Church in the folemn administration of all 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 Mafs there is offered to God, a true, proper, and propitiatory facrifice for the living and the dead. And that in the most holy facrament of the Eucharift, there is truly, really, and substantially the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Chrift: and that there is made a conversion or change of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood; which conversion or change the Catholick 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 relicks are to be respected.
I most firmly affert, that the Images of Christ, of the ever-Virgin-mother of God, and also of other
Saints ought to be had and retained; and that due honour and veneration is to be given to them.
I also affirm that the power of Indulgences was left by Christ in the Church, and that the use of them is most wholesome to Chriftian people.
I acknowledge the holy, Catholick, Apoftolick, Roman Church for the Mother and Mistress of all other Churches; and I promise true obedience to the Bishop of Rome, successor to St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles, and Vicar of Jesus Chrift.
I likewise undoubtedly receive and profess all other things delivered, defined, and declared by the sacred Canons and general Councils, and particu
larly by the holy Council of Trent. And I condemn, reject, and anathematize all things contrary
thereto, and all heresies whatsoever condemned, rejected, and anathematized by the Church.
This true Catholick Faith, without which no one can be saved, I N. N. do at this present freely profefs and sincerely hold; and I promise most conItantly to retain and confess the same entire, and unviolated, with God's assistance, to the end of my life.
A U T H O R.
WORK TO THE JUDGMENT OF THE APO. STOLICK SEE, (WHEREIN RESIDES THE VISIBLE HEAD OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST ON EA
ARTH) TO THAT OF THE APOSTOLICK VICARS IN ENGLAND, AND OF THE WHOLE CATHO. LICK CHURCH, IN WHOSE COMMUNION I HOPE, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, TO LIVE AND DIE. April 17, 1763.
C. C. C, A-D. A,