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To which the attention of teachers, fc., is particular
ly requested. Page 13. 1st Answer. Before " A sincere belief” insert,
" A divine virtue by which we have,” &c. Page 21. Sixth line from the bottom, instead of “unbegot
ten,” read," begotten.", Page 53. Note 2. Instead of "Whosoever committeth sin,
committeth transgression of the law, for sin is the transgression of the law," read," Whosoever committeth sin, committeth also iniquity; and sin is
iniquity.” Page 86. Note 5. Fourth line, instead of " from the first to
the seventh day,” read, "from the seventh to the
first day.” Page 120. 1st Answer. Second line, instead of "a visible
of," read, a visible sign by which." And in the third line, insert“ is," between “benefit" and "bestowed.”
The following pages contain a short exposition of Catholic doctrine, and Catholic practice, with the chief authorities and principles on which that doctrine and practice are founded. To the well-informed it can offer nothing with which they are not already acquainted; but it is hoped that it may prove useful to two classes of persons; to the young who are preparing themselves for their first communion, and to the more aged, who have been suffered to grow up to manhood without a competent knowledge of their religion.
The writer has made use of the catechetical method of question and answer, not with any intention of composing a regular form of catechism, but for the sake of the running commentary with which such questions and answers may be accompanied, the best and readiest way of comprising within a small compass a great variety of subjects. The reader, therefore, will look on many of those questions merely as pegs to hang the notes upon without further preparation or introduction.
OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE.
OF THE TRINITY. 1. Or what religion are you?
By the grace of God I am a Christian. 2. Whom mean you by a Christian ?
One, who having been baptized, believes and professes the faith and law of Christ.
1. By the grace of God. - That we are Christians, is
a blessing for which we are plainly indebted to the grace or bounty of God. Of ourselves, we had no more right to it than any other descendants of Adam : yet to us it has been given, though withheld from thousands of our fellow-men. Each of us, then, may say with St. Paul : By the grace of God I am what I am ; and happy will it be for each, if he can add with equal truth: And his grace
in me hath not been void. -1 Cor. xv. 10. 2. Been baptized.—The converts made by the apos
tles, assumed or received the name of Christians, because they had embraced the religion of Christ. The same name has of late years been given by
3. In what name is the Christian baptized ?
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
some to all persons, who admit that Christ was a teacher commissioned by God. This, however, is a new and unauthorized acceptation of the word. According to Scripture and tradition, no man is entitled to the appellation of a Christian, until he has been admitted through baptism into the kingdom of God, that is, into the Church of Christ. Such was the doctrine which our blessed Lord delivered to Nicodemus : Amen, amen, I
say unto thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John iii. 5.) Such was the doctrine of the apostles. When the Jews asked St. Peter on the day of Pentecost, what they should do, he answered, that they must repent and be baptized for the remission of sins; and we are told, that they who gladly received his word were baptized ; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts ii. 37, 41.) Such also was the practice of the first Christians. " As many,” says Justin Martyr, vinced, and believe our doctrines, and undertake to live accordingly as we teach, are instructed to fast and to pray to God (we also fasting and praying with them) for the remission of the sins which they have hitherto committed, and are then led to a place where there is water, and are there born again, after the same manner in which we were born again.”—Just. Mart. p. 93, anno 150.
Believes and professes.-A distinction must be made between the necessity of believing, and of making open profession of our belief. Belief it
as are con