Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent/Session VI/Justification

Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent  (1851) 
by the Council of Trent, translated by Theodore Alois Buckley
Session VI. Decree concerning Justification


Celebrated on the thirteenth day of the month of January, 1547.



Whereas there is, at this time, not without the casting away of many souls, and grievous detriment to the unity of the Church, a certain erroneous doctrine disseminated concerning Justification; with a view to the praise and glory of Almighty God, the tranquillizing of the Church, and the salvation of souls, the sacred and holy, œcumenical and general Synod of Trent, lawfully assembled in the Holy Ghost,—the most reverend lords, the lords Giammaria del Monte, bishop of Palæstrina, and Marcellus of the title of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, priest, cardinals of the holy Romish Church, and legates apostolic a latere, presiding therein, in the name of our most holy father and lord in Christ, Paul III., by the providence of God, Pope,— purposes to expound to all the faithful of Christ the true and sound doctrine of the said Justification; which the sun of righteousness[1] Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith[2] taught, the apostles transmitted, and the Catholic Church, the Holy Ghost reminding her thereof,[3] has continually retained; most strictly forbidding that any henceforth presume to believe, preach, or teach, otherwise than as by the present decree is ordained and declared.


On the Inability of Nature and of the Law to justify Man.

The holy synod declares first, that, for the correct and sound understanding of the doctrine of Justification, it behoves that each one recognize and confess, that, whereas all men had lost their innocence in the prevarication of Adam,[4] having become unclean,[5] and, as the apostle says, by nature the children of wrath,[6] as [this synod] has set forth in the decree on original sin, they were so far the servants of sin,[7] and under the power of the devil and of death, that not only the Gentiles by the force of nature, but not even the Jews by the very letter itself of the law of Moses, were able to be liberated, or to arise, from thence; although in them free will, attenuated and bent down as it was in its powers, was by no means extinguished.


Touching the Dispensation and Mystery of the Advent of Christ.

Through the which it came to pass, that the heavenly Father, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,[8] when that blessed fulness of the time was come,[9] sent unto men Jesus Christ, His own Son, who had been, both before the Law, and during the time of the Law, declared and promised to many of the holy fathers, that He might both redeem the Jews who were under the Law,[10] and that the Gentiles, who followed not after justice,[11] might attain to justice, and that all might receive the adoption of sons. Him hath God set forth as a propitiator, through faith in his blood,[12] for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for those of the whole world.[13]


Who are justified through Christ.

But, though He died for all,[14] yet do not all receive the benefit of His death; but those only, unto whom the merit of His passion is communicated. For as in truth men, ifthey were not born propagated from the seed of Adam, would not be born unjust; whereas, by that propagation, they contract through the same [Adam] when they are conceived, injustice as their own; so, if they were not bornagain in Christ, they would never be justified; seeing that in that new birth there is bestowed upon them, through the merit of His passion, the grace whereby they are made just. For this benefit the apostle exhorts us evermore to give thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to he partakers of the inheritable of the saints in light, and hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, in whom we have redemption, and remission of sins.[15]


A Description is interwoven[16] of the Justification of the Impious, and of the Manner thereof under the State of Grace.

By which words a description of the Justification of the impious is interwoven, to the effect that it is a translation from that state in which man is born a child of the first Adam, into the state of grace, and of the adoption of the sons of God,[17] through the second Adam, Jesus Christ, our Saviour. And this translation, since the Gospel has been promulgated, cannot be effected, without the laver of regeneration,[18] or the desire thereof, as it is written; Unless a man be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.[19]


On the Necessity of Preparation for Justification, in the case of Adults, and whence it proceeds.

[This synod] furthermore declares, that, in adults, the beginning of the said Justification is to be taken from the preventing[20] grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from His vocation, by which, without the existence of any merits on their parts, they are called; that so they, who through sins were turned away from God, may, through His quickening and assisting grace, be disposed to turn themselves unto their own justification, by freely assenting to, and co-operating with that said grace: so that, while God toucheth the heart of man by the illumination of the Holy Ghost, neither is man himself utterly inactive while he receives that inspiration, inasmuch as he is also able to reject it; yet is he not able, without the Grace of God, by his own free will to move himself unto justice in His sight. "Whence, when it is said in the sacred writings: Turn ye unto me, and I will turn unto you,[21] we are admonished of our liberty: when we answer; Turn thou us, O Lord, unto thee, and we shall be turned,[22] we confess that we are prevented by the grace of God.


The Manner of Preparation.

Now they are disposed unto the said justice, when, quickened, and assisted by divine grace, conceiving faith byhearing,[23] they are freely moved towards God, believing those things to be true which have been divinely revealed and promised, and this especially, that the impious is justified of God by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;[24] and when, understanding themselves to be sinners, they, through the fear of divine justice, whereby they are profitably agitated by turning themselves to consider the mercy of God, are raised unto hope, trusting that God will be propitious to them for Christ's sake; and they begin to love Him as the fountain of all justice; and are for that reason moved against sins by a certain hatred and detestation, that is to say, by that penitence[25] which must be performed before baptism: lastly, when they propose to receive baptism, to begin a new life, and to keep the divine commandments. Concerning this disposition it is written, He that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and is a rewarder to them that seek him;[26] and, Be of good cheer, son, thy sins be forgiven thee;[27] and, The fear of the Lord driveth away sin;[28] and, Do penance, and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost;[29] and, Going, therefore, teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;[30] finally, Prepare your hearts unto the Lord.[31]


What is the Justification of the Impious, and what are its Causes.

This disposition, or preparation, justification itself follows, which is not merely the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the inward man, through the voluntary reception of the grace and gifts, whereby man from unjust becomes just, and from an enemy a friend, that so he may be an heir according to the hope of eternal life.[32]

Of this justification the causes ore these: the final [cause] indeed is the glory of God and of Christ, and eternal life; while the efficient cause is the merciful God, who gratuitously washes and sanctifies,[33] sealing, and anointing with the holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance;[34] but the meritorious cause is His most beloved only-begotten, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when we were enemies,[35] for the great charity wherewith he loved us,[36] merited justification for us by His most holy Passion on the wood of the cross, and for us made satisfaction unto God the Father; the instrumental cause, moreover, is the sacrament of baptism, which is the sacrament of faith, without which justification never befel any man; lastly, the sole formal cause is the justice of God; not that by which He himself is just, but that by which He maketh us just, that, to wit, with which we, being endowed by Him, are renewed in the spirit of our mind,[37] and we are not only reputed, but are truly called, and are, just, receiving justice within us, each one according to his own measure, which the Holy Ghost divides to every man severally as He will,[38] and according to each one's proper disposition and co-operation. For, although no one can be just, but he to whom the merits of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ are communicated, yet is this brought to pass in this justification of the impious, when, by the merit of that same most holy Passion, the charity of God is shed abroad, by the Holy Ghost, in the hearts[39] of those who are justified, and is inherent in them; whence man, in the said justification through Jesus Christ, into whom he is ingrafted, receives, together with the remission of sins, all these things infused at once, faith, hope, and charity. For faith, unless to it be added hope and charity, neither unites [man] perfectly with Christ, nor makes him a living member of His body. For which reason it is most truly said, that Faith without works is dead,[40] and idle; and In Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by charity.[41] This faith catechumens beg of the Church, agreeably to a tradition of the apostles, previously to the sacrament of baptism; when they beg for the faith which bestoweth life everlasting, which, without hope and charity, faith cannot bestow. Whence also do they straightway hear that word of Christ: If thou wilt enter info life, keep the commandments.[42] Wherefore, when receiving true and Christian justice, they, immediately on being born again, are commanded to preserve it pure and spotless, as the first robe,[43] given unto them through Jesus Christ, instead of that which Adam, by his disobedience, lost for himself and for us, that so they may bear it before the tribunal of our Lord Jesus Christ, and may have life everlasting.


In what Manner it must he understood that the Impious are Justified by Faith , and freely.

But whereas the Apostle saith, that man is justified by faith, and freely,[44] those words are to be understood in that sense which the perpetual consent of the Catholic Church hath held and expressed; to wit, that we be therefore said to be justified by faith, because faith is the beginning of human salvation, the foundation, and the root of all justification; without which it is impossible to please God,[45] and to come unto the fellowship of His sons; but we are therefore said to be justified freely, because none of those things which precede justification, whether faith or works, merit the grace itself of justification. For, if it be a grace, then is it no more by works, otherwise, as the same Apostle saith, grace is no more grace.[46]


Against the Vain Confidence of Heretics.

But, although it be necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted, nor ever have been remitted, save freely, by the divine mercy for Christ's sake; yet is it not to be said, that sins are forgiven, or have been forgiven, to any one who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, and rests on that alone; since it may exist, yea, does in our time exist, among heretics and schismatics; and with great earnestness is this confidence, vain, and remote from all piety, preached up in opposition to the Catholic Church. But neither is this to be asserted,—that it behoves them who are truly justified, without any doubting whatever, to settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he who for certain believes that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone; as though whosoever believeth not this, doubts respecting the promises of God, and the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For, as no pious person ought to doubt respecting the mercy of God, the merit of Christ, and the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, so each one, when he regards himself, and his own peculiar weakness and indisposition, may entertain fear and apprehension concerning his own grace; inasmuch as no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to mistake, that he has obtained the grace of God.


On the Increase of Justification received.

Having, therefore, been thus justified, and made the friends and of the household of God,[47] advancing from strength to strength,[48] they are renewed, as the Apostle says, day by day;[49] that is, by mortifying the members[50] of their own flesh, and by yielding them as instruments of righteousness unto holiness[51] they, through the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, faith co-operating with good works, increase in the justice received through the grace of Christ, and are still more justified, as is written,—He that is righteous, let him be made righteous still;[52] and again, Be not afraid to be justified even to death;[53] and also, Ye see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only,[54] And this increase of justification, the Holy Church begs, when she prays, "Give unto us, O Lord, increase of faith, hope, and charity."[55]


On the Keeping of the Commandments, and on the Necessity and Possibility thereof.

But no one, how much soever justified, ought to think himself free from the observance of the commandments; no one ought to make use of that rash saying, prohibited by the fathers under an anathema; that the commandments of God are impossible for one that is justified to observe. For God commands not impossibilities, but, by commanding, admonishes thee both to do what thou art able, and to pray for what thou art not able,[56] and aids thee that thou mayest be able; whose commandments are not grievous;[57] whose yoke is sweet and whose burden light.[58] For whosoever are the sons of God, love Christ; but they who love him, as Himself doth testify, keep his commandments;[59] which, assuredly, with the divine assistance, they can do. For, although in this mortal life, men, how holy and just soever, at times fall into at least light and daily sins, which are also called venial; yet they do not therefore cease to be just. For that cry of the just, Forgive us our trespasses,[60] is both humble and true; whence it happens, the just themselves ought to feel themselves the more obliged to walk in the way of justice, in that, being already freed from sins, but made servants unto God,[61] they are able, living soberly, righteously, and godly,[62] to proceed onwards through Jesus Christ, by whom they have had access unto that grace. For God deserts not those who have been once justified by His grace, unless he be first deserted by them. Wherefore, no one ought to flatter himself upon faith alone, deeming that by faith alone he is made an heir, and will obtain the inheritance, even though he suffer not with Christ, that so he may be also glorified together [with him].[63] For even Christ Himself, as the Apostle saith, though he was the son of God, learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and being made perfect,[64] he became the cause of eternal salvation unto all who obey him.[65] For which reason the same Apostle admonishes the justified, saying: Know ye not that they which run in the race, run all indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly: so fight I, not as one that beateth the air; but I chastise my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a cast-away.[66] So also the prince of the apostles, Peter: The rather give diligence, that by good works ye may make sure your calling and election. For if ye do these things, you shall not sin at any time.[67] Whence it is certain, that those who are opposed to the orthodox doctrine of religion,[68] who say that the just man sins, venially at least, in every good work: or, which is still more insupportable, that he merits eternal punishments; as also those who state,[69] that the just sin in all their works, if in those [works] they, in order to stimulate their own sloth, and to encourage themselves to run in the course, besides this chief aim, that God be glorified, regard also the eternal reward; whereas it is written, I have inclined my heart to do all thy justifications for the reward:[70] and, concerning Moses, the Apostle saith, that he had respect unto the reward.[71]


That a Rash Presumption in regard to Predestination is to be avoided.

No one, moreover, so long as he exists in this mortal state, ought so far to presume concerning the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinated; as if it were true, that he who is justified, either cannot sin any more, or if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself a certain repentance; for except by a special revelation, it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself.


Touching the Gift of Perseverence.

In like manner touching the gift of perseverance, of which it is written, He that shall endure to the end, he shall be saved,[72]—which [gift] cannot indeed be obtained from any other save Him, who is able to establish him who standeth,[73] that he stand perseveringly, and to restore him who falleth:—let no one promise himself anything as certain with absolute certainty; though all ought to place and repose the most firm hope in God's help. For God, unless men themselves be wanting to His grace, as he has begun the good work, so will he perfect it, working [in them] to will and to do.[74] Nevertheless, let those who think they stand, take heed lest they fall,[75] and, with fear and trembling work out their salvation,[76] in labours, in watching, in almsgivings, in prayers and oblations, in fastings and in chastity. For, knowing that they are born again unto a hope of glory,[77] and not as yet unto glory, they ought to fear for the combat which remains, with the flesh, with the world, with the devil, wherein they cannot be victors, unless they, with God's grace, obey the apostle, who says; We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh; for if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the spirit do mortify the deeds of the flesh, ye shall live.[78]


On the Fallen, and their Restoration.

But those who through sin have fallen away from the received grace of justification, may again be justified, when, God exciting them, through the sacrament of penance, they, by the merit of Christ, shall have obtained the recovery of the grace lost. For this manner of justification is unto the fallen the reparation, which the holy fathers have aptly called a second plank after the shipwreck of grace lost.[79] For, on behalf of those who after baptism fall into sins, Christ Jesus instituted the sacrament of penance, when He said, Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye shall remit, they are remitted unto them, and whosesoever sins ye shall retain, they are retained.[80] Whence it is to be taught, that the penitence of a Christian man after his fall, is very different from that at his baptism; and that therein are included not only a cessation from sins, and a detestation thereof, or, a contrite and humble heart,[81] but also the sacramental confession of the same sins, at least in desire, and to be made in its season, and sacerdotal absolution; and likewise satisfaction by fasts, almsgivings, prayers, and the other pious exercises of a spiritual life; not indeed for the eternal punishment, which is, together with the guilt, remitted, either by the sacrament, or by the desire of the sacrament; but for the temporal punishment, which, as the sacred writings teach, is not always wholly remitted, as is done in baptism, unto those who, ungrateful to the grace of God which they have received, have grieved the Holy Spirit,[82] and have not feared to defile the temple of God.[83] Concerning which penitence it is written: Remember from whence thou art fallen; do penance, and do the first works.[84] And again: The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance steadfast unto salvation.[85] And again: Do penance, and bring forth fruits worthy of penance.[86]


That, by every Mortal Sin, Grace is lost, but not Faith.

In opposition also to the cunning wits of certain men, who, by good works and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the innocent,[87] it is to be maintained, that the received grace of justification is lost, not only by infidelity, in which even faith itself is lost, but also by any other mortal sin soever, though faith be not lost; thereby defending the doctrine of the divine law, which excludes from the kingdom of God not only the unbelieving, but also the faithful who are fornicators, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners,[88] and all others who commit deadly sins; from which, with the help of divine grace, they are able to refrain, and on account of which they are separated from the grace of Christ.


On the Fruit of Justification, that is, on the Merit of Good Works and on the Manner of that same Merit.

Unto men, therefore, who have been justified after this manner, whether they have preserved uninterruptedly the grace received, or have recovered it when lost, are to be set the words of the Apostle: Abound in every good work, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord;[89] for God is not unrighteous to forget your work, and the love which ye have showed in his name;[90] and, cast not away your confidence, which hath a great recompense.[91] And, for this cause, unto them who work well unto the end,[92] and hoping in God, life eternal is to be proposed, both as a grace mercifully promised to the sons of God through Jesus Christ, and as a recompense which is to be faithfully rendered to their good works and merits according to the promise of God Himself. For this is that crowm of righteousness which the Apostle asserted was, after his fight and course, laid up for him, to be given to him by the righteous judge, and not only to him, but unto all that love his coming.[93] For, whereas Jesus Christ Himself, as the head into the members, and the vine into the branches, continually causes his virtue to flow into the said justified, which virtue always precedes and accompanies and follows after their good works, and without which it could not in anywise be pleasing and meritorious before God, we must needs believe that to the justified nothing further is wanting, but that they be accounted to have, by those very works which have been done in God, fully satisfied the divine law according to the state of this life, and truly to have merited eternal life, to be obtained also in its due time; if so be, however, that they shall have departed in grace: forasmuch as Christ, our Saviour, saith: If any one shall drink of the water that I shall give him, he shall not thirst for ever; but it shall become in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.[94] Thus, neither is our own righteousness established as our own[95] as from ourselves; nor is the righteousness of God denied or repudiated: for that righteousness which is called ours, because we are justified from its being inherent in us, that same is [the righteousness] of God, because it is infused into us of God, through the merit of Christ. Nor is this to be omitted, that, although, in the sacred writings, so much is attributed to good works, that Christ promises, that even he that shall give a drink of cold water to one of his least ones, shall not lose his reward;[96] and the Apostle bears witness that, That which is at present but for a moment and light of our tribulation, worketh for us a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory;[97] nevertheless far be it that a Christian man should either trust or glory in himself, and not in the Lord,[98] whose goodness towards all men is so great, that He will have the things which are His own gifts to be their own merits.[99] And whereas in many things we all offend,[100] each one ought to have before his eyes, as well severity and judgment, as mercy and goodness; neither ought any one to judge himself, even though he be not conscious to himself of anything;[101] inasmuch as the whole life of man is to be examined and judged, not by the judgment of men, but of God, who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts, and then shall every man have praise of God,[102] who, as it is written, will render to every man according to his works.[103]

After this Catholic doctrine on justification, which whosoever receiveth not faithfully and firmly cannot be justified, it hath pleased the holy synod to subjoin these canons, that all may know not only what they ought to hold and follow, but also what to avoid and shun.


Canon i. If any one shall say, that man may be justified before God by his own works, whether done through the strength of human nature, or through the teaching of the law, without the divine grace through Jesus Christ; let him be anathema.

Canon ii. If any one shall say, that the divine grace through Jesus Christ is given only unto this, that man may more easily be able to live justly, and to merit eternal life, as if, by free will without grace, he were able [to do] both, though hardly and with difficulty; let him be anathema.

Canon iii. If any one shall say, that without the preventing inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and his help, man can believe, hope, love, or be penitent, as he ought, so that the grace of justification may be conferred upon him; let him be anathema.

Canon iv. If any one shall say, that the free will of man moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, nowise co-operates to the end that it should dispose and prepare itself for obtaining the grace of justification; and that it cannot refuse consent, if it would, but that, like something inanimate, it does nothing whatever, and is merely in a passive state; let him be anathema.

Canon v. If any one shall say, that, since Adam's sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or, that it is a thing with a name only, yea, a title without a reality, a figment, in fine, brought into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.

Canon vi. If any one shall say, that it is not in the power of man to make his ways evil, but that God worketh the works that are evil as well as those that are good, not by permission only, but properly, and of Himself in such wise that the treason of Judas be no less His own proper work than the calling of Paul; let him be anathema.

Canon vii. If any one shall say, that all works which are done before justification, in what manner soever they be done, are truly sins, or deserve the hatred of God; or that, the more earnestly one strive to dispose himself for grace, so much the more grievously he sins; let him be anathema.

Canon viii. If any one shall say, that the fear of hell, through which, by grieving for our sins, we flee unto the mercy of God, or refrain from sinning, is a sin, or makes sinners worse; let him be anathema.

Canon ix. If any one shall say, that by faith alone the impious is justified; so as to mean that nothing else is required to co-operate in order unto the obtaining the grace of justification, and that it is not in any respect necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.

Canon x. If any one shall say, that men are justified without the righteousness of Christ, by which He merited for us to be justified; or that it is by that [justice] itself that they are formally just; let him be anathema.

Canon xi. If any one shall say, that men are justified either by the sole imputation of the righteousness of Christ, or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and the charity which is shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost,[104] and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, by which we are justified, is only the favour of God; let him he anathema.

Canon xii. If any one shall say, that justifying faith is nought else but confidence in the divine mercy which remits sins for Christ's sake; or that it is this confidence alone by which we are justified; let him be anathema.

Canon xiii. If any one shall say, that it is necessary unto every one, for the obtaining the remission of sins, that he believe for certain, and without any hesitation arising from his own infirmity and indisposition, that his sins are remitted unto him; let mm be anathema.

Canon xiv. If any one shall say, that man is absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself to be absolved and justified; or that no one is truly justified save he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are perfected; let him be anathema.

Canon xv. If any one shall say, that a man, who is born again and justified, is bound of faith to believe that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinated; let him be anathema.

Canon xvi. If any one shall say, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end, unless that he have learnt this by a special revelation; let him be anathema.

Canon xvii. If any one shall say, that the grace of justification only befalleth those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called, are called indeed, but receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.

Canon xvii. If any one shall say, that the commandments of God are, even for a man that is justified and constituted in grace, impossible to keep; let him be anathema.

Canon xix. If any one shall say that nothing besides faith is commanded in the Gospel; that other things are indifferent, neither commanded nor prohibited, but free; or, that the ten commandments in nowise appertain to Christians; let him be anathema.

Canon xx. If any one shall say, that a man who is justified and how perfect soever, is not bound to the observance of the commandments of God and of the Church, but only to believe; as if, forsooth, the Gospel were a bare and absolute promise of eternal life, without the condition of observation of the commandments; let him be anathema.

Canon xxi. If any one shall say, that Christ Jesus was given of God unto men, as a redeemer, in whom they should trust, and not also as a legislator, whom they should obey; let him be anathema.

Canon xxii. If any one shall say, that the justified is able either to persevere, without the special assistance of God, in the justice received; or that, with that [assistance], he is not able; let him be anathema.

Canon xxiii. If any one shall say, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, throughout his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial, except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds respecting the Blessed Virgin;[105] let him be anathema.

Canon xxiv. If any one shall say, that the justice received is not preserved, and also increased in the sight of God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of justification received, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.

Canon xxv. If any one shall say, that, in every good work, the just sins venially at least, or, which is still more intolerable, mortally, and therefore deserves eternal punishments; and that it is only for this cause he is not damned, because God does not impute those works unto damnation; let him be anathema.

Canon xxvi. If any one shall say, that the just ought not, for their good works which have been done in God, to expect and hope for an eternal recompense from God, through His mercy and the merit of Jesus Christ, if they persevere unto the end[106] in well doing and in keeping the divine commandments; let him be anathema.

Canon xxvii. If any one shall say, that there is no deadly sin but that of infidelity; or, that grace once received is not lost by any other sin, however grievous and enormous, save only by that of infidelity; let him be anathema.

Canon xxviii. If any one shall say, that, grace being lost through sin, faith also is always lost with it; or that the faith which remains is not a true faith, though it be not a lively faith; or, that he, who has faith without charity, is not a Christian; let him be anathema.

Canon xxix. If any one shall say, that he, who has fallen after baptism, is not able by the grace of God to rise again; or, that he is able indeed to recover the justice lost, but by faith alone, without the sacrament of penance, contrary to what the holy Roman and universal Church, instructed by Christ and his apostles, has hitherto professed, observed and taught; let him be anathema.

Canon xxx. If any one shall say, that, after the grace of justification received, into every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted, and the penalty[107] of eternal punishment so blotted out, that there remains not any penalty of temporal punishment, to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in purgatory,[108] before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be laid open; let him be anathema.

Canon xxxi. If any one shall say, that the justified sins when he doeth good works with a view to an eternal recompense; let him be anathema.

Canon xxxii. If any one shall say, that the good works of a man that is justified are in such wise the gifts of God, as that they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or, that the said justified, by the good works which are performed by him through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life, if so be, however, that he depart in grace, and, moreover, an increase of glory; let him be anathema.

Canon xxxiii. If any one shall say, that, by this Catholic doctrine touching justification, set forth by this holy synod in this present decree, aught is derogated from the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Christ Jesus are rendered illustrious; let him be anathema.

  1. Malach. iv. 2.
  2. Heb. xii. 2.
  3. John xiv. 26.
  4. Rom. v. 12; 1 Cor. xv. 22.
  5. Is. lxiv. 6.
  6. Ephes. ii. 3.
  7. Rom. vi. 17.
  8. 2 Cor. i. 3.
  9. Gal. iv. 4.
  10. See Gal. v. 4.
  11. Rom. ix. 30.
  12. Rom. iii. 25.
  13. 1 John ii. 2.
  14. 2 Cor. v. 15.
  15. Coloss. i. 12-14
  16. Introduced by way of digression or comment.
  17. Rom. v. 23.
  18. Tit. iii. 5.
  19. John iii.5.
  20. I. e. the grace of God going before. This is an old use of the verb "prevent," used as a translation of prœvenire.
  21. Zach. i. 3.
  22. Lam. v. 21.
  23. Rom. x. 17.
  24. Rom. iii. 24.
  25. Cf. Sess. xiv. 4.
  26. Heb. xi. 6
  27. Matt. ix. 5.
  28. Eccl. i. 21 (Apocrypha)
  29. Acts ii. 38. The "do penance" (pœnitentiam agite) is the Romanish translation of μετανοήσατε, which properly signifies "change your hearts, repent."
  30. Matt. xxviii. 19.
  31. 1 Sam. vii. 3.
  32. Titus iii. 7.
  33. 1 Cor. vi. 11.
  34. Ephes. i., 13, 14
  35. Rom. v. 10.
  36. Ephes. ii. 4
  37. Ephes. iv.23.
  38. 1 Cor. xii. 11.
  39. Rom. v. 5.
  40. James ii. 20.
  41. Galat. v. 6; vi. 15.
  42. Matt. xix. 17.
  43. Luke xv. 22.
  44. Rom. iii. 24, 28.
  45. Heb. xi. 6.
  46. Rom. xi. 6.
  47. Ephes. ii. 19.
  48. Ps. lxxxiii. 8 (lxxxiv. 7).
  49. 2 Cor. iv. 16.
  50. Coloss. iii. 5.
  51. Rom. vi. 13, 19.
  52. Apoc. xxii. 11.
  53. Eccl. xviii. 22. "Defer not until death to be justified."
  54. James ii. 24.
  55. Dom. 13 post Pentecost.
  56. See St. Aug. de Nat. et Gr. c. 43.
  57. 1 John v. 3.
  58. Matt. xi. 30.
  59. John xiv. 15.
  60. Literally, "debts;" Matt. vi. 12.
  61. Rom. vi. 18.
  62. Titus ii. 12.
  63. Rom. viii. 17.
  64. Consummatus.
  65. Heb. v. 8, 9.
  66. 1 Cor. ix. 24, 26, 27.
  67. 2 Peter i. 10.
  68. See below, Canon 25
  69. See Canon 31.
  70. Ps. cxviii. 112 ("to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end," cxix. 112).
  71. Heb. xi. 26.
  72. Matt. xxiv. 13.
  73. See Rom. xiv. 4.
  74. Philipp. i. 6; ii. 13.
  75. 1 Cor. x. 12.
  76. Philipp. ii. 12.
  77. Cf. 1 Peter i. 3.
  78. Rom. viii. 12, 13.
  79. See Hieron. Ep. ad Demetr.
  80. John xx. 22, 23.
  81. Ps. l. 19 (li. 17).
  82. Ephes. iv. 30.
  83. 1 Cor. iii. 17.
  84. Apoc. ii. 5, "repent and do," &c.
  85. "Worketh repentance," 2 Cor. vii. 10.
  86. Matt. iii. 2; Luke iii. 8, with the customary mistranslation of μετανοήσατε.
  87. Rom. xvi. 18.
  88. 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.
  89. 1 Cor. xv. 58
  90. Heb. vi. 10.
  91. Heb. x. 35.
  92. Matt. x. 22.
  93. 2 Tim. iv. 8.
  94. John iv. 13, 14.
  95. Rom. x. 3.
  96. Matt. x. 42.
  97. 2 Cor. iv. 17.
  98. 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17.
  99. Ep. Cœlest. i., c. 12.
  100. James iii. 2.
  101. 1 Cor. iv. 3, 4.
  102. 1 Cor. iv. 5.
  103. Matt. xvi. 27.
  104. Rom. v. 5.
  105. See Sess. v. 5, sub fin.
  106. Matt. xxiv. 13.
  107. Reatus.
  108. See Sess. xxv. sub init.