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Scale (or Ladder) of Perfection
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CHAPTER VI: That we are to believe stedfastly the reforming of this Image, if our Conscience witness to us a full forsaking of Sin, and a true turning of our Will to good living

OF this reforming in Faith speaketh St Paul in these words: The just man liveth by Faith.165165    Heb. 10. That is, he that is made righteous by Baptism or Penance, he liveth by Faith, which sufficeth to salvation, and also to heavenly peace, as St Paul saith: Being justified by Faith, we have peace with God. That is, we that are made righteous and reformed through Faith in Christ, have peace and accord made betwixt God and us, notwithstanding the vicious motions of our body of sin. For though this reforming be secret, and cannot well be felt here in this life, nevertheless whoso stedfastly believeth it, and is careful to shape his life accordingly, and turns not again to deadly sin, surely when the hour of death cometh, and the soul is departed, then shall he find that true which I say now. St John in comfort of chosen souls that live here in Faith under the feeling of this painful image, saith thus: Little children, now are we the sons of God, and it appeareth not what we shall be; but we know that when Christ shall appear, we shall also appear like Him in glory.166166    1 John 3. That is, we are now, whilst we live here, the sons of God, for we are reformed by Faith in Christ to His likeness, but it appeareth not plainly what we are, but it is kept secret. Nevertheless, we know well, that when our Lord shall appear at the last day, then shall we appear with Him, like to Him in glory.

If then, thou wouldst know if thy soul be reformed to the Image of God or no, thou mayest be resolved by that which I have said, ransack thy conscience and look what thy will is, for; therein consisteth the whole business. If it be turned from all manner of deadly sin, so that thou wouldst not for all the world wittingly and wilfully break the commandments of God; and for what thou hast done amiss heretofore contrary to His bidding, hast humbly made thy confession, with full intent to leave it, and art sorry that thou didst it; I say then, surely that thy soul is reformed in Faith to the likeness of God.


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