But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Brethren, to be saved is not only to be caught out of the evil age but also to be given the power to build for the kingdom without end, to be cleansed now in promise of a crown of glory. Many take no care for their words, and corrupted names lead to corrupted practices, whereas rectified names lead to rectified practices. An informed Protestant knows, as does all of Christendom who knows the catholic faith rightly, that we have been saved in Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection, are being saved in Christ’s intercession in heaven and gift of the Holy Ghost, and will be saved in Christ’s coming in glory at the Last Day. Do not be shaken by those who introduce all manner of innovation in the name of religion: in the end they will be confounded, and their corruptions destroyed.
The system of works and doctrine, necessary as these are, is the framework for the mystical life, which is the presence of Christ’s Holy Spirit through faith in the selfsame Christ. Indeed, we must consider how they were saved who were counted righteous before the coming of God’s only-begotten Son in the flesh: they too, as the Apostle says, pleased God by faith, knowing that he is, and that he rewards all who diligently seek him. Thus Abraham believed, and through faith he was counted righteous; for, as the Psalmist would say, Christ was his light and his salvation. It is possible, therefore, among those who have not heard the gospel fully laid out, that they that do not explicitly know Christ are saved through him, just as all were saved of old before his coming in the flesh. In this way, those of our ancestors were saved who put their ultimate trust in God himself: O Lord, in thee have I trusted; let me never be confounded.
Therefore we can trust God. No one but he sees the secrets of every heart; and whatever truth remains from Noah down to the present, and whatever else is by man inferred from the law of nature, is the basis of religion on which men knew God, and solely indeed through Christ the life-giving truth, God of God, light of light, very God of very God; begotten, not made; being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made. That this is so, and that this was how any man could have been saved before the full knowledge of Christ, in no way requires postmodern thought, but is all within classical Christian thought. To say such things, one has not even for a moment to step out of catholic Christian doctrine: far from being a perennialist thing, it is a simple recognition of the facts.
Nevertheless, to return from the full revelation of the truth of Christ to shadows and figures is to turn away, like the Jews, to a darkened mind. Simply put, to do so is foolhardy and must needs be in substance a rejection of person of Christ, and thus of God, who is whole and entire, without parts or any possible division. The condemnation that hangs over the Jews is the fire that burns him who turns from the greater to the lesser, who having seen the only God turns from him to the worship of idols. Lady Wisdom calls to all: Be wise.