Thearticle of the remission of sins, in the ancient Roman Symbol, seems to have aspecial significance. Impressed by the call of Hermas and his Pastor the RomanChurch may well have established the system of public penitence for Christiansinners, as a means of defending her discipline against the manycontinence-sects then active, and especially against the Marcionites. Theexpress mention of "the holy Church" aims at canonizing thetraditional Church, the Great Church, the Catholic Church; at establishing it inthe presence, and at the expense, of the gnostic conventicles and suspectedgroupings, to which this true Church will henceforth refuse all claims to truthand to holiness. It is against the gnostics also, and once more against Marcionin particular, that she affirms "the resurrection of the flesh,"notwithstanding the declaration of First Corinthians "that flesh and bloodcannot inherit the Kingdom of God" (xv,50).


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