« PreviousContinue »
A. A strong faith gives much. glory to God; Rom. iv. 19), 26. And being not weak in faith, he considered pot his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadoess of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief ; but was strong ia faith, givjog glory to God.
2. 13. What is the second benefit of a strong faith?
Ai It gives the soul the ravishing forefight and foretastes of heaven upon earth; 1 Pet. i. 8. Whom having pot seen, ye Jove; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy uofpeakable, and full of glory.
Q. 14. What is the last office faith doth for a believer in this world?
A. It fupports and encourages him at death by the promiles, when all other comforts fail; Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and copfeffed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
of saving Repentance.
W A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his son, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Chrift, doth with grief and hatred of his lin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after new obedience. .
Q.1. Who is the author of faving repentance ?
A. The Spirit of God is the author of it ; the heart by 03 - ture is so hard, that done but the Spirit can break it; Ezek.
xxxvi. 26, 27. A new keart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you · And I will take away the story heart out of your Hesh, and I will give you ao heart of ferh. dod I will put my Spirit within you, doc. . ..,
0. 2. In what act doth all true repeo tance begio ?
A. It begins is a true sight and sense of sin, and the danger and misery we are in by fin ; Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, &c.
Q. 3. Why doth God work such a sense of fio and misery
A. He doch it to make Christ desireable in the finger's eyes, that he may fly to him; Matth. ix. 12, 13. But wheo Jesus heard that, he laid onto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are fick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and got sacrifice ; for I am Dot come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. . Q. 4. Is the light of lia fufficient to repentance ?
*A. NO ; there must be appprehension of mercy and forgiveDess with God, or else no man can siocerely repent ; Rom. ii, 4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repeptance. And tbis mercy must be discerned in and through Chrift; Zech, xii, 10. And they fall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mouro for him as one mourn. eth for his only fon, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.
Q. 5. Wherein doth repentance chiefly confift?'. ' · A. It consists in real inward sorrow for fin, as committed 2gainst God; Psalm li. 3, 4. For I acknowledge my tranfgreffions, aod my lia is ever before me. Agaipst thee, chee only have I fioned, and done this evil in thy sight, c. A loathing of ourselves for it ; Ezek. xxxvi. 31. And shall loath yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. ' And of our best duties, as fioful and iosufficient thiogs; Ifa. Ixiv. 5, 6. We are all as an uaclean thing; and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, doc.'
Q. 6. Whereia else doth it coofilt? .
A. In turning from fin, as well as grieving for it; Ifa. lv. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the uprighreaus man bis thoughts, &c. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth his fios, salt
Dot profper; bąt whoso confeffeth and forfakesh them, shall · have mercy.
Q.7. Iš turning from fio fufficients :
A. No, that is but the negative part of religion ; there must be also a sincere turning to God; Psalm cxix. 59. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies ; Acts xi. 23. And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
Q. 8. Is all forrow for sin faving? · A. No; there is a repentance that doth bo good'; Matth. xxvii. 3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, doc. Aod a repen'tance voto life ; Acts xi. 18. Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Q. 9. What are the signs of true repeotance ?
A. Fear of sin; care to preserve ourselves from it ; and zeal to honour God by new obedieoce ; 2 Cor. vii. i i. For behold, this self-fame thing that ye forrowed after a godly fort, what carefuloess it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what indignation ; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea, what zeal ; yea, what reveoge? In all things you hare approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
10. Is there a decellity of repentance, in order to for: givcoess?
a. Yes, there is ; and they are therefore conjoined in fcrip. · Ture; Acts v. 31. For to give repentance to lfrael, and forgive.
ness of Gos. Aad destruction threatened to the impenitent; Luke xiii. 3. Excepe ye repent, ye shall all likewise perith.
Q11. What is the first inference hepce?'
A That it is a false doctrine, which teaches us that fins are actually forgiveo from eternity; and therefore ao need either of tepentance or prayer, save only for the manifeftation of pardon.
Q. 12. What is the second inference hence?:..
A. That an hard heart is a dreadful sigo of a lor state of foul; Rom. ii. 5. But after thy hardaess and impeniteat heart, treasureft op uoto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgmcat of God. . .?
Q: 13. What is the last inference beoce?
A That there is no cause to despair of the vileft foder, see. jog there is power' enough in the Spirit of God to break the hardest heart; Ezek. xxxvi. 26. I will take away the Stony hçart out of your felh, aod I will give you an heart of Aesh.
. Of. Christ's Ordinances. Quest. 88. W Hat are the outward means whereby Christ
"communicateth to us the benefits of redemp
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Chrift communi. cateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances i especially the word, facraments, and prayer ; all which are made of feEtual to the ele&t for salvation. es. What makes any thing become a divide ordioance ?
A. The institution or appointment of God, is that alone which makes a divine ordinance ; Matth. Xxviii. 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, &c.
Q: 2. Are the institutions of all ordinances alike clear in scripture?
A. No: Some are more explicitly and clearly revealed in Scripture than others; as the Lord's supper is more clear thap baptism : But whatever hath scripture-warrant, in the words or consequence, is of divine appointment. »
Q. 3. May not men institute ordioances of divine worship ? . -.A. No; this io scripture is condemned as will-worship; Col.
j. 20, 22, 23. Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the 'rudiments of the world; why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances ? &c. Which things indeed have a Cew of wisdom in will-worship, &c.
Q. 4. Why cannot man institute a divine ordinance ?... 'A. He cannot do it, because it is the prerogative belonging to Chrift's kingly office ; Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to obo serve all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
Q. 5. For what other reason cannot man do it? * A. Because he cannot blels them, and make them effectual ta their ends ; but they will be in vain ; Matth. xv. 9. But in vain do they wočlhip me, teaching for doctrines the commaadments of men. ..
Q. 6. Why are the ordinances called means of salvation ?
A. Becaule by and through them the Spirit of the Lord,conveys spiritual graces into meas fouls; i Cor. i. 21. It pleased, God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe, i Cor. iii. 5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
Q. 7. Whence is the virtue of ordinances ? . A. It is not in and from themselves, or the gifts and abilities of him that administers them, but from the blessing and Spiriç of the Lord; 1 Cor. iii. 7. Neither is he that plantech any thing, deither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase. " ; R. 8. Do all God's ordinances attain their end?
A. Yes; there is none of them in vain, but do attain their end, in the salvation or damnation of all that come under them, Ila. lv. 10, 11. For as the rain cometh down, and the foow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the carth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give feed to the lower, and bread to the eater : So shall my word be, that goeth forth out of my mouth : It shall not return vato me void ; bur it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall profper in the thing whereto I send it. 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. For we are unto God a sweet favour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish : To the one we are the favour of death unto, death, and to the other the favour of life unto life, c.
Q. 9. Are instituted ordinances the only means of falvation ?
A. They are not the only means; for God can convert men to Christ without them; Acts ix. 4, 5. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou Lord?.. And the Lord faid, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest : It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. But they are the ordinary standing means; Rom. X. 14, 15. How then snall they call on him, in whom they have not believed ? And how shall they believe ia bim, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear
without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent ? &c,
& io. To whom are the ordinances made effectual to falvation ?
A. To all God's elect they are effectual to falvation, and to them ooly; Acts xiii. 48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. Joho x, 26. Bur ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, &c. . Q. 11. What is the first instruction from hence ?
A. That great preparation is due to all the ordinances, before we engage in them; Job xi. 13, 14. If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him. If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy taberoacles. ¿ Chron. xxix. 18. And prepare their heart boto thee,
Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence ?
A. That great reverence is due to God's ordinances, when we are actually engaged in the use of them; Psalm lxxxix. 7. God is greatly to be feared in the affembly of the saints; and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him,
Q: 13. What is the third inference from hence ? .
A. That shofe people that want ordinances, are in a fad and deplorable condition; Eph. iia il, 12. Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the field, wbo are called uocircumcision by that which is called the circumcifion in the Acth made by hands; that at that time ye were without Chrilt, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having so hope, and without God in the world.
Q: 14. What is the last instruction hence ?
A. That those that perish in the midst of ordinances, and means of salvation, will perish with aggravated perdition ; Mat. xi. 23. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted uoto heaven, Malt be brought down to hell : for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day,
Of the Word read and heard. Queft. 89. How is the word made effectual tó falvation ?
11 A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preacbing of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting finners; and building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto salvation.
Q. 1. What mean you by the word ?