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AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY’S CATECHISM With Practical Inferences from each Question:

Database

AN EXPOSITION OF THE ASSEMBLY’S CATECHISM With Practical Inferences from each Question:

James Dodson

As it was carried on in the Lord’s Days Exercises in Dartmouth, in the first Year of Liberty, 1688.

by

John Flavel.


THE PREFACE

 

THAT catechising is an ordinance of God, few will doubt, when they consider the apostles did first lay the fundamentals of religion; Heb. 6:1. And “fed babes with milk, teaching them the first principles of the oracles of God,” Heb. 5:12 and questionless taught them in that manner, which was most suitable to the capacity of the learners, which may be well supposed to be by plain and short questions, and suitable answers thereunto; and therefore this hath been a constant practice in the church of God; and the primitive church had a particular person appropriated thereunto, whom they called Catechist.

And so all well-governed, and wisely-managed churches, have still maintained and used it, as knowing the necessity and usefulness thereof; for the younger sort to inform them in the principles of that religion where into they were baptized; and for the establishment of the adult and more aged therein.

Hence have issued those little composures of all the fundamental doctrines of faith and practice so handled (which we call Catechisms) in the churches; and particularly in ours, whereof there are many and divers, whose authors have well deserved for their endeavours to inform and edify the people thereby.

But among them all, none excel this little Catechism of the Assembly for orthodoxy, fulness, and method.

And because the answers therein are some of them pretty large, and treat of the most profound mysteries of our religion; therefore several persons have bestowed their good and laudable pains, some in descanting more largely, and proving by scriptural reasons the particulars: one has shown the harmony thereof with the articles and homilies of the church of England (designed, I suppose, to remove the prejudice which some have taken against it:) others have parted the questions and answers into several little ones, under each, to make them more intelligible to younger ones, and more easy to be remembered.

Among whom, worthy, orthodox, and excellent Mr. John Flavel may be ranked, who among other of his many most profitable labours, applied himself to the chewing of this bread of life, or crumbling it into smaller pieces, for the covenience of children, and, indeed, of all; wherein (as in all his other works) he hath shewn himself a workman, that needs not to be ashamed.
There needs no other recommendation to this posthumous piece, but the worthy author’s name; he was removed before he had completely finished it; he had prepared his questions and answers upon the second petition of the Lord’s Prayer; but lived not to propose them in the public congregation. God then translated him into his kingdom of glory above, while he was so industriously endeavouring to promote the kingdom of grace below.

The other five remaining questions and answers (to complete the work) were done by a ruder hand; as may be easily discerned by any observant reader, who will find himself transferred from a plain, clear, and delightful stile, method, and manner, into more rough, disorderly, and unpleasant ones; for, who indeed could equal this divine labourer? Not the completer; who would account himself to have made very great attainments in divinity and usefulness, if he were left but a few furlongs behind him.

Let the reader use and peruse this piece, and he wall see cause to bless God for the author.

VALE.


TO THE READER

 

THE Divine Providence having unexpectedly cast my lot, for a few days, in Dartmouth, where that blessed man of God, Mr. John Flavel, did for many years honour Christ, and was honoured by him; I have been favoured with a sight of that most judicious explication of the Assembly’s Catechism, which is emitted herewith.

Being desired to testify my respect to the worthy author, by prefacing this excellent labour of his with a few lines; I can truly say, (as sometimes Beza of Calvin,) Now Mr. Favel is dead, life will be less sweet, and death less bitter to me.

My heart bleeds to look on this desolate place, and not to see him, that, whilst living, was the glory of it.

But neither the author, nor his writings, stand in need of the commendation of others, much less of mine.

His works, already published, have made his name precious in both Englands; and it will be so, as long as the earth shall endure.

There are some considerations which may cause the reader to expect (and he will not find himself disappointed therein) that which is extraordinary in this little manual; for the author’s heart was very much engaged in doing this service for Christ, in thus feeding his lambs. And he did himself design the publication of what is here committed to the press; and was very desirous (with an holy submission to the will of God) to have perfected this work before his decease; but had strange intimations that he should finish his course before that could be done.
When he did, viva voce, deliver his meditations, there were many enlargements, and lively passages, which are not here inserted; nevertheless, here is as much as he thought needful for public view, not being willing that his book should be voluminous.

In his last catechetical exercise, concerning Hallowing the name of God, he was exceedingly enlarged; but he must himself go into the kingdom of glory, when he intended to have discoursed on that petition, Thy kingdom come.

He also began some meditations on the joys of heaven; but before he had an opportunity to express what had been in his heart, the Lord Jesus said unto him, “Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” And thus doth it happen many times to the eminent and holy servants of God.
Another consideration, recommending what comes herewith, is, that it was amongst Mr. Flavel’s last works. The (εξοδια ρηματα) last sayings of wise and great men have been esteemed oraculous; and the Scripture puts an emphasis on the last words of David, the sweet singer of Israel, 2 Sam. 23:1. Not that those were the last words that ever David spake, only they were written not long before his death, when he was come near heaven.

So was what is now put into the reader’s hand, written by Mr. Flavel not long before his translation to the world of souls, where the spirits of just men are made perfect.

There was a more than ordinary presence of God with him to his last; and in his last day, not the last sermon that he preached (which was June 21, 1691.) he did more than once surprize his hearers with an intimation, that that might be the last time he should speak to them in the name of the Lord. And was not then the secret of the Lord with him?

Dartmouth will know, and Devonshire will know, that there has been a prophet among them.
And now my soul bleeds to look on the dear flock of God, which are as sheep without a shepherd. The Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, have compassion on them, and give them a shepherd like to his blessed servant Flavel, who did for many years feed them with knowledge, and with understanding.

Dartmouth, March 21st,
1692.
}
  INCREASE MATHER

 

AN

EXPOSITION

OF THE

ASSEMBLY’S SHORTER CATECHISM

 


Question I. Of Man’s chief End

 

WHAT is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.


Q. 1. Seeing a chief supposeth an inferior end; what is that inferior end for which man was made?
A. It is prudently, soberly, and mercifully, to govern, use, and dispose of other creatures in the earth, sea, and air, over which God gave man the dominion; Gen. 1:26. And God said let us make man in our own image, after our likeness: and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So Psal. 8:6. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.


Q. 2. What then is to be thought of those men, who being wholly intent upon inferior things, forget and neglect their principal end?
A. They are dead whilst they live; 1 Tim. 5:6. But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead whilst she liveth: They have their portion in this life; Psal. 17:14. From men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and their end is destruction, Phil. 3:19. Whose end is destruction.


Q. 3. How can a man glorify God, seeing he is perfectly glorious in himself?
A. Man cannot glorify God by adding any new degree of glory to him; Job 35:7. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him, but by manifesting his glory with the lips? Psal. 50:23. Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me; or with the life; Matth. 5:16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Q. 4. Wherein consists the enjoyment of God?
A. It consists, first, in the facial vision of him in heaven. Secondly, in full conformity to him; 1 John 3:2. But we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Thirdly, in that full satisfaction which results from both the former; Psal. 17:15. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.


Q. 5. Can none enjoy him in heaven, who do not glorify him on earth?
A. No adult person can scripturally expect happiness in heaven without holiness on earth; Heb. 12:14. And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Rom. 8:30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.


Q. 6. How comes the glory and enjoyment of God our chief end?
A. He is our Master, and rightful Owner and Benefactor; we receive our being and preservation from him, of him, and through him, and therefore to him be all things, Rom. 11:36.


Q. 7. Do all men make God their chief end?
A. No, they do not; some make their sensual pleasure their chief end: Phil. 3:19. Whose God is their belly: and some the world, Col. 3:5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, and covetousness, which is idolatry.


Q. 8. What are the signs of a man’s making himself his chief end?
A. Those make themselves their chief end, who ascribe the glory of what they have, or do, to themselves, and not to God; Dan. 4:30. The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon which I have built? Isa. 10:18. For he saith, by the strength of my hand have I done it; and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; therefore they sacrifice to their own net, and burn incense unto their drag, Hab. 1:16.


Q. 9. Why are the glorifying and enjoying of God put together, as making up our chief end?
A. Because no man can glorify God, that takes him not for his God; and none takes him for his God, that takes him not for his supreme good; and both these being essentially included in this notion of the chief end, are therefore justly put together.


Q. 10. What is the first truth inferred hence?
A. That God hath dignified man above all other creatures on earth, in giving him a capacity of glorifying God here, and of enjoying him hereafter.


Q. 11. What is the second truth inferred hence?
A. That the soul of man is not annihilated by death, but advanced by it; Phil. 1:21. To die is gain. V. 23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.


Q. 12. What is the third truth inferred hence?
A. That it is the duty and wisdom of every Christian to renounce, deny, and forsake all inferior interests and enjoyments, when they come in competition with the glory of God, and our enjoyment of him: Luke 14:33. So likewise whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


Q. 13. What is the fourth inference hence?
A. That we are to abhor and renounce all those doctrines and practices, that debase the glory of God, and exalt and magnify the creature.


Of the Scriptures as our Rule

 

Quest. 2. WHAT rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and new Testament, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.


Q. 1. How can the Scriptures be called the word of God, seeing the things contained there were spoken and written by men?
A. They are truly and properly called the word of God, because they came not by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1:21.


Q. 2. What are the principal arguments to persuade us that the scriptures are of Divine authority and inspiration?
A. Three things especially convince us: First, The holiness of the doctrine therein contained. Secondly, The awful efficacy thereof on the soul. Thirdly, The uncontrollable miracles by which they are sealed, put it beyond all rational doubt that they are the very words of God.


Q. 3. What is the holiness of the scriptures; and how doth that prove them to be God’s word?.
A. The holiness of the scriptures doth appear in two things: First, In commanding and encouraging whatsoever is pure, and holy; Phil. 4:8. Whatsoever things are pure. Secondly, In forbidding all unholiness, under pain of damnation; 2 Cor. 6:9. Know ye not, that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God, &c. This shews that they came not from Satan, being cross to his design; nor from man, it being against his corrupt nature; and therefore from God only.


Q. 4. What is their authority and efficacy on the soul? and how doth that prove them divine?
A. Their authority, and efficacy on the soul, consists in three things: First, In the power they have to search and discover the secrets of men; Heb. 12:4. The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Secondly, In their converting efficacy, changing and renewing the soul; Psalm 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Thirdly, In their cheering and restoring efficacy, when the soul is cast down under any inward or outward trouble; Psal. 19:8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. No human power can do such things as these; John 17:17. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.


Q. 5. How do miracles confirm it?
A. Because all proper miracles are wrought only by the hand of God: John 3:2. And no man can do these miracles that thou dost, except God be with him: and so are his seal to whatsoever he affixes them, and it consists not with his truth, and holiness to set it to a forgery.


Q. 6. What was the end of writing the word?
A. That the church to the end of the world might have a sure, known, standing-rule, to try and judge all things by, and not be left to the uncertainty of traditions; John 5:39. Search the scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me.


Q. 7. Doth not the authority of the scriptures depend on the church, fathers, and councils?
A. No, the scriptures are not built on the authority of the church, but the church on them; Eph. 2:20. And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. And as for councils and fathers, the scriptures are not to be tried by them; but they by the scriptures; Isa. 8:20. To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


Q. 8. What may be fairly inferred from this proposition, that the scriptures are the word of God?
A. Three things may be hence inferred. First, The perfection of the scriptures, which being the only rule given by God, must therefore be perfect. Secondly, That it is the right of common people to read them; John 5:39. Search the scriptures, Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Thirdly, That we owe no obedience to the injunctions of men farther than they are sufficiently warranted by the written word; Matth. 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


Of Faith and Obedience

 

Quest. 3. WHAT do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.


Q. 1. Why is faith conjoined with obedience, and put before it?
A. Because faith is the principle from whence all obedience flows; and no man can perform any duty aright in the estate of unbelief; Heb. 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God, must believe that he is.


Q. 2. Can there be no saving faith where the scriptures are not known and preached?
A. No; for the apostle saith, Rom. 10:14, 15. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach except they be sent? And ver. 17. So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.


Q. 3. Are not we bound to believe what learned men teach us, as points of faith, though the things they teach be not contained in the word of God?
A. No; if the things they teach be not contained expressly, or by necessary consequence in the word of God, we are not obliged to believe them as points of faith; Isa. 8:20. To the law, and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them: Gal. 1:8. Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. And Christ hath charged us, Matth. 23:10. To call no man master, for one is your master, even Christ.


Q. 4. Are there some things in scripture more excellent than others; because it is said, the scriptures principally teach matters of faith and duty?
A. Every part of scripture is alike pure; Prov. 30:5. Every word of God is pure, and of equal authority, but not of equal weight; as several pieces of gold are alike pure, and of the same stamp, but not of equal value.


Q. 5. What may be inferred hence for use?
A. First, Hence it is our duty to examine what we hear, by the word; and not receive any doctrine because men confidently affirm it, but because the scriptures require it; Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether these things were so. Secondly, That the Christian religion is not notional, but practical; and that impractical faith saves no man; James 2:20. Faith without works is dead.


God is a Spirit

 

Quest. 4. WHAT is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.


Q. 1. Can the nature of God be defined, so as men may express properly and strictly what God is?
A. No; Job 11:7. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
We do then conceive most rightly of God, when we acknowledge him to be inconceivable; and therefore, one being asked the question, what God is? answered rightly; If I fully knew that, I should be a God myself; for God only knows his own essence.


Q. 2. How many ways are there by which men may know and describe the nature of God, though still with imperfect knowledge?
A. There are two ways of knowing God in this life. First, By way of affirmation; affirming that of God by way of eminence, which is excellent in the creature; as when we affirm him to be wise, good, merciful, &c. Secondly, By way of negation, when we remove from God, in our conceptions, all that is imperfect in the creature; so we say, God is immense, infinite, immutable; and in this sense we also call him a Spirit, i.e. he is not a gross corporeal substance.


Q. 3. How many sorts of spirits are there? and of which sort is God?
A. There be two sorts of spirits, created and finite, as angels and the souls of men are. Secondly, Uncreated, and infinite; and such a Spirit God only is, infinitely above all other spirits.


Q. 4. If God be a Spirit, in what sense are we to understand all those scriptures which speak of the eyes of the Lord, the ears and hands of God?
A. We are to understand them as expressions of God, in condescension to the weakness of our understanding; even as the glory of heaven is expressed to us in scripture by a city, and the royal feast. These shadows are useful to us whilst we are in the body; but we shall know him in heaven after a more perfect manner.


Q. 5. What may be inferred from the spiritual nature of God?
A. Hence learn, that it is both sinful and dangerous to frame an image or picture of God. Who can make an image of his soul, which yet is not so perfect a spirit as God is? And as it is sinful to attempt it, so it is impossible to do it; Deut. 4:15, 16. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake to you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire; lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, &c.


Q. 6. What else may be inferred from thence?
A. That our souls are the most noble and excellent part of us, which most resembles God; and therefore our chief regard and care should be for them, whatever becomes of the vile body; Matth. 16:26. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?


Q. 7. What further truth may be inferred hence?
A. That men should beware of spiritual sins, as well as of gross and outward sins; for there is a faithfulness of the spirit, as well as of the flesh; 2 Cor. 7:1. Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; and as God sees them, so he greatly abhors them, as sins that defile the noblest part of man, on which he stamped his own image.


Q. 8. What also may be inferred from hence?
A. Hence we learn, that spiritual worship is most agreeable to his nature and will; and the more spiritual it is, the more acceptable it will be to him; John 4:24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Externals in worship are of little regard with God; as places, habits, gestures, &c.

Apply this,

First, To superstitious men, Isa. 66:1, 2, 3.
Secondly, To children, that say a prayer, but mind not to whom, nor what they say,

Of God’s Infinity

Quest. 1. WHAT is the sense and meaning of this word, infinity?
A. It signifies that which hath no bounds or limits, within which it is contained, as all created things are.


Q. 2. In how many respects is God infinite?
A. God is infinite and boundless in three respects.
First, In respect of the perfection of his nature; his wisdom, power, and holiness, exceed all measures and limits; as 1 Sam. 2:2. There is none holy as the Lord, &c. Secondly, In respect of time and place; no time can measure him; Isa. 57:15. Thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity; 1 Kings 8:27. Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house which I have built? The heaven of heavens contains all created things; but not the Creator. Thirdly, In respect of his incomprehensibleness, by the understanding of all creatures; Job 11:7. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection?


Q. 3. If God be thus infinite, and no understanding can comprehend him, how then is it said in 1 John 3:2. We shall see him as he is?
A. The meaning is not, that glorified saints shall comprehend God in their understandings; but that they shall have a true apprehensive knowledge of God; and that we shall see him immediately, and not as we do now through a glass darkly.


Q. 4. What is the first lesson to be learnt from God’s infinity?
A. That therefore men should tremble to sin even in secret; Psal. 139:11. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me.


Q. 5. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. The second instruction is, That there is an infinite evil in sin, objectively considered, as it is committed against an infinite God; and therefore it deserves eternal punishment: and no satisfaction can possibly be made for it, but by the blood of Christ; 1 Pet. 1:18. Forasmuch as ye know that we are not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold —— but with the precious blood of Christ.


Q. 6. What is the third instruction from God’s infinity?
A. The third instruction is, that those who are reconciled to God in Christ, need not fear his ability to perform any mercy for them; for he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, Eph. 3:20. And those that are not reconciled are in a very miserable condition, having infinite power set on work to punish them; 2 Thess. 1:9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.


Q. 7. What is the fourth instruction from God’s infinity?
A. That no place can bar the access of gracious souls to God; They are as near him in a dungeon, as when at liberty; and that he knows their thoughts when their tongues cannot utter them.


[Eternal]

Quest. 1. WHAT is it to be eternal as God is?
A. The eternity of God is, to be without beginning, and without end; Psal. 90:2. From everlasting thou art God.


Q. 2. How doth God’s eternity differ from the eternity of angels, and human souls?
A. It differs in two respects; First, In this, that though angels, and the souls of men shall have no end; yet they had a beginning, which God had not. Secondly, Our eternity is by gift from God, or by his appointment; but his eternity is necessary, and from his own nature.


Q. 3. In what sense is the covenant called the everlasting covenant?
A. The covenant is called an everlasting covenant, 2 Sam. 23:5 because the mercies of it, conveyed to believers, as pardon, peace, and salvation, are mercies that shall have no end.


Q. 4. In what sense is the gospel everlasting?
A. The gospel is called the everlasting gospel, Rev. 14:6 because the effects thereof, upon the soul it sanctifies, will abide in them for ever.


Q. 5. In what sense is the redemption of Christ called the eternal redemption?
A. The redemption of Christ is called eternal redemption in Heb. 9:12 because those whom he redeems by his blood, shall never more come into condemnation; John 5:24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life.


Q. 6. Why is the last judgment of the world by Christ called eternal judgment?
A. The last judgment is called eternal judgment, not because God judged men from eternity, or because the day of judgment shall last to eternity; but because the consequences of it will be everlasting joy or misery to the souls of men; therefore it is called eternal judgment; Heb. 6:2.


Q. 7. What may wicked men learn from the eternity of God?
A. Hence wicked men may see their own misery in the perfection of it; that they will have an eternal enemy to avenge himself upon them for ever, in the world to come; 2 Thess. 1:9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord.


Q. 8. What may good men learn from it?
A. That their joy and happiness will be perfect and endless, who nave the eternal God for their portion; Psal. 16:11. In thy presence is fulness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.


Q. 9. What may all men, good and bad, learn from it?
A. All men may learn three things from the eternity of God; First, That their life is a thing of nought compared with God; Psal. 39:5. Mine age is as nothing before thee. Secondly, That sins, or duties, long since committed, or performed, are all present before God. Thirdly, That God can never want opportunity to do his work, and carry on his designs in the world. All time is in the hand of the eternal God; Rev. 12:12. The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.


Of God’s Unchangeableness

Quest. 1. WHAT scriptures plainly assert this attribute?
A. Exod. 3:14. And God said unto Moses, I AM that I AM. Dan. 6:16. For he is the living God, and stedfast for ever; Jam. 1:17. With whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.


Q. 2. Whence doth God’s immutability flow?
A. The immutability of God flows from the perfection of his nature, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken away. If any thing could be added to make him better than he is; or if any thing could be taken away, to make him less good than he is, then he were not the chiefest good, and, consequently, not God.


Q. 3. By what other argument prove you his immutability?
A. I prove it from the eternity of God. If God be eternal, he must be immutable: for if he change by addition of something to him he had not before, then there is something in God which he had not from eternity: And if he change by diminution, then there was something in God from eternity, which now is not; but from everlasting to everlasting he is the same God, and therefore changeth not.


Q. 4. But it is said, God repents, and repentance is a change: How then is he unchangeable, and yet repents?
A. In these phrases God speaks to us, as we must speak of, and to him; not properly, but after the manner of men: and it only notes a change in his providence, not in his nature.


Q. 5. But how could God become man, and yet no change made on him?
A. There is a twofold change; one active, made by God, that we allow: He made a change upon our nature by uniting it to Christ; but a passive change made upon God, we deny. The nature of man was made more excellent, but the divine nature was still the same.


Q. 6. What is the first instruction from God’s immutability?
A. That those that are most unchangeable in holiness, are most like God: Let him that is holy be holy still.


Q. 7. What is the second instruction hence?
A. That the happiness of God’s people is firm and sure, being still upon the word of an unchangeable God; Mal. 3:6. For I am the Lord; I change not: therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed, Heb. 6:18.


Q. 8. What is the third instruction from this attribute?
A. That the hopes of all wicked men are vain, being built upon a presumption, that God will not deal with them as he hath threatened he will do.


Q. 9. What is the last instruction from God’s immutability?
A. That Christians may take as much encouragement now from the nature, word, and providence of God, as the saints in any former generation did, or might do; for he is the same now he was then.

 

Of God’s Wisdom

Quest. 1. HOW manifold is the wisdom of God?
A. There is a personal and essential wisdom of God; the personal wisdom is the Son of God; 1 Cor. 1:24. Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God; Col. 2:3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The essential wisdom of God is, the essence of God; of which this question speaks.


Q. 2. What is the essential wisdom of God.
A. The essential wisdom of God is his most exact and perfect knowledge of himself and all his creatures, and his ordering and disposing them in the most convenient manner, to the glory of his own name; Eph. 1:11. According to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.


Q. 3. What is the first property of God’s wisdom?
A. The first property is, he is only wise; Rom. 16:27. To God, only wise, be glory: And whatsoever wisdom is in angels, or men, is all derived and borrowed from God, but his from none; Isa. 40:14. With whom took he counsel? and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?


Q. 4. What is the second property of God’s wisdom?
A. The second property is, that he is incomprehensible in his wisdom; Rom. 11:33, 34. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God, &c.


Q. 5. What is the third property of the wisdom of God?
A. The third property is, that God is perfectly wise, which no creatures, no, not the very angels in heaven are: Job 4:18. And his angels he chargeth with folly.


Q. 6. What is the most glorious and eminent discovery of the wisdom of God?
A. The most glorious display of the wisdom of God, was in the work of our redemption by Jesus Christ; Col. 2:3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge; 1 Cor. 1:24. Christ the wisdom of God.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from God’s wisdom?
A. The first instruction is, that God is a fit object of our trust, dependence and resignation; Isa. 30:18. And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you; and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are all they that wait for him.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. The second instruction is, that it is a dangerous arrogancy in the creature, either to prescribe unto God, and direct his Maker; Job 21:22. Shall any teach God knowledge, seeing he judgeth those that are high? Or to quarrel with his providences, as not so fit and convenient as they should be; Job 40:2. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God, let him answer it.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction from it?
A. That the people of God have much reason to quiet and encourage themselves, when crafty and subtle enemies surround them; for the foolishness of God is wiser than men, 1 Cor. 1:25.


Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction from God’s wisdom?
A. The fourth instruction is, that the true way to wisdom is to be sensible of our own folly; 1 Cor. 3:18. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. And to apply ourselves by prayer to God the foundation of it, Jam. 1:5. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask it of God.


Q. 11. What is the last instruction from God’s wisdom?
A. That the study of Christ, and of the scriptures, is to be preferred to all other studies in the world; Col. 2:3. In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And the scriptures contain all that wisdom which is for our salvation; 1 Cor. 2:7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory.


Of God’s power

Quest 1. WHAT is the power of God?
A. An essential property of his nature, whereby he can do all things that he pleases to have done; Jer. 32:17. Ah Lord God, behold, thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and stretched-out arm; and there is nothing too hard for thee.


Q. 2. What evidences have we before our eyes of the almighty power of God?
A. It appears in the creation of the world; Rom. 1:20. For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. And its sustentation; Heb. 1:3. Who upholdeth all things by the word of his power.


Q. 3. Did God’s power ever act its utmost?
A. No; he can do more than ever he did, or ever will do; Mat. 3:9. God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham, Mat. 26:53.


Q. 4. Are there not some things which God cannot do?
A. Yes, there are; but they are such things as are inconsistent with his truth and holiness; Tit. 1:2. —— which God, that cannot lie; 2 Tim. 2:13. He cannot deny himself.

Q. 5. What is the first thing inferred from God’s power?
A. That all the creatures necessarily depend on him for what ability they have; and without the permission of the supreme power they can do us no hurt; John 19:11. Thou couldest have no power against me, except it were given thee from above.


Q. 6. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That the difficulties which lie in the way of the promises need be no stumbling-blocks to our faith; Rom. 4:20, 21. He staggered not at the promises through unbelief, being fully persuaded, that what he had promised he was able also to perform.


Q. 7. What is the third inference from this attribute?
A. The saints need not to be scared at the greatness of their sufferings; their God can carry them through; Dan. 3:17. Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace.


Q. 8. What is the fourth inference?
A. That the salvation of God’s people is certain, whatever their dangers be, being kept by this mighty power; 1 Pet. 1:5. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.


Q. 9. What is the last inference hence?
A. That the state of the damned is inconceivably miserable; their punishment proceeding from the glory of the Almighty? 2 Thes. 1:2. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.


Of God’s Holiness

Quest. 1. HOW manifold is the holiness of God?
A. The holiness of God is twofold; communicable, or incommunicable; of his communicable holiness the apostle speaks, Heb. 12:10. But he, for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Of his incommunicable holiness that scripture speaks, 1 Sam. 2:2. There is none holy as the Lord.


Q. 2. What is the essential and incommunicable holiness of God?
A. It is the infinite purity of his nature, whereby he delights in his own holiness, and the resemblance of it in his creatures, and hates all impurity; Hab. 1:13. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity.


Q. 3. What is the first property of God’s holiness?
A. He is essentially holy: Holiness is not a separable quality in God, as it is in angels and men; but his being and his holiness are one thing.


Q. 4. What is the second property of God’s holiness?
A. God is essentially holy, the author and fountain of all communicated holiness; Lev. 20:8. I am the Lord which sanctifieth you.


Q. 5. What is the third property?
A. That the holiness of God is the perfect rule and pattern of holiness to all creatures; 1 Pet. 1:16. Be ye holy, for I am holy.


Q. 6. What is the first instruction?
A. That the holiest of men have cause to be ashamed and humbled when they come before God; Isa. 6:3, 5. And one cried unto another, saying, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. Then said I, Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips, &c.


Q. 7. What is the second instruction from God’s holiness?
A. That there is no coming near to God without a Mediator; for our God is a consuming fire.


Q. 8. What is the third instruction from God’s holiness?
A. That holiness is indispensably necessary, to all those which shall dwell with him in heaven; Heb. 12:14. And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.


Q. 9. What is the fourth instruction from hence?
A. That the gospel is of inestimable value, as it is the instrument of conveying the holiness of God to us; 2 Cor. 3:18. But we all with open face, beholding as it were in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord: John 17:17. Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.


Q. 10. What is the last instruction from God’s holiness?
A. That all the despisers of, and scoffers at, holiness, are despisers of God; for holiness is the very nature of God; and in the creature it is his represented image.


Of God’s Justice

Quest. 1. WHAT is the justice of God?
A. The justice of God is the perfect rectitude and equity of his nature; whereby he is just in himself, and in all his ways towards the creatures; Deut. 32:4. He is the rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity: just and right is he.


Q. 2. What is the first property of God’s justice?
A That it infinitely excels all human justice in the perfection of it. No creature can compare in justice with God; Job 9:2. How shall man be just with God?


Q. 3. What is the second property of God’s justice?
A. That he is universally righteous in all his administrations in the world; Psal. 145:17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.


Q. 4. What was the greatest demonstration of the justice of God, that ever was given to the world?
A. The greatest evidence that ever was given of the justice of God, was in his exacting full satisfaction for our sins of Christ; Rom. 3:25, 26. Whom God hath set forth, to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus, Rom. 8:32. He spared not his own son, but delivered him up for us all.


Q. 5. What is the second discovery of God’s justice?
A. The second discovery of the justice of God, is in the eternal punishment of sin in hell upon all that do not repent, and come to Christ by faith, in this world; Rom. 2:5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.


Q. 6. What is the third evidence of God’s justice?
A. The third evidence of the justice of God, is in making good all the mercies he hath promised to believers, exactly to a tittle; 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 2 Tim. 4:8. Hence-forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me at that day.


Q. 7. What is the first inference from God’s justice?
A. That sinners have no cause to complain of God’s judgments, though they be never so terrible or durable; Rom. 2:5. But after thy hardness, and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.


Q. 8. What is the second inference from God’s justice?
A. That without doubt there is a judgment to come in the next life, otherwise God would not have the glory of his justice; Eccl. 3:16, 17. I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there; I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous, and the wicked.


Q. 9. What is the third inference from God’s justice?
A. That penitent and believing sinners need not doubt of the forgiveness of their sins; 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


Q. 10. What is the last inference from it?
A. The last inference is, that meekness and patience under afflictions, is our unquestionable duty; and murmuring against God, is a great sin and evil; Lam. 3:39. Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?


Of God’s Goodness

Quest. 1. WHAT is the goodness of God?
A. It is an essential property of his nature, whereby he is absolutely and perfectly good in himself, and the fountain of all communicated goodness to the creature; Psal. 119:68. Thou art good, and dost good, teach me thy statutes.


Q. 2. How doth the goodness of God differ from the mercy of God?
A. It differs in its objects; for misery is the object of mercy; but goodness extends to the creatures that are happy, as well as miserable, as the angels; Psal. 145:9. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.


Q. 3. What is the first property of God’s goodness?
A. That all his other attributes flow out of it as their fountain: the other acts of God are but the effluxes of his goodness; Exod. 33:19. And he said I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy unto whom I will shew mercy. Exod. 34:6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.


Q. 4. What is the secondary property of the divine goodness?
A. That it is supreme and perfect in itself, so as the goodness of no creature is, or can be; Luke 18:19. None is good save one, and that is God: And consequently above all additions from the creature; Psal. 16:2. O my soul, thou hast said unto the Lord, My goodness extendeth not unto thee.


Q. 5. What is the third property of God’s goodness?
A. That it is communicative with pleasure and delight to the creature: no mother draws out her breast to an hungry child with more pleasure than God doth his goodness to the saints; Psal. 145:9. The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works.


Q. 6. In what acts hath God manifested his goodness?
A. He hath manifested it in the creation and government of the world; Psal. 104:24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.


Q. 7. What was the principal work in which God hath manifested his goodness to men.
A. The principal manifestation of God’s goodness was in the work of redemption by Christ; Rom. 5:8. God commended his love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us 1 John 4:9. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.


Q. 8. But are not the judgments of God on the wicked, and his afflictions on the saints, impeachments of his goodness.
A. No; it is the property of goodness to hate and punish evil in the impenitent; Exod. 34:7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty, &c. And the affliction of the saints flow from his goodness, and end in their true and eternal good; Heb. 12:6. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, Psal. 119:71. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.


Q. 9. What may we infer from the goodness of God?
A. The first thing is, that sin hath made our natures base and disingenuous, in that we take no notice of his goodness; Isa. 1:3. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider, and answer not the design of it; Rom. 2:4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.


Q. 10. What is the second inference from the goodness of God?
A. That therefore God is the fittest object of our delight and love, and of our trust and confidence, (1.) Of our delight and love; Psal. 116:1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice, and my supplications. (2.) Of our trust and confidence; Psal. 34:8. O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


Q. 11. What is the third inference from God’s goodness?
A. That Christians should imitate God in his goodness, in love to our enemies; Matth. 5:44, 45. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.


Q. 12. What is the last inference from God’s goodness?
A. That Christians have great encouragement to go to God for pardon in case of sin; Psal. 130:4. But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared; and for refuse in dangers. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; he knoweth them that trust in him, Nahum 1:7.


Of God’s Truth

Quest. 1. WHAT is the truth of God?
A. It is an essential property of his nature, whereby he is perfectly faithful in himself, and in all that he hath spoken; Deut. 32:4. He is the rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he, Psal. 119:142. Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.


Q. 2. What is the first property of Divine truth?
A. The first property of it is, That it is essential and necessary to God: He cannot lie, Titus 1:2.


Q. 3. What is the second property of it?
A. The second property is, That it is everlasting, and abiding to all generations, Psal. 100:5. For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting, and his truth endureth to all generations. Isa. 25:1. O Lord, thou art my God, I will exalt thee —— thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.


Q. 4. What is the third property of Divine truth?
A. The third property is, that he is universally true in all his words and works. (1.) In all his words; John 17:17. Thy word is truth. (2.) In all his works; Psal. 25:10. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep his covenant.


Q. 5. What is the first lesson from God’s truth to be learnt?
A. That truth and sincerity of heart is that which is most suitable and pleasing to God; Psal. 51:6. Behold thou desirest truth in the inward parts.


Q. 6. What is the second lesson from God’s truth?
A. That whatever God hath foretold shall assuredly come to pass, and be fulfilled in his time; Josh. 23:14. Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.


Q. 7. What is the third lesson from the truth of God?
A. That a promise from God is full security to the faith of his people, and they may look upon it as good as a mercy in hand; Heb. 10:23. For he is faithful that promised.


Q. 8. What is the fourth lesson from God’s truth?
That whatever God hath threatened in his word against sinners shall surely come upon them except they repent; Zech. 1:6. But my word, and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned, and said, like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. Ezek. 12:27, 28. The word which I have spoken shall be done, saith the Lord God.


Q. 9. What is the fifth lesson from God’s truth?
A. That falsehood in words and actions is contrary to God’s nature, and abhorred by him; John 8:44. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there was no truth in him; when he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own? for he is a liar, and the father of it.


Q. 10. What is the last lesson from God’s truth?
A. The day of judgment will rightly and justly state every man’s condition; Rom. 2:2. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.


Of one God

Quest. 5. ARE there more gods than one?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.


Q. 1. How doth it appear that there is but one God?
A. It is evident from scripture there is but one God; Deut. 6:4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Jer. 10:10 but the Lord is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: and as scripture reveals no more, so reason will allow no more.


Q. 2. Why will reason allow no more but one God?
A. Because God is the first being; Rev. 1:11. Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last; and there can be but one first being, and God is the most perfect and excellent being; Psal. 71:19. Thy righteousness, also, O God, is very high, who hath done great things: O God, who is like unto thee? And there can be but one most perfect and excellent being.


Q. 3. But doth not the scriptures say, in 1 Cor. 8:5 that there are gods many, and lords many?
A. Yes; there are many in title, and many in opinion, but one only in truth; Jer. 10:10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King.


Q. 4. why is he called the true God?
A. To distinguish him from the idols and false gods of the heathens; 1 Thes. 1:9. How ye turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God. Acts 14:15. We preach unto you, that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.


Q. 5. Why is he called the living God?
A. Because all life, natural, spiritual, and eternal, is in him, and from him only. First, Natural life; Acts 17:28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Secondly, Spiritual life; Eph. 2:1. You hath he quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins. Thirdly, Eternal life in glory; Col. 3:4. When Christ who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.


Q. 6. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. If but one God, then all his children should be of one heart, having one and the same Father; Eph. 4:5, 6. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


Q. 7. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That it is idolatry to perform worship to any other but God only; Psal 86:9, 10. All nations whom thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name, for thou art great, and dost wondrous things, thou art God alone.


Q. 8. What is the third inference from it?
A. That our supreme love is due to God only, and it is very sinful to place it in any other; Deut. 6:4, 5. Hear, O Israel. The Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.


Q. 9. What is the fourth inference from God’s unity?
A. That God only must have the reliance and dependence of our souls; Jer. 17:5, 7. Thus saith the Lord, cursed be the man that trusteth in man, that maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.


Q. 10. What is the last inference from it?
A. That we have great cause to be thankful for the gospel, which discovers the only true God to us; and that we are not as the heathens, worshipping many and false gods; 1 Cor. 8:5, 6. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many, and lords many; but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.


Of three Persons in the Godhead

Quest. 6. HOW many persons are there in the godhead?
A. There are three persons in the godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.


Q. 1. What mean you by the word, godhead?
A. It is the nature, essence, or being of God, as the apostle speaks, Acts 17:29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art, and man’s device.


Q. 2. what is a person in the godhead?
A. It is the godhead distinguished by personal properties; each person having his distinct personal properties; Heb. 1:3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, upholding all things by the word of his power.


Q. 3. How doth it appear there are three persons, and no more?
A. First, From Christ’s baptism; Mat. 3:16, 17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water, and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending, like a dove, and lighting upon him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.


Q. 4. How else in the second place, doth it appear?
A. From the institution of our baptism; Mat. 28:19 Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 5. What is the third proof from scripture?
A. From the apostolical benediction; 2 Cor. 13:14. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the holy Ghost, be with you all, Amen: Where the three distinct blessings are wished from the three divine persons in the godhead, grace from Christ, love from the Father, and communion with the Spirit.


Q. 6. What farther evidence is there of it in scripture?
A. From plain positive assertions of the scripture, asserting, First, A trinity of persons Secondly, A unity of essence? 1 John 5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from the trinity?
A. That the doctrine of the gospel concerning Christ, is fully confirmed and ratified by three witnesses from heaven, who are above all exceptions; 1 John 5:7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction from the trinity?
A. Hence we learn the true order and manner of worshipping God, in the Son; John 16:23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he shall give it you. And by the Spirit; Eph. 6:18 Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction from the trinity?
A. That the covenant of grace conveys a rich portion to believers in making over all three persons to them; Jer. 31:33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my law into their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction from the trinity?
A. That as it is the duty of all the saints to give distinct glory to the three persons in the Godhead; so it will be a special part of their blessedness in heaven, to contemplate the distinct benefits received from them all; Rev. 1:5. And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth; unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.


Of God’s decrees

Quest. 7. WHAT are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the council of his will, whereby for his own glory he hath fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass.


Q. 1. What things are decreed of God?
A. All things whatsoever come to pass, even the smallest; Eph. 1:11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.


Q. 2. What is the end of God’s decrees?
A. The glory of his own name; Eph. 1:11, 12. Who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.


Q. 3. But there are some evil things done in the world; Do they fall under God’s decree?
A. Though God doth neither approve them, nor necessitate men to commit them, yet he doth permit and suffer them to be done, and will turn them to his own glory; Acts 4:27, 28. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel are gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.


Q. 4. Who are the objects of God’s special decrees?
A. Angels and men are the objects of God’s special decrees; 1 Tim. 5:21. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, &c. Rom. 8:33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?


Q. 5. What is the first property of God’s decrees?
A. That they are most wise acts of God, laid in the depth of wisdom and counsel; Rom. 11:33. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways are past finding out!


Q. 6. What is the second property of God’s decrees?
A. The decrees of God are most free, all flowing from the mere pleasure of his will; Rom. 9:18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.


Q. 7. What is the third property of God’s decrees?
A. They are most firm and stable; 2 Tim. 2:19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure; having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his; Zech. 6:1.


Q. 8. What is the fourth property of God’s decrees?
A. They are eternal, and before all time; Acts 15:18. Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world.


Q. 9. What is the fifth property of God’s decrees?
A. They are most pure, and altogether unspotted of sin; 1 John 1:5. This is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, That God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from God’s decrees?
A. That we ought to ascribe nothing to chance, but to the appointment or providence of God; Prov. 16:33. The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.


Q. 11. What is the second instruction from God’s decrees?
A. That God’s hand is to be acknowledged in the greatest afflictions that befal us; 2 Sam. 16:11. And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, behold my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life; how much more now may this Benjamite do it? Let him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction from God’s decrees?
A. That we ought to be thankful to God for all the good, and patient under all the evils that befal us; Job 2:10. Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

 

Quest. 8. HOW doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.

 

Of the Creation

Quest. 9. WHAT are the works of creation?
A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.


Q. 1. What is it to create?
A. To create, is to give a being to that which had no being; or to bring something out of nothing; Heb. 11:3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things that do appear.


Q. 2. How did God create the world?
A. By his infinite power, executed in his word of command; Psal. 33:6, 9. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth; for he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.


Q. 3. What attributes of God shine forth in the creation?
A. The wisdom of God shines forth gloriously, not only in their formation, but dependence one upon another; Psal. 104:24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all. The earth is full of thy riches.


Q. 4. What may we learn from the creation?
A. That God perfectly knows all that is in the creature, be it never so secret; Psal. 94:8, 9. Understand, O ye brutish among the people; and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear: He that formed the eye, shall he not see?


Q. 5. What is the second instruction from the creation?
A. That God is the rightful owner of us all, and may do what he will with us? Rom. 9:20. Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God! shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour?


Q. 6. What is the third instruction from the creation?
A. That God only is the proper object of worship; Jer. 10:11. Thus shall he say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens, and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.


Q. 7. What is the fourth instruction from hence?
A. That Christians should not fear the power of creatures, since they derive their being and power from God; Isa. 54:16, 17. Behold, I have created the smith that bloweth the coals in the fire, that bringeth forth an instrument for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy; no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.


Q. 8. What is the fifth instruction from hence?
A. That Atheism is a sin against natural light and reason; Rom. 1:20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and godhead; so that they are without excuse.


Q. 9. What is the sixth instruction from hence?
A. That God’s glory is the end of all being; Col. 1:16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him.


Q. 10. What is the seventh instruction from hence?
A. That there is an unnatural rebellion in sin, smiting at him that made and preserves our being; Isa. 1:6. I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.


Q. 11. What is the eighth instruction from hence?
A. That God can in a moment revive and save the church when at the lowest ebb; Isa. 65:18. Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction from hence?
A. That it is easy with God to revive a dejected soul; Isa. 57:19. I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him,


Of Man’s Creation

Quest. 10. HOW did God create man?
A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.


Q. 1. How did God create man?
A God created man in his own image; Gen. 1:27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.


Q. 2. What is meant by the image of God?
A. Not a resemblance of God in any bodily shape or figure, but in holiness; Eph. 4:24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


Q. 3. In what graces did man resemble God?
A. In such a knowledge of God himself, and the creatures, which made him happy; Col. 3:10, And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him.


Q. 4. In what other graces did this image consist?
A. In righteousness as well as holiness; Eph. 4:24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.


Q. 5. What is the first inference from hence?
A. The deplorable misery of the fall; Rom. 5:12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.


Q. 6. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. The beauty of holiness, which is the image of God, and the excellency of man; Psalm 16:3. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.


Q. 7. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. We have infinite cause to bless God for Christ, who repairs this lost image in his people; Eph. 4:23. And be renewed in the spirit of your mind.


Q. 8. What is the fourth instruction from hence?
A. That the despisers of holiness are the despisers of God; for holiness is God’s image.


Q. 9. What is the fifth instruction from hence?
A. The excellency of sanctification, which defaces the image of Satan, and draws the image of God upon the soul of man.


Of Divine Providence

Quest. 11. WHAT are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.


Q. 1. How doth it appear that there is a Divine Providence?
A. It appears by plain scripture testimonies. Heb. 1:3. Upholding all things by the word of his power. Col. 1:17. By him all things consist. Luke. 12:6, 7. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God; but even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.


Q. 2. How else is providence evinced?
A. By scripture emblems; as Jacob’s ladder, Gen. 28:12, 13. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; behold the angels of God ascended and descended on it: And Ezekiel’s wheels, Ezek. 1:20. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go, and the wheels were lifted up over against them, for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.


Q. 3. What farther scripture evidence is there?
A The sure accomplishment of scripture predictions; as Israel’s captivity, and deliverance from Egypt and Babylon; Christ’s incarnation; the rise and ruin of the four monarchies; Dan. 2:31. Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and the form thereof was terrible. Dan. 7:3. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from the other.


Q. 4. What is its first act about the creatures?
A. It sustains, preserves, provides for them; Psalm 145:15, 16. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season; thou openest thine hand, and satisfied the desire of every living thing, and defendest them from danger. Psalm 36:6. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains, thy judgments are a great deep; O Lord, thou preservest man and beast.


Q. 5. What is the second act of providence about the creatures?
A. It rules and governs the creatures and their actions; Psalm 66:7. He ruleth by his power for ever, his eyes behold the nations; let not the rebellious exalt themselves.


Q. 6. How manifold is Divine Providence?
A. It is common and general over all, or special and peculiar to some men; 1 Tim. 4:10. Who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.


Q. 7. How is providence exercised about sinful actions?
A. In permitting them; Acts 4:16. In restraining them; Psalm 76:10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, and the remainder of wrath shall thou restrain. And over-ruling them to good; Gen. 50:20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.


Q. 8. What are the properties of providence?
A. It is (1.) Holy; Psalm 145:17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. (2.) Wise; Psal. 104:24. O Lord, how manifold are all thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all. (3.) Powerful? Dan. 4:35. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing, and he doth according to his will, in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou?


Q. 9. What is the first instruction from it?
A. That God’s people are safe amidst all their enemies and dangers; 2 Chron. 16:9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose hearts are perfect toward him.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction from it.
A. That prayer is the best expedient to prosperity and success of our lawful affairs; Psalm 145:18. The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction from it?
A. That God’s people should rest quietly in the care of his providence for them in all their straits; Matth. 6:26. Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet our heavenly Father feedeth them: are not ye much better than they?


Q. 12. What is the last instruction from it?
A. That it is no small privilege to be adopted children of God, and the members of Christ; for all is ordered for their eternal good; Eph. 1:22, 23. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


Of the Covenant of Works

Quest. 12. WHAT special act of providence did God exercise towards man, in the estate wherein he was created?
A. When God created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.


Q. 1. What was God’s covenant with Adam before the fall?
A. It was to give life and happiness upon condition of perfect personal obedience; Gal. 3:12. The law is not of faith; but the man that doth them shall live in them.


Q. 2. Was this covenant made only with Adam, or with him and his posterity?
A. It was made with him, and all his natural posterity, descending in the ordinary way of generation from him; Rom. 5:12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Ver. 14 and 18. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come: Therefore as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.


Q. 3. Was Adam able to perform the obedience required of him in this covenant?
A. Yes; for he was made upright; Eccl. 7:29. God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.


Q. 4. Had this covenant any Mediator?
A. No; he neither had, nor needed any Mediator for satisfaction, because no sin was in him; nor intercession, for he wanted nothing.


Q. 5. Did this covenant admit of no repentance, nor accept any shorter endeavours?
A. No, it did not; but sentenceth and curseth the transgressors of it, for the least breach; Gal. 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


Q. 6. How was this threatening fulfilled, of dying the day he eat, seeing he lived 930 years?
A. He died spiritually that day: and though the sentence on his body was respited in order to posterity, yet then his body received the death’s wound, of which afterward he died.


Q. 7. What is the first inference from Adam’s covenant?
A. Miserable are all they that grow on the natural root of the first Adam: Gal. 4:21, 22. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond-maid, the other by a free-woman.


Q. 8. What is the second inference?
A. That God is just in all the punishments and miseries that come upon man; yea, infants that never sinned after his similitude; Rom. 5:14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.


Q. 9. What is the third inference?
A. The glorious privilege of believers who are under a better covenant, established upon better promises; Heb. 8:6. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a better covenant, which is established upon better promises.


Q. 10. What is the last inference?
A. That we should pity the unregenerate, especially our own among them; and labour to plant them in the second Adam.


Of the Fall of Man

Quest. 13. DID our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
A. Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.


Q. 1. How doth it appear that man is fallen?
A. By the scripture history: An account of it is in Gen. 3:6, 7. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons? and they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden. And the sad experience we all have of it in ourselves; Rom. 5:12. Therefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.


Q. 2. How could man fall, since he was made upright?
A. Though he was upright, yet his will was mutable; and by abusing that liberty, he fell; Eccles. 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright, but they have sought out-many inventions.


Q. 3. How did God leave him to abuse the freedom of his will?
A. Not by inclining him to abuse it; but by withholding that further grace which he was no way obliged to continue to him.


Q. 4. Did the will of man lose its liberty to good by the Fall?
A. Yes, it did, and is so wounded, that it cannot, without thy preventing and regenerating grace, put forth one spiritual and saving act; Eph. 2:8, 9, 10. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. Not of works, least any man should boast; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, &c.


Q. 5. What was the aggravation of Adam’s sin?
A. It was aggravated in his being a public innocent person, so newly placed in a state of happiness and liberty.


Q. 6. What is the first inference from the fall?
A. That the best creature left to himself, cannot be long safe; as the angels, and Adam; Psal. 49:12. Nevertheless, man being in honour abideth not; he is like the beasts that perish.


Q. 7. What is the second inference?
A. That since man could not be his own keeper, he can be much less his own saviour; 2 Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.


Q. 8. What is the third inference?
A. That it is impossible for the covenant of works to justify any one; Rom. 3:20. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; Rom. 8:3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh; God sending his own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.


Q. 9. What is the last inference?
A. What cause have we to bless God for Christ, who recovered us when the fall left us helpless? Rom. 5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.


Of Sin

Quest. 14. WHAT is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of the law of God.


Q. 1. What is meant by the law?
A. The commands and rules flowing from God’s sovereignty, whereby his will is manifested, and the creature bound to obedience.


Q. 2. Where is this law written?
A. It is written either in the heart; Rom. 2:25. Which shews the work of the law written in their hearts, (which we call the law; of nature;) or in the Bible, which we call the written moral law.


Q. 3. What conformity is due to the law of God?
A. A twofold conformity is due to it: First, Internal, in our hearts. Secondly, External, in our lives; and the want of either is sin; 1 John 3:4. Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the law.


Q. 4. How doth it appear that the want of internal conformity is sin?
A. Because the law requires it; Mark 12:30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; for this is the first Commandment: And condemns the want of it? Rom. 7:7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! nay, I had not known sin but by the law; for I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.


Q. 5. Is nothing a sin but what is against God’s law?
A. No, nothing can be a sin but what God hath either expressly, or by consequence, forbidden in his word.


Q. 6. Wherein lies the evil of transgressing God’s law?
A. The evil of sin principally lies in the offence and wrong done to God, whose sovereignty it labours to shake off, and despises his will; Psal. 51:4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.


Q. 7. What further evil is in sin?
A. It highly wrongs the sinner’s soul by defacing, defiling, and damning it; Prov. 8:36. But he that sinneth against me, wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me, love death.


Q. 8. Wherein is the evil of sin manifested?
A. It is manifested in the death of Christ, the terrors of conscience, and torments of hell.


Q. 9. What course must the sinner take to recover himself out of his misery?
A. Repentance towards God, faith towards Christ, and both evidenced by new obedience; Acts 20:21. Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 10. What may we infer from hence?
A. That we have infinite cause to bless God for Christ’s satisfaction of the law for our sins.


Of the Tree of Knowledge

Quest. 15. WHAT was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.


Q. 1. Why was this tree called the tree of knowledge?
A Not from any natural efficacy it had to give knowledge, but the knowledge he should have by eating, or not eating, was experimental knowledge, i.e. Knowledge to his sorrow.


Q. 2. Why did God forbid him this tree?
A. First, For the discovery of his dominion over man. Secondly, For the trial of his subjection and obedience. Thirdly, For the aggravation of his sin, if he should eat.


Q. 3. What evil was there in eating of it?
A. There was a twofold evil, the evil of sin, and the evil of punishment, both very great.


Q. 4. What was the evil of sin?
A. A threefold evil of sin. First, Against God, called disobedience; Rom. 5:19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners. Secondly, Against himself, soul, body, and estate. Thirdly, Against his posterity; Rom. 5:12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.


Q. 5. What was the evil of punishment?
A. First, Loss of God’s image. Secondly, Horror of conscience. Thirdly, Sorrow on the female sex. Fourthly, Curse on the creature. Fifthly, Expulsion from paradise. Sixthly, Death both of body and soul.


Q. 6. What is the first instruction from it?
A. To take heed of small beginnings of temptations, and to resist it in the first motions; James 3:5. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.


Q. 7. What is the second inference?
A. Not to hold a parly with the tempter; see 2 Cor. 11:3. But I fear lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve, through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.


Q. 8. What is the third inference?
A. That Satan’s policy lies much in the choice of his tempting instruments; as Eve and Peter, &c.


Q. 9. What is the fourth inference?
A. A necessity of keeping strong guards on our senses; Isa. 33:15. That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil, he shall dwell on high, his place of defence shall be the munition of rocks.


Q. 10. What is the fifth inference?
A. That covenant-breaking is a heinous sin, which God will punish; Hosea 8:1. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covevant, and transgressed against my laws.


Q. 11. What is the last inference?
A. That the corruption of our nature is much seen in desiring forbidden things; Rom. 7:7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid; Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.


Of the Fall of Adam, and ours in him

Quest. 16. DID all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.


Q. 1. Did no man ever escape the sin of Adam?
A. Yes, the man Christ Jesus did, and he only; Heb. 7:26. For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefined, separate from sinners.


Q. 2. Why was not Christ tainted with it?
A. Because he came into the world in an extraordinary way; Matth. 1:18. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 3. How doth it appear all others are tainted with it?
A. It appears by scripture testimony, Rom. 5:12. Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; and experience of the best men, Rom. 7:21. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.


Q. 4. How came all men to fall with Adam?
A. Because all were included in Adam’s covenant, as a man’s covenant includes his children before they be born, or the treason of the father affects his posterity.


Q. 5. What infer you from hence?
A. The stupendous wisdom of God in sending Christ in our nature, and yet without the sin and taint of it; 1 Cor. 1:24. Christ the wisdom of God.


Q. 6. What is the second inference?
A. Hence we learn the admirable love of Christ in taking our nature, with all the sinless infirmities thereof; Rom. 8:3. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak, through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.


Q. 7. What is the third inference?
A. The necessity of our union with Christ, in order to our participation of his righteousness and redemption; 1 Cor. 15:22. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.


Q. 8. What is the fourth inference?
A. Hence we learn the malignant and mortal nature of sin, inasmuch as one sin defiled and destroyed a whole world.


Q. 9. What is the fifth inference?
A. That though all be not equally sensible of their need, yet one sinner needs Christ as much as another.


Q. 10. What is the last inference?
A. That no man hath any cause or reason to boast of the goodness, of his nature, since the best were by nature under the same sin and misery as the worst; Eph. 2:3. Among whom also, we all had our conversation in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh, and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath even as others.


Of Original Sin

Quest. 17. INTO what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

Quest. 18. WHEREIN consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin, together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.


Q. 1. How many sorts of sins are all men under?
A. All men are guilty before God of two sorts of sin; of original, and of actual; Psal. 51:5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Eccles. 7:20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not.


Q. 2. How can we be guilty of Adam’s first sin?
A. We are guilty of it, because Adam sinned not only as a single, but also as a public person, and representative of all mankind: Rom. 5:15, 16, 17. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift: for if through the offence of one many be dead; much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many: And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation.


Q. 3. How else came we under his guilt?
A. We are guilty of his sin by generation; for we were in his loins, as treason stains the blood of the posterity, or parents leprosy the children: Psalm. 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.


Q. 4. Wherein doth it consist?
A. It consists in two things. First, In our aversion and enmity to that which is good; Rom. 7:18. In me, that is, in my flesh, there dwelleth no good thing, Secondly, In proneness to that which is evil; Rom. 7:14. But I am carnal, sold under sin.


Q. 5. Is this corruption of nature in all men?
A. Yes; in all mere men, and women, none exempted; Rom 3:10 and 23. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.


Q. 6. In what part of our nature doth this sin abide?
A. It abides in the whole man, in every part of man, both soul and body; Gen. 6:5. God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually; 1 Thess. 5:23. Now the God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 7. How is the body infected by it?
A. In the readiness of the bodily members to further sin, and its temptations in the soul; Rom. 3:13, 14, 15. Their throat is an open sepulchre, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poison of asps is under their lips, whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness, their feet are swift to shed blood.


Q. 8. What learn we from original sin?
A. To bear patiently the miseries we see on our children, and their death also without murmuring; Rom. 5:14. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression.


Q. 9. What is the second instruction?
A. It teaches us humility, and should be matter of confession and humiliation, when we sin actually; Psal. 51:5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.


Q. 10. What is the third instruction?
A. It should provoke parents to use their utmost diligence for the conversion of their children who draw sin from them.


Q. 11. What is the last instruction?
A. It teaches us the necessity of regeneration, and should provoke us greatly to desire it.


Of Man’s Misery

Quest. 19. WHAT is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their Jail lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse; and so made liable to all the miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.


Q. 1. What communion had God with man before the fall?
A. Man that enjoyed the gracious presence and favour of God with him, which was better than life.


Q. 2. How doth it appear this was lost by the fall?
A. It appears by scripture-testimony, that Adam lost it as to himself; Gen. 3:8. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, among the trees of the garden. And we in him; Eph. 2:12. At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.


Q. 3. Was this the only misery that came by the fall?
A. No; man did not only lose communion with God, but fell under his wrath and curse; Eph. 2:3. And were by nature children of wrath, even as others.


Q. 4. Doth the wrath and curse of God then lie on all men?
A. It lies on all the unregenerate in the world; Gal. 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them: But believers are delivered from it by Christ; 1 Thess. 1:10. Even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


Q. 5. How are the miseries of man by the fall divided?
A. They are divided into the miseries of this world, and of the World to come.


Q. 6. What are the miseries that come on them in this world?
A. The miseries of life, as sickness, pain, poverty on the body; fear, trouble, sorrow on the mind, and at last death itself; Rom. 6 ult. The wages of sin is death.


Q. 7. What are the miseries after this life?
A. The pains and torments of hell for ever; Psal. 9:17. The wicked shall be turned into hell.


Q. 8. What are the torments of hell?
A. Pain of loss and pain of sense; Matth. 25:41. Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire.


Q. 9. What learn you from hence?
A. The woeful state of the unconverted; miserable here, and miserable to eternity.


Q. 10. What else learn we hence?
A. The great salvation believers have by Christ from all this misery; Heb. 2:3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.


Of the Salvation of God’s Elect, and of the Covenant of Grace

Quest. 20. DID God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery;
A. God having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery; and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.


Q. 1. Are some persons chosen to salvation, and others left?
A. Yes: God hath chosen some to salvation, and passed by others; as the Scriptures speak; See Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called. And Jude 4. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, &c.


Q. 2. Did God chuse some, because he foresaw they would be better than others;
A. No: God’s choice was not on foreseen works, but merely of his grace, and good pleasure of his will; Eph. 1:5, 6. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.


Q. 3. Is this election of God made in time, and that according as men use their free-will, or from eternity?
A. Election is an eternal act of God before the world was, and depends not on man’s using his free-will; as appears from Eph. 1:4, According as he hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love.


Q. 4. Shall all that are elected be called and saved?
A, Yes, the scripture is full and plain for it; Acts 13:48. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. Rom. 8:30. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called, &c.


Q. 5. By whom are the elect saved?
A. By Christ, the only Redeemer; Titus 3:4, 5, 6. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.


Q. 6. Is there no other way of salvation but by Christ?
A. No; no other way is revealed in scripture; Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


Q. 7. What learn you from God’s election?
A. What cause we have to admire free-grace in our choice, who were no better than others; Eph. 2:3. And were by nature children of wrath even as others.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. It teaches us humility; we made not ourselves to differ, but the free-grace of God made the difference; 1 Cor. 4:7. For who maketh thee to differ from another?


Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. It teaches us diligence to make our election sure to ourselves, by our calling; 2 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure.


Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction?
A. It is matter of comfort to God’s elect, amidst all dangers in the world; 2. Tim. 2:19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.


Of the Covenant of Grace

Quest. 1. WHAT is the covenant of grace?
A. It is a new compact, or agreement, made with sinners, out of mere grace, wherein God promiseth to be our God, and that we shall be his people, and to give everlasting life to all that believe in Christ; Jer. 31:33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts, and will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Q. 2. How doth this covenant differ from the covenant of works?
A. They differ many ways; but principally in three things. First, The covenant of works had no Mediator; the covenant of grace hath a Mediator; Heb. 12:24. And to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant. Secondly, In the former no place was found for repentance; in the second, God admits it; Heb. 8:10. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws in their minds, and write them in their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people; ver. 12. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins will I remember no more. Thirdly, in their condition, the former requires exact obedience; the latter faith and sincere obedience; Mark 16:16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved.


Q. 3. May a sinner that hath no worthiness at all of his own, be taken into the covenant of grace?
A. Yes, he may; Isa. 43:25. I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. This covenant is not of works, but of grace, Rom. 11:6. And if by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace, otherwise work is no more work.


Q. 4. Is this covenant changeable, or an unchangeable covenant?
A. No, it is not changeable, but everlasting and unchangeable for ever; Isa. 54:10. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed, but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord, that hath mercy on thee.


Q. 5. What are the principal things bestowed in this covenant?
A. God himself, and in and with him pardon and salvation; Jer. 31:33. I will be their God, and they shall be my people.


Q. 6. Can no sin be forgiven out of this covenant?
A. No, God pardons none out of this covenant; John 3:18. But he that believeth not is condemned already.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction hence?
A. Humbled and believing sinners have singular supports from this new covenant, 1 John 2:12. I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That it is the great concern of all men to examine whether they be in this covenant or no; 2 Cor 13:5. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your ownselves; know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. See here the miserable state of the wicked, which have no interest in it: Psalm 50:16. But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth?


Q. 10. What is the last instruction?
A. That Christians are obliged to walk as people in covenant with God; 1 Pet. 2:9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.


Of the only Redeemer

Quest. 21. WHO is the Redeemer of God’s elect?
A. The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so teas, and continueth to be God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person for ever.


Q. 1. What doth the name Redeemer signify?
A. It signifies one that frees another out of captivity and bondage, as Christ did us; Matth. 20:28. And to give his life a ransom for many.


Q. 2. What was the misery from which Christ delivered us?
A. A twofold misery, viz. Sin and hell. First, Sin; Matth. 1:21. Thou shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins. Secondly, Hell; 1 Thess. 1:10. Even Jesus, who delivered us from the wrath to come.


Q. 3. How did Christ deliver us from this misery?
A. First, by price. Secondly, By power. By price; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19. Ye are not redeemed with silver and gold from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot. By power; Col. 1:13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.


Q. 4. When was the redemption wrought by Christ?
A. It was decreed from eternity; it was actually wrought on the cross; Col. 1:20. And (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


Q. 5. How then could they be redeemed that died before?
A. Though Christ’s blood was actually shed after the Old Testament believers died: yet the virtue of Christ’s death extends to them, as well as us; Heb. 11:39, 40. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.


Q. 6. Why would not God deliver us without such a Redeemer?
A. Because it was not so much for the honour of his justice; Rom. 3:25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That all that are out of Christ are in a miserable bondage and captivity; John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence see the heinous nature of sin, which required such a price to satisfy for it; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19. We were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish, and without spot.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. The wonderful love of Christ in redeeming us at such a rate; Rev. 1:5. Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.


Q. 10. What is the last instruction?
A. This strongly obligeth us to an universal holiness; 1 Cor. 6:20. For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


Of Christ’s Incarnation

Quest. 22. HOW did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ the Son of God became man by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.


Q. 1. Who is the only Redeemer of God’s elect?
A. The Lord Jesus Christ is their only Redeemer, and there is no other Redeemer besides him; Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


Q. 2. How is he the Son of God, or can be, as no other is so?
A. He is the Son of God by nature, from all eternity, and so no angel or saint is; Heb. 1:5. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?


Q. 3. Why was it necessary he should become man?
A. That he might be capable to suffer death in our room; Heb. 2:15, 16, 17. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham; wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.


Q. 4. Why must the Redeemer be God as well as man?
A. Because the blood of a mere man could not satisfy and redeem us; Acts 20:28. Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.


Q. 5. Do these two natures make two persons?
A. No, the human nature is united to the second person, and subsists in union with it; John 1:14. And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


Q. 6. Was the union only for a time?
A. No, it continues and abides for ever; Heb. 7:24. But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. Hence we learn the transcendent love of God to poor sinners; John 3:16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence we learn the matchless love of Christ, that he should stoop to such a condition for us; 2 Cor. 8:9. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. That the greatest sins are capable of remission to believers; John 1:29. Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.


Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction?
A. That those that be in Christ need not fear the denial or want of any other mercy; Rom. 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all; how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?


Q. 11. What is the fifth instruction;
A. Hence we learn how impious it is to ascribe any part of the glory of redemption to any other besides Christ.


Q. 12. What is the sixth instruction;
A. This teaches us the miserable condition of all that are out of Christ, and the necessity of their damnation, he being the only Redeemer.


Of the Manner of Christ’s Incarnation

Quest. 1. WAS Christ’s incarnation a voluntary act in him?
A. Yes, it was; for though he had a command to die for us, John 10:18. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. Yet he came willingly; Psal. 40:6, 7. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, mine ears hast thou opened; burnt-offerings and sin-offerings hast thou not required; lo, I come; in the volume of thy book, it is written of me. Ver. 8. I delight to do thy will, O my God, yea, thy law is within my heart.


Q. 2. Was the body of Christ a real and true human body?
A. Yes, it was a true and real body, not the appearance and shape of a body only; Luke 24:38. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Ver. 39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as you see me have.


Q. 3. Had he a true human soul as well as a body?
A. Yes, he had a real human soul also, and all the natural faculties and powers thereof; Matth. 26:38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.


Q. 4. Was he then in all respects like to other men?
A. No, his conception was not like others; Isa. 7:14. Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL. And he had no sin in him as others have; Heb. 7:26. For such an High Priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners.


Q. 5. Did Christ put off the human nature at his ascension?
A. No, he did not, but carried it up to glory, and now is in our nature in heaven; 1 Tim. 3:16. Received up into glory.


Q. 6. Why did he assume our nature?
A. That he might die in it for our salvation; Heb. 2:15. And deliver them, who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


Q. 7. Why did he rise in it after death?
A. He raised it from the dead for your justification; Rom. 4:25. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.


Q. 8. Why did he ascend in our nature into heaven?
A. To be a Mediator of intercession in our nature; Heb. 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


Q. 9. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the body of Christ is not every where, but is contained in heaven; Acts 3:21. Whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution of all things.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction?
A. That Christ is full of tender compassion to his people’s infirmities; Heb. 4:15. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction?
A. That great and admirable is the glory designed for the bodies of believers; Phil. 3:21. Who shall change your vile bodies, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction?
A. That the bodily eyes of believers after the resurrection, shall see Christ in glory; Job 19:26, 27. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.


Of Christ’s Offices

Quest. 23. WHAT offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, doth execute the office of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.


Q. 1. What are the states and conditions of our Redeemer?
A. Christ’s states are twofold; namely, his state of humiliation, and his state of exaltation; Phil. 2:8, 9. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name.


Q. 2. How many offices belong to Christ in these states?
A. Christ hath a threefold office; namely, of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king.


Q. 3. Why doth Christ take all these three offices?
A. Because they are all necessary for our salvation, and we have the benefit of them all; 1 Cor. 1:30. Who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.


Q. 4. Can no man take Christ in one office, and not in another?
A. No; whoever will have the benefit of any one, must receive him in all; Acts 5:31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince, and a Saviour, for to give repentance unto Israel, and forgiveness of sins.


Q. 5. What respect have the offices of Christ to the promises?
A. The promises flow out of them as out of their fountain; 2 Cor. 1:20. For all the promises of God in him, are yea, and in him, Amen.


Q. 6. What promises flow out of the prophetical office?
A. All promises of illumination, guidance, and direction flow out of Christ’s prophetical office?


Q. 7. What promises flow out of the priestly office?
A. All the promises of a pardon and peace flow out of it.


Q. 8. What promises flow out of the kingly office?
A. All the promises of defence, protection, and deliverances.


Q. 9. What is the first instruction?
A. Hence we learn the completeness of Christ for all the wants of his people; Col. 2:10. And ye are complete in him.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence we learn the folly and misery of all those hypocrites that close partially with Christ.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction?
A. Hence we learn the singular dignity of the Lord Jesus: None ever having had all those offices but Christ.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction?
A. That faith is a considerate act; and requires much deliberation.


Of Christ’s Prophetical Office

Quest. 24. HOW doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.


Q. 1. What doth Christ’s prophetical office imply?
A. It implies man’s natural blindness and ignorance; 1 Cor. 2:14. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.


Q. 2. What else doth it imply?
A. That Christ is the original and fountain of all that light which guides us to salvation; 2 Cor. 4:6, 7. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


Q. 3. How doth Christ teach men the will of God?
A. He doth it by external revelation of it; Acts 3:22. For Moses truly said to the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear, in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you. And by internal illumination; Luke 24:45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scripture.


Q. 4. What need then of man’s ministry?
A. Very much; for Christ hath instituted ministers as instruments, by whom he will teach us; Eph. 4:11, 12. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors, and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins.


Q. 5. Can no man savingly know the will of God without the teachings of Christ?
A. No; though common knowledge may be obtained in a natural way, yet not saving; Matth. 11:25. At that time Jesus answered, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord, of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.


Q. 6. How appears it that Christ is appointed to this office?
A. We have the written word for it; Acts 3:22. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things, whatsoever he shall say unto you.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. None need be discouraged at their natural weakness, if Christ be their teacher; Matth. 11:25. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Psalm. 19:7. The testimonies of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. That it is a dreadful judgment to be spiritually blinded under the gospel; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. That prayer is the best expedient to obtain saving knowledge; James 1:5. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.


Q. 10. What is the last instruction?
A. Learn hence the transcendent excellency of the knowledge of Christ above all other knowledge; Phil. 3:8. Yea, doubtless, I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.


Of Christ’s Priesthood

Quest. 25. HOW doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.


Q. 1. What is the priesthood of Christ in general?
A. It is his expiation of our sins by the sacrifice of himself, and obtaining God’s favour for us; Col. 1:20. And (having made peace through the blood of his cross) by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.


Q. 2. What are the parts of Christ’s priestly office?
A. It hath two parts. First, Oblation, or offering of himself; Heb. 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works, to serve the living God? Secondly, Intercession for us; Heb. 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.


Q. 3. What is the end of Christ’s oblation?
A. The end of it, as to God, was to satisfy his incensed justice; Rom. 3:25. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. And as to men, to put away their sins; Heb. 9:26. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but how once in the end of the world, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.


Q. 4. What is the first difference between Christ and other priests?
A. Other priests offered the blood of beasts; Christ his own blood; Heb. 9:12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


Q. 5. What is the second difference?
A. They offered many sacrifices; Christ perfected all by one offering, Heb. 10:14. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.


Q. 6. What was the sacrifice Christ offered to God?
A. His body; Heb. 10:10. By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And his soul; Isa. 53:10. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin.


Q. 7. Whence is the efficacy of this sacrifice?
A. From the divine Person to whom that soul and body was united; Acts 15:28. Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.


Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That believers are discharged by Christ from all their sins and debts; Acts 13:39. And by him, all that believe are justified from all things.


Q. 9. What is the second inference?
A. That it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an absolute God; Luke 23:31. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?


Q. 10. What is the third inference?
A. That it is impossible for man to satisfy God for his own sins; Psal. 130:3. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?


Q. 11. What is the last inference?
A. That the Christian religion only settles the conscience in peace; Heb. 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your consciences from dead works to serve the living God?


Of Christ’s Kingly Office

Quest. 26. HOW doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.


Q. 1. How manifold is Christ’s kingdom?
A. Twofold. First, Internal in men’s souls; Luke 17:21. Behold, the kingdom of God is within you. Secondly, External, over all the world; Eph. 1:22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be Head over all things to the church.


Q. 2. What is the end of Christ’s providential kingdom?
A. The good and salvation of the church; John 17:2. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.


Q. 3. Wherein doth he exercise his kingly power?
A. In restraining his, and his people’s enemies; Psal. 76:10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.


Q. 4. How else is it exercised?
A. In protecting his church amidst all enemies; Exod. 3:3. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.


Q. 5. What instruments doth Christ use?
A. Angels are ministring spirits to him; Heb. 1:14. Are they not all ministring spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation; And men, yea, the worst of men; Rev. 12:16. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.


Q. 6. In what manner doth Christ rule the world?
A. By supreme power; Rev. 19:16. He hath on his vesture, and on his thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And perfect wisdom; Eph. 1:11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.


Q. 7. What learn we from hence?
A. That the church is saved amidst all dangers; Jer. 30:11. For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all nations, whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.


Q. 8. What is the second instruction?
A. That the godly may safely trust to Christ’s care; 2 Chron. 16:9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards him.


Q. 9. What is the third instruction?
A. That all plots against the church shall surely be defeated; Isa. 54:17. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper.


Q. 10. What is the fourth instruction?
A. It gives the saints full satisfaction in all conditions; Rom. 8:28. And we know that all things work together, for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.


Q. 11. What is the last inference?
A. We should not stand in a slavish fear of men; Isa. 51:12. I, even I am he that comforteth you; who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man, which shall be made as grass.


Of Christ’s Humiliation

Quest. 27. WHEREIN did Christ’s humiliation consist?
A. Christ’s humiliation consisted in his being born, and that in a low condition, made under the law, undergoing the miseries of this life’ the wrath of God, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing under the power of death for a time.


Q. 1. What doth Christ’s humbling of himself import?
A. His voluntariness in the deepest point of self-denial? Psal. 40:7. Then said I, Lo, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me.


Q. 2. What was the first act of Christ’s humiliation?
A. His taking man’s nature on him, with all its sinless infirmities; Rom. 8:3. God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.


Q. 3. What is the second part of his humiliation?
A. That mean life he lived in this world, which obscured, his divine glory? Mark 6:3. Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary?


Q. 4. What was the first thing in Christ’s life that humbled him?
A. The poverty of it; Mat. 7:20. And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.


Q. 5. What was the second thing in his life that humbled him?
A. The temptations of Satan, to which he was subject; Mat. 4:1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil, and that for our sakes. Heb. 2:17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, ver. 18. For in that he himself hath suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.


Q. 6. What was the third thing in Christ’s life that humbled him?
A. His subjection to the law; Gal. 1:4. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.


Q. 7. What was the fourth thing in Christ’s life that humbled him?
A. The revilings and contradictions of sinners; Heb. 12:3. For consider him that endureth such contradiction of sinners against himself.


Q. 8. Wherein was Christ humbled in his death?
A. His death was painful and ignominious; Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: For it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. Made a curse for us, and deserted in it; Mat. 27:46. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani; that is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?


Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That lowliness and humility becomes Christ’s followers; Mat. 11:29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.


Q. 10. What is the second inference?
A. That Christ’s love to sinners is astonishingly great; 2 Cor. 8:9. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be made rich.


Q. 11. What is the third inference?
A. Christians should be ready to suffer for Christ; 1 Pet. 4:1. Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That humiliation is the true way to exaltation; Mat. 23:12. And whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself, shall be exalted.


Of Christ’s Exaltation

Quest. 28. WHEREIN consists Christ’s exaltation?
A. Christ’s exaltation consists in his rising again from the dead on the third day; in ascending up into heaven, in sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the last day.


Q. 1. What is the first step of Christ’s exaltation?
A. His resurrection from the dead.


Q. 2. How doth his resurrection appear?
A. By the scripture prophecies accomplished in him; 1 Cor. 15:4. And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day, according to the scriptures.


Q. 3. Why did Christ rise again?
A. To establish our faith, and abolish our sins; 1 Cor. 15:17. And if Christ be not risen, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.


Q. 4. What other end was there of Christ’s resurrection?
A. To declare his divine power; Rom. 1:4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. And to evidence the fulness of his satisfaction; John 16:10. Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.


Q. 5. Did Christ rise in the same body he laid down?
A. It was substantially the same; John 20:27. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side, and be not faithless, but believing.


Q. 6. What doth Christ’s resurrection teach us?
A. The certainty of our resurrection after death; 1 Cor. 15:20. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.


Q. 7. What is the second step of Christ’s exaltation?
A. His ascension after forty days into heaven; Acts 1:2, 3. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost, had given commandment unto the apostles, whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion, by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.


Q. 8. Why did Christ stay so long on earth?
A. To assure the truth of his resurrection, and to settle the due government of his church, Acts 1:2, 3.


Q. 9. For what end did he ascend?
A. To take possession of his glory; John 17:5. And now, Q. Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. And that as our fore-runner, Heb. 6:20. Whither the Fore-runner is for us entered, even Jesus, &c.


Q. 10. In what manner did Christ ascend?
A. Triumphantly, and magnificently; Psal. 47:5. God is gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.


Q. 11. What doth his ascension teach us?
A. Heavenly-mindedness; Col. 3:1, 2. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right-hand of God; set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth. And an encouragement in our Christian race; Heb. 12:1, 2. Wherefore, seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right-hand of the throne of God.


The second Part of the 28th Question of Christ’s exaltation

Quest. 1. WHAT was the third degree of Christ’s exaltation?
A. His sitting at God’s right-hand in heaven; Heb. 1:3. When he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right-hand of the majesty on high.


Q. 2. What doth God’s right-hand signify?
A. A state of honour; Heb. 1:13. But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right-hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool? And power; Matt. 26:64. Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right-hand of power.


Q. 3. What is implied in Christ’s sitting there?
A. That his work on earth is finished; Heb. 10:12. But this man after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, for ever sat down on the right-hand of God.


Q. 4. What else doth it signify?
A. Christ’s power over all his enemies; Psal. 110:2. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.


Q. 5. What learn we from Christ’s sitting there?
A. The high honour believers are advanced to by Christ; Eph. 2:6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.


Q. 6. What is the last step of Christ’s exaltation?
A. His coming to judgment; Acts 10:42. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.


Q. 7. Is it certain there shall be a judgment-day?
A. Yes; the scripture assures it; 2 Cor. 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ. And every man’s conscience witnesseth to it; Rom. 2:16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.


Q. 8. What is the first property of Christ’s judgment?
A. It will be awful and solemn; 1 Thess. 4:16. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.


Q. 9. What is the second property of it?
A. It will be exact and critical; Rom. 2:16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. Mat. 12:36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgment.


Q. 10. What is the third property of it?
A. It will be an universal judgment; Rev. 20:12. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened.


Q. 11. How is this a part of Christ’s exaltation;
A. He now acts in the fulness of his kingly power; Mat. 25:34. Then shall the king say unto them on his right-hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. And this will roll away the reproach of his enemies; Rev. 1:7. Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him.


Q. 12. What learn we from Christ’s being judge?
A. That believers shall not be cast in judgment; Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.


Q. 13. What learn we from hence?
A. The deplorable state of Christless persons; Luke 19:27. But those mine enemies that would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.


Q. 14. What else learn we from Christ’s judgment?
A. To give all diligence to be found of him in peace; 2 Pet. 3:14. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of him in peace.


Of the Application of Christ

Quest. 29. HOW are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. We are made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ, by the effectual application of it to us by his Holy Spirit.


Q 1. What did our redemption cost Christ?
A. It cost him his own blood to obtain it; Heb. 9:12. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.


Q. 2. Can none have the benefit of it, except it be applied to them?
A. No, if Christ be not applied, we cannot be saved; John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.


Q. 3. Whose work or office is it to apply Christ to us?
A. It is the office and work of God’s Spirit; Titus 3:4, 5. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour towards man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 4. What means doth the Spirit use in applying Christ?
A. The external means he makes use of, is the ministry of the gospel; 1 Cor. 3:5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed?


Q. 5. Is this sufficient of itself?
A. No, the blessing and power of the Spirit must accompany it, or Christ cannot be applied; 1 Thess. 1:5, 6. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance, as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 6. To whom doth the Spirit apply Christ?
A. To those that were given him of the Father before the world was; Acts 13:48. And as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. John 14:17. Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him, for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


Q. 7. Is the application of Christ to a soul finished at once?
A. Though the first act of faith unites the soul to Christ, yet it is a continued act; 1 Pet. 2:4. To whom coming, as unto a living stone.


Q. 8. What learn we from hence?
A. What a destitute thing the soul is that is out of Christ; Rev. 3:18. Because thou sayest I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou are wretched and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.


Q. 9. What else doth it teach us?
A. The riches and dignity of believers. Christ and all his purchases are theirs; 1 Cor. 3:22, 23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.


Q. 10. What else doth it teach us?
A. The righteousness of God in the destruction of all unbelievers; John 5:40. Mark 16:16. He that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.


Of our Union with Christ

Quest. 30. HOW doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?
A. By working faith in us, and thereby uniting us to Christ in our effectual calling.


Q. 1. Can none have saving benefit by Christ, but such as are united to him?
A. No, for as Adam’s sin could not hurt us, except we had been in him; so Christ’s redemption cannot profit us, except we are in him; 1 Cor. 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.


Q. 2. What are the bonds of this union?
A. The Spirit on God’s part; 1 John 3:24. And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him; and hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. And faith on our part: Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith.


Q. 3. What is the first property of this union?
A. It is an intimate union; Eph. 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.


Q. 4. What is the second property?
A. It is an union never to be dissolved; Rom. 8:35, 38. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Q. 5. What is the third property of this union?
A. It makes Christ, and all that he hath purchased, become ours; 1 Cor. 3:22, 23. All are yours, and ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.


Q. 6. What is the fourth property of this union?
A. It is the foundation and root of all our spiritual and acceptable obedience; John 15:4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.


Q. 7. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That saving grace in the saints is immortal, being secured to them in and by Christ; Col. 3:3. Your life is hid with Christ in God.


Q. 8. What is the second inference?
A. That the relation between Christ and believers is very near and intimate; Eph. 5:30. For we are members of his body, of his, flesh, and of his bones.


Q. 9. What is the third inference?
A. That believers need not be afraid to go down to the grave; Rom. 8:38, 39. For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life,—nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And this union holds after death; Mat. 22:31, 32. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living.


Q. 10. What is the fourth inference?
A. That in wronging and persecuting the saints, men wrong and persecute Christ himself; Acts 9:4. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?


Q. 11. What is the fifth inference?
A. That in relieving and refreshing the saints, we relieve and refresh Christ himself; Matth. 25:35, 36. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; and I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I. was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me; I was sick, and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Ver. 40. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That there is a sympathy in Christ, under all the pressures and grievances of his people; Heb. 4:15. We have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.


Of Effectual Calling

Quest. 31. WHAT is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.


Q. 1. What makes the difference between effectual and ineffectual calling?
A. Ineffectual calling is, when men have nothing but the external sound of the gospel; Matth. 20:16. For many be called, but few chosen. Effectual is, when the Spirit works in conjunction with the word; John 6:45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God; every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.


Q. 2. What is the first act of the Spirit in effectual calling?
A. Conviction of sin; John 16:8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin.


Q. 3. Do the called of God hear any voice from heaven?
A. Ordinarily it is a call without sound, yet as efficacious as an audible voice from heaven.


Q. 4. What is the second act of the Spirit in our effectual calling?
A. The illumination of the mind in the knowledge of Christ; Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.


Q. 5. In what things doth it enlighten them?
A. In this; That Christ is their only remedy; Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. And their all-sufficient remedy; Heb. 7:25. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him.


Q. 6. What is the third act?
A. His renewing of the sinner’s will, and making it flexible; Psal. 110:3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power. Ezek. 36:26. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.


Q. 7. Can no man come to Christ till thus enabled?
A. No; it is not in the power of man’s nature or will, till thus renewed and enabled; Eph. 1:19, 20. And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward, who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him on his own right-hand in the heavenly places. John 6:44. No man can come to me except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him.


Q. 8. What sort of men are most ordinarily called?
A. The poor and mean ones in the world; 1 Cor. 1:26. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.


Q. 9. What is the first instruction from it?
A. Souls effectually called are never lost; Rom. 11:29. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction?
A. All things co-operate to their good; Rom. 8:28. For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction?
A. It is dangerous to refuse God’s call; Prov. 1:24. Because I have called, and ye have refused, I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction?
A. That Christians are obliged to walk suitably to their heavenly calling; 1 Thess. 2:12. That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you into his kingdom and glory.


Of the Concomitants of Vocation

Quest. 32. WHAT benefits do they that are effectually called partake of in this life?
A. They that are effectually called do in this life partake of justification, adoption, and sanctification, and the several benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from them.


Q. 1. Are all that be effectually called, justified?
A. Yes; God justifies all, and every soul that obeys and answers his call; Rom. 8:30. Whom he called, them he also justified.


Q. 2. What other benefits have the called in this life?
A. They are all the adopted children of God; Eph. 1:5. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ, unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.


Q. 3. Are those all the benefits the called receive?
A. No; they are not only justified and adopted, but also sanctified; 1 Cor. 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.


Q. 4. Do these three blessings come singly to the called?
A. No; they are all accompanied with multitudes of other blessings flowing from them; Eph. 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.


Q. 5. What are the mercies flowing from justification?
A. They are great and manifold; Rom. 5:1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Q. 6. What are the benefits flowing from adoption?
A. Free access to God; Eph. 3:12. In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. And a title to heaven; Rom. 8:17. If children, then heirs.


Q. 7. What blessings accompany sanctification?
A. Union with Christ; Heb. 2:11. For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one. And right to the inheritance; Acts 20:32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.


Q. 8. What is the first lesson from hence?
A. That they are enemies to their own souls, who obey not the gospel call; 2 Thes. 1:8. In flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 9. What is the second lesson from hence?
A. That the estate of believers abounds with spiritual privileges; 1 Cor. 3:22, 23. Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.


Q. 10. What is the third lesson from hence?
A. That all the believer’s privileges are not in hope, but some in hand; 1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.


Q. 11. What is the fourth lesson from hence?
A. The greatest sufferers for Christ have no reason to repent their call; Rom. 8:18. For I reckon, that the sufferings of this present. time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.


Q. 12. What is the last lesson from hence?
A. That we have infinite reason to bless God for the gospel, by which we are called; 2 Thes. 2:14. Whereunto he called you by our gospel.


Of Justification

Quest. 33. WHAT is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.


Q. 1. What are the parts of justification?
A. It consists of two parts. First, The pardon of sin; Acts 13:39. And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Secondly, The acceptation of our persons as righteous; Rom. 5:1, 2, 3. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.


Q. 2. Whose act is it to justify sinners?
A. It is the act of God alone; Rom. 8:33. It is God that justifieth. Man’s justifying of himself is nothing: Luke 16:15. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men, but God knoweth your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed amongst men, is abomination in the sight of God. Nor other men’s justifying of us; Rev. 3:1. I know thy works, that thou hast a name to live, and art dead.


Q. 3. Is there any thing in man to merit his justification?
A. No; it is an act of free grace in God; Rom. 3:24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ.


Q. 4. If it be not for any inherent righteousness; how then?
A. It is for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us; Rom. 4:6. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.


Q. 5. How is Christ’s righteousness made ours?
A. By application of it to us by faith; Gal. 2:16. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.


Q. 6. Is it not partly by Christ’s righteousness made ours, and partly our own?
A. No; by Christ’s righteousness, without any mixture of ours; Rom. 3:28. Therefore we conclude, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


Q. 7. But doth not James say otherwise, James 2:14. What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith and have not works; Can faith save him?
A. The two apostles contradict not one another; Paul speaks of justification before God; and James of justifying our faith before men.


Q. 8. Is no regard then to be had to good works?
A. Yes, very great; they that believe must be careful to maintain good works; Tit. 3:8. That they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.


Q. 9. Why can none be justified by works?
A. Because all are guilty before God; Rom. 3:29. Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also. And the law curses all that are under guilt; Gal. 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.


Q. 10. What is the first inference from hence?
A. The happy state of believers who are now at peace with God; Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And whom he justifieth he glorificth. Rom. 8:30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.


Q. 11. What is the second inference from hence?
A. The excellency and necessity of faith; Rom. 3:30. The circumcision is justified by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.


Q. 12. What is the third inference?
A. That the greatness of sin is no bar to faith, since it is the righteousness of Christ that justifieth; 2 Cor. 5:21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.


Q. 13. What is the last inference?
A. That believers ought to be exceeding humble, and far from boasting. The law of faith excludes boasting; Rom. 3:27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded: By what law? of works? nay, but by the law of faith.


Of Adoption

Quest. 34. WHAT is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of God’s free grace, whereby we are received into the number, and have a right to all the privileges of the sons of God.


Q. 1. How many sorts of sons are there?
A. There is one by generation, and another by adoption; John 1:12, 13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Q. 2. What moves God to adopt any man?
A. Nothing but his free love; 1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.


Q. 3. Is this privilege common to all men?
A. No; it is peculiar to them that receive him; John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.


Q. 4. What is the first property of adoption?
A. It is a costly relation; Gal. 4:4. When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.


Q. 5. What is the second property of adoption?
A. It is an high and honourable relation; 1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God.


Q. 6. What is the third property of adoption?
A. It is a free relation on God’s part; Eph. 1:4, 5. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children, by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will. And it makes us free; John 8:36. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.


Q. 7. What is the fourth property of adoption?
A. It is a permanent relation; John 8:35. The Son abideth in the house for ever.


Q. 8. What is the first privilege of the adoption?
A. They have an interest in God, as children in a father; 2 Cor. 6:18. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.


Q. 9. What is the second privilege?
A. Being God’s sons, they are heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; Rom. 8:17. And if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.


Q. 10. What was the third privilege?
A. Seasonable and sanctified afflictions; Heb. 12:6. He scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.


Q. 11. What is the fourth privilege?
A. The attendance and ministry of angels; Heb. 1:14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


Q. 12. What is the fifth privilege?
A. The assistance of the Spirit in prayer; Rom. 8:15. For we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. And God’s audience of their prayers; 1 John 5:14. And this is the confidence that we have in him, That if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.


Q. 13. What use should we make of this?
A. It teacheth us to carry ourselves as children to our heavenly Father. First, In our imitation of him; Eph. 5:1. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children. Secondly, In our submission to him; Heb. 12:9. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, who corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? Thirdly, In our dependence on him; Matth. 5:32. For your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of all these things.


Of Sanctification

Quest. 35. WHAT is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.


Q. 1. What are the parts of sanctification?
A. Dying unto sin, and living unto God; Rom. 6:11. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Q. 2. Who is the Author of sanctification?
A. God only; Jude ver. 1. To them that are sanctified by God the Father.


Q. 3. What is the instrument of it?
A. The word of God; John 17:17. sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.


Q. 4. What part of man is sanctified?
A. Every part, both of soul and body; 1 Thess. 5:23. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 5. Is sanctification perfected at once?
A. No; but by degrees; 2 Pet. 3:18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


Q. 6. When will it be made perfect?
A. When we come to heaven, and not before; 1 Cor. 13:10, 11. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.


Q. 7. What are the signs of true sanctification?
A. When it runs into all parts of our conversation; 1 Pet. 1:15. But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation. Secondly, And continues to the end; Rev. 22:11. Let him that is holy be holy still.


Q. 8. What is the inseparable companion of sanctification?
A. Righteousness towards men; Luke 1:74, 75. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness, and righteousness before him all the days of our life.


Q. 9. What is opposite to sanctification?
A. All filthiness of flesh and spirit; 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit.


Q. 10. What is the privilege of the sanctified?
A. They are all elected, and shall be glorified; 1 Pet. 1:2, 4. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit—to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.


Q. 11. What is the case of them who live and die unsanctified?
A. They shall never see God; Heb. 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness; without which no man shall see the Lord.


Q. 12. What differenceth true from pretended sanctification?
A. True sanctification purgeth the heart from the love of sin; Rom. 7:15. For that which I do, I allow not. And the life from the dominion of sin; Rom. 6:19. As ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness, and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness, unto holiness.


Q. 13. May great sinners be sanctified?
A. Yes; the Spirit of God can sanctify the vilest heart; 1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified.


Of Assurance, the Fruit of Justification

Quest. 36. WHAT are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?
A. The benefits which in this life do either accompany, or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification, are assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein to the end.


Q. 1. Is assurance possible to be attained in this life?
A. Yes; for some have had it; Cant. 6:3. I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine. And all Christians are commanded to strive for it; 2 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence, to make your calling and election sure.


Q. 2. How many sorts of assurance are there?
A. There is an objective assurance; 2 Tim. 2:19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And a subjective or personal assurance; Gal. 2:20. Who loved me, and gave himself for me.


Q. 3. Is personal assurance perfect in this life?
A. No; It admits of doubts and fears, which interrupts it, and it is not always at one height; 1 Cor. 13:10. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.


Q. 4. On what testimony is personal assurance built?
A. Upon the testimony of God’s Spirit witnessing with ours; Rom. 8:16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that are the children of God.


Q. 5. Doth the Spirit make use of signs in us to assure us?
A. Yes; ordinarily he doth; 1 John 3:14. We know that we are passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. And ver. 24. Hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.


Q. 6. How is true assurance discerned from presumption?
A. True assurance humbles the soul; Gal. 2:20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And makes the soul afraid of sin; 2 Cor. 7:1. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.


Q. 7. What is the usual season of assurance?
A. The time of greatest sufferings for Christ; 1 Pet. 4:14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.


Q. 8. Is personal assurance absolutely necessary to salvation?
A. No; a man may be saved, and in Christ, without it; Isa. 50:10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.


Q. 9. What is the fruit of assurance?
A. Joy unspeakable amidst outward troubles; Rom. 5:11. And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.


Q. 10. What sins usually eclipse our assurance?
A. Negligence in duty starves it; 2 Pet. 1:10. Give diligence to make your calling and election sure: For if you do these things ye shall never fall. And sinning against light, stabs it; Psalm 51:8. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.


Q. 11. What is the first inference from this doctrine?
A. That no unregenerate person can have any assurance; for it is the fruit of justification, adoption, and sanctification.


Q. 12. What is the second inference?
A. That all the joys of heaven are not to come; but some communicated in this life; 1 Pet. 1:8. Whom having not seen ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.


Q. 13. What is the third inference?
A. That assured believers need to be circumspect persons, that they grieve not the Spirit; Eph. 4:30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


Of Peace of Conscience

Quest. 1. WHAT doth the word peace signify in scripture?
A. In the language of the Old Testament it signifies all temporal good; 1 Sam. 25:6. Peace be both to thee, and peace be in thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast. And in the New Testament all special good; as 2 Thess. 3:16. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always.


Q. 2. What are the kinds of special peace?
A. There is a twofold peace; one without us, by reconciliation; Rom. 5:1. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God. And peace within us, by way of consolation; Col. 3:15. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts.


Q. 3. What did our peace cost Christ?
A. It cost him bloody stripes and sufferings; Isa. 53:5. The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and by his stripes we are healed.


Q. 4. Can none have true peace but such as are in him?
A. No; others may have false peace; Luke 11:21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. But believers only have true peace; Rom. 5:1. Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 5. Have all believers peace in their consciences at all times?
A. No, they are always in a state of peace, but have not always the sense of peace; Isa. 50:10. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, and obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God.


Q. 6. What is that which hinders the sense of peace in believers?
A. Their sins against the Lord, and grieving of his Spirit; Isa. 59:2. But your iniquities have separated between you and your God; and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.


Q. 7. What maintains the state of peace when the sense of peace is lost?
A. Christ’s continual and potent intercession with the Father for us; 1 John 2:12. My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not: And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.


Q. 8. What is the best way to maintain our peace with God?
A. Strict walking by gospel rules; Gal. 6:16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them.


Q. 9. Doth this peace come and go with outward peace?
A. No; we may enjoy this when no peace is to be had in the world; John 16:33. These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the wicked are in a sad case at all times, but especially in evil times; Isa. 57:20, 21. But the wicked are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.


Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That the chief care of a Christian should be to keep his peace with God; Jer. 17:17. Be not a terror to me; thou art my hope in the day of evil.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction from hence?
A. Let the saints long to be in heaven, the state of full and perfect peace; Isa. 57:2. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.


Of Joy in the Holy Ghost

Quest. 1. HOW many sorts of joy are there among men?
A. There is a sensitive joy; Acts 14:17. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. A sinful joy; Prov. 15:21. Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom. And a spiritual joy; Rom. 5:11. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Q. 2. Why is spiritual joy called joy in the Holy Ghost?
A. Because the Holy Ghost is the author of it; Gal. 5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, &c.


Q. 3. What is the first thing begets joy in the saints?
A. The first thing they joy in is, their justification before God; Isa. 61:10. I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath cloathed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robes of righteousness. Rom. 5:11. And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.


Q. 4. What is the second thing that breeds this joy?
A. Hope of glory breeds joy in the saints; Rom. 5:2. And rejoice, in hope of the glory of God.


Q. 5. What is the instrument by which the Spirit conveys this joy?
A. Faith is the instrument of it; Phil. 1:25. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all, for your furtherance and joy of faith.


Q. 6. What is the first property of this joy?
A. It is joy unspeakable, and full of glory; 1 Pet. 1:8. Believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.


Q. 7. What is the second property of it?
A. That it is not in the power of men to deprive the saints of it; John 16:22. And your joy no man taketh from you.


Q. 8. What is the third property of it?
A. It makes the soul free and cheerful in the ways of obedience; Psal. 119:32. I will run the ways of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

Q. 9. What is most destructive to a Christian’s joy?
A. Sin, especially sin against light; Psal 51:8. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.


Q. 10. What should be the main care of a Christian in this world?
A. To maintain his joy in God to the last; Acts 20:24. But none of these things move me; neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.


Q. 11. Have not hypocrites their joys as well as real Christians?
A. Yes; but the joy of the hypocrite is not grounded upon scripture-warrant, and will vanish away, and will come to nothing at last; John 5:35. He was a burning and a shining light; and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.


Q. 12. What is the first inference from hence?
A. Let all that expect joy in the Holy Ghost, see that they preserve purity of conscience and conversation; 2 Cor. 1:12. For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-wards.


Q. 13. What is the last inference?
A. That religion is no melancholy thing, but the fountain of all joy and pleasure; Prov. 3:17. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.


Of the Increase of Grace

Quest. 1. DOTH all true grace increase and grow?
A. Yes, it doth, like the morning light; Prov. 4:18. The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. And for that end God hath appointed ministers and ordinances: Eph. 4:11, 12. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.


Q. 2. Cannot false or seeming grace grow?
A. It may spring up, and seem to flourish for a time, but comes not to perfection; Luke 8:14. And that which fell among thorns, are they, which when they have heard, go forth, and are choaked with the cares, and riches, and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.


Q. 3. What is the first respect in which grace grows?
A. It grows by deeper rooting itself in the soul; Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye being rooted and grounded in love, may be able, &c.


Q. 4. What is the second respect or manner of its growth?
A. It grows in respect of its greater fitness and readiness for acts of obedience; Col. 1:11. Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.


Q. 5. What is the third respect or manner of its growth?
A. It grows in respect of its abilities to fix the mind more steadily on spiritual things. Hence grown Christians are called spiritual men; Gal. 6:1. Ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.


Q. 6. Why must all true grace grow?
A. Because there is a stature to which Christians are appointed; Eph. 4:13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.


Q. 7. What are the causes of a Christian’s growth?
A. Union with Christ; John 15:4. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. And his blessings on the ordinances; Isa. 55:10, 11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. And providences; Phil. 1:19. For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayers, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.


Q. 8. May not true grace sometimes decay?
A. Yes, it may; Rev. 2:4. Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. But not utterly; 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him.


Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence?
A. To bless God for gospel ordinances; Psal. 92:13, 14. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God; they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing.


Q. 10. What is the second inference?
A. Hence we see the miserable state of them that grow worse and worse; Jude, ver. 12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: Clouds they are without water, carried about of winds: Trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the root.


Q. 11. What is the third inference?
A. Christians should not be discouraged at their weakness in grace, for they have a merciful Christ; Isaiah 42:3. A bruised reed shall he not break; and the smoking flax shall he not quench; he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. And a sure promise; Job 17:9. The righteous also shall hold on his way; and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That all true Christians draw daily nearer and nearer to the heavenly and perfect state; 2 Cor. 4:16. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day; Rom. 13:11. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.


Of Perseverance

Quest. 1. WHAT is perseverance to the end?
A. It is the steady and constant continuance of Christians in the ways of duty and obedience, amidst all temptations and discouragements to the contrary; Col. 1:23. If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.


Q. 2. Do all that profess Christ continue in him?
A. No; many that at first zealously profess him, afterwards fall away; John 6:66. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.


Q. 3. Why do not all persevere?
A. Because all professors have not a good root and foundation; Matth. 13:20, 21. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.


Q. 4. What is the first ground of the saints perseverance?
A. God’s electing love, in which they are given to Christ; John 10:20. My Father which gave them me is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


Q. 5. What is the second ground of perseverance?
A. The immortal nature of sanctifying grace; John 4:14. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life, 1 John 3:9. For his seed remaineth in him.


Q. 6. What is the third ground of it?
A. The covenant of grace; Jer. 32:40. And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.


Q. 7. What is the fourth ground of it?
A. Christ’s effectual intercession; Luke 22:32. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.


Q. 8. Are there no declinings of grace in the saints?
A. Yes, there are; Rev. 2:4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Yet grace cannot be totally or finally lost: For the seed of God remaineth in the sanctified; 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: And he cannot sin; because he is born of God.


Q. 9. Is there no hope of salvation for final apostates?
A. No, the gospel gives none; Heb. 10:38. But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. It warns all men to lay a good foundation, lest the buildings of hope be over-turned when the storm comes; Matth. 7:24, 25. Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.


Q. 11. What is the second instruction?
A. That all men should look to themselves, lest they lose the things which they have wrought; 2 John, verse 8. Look to yourselves, that ye lose not these things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 1 Cor. 10:12. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.


Q. 12. What is the last instruction?
A. Let no true Christian be discouraged, how weak soever, for God is able to make him stand; Rom. 15:4. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth; yea, he shall be holden up, for God is able to make him stand.


Of Perfection at Death

Quest. 37. WHAT benefits do believers receive from Christ at their death?
A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection.


Q. 1. What is the state of perfect holiness?
A. It consists in a perfect freedom from sin, or the least inclinations to sin; Eph. 5:27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.


Q. 2. Wherein else doth perfection consist?
A. It consists in the attainment of the highest measures and degrees of holiness the creature is capable of; Eph. 4:12, 13. For the perfecting of the saints, —— Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.


Q. 3. Cannot this be attained whilst in the body?
A. No, for here all our graces are imperfect; 2 Cor. 13:12. For How we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face. And we live at a distance from God; 2 Cor. 5:6. Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.


Q. 4. How is this attained at death?
A. At death the roots of sin are pulled up out of the believer’s nature; Heb. 12:23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect.


Q. 5. Why must the soul be made perfect at death?
A. Because the purity of the heavenly state admits no sin or imperfection; Rev. 21:27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.


Q. 6. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That death should be lovely and desirable in the eyes of believers; Phil. 1:23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.


Q. 7. What is the second inference?
A. That God hath provided singular relief for his people that now groan under their sins, and many imperfections: 1 Cor. 13:12. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: Now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.


Q. 8. What is the third inference?
A. That the heavenly state is infinitely above and beyond whatever we enjoy here; 1 Cor. 2:9. But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


Q. 9. What is the fourth inference?
A. That believers are but at a small distance from the satisfaction of all their desires; Rom. 13:11. For now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.


Q. 10. What is the fifth inference?
A. That the saints should earnestly pursue that perfection, even in this imperfect state; Phil. 3:13, 14. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before, I press towards the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Q. 11. What is the sixth inference.
A. That death to the saints is better than life; Phil. 1:21. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.


Q. 12. What is the last inference.
A. That faith is absolutely necessary to entitle us to this perfect state.


Of immediate Glorification

Quest. 1. DO all that die in Christ immediately pass into glory?
A. Yes, they do; Luke 23:43. To day-shalt thou be with me in paradise; Phil. 1:23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.


Q. 2. What is the first reason for their immediate glorification?
A. Because heaven is prepared and ready for them; Matth. 25:34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.


Q. 3. What is the second reason for it?
A. Because at death they are as ready for heaven as ever they shall be; John 9:4. I must work the work of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.


Q. 4. What is the third reason for it?
A. Because death else could not be gain, as it is, Phil. 1:21. For to me to live is Christ; and to die is gain.


Q. 5. What is the fourth reason for it?
A. Because there is the same reason for all, as for any one: But some are immediately glorified; Luke 23:43. To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.


Q. 6. What is the fifth reason for it?
A. Because Christ longs for their coming to him, and they for his enjoyment; and these longings are in vain, if not satisfied; Rev. 22:17, 20. And the Spirit, and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is athirst, come: And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen, Even so come, Lord Jesus.


Q. 7. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the apparition of departed saints ordinarily are but fables: They wander not; Rev. 3:12. Him that overcometh, will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out.


Q. 8. What is the second inference?
A. That Purgatory is a groundless fable, and invention of men; and the scriptures alleged to countenance it, grossly abused; 1 Pet. 3:19. By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.


Q. 9. What is the third inference?
A. That heaven must needs be a marvellous surprise to believers, how long soever they have conversed with it here.


Q. 10. What is the fourth inference;
A. The consideration of this should provoke saints to work hard to finish all they have to do on earth; Eccles. 9:10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.


Q. 11. What is the fifth inference?
A. That there is no reason to grieve excessively for departed saints; 1 Thess. 4:14. Even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. That Christless ones are immediately in hell; Luke 16:22, 23. The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments.


Of Rest in the Grave

Quest. 1. WHY must believers come to the grave?
A. Because where sin has been, death by the law must follow; Rom. 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. Rom. 8:10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life, because of righteousness.


Q. 2. What is the first privilege of their bodies there?
A. It is the privilege of their bodies to be there in union with Christ; 1 Thess. 4:14. Them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him.


Q. 3. What is their second privilege?
A. Their graves are places of rest; not prisons, but beds of rest; Isa. 57:2. He shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness.


Q. 4. What is the first evil they rest from?
A. All the toils, and troubles, and afflictions, of this life; Rev. 14:13. They may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.


Q. 5. What is the second evil they rest from?
A. They rest from all persecutions from men; Job 3:17. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.


Q. 6. What is the third evil they rest from?
A. They rest from sin, never to feel temptation or inclination to sin; Heb. 12:23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect.


Q. 7. How long shall the bodies rest in the grave?
A. Not for ever, but till the day of the resurrection; Job 19:26. And though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.


Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That union with Christ redounds to the singular advantage of the body, as well as the soul; Rom. 8:11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.


Q. 9. What is the second inference?
A. That death dissolves not the union betwixt Christ and the souls or bodies of his; Mat. 22:32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.


Q. 10. What is the third inference?
A. That seeing our bodies are to have so long and so sweet rest in the grave, we should not spare them in God’s service now; 2 Pet. 1:13, 14. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up, by putting you in remembrance: Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.


Q. 11. What is the fourth inference?
A. That Christians should neither too much fear their own, nor sorrow for others death; Rom. 8:38, 39. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, —— nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 1 Thess. 4:13. But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.


Of the Resurrection

Quest. 1. IS the resurrection a credible doctrine?
A. Yes, it is; Acts 26:8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?


Q. 2. Why then doth it seem incredible to man?
A. Because they err, not knowing the scriptures and the power of God; Mark 12:24. Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God? The power of God assures us it may be so, and the word of God tells it must be so.


Q. 3. Is it sinful to doubt of the doctrine of the resurrection?
A. It is not only a sin to doubt it, but an heresy to deny it, it being a fundamental article; Heb. 6:2. And of the resurrection of the dead. 1 Cor. 15:13, 14. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.


Q. 4. Who must rise again at the resurrection?
A. All men, good and bad, must rise again; Acts 24:15. And have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, Rev. 20:12, 13, 14. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, &c.


Q. 5. What is the first difference betwixt the resurrection of the just and unjust?
A. Saints rise by virtue of their union with Christ; Rom. 8:11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you: But the wicked by his power.


Q. 6. What is the second difference?
A. The second and main difference will be in the contrary ends to which they rise; some to life, and some to condemnation; Dan. 12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everlasting contempt.


Q. 7. What is the glory to which saints bodies shall be raised?
A. In the likeness of Christ’s glorious body; Phil. 3:21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body.


Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That every man should strive to the uttermost to attain to the resurrection of the just; Phil. 3:10, 11. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.


Q. 9. What is the second inference?
A. Comfort to them that now groan under manifold distempers, and deformities of body; they being made equal to angels; Mark 12:25. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven.


Q. 10. What is the third inference?
A. Get union with Christ by faith, as you expect a joyful resurrection; John 11:25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.


Q. 11. What is the fourth inference?
A. Saints should not fear death; Gen. 46:3. Fear not to go down into Egypt.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. Employ your bodies for good now.


Of Christ’s acknowledging Believers

Quest. 38. WHAT benefit do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A. At the resurrection believers being raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged, and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity.


Q. 1. What is it to be acknowledged by Christ?
A. It is Christ’s owning of the special relation betwixt him and them; Mat 25:34. Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.


Q. 2. Whom will Christ acknowledge for his?
A. Such as confess Christ now; Mat. 10:32. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.


Q. 3. Before whom will Christ confess them?
A. Before his Father, angels and men; Rev. 3:5. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.


Q. 4. Who shall be denied by Christ in that day?
A. All that now deny Christ, shall be denied by him; 2 Tim. 2:12. If we deny him, he also will deny us, Tit. 1:16. They profess that they know God; but in works hey deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.


Q. 5. Why will Christ openly acknowledge them?
A. To wipe off all aspersions and censures that now are cast upon them; Isa. 66:5. Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.


Q. 6. What will be the effect of Christ’s acknowledgment?
A. It will put a full end to all doubts, fears and jealousies of themselves; 1 Cor. 4:3, 4. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment; yea, I judge not my own self; for I know nothing by myself, yet I am not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord.


Q. 7. What other effect will it produce in them?
A. Joy unspeakable and transcendent: hence called time of refreshing; Acts 3:19. When the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.


Q. 8. Is this the only time Christ acknowledged! them?
A. No; he acknowledged them by his Spirit’s testimony now, but that is private in their bosoms; Rom. 8:16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirits, that we are the children of God.


Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence?
A. To warn all how they pass rash censures on Christ’s servants; Psal. 73:15. If I say, I will speak thus; behold I should offend against the generation of thy children.


Q. 10. What is the second inference?
A. Let none be afraid or ashamed to confess the person, office, or any truth of Christ, for any loss or danger that may threaten them; Luke 12:8, 9. Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God. But he that denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.


Q. 11. What is the third inference?
A. Let Christians abound in good works. Every act of charity for Christ shall be acknowledged by him in the day of judgment; Mat. 25:35. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. Let all Christians love and long for the day of Christ’s appearing; 2 Tim. 4:8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day, and not to me only, but unto them also that love his appearing.


Of Christ’s acquitting Believers

Quest. 1. WHAT is it to be acquitted by Christ?
A. It is to be discharged and cleared from all the guilt of sin, and punishment due to it by the law, upon the account of Christ’s righteousness imputed by God, and received by faith; Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.


Q. 2. How many ways are believers acquitted?
A. They are acquitted now in the court of heaven; Rom. 8:33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. In the court of their own consciences; 1 John 3:21. Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. And in the day of judgment: both particular, Heb. 9:27. As it appeared unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. And general; Acts 3:19. Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Their sins are then blotted out.


Q. 3. How doth Christ’s acquittance now, differ from that at judgment?
A. They differ in respect of publicness; this is secret in the believer’s bosom, and that open before men and angels; Rev. 3:5. I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.


Q. 4. What is the second difference?
A. They differ in respect of subjective certainty and assurance. A believer may doubt of this, but not of that; 1 Cor. 4:4, 5. For I know nothing of myself, yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord; therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come.


Q. 5. What is the third difference betwixt them?
A. They differ in point of consolation: this way always bears proportion to the certainty of it. Hence that day is called the time of refreshing; when Christ blots out their sins by sentencial justification; Acts 3:19. Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.


Q. 6. Do believers then lie under condemnation till that day?
A. No; they are truly and fully justified now; John 5:24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. But this sentence is not yet published by Christ’s own mouth, as it shall be then.


Q. 7. On what account shall they be acquitted in that day?
A. On the very same account and score they are now, viz. For the imputed righteousness of Christ in the way of free grace; Eph. 1:7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.


Q. 8. Must the saints be summoned to Christ’s bar in that day?
A. Yes; they must appear as well as others; 2 Cor. 5:10. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. But not to the same end; John 5:29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


Q. 9. What is the first inference hence?
A. How sure is a believer’s justification, being so ratified privately and publicly in this world, and that to come.


Q. 10. What is the second inference?
A. Though the day of judgment be awfully solemn, it should not be dreadful to believers: they should look for, and hasten to the coming of the day of God; 2 Pet. 3:12. Looking for, and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, &c.


Q. 11. What is the third inference?
A. That faith is a grace of absolute necessity, and unspeakable excellency; Rom. 5:1, 2. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.


Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. All unbelievers are in a miserable state now; John 3:18. He that believeth not, is condemned already. And worse in the world to come; Matth. 25:41. Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.


Of the full enjoyment of God

Quest. 1. WHAT doth perfect blessedness suppose and imply?
A. It supposes the total freedom of believers from all the moral evil of sin; Eph. 5:27. That he might present you to himself a glorious church, not having spot nor wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. And from all the penal evils of suffering; Rev. 21:4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away.


Q. 2. What else is implied in perfect blessedness?
A. It implies the full and perfect enjoyment of God; 1 Cor. 15:28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


Q. 3. What is it for God to be all in all?
A. It implies three things in it. First, That all the saints shall be filled and satisfied from God alone. Secondly, That there shall be no need of other things out of which they were wont to fetch comfort. Thirdly, That all other things, as heaven, angels, saints, shall be loved and enjoyed in God.


Q. 4. In what respect shall they enjoy God in heaven?
A. They shall have the glorious and immediate presence of God with them; Rev. 21:3. God himself shall be with them, and be their God.


Q. 5. In what other respects shall they enjoy God?
A. They shall see him as he is; 1 John 3:2. We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.


Q. 6. What will such a vision of God produce?
A. It will produce perfect conformity in them to God; 1 John 3:2. When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And perfect joy will result from hence; Psalm, 16:11. In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.


Q. 7. Do not the saints enjoy God here?
A. Yes, they do; but not so as they shall enjoy him in heaven; 1 Cor. 13:12. Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.


Q. 8. What are the special differences between the saints communion with God here, and that in heaven?
A. Their communion with God here is clogged with sin; Rom. 7:21. I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me. Here it is not constant; Psalm 22:1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Nor is it satisfying; but in heaven it will be pure, constant, and satisfying.


Q. 9. How long shall they here enjoy God?
A. Not for days, years, ages, but for ever and ever; 1 Thess. 4:17. And so shall we be ever with the Lord.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the world is not the place of the saints rest and satisfaction; Heb. 4:9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 2 Cor. 5:2, 6. For in this we groan earnestly, desiring to be clothed upon with our house, which is from heaven: therefore we are always confident, knowing that whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord.


Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That death is a singular benefit to the saints; and though it be an enemy to nature, yet it is the medium to glory; 2 Cor. 5:4. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.


Q. 12. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. The necessity of faith and regeneration in this world. None shall be raised up in glory, acknowledged, acquitted, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God, but believers; Rom. 8:30. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Heb. 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.


Of Man’s Duty to God

Quest. 39. WHAT is the duty that God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man is obedience to his revealed will.


Q. 1. Is obedience to God’s will the duty of every man?
A. It is unquestionably the duty of every man to obey the will of God, so far as he hath made it known to him; Micah 6:8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.


Q. 2. On what account is man’s obedience due to God?
A. It is due to him, First, as he is our Creator, in whom we live, and move, and have our being; Acts 17:27, 28. Secondly, As he is our Benefactor, from whom we receive all our mercies; Deut. 28:47. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things. Thirdly, As he is our Lord, and lawgiver; James 4:12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.


Q. 3. Is obedience due to none but God only?
A. Yes; subjects must obey their lawful magistrates; Rom. 13:1. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, for there is no power but of God; The powers that be are ordained of God. People their ministers; Heb. 13:17. Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account. Children their parents; Eph. 6:1. Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. But not as they are to obey God.


Q. 4. What is the difference betwixt our obedience to God’s commands, and men’s?
A. We are to obey God, chiefly and supremely, for his own sake, but creatures secondarily, and for God’s sake; 1 Pet. 2:13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of men for the Lord’s sake. And Eph. 6:1. Children obey your parents [in the Lord,] for this is right.


Q. 5. What must we do when the commands of God and men fall cross to one another?
A. In that case we must yield our obedience to God, and not to man, whatever we suffer for it; Acts 4:19. Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God judge ye.


Q. 6. Why must we obey God rather than man?
A. Because God is the supreme and sovereign Lord of our consciences; and no creature hath power to command our obedience but in and from him; Isa. 33:22. For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.


Q. 7. Have the people liberty to compare the laws of God and men, and judge how they agree or differ?
A. Yes; their judgment of discretion is both commanded; 1 Cor. 1:10, 15. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. And commended; Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.


Q. 8. What is the only rule for our obedience to God?
A. The will of God revealed in the scriptures is our only rule of obedience; Isa. 8:20. To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.


Q. 9. But if a man have a voice, a vision, or a dream, seeming to hint the secret will of God, may he not obey it?
A. Yes; if it be consonant to the revealed will of God in the word, otherwise not; Deut. 29:29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed, belong unto us, and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to disobey the known will of God in any thing; Rom. 1:18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Luke 12:47. And that servant which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.


Q. 11. What is the second instruction?
A. That is a blessed man, who conscientiously labours to obey the will of God, so far as he can discover it; John 13:17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. Gal. 6:16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy.


Q. 12. What is the third inference?
A. It is highly sinful and dangerous to command others, or obey commands from others, which are not according to God’s command; Hosea 5:11. Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked after the commandment. Jer. 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.


Of the Moral Law

Quest. 40. and 41. WHAT did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.
Q. 41. Wherein is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments.


Q. 1. Is every man under the direction and obligation of law?
A. Yes; man being a reasonable creature, is capable of, and fitted for government by law, which other creatures are not; and being an accountable creature to God, must needs be under a law; Rom. 2:15. Which shew the works of the law written in their hearts; their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing, or else excusing one another.


Q. 2 How could man be under a law before the law was given by Moses?
A. Before ever the law was given at Sinai, all the race of Adam had a law written in their hearts, viz. the light of reason, and dictates of natural conscience; Rom. 2:14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves. And besides this, the church had the revealed will of God to direct them; 2 Pet. 1:19, 20. We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well to take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.


Q. 3. What is the meaning of the moral law?
A. It is not a law to direct and order our manners; but a law that binds universally and perpetually, as the ten commandments do those to whom they are promulged, and the light of nature doth all others; Rom. 2:14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves. Luke 16:17. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.


Q. 4. Why is it said to be summarily comprehended in the ten commandments?
A. Because much more is included in every command than is exprest, as our Saviour shews in his exposition of it; Mat. 22:40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


Q. 5. Doth the moral law bind Christians under the gospel?
A. Yes, it doth, as a rule to order their conversations by; Jam. 2:8, 9, 10. If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself; ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors; for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all.


Q. 6. Is the moral law the same thing with the covenant of works, and imposed for the same end?
A. God never designed the law to be the way of man’s justification since the fall; Gal. 3:21, 22. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid! for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness would have been by the law; but the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But it was promulged to convince man of sin; Rom. 7:7. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid! Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. And bring them to Christ; Gal. 3:24. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.


Q. 7. What is the first inference from hence?
A. Hence we learn the abominable nature of Popery. The Pope being that lawless one, who will not be bound by the laws of God himself; 2 Thess. 2:8. Then shall that wicked one be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming; but assumes power to dispense with God’s laws to others.


Q. 8. What is the second inference hence?
A. That man dieth not as beasts die; which are under no moral law, and therefore capable of no sin; but must come to judgment after death; Eccl. 3:21. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Heb. 9:27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, so after this the judgment.


Q. 9. What is the third inference hence?
A. That though the actions of men naturally considered are transient, yet their consequences and effects are permanent; an act is soon done, a word soon spoken, a thought soon thought; but when done, spoken, or thought, they are placed to account; Gal. 6:7, 8. Be not deceived, God is, not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to the flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit, shall of the spirit reap life everlasting.


Q. 10. What is the fourth inference from hence?
A. That God will proceed with men by different rules in the day of judgment, according to the different laws they lived under in this world; Rom. 2:12. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.


Q. 11. What is the fifth inference from hence?
A. That those who have sinned against the clearest light, and best helps, will, if they die impenitent, be judged to the greatest misery; Matth. 11:23. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shall 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. Heb. 2:3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.


Q. 12. What is the sixth inference from hence?
A. That we are to prize the moral law highly, as a rule of life; Ps. 119:105. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path: So are we to bless God for the gospel dispensation, by which only we can attain to justification and salvation; Heb. 12:22. But ye are come to mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels.


Of love to God and Man

Quest. 42. WHAT is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. The sum of the ten commandments is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves.


Q. 1. What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. To love the Lord our God with a supreme love, and men with a sincere love, in and for him; Mat. 22:37, 38. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment: The second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


Q. 2. What is the first thing contained in our supreme love to God?
A. It implies the loving of God purely and absolutely for himself. The excellencies that are in him; Cant. 1:3. Thy name is as ointment poured forth; therefore the virgins love thee. And the benefits we receive from him; Psal. 116:1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplication.


Q. 3. What is the second property of this supreme love?
A. Supreme love denotes the whole man to God and Christ: So that in life and death that man designs the glory of God as his main end; Rom. 14:7, 8. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself; for whether we live, we live unto the Lord, and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord’s.


Q. 4. What is the third property of supreme love?
A. It causes the soul to depreciate and slight all other things in comparison of God’s glory, and an interest in Christ; Acts 20:24. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy; Phil. 3:8. I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.


Q. 5. What is the fourth property of supreme love?
A. It centers the soul in God as its only rest; Psal. 116:7. Return unto thy rest, O my soul. And cannot be satisfied till it come to the full enjoyment of him; 2 Thess. 3:5. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.


Q. 6. Why must we love God with a supreme love?
A. Because such a love only suits the transcendent excellency of God; commands all we are and have for God; and is the only love that will continue to the end; Rom. 8:35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?


Q. 7. What is it to love our neighbour as ourselves.
A. It is the exact observation and practice of the golden rule of Christ; Matth. 7:12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.


Q. 8. Are all men to be loved alike, and with the same degree of love?
A. No; though we must love all men with the love of benevolence, yet the saints only with the love of complacency; Ps. 16:3. But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent in whom is all my delight. Ps. 15:4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. And to such we must especially do good; Gal. 6:10. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.


Q. 9. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. Hence we learn the excellency of divine love. Moses expresses the whole duty of man in ten commandments: Christ hangs the whole law upon these two, love to God and our neighbour; Mark 12:30, 31. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: There is none other commandment greater than these. And the apostle reduces these two into one; Gal. 5:14. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this.—Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


Q. 10. What is the second inference from hence?
A. It convinces the holiest of men how far short they come in their obedience to the rule of duty, and therein the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, Gal. 3:24.


Q. 11. What is the third inference from hence?
A. It discovers the excellency and perfection of the law of God; Psal. 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: And that we are highly to honour and magnify it as a rule of duty, though we must utterly renounce it as the way of our justification.


Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That there is nothing too dear for a Christian in this world, but he must give it up by self-denial, when it comes in competition with his supreme love to God; Luke 14:26. If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple; i.e. Love them less than me.

 

Of the Preface to the ten Commandments

Quest. 43. WHAT is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Q. 44. What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
A. The preface to the ten commandments teacheth us that because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.


Q. 1. Why doth God use arguments and inducements to win men to the obedience of his laws?
A. Because he loves to work on man as a rational creature, according to the principles of his nature; Hos. 11:4. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love: And because he delights in none but free and cheerful obedience; Psal. 110:3. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.


Q. 2. What is the first argument in this preface?
A. It is the sovereignty of the Lawgiver, [I am the Lord,] which should awe the heart of every man to obedience; James 4:12. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.


Q. 3. What is the second argument to obedience?
A. Our propriety in God by covenant, [I am the Lord thy God;] this obligeth to obedience, and aggravateth disobedience; Psal. 50:7. Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee; I am God, even thy God. Hos. 9:1. For thou hast gone a whoring from thy God.


Q. 4. What is the third argument unto obedience?
A. The benefits of redemption that they receive from God. Benefits persuade to duty; and the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance, Rom. 2:4.


Q. 5. How can deliverance out of Egypt be an argument to them that never were in Egypt?
A. As that deliverance was a type of our deliverance, so it is an argument to us, and an argument from the less to the greater; for it obligeth us more than them; Luke 1:74, 75. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.


Q. 6. What is that deliverance we have? and how doth it oblige us to obedience?
A. Our deliverance is not from Egypt, but from hell; Col. 1:13. Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. And our persons are bought by the Redeemer to glorify God; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20. What know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you? For ye are bought with a price: Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.


Q. 7. Is it not mercenary to serve God upon the account of benefits received, or to be received?
A. He that maketh religious duties mediums to attain carnal advantages only, is of a worse than mercenary spirit; Hosea 7:14. And they have not cried unto me with their hearts, when they howled upon their beds: They assemble themselves for corn and wine, and they rebel against me. But to be quickened by mercy to duty is not mercenary, but evangelical; Hosea 3:5. They shall fear the Lord, and his goodness.


Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That great is the condescension of God to man, that he will use arguments to induce him to obedience, who might exact it only by his sovereignty, and justly damn us for our disobedience; 2 Cor. 5:20. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: We pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.


Q. 9. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That the more mercy any receive from God, the more obligations are laid on them to obey him; Psalm 116:1, 2. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice, and my supplications: Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.


Q. 10. What is the third inference from hence?
A. The more mercies and favours any man sins against, the greater is that man’s sin, and the sorer will be his punishment; Amos 3:2. You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.


Q. 11. What is the fourth inference from hence?
A. That God’s expectations are greater, where his mercies and favours have been so; Isa. 5:4. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes.


Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That memorials of God’s mercies are to be kept by us, to provoke us to constant and cheerful duties of obedience; Exod. 17:14. And the Lord said unto Moses, write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua. Psal. 103:2, 3. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

 

Of the first Commandment

Quest. 45. WHICH is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me.


Q. 1. What is the first duty enjoined in the first commandment?
A. It is to know and acknowledge the existence or being of God, and consequently condemns all atheism, both in judgment and practice; Heb. 11:6. For he that cometh to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Ps. 14:1. The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.


Q. 2. What is the second duty of the first commandment?
A. It requires all men to know and acknowledge the unity of God; Deut. 6:4. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And condemns polytheism, or plurality of gods; 1 Cor. 8:5, 6. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be gods many, and lords many;) but to us there is but one God.


Q. 3. Whence sprang the opinion of more gods than one at first in the world?
A. It sprang from ignorance of God’s omnipresence and omnipotence. Hence came their vain imaginations; Rom. 1:21. Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. They thought the presence and power of God might reach one place, and not another; 1 Kings 20:23. And the servants of the king of Syria said unto him, Their gods are gods of the hills, therefore they were stronger than we: But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.


Q. 4 What were the first creatures worshipped as gods?
A. Probably the heavenly bodies, sun, moon, and stars, because of their splendour and influences. These as heralds, do proclaim God to the world; Ps. 19:1, 2. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handy work: Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. And these messengers of God were mistaken for God himself; Job 31:26, 27, 28. If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand; this also were an iniquity, for I should have denied the God that is above.


Q. 5. What doth these words [before me] import?
A. It notes God’s perfect knowledge and abhorrence of all idolatry, or worshipping of another God, as what he cannot endure to behold; Jer. 44:3, 4. Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense to serve other gods whom they knew not, neither they, you, nor your fathers. Howbeit, I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early, and sending them, saying, Oh do not this abominable thing that I hate.


Q. 6. Are none guilty of this sin but heathenish idolaters?
A. Yes; all that place their supreme love or trust in any creature, make that creature their god; and in scripture are called idolaters, Col. 3:5. And covetousness, which is idolatry. Phil. 3:19. Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.


Q. 7. How doth the idolatry forbidden in the first, differ from that forbidden in the second commandment.
A. The idolatry forbidden in the first commandment is a sin respecting the object of worship, when we set up any thing in the place of God, which by nature is not God; Gal. 4:8. Howbeit, then when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But that against the second commandment is, when we pretend to worship the true God, but do it by such means, and in such a manner as he hath not required, or hath forbidden; Exod. 32:4. And he received them at their hands, and fashioned it with a graven tool, after he had made it a molten calf; and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.


Q. 8. What is the first inference from the first commandment?
A. That it is a special mercy to be brought forth in a land where the true God is known and worshipped; Psal. 147:20. He hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments, they have not known them; praise ye the Lord.


Q. 9. What is the second inference from the first commandment?
A. That it is a great and dreadful sin to live without the worship of God in the world; Eph. 2:12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.


Q. 10. What is the third inference from the first commandment?
A. That Christians must not comply with idolatrous and superstitious worship, when they are cast into idolatrous places, how great soever the danger be; Psal. 16:4. Their sorrows shall be multiplied, that hasten after another god; their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their name into my lips.


Q. 11. What is the fourth inference from hence?
A. That supreme love, fear, and trust of the soul, is God’s peculiar right and due. Whosoever places them on any other besides God, is guilty of a very heinous and great sin against him; 1 John 2:15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world: If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Compared with Job 31:24–28. If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, thou art my confidence; this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for I should have denied the God that is above.


Q. 12. What is the fifth inference from hence?
A. That God’s eye discovers the closest idolatry in the world, whether it be in secret actions; Ezek 8:12. Hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark? Every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, the Lord seeth us not, the Lord hath forsaken the earth. Or inward affections; Col. 3:5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.


Q. 13. What is the sixth inference from hence?
A. That an high and full condition in the world, is a dangerous condition, and lies most exposed to the danger of heart-idolatry; Prov. 30:9. Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord? Mark 10:24. How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of heaven?


Q. 14. What is the last inference?
A. That in covenanting with God, and avouching him for our God, we must wholly renounce all others, and take God alone for our portion, and object of our love and dependence; Hosea 3:3. Thou shalt not be for another man; so will I also be for thee. Luke 14:33. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.


Of the second Commandment

Quest. 49. WHICH is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, [Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing, that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.]
Quest. 50. What is required in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment requireth, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire all such religious worship and ordinances, as God hath appointed in his word.
Quest. 51. What is forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his word.
Quest. 52. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, are God’s sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship.


Q. 1. What is the sin especially forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sin here forbidden, is the corruption of God’s worship, by making any similitude of any person in the Godhead, and performing divine worship before it, or to it; Exod. 32:8. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: They have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, these be thy gods O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Deut. 4:15, 16. Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves (for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire) lest ye corrupt yourselves and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female.


Q. 2. What is the second sin forbidden in this commandment?
A. The second sin against this commandment is will-worship, consisting in the addition of man’s inventions to the worship of God, as a part thereof; Matth. 15:9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Col. 2:20, 21, 22, 23. Whereof if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances. (Touch not, taste not, handle not, which all are to perish with the using) after the commandments and doctrines of men? Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will-worship and humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.


Q. 3. But if those additions be for the more decent worshipping of God, is it not allowed by 1 Cor. 14:40. Let all things be done decently, and in order?
A. No; that scripture commands that God’s institutions be regularly and decently performed, but not that we invent ceremonies that are symbolical, to make them more decent than Christ left them.


Q. 4. Why is the second commandment left out in all the public offices of the popish church?
A. Because it expressly condemns their idolatrous images, kneeling at the sacrament, prayers to saints, and all their superstitious crosses, surplices, and chrism, as sinful.


Q. 5. Do they not clear themselves from idolatry, by telling us they only worship God before, or by them, but not the images themselves?
A. No, they do not; for the use of images in God’s worship is expressly condemned in this commandment; as if this would excuse the papists, it had also excused the Israelite in worshipping the calf, Exod. 32:4.—And they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, that brought thee out of the land of Egypt.


Q. 6. What is the first reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The first reason annexed is God’s sovereignty, I the Lord; which shews that it belongs to God only to institute his own worship, and make it effectual; and therefore to do that in his worship which he never commanded, is sinful and dangerous; Jer. 7:31. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.


Q. 7. What is the second reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The second reason is God’s propriety in us: He is our God, and we belong to him; and therefore to corrupt his worship, greatly aggravates our sins; Hosea 9:1. Rejoice not, O Israel, for joy, as other people; for thou hast gone a whoring from thy God, &c.


Q. 8. What is the third reason annexed to the second commandment?
A. The jealousy of God over his worship and worshippers; so that this sin of corrupting his worship will dreadfully incense his wrath, as it did, Lev. 10:1, 2. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire thereon, and offered strange fire, before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.


Q. 9. What is the first instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is an heinous sin to neglect the worship of God in that manner he hath appointed us to worship him, as in prayer; Jer. 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name. Hearing the word; Prov. 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction from the second commandment.
A. That those who suffer for endeavouring to preserve the purity of God’s ordinances, and nonconformity to the contrary injunctions of men, have a good warrant to bear them out in all such sufferings; Deut. 4:2. Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction from the second commandment?
A. That it is highly sinful and dangerous to innovate and prescribe by human authority such symbolical rites in the worship of God, as he never appointed or allowed in his word; Matth. 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence?
A. Hence we learn how much parents and children are obliged to worship God constantly, spiritually, and agreeably to his will revealed in his word; otherwise the jealousy of God will visit them both in the way of judgment: For as obedience entails a blessing, so disobedience entails a curse on posterity; Exod. 34:14. For thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

 

Of the third Commandment

Quest. 53. WHICH is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, [Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless, that taketh his name in vain.]
Quest. 54. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requireth the holy and reverend use of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, words, and works.
Quest. 55. What is forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment forbiddeth all profaning or abusing of any thing whereby God maketh himself known.

Quest. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is, that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.


Q. 1. How doth this commandment differ from the first and second?
A. The first hath respect to the object of worship, forbidding us to worship any other but God. The second respects the means of worship, forbidding us to worship God by any other means than what he hath prescribed. But the third respects the manner of his worship, forbidding all careless, or profane use of his name, and commanding an holy reverence from us in all our solemn addresses to him, or ordinary mention of his name. Mal. 1:6. A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: If then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear! saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name: And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?


Q. 2. What is the first thing especially required in the third commandment?
A. It requires the most awful and reverential frame of our hearts in all our approaches to God; Psal. 89:7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints; and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. And in his worship; John 4:24. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


Q. 3. What is the second thing required in this commandment?
A. It requires truth in our witness-bearing, as knowing God seeth our hearts, and is witness to all that we think or speak; Zech. 5:4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, &c.


Q. 4. What is the third thing required in this commandment?
A. That in all our appeals to God in secret, or doubtful matters, we be sure that the appeal be necessary, awful, and true; Jer. 17:16. As for me, I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow thee, neither have I desired the woeful day, thou knowest: that which came out of my lips was right before thee. Psalm 139:23, 24. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.


Q. 5. What doth this commandment especially forbid?
A. It forbids and condemns all profane oaths, as most injurious to the name of God, Matth. 5:34, 37.—Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne, &c. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.


Q. 6. What is the danger of profane or false swearing?
A. Such are reckoned enemies to God, Psalm 139:20. Thine enemies take thy name in vain. The curse of God enters into such families. Zech. 5:4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name, &c. And the Lord will not hold them guiltless.


Q. 7. What else is forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids and condemns all heedless, wandering, and drowsy performance of God’s worship; Isa. 29:13, 14. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouths, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work, and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. And 2 Kings 10:31. But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel, with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.


Q. 8. What other sin is forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all light and irreverent use of the scriptures, especially in our jests, or by way of scoffing; Jer. 17:15. Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now. Jer. 6:10.—Behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.


Q. 9. By what argument doth God enforce the third commandment on men?
A. That the breakers of this commandment shall surely be punished by the Lord, either in this life, Deut. 28:58, 59. If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law, that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord thy God: Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sickness, and of long continuance: Or in that to come, Rom. 2:5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God: Except they repent and reform.


Q. 10. What is the first instruction from the third commandment?
A. That great and infinite is the patience of God in forbearing and provoking sinners so long as he doth; Rom. 9:22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction?


Q. 11. What is the second instruction from hence?
A. That God is to be justified in the severest of his judgments, by which at any time he manifests his displeasure against the profaneness of the world; Hosea 4:1, 2, 3. Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel: For the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood. Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, yea, the fishes of the sea also shall be taken away.


Q. 12. What is the third instruction from hence?
A. That God takes special notice of, and greatly delighteth in them that fear and reverence his name; Isa. 66:5. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. Mal. 3:16.—And a book of remembrance was written before him, for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.


Q. 13. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That those parents have much to answer for, that by their examples teach, or by their negligence encourage their children to profane God’s name: Jer. 5:7. How shall I pardon thee for this? Thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods, &c.

 

Of the Sabbath

Quest. 57. WHICH is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, [Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger which is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it.]
Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God, such set time as he hath appointed hi his word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be an holy Sabbath unto the Lord.
Quest. 59. Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?
A. From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.


Q. 1. What special marks of honour hath God set upon this fourth commandment.
A. God hath set four peculiar marks of honour on it.
(1.) It is the largest of all the commands.
(2.) It hath a solemn memento prefixed to it.
(3.) It is delivered both positively and negatively, which the rest are not. And,
(4.) It is enforced with more arguments to strengthen the command on us, than any other.


Q. 2. Why will God have a Sabbath on earth?
A. God will have a Sabbath on earth, to give us therein an emblem of that eternal Sabbath in heaven, wherein his people shall be serving him, and praising him without interruption, or mixture of any other business throughout eternity; Heb. 4:9. There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.


Q. 3. For what other reasons will God have a Sabbath?
A. He will have a Sabbath for the honour of his name, Isa. 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. For the good of men’s souls; Mark 2:27. And he said unto them, The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. And in mercy to the bodies of men and beasts.


Q. 4. Is this commandment moral and perpetual, or ceremonial and temporary?
A. It is, and must needs be moral, and not ceremonial; because all the reasons that enforce it are perpetual, and the Sabbath continued when the ceremonial law ceased, and was vanished; Mat. 24:20. But pray ye, that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day.


Q. 5. What day of the seven is the Christian Sabbath?
A. The first day of the week is our Sabbath, since the resurrection of Christ. This is the day which was foretold to be our Sabbath; Psal. 118:24. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. The Lord hath marked it for himself, by setting his own name on it; Rev. 1:10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day. And the apostles and primitive church constantly set it apart to religious uses and ends; Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, &c. 1 Cor. 16:2. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.


Q. 6. When doth the Christian Sabbath begin?
A. It appears that this day is not to be reckoned from evening to evening, but from morning to morning; because the Christian Sabbath must begin when the Jewish Sabbath ended, but that ended towards the morning, Mat. 28:1. In the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.


Q. 7. What is the ground of changing the day?
A. The solemn commemoration of our redemption by the resurrection of Christ from the dead, is the ground of translating the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week: Psal. 118:24. This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Mark 16:9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, out of whom he had cast seven devils.


Q. 8. Is it the whole day, or only some hours of the day, that are set apart for God?
A. Not a part, but the whole day is the Lord’s; and it is as dangerous to halve it with God in point of time, as it was for Ananias and Sapphira to halve their dedicated goods, and bring in but a part. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath-day, is the command.


Q. 9. Is there any other clay holy besides this day?
A. No day but this is holy by institution of the Lord; yet days of humiliation and thanksgiving may be lawfully set apart by men on a call of providence; but popish holidays are not warrantable, nor to be observed; Gal. 4:10. Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.


Q. 10. But seeing every day should be a Sabbath to a Christian, what needs any other set time?
A. Though Christians must walk every day with God, yet every day cannot be a Sabbath, because God calls us to other duties on those days, but will have this to be a solemn and entire day to himself.


Q. 11. But if a man scruple the change of the Sabbath, may he not keep both days weekly?
A. No; for then, by doing more than God requires, he breaks a plain command, Six days shalt thou labour.


Q. 12. At what time should Christians be up, and at their duties, on the Lord’s day?
A. As early in the morning as their strength will permit, to prepare by private for public duties; yet the public are not to be entrenched on by private duties; Acts 10:33. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.


Of the Sabbath

Quest. 60. HOW is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
A. The Sabbath is to be sanctified by an holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days, and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q. 61. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
Q. 62. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employment, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath-day.


Q. 1. What is the rest which God requires on the Sabbath?
A. It is not a mere natural or civil, but an holy rest, resembling the rest in heaven, wherein the mind is most active and busy in the work of God, though the body be at rest, and the spirit not wearied with its work; Rev. 4:8 and the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within, and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.


Q. 2 May not any works of our civil calling be ordinarily done on that day?
A. No; it is sinful to put our hands ordinarily to our callings on that day, and God usually punishes it. Neh. 13:15, 16, 17, 18. In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing up sheaves, and lading asses, as also wine-grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day; and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath, unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? Yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.


Q. 3. May we not refresh our bodies by recreations, or our minds by thoughts of earthly business, or discourses, on that day?
A. Recreations of the body, which are lawful on other days, are sinful on this day; and all the recreations of the mind allowed on this day, are spiritual and heavenly; Isa. 58:13, 14. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight thyself in the, Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.


Q. 4. What works may lawfully be done on that day?
A. Christ’s example warrants works of necessity, and works of mercy, but no other; Mat. 12:3, 4. But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him, How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but only for the priests. And ver. 7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, &c.


Q. 5. What are the holy duties of the Sabbath?
A. The public worship of God; in reading, and hearing the word preached. Isa. 66:23. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord, Luke 4:16.—And as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath-day, and stood for to read. And prayer; Acts 16:13, 14. And on the Sabbath-day we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made, &c. And receiving the Sacrament; Acts 20:7. And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached, &c.


Q. 6. Are private duties in our families required, as well as public, on the Sabbath?
A. Yes; it is not enough to sanctify the Sabbath in public ordinances, but God requires it to be sanctified in family and private duties; Lev. 23:3. —— But the seventh day is the Sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings.


Q. 7. With what frame of spirit are all Sabbath duties, both public and private, to be performed?
A. They are to be performed with spiritual delight; Isa. 58:13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, &c. And all grudging at, and weariness of spiritual exercises, is a sin forbidden; Mal. 1:13. Ye said also, behold what a weariness is it, and ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of hosts, and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the Lord. Amos 8:5. When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat? &c.


Q. 8. What is the first reason annexed to this command?
A. The first reason is the sufficient, and large allowance of time God hath given us for our civil callings, and earthly business. Six days in the week is a large allowance.


Q. 9. What is the second reason annexed to this fourth command?
A. The second reason is God’s sanctifying and separating this day by a special command and institution for his service; so that to profane this time, is to sin against an express divine command.


Q. 10. What is the third reason annexed to this command?
A. The third reason is God’s own example, who rested the seventh day from all his works, and blessed this day, by virtue of which blessing we are encouraged to sanctify it.


Q. 11. Is it not enough to sanctify this day in our own persons?
A. No; if God hath put any under our authority, their profaning the Sabbath will become our sin, though we be never so strict in the observation of it ourselves.


Q. 12. May we continue our civil employment to the last moment of our common time?
A. Except necessity or mercy urge us, we ought to break off before, and allow some time to prepare for the Sabbath, Luke 23:54. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.


Q. 13. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That we have all great cause to be humbled for our Sabbath transgressions, either in our unpreparedness for it, our want of delight and spirituality in it, or the due government of our families as God requires.


Q. 14. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That Christians on the Sabbath-day have a fair occasion and help to realize to themselves the heavenly state, in which they are to live abstract from the world, and God is to be all in all to them,

 

Of the fifth Commandment

Quest. 63. WHICH is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, [Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.]
Quest. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honour, and performing the duties belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.
Quest. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing any thing against the honour and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations.
Quest. 66. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment is, a promise of long life and prosperity (as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good) to all such as keep this commandment.


Q. 1. What relatives are directly and more especially concerned in this fifth commandment?
A. All superiors and inferiors are concerned in it; especially, (1.) Political fathers and their children; that is, kings and subjects; Mark 11:10. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, &c. (2.) Spiritual fathers, and their children; that is, ministers, and their people; 1 Cor. 4:15. For though you have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers, for in Christ Jesus have I begotten you through the gospel. (3.) Natural parents, and their children; Eph. 6:1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (4.) All civil superiors and inferiors, as husbands and wives, masters and servants; Eph. 5:22. Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. And Eph. 6:5. Servants be obedient to them that are your masters, according to the flesh, &c.


Q. 2. What is the duty of political fathers, or magistrates, to their political children, or subjects?
A. It is to rule and govern the people over whom God hath set them with wisdom; 2 Chron. 1:10. Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people. Justice; 2 Chron. 19:5, 6, 7. And he set judges in the land, throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city. And he said to the judges, take heed what ye do; for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now, let the fear of the Lord be upon you, take heed, and do it, &c. And piety; 2 Sam. 23:3. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. Carefully providing for their souls in every place of their dominion; 2 Chron. 17:9. And they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people. And for their common outward peace and safety; 2 Chron. 17:12. And Jehoshaphat waxed great exceedingly, and he built in Judah castles and cities of store.


Q. 3. What are the duties of subjects to their rulers?
A. It is to pray for them; 1 Tim. 2:1, 2. I exhort therefore, that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: For kings, and for all that are in authority, &c. To honour them; 1 Pet. 2:17. —— Fear God, honour the king. To obey their just laws; Rom. 13:1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, &c. And to pay them the tribute that is due to them; Rom. 13:7. Render therefore to all their dues, tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, &c.


Q. 4. What are the duties of ministers to their people?
A. Their duty is, (1.) To feed their flock constantly with wholesome food; 2 Tim. 4:2. Preach the word, be instant in season, and out of season; rebuke, reprove, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine. (2.) To be full of bowels of tender affection to them; 1 Thess. 2:7, 8. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. (3.) To pray for them, Eph. 1:15, 16. Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. (4.) To watch over them; 1 Pet. 5:2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly, &c. And, (5.) To walk as an example of godliness before them; Tit. 2:7. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works, &c. All which duties require their residence among them; 1 Pet. 5:2. Feed the flock of God which is among you, &c.


Q. 5. What are the people’s duties towards their ministers?
A. Their duty is, (1.) To esteem and love them dearly for their work’s sake; 1 Thess. 5:12, 13. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. (2.) To attend on the word preached by them, as the word of God; 1 Thess. 2:13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God. (3.) To pray for them, and the success of their labours; Heb. 13:18. Pray for us, &c. (4.) Not to receive light and malicious reports against them; 1 Tim. 5:19. Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. (5.) To make a competent and comfortable provision for them; Gal. 6:6. Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.


Q. 6. What are the duties of natural parents to their children?
A. It is their duty, (1.) To be tenderly, but not fondly affection, ate to, and tender over them; Isa. 49:15. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? (2.) To educate them for God; Eph. 6:4. And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (3.) To restrain their sins by correction; Prov. 29:15. The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (4.) To provide for their livelihood; 1 Tim. 5:8. But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. (5.) To pray daily for them; Job 1:5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morn, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts: Thus did Job continually. (6.) To encourage them with endearing language in the way of godliness; Prov. 31:2, 3. The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? and what the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.


Q. 7. What are the duties of children to parents?
A. Their duty is, (1.) To obey them only in the Lord; Eph. 6:1. Children, obey your parents in the Lord. (2.) To reverence and honour them; Lev. 19:3. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, &c. (3.) To submit to their reproofs and corrections; Heb. 12:9. Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh, which corrected us, and we gave them reverence. (4.) To provide for them, if they be poor and needy, and we have ability; Gen. 47:12. And Joseph nourished his father and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.


Q. 8. What shall children do when parents abuse their authority, by forbidding duty, or commanding sin?
A. In such cases children are to obey God, rather than their parents; Acts 4:19. But Peter and John answered, and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you, more than unto God, judge ye. But yet to manage their refusals of obedience with all meekness and humility.


Q. 9. What is the first duty of husbands to their wives?
A. The first duty, on which all other duties depend, is cohabitation with them; 1 Pet. 3:7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them, according to knowledge, &c. And nothing can make this duty void, but a lawful divorce for adultery; Mat. 5:31, 32. But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery, &c.


Q. 10. What is the husband’s second duty to his wife?
A. True and hearty love to soul and body; Eph. 5:25. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. Evidencing itself in careful provision for them; 1 Cor. 7:33. But he that is married, careth for the things of the world, how he may please his wife. But especially to their souls, in winning them to Christ; 1 Cor. 7:16. Or, how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? And building them up in Christ; 1 Pet. 3:7. Likewise ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered.


Q. 11. What are the duties of wives to their husbands?
A. It is their duty. (1.) to be in subjection to their own husbands; Eph. 5:22, 23. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord: For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church. (2.) To reverence them; Eph. 5:33. And the wife see that she reverence her husband. (3.) To express their reverence in suitable words and actions; 1 Pet. 3:6. Even as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, &c. (4.) To be faithful to them; Prov. 31:12. She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. (5.) To adorn their relation with meekness, and quietness of spirit; 1 Pet. 3:4. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.


Q. 12. What are the duties of servants to their masters?
A. It is their duty, (1.) To be faithful in all things committed to their charge; Tit. 2:10. Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, &c. (2.) To honour them in all respectful words and carriages; 1 Tim. 6:1. Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour, &c. (5.) To bear patiently their rebukes; 1 Pet. 2:18, 19. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.


Q. 13. What is the first duty of masters to their servants?
A. The first duty is to rule over them with gentleness, and not with terror and rigour; Eph. 6:9. And ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: Knowing that your Master also is in heaven, neither is there respect of persons with him.


Q. 14. What is the second duty of masters to their servants?
A. To pay them their wages fully, and without delay; Deut. 24:14, 15. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it; lest he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee. And to provide food for them convenient; Prov. 27:27. And thou shalt have goat’s milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for maintenance for thy maidens.


Q. 15. What is the third duty of masters to their servants?
A. The third and principal duty is, to engage them as much as in them lies, to the ways of God, and duties of religion, as Abraham did; Gen. 18:19. For I know him, that he will command his children, and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, &c. And Joshua, Josh. 24:15. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

 

Of the sixth Commandment

Quest. 67. WHICH is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, [Thou shalt not kill.]
Quest. 68. What is required in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment requireth all lawful endeavours to preserve our own life, and the life of others.
Quest. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbour unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.


Q. 1. What is the natural order of these commandments in the second table?
A. In these commands God begins with the nearest concern of man, which is life; Job 2:4.—Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life. Next to that his command guards his nearest relative, from whom the best outward comfort is to rise, his wife: Mark 10:8. And they twain shall be one flesh, &c. After that his good name, which is very precious to him; Eccl. 7:1. A good name is better than precious ointment. And then his goods, which support his life; Isa. 3:1. For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water.


Q. 2. How far doth this commandment extend itself?
A. It prohibits all cruelty, and commands all help, care, and pity, so far as men’s hearts and hands can go, for the relief and preservation of others; Ps. 119:96.—But thy commandment is exceeding broad.


Q. 3. Doth this command respect only the outward action, or also the inward passion of the soul?
A. It respects and bridles the inward passion of the soul, as well as outward actions; as hatred, 1 John 3:15. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a murderer, &c. And causeless anger; Matth. 5:22. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, &c.


Q. 4. Doth this command only respect the lives of others?
A. No; it primarily respects our own lives, and forbids us all things that tend to the shortening and ruin of them; Eph. 5:29. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord doth the church.


Q. 5. How many ways may men sin against this command, with respect to their own lives.
A. A man sinneth against his own life, not only by destroying himself, as the jailor would have done; Acts 16:27. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled; but by refusing food or physic to preserve life, or macerating our bodies with excessive sorrows; 2 Cor. 7:10.—But the sorrow of the world worketh death. Or envy at others felicity; Prov. 14:30.—But envy, the rottenness of the bones.


Q. 6. How are men guilty of murder with respect to others?
A. Murder, with respect to others, may be either with relation to their bodies; Numb. 35:30. Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death, &c. Or to their souls, which is the most heinous murder in the world; Ezek. 3:18. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die, and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life: the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.


Q. 7. Is all destruction of another’s life murder in the account of God?
A. No; It is not, if the life of a person be taken away in the course of justice; Gen. 9:6. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Or, in a just and necessary war; Judg. 5:23. Curse ye Meroz, (said the angel of the Lord) curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Or by pure accident; Deut. 19:5. As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour that he die, he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live. Or in self-defence; Exod. 22:2. If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.


Q. 8. Is there no other way of breaking this command?
A. Yes there is: Innocents may be murdered under the forms and solemnities both of justice and religion. So Naboth was murdered by Jezebel: 1 Kings 21:12, 13. They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people. And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: And the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones that he died. And the martyrs by bloody Papists. And this strongly proves a day of judgment; Eccl. 3:16, 17. And moreover, I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there, and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: For there is a time there for every purpose, and for every work.


Q. 9. Are duels forbidden in this commandment?
A. Yes, they are; for whatever point of honour be touched, or whatever provocation be given, we are not to be our own avengers; Rom. 12:19. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, &c.


Q. 10. What is the first inference hence?
A. That we have great cause to bless God for his protecting law, and for human laws grounded upon his law for the protection of our lives; Rom. 13:4. —— For he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doth evil.


Q. 11. What is the second inference hence?
A. That all that are guilty of this sin, have great cause to be humbled and afflicted: For it is a crying sin, Gen. 4:10. —— The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Yet not to despair of mercy upon true repentance. Manasseh shed innocent blood, and yet was pardoned, upon repentance; 2 Kings 21:16. Moreover, Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, &c.


Q. 12. What is the third inference hence?
A. Let all men watch against pride, passion, malice, and revenge, the sin of the heart, from which this horrid sin proceeds; Mat. 15:18, 19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, &c.

 

Of the seventh Commandment

Quest. 70. WHICH is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, [Thou shalt not commit adultery.]
Quest. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity in heart, speech, and behaviour.
Quest. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.


Q. 1. What is the duty required in this commandment?
A. The first duty required in this commandment is, the preservation of our own chastity in heart, lip, and life; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour. And Eph. 4:29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, &c.


Q. 2. Why must we preserve our own chastity?
A. Because our bodies are, or ought to be the temples of the Holy Ghost; 1 Cor. 6:15, 19. Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? And it is the express charge of God that they be kept pure and clean; 1 Thess. 4:3, 4. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour.


Q. 3. What is the second reason?
A. The second reason is, because of the evil of it to ourselves: As, (1.) It injures the body; 1 Cor. 6:18. He that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body. (2.) It levels us with the Heathen; Eph. 4:17, 19. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,—who being past feeling, have given themselves over to lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (3.) Dishonours our names; Prov. 6:32, 33. But whoso committeth adultery with a woman, a wound and dishonour shall he get, &c. (4.) Scatters our estates; Prov. 5:10. Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of strangers. (5.) Destroyeth the soul; Prov. 6:32. —— He that doth it, destroyeth his own soul.


Q. 4. What age is most incident to this sin?
A. The youthful age is most apt to be drawn into this sin; Prov. 7:7. And behold among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding. And 2 Tim. 2:22. Flee also youthful lusts, &c.


Q. 5. How far doth this command extend itself?
A. It extends itself to the heart, mind, and fancy, as well as to the body, and external actions; Matth. 5:28. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


Q. 6. What are the usual inducements to this sin?
A. The usual inducements to this sin are, (1.) Idleness and fulness of the creatures; Ezek. 16:49, 50. Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her, and in her daughters, &c. (2.) Wanton gestures; Isa. 3:16. Moreover, the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks, and wanton eyes, walking, and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet. (3.) Filthy communication; Eph. 5:4. Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient, &c.


Q. 7. What is the first remedy against this sin?
A. The first remedy, and the most effectual, is, to get the Spirit of God within us, to sanctify and rule us; Gal. 5:16. —— Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.


Q. 8. What is the second remedy?
A. The keeping of a strict watch over the heart; Prov. 4:23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, &c. And over the external senses; Job 31:1. I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?


Q. 9. What is the third remedy against it?
A. Deep and serious consideration of the danger of this sin, and what God threatens against adulterers; Heb. 13:4. —— Whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. 1 Cor. 6:9, 10.—Be not deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate,—shall inherit the kingdom of God. And how he describes them, Prov. 22:14. The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit; he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.


Q. 10. What is the fourth remedy against it?
A. Prayer; Psalm 119:37. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, &c. And, to evidence our sincerity in prayer, we must study to shun all occasions of this sin; Psal. 18:23. I was also upright before him; and I kept myself from mine iniquity.


Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence?
A. What cause those have to bless God, that have been kept from this sin; though the best ought to be humbled for their heart-pollutions.


Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence?
A. Let it warn parents to do what in them lies to prevent the ruin of their children by this sin, (1.) By filling their heads and hands with lawful business. (2.) By serious admonitions and prayers for them. (3.) By keeping them from vain and tempting company. (4.) By disposing them seasonably in suitable marriage.


Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence?
A. Let those that are defiled with this sin repent seriously of it as David did; Psalm 51:8. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. And apply the blood of Christ by faith; for in so doing it may be pardoned; 1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God.

 

Of the eighth Commandment

Quest. 73. WHICH is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, [Thou shalt not steal.]
Quest. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requireth the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth, and outward estate of ourselves and others.
Quest. 75. What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth, or may unjustly hinder our own, or our neighbour’s wealth, or outward estate.


Q. 1. What is presupposed in this commandment?
A. It presupposeth that God hath given every man a propriety in his estate, and that no man’s goods are common to others, except by his consent in times and cases extraordinary; Acts 2:44. And all that believed were together, and had all things common.


Q. 2. What is required in this commandment?
A. It requires of every man diligence in a lawful calling, to get and preserve an estate for his own and other’s good; Prov. 13:11. He that gathereth by labour, shall increase. Eph. 4:28. —— But rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.


Q. 3. What else is required in this commandment?
A. It requires us not only to get and keep the things of the world in a lawful manner, but to distribute and communicate them to those that are in want, and not cast them into temptations of sin, or inevitable ruin; Isa. 58:10. And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: Then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon-day; 1 John 3:17. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?


Q. 4. What else is required in this commandment?
A. It requires in every man a public spirit to procure and promote the good and prosperity of others: 1 Cor. 10:24. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.


Q. 5. What else is required in this command?
A. It requires restitution of all goods, unjustly gotten, or taken from others; Lev. 6:4. Then it shall be, because he hath sinned, and is guilty, that he shall restore that which he took violently away, or the thing which he hath deceitfully gotten, &c. And the restoring of pawns and pledges, when they are due; Ezek. 18:7. And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, &c. Or things lost, if we can discover the true owners.


Q. 6. What is the first sin forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all cozening arid cheating of others in our dealings, and civil commerce with them; 1 Thess. 4:6. That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter, &c. Prov. 26:28. A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it, and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.


Q. 7. What is the second thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all exaction and oppression of our neighbour, by going beyond them, or working on their necessities, or detaining their dues; Lev. 25:14. And if thou sell ought unto thy neighbour, or buyest ought of thy neighbour’s hand, ye shall not oppress one another; Prov. 24:28, 29. Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause: And deceive not with thy lips. Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.


Q. 8. What is the third thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all unlawful weights and measures, which is no better than theft in God’s account; Micah 6:10, 11. Are there yet the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is abominable? Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?


Q. 9. What is the fourth sin forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all family frauds by children; Prov. 28:24. Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, it is no transgression, the same is the companion of a destroyer. Or servants; Tit. 2:9, 10. Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters;—not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity, &c.


Q. 10. What is the fifth thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids all tempting of, or encouraging others to defraud those who have any trust committed to them; Psalm 50:18. When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him; Prov. 29:24. Whosoever is partner with a thief, hateth his own soul, &c.


Q. 11. What is the sixth thing forbidden in this command?
A. It forbids the taking away of another’s goods by open robbery by sea or land; Job 5:5. —— And the robber swalloweth up their substance. Or clandestinely and privately; 1 Pet. 4:15. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, &c.


Q. 12. What is the danger of this sin?
A. It brings men’s souls, bodies, and estates, under the curse of God; Zech. 5:3, 4. Then said he unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: For every one that stealeth shall be cut off, as on this side, according to it:—I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief.


Q. 13. What is the first instruction hence?
A. Let all that are guilty of this sin repent, and restore, as they expect mercy from God; Eph. 4:28. Let him that stole, steal no more, &c. Luke 19:8. And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord, Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor, and if I have taken away any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.


Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence?
A. To excite all, to whom God hath given a competency of the things of the world, that they bless God for keeping them from the temptations of this sin; Prov. 30:8, 9. Give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

 

Of the ninth Commandment

Quest. 76. WHICH is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, [Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.]
Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbour’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.
Q. 78. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to our own or our neighbour’s good name.


Q. 1. What is the general scope and aim of the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth command aims chiefly at the preservation and promoting of truth amongst men; Zech. 8:16.—Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour, &c. This being of indispensible necessity to the subsistence and welfare of human society; Eph. 4:25. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour, for we are members one of another.


Q. 2. What is the first thing required particularly in this command?
A. This command requires every man to take care of preserving his own good name, by ordering his conversation in universal integrity; 1 Pet. 3:15, 16. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every one that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience; that whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.


Q. 3. What is the second thing required in this command?
A. It requires all due care to preserve the good name and honour of other men as well as our own; for Christians are not to be of narrow and private spirits, which centre only in their own interests and concernment; Phil. 2:4. Look not every man on his own things; but every man also on the things of others.


Q. 4. How are we to preserve the good names of others?
A. We are to preserve the good names of others by an inward esteem of all the good that is in them; Phil. 2:3.—In lowness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. And manifesting our inward esteem of them by a wise and seasonable expression thereof for their encouragement in the ways of godliness; Rom. 1:8. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.


Q. 5. How else are we to defend other men’s names?
A. By our readiness to receive with joy the reports of that good that is in them; 3 John 3. For I rejoiced greatly when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. And discountenancing all reproaches maliciously vented against them; Psalm 15:3.—Nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.


Q. 6. But what if the report be evidently true?
A. In that case we are to grieve for their miscarriages, as the effect and fruit of our love to their souls; 2 Cor. 2:4. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart, I wrote unto you with many tears, not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you. And to discharge our duties privately and faithfully, in order to their recovery; Matth. 18:15, 16, 17. Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone, &c. Winking at, and concealing in love, their lesser and common infirmities; 1 Pet. 4:8. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: For charity shall cover the multitude of sins.


Q. 7. What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. It forbids us to injure others, by raising or receiving lies, and false reports which are highly injurious to their good names; Col. 3:9. Lie not one to another, &c.


Q. 8. What else is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. It especially forbids perjury, or false swearing, whereby not only the names, but estates and lives of the innocent are injured and ruined; Psal. 35:11. False witnesses did rise up. They laid to my charge things that I knew not; Prov. 19:5. A false witness shall not be unpunished: And he that speaketh lies shall not escape. A sin which God will punish; Mal. 3:5. And I will come near to you to judgment, and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, &c.


Q. 9. What else is forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids all whispering and backbiting of others secretly; 2 Cor. 12:20.—Lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, &c. And all tale-carrying from one to another, to our neighbour’s injury; Lev. 19:16. Thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer among the people, &c. And 1 Tim. 5:13.—And not only idle, but tattlers also, and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not.


Q. 10. What else doth the ninth commandment forbid?
A. It forbids all rash and unwarrantable judging of other men’s hearts and final estates which is usually accompanied with ignorance of our own; Matth. 7:1, 3. Judge not, that ye be not judged. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?


Q. 11. What else is forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids the eclipsing of the true worth and honour of others, by a proud exalting of ourselves; 1 Cor. 13:4, 5. Charity envieth not, charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, &c. Or by crying up one to the disparagement of another good man; 1 Cor. 3:4, 5. For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos, are ye not carnal? &c.


Q. 12. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That the best Christians have cause to be humbled for the sins of the tongue whereby God is dishonoured, and others are injured; James 3:2. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. And verse 5, 6. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things: behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is afire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue amongst our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.


Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence?
A. It is our great concernment to walk with that piety and justice towards God and men, as to cut off all just occasions of reproach from our names; 2 Cor. 11:12. But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasions, &c. 1 Tim. 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.


Q. 14. What is the third inference from this commandment?
A. To bless God that our names are kept sweet and honourable in the world among good men; 3 John 12. Demetrius hath a good report of all men, &c. Or if we be reproached, it is by none but wicked men, and that for our duty to God; Dan. 6:5. Then said these men, we shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.

 

Of the tenth Commandment

Quest. 79. WHICH is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, [Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.]
Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, and a right and charitable frame of spirit towards our neighbour, and all that is his.
Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his.


Q. 1. What is the principal scope and aim of the tenth commandment?
A. It is to prevent all occasions of transgressing the other precepts of the second table, by restraining this sin of covetousness in the heart; Psalm 119:35, 36. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments, for therein do I delight. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.


Q. 2. What doth this tenth command require of us in reference to ourselves?
A. It requires of us perfect contentment and satisfaction with that estate and condition wherein God hath placed us in the world; Heb. 13:5. Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have, &c. Reckoning it to be good for us to be in that state we are, though never so low or afflicted; Psal. 119:67. Before I was afflicted, I went astray; but now have I kept thy word. And verse 71. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes.


Q. 3. Is contentment with God’s appointments attainable in this life?
A. Some Christians have attained to a very great measure, and eminent degree of contentment in the midst of changeable and afflictive providences; Phil. 4:11.—I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Psal. 16:5, 6. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places: yea, I have a goodly heritage.


Q. 4. Is there no danger of the sin of discontentment in a full and prosperous condition?
A. Fulness of the world secures no man from the sin of discontentment with his own, or covering that which is another’s; because the desires enlarge as the estate doth; Psalm 62:10.—If riches increase, set not your heart upon them. An instance whereof we have in Ahab, 1 Kings 21:4. And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased, because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers; and he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.


Q. 5. Whence doth discontent with our condition spring?
A. It springs partly from our ignorance of God’s wisdom and love in ordering all for our good; Rom. 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, &c. Partly from our inconsiderateness of the vanity of the creatures; 1 Tim. 6:7, 8. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. And partly from our unbelief; Matth. 6:31, 32. Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? Or wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek;) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.


Q. 6. Is contentment with our own estate all that this commandment requires?
A. No; it requires a charitable frame of spirit towards our neighbours also; Rom. 12:10, 15. Be kindly affectionate one to another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.


Q. 7. What is the first sin forbidden in this commandment?
A. It directly and especially forbids all sinful and inordinate desires and motions after other men’s enjoyments; Col. 3:5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.


Q. 8. What is the second sin forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids all cruelty and incompassionateness to others in necessity, and keeping back from them that relief which is made theirs by God’s command; Prov. 11:24. There is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. Lev. 19:9, 10. And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God.


Q. 9. What is the third sin forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids the detaining of the hirelings wages, when it is due; Hab. 2:9, 10, 11. Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil. Thou hast consulted shame to thy house, by cutting off many people, and hast sinned against thy soul. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it.


Q. 10. What is the fourth sin forbidden in this commandment?
A. It forbids all inward grudgings at, and envyings of the enjoyments of others, whether they be inward goods of the mind, or outward, belonging to the body; 1 Cor. 13:4. Charity envieth not, &c.


Q. 11. What is the mischief of covetousness?
A. It distracts thy heart in duties; Ezek. 33:31. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them; for with their mouths they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. Provokes the wrath of God; Isa. 57:17. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him, &c. And where it reigns it becomes idolatry; Col. 3:5. And covetousness, which is idolatry.


Q. 12. What is the first inference from hence?
A. It calls all men to humiliation for the inordinacy of their affections towards the world, their discontent with their own and envyings of others conditions.


Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence?
A. As ever we would keep clear from this sin, let us make God our portion; Psal. 16:5, 6. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. And labour to get the soul-satisfying comforts of his Spirit; John 4:14. But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst, &c. 2 Cor. 6:10. As having nothing, and yet possessing all things.


Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence?
A. If God has given us a sufficiency of the things of this life for our necessity, let us be satisfied, though we want other things for our delight; 1 Tim. 6:8. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. And relieve ourselves by an expectation of those better things laid up in heaven for us, if we be believers; James 2:5. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him.


Of keeping the Law

Quest. 82. IS any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No mere man since the fail is able in this life perfectly to keep the commandments of God, but doth daily break them in thought, word, and deed.


Q. 1. Wherein doth the perfect keeping of God’s law consist?
A. It consists in the perfect and constant conformity of the internal arid external actions of heart and life, to every command of God; Gal. 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. Matth. 22:37, 38, 39. Jesus said unto them, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.


Q. 2. But if a man commit no external act against the law, may he not be said perfectly to keep it, although in mind or thought he should trangress?
A. No; for an inward motion of sin in the hearty that never breaks forth into act, is a violation of the law, and brings the soul under the curse of it; Matth. 5:21, 22. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill: And whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgement. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, &c. And ver. 27, 28. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.


Q. 3. May not a man keep the law if he keep some of its commands, though he cannot keep every one of them punctually?
A. No, he cannot; for the transgression of any one command in the least degree, is a breach of all, and brings the curse of the whole upon a man’s soul; James 2:10. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.


Q. 4. Was the law never kept by any since it was made?
A. Yes, Adam in his innocent state kept it; for he was made upright; Eccl. 7:29. God made man upright, &c. And Christ perfectly kept it; Mat. 5:17. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.


Q. 5. What is the first reason why no mere man in this life can fulfil and keep the law of God perfectly?
A. It is because the law of God is perfect, and the best of men in this life are imperfect; Psal. 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect, &c. Eccl. 7:20. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.


Q. 6. But may not men perfectly keep it when regenerate, and born of God?
A. No; because even in the regenerate there is a law of sin, which wars against the law of God; Gal. 5:17. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, &c. Rom. 7:22, 23. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, &c. And though they are said not to sin, 1 John 3:9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin, &c. That is not to be taken absolutely, but comparatively, as they once did, and others still do.


Q. 7. But did not Christ command the young man to keep the law?
A. It is true that Christ did put the young man upon this task; Matth. 19:17. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. But it was not on a supposition that he was able to do it; but to convince him of the impossibility of justification that way.


Q. 8. But doth not the apostle say, that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in believers?
A. It is true that the apostle doth say, Rom. 8:4 but the meaning is not, that we fulfil it in our own persons, by our complete obedience to it; but it is fulfilled in us, by our union with Christ, who perfectly kept it; and the righteousness of the law, which is in Christ, becomes ours, by God’s imputation of it to us; Rom. 4:23, 24. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.


Q. 9. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That justification by our own works is utterly impossible to the holiest of men; Gal. 2:16. For by the works of the law no flesh can be justified; Psalm 103:3. If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities; O Lord, who shall stand?


Q. 10. What is the second inference from hence?
A. Hence we learn what an infinite mercy it is, that God sent Jesus Christ made under the law; Gal. 4:4, 5. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, &c. To do that for us we could never do for ourselves; Rom. 8:3, 4. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us; who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


Q. 11. What is the third inference from hence?
A. That the dreadful curse must needs lie on all unbelievers that are out of Christ; John 3:36. He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. And seek their justification by the deeds of the law; Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law, are under the curse, &c.


Q. 12. What is the fourth inference from hence?
A. That a deluge of sin and misery brake in upon the whole world by the fall of Adam, and all his posterity being by him plunged under both; Rom. 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.


Q. 13. What is the fifth inference from hence?
A. That the Popish doctrines of merits, and works of supererogation, are false and groundless doctrines, springing out of the ignorance and pride of man’s heart.


Q. 14. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That all God’s people should sigh under their unhappy necessity of sinning; Rom. 7:24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death! And long to be with Christ in the perfect state; Heb. 12:23. And to the spirits of just men made perfect.

 

Of the inequality of Sin

Quest. 83. ARE all transgressions of the law equally heinous?
A. Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.


Q. 1. Whence ariseth the first difference of sin?
A. The first difference betwixt one sin and another, ariseth from the immediate object, against which the sin is committed; on this account, sins immediately committed against God, are more heinous than sins immediately committed against man; 1 Sam. 2:25. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: But if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him? And all sins of the first table are greater than those of the second: yet there are crying sins against the second.


Q. 2. What is the first sin noted for an heinous sin?
A. The sin of murder is in scripture set down for an heinous and crying sin in its own nature; Gen. 4:10. The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the earth.


Q. 3. What other sin is noted for a crying sin?
A. The sin of oppression is noted in scripture for a crying sin; Hab. 2:11. For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it. Especially the oppression of the widow and fatherless; Exod. 22:22, 23. Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry.


Q. 4. What is reckoned in scripture an heinous sin against the first table.
A. The sin of atheism, or denying the being of a God, is a sin of the first magnitude; Job 31:28. This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge; for I should have denied the God that is above. This was the sin of Pharaoh; Exod. 5:2. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.


Q. 5. What other sin is heinous in God’s account?
A. The sin of idolatry is a most heinous sin, and goes nearer to the heart of God than other sins do; Ezek. 6:9. And they that escape of you, shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives; because I am broken with their whorish heart, which hath departed from me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols; and they shall loathe themselves, for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. Jer. 44:4. O do not this abominable thing that I hate.


Q. 6. What is the most heinous of all the sins in the world?
A. The sin against the Holy Ghost is the most heinous of all other sins, and shall never be forgiven by him; Matth. 12:31. All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.


Q. 7. From whence doth this scripture aggravate sin?
A. The Spirit of God in scripture aggravates and estimates sin, from the degree of light and knowledge men sin against; Luke 12:47. And that servant which knew his Lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many-stripes. John 15:22. If I had not come, and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: But now they have no cloak for their sin.


Q. 8. What is the second thing that aggravates sin?
A. The more mercies any man sins against, the greater is his sin; Rom. 2:4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? And especially when it is against spiritual mercies, and means of salvation; Heb. 2:3. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? &c.


Q. 9. Are heinous and crying sins capable of forgiveness?
A. Yes; great and heinous sins are capable of forgiveness, upon true repentance; Isa. 1:18. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.


Q. 10. From what fountain doth the pardon of all sins, both great and small, flow?
A. They all flow from the free grace of God; Luke 7:41, 42. And when they had nothing to pay, he forgave them both. And through the meritorious, satisfying blood of Christ; Eph. 1:7. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.


Q. 11. What is the first inference hence?
A. Though some sins are more heinous than others, yet no sinner should absolutely despair of mercy; for the vilest have been pardoned; 1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you: But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified, &c.


Q. 12. What is the second inference hence?
A. That there are different degrees of torments in hell, proportioned to the different degrees of sins on earth. Mat. 11:21, 22. Wo unto thee, Chorazin, wo unto thee, Bethsaida: For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, at the day of judgment, than for you.


Q. 13. What is the third inference hence?
A. That great sinners, when pardoned and received to mercy, should excel all others in love to Christ; Luke 7:42, 43. Which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged.


Q. 14. What is the last inference hence?
A. Let no man neglect Christ, because his sins are not so heinous as others; because the least sin without Christ is damning; Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, &c. And greater sinners are often called when lesser are not; Mat. 21:31, 32. The publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

 

Of the Demerit of Sin

Quest. 84. WHAT doth every sin deserve?
A. Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life and in that which is to come.


Q. Wherein doth the evil of sin principally consist?
A. It consists principally in the offence it gives, and the wrong it doth to God; Psalm 51:4. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.


Q. 2. What is the first offence and wrong sin doth to God?
A. It consists in its enmity to God; Rom. 8:7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, &c. Expressed in scripture by walking contrary to him; Lev. 26:40. They have also walked contrary to me. Fighting against God; Acts 5:39. Lest haply ye be even found to fight against God. And resisting his Spirit; Acts 7:51. Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost.


Q. 3. Wherein is its enmity to God further discovered in scripture?
A. It is discovered under the names and notions of hatred of God; Rom. 1:30. Backbiters, haters of God, &c. Rebellion against God; 1 Sam. 15:23. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, &c. And despising the commandment of God; 2 Sam. 12:9. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord?


Q. 4. What are the attributes of God that sin wrongs?
A. It wrongs all his attributes; for it slights his sovereignty; Exod. 5:2. And Pharaoh said, Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice, to let Israel go? Resists his power; 1 Cor. 10:22. Are we stronger than he? Despiseth his goodness; Rom. 2:4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, &c. Taxeth his justice; Ezek. 18:25. Yet ye say, the way of the Lord is not equal, &c. And clouds his holiness; Jam. 2:7. Do not they blaspheme that worthy name, by which ye are called?


Q. 5. What doth sin deserve in the course of justice from God?
A. It deserves all temporal and eternal effects of God’s wrath, on the souls and bodies of sinners, all which in scripture go under the name of death; Rom. 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, &c.


Q. 6. Can these sufferings satisfy God for all this wrong?
A. No, they cannot; and therefore they must, and shall be eternal on the damned; Matth. 5:26. Verily, I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing. Mark 9:44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.


Q. 7. Shall all sinners bear the desert of their sins?
A. No, all that are out of Christ shall; but Christ hath freed believers from it; John 3:18. He that believeth on him is not condemned, &c.


Q. 8. But is it not hard, that sinners should suffer eternally for the sins of a few years?
A. No, it is not; for the evil of sin is not to be measured by the time in which, but by the object against which it is committed; Psal. 51:4, 5. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, &c.


Q. 9. What learn we from hence?
A. Hence in the first place we learn the impossibility of satisfying God’s justice for the least sin that ever we committed; Job 7:20. I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee? &c. Psalm 130:3. If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall stand?


Q. 10. What is the second instruction hence?
A. Hence we see the necessity of a Mediator betwixt God and us; Psal. 40:6, 7. Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire, &c. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction hence?
A. That the greatest suffering is rather to be chosen than the least sin; Heb. 11:25. Chusing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.


Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction hence?
A. It teacheth us what an invaluable mercy the full, free, and final remission of sin is; Psal. 32:1. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered, &c.


Q. 13. What is the fifth instruction hence?
A. It vindicates God in his severest strokes on sinners; Hos. 6. Therefore have I hewed them by the prophets: I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and thy judgments are as the light that goeth forth.


Q. 14. What is the last instruction?
A. Hence we learn the infinite nature of Christ’s sufferings; Rom. 8:32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

 

Of what God requires of us

Quest. 85. WHAT doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A. To escape the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, God requireth of us faith in Jesus Christ, repentance unto life, with the diligent use of all the outward means, whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption.


Q. 1. What are the things required of us to escape God’s wrath and curse due to us for sin?
A. The things required of us are, (1.) Faith in Jesus Christ; Acts 16:31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (2.) Repentance for sin; Acts 3:19. Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, &c. (3.) Diligent striving in the use of all God’s appointed means; Luke 13:24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate: For many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.


Q. 2. Are these things in man’s power to perform, that God requires of him?
A. Though they are our duties, yet we have no power in ourselves by nature to perform them, but the power is of God; 2 Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.


Q. 3. But if men be in Christ, and justified from eternity, what need of this?
A. Though God from eternity decreed, and Christ long since purchased the salvation of the elect; yet have they no union with Christ till they believe; Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love. Nor remission of sin; Acts 3:19. That your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. But lie under wrath as others do; Eph. 2:3, 12. And were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ver. 12. That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the common-wealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.


Q. 4. If it be God that can only work these graces in us, to what purpose is our striving?
A. God’s working doth not exclude man’s striving, but more excites and obliges us to it; Phil. 2:12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: For it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his own good pleasure.


Q. 5. To what purpose is it to strive in the use of means, except we knew we were elected?
A. The knowledge of our election is not antecedent to our diligence, but our diligence is required antecedently to that knowledge; 1 Pet. 1:10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure, &c.


Q. 6. Is it not legal to put natural men upon striving in the use of means?
A. No, it is not; for Christ himself enjoins it? Luke 13:24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate, &c. And so did the apostles after him; Acts 8:22. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thy heart may be forgiven thee.


Q. 7. Is there no escaping of God’s wrath and curse without faith and repentance?
A. No, it is impossible to escape them; John 3:18. He that believeth not, is condemned already. Heb. 2:3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?


Q. 8. But if a man reform his life, and live soberly and justly for time to come, may he not that way escape God’s wrath and curse?
A. No; sobriety and reformation are duties, but it is faith and regeneration that puts men into Christ, and out of danger; Matth. 5:20. Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Tit. 3:5. Not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.


Q. 9. Do all believing and penitent sinners escape God’s wrath and curse?
A. Yes, they do, and shall for ever escape it; Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, &c. Col. 1:12, 13. Giving thanks unto God the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. John 5:24. He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


Q. 10. What is the first inference hence?
A. Hence it appears how false and dangerous the Antinomian doctrine is, which teaches that our sins are pardoned before they are committed, or we either believe or repent; contrary to Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sin, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. James 5:20. He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, &c. Acts 10:43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.


Q. 11. What is the second inference hence?
A. Hence it follows, that it is dangerous on the one side not to strive in all the ways of duty for Christ and salvation, contrary to Luke 13:24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. And as dangerous, on the other side, to rest in, and depend on our own works and duties; Phil. 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.


Q. 12. What is the third inference hence?
A. Hence we learn the miserable state of all unbelievers, and impenitent persons; the curse and wrath of God lies upon them; Gal. 3:10. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, &c. And their mittimus for hell is already made; John 3:18. He that believeth not, is condemned already.


Q. 13. What is the fourth inference hence?
A. Hence we learn the happy state into which faith and repentance bring the souls of men; Acts 13:38, 39. By him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

 

Of saving Faith

Quest. 86. WHAT is faith in Jesus Christ?
A. Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel.


Q. 1. What is the root or cause of faith?
A. Not the power of man’s will; Eph. 2:8. For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; But the Spirit of God. Gal. 5:22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. John 1:12, 13. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.


Q. 2. How doth the Spirit of God ordinarily produce faith?
A. By the preaching of the word he ordinarily begets it; Rom. 10:17. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; though sometimes he doth it immediately.


Q. 3. Who are the proper subjects of faith?
A. Convinced and sensible sinners are the proper subjects of faith; John 16:8, 9, 10. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me: of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.


Q. 4. What is the seat or habitation of faith?
A. Not only the head or understanding, but principally the heart and will; Rom. 10:10. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, &c. Acts 8:37. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.


Q. 5. But is not the assent of the understanding true faith?
A. The mere assent of the understanding to the truths of scripture, is not such a faith as will save the soul; James 2:19. Thou believest that there is one God; thou dost well: the devils also believe, and tremble.


Q. 6. What is the act of faith that justifies a sinner?
A. It is the receiving of Christ, by the full and hearty consent of the heart that justifies us? John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.


Q. 7. What is the object of faith?
A. The primary object of faith is the person of Christ, and the secondary are his benefits; Isa. 45:22. Look unto me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth, &c. Phil. 3:8, 9. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: For whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ; the righteousness which is of God by faith.


Q. 8. May not a man look partly to Christ, and partly to his own works and duties for righteousness?
A. No; he must eye Christ only, and exclude all others, or he cannot be justified; Phil. 3:9. And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ: The righteousness which is of God by faith, Rom. 4:5. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.


Q. 9. Is it enough to eye the person of Christ only in believing?
A. No; we must eye the person of Christ, as clothed with all his offices; Acts 16:31. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thine house. Our ignorance needs him as a prophet, our guilt as a priest, our sins and enemies as a king.


Q. 10. Is true faith faith exclusive of all fears and doubts?
A. No; it is not, but true believers are troubled with many fears and doubtings; Isa. 50:10. Who is he among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light, &c. Mark 9:24. And straightway the Father of the child crieth out with tears, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.


Q. 11. Is no man actually justified till he believe?
A. No, he cannot be justified actually till he believe actually; Gal. 3:22. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe John 3:18. He that believeth on him, is not condemned: But he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.


Q. 12. Is every man that believes justified immediately and fully upon his believing?
A. Yes, he is; Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. John 5:24. He that heareth my words, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.


Q. 13. What is the true character or description of a believer?
A. He is one that, having been convinced of his sin and misery, and of his own and all other creatures inability to save him, and of the ability and willingness of Christ to save him, lets go all hold and dependence on creatures, and his own righteousness, and casts himself entirely upon Christ for righteousness and life.

 

Of the Properties, Signs, and Means of Faith

Quest. 1. WHAT is the first property of faith?
A. It is a most precious grace; 2 Pet. 1:1. To them that have obtained like precious faith with us, &c. And must needs be so, seeing it is the bond of our union with Christ; Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye being rooted and grounded in love. That by which we are justified; Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, &c. And that by which our souls do live; Heb. 2:4. The just shall live by faith.


Q. 2. What is the second property of saving faith?
A. The second property of faith is this, that it is the most useful grace in this world to a believer, it being the soul’s eye; Heb. 11:27. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: For he endured, as seeing him who is invisible, &c. It is hard to apprehend Christ; Phil. 3:12. That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. It is a cordial in a fainting season; Psal. 27:3. I had fainted unless I had believed, &c.


Q. 3. What are the foundations that support faith?
A. The first foundation or prop of faith, is the power of God; Rom. 4:20, 21. He staggered not at the promise through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. And being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. Heb. 7:25. He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, &c.


Q. 4. What is the second prop of faith?
A. The truth and faithfulness of God in his promises; Heb. 10:23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering, for he is faithful that hath promised. Heb. 6:18. That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.


Q. 5. What encourages the faith of the saints?
A. The manifold, sweet, and sensible experiences of others; Psal. 74:14. Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat for the people inhabiting the wilderness. And especially their own experiences; Josh. 23:14. Ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.


Q. 6. What is the first sign of a weak faith?
A. Staggerings in our assent to divine truths, argue the weakness of faith; Rom. 4:10. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, &c.


Q. 7. What is the second sign of a weak faith?
A. Inability to trust God in time of danger, evidenced by sinful haste to avoid it; Isa. 28:16. He that believeth, shall not make haste.


Q. 8. What is the third sign of a weak faith?
A. When we cannot live purely by faith, except we have some sensible encouragement; John 20:25. Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.


Q. 9. What is the fourth sign of a weak faith?
A. When a new temptation makes us easily let go our former confidence; Luke 24:21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: And besides all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done.


Q. 10. What is the fifth sign of a weak faith?
A. The prevalence of carnal fears, in times of trouble, argues weak faith; Matth. 8:26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? &c.


Q. 11. What is the sixth sign of a weak faith?
A. Too much carefulness and anxiety about the things of this life; Matth. 6:30. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?


Q. 12. What is the first benefit of a strong faith?
A. A strong faith gives much glory to God; Rom. 4:19, 20. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.


Q. 13. What is the second benefit of a strong faith?
A. It gives the soul the ravishing foresight and foretastes of heaven upon earth; 1 Pet. 1:8. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.


Q. 14. What is the last office faith doth for a believer in this world?
A. It supports and encourages him at death by the promises, when all other comforts fail; Heb. 11:13. 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 confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

 

Of saving Repentance

Quest. 87. WHAT is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension of the mercy of God in Christ, doth with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after new obedience.


Q. 1. Who is the author of saving repentance?
A. The Spirit of God is the author of it; the heart by nature is so hard, that none but the Spirit can break it; Ezek. 36:26, 27. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, &c.


Q. 2. In what act doth all true repentance begin?
A. It begins in a true sight and sense of sin, and the danger and misery we are in by sin; Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, &c.


Q. 3. Why doth God work such a sense of sin and misery?
A. He doth it to make Christ desirable in the sinner’s eyes, that he may fly to him; Matth. 9:12, 13. But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, and I will have mercy, and not sacrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.


Q. 4. Is the sight of sin sufficient to repentance?
A. No; there must be apprehension of mercy and forgiveness with God, or else no man can sincerely repent; Rom. 2:4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. And this mercy must be discerned in and through Christ; Zech. 12:10. And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.


Q. 5. Wherein doth repentance chiefly consist?
A. It consists in real inward sorrow for sin, as committed against God: Psalm 51:3, 4. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, &c. A loathing of ourselves for it; Ezek. 36:31. And shall loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. And of our best duties, as sinful and insufficient things; Isa. 64:5, 6. We are all as an unclean thing; and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, &c.


Q. 6. Wherein else doth it consist?
A. In turning from sin, as well as grieving for it; Isa. 55:7. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, &c. Prov. 28:13. He that covereth his sins, shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy.


Q. 7. Is turning from sin sufficient?
A. No, that is but the negative part of religion; there must be also a sincere turning to God; Psalm 119:59. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies; Acts 11:23. And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.


Q. 8. Is all sorrow for sin saving?
A. No; there is a repentance that doth no good; Matth. 27:3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, &c. And a repentance unto life; Acts 11:18. Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.


Q. 9. What are the signs of true repentance?
A. Fear of sin; care to preserve ourselves from it; and zeal to honour God by new obedience; 2 Cor. 7:11. For behold, this self-same thing that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement desire; yea, what zeal; yea, what revenge? In all things you have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.


Q. 10. Is there a necessity of repentance in order to forgiveness?
A. Yes, there is; and they are therefore conjoined in scripture; Acts 5:31. For to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins* And destruction threatened to the impenitent: Luke 13:3. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.


Q. 11. What is the first inference hence?
A. That it is a false doctrine which teaches us that sins are actually forgiven from eternity; and therefore no need either of repentance or prayer, save only for the manifestation of pardon.


Q. 12. What is the second inference hence?
A. That an hard heart is a dreadful sign of a lost state of soul; Rom. 2:5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.


Q. 13. What is the last inference hence?
A. That there is no cause to despair of the vilest sinner, seeing there is power enough in the Spirit of God to break the hardest heart; Ezek. 36:26. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.


Of Christ’s Ordinances

Quest. 88. WHAT are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances; especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for salvation.


Q. 1. What makes any thing become a divine ordinance?
A. The institution or appointment of God, is that alone which makes a divine ordinance; Matth. 28:20. 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 than baptism: But whatever hath scripture-warrant, in the words or consequence, is of divine appointment.


Q. 3. May not men institute ordinances of divine worship?
A. No; this in scripture is condemned as will-worship; Col. 2:20, 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 shew 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 Christ’s kingly office; Mat. 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.


Q. 5. For what other reason cannot man do it?
A. Because he cannot bless them, and make them effectual to their ends: but they will be in vain; Matth. 15:9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


Q. 6. Why are the ordinances called means of salvation?
A. Because by and through them the Spirit of the Lord conveys spiritual graces into men’s souls; 1 Cor. 1:21. It pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. 1 Cor. 3:5. 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 Spirit of the Lord; 1 Cor. 3:7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.


Q. 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; Isa. 55:10, 11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be, that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void; but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it. 2 Cor. 2:15, 16. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death, and to the other the savour of life unto life, &c.


Q. 9. Are instituted ordinances the only means o£ salvation?
A. They are not the only means; for God can convert men to Christ without them; Acts 9:4, 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 said, I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest: It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. But they are the ordinary standing means; Rom. 10:14, 15. How then shall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? &c.


Q. 10. To whom are the ordinances made effectual to salvation?
A. To all God’s elect they are effectual to salvation, and to them only; Acts 13:48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. John 10:26. But 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 11:13, 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 tabernacles. 1 Chron. 29:18. And prepare their heart unto 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 89:7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly 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 those people that want ordinances, are in a sad and deplorable condition; Eph. 2:11, 12. Wherefore remember that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no 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. 11:23. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt 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

Quest. 89. HOW is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners; and building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.


Q. 1. What mean you by the word?
A. By the word is meant the word of God, consigned to writing in the books of the Old and New Testament; which though it be ministered by men, yet is no other than the very word of God, and as such to be received; 1 Thess. 2:13. For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men; but (as it is in truth) the word of God, &c.


Q. 2. Whence is the efficacy of this word?
A. It is wholly from the Spirit of God that it becomes effectual to any man’s salvation; 1 Cor. 3:6, 7. I have planted, and Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.


Q. 3. Is the reading of the scripture an ordinance of God for men’s salvation?
A. Yes, it is; Deut. 17:19. And it shall be with him, and he shall feed therein all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law, and these statutes to do them. And in reading of it, God sometimes comes in by his Spirit to men’s conversion; Acts 8:27, 28, 29. And he arose and went, and behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Isaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot, &c.


Q. 4. Is the hearing of the word a means of salvation?
A. Yes, it is; Isa. 55:3. Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live, &c. 1 Cor. 1:21. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.


Q. 5. To what end is the word useful to men?
A. The first end and use of the word is to convince men of their sin and misery out of Christ; 1 Cor. 14:24, 25. But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest, &c.


Q. 6. What is it useful for, besides conviction?
A. It is useful for conversion, as well as conviction; Psal. 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, &c. Acts 26:18. To turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, &c.


Q. 7. Doth the word convince and convert all that hear it?
A. No, but those only that are ordained to eternal life; Acts 13:48. As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.


Q. 8. What else is the word useful for?
A. To build up the saints to perfection in Christ; Eph. 4:11, 12, 13. And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man; unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Acts 20:32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them that are sanctified.


Q. 9. May the common people read the scriptures?
A. Yes, it is a duty commanded by Christ; John 5:39. Search the scriptures, &c. And commended by the apostle; Acts 17:11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.


Q. 10. Is it their duty or liberty also to preach it?
A. No, it is not; for besides abilities for that work, there must be a call; Rom. 10:14, 15. How shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent, &c.


Q. 11. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the enjoyments of the scriptures, and an able, faithful ministry to expound and apply them, is a special mercy to any people; Psal. 147:19, 20. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and judgments unto Israel; he hath not dealt so with any nation; and as for his judgments they have not known them.


Q. 12. What is the second instruction?
A. That men cannot expect special and spiritual blessings from God in the wilful neglect of the ordinances; Prov. 28:9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.


Q. 13. What is the third inference?
A. That sad is their condition, who sit all their days under the word to no purpose at all; 2 Cor. 4:3, 4. If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine into them.


Q. 14. What is the last inference?
A. That Christ’s ordinances and ministers should be most welcome to the people to whom God sends them; Isa. 52:7. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace, that publisheth salvation, that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.

 

Of the Manner of Hearing

Quest. 90. HOW is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
A. That the word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer, receive it with faith and love, lay it up in your hearts, and practise it in your lives.


Q. 1. If the matter we read or hear be good, is not that enough for our salvation?
A. No, God requires that the word be read and heard in a due manner, and the manner of hearing is of special regard with God; Luke 8:18. Take heed therefore how ye hear, &c.


Q. 2. How many things belong to the due manner of hearing?
A. Three sorts of duties belong to it; some antecedent, as preparation and prayer; some concomitant, as due diligence and retention; and some subsequent, as practice.


Q. 3. What is due preparation for hearing?
A. It consists in serious consideration of the greatness and holiness of that God whom we approach in hearing the word; Acts 10:33. Now therefore we are all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God. And awing the heart even to a degree of holy trembling thereby; Isa. 66:2. To him will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.


Q. 4. What is the principal consideration thus to awe the heart?
A. The word is in its own nature a heart-searching word; Heb. 4:12. For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And that eventually it will be the savour of life or death to us; 2 Cor. 2:16. To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life, &c.


Q. 5. What else belongs to due preparation to hear?
A. The discharging of the heart from worldly cares; Mat. 13:7. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choaked them. And carnal lusts; James 1:21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.


Q. 6. What is the third act of due preparation?
A. Longing after the word for further communications of grace by it; 1 Pet. 2:2. As new-born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Isa. 2:3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.


Q. 7. What is the second antecedent duty of hearing?
A. Prayer is an antecedent duty to hearing the word, and that both for the assistance of the minister; 2 Thess. 3:1. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. And our own illumination; Psal. 119:18. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.


Q. 8. What else should we pray for?
A. That God would pour out his Spirit with the word, according to that promise, Prov. 1:23. I will pour out my Spirit upon you, I will make known my words unto you.


Q. 9. Doth unpreparedness for the word always hinder its efficacy on the heart?
A. No, God sometimes is found of them that sought him not; Isa. 65:1. I was found of them that sought me not, &c. But it is a sin to neglect it, and needs a pardon of God.


Q. 10. What is the first motive to prepare for solemn duties?
A. That it argues the sincerity of the heart, and in that case God will be merciful to infirmities; 2 Chron. 30:18, 19. For a multitude of the people, even a multitude of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did eat the passover, but not as it is written; wherefore Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, The good Lord be merciful towards him that prepareth his whole heart to seek the Lord God, the God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.


Q. 11. What is the second motive?
A. It is a sweet sign that God will make that duty successful for which the heart is prepared; Psalm 10:17. Thou preparest their heart; thou bendest thine ear to them.


Q. 12. What is the third motive to preparation?
A. The majesty and jealousy of God, to whom we approach, obliges us to solemn preparation; Heb. 12:28, 29. Whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire.


Q. 13. But must a man neglect the duty, if his heart be not duly prepared for it?
A. No; for that would be to add a new sin to a former, and aggravate it the more.


Q. 14. In what manner must the prepared heart go to the word?
A. Not in dependence on its own preparations, but upon the Spirit’s assistance; Psal. 71:16. I will go forward in the strength of the Lord God, &c.


Q. 15. What is the first act of faith due to the word?
A. The assenting act of faith is required to the word read or preached, whereby we acknowledge it to be of divine authority; 2 Tim. 3:16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; 2 Pet. 1:21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


Q. 16. What is the second act of faith required of us?
A. An applying act of faith is also required of us; Rom. 15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.


Q. 17. What is the first end in applying the word?
A. It is first to be applied to our conviction both of sin and misery; Acts 2:37. Now when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?


Q. 18. What is the second end, or use of applying it?
A. It must be applied for our guidance and direction to Christ; John 6:45. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, Cometh unto me.


Q. 19. What is the third use to which it must be applied?
A. We must apply it for our direction through the whole course of Christian duties: 2 Pet. 1:19. We have also a most sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts.


Q. 20. What other use must we apply it to?
A. It must be applied for our comfort in all inward and outward troubles: Rom. 15:4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.


Q. 21. On what account are we to receive it with love?
A. We are to love it for its author’s sake, because it is the word of God; Psal. 119:159. Consider how I love thy precepts, &c.


Q. 22. What is the second motive of love to the word?
A. The holiness and purity of it deserves and engages our love to it; Psal. 119:140. Thy word is very pure; therefore thy servant loveth it.


Q. 23. What is the third motive to engage our love to it?
A. The great and constant usefulness of it to our souls, as that we cannot subsist without; Job 23:12. I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.


Q. 24. How doth this love to the word manifest itself?
A. Our love manifests itself in our longing after it; Psalm 119:20. My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. Our diligent attendance on it; Acts 10:33. Immediately therefore I sent unto thee, and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.


Q. 25. How is faith and love evidenced to the word after hearing it?
A. By preserving it carefully in our hearts and memories; Psalm 119:11. Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee.


Q. 26. What is the best cure for a bad memory?
A. Labour to get an high esteem of it, and an experimental feeling of it, and frequently meditate on it; Psal. 119:16. I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. Psal. 119:93. I will never forget thy precepts; for with them thou hast quickened me. Psalm 119:99. Thy testimonies are my meditation.


Q. 27. How is faith and love principally manifested to the word after hearing?
A. It is principally manifested by bringing forth the fruits of it in our lives; Col. 1:5, 6. For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye have heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth.


Q. 28. What is the use of all this?
A. This serves to reprove our formal and dead hearing the word, and excites us all to evidence and exercise more faith, love, and obedience, in hearing it.

 

Of Sacraments as Means of Salvation

Quest. 91. HOW do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them, but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his Spirit in them that by faith receive them.


Q. 1. What is the first proper sense of this word sacrament?
A. It primarily signifies a solemn oath taken by soldiers, when they list themselves under a prince or general; and this oath was mutual.


Q. 2. Why do we use it, seeing it is not a scripture word?
A. Though the word be not found in scripture, yet the thing intended by it is, and that brings the word in use; for in the sacraments God obliges himself to us by confirming his covenant by it; Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also. And we oblige ourselves to God; Rom. 6:3, 4. Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Christ, were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Q. 3. What is here meant by salvation?
A. By salvation is meant our complete and final deliverance from sin and misery, both temporal and eternal. From sin, Mat. 1:21. For he shall save his people from their sins. From misery, 1 Thess. 1:10. Even Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come.


Q. 4. What is a mean of salvation?
A. A mean of salvation signifies any appointment of God, whereby he promotes and accomplishes his design of saving our souls; so the word is a mean; Rom. 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth.


Q. 5. How doth the word and sacraments differ as means of salvation?
A. The word is appointed to be the first means of begetting faith; 1 Cor. 3:5. Who then is Paul? And who is Apollos? But ministers by whom ye believed, &c. Sacraments are to seal and confirm it; Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith, &c.


Q. 6. What is meant by an effectual mean of salvation?
A. By an effectual mean, is meant such a mean as fully obtains and accomplishes the end it was appointed for, 1 Thess. 2:13. Because when ye received the word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men; but (as it is in truth) the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.


Q. 7. Do not all the means of salvation prove effectual to men?
A. Though the means of salvation prove effectual to all God’s elect, yet they are not so to others; Acts 28:23, 24. And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging, to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.


Q. 8. Do not the sacraments save all that partake of them?
A. No, they do not; baptism may pass on a cast-away; Acts 8:23. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. And the Lord’s supper may be received unworthily; 1 Cor. 11:27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink the cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.


Q. 9. What is the reason they prove not effectual to all?
A. Because their virtue and efficacy is not in themselves, but in God; for we see they work as God’s Spirit concurs, or not concurs with them, as in the instance before given.


Q. 10. But is not that for want of wisdom, holiness, or zeal in the minister, that they have no more efficacy?
A. No, it is not principally, or only from thence; for it is not in the power of the holiest minister in the world to make them effectual; 1 Cor. 3:7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.


Q. 11. Whence is it that sacraments become effectual?
A. It is only from the Spirit of Christ working in them, and by them on the souls of men; 1 Cor. 12:13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,—and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.


Q. 12. What is the first instruction hence?
A. That men enjoying all the ordinances of the gospel, and partaking of the sacraments annexed to the covenant of grace, may yet perish for ever; 1 Cor. 10:3, 4, 5. And did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; (for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ.) But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were overthrown in the wilderness; Luke 13:26, 27. Then shall ye begin to say, we have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me all ye workers of iniquity.


Q. 13. What is the second inference?
A. That men should not idolize some ministers for the excellency of their gifts, and despise others, seeing it is not in them to make the means effectual.


Q. 14 What is the last inference?
A. That in all our attendance upon the means of salvation, we should be careful to beg the Spirit and blessing of Christ, without which they cannot be effectual to our salvation.


Of the Nature of Sacraments

Quest. 92. WHAT is a sacrament?
A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ; wherein by sensible signs, Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed, and applied to believers.


Q. 1. How many sorts of sacraments are found in scripture?
A. Of sacraments there are two sorts, some extraordinary and transient, as the fiery pillar, manna, and water out of the rock; 1 Cor. 10:1, 2, 3, 4. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink; (for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them: and that rock was Christ.) And some ordinary and standing, as circumcision and the passover, before Christ; and baptism and the Lord’s supper, since Christ’s death.


Q. 2. How many things are to be considered in every sacrament?
A. In every sacrament five things must be considered; (1.) The author. (2.) The parts. (3.) The union of those parts. (4.) The subjects. (5.) The ends and uses of it.


Q. 3. Who is the author of the sacraments?
A. The Lord Jesus Christ as King of the church, by whose sole authority baptism was instituted; Mat. 28:19, 20. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you, &c. And the Lord’s supper; 1 Cor. 11:23, 24. For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you: This do in remembrance of me.


Q. 4. Are the old sacraments yet in being and in use in the church?
A. No, they are passed away, and the new come in their room. Baptism takes place of circumcision; Col. 2:11, 12. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; buried with him in baptism, &c. And the Lord’s supper of the passover; 1 Cor. 5:7. Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened, for even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.


Q. 5. Of what parts doth every sacrament consist?
A. Every sacrament consists of two parts, one external and earthly; another internal and heavenly, or spiritual. Bread, wine, and water, are the external, Christ’s blood and Spirit the internal parts; Rom. 6:3. Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into his death? 1 Cor. 11:25. This cup is the New Testament in my blood, &c.


Q. 6. Wherein consists the sacramental union of those parts?
A. It consists, by virtue of Christ’s institution, in three things; (1.) In apt signification. (2.) Firm obsignation. And, (3.) Real exhibition of the blessings signified and sealed.


Q. 7. What are the blessings signified by water in baptism?
A. It signifies our implantation into Christ, and communion with him in his death and resurrection; Rom. 6:4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death, that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; even so we also should walk in newness of life. And our solemn admission into the visible church; Gal. 3:26, 27, 28, 29. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; For ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.


Q. 8. What are the blessings signified by bread and wine?
A. They signify Christ’s body and blood, broken and poured out for us, with all the blessings of remission, peace, and salvation purchased by his blood, 1 Cor. 10:16, 17. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.


Q. 9. Do the sacraments seal, as well as signify these things?
A. Yes, they do; Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith, &c. Their use is to confirm God’s covenant with believers.


Q. 10. Who are the proper subjects of the sacraments?
A. Believers and their seed are the subjects of baptism, but adult Christians only of the Lord’s supper; Acts 2:38, 39. Repent, and be baptized every one of you; for the promise is unto you, and to your children, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 1 Cor. 11:28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.


Q. 11. What is the main use and end of sacraments?
A. It is to ratify and confirm God’s covenant with believers; Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised, &c. 1 Cor. 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.


Q. 12. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That the abuse of such holy and solemn mysteries is a sin of dreadful aggravation, and such as God will punish; 1 Cor. 11:27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.


Q. 13. What is the second instruction?
A. Hence we learn the tender care and love of Christ over the church, in instituting such useful and comfortable ordinances for us.

 

Of the Number of Sacraments

Quest. 93. WHICH are the sacraments of the New Testament?
A. The sacraments of the New Testament are, baptism and the Lord’s supper.


Q. 1. How many sacraments hath Christ appointed in the New Testament?
A. Christ hath appointed two, and no more: these being sufficient for our initiation and confirmation.


Q. 2. How many have the Papists added to them?
A. They have added five more; viz. Confirmation, penance, ordination, marriage, and extreme unction.


Q. 3. What is their sacrament of confirmation?
A. It is the anointing of the baptised with chrism in the forehead, with this form of words; I sign thee with the sign of the cross, and confirm thee with the chrism of salvation, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.


Q. 4. What is their ground for this practice?
A. The abuse of that Scripture, Heb. 6:2. Of the doctrine of baptisms, and laying on of hands, &c. which, by a figurative speech, expresseth the whole standing ministry in the church, by laying on of hands.


Q. 5. What is their sacrament of penance?
A. It is repentance manifested by outward signs, to which the word of absolution coming, makes it a sacrament misgrounded on John 20:23. Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.


Q. 6. What is their sacrament of orders, or ordination?
A. It is the laying on of hands in ordination of ministers, by which they conceive spiritual grace is given; by mistake of 2 Tim. 1:6. Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God which is in thee, by the putting on of my hands.


Q. 7. What is their fourth superadded sacrament?
A. It is marriage, grounded upon those words of the apostle, Eph. 5:32. This is a great mystery; but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Which only shews a similitude of our union with Christ, not an instituted sign to that end.


Q. 8. What is their fifth superadded sacrament?
A. Extreme unction, or anointing the sick, near death, with consecrated oil, grounded on Mark 6:13. And anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them. And James 5:14. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. Which are neither sacramental rites, nor of ordinary standing use in the church, but extraordinary and temporary for that age.


Q. 9. What learn we hence?
A. Hence we learn, how apt men are to corrupt God’s ordinances, by their superstitious additions; Mat. 15:9. Teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.


Q. 10. What is the second instruction hence?
A. How just and necessary our separation from Rome is, who have grossly corrupted God’s ordinances, and left men no other remedy; Rev. 13:6. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.


Q. 11. What is the third instruction?
A. That the reformation of religion is an invaluable mercy, a great deliverance from spiritual bondage; Rev. 11:19. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.


Q. 12. What is the fourth instruction?
A. That Rome shall certainly fall, and all her adherents, for the horrid injury done by them to Christ, and the souls of men; Rev. 18:20, 21. Rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great milstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

 

Of Baptism

Quest. 94. WHAT is baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace, and our engagement to be the Lord’s.


Q. 1. What is the external part of baptism?
A. It is pure unmixed water; Heb. 10:22. And our bodies washed with pure water. And therefore it is a vile practice of Papists, to add oil, salt, and spittle, to water in baptism.


Q. 2. What doth water in baptism signify?
A. It signifies the blood of Christ; Rev. 1:5. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.


Q. 3. What is the first resemblance it hath to Christ’s blood?
A. In the freeness of it to all, it represents the unpurchased blood of Christ; Isa. 55:1. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price.


Q. 4. What is the second resemblance to Christ’s blood?
A. It resembles it in its refreshing quality; water refresheth the thirsty, so doth Christ’s blood; John 6:35. He that believeth on me shall never thirst.


Q. 5. What is the third resemblance it hath to Christ’s blood?
A. The cleansing property of water shews the purifying virtue of Christ’s blood; Heb. 9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?


Q. 6. What is the fourth resemblance it hath to Christ’s blood?
A. It resembles it in the necessity of it: For as the body cannot live without water, so neither can the soul without Christ’s blood; Heb. 9:23. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.


Q. 7. What is the fifth resemblance of water to the blood of Christ?
A. As water neither refresheth nor purifies the body without application; so neither doth Christ’s blood refresh or purify the soul till applied; 1 Cor. 1:30. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.


Q. 8. Is it necessary to plunge the whole body under water, in baptizing every person?
A. The word [baptize] signifying as well to wash, as to plunge; a person may be truly baptized, that is not plunged. And we cannot think by the circumstance of time and place, that the jailor, in the night, was carried to a river out of the city; Acts 16:33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his straightway.


Q. 9. But it is not said, John 3:23. That John also was baptizing in Enon, near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came and were baptized?
A. The word signifies many waters, that is, springs of waters there; which are known by travellers to be small, not capable of plunging into.


Q. 10. What are the benefits accruing to us by baptism?
A. The benefits are two fold: some external, called the fatness of the olive-tree; i.e. ordinances, and visible membership; Rom. 11:17. And thou being a wild olive-tree, wert graffed in amongst them, and with them partakers of the root and fatness of the olive-tree. And some spiritual and saving; 1 Pet. 3:21. The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us, (not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Q. 11. What engagements are laid on the baptized?
A. They are engaged to be the Lord’s people, and to walk suitably to that engagement; Rom. 6:4. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.


Q. 12. Is baptism to be reiterated, as the Lord’s supper?
A. No; for the Lord’s supper is a sacrament for nourishing, but this for implantation; Rom. 6:4, 5. Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we should be also in the likeness of his resurrection.


Q. 13. Doth baptism regenerate men, and confer saving grace?
A. No, it doth not, in its own virtue, convey grace, no more than the Lord’s supper; but the Spirit of God is the author of grace, and works it as he pleases, before or after baptism.


Of the Subjects of Baptism

Quest. 95. TO whom is baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.


Q. 1. Who are to be baptized?
A. Believers, and their infant-offspring; Acts 2:39. For the promise is to you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even many as the Lord our God shall call.


Q. 2. How doth it appear, that the infant-seed of believers ought to be baptized?
A. It appears by this, that they being Abraham’s seed, were taken into covenant with God, and ordered to have the sign of the covenant applied to them; and that grant was never reversed; Gen. 17:7, 10. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee, and thy seed after thee, in their generations, for an everlasting covenant; to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep between me and you, and thy seed after thee; even every man-child among you shall be circumcised.


Q. 3. But was not that the covenant of works; and so will not hold, to infer their privilege under the covenant of grace?
A. No, it was not; for God never did, nor will become a God by way of special interest to any people; by virtue of the covenant of works, since the breach of it by the fall.


Q. 4. But if it were the covenant of grace, how doth it appear the right of believers infants is still the same it was before in Abraham’s time?
A. It appears plainly from the apostle’s own words and arguments; Acts 2:39. For the promise is to you, and to your children, &c.


Q. 5. But though infants then were members of God’s visible church among the Jews, how doth it appear they are so now, when God hath cast them off?
A. It appears, the membership and privileges are as free and complete to them now, that are the children of Gentile believers, as ever they were to the Jewish infants; Rom. 11:17. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou being a wild olive tree, were graffed in amongst them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive-tree.


Q. 6. How else doth it appear they are within the covenant?
A. It appears by this, that they are pronounced holy; 1 Cor. 7:14. Else were your children unclean, but now are they holy. Which is a fœderal holiness, and none out of covenant can be holy by covenant.


Q. 7. But may not that place mean only their legitimacy?
A. No, it cannot; for then the apostle must pronounce all the infants in the world bastards, that descend not at least from one believing parent.


Q. 8. But infants are not capable to covenant with God, or to perform covenant-duties; and therefore why should they be admitted to covenant-privileges?
A. A child now of eight days old, is as capable of being admitted into covenant with God, as children of the same age were in Abraham’s days: and then it is manifest they were admitted.


Q. 9. Though they were admitted by circumcision then, will it follow, they may be so by baptism now, seeing that ordinance is abolished?
A. Yes, it will: For though circumcision cease, yet baptism is come in its place; Col. 2:10, 11, 12. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with him in baptism, &c.


Q. 10. But circumcision was a seal of the covenant of works; and the argument will not hold, from a seal of the covenant of works, to a seal of the covenant of grace?
A. Circumcision never was, nor was intended to be a seal of the covenant of works, but of the righteousness of faith; Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet, being uncircumcised, &c.


Q. 11. But have we no express command in the New Testament to baptize infants?
A. There needed no new command; their privilege had been settled many ages before upon them, and never reversed by Christ, or his apostles, but their former right declared to continue still to them; Acts 2:39. For the promise is to you and to your children, &c.


Q. 12. But if they have a right, we might expect to find some examples of their baptizing?
A. It is manifest that believers households were baptized with them; Acts 16:15, 33. And when she was baptized, and her household, &c. Ver. 33. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was baptized, he and all his straightway. And if infants are not named, so neither are any of age, born of Christian parents.


Q. 13. But many trust to their infant-baptism, as to their regeneration, and so much mischief is done?
A. They do so; yet the duty is not therefore to be neglected. The preaching of Christ is to some a stumbling-block; yet Christ must be preached for all that.


Q. 14. But many baptized infants prove naught?
A. And so do many baptized at age too. Duties are not to be measured by events.


Of the Lord’s Supper

Quest. 96. WHAT is the Lord’s supper?
A. The Lord’s supper is a sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is shewed forth; and the worthy receivers are not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment, and growth in grace.


Q. 1. By whose authority is the Lord’s supper instituted and appointed?
A. By the sovereign authority of Christ, the king of the church, and not by the pleasure of man; 1 Cor. 11:23. For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you; that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread.


Q. 2. Of what parts doth this sacrament consist?
A. It consists of two parts; one earthly and visible, to wit, bread and wine; the other spiritual add invisible, the body and blood of Christ; 1 Cor. 10:16. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?


Q. 3. How doth these earthly and heavenly things become a sacrament?
A. By the word of institution, and blessing coming from Christ upon them; 1 Cor. 11:23, 24, 25. For I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you; that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat, this is my body which is broken for you: This do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood; This do ye, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


Q. 4. When did Christ ordain and institute this sacrament?
A. He instituted it in the same night he was betrayed; 1 Cor. 11:23. The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. It could not be sooner, because the passover must be first celebrated, and, by the institution of this, abrogated; not later, for soon after he was apprehended.


Q. 5. What doth the time of its institution teach us?
A. It teaches us, how great Christ’s care and love to his people is, that he makes in his ordinance such provision for our comfort, though he knew his own bitter agony was just at hand.


Q. 6. What is the general use and end of this sacrament?
A. It is to confirm, seal, and ratify the new covenant to believers; 1 Cor. 11:25. This cup is the New Testament in my blood: This do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.


Q. 7. What are the particular ends and uses of it?
A. The first particular end and use of it, is, to bring Christ and his sufferings a fresh to our remembrance; 1 Cor. 11:24, 25. This do in remembrance of me.


Q. 8. What kind of remembrance of Christ is here intended?
A. Not a mere speculative, but an affectionate heart-melting remembrance of him like that of Peter, Matth. 26:75. And Peter remembered the words of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock shall crow thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly. Or of Joseph, Gen. 43:29, 30. And Joseph made haste, for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: And he sought where to weep, and he entered into his chamber and wept there.


Q. 9. What doth this end of the sacrament imply?
A. It implies this; that the best of God’s people are too apt to forget Christ, and what he hath endured and suffered for them.


Q. 10. What else doth it imply?
A. It implies this; that none but those that have the saving knowledge of Christ, and have had former acquaintance with Christ, are fit for this ordinance; for no man can remember what he never knew; 1 Cor. 11:28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.


Q. 11. What is the second particular use and end of this sacrament?
A. It is to represent Christ to believers, as an apt sign of him, and of his death; and that both memorative, significative, and instructive.


Q. 12. How is it a memorative sign of Christ?
A. It brings Christ to our remembrance, as his death and bitter sufferings are therein represented to us, by the breaking of bread, and pouring forth of wine; 1 Cor. 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew forth the Lord’s death till he come.


Q. 13. How is it a significative ordinance?
A. It is a significative ordinance, not only as it represents Christ’s sufferings, but the believers union with him as the Head, and with each other as members of his body; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ; The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one bread, and one body, &c.


Q. 14. In what respect is it an instructive sign?
A. It is an instructive sign in divers respects; namely, first, as it teaches us, that Christ is the only nutritive bread, by which our souls live; John 6:51. I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever, and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. And, secondly, as it instructs us, that the New Testament is now in its full force, by the death of Christ the Testator; Heb. 9:16, 17. For where a Testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the Testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no force at all, whilst the Testator liveth.
Thus much of the Author, nature, and ends of the Lord’s supper.

 

Of the Elements, Action, and Subjects of it

Quest. 1. ARE not bread and wine too small and common things, to represent the body and blood of Christ?
A. Though a bit of bread, and a draught of wine, be things of small value in themselves; yet they are great in respect of their use and end. A pennyworth of wax is a small thing in itself, but being applied to the label of a deed, may be advanced to the worth of thousands of pounds, as it receives the seal to a great inheritance.


Q. 2. Is not the bread in the sacrament turned into the very body of Christ itself, by transubstantiation?
A. No, it is not; but the elements retain still their own proper nature of bread and wine, after the words of consecration; and are so called; 1 Cor. 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread, &c. Mat. 26:29. But I say unto you, I will not henceforth drink of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.


Q. 3. What is the first argument, by which Protestants confute the Popish doctrine of transubstantiation?
A. The first argument against it, is taken from the end of the sacrament; which is, to bring Christ’s body and blood to our remembrance; 1 Cor. 11:24, 25. This do in remembrance of me. Now signs for remembrance, are of things absent, not present.


Q. 4. What is the second argument?
A. Because the language in which our Saviour spake, had no other property of expression; there being no other word for signify, but is instead thereof, as is manifest in both Testaments; Gen. 41:27. And the seven ill-favoured kine, that came up after them, are seven years of famine. Rev. 1:20. The seven stars, are the angels of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven churches.


Q. 5. What is the third argument against transubstantiation?
A. The manifold gross absurdities, that naturally and necessarily follow on this doctrine, shew the falseness of it, and that it is justly rejected and abhorred by all sound Christians.


Q. 6. What is the first absurdity that follows it?
A. This doctrine allows that to a silly priest, which is not to be allowed to all the angels in heaven. It allows him power to make his Maker, and eat his God; and in justifying this by the omnipotency of God, they say no more, than what a Turk may say to justify the most ridiculous fooleries of the Alcoran.


Q. 7. What is the second absurdity of transubstantiation?
A. The second absurdity is this, that it denies the truth of the testimony given by the senses of all men, that it is real bread, and real wine, after consecration, and not flesh and blood. And if the testimony of sense be not certain, then the being of God cannot be proved by the things that are made; contrary to Rom. 1:20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, &c. Nor the truth of Christ’s resurrection, by seeing and feeling; contrary to Luke 24:39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see, &c.


Q. 8. What is the third absurdity of transubstantiation?
A. The third absurdity is this, that in affirming the accidents of bread and wine to remain, and their substance to vanish; they affirm, that there is length, breadth, thickness, moisture, and sweetness; and yet nothing long, broad, thick, moist, or sweet; which is a perfect contradiction.


Q. 9. What is the fourth absurdity of transubstantiation?
A. It implies, that the entire living body of Christ sat at the table, and at the same time was dead, and in the disciples mouths and stomachs in the first sacrament; and that in all after-sacraments it is wholly in heaven, and wholly in as many thousand places in the world, as there are sacraments administered.


Q. 10. What doth the breaking of this bread, and pouring out of wine in the sacrament, signify?
A. It signifies the violent painful death, and bitter sufferings of Christ for us; 1 Cor. 11:26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.


Q. 11. What doth the giving and taking of the sacramental bread and wine signify?
A. These actions signify God’s exhibiting, and the believers applying of Christ, and all his benefits, to their souls.


Q. 12. Who are fit subjects to receive the Lord’s supper?
A. None that are grossly ignorant, scandalous, or unbelievers in their natural state, for such cannot examine themselves, as the word requires; 1 Cor. 11:28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. But do eat and drink judgment to themselves; 1 Cor. 11:29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.


Q. 13. Are morally honest and sober persons qualified for this sacrament.
A. No; civility and morality do not qualify persons, they are not the wedding-garment; but regenerating grace and faith doth, in the smallest measure; Mat. 22:12. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? &c. 1 Cor. 10:16, 17. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many, are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.

 

Of the Duties of Communicants

Quest. 97. WHAT is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s Supper?
A. It is required of them that would worthily partake of the Lord’s supper, that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord’s body; of their faith to feed upon him; of their repentance, love, and new obedience; lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.


Q. 1. What are the duties of worthy receivers?
A. There are three sorts of duties incumbent on them; some antecedent to it, some concomitant of it, and some subsequent to it.


Q. 2. What are the antecedent duties to it?
A. They are two. (1.) Examination of their graces. (2.) Preparation of their souls. Examination of their graces; 1 Cor. 11:28, 29. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. And preparation of their souls; 1 Cor. 5:8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Q. 3. What is the first grace to be tried?
A. Our saving knowledge of God in Christ, without which we cannot discern the Lord’s body; 1 Cor. 11:29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.


Q. 4. What are we to enquire of, touching our knowledge of God in Christ?
A. We are to examine whether it be competent for quantity, and savingly operative and influential on the heart and life, for quality; Hosea 4:6. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, &c. 1 Cor. 13:1. Though I speak with the tongues of men, and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal.


Q. 5. When is knowledge competent and influential?
A. When we truly understand, by the teachings of the Father, the sin and misery of the fall, the nature and necessity of Christ, and, under these convictions, come to him in the way of faith; John 6:45. —— Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. And subject ourselves to him in sincere obedience; Mat. 11:28, 29. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


Q. 6. What are we to examine ourselves about, besides knowledge?
A. We are obliged to examine ourselves about our faith, whether we have it in any saving degree; 2 Cor. 13:5. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith: Prove yourselves, &c. For without faith we cannot please God; Heb. 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please God, &c. Nor enjoy spiritual communion with Christ; Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith: that ye being rooted and grounded in love, &c.


Q. 7. What other grace must be examined and sought for?
A. We must examine our love to Christ, and all that are his: because no gifts signify any thing without love; 1 Cor. 13:2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.


Q. 8. What else must worthy receivers examine themselves about?
A. The sincerity of their hearts, evidenced by their obedience; without which they cannot worthily approach the table; 1 Cor. 5:8. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.


Q. 9. But if, upon examination, we are in doubts about our faith and sincerity, must we forbear?
A. If our doubts arise from the weakness, and not the total want of grace, such doubts should not hinder us; Rom. 14:1. Him that is weak in the faith, receive you, &c.


Q. 10. What is the danger of coming to the Lord’s table without these graces?
A. The danger is exceeding great both to soul and body. (1.) To the soul; 1 Cor. 11:29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, &c. And to the body; 1 Cor. 11:30. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.


Q. 11. What are the duties of worthy receivers at the Lord’s table?
A. Their duties at the table are, to discern Christ by the eye of faith, under those signs of his body and blood; 1 Cor. 11:29. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. On the discovery of him, to mourn bitterly for sin; Zech. 12:10.—And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. And to excite all their graces into vigorous acts for the applying of Christ to themselves; Cant. 4:16. Awake, O north-wind, and come, thou south, blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out, &c.


Q. 12. What is the duty of worthy receivers, after the sacrament?
A. Their duty is, heartily to bless God for Christ, and the benefits of his blood, Matth. 26:30. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. To double their care and watchfulness against sin; Eph. 4:30. And grieve not the Holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed to the day of redemption. And to grow more fruitful in all spiritual obedience; Col. 1:10. That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.


Q. 13. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That the abuse and profanation of this ordinance, either by coming to it for carnal ends, or being forced upon it by fear of sufferings, or approaching to it without due qualifications, is a dreadful sin, which God will terribly avenge: Matt. 22:11, 12, 13. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not a wedding-garment. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having on a wedding-garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king unto the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness: There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


Q. 14. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That great and manifold are the blessings and advantages which Christians duly prepared may reap by this ordinance.

 

Of Prayer

Quest. 98. WHAT is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.


Q. 1. Who is the proper and only object of prayer?
A. God only is the proper object of prayer; it is a part of his natural worship, therefore it is peculiarly his honour and prerogative, and none else can hear and answer them but God; Psalm 65:2. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.


Q. 2. Through whom, or in whose name, are our prayers to be directed to God?
A. Our prayers are to be directed to God only through Christ, and his name; and not by the mediation of angels or saints; Col. 2:18. Let no man beguile you of your reward, in a voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels. For the merit and satisfaction of Christ alone give success and acceptance to our prayers; Rev. 8:3, 4. And another angel came, and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints, upon the golden altar, which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God, out of the angel’s hand. 1 Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.


Q. 3. What is the first property or quality of acceptable prayer?
A. No prayer can be acceptable to God, except the matter of it be agreeable to his will; Jam. 4:3. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts; 1 John 5:14, 15. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of him.


Q. 4. Is it enough to make prayer acceptable, that the matter is agreeable to God’s will?
A. No, it is not; for the manner, as well as the matter, must be so too; Psalm 66:18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.


Q. 5. What is the first qualification of an acceptable prayer, respecting the manner of it?
A. That it be sincere, and flowing from the heart of a regenerate person; Prov. 15:29. The Lord is far from the wicked; but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. Jer. 29:13. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.


Q. 6. What is the second qualification of prayer respecting the manner?
A. It must be performed in the heart of a child of God by the Spirit of adoption; Gal. 4:6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.


Q. 7. What is the third qualification of an acceptable prayer, respecting the manner?
A. It must be fervent and important, not cold and formal, James 5:16. —— The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much, Matth. 7:7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.


Q 8. Wherein doth true importunity with God in prayer consist?
A. Not in the multitude of words: Matth. 6:7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the Heathen do: for they think they shall be heard for their much speaking. But in an holy earnestness of spirit to be heard; Psalm 143:7. Hear me speedily, O Lord, my spirit faileth; hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. A prudent choice of prevalent arguments; Job 23:4. I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. And a resolute persistance in our requests, till they be granted; Isa. 62:7. And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.


Q. 9. Do not prayers thus qualified sometimes miscarry?
A. God may delay and suspend the answer of them for a time; Psal. 22:2. O my God I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not, &c. But sooner or later God will always answer them, either in the very thing we ask; 1 John 5:15. —— We know that we have the petitions that we desired of him: Or in that which is equivalent, or better; Gen. 17:18, 19. And Abraham said unto God, O that Ishmael might live before thee: And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed, and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him, for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.


Q. 10. Is there no prayer but what is stated and fixed?
A. Yes, there is a sudden occasional prayer, which we call ejaculatory. Such was Jacob’s, Gen. 49:18. I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord. And this is exceeding useful, to maintain constant communion with God, and keep the heart in a spiritual frame.


Q. 11. Is all stated and fixed prayer public in the congregation or church?
A. No; stated prayer ought to be in our families, with those under our charge; and in our closets, betwixt God and us alone; Josh. 24:15. —— But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, And Mat. 6:6. But when thou prayest, enter into thy closet; and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.


Q. 12. What do you infer from hence?
A. That the restraint of prayer is not only a great sin, but an ill sign of a graceless heart; Job 6:4. Yea, thou castest off fear, and restrainest prayer before God. And that which entails a judgment and curse upon men, and their families; Jer. 10:25. Pour out thy fury upon the Heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not upon thy name.


Q. 13. What is the second inference from the ordinance of prayer?
A. That the true reason why we enjoy not the mercies we pray for, is not because God is unwilling to grant mercies, but because we either neglect prayer, or miscarry in the manner of prayer; James 4:2, 3. Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

 

Of Direction in Prayer

Quest. 99. WHAT rule hath God given for our direction in the duty of prayer?
A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer; but the special rule of direction, is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord’s prayer.


Q. 1. Do men need directions, rules, and helps in prayer?
A. They do greatly need them, for in, and of ourselves we know not what to pray for as we ought; Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought, &c. Nor how to pray in a right manner, and for right ends; and a mistake in either frustrates our prayers; James 4:3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.


Q. 2. When do men mistake in the matter of their prayer?
A. They mistake in the matter of prayer, when they ask of God things that are not lawful, good and agreeable to his will. So the disciples were ready to do, in calling for fire from heaven on the Samaritans; Luke 9:54, 55. And when his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.


Q. 3. When do men mistake in the manner of prayer?
A. They mistake in the manner, when they ask mercies of God for carnal ends, to satisfy their lusts; James 4:3. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Or in a drowsy and careless manner; Isa. 64:7. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee, &c.


Q. 4. What helps hath God afforded us to furnish us to prayer, both in respect of the matter and manner?
A. The scriptures abundantly furnish us with all sorts of helps and directions for the matter of prayer. It directs us, both in confession of sin, original and actual; Psalm 51:4, 5. Behold I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, &c. Petition and thanksgiving; Phil. 4:6. Be careful for nothing, but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.


Q. 5. Doth it afford us any help, or direction, as to the manner of prayer also?
A. Yes, it doth; and that both as to, (1.) Our sincerity in prayer; Heb. 10:22. Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith; having our hears sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (2.) As to our humility in prayer; Psalm 10:17. Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear. (3.) As to our faith in prayer; James 1:6. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, &c. (4.) As to our fervency in prayer; James 5:6.—The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


Q. 6. Are these external rules and directions sufficient in themselves to enable us to pray acceptably?
A. In respect of external direction they are sufficient, and we need no other outward rules than what the scriptures furnish; but besides that, the internal helps and assistances of the Spirit are necessary to the offering up acceptable prayer; Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, &c.


Q. 7. But doth the scripture only furnish us with general rules of direction for prayer;
A. No, it furnishes us also with an excellent pattern and example of prayer, composed by Christ for our direction; Matth. 6:9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father, which art in heaven, &c.


Q. 8. Are Christians tied by a necessity to use that form of words? Or was it only intended for a directory to them?
A. That form of words may be lawfully used, but it is plain its intention was to regulate our petitions by it; and therefore they that use it in spells and charms, as the Papists; or those that think nothing is prayer, but that form of words; abuse Christ’s intention in it.


Q. 9. How doth it appear, it was not Christ’s intention strictly to bind us to that very form of words in our prayers?
A. Divines give us these reasons against it, (1.) Because this prayer is set down diversly by the evangelists; Mat. 6:10, 12. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And Luke 11:3, 4. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. (2.) Christ and his apostles did not always use this form of words afterwards, as appears by his prayer at Lazarus’ grave, John 11. and that for his apostles, John 17. (3.) Because these words, Mat. 6:9. After this manner, &c. plainly shew, its use was intended for a directory to us.


Q. 10. What is the first inference from hence?
A. Hence we learn the fulness and completeness of the Scriptures, not only for the guiding and settling of our faith in things that are to be believed, but also of our whole practice, in every duty we are to perform.


Q. 11. What is the second inference hence?
A. Hence we are informed, how necessary it is to acquaint ourselves with the mind of God, revealed in his word, that we may guide ourselves in prayer, both for matter and manner thereby: and not utter to God words without knowledge.


Q. 12. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That those who neglect all prayer, and those that satisfy themselves with a form of prayer, which they utter without knowledge of affection, do greatly sin against God. And that it is the duty of all Christians, from a sense of their own sins, wants, and mercies, to be often with God in prayer, guiding themselves in that spiritual duty, by such inward, and outward helps, as his word and Spirit are able to furnish them with.


Of the Preface to the Lord’s Prayer

Quest. 100. WHAT doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The preface to the Lord’s prayer, which is, [Our Father which art in heaven,] teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a Father, able and ready to help us: and that we should pray with and for others.


Q. 1. What doth the word Father import in this preface?
A. It imports the Spirit of adoption to be the principal thing in all acceptable prayers; Gal. 4:6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.


Q. 2. What is the first benefit, or help we have in prayer, from the Spirit of adoption?
A. He excites our spirits to seek God in prayer; Psal. 27:8. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek.


Q. 3. What is the second assistance he gives us in prayer?
A. He indites and suggests suitable and acceptable matter to us in prayer; Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, &c.


Q. 4. What is the third benefit we have by him in prayer?
A. He fills our souls with spiritual and holy affections in prayer, and helps us to act his graces in our duties; Rom. 8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered.


Q. 5. What else doth this word Father import?
A. It imports that holy confidence which believers may, and ought to draw near to God withal, as children to a Father; Eph. 3:12. In whom we have boldness and access, with confidence, by the faith of him.


Q. 6. Doth it only signify our relation and confidence?
A. No, it also signifies the reverential fear of God, which ought at all times to be on our hearts, especially in prayer; Mal. 1:6. A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: If then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear?


Q. 7. What is further imported in this word Father?
A. It imports God’s willingness and readiness to grant the best mercies to his people that seek them duly at his hand; Mat. 7:11. If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?


Q. 8. Why is he here called our Father?
A. To signify to us, that it is not only our duty to pray secretly by and for ourselves, but also with and for others? Eph. 6:18. Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints.


Q. 9. Why is God said here to be in heaven?
A. It is to note his sovereign power and dominion over all, as a ground-work of faith in prayer.


Q. 10. What else doth it import?
A. The great distance between God and us, which should fill our hearts with an holy awe of him; Eccl. 5:2. —— God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.


Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence?
A. It shews us, what a sad case all those are in, that have no special interest in God as a Father.


Q. 12. What is the second inference from hence?
A. It shews us, what a glorious privilege the Lord Jesus Christ hath purchased for, and settled on his people? Heb. 4:15, 16. For we have not an high-priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.


Q. 13. What is the last inference from hence?
A. That seeing believers have a Father in heaven, they should never fear wants while they live, nor be afraid to die, since death brings them to heaven their Father’s house.


Of sanctifying God’s Name

Quest. 101. WHAT do we pray for in the first petition?
A. In the first petition, which is, [Hallowed be thy name,] we pray, that God would enable us and others, to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known, and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.


Q. 1. Is there any word full enough, perfectly to express what God is?
A. No, his name is secret; Judges 13:18. And the angel of the Lord said unto him. Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? A name which none can tell; Prov. 30:4. —— What is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell? A name above every name; Phil. 2:9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. But the name by which he more especially manifests himself, is the name I AM; Exod. 3:14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.


Q. 2. What doth the name of God, I AM, signify to us?
A. It signifies to us, first, The reality of his being, in opposition to idols, which are but imaginary and fantastic things; 1 Cor. 8:4. —— We know that an idol is nothing in the world, &c. God is not only the most perfect Being, but the root of all other beings.


Q. 3. What else doth this name I AM import?
A. It imports both the perfection and eternity of God’s being. I AM implies, he hath not that now, which he had not formerly; and that he shall not afterwards have, what he hath not now; and that there is neither beginning, end, nor succession with God, whose name is I AM.


Q. 4. But what are we here to understand by the name of God?
A. All those things are here intended, by which he manifests himself to the creature; as his words, works, and ordinances, but especially his glorious attributes; Exod. 34:5, 6. —— The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.


Q. 5. What is it to hallow, or sanctify his name?
A. Not to infuse any holiness into him, which he had not before; so he sanctifies us; but to manifest and acknowledge the holiness of God; Isa. 29:23. But when he seeth his children, the work of my hands in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the holy one of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.


Q. 6. Why hallowed or sanctified, rather than glorified? Why that word, rather than this?
A. Because his holiness is the beauty and lustre of his other attributes. His greatness appears in his holiness; Isa. 12:6.—Great is the holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. So doth his power; Luke 1:49. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things, and holy is his name. And therefore his holiness is that attribute, which angels single out especially to celebrate; Isa. 6:3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, &c. And so did men also, as it is the cause why they should glorify him; Exod. 15:11. —— Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, &c.


Q. 7. What is the first thing we are to intend in this petition?
A. The meaning is, that God would so dispose and order all things in the world, as may best promote and advance the glory of his name; on which account we may pray for the defeat of God’s enemies; Psal. 83:16, 17, 18. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O Lord. Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish; that men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most High over all the earth. And the deliverance of his church and people; Psalm 79:9. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins for thy name’s sake.


Q. 8. What is the second thing we are to intend in it?
A. That God would fit us for, and use us in the most serviceable capacity for the glorifying of his name; Psal. 67:1, 2, 3. God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us: That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee.


Q. 9. What is the third thing intended in this petition?
A. That God may not only glorify his own name, and use us to glorify it, but that it should be our endeavour and joy to have it glorified by others all the world over; Psalm 145:4, 5, 6. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts; and I will declare thy greatness.


Q. 10. Why must our hearts be so intently set upon the sanctification of God’s name?
A. Because this is the ultimate end of our own, and every other being; Rom. 11:36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things; to whom be glory for ever, Amen. And the particular end of God in our effectual calling; 1 Pet. 2:9 but ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.


Q. 11. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That the dishonour of God’s name must needs be a cutting affliction to a gracious soul; Psalm 42:10. As with a sword in my bones my enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?


Q. 12. What is the second inference hence?
A. That it is a dreadful infatuation, and spiritual judgment upon those men that think they glorify God in doing those things which his soul hateth; Isa. 66:5. Hear the word of the Lord, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: But he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed. And John 16:2. They shall put you out of the synagogues: Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, he will think that he doth God service.


Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence?
A. That it should be indifferent to a Christian what condition God puts him into, so that he may but be useful to sanctify and exalt the name of God therein; Phil. 1:20.—As always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.


Q. 14. What is the last inference hence?
A. That it is an high and dreadful provocation of God to profane and abuse his worship, whereon his name is called, and wherein it is to be sanctified; Lev. 10:1, 2, 3. And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not. And there went out fire from the, Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. Then Moses said unto Aaron, this is that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people will I be glorified.


Of God’s Kingdom

Quest. 102. WHAT do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, which is, [Thy kingdom come,] we pray that Satan’s kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it, and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.


Q. 1. What is the first thing signified by the kingdom of God here?
A. The gospel is here intended by the kingdom of God, Matth. 13:47. —— Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.


Q. 2. What is the thing signified by the coming of this kingdom of God?
A. It signifies the removal of all impediments, that hinder its propagation in the world; 2 Thess. 3:1. Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you.


Q. 3. Who, and what hinders the propagation of it?
A. Antichrist, that man of sin, hinders it externally; 2 Thess. 2:4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. The devil and men’s lusts internally; 1 Thess. 2:18. Wherefore we would have come unto you (even I Paul) once and again; but Satan hindered us. Luke 19:14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a messenger after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.


Q. 4. What then is the desire of all good men, with respect to the coming of the gospel-kingdom?
A. That all nations may be brought to Christ by the preaching of it, and so Christ’s kingdom be greatly exalted and enlarged; Isa. 2:2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow into it.


Q. 5. What is the second thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. It signifies and intends the work of saving grace wrought in men’s souls; Luke 17:21. —— Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.


Q. 6. Why is this work of grace called the kingdom of God?
A. Because wherever saving-grace comes, it subdues the soul to Christ’s sceptre; 2 Cor. 10:5. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringeth into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.


Q. 7. Wherein consists the kingdom of grace?
A. It consists not in external rites and observances, but in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; Rom. 14:17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.


Q. 8. What do we ask of God in this petition, with respect to this kingdom of grace?
A. Herein we desire not only our own personal progressive sanctification, but the sanctification of others all the world over; Acts 26:29. And Paul said, I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.


Q. 9. What is the third thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. By it is here meant the future state of glory and blessedness; 1 Cor. 15:50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, &c.


Q. 10. Why is the heavenly state called the kingdom of God?
A. This is called the kingdom of God, because in that state God reigns over his people gloriously, there being no rebellion in them in the least degree; Luke 20:36.—For they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. And they reign with Christ; Rev. 3:21. To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, &c.


Q. 11. What do we desire in prayer for the coming of this kingdom?
A. We desire not only our preservation in our passage to that state of glory; 1 Pet. 5:10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. But the hastening of it to ourselves and others; Rev. 22:20. —— Amen, even so come Lord Jesus.


Q. 12. What is the first instruction hence?
A. That the gospel is an invaluable mercy, as it is the instrument of bringing us into Christ’s gracious and glorious kingdom; Acts 26:18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.


Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That men may really hate and oppose the very thing they pray for.


Q. 14. What is the last instruction hence?
A. That how firmly soever Satan’s and Antichrist’s kingdom seem to be founded in the world, they must and shall fall before the daily prayers of the saints.

 

Concerning the Doing of God’s Will

Quest. 103. WHAT do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, which is, [Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven], we pray that God, by his grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.


Q. 1. What will of God is here intended?
A. Not the will of his decree; for that is in himself alone; 1 Cor. 2:11. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.


Q. 2. What will then is here meant?
A. The will of his providence may be here meant; Psal. 125:6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, and in the seas, and all deep places. And Psal. 119:89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this day according to thine ordinances; for all are thy servants.


Q. 3. How are we to understand the doing of this will of providence in heaven?
A. (1.) As it done by the sun, moon, and stars; Psalm 119:89. Thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this day according to thine ordinances. Psalm 19:6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. (2.) As it is done by angels; Psal. 104:4. Who maketh the angels spirits, his ministers a flaming fire. Heb. 1:14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?


Q. 4. How do these perform the will of God’s providence?
A. (1.) The heavenly bodies do it evenly, constantly, and unweariedly; Psalm 104:19. He appointeth the moon for seasons, the sun knoweth his going down. (2.) The angels do it speedily, voluntarily, cheerfully, and so knowingly; Psalm 103:21. Ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.


Q. 5. Must we be agents in this providential will?
A. Yes, we must; Acts 13:36. For David, after he had served his generation by the will of God, fell on sleep.


Q. 6. How must we do it?
A. By employing our abilities, faculties, and interests, in the duties of our particular callings, and by moving constantly, prudently, and vigorously in our own sphere, and so imitate those in heaven.


Q. 7. Why do we pray that God’s will of providence may be done by us?
A. Because we are his creatures, and the most noble instrument of the inferior world; and therefore we should be willing to be acted by him, and active for him; and because this will of providence is always just, good, and true, and for his own glory; Psalm 145:17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Psal. 119:89. Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this day according to thine ordinances; for all are thy servants.


Q. 8. What other will of God is here meant?
A. The will of his precepts, and this is chiefly intended.


Q. 9. And how is this will of God done in heaven?
A. By the angels it is done universally, cheerfully, constantly, humbly, thankfully, readily; Psalm 103:20. Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. And so it is done by the saints in heaven; Rev. 7:15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; And chap. 22:3. And his servants shall serve him.


Q. 10. Do we pray then that we may thus do the will of God?
A. Yes; for though we cannot perfectly without sin do it, yet that is our duty; Mat. 5 ult. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. And in all other particulars we may and we must intimate them herein; Psalm 119:6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Verse 14. I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies as much as in all riches. Verse 69. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. Verse 112, &c. I have inclined my heart to perform thy statutes always even unto the end.


Q. 11. How must we know God’s will?
A. Not notionally and rationally only; but spiritually also; 1 Cor. 2:14. They are spiritually discerned.


Q. 12. Why is knowing God’s will placed here before doing it, &c.?
A. Because the understanding is the leading faculty, without which it is impossible there should be any obedience; Prov. 19:2. Also that the soul be without knowledge it is not good. Jer. 5:4. Therefore I said, Surely these are poor, they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.


Q. 13. Why pray we to God for this knowledge? can we not know it of ourselves?
A. No, it is the special gift and grace of God; Gal. 1:15, 16. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Eph. 1:17, 19. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. —— And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Eph. 5:8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.


Q. 14. Why do we pray that we may obey; can we not do it of our own free-will when we know it?
A. No, for our wills are stubborn and rebellious against God’s commands, as well as our minds ignorant of them; Rom. 8:7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Ezek. 36:25, 26. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Phil. 2:13. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.


Q. 15. What is meant by submitting to God’s will?
A. (1.) Either a voluntary subjection of soul, and a preparedness actually to do his will: Or, (2.) A voluntary and silent submission to his will of providence in affliction: but in this particular we cannot imitate those in heaven, because no cross ever befals them.


Q. 16. Why is will added in all things?
A. Because partial obedience is no obedience; he that does not obey God in every thing, obeys him in nothing; James 2:10. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.


Q. 17. Why do we pray that God by his grace would work this will in us, and by us?
A. Because it is free grace that determines it; 2 Tim. 1:9. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. And efficacious grace that works it in us, and enables us to do it; Eph. 5:8. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Verse 10. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.


Q. 18. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That it is man’s glory and felicity to be conformed to the will of God, Prov. 12:26. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour. Psal. 19:10, 11. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.


Q. 19. What is the second inference?
A. That we must mortify in ourselves every lust that contradicts God’s will, and renounce without ourselves every thing that comes in competition therewith; 1 Cor. 9 ult. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away. Gal. 6:14. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.


Q. 20. What is the third inference?
A. That it is in vain, yea, a provocation to pray, if we be not obedient to God’s will; Prov. 2:8, 9. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.


Q. 21. What is the fourth inference?
A. That the law still hath the authority of a rule to believers, because it reveals God’s will, which they must do.

 

Concerning our daily Bread

Quest. 104. WHAT do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, which is, [Give us this day our daily bread,] we pray that of God’s free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.


Q. 1. Why is this petition placed after the three former?
A. Because those concern immediately and generally God’s glory, in the advancement of his name, kingdom and will, which ought to be preferred to all our personal concerns; Psal. 69:9. The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Acts 21:13. I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.


Q. 2. Why is it put before the two following petitions?
A. Not for its worth, but for its order; for we can have no spiritual blessings, unless we have a natural being in this life.


Q. 3. What kind of bread is here meant?
A. Not spiritual bread, or our Lord Jesus Christ, (as some,) but corporal and temporal.


Q. 4. What is included in this word bread?
A. Not that only which we call strictly bread, but all the good things of this present life.


Q. 5. Do we hereby beg pure necessaries only?
A. No, we pray for conveniences for our comfort, as well as necessaries for our life.


Q. 6. Do we herein pray only for personal good things for our being?
A. No, we pray for civil good things for our condition, that according to our degree in the world, in which God hath placed us, we may have a convenient allowance.


Q. 7. Do we pray here for ourselves only?
A. No, but also for our charge, children, and family, that under and with us they may have the good things of this life.


Q. 8. Why do we pray to God for these good things, can we not get them ourselves, or our fellow-creatures give them to us?
A. Not without God: whatever we have of these things, they are from God; whoever be the second cause or instrument: If ourselves, God gives us ability and success to get them; if others, God inclined their hearts, and opened their hands to bestow them; Deut. 8:17, 18. And thou say in thine heart. My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.


Q. 9. Why do we pray to God to give us bread?
A. Because the least crumb of bread is a free gift, and never can be merited by all we can do or suffer; Luke 17:10. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.


Q. 10. Why are all these things couched under the expression of bread?
A. (1.) Because bread is one of the most necessary and useful things to preserve life. (2.) Because we must not ask delicacies and dainties of God.


Q. 11. What is meant by day in our petition?
A. Either (1.) A natural day of twenty four hours; or, (2.) The day of our whole life.


Q. 12. Why do we pray for daily bread?
A. Because God must give us the mercies and good things of everyday, or else we cannot have them.


Q. 13. Why should we not pray for weekly, or monthly, or yearly bread, as well as daily?
A. (1.) Because it is fit we should be still sensible of our dependence upon God. (2.) Because we do frequently pray to God, and so exert our graces, and maintain communion with him, and daily render thanks for daily favours; Psalm 55:17. Evening and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice.


Q. 14. What need we to pray for daily bread, when we may have stores laid up for years?
A. They that have the good things of this life need to pray this petition, as well as they that have them not. Not that they may have bread, but that it may be bread to them: for except God give his blessing upon it, bread would be ashes, and not sustenance to us; neither could all the comforts of this life do us any good; Isa. 3:1. For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. Mal. 2:1, 2. And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you: if ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings; yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.


Q. 15. Why do we pray only for daily bread, or a competency, may we not pray for abundance and riches?
A. No, because riches are a great snare and temptation; Matth. 19:23, 24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Prov. 30:8, 9. Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be full and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.


Q. 16. What shall we then do with riches, if providence cast them upon us, shall we cast them away?
A. No, for some of the best of men, and greatest of God’s favourites, have lived and died rich. But, (1.) We must wean our hearts from them; Psal. 62:10. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. (2.) Be thankful for them; and, (3.) Fruitful with them in acts of piety and charity; 1 Tim. 6:17, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy: laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.


Q. 17. Wherefore is the bread called our bread?
A. Not because we are absolute lords and possessors of it, for it is God’s only; Psal. 24:1, 2. The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Psalm 50:10, 12. For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. But, (1.) Because we must have a covenant right to it; and, (2.) A civil right; we must come lawfully and honestly by, and so keep the good things of this life; 2 Thess. 3:10. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.


Q. 18. Having prayed for our daily bread, need we to labour and endeavour to get it?
A. Yes, we must labour in good and honest callings; God’s blessing and man’s industry must concur towards the present maintenance of life; Psal. 128:1, 2. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord: that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Prov. 10:4, 22. He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.


Q. 19. What is the first inference from it?
A. That we must not seek great matters for ourselves, neither make them the matter of prayer to God; nor the end and design of our labours and callings among men.


Q. 20. What is a second inference from hence?
A. That having food and raiment, we must be therewith content, and therefore thankful; 1 Tim. 6:8. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. 1 Thess. 5:18. In every thing give thanks.


Q. 21. What is the third inference?
A. That we ascribe not our success in the world to our own skill and industry, for the wisest and most industrious do sometimes labour in the fire, and put their gain in a bag with holes; but to God’s free donation to us, and to his blessing upon our endeavours; Gen. 33:5, 11. And he lift up his eyes, and saw the women and the children, and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, the children which God hath graciously given thy servant. —— Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee, because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. Deut. 28:3. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Ver. 6. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

 

Concerning Forgiveness of Sins

Quest. 105. WHAT do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, which is, [And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,] we pray, that God, for Chris’s sake, would freely pardon all our sins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.


Q. 1. Why doth this petition immediately follow the former?
A. To teach, that all temporal and corporal good things, without special and spiritual ones, are little worth; Psalm 4:6. There be many that say, who will shew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Psalm 17:14, 15. From men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure. They are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes. As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness? I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.


Q. 2. Why is it annexed to the former with the copulative and?
A. To teach, that to be one minute in the confluence of all earthly good things, without the pardon of sin, is a very dangerous and dreadful condition; Luke 12:16, 20. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?


Q. 3. Why is forgiveness of sins placed in the front of spiritual blessings?
A. Because till sin be pardoned, we are under wrath, and can have no special saving grace applied to us, till we are accepted; till we are in Christ, we have no covenant-right to the blessings of Christ; Mat. 11:28. Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Ver. 30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light; John 15:4, 5. Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.—Ver. 7. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you; ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John 3 ult. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.


Q. 4. Why do we pray for forgiveness? Cannot we make amends for our sins, and be freed from their guilt, without pardon?
A. No, all that we can ever do, or suffer, can never expiate the guilt of the least sin; Psalm 49:7, 8. None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; (for the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever) 1 Sam. 2:25. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?


Q. 5. Does God then freely, and out of mere grace, forgive us?
A. Yes, without any respect had to anything we can do, or be; Isa. 43:25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Rom. 9:15. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Ver. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.


Q. 6. How doth God forgive sins?
A. (1.) Universally, all sins; Exod. 34:6, 7. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands; forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin. Jer. 33:8. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned against me; And I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. Hosea 14:2. Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously. (2.) Completely, and perfectly; Isa. 43:25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Psal. 103:12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Mic. 7:19. He will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Isa. 38:17. For thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. (3.) Everlastingly; Jer. 31:34. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Heb. 8:12. And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.


Q. 7. But doth not God punish them afterward, whom he has justified and forgiven?
A. No, not with a proper and vindictive punishment; but he brings evils upon them for their sins, as a Father chastises his child; and other sorts of afflictions for their spiritual good: He may be angry, as a Father, with those he has pardoned, but never hate them as a condemning Judge; Psal. 89:28. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. Ver. 34. My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.


Q. 8. How can God be said freely to pardon all our sins, when we pray it may be done for Christ’s sake; does not that imply that Christ has satisfied God for our sins, and deserved our remission?
A. Yes, it does so; for the Lord Christ, by his life and death, did satisfy Divine Justice, and did merit our forgiveness: But if he did so, we did not so; our sins cost him dear, but their pardon cost us nothing; our pardon is perfectly free to us, though due to Christ, for God gave Christ freely for us; God accepts of his merits, and applies them to us freely; Rom. 3:24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.


Q. 9. But is there nothing required from us as the condition of pardon? and if so, how can it be absolutely free?
A. There are required repentance from sin, and faith in the Lord Christ; Luke 13:3. But except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish; John 3 ult. And he that believeth not the Son, shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. This is required from us towards our pardon, but yet it is free, (1.) Because God freely ordains thus to pardon. (2.) Because both these are the free gifts of God; Acts 11:18. Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. Eph. 2:8. For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.


Q. 10. When then are our sins forgiven?
A. Just upon our closure with Christ by faith, in that very moment; Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. 8:1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.


Q. 11. Why do we pray in the answer, for the forgiveness of all our sins?
A. Because if the least guilt should remain upon us, it would exclude us from God’s favour, and lodge us in everlasting burnings; Rom. 6 ult. For the wages of sin is death.


Q. 12. What are the privileges and blessings that accompany pardon?
A. Justification is accompanied with adoption; John 1:12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. With the Spirit and principle of all grace and holiness; 1 Cor. 6:11. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. With an infallible title to eternal glory; John 3:16. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; Rom. 8:30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.


Q. 13. How may we know that we are pardoned and justified?
A. Ordinarily, by our sanctification, by our loathing of sin, our contempt of the world, our valuing of Christ, our love and thankfulness to God, &c. 1 Cor. 6:11. But ye are sanctified. Rom. 7:24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Gal. 6:14. By whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. 1 Pet. 2:7. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious. Luke 7:47. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much.


Q. 14. What is meant by [our?] Is it only such sins as we have personally and actually committed?
A. No, but also Adam’s sin, which is ours by imputation; Rom. 5:19. By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners. And original sin, which is ours by inhesion; Psal. 51:5. Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. And other men’s sins, which we have made ours, by exciting them to them, not hindering of them, silence at them, and other ways; 2 Sam. 12:9. Thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 1 Tim. 5:22. Neither be partaker of other men’s sins.


Q. 15. Wherefore are sins called debts?
A. Because they are a non-payment of God’s dues, a non performance of our duty; which makes us liable to the arrest of death, and to the prison of hell.


Q. 16. Why do we plead our own forgiveness of others?
A. Not as any merit of our own pardon; but either as an encouragement of ourselves to beg pardon; seeing such evil, envious, and malignant persons, are enabled to forgive others, much more may we hope the good and gracious God will forgive us: or, as a condition, without which we can have no pardon, and with which we shall; Matth. 6:14. For if we forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.


Q. 17. How do others trespass against us?
A. When they injure us, either in our persons, or names, or families, or estates, or souls, &c. 1 Sam. 2:25. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?


Q. 18. Can we forgive our neighbour freely, fully, and perfectly, as God doth forgive us?
A. We cannot.


Q. 19. What then is the meaning of God’s forgiving us, as we forgive others?
A. Not as to the quantity and perfection of forgiveness, but as to the sincerity and quality thereof; Mat. 18 ult. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.


Q. 20. Are we always bound to manifest outwardly our love and forgiveness to all our enemies, and to behave ourselves towards them as friends?
A. No, if we have experienced them to be treacherous and false, and see no change, we are not bound to trust them; if they be, and remain wicked and profane, we must not associate with them; Psal. 26:5. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit with the wicked. Ver. 4. I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.


Q. 21. What then must we do to such?
A. We must heartily forgive them all their injuries, we must love them with the love of benevolence, pray for them, and be ready and willing to do them all good, both of body and soul; Mat. 5:44, 45. But I say unto you, Love your enemies; bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.


Q. 22. If we forgive others, shall we be forgiven ourselves?
A. We shall, if out of obedience to God, and love to Christ, we do it.


Q. 23. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That except our sins be forgiven, we are lost and undone creatures; and therefore we must never be contented, till we are pardoned.


Q. 24. What is a second inference?
A. That God is a God of love, goodness, and pardon; seeing he will not pardon us, if we do not pardon others; but will, if we do so.


Q. 25. What is a third inference?
A. That if we live in hatred when we pray the Lord’s prayer, we pray for our own damnation; Mat. 18:22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times, but until seventy times seven. Ver. 35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.


Of God’s leading us into temptation

Quest. 106. WHAT do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A. In the sixth petition, which is, [And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil:] we pray, that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted.


Q. 1. Why is this petition joined to the former with the copulative and?
A. Because it will be but little advantage to have former sins pardoned, and to be left to the power and practice, to the love and trade of sin for the future; Ezek. 18:26. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done, shall he die.


Q. 2. What is meant by temptation?
A. In general, a trial or probation of what is in us, or of what we will do.


Q. 3. What is meant by temptation here?
A. Temptation to sin and wickedness.


Q. 4. How may we be said to be tempted to sin?
A. (1.) Effectually by ourselves, and our own hearts; Jam. 1:14, 15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (2.) Formally, with an intention to draw into sin; and so we are tempted of the devil; 1 Chron. 21:1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. Mat. 4:1, 3. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. (3.) Innocently, and blamelessly; and so God is said to tempt; 2 Sam. 24:1. And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel; and he moved David against them to say, Go number Israel and Judah.


Q. 5. How many ways may God be said to tempt evil?
A. (1.) By withdrawing his grace, either common or special; 2 Chron. 32:31. Howbeit, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land; God left him to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. (2.) By permitting Satan, and wicked men, to tempt; 2 Sam. 24:1. He moved David against them, to say, Go and number Israel and Judah. With 1 Chron. 21:1. Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David. Matth. 4:1. Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. (3.) By presenting occasions in his providence, which he knows will be abused to sin; as in the fall of Adam, the hardening of Pharaoh, &c.


Q. 6. What do we beg in this petition?
A. We beg, that we may not any of these, or any other ways, whereby the holy God may be said to lead into temptation, be led thereinto; Psalm 141:1. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity; and let me not cat of their dainties, Psal. 19:13. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: Then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.


Q. 7. What is meant by evil?
A. Some understand of the devil, but the best meaning is sin, which is the evil of evils, and makes the devil evil, and is the worst of evils the devil can bring upon us, and is usually so understood in scripture; Psalm 97:10. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil, Isa. 1:16. Cease to do evil. Amos 5:15. Hate the evil, and love the good. Rom. 12:9. Abhor that which is evil.


Q. 8. What is meant by deliverance from evil?
A. That if God sees meet to permit us to be tempted by Satan, and the wicked without, or by our own hearts within, to sin; or occasionally, by his providence; that he will not leave us, but undertake for us, that we may not be led into sin thereby, but by his grace be made more than conquerors. Psal. 51:10. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psal. 119:133. Order my steps in thy word and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. According to his promise; 1 Cor. 10:13. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. 2 Cor. 12:9. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.


Q. 9. What is the first inference?
A. That sin is the worst of evils.


Q. 10. What is the second inference?
A. That without God’s grace we can never withstand, but shall be overcome by every temptation; 2 Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God, John 15:5. For without me ye can do nothing.


Q. 11. What is the third inference?
A. That we must do all we can to keep ourselves from temptation, and to engage the grace of God with us in temptation, by prayer, by pleasing the Spirit of God, by looking to Jesus, &c.


Of the Conclusion

Quest. 107. WHAT doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, which is, [For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever; Amen.] teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only; and in our prayers to praise him; ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him; and in testimony of our desire, and assurance, to be heard, we say, Amen.


Q. 1. Why is the conclusion joined to the particle For?
A. To teach us, that therein are included arguments, or reasons to press God withal, and to prevail with him for audience.


Q. 2. But is it lawful to argue with God, and to urge him with reasons in prayer?
A. It is not only lawful, but expedient, yea, highly commendable; as is seen in the saints prayer. In Moses,’ Num. 14:13. And Moses said unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians shall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them.) Ver. 19. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people from Egypt, even until now. In Joshua’s, chap. 7:7. And Joshua said, Alas! O Lord God; wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan. Ver. 9. For the Canaanites, and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: And what wilt thou do unto thy great name? In Asa’s, 2 Chron. 14:11. And Asa cried unto the Lord his God, and said, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on thee; and in thy name we go against this great multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. In Jehoshaphat’s, 2 Chr. 20:6. —— And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee? And Hezekiah’s, 2 Kings 19:15. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims; thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth. Ver. 19. Now therefore, O Lord our God, &c.


Q. 3. But to what purpose, can we think to prevail with God, by our arguments and importunities?
A. They are not used, as though we would put God in remembrance of any thing, or would prevail with God to do that for us, which he is unwilling to give.


Q. 4. Why then?
A. For our own profit, for the enlarging of our own hearts, for the exciting of our fervency, for the exerting of faith, hope, zeal, charity, &c. in prayer; and so to prepare ourselves for the mercy, that we may the more gratefully receive it, and the more fruitfully employ it.


Q. 5. How many arguments are in this conclusion?
A. Three.


Q. 6. From whence are they taken?
A. From God’s kingdom, from his power, and from his glory.


Q. 7. What kingdom is here meant?
A. God’s universal, essential, and absolute kingdom; wherein may be, and is involved, his special kingdom over the church.


Q. 8. What are the arguments from hence?
A. Because all that we can pray for in this prayer, is for the advancement and perfecting of this his kingdom, by the destruction of all persons and things that oppose it, and the completion of his dominion over all his subjects; therefore he would grant all these requests.


Q. 9. What is another?
A. Because he being such an absolute Lord and Sovereign has an undeniable right, and unquestionable authority, to give and grant all we ask, and to effect and bring to pass all we beg: For all persons and things are his own, and at his disposal. Mat. 20:15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own?


Q. 10. What is meant by power?
A. God’s essential, infinite, irresistible power, whereby he can do what he pleases; Psal. 135:6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, &c.


Q. 11. What is the argument from hence?
A. That we ask nothing from God, but what we can do with infinite ease, in despite of all the opposition that hell, earth and heart can make to the contrary; Phil. 3 ult. According to the working, &c. Eph. 3:20. Now unto him that is able, &c.


Q. 12. What is meant by glory?
A. Not his essential glory, which no man, or angel, can ever apprehend.


Q. 13. What glory then?
A. His declared and acknowledged glory, even the accomplishment of all his decrees by his providence; and then the love, the adoration, and the praises, the self-dedications of angels and saints, returned to him for the same.


Q. 14. What is the argument or motive from hence?
A. That seeing the substance of every request does directly tend to, and will perfectly end in, this glory of God, when they are fully answered; therefore he would gradually answer them while we are here, and perfectly at last, to the advancement of his glory now, and the completion of it then. 1 Chron. 29:11. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, &c. Josh. 7:9. And what wilt thou do unto thy great name? Isa. 42:8. I am the Lord, that is my name, &c. Isa. 48:11. For my own sake, even for my own sake, will I do it, &c.


Q. 15. Why is Amen added?
A. Because it is the usual conclusion of prayers and praises; Psal. 41:13. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, &c. Psal. 72:19. And blessed be his glorious name for ever, &c. 2 Cor. 13 ult. The grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, &c. Rom. 16:20. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


Q. 16. But what does this word here signify?.
A. It signifies, (1.) The reality and ardency of our desires to be granted in what we pray for: Rev. 22:20. He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus.


Q. 17. And what besides?
A. Our trust and firm confidence that we shall be heard and answered in all these our requests; Rev. 1:7. Even so, Amen. Rev. 7:12. Saying, Amen. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, &c.


Q. 18. What are the inferences from hence?
A. That we ought to use in prayer all such arguments, as may most and best affect our hearts towards God, excite our graces, and succeed with God.


Q. 19. What is another?
A. That all we pray for must be in a subserviency to God’s kingdom, and with a desire of his glory.


Q. 20. What is the next?
A. That we must act according to our prayers; do all we can for the advancement of God’s kingdom, and the exaltation of his glory, as subjects and votaries thereto; Psalm 116:16. 1 Cor. 10:31.


Q. 21. What may more be gathered hence?
A. That as we ought to begin, so to continue, and conclude our prayers, in lowest adorations of God, and acknowledgments of his glory and attributes.


Q. 22. What more doth this conclusion teach?
A. That in prayer we must be fervent in our desires, and longing for what we pray, James 5:16.


Q. 23. Is there any thing besides?
A. That praying for things agreeable to God’s will, we ought to be confident that we shall succeed in our requests praying for the matter, and after the manner of this prayer; James 1:6, 8. Matth. 21:22.