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A. A ftrong faith gives much glory to God; Rom. iv. 19, 20. And being not weak in faith, he confidered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadnefs of Sarah's womb. He staggered not at the promite of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.
Q. 13. What is the fecond benefit of a strong faith?
A. It gives the foul the ravishing forefight and foretaftes of heaven upon earth; Pet. i. 8. Whom having not feen, ye love; in whom though now ye fee him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unfpeakable, and full of glory.
Q. 14. What is the laft office faith doth for a believer in this world?
A. It fupports and encourages him at death by the promiles, when all other comforts fail; Heb. xi. 13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having feen them afar off, and were perfuaded of them, and embraced them, and confeffed that they were ftrangers and pilgrims on the earth. of faving Repentance.
"Hat is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a faving grace, whereby a finner, out of a true fenfe of his fin, and apprehenfion of the mercy of God in Chrift, doth with grief and hatred of his fin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavour after new obedience.
Q. I. Who is the author of faving repentance?
A. The Spirit of God is the author of it; the heart by nature is fo hard, that none but the Spirit can break it; Ezek. xxxvi. 26, 27. A new heart alfo will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: And I will take away the ftony 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 fight and fenfe of fin, and the danger and mifery we are in by fin; Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their hearts, &c.
Q3. Why doth God work fuch a fenfe of fin and mifery? A. He doth it to make Chrift defireable in the finner's eyes, that he may fly to him; Matth. ix. 12, 13. But when Jefus heard that, he laid unto them, They that be whole need not a phy fician, but they that are fick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not facrifice; for I am not come to call the righteous, but finners to repentance.
Q4. Is the fight of fin fufficient to repentance?
A. No; there must be appprehenfion of mercy and forgivenefs with God, or elfe no man can fincerely repent; Rom. ii, 4. Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. And this mercy must be difcerned in and through Chrift; Zech. xii, 10. And they fhall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they fhall mourn for him as one mourn. eth for his only fon, and fhall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitternefs for his first-born.
Q5. Wherein doth repentance chiefly confist?"
A. It confifts in real inward forrow for fin, as committed against God; Pfalm li. 3, 4. For I acknowledge my tranfgreffions, and my fin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I finned, and done this evil in thy fight, c. A loathing of ourselves for it; Ezek. xxxvi. 31. And fhall loath yourselves in your own fight, for your iniquities, and for your abominations. And of our best duties, as finful and infufficient things; Ifa. Ixiv. 5, 6. We are all as an unclean thing; and all our righ teoufneffes are as filthy rags, &c.
6. Wherein elfe doth it confift?
A. In turning from fin, as well as grieving for it; Ifa. Iv. 7. Let the wicked forfake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, &c. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth his fins, shall not profper; but whofo confeffeth and forfaketh them, shall have mercy.
Q. 7. Is turning from fin fufficient?
A. No, that is but the negative part of religion; there muft be also a fincere turning to God; Pfalm cxix. 59. I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy teftimonies; Acts xi. 23. And exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
Q. 8. Is all forrow for fin faving?
4. No; there is a repentance that doth no good; Matth. xxvii. 3. Then Judas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, &c. And a repen'tance unto life; Acts xi. 18. Then hath God alfo to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.
Q. 9. What are the figus of true repentance?
A. Fear of fin; care to preserve ourselves from it; and zeal to honour God by new obedience; 2 Cor. vii. 11. For behold, this felf-fame thing that ye forrowed after a godly fort, what carefulness it wrought in you; yea, what clearing of yourselves; yea, what indignation; yea, what fear; yea, what vehement defire; yea, what zeal; yea, what revenge? In all things you have approved yourfelves to be clear in this matter.
Q 10. Is there a neceffity of repentance, in order to forgiveness?
A. Yes, there is; and they are therefore conjoined in scripture; Acts v. 31. For to give repentance to Ifrael, and forgivenefs of fins. And deftruction threatened to the impenitent; Luke xiii. 3. Except ye repent, ye fhall all likewife perish.
Q. 11. What is the first inference hence?
A. That it is a falfe doctrine, which teaches us that fins are actually forgiven from eternity; and therefore no need either of repentance or prayer, fave only for the manifeftation of pardon. Q. 12. What is the fecond inference hence?
A. That an hard heart is a dreadful fign of a loft ftate of foul; Rom. ii. 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart, treasureft up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
Q. 13. What is the laft inference hence?
A. That there is no caufe to defpair of the vileft finner, fee. ing there is power enough in the Spirit of God to break the hardeft heart; Ezek. xxxvi. 26. I will take away the ftony heart out of your fefh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Of Chrifl's Ordinances.
Quest. 88. What
Hat are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemp
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Chrift communicateth to us the benefits of redemption, are his ordinances; efpecially the word, Jacraments, and prayer; all which are made ef fectual to the elect for falvation.
Q. I. What makes any thing become a divine ordinance ?
A. The inftitution or appointment of God, is that alone which makes a divine ordinance; Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to obferve all things whatsoever I have commanded you, &c. 2. Are the inftitutions of all ordinances alike clear in
A. No: Some are more explicitly and clearly revealed in fcripture than others; as the Lord's fupper is more clear than baptifm: But whatever hath fcripture-warrant, in the words or confequence, is of divine appointment.
Q. 3. May not men inftitute ordinances of divine worship ? A. No; this in fcripture is condemned as will-worfhip; Col. ii. 20, 22, 23. Wherefore if ye be dead with Chrift from the rudiments of the world; why, as though living in the world, are ye fubject to ordinances? &c. Which things indeed have a Chew of wisdom in will-worship, &c.
4. Why cannot man inftitute a divine ordinance? A. He cannot do it, because it is the prerogative belonging to Chrift's kingly office; Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to obferve all things whatfoever I have commanded you.
Q. 5. For what other reason cannot man do it?
A. Because he cannot blefs them, and make them effectual to their ends : : but they will be in vain; Matth. xv. 9, But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
Q. 6. Why are the ordinances called means of falvation?
A. Becaule by and through them the Spirit of the Lord conveys fpiritual graces into mens fouls; 1 Cor. i. 21. It pleafed God, by the foolishness of preaching, to fave them that believe,
Cor. iii. 5. Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but minifters by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every
Q7. Whence is the virtue of ordinances?
A. It is not in and from themselves, or the gifts and abilities of him that adminifters them, but from the bleffing and Spirit of the Lord; 1 Cor. iii. 7. Neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.
Q8. Do all God's ordinances attain their end?
A. Yes; there is none of them in vain, but do attain their end, in the falvation or damnation of all that come under them; Ifa. lv. 10, 11. For as the rain cometh down, and the foow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give feed to the fower, and bread to the eater: So fhall my word be, that goeth forth out of my mouth: It fhall not return unto me void; bur it shall accomplish that which I pleafe, and it fhall profper in the thing whereto I fend it. 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. For we are unto God a fweet favour of Chrift, in them that are faved, and in them that perifh: To the one we are the favour of death unto death, and to the other the favour of life unto life, &c.
Q. 9. Are inftituted ordinances the only means of falvation? A. They are not the only means; for God can convert men to Christ without them; Acts ix. 4, 5. And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice faying unto him, Saul, Saul, why perfecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou Lord? And the Lord faid, I am Jefus, whom thou perfecuteft: It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. But they are the ordinary standing means; Rom. x. 14, 15. How then fhall they call on him, in whom they have not believed? And how fhall they believe in him, of whom they have not heard? And how fhall they hear
without a preacher? And how fhall they preach, except they be fent? &c,
Q. 10. To whom are the ordinances made effectual to falvation ?
A. To all God's elect they are effectual to falvation, and to them only; Acts xiii. 48. As many as were ordained to eternal life, believed. John x, 26. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my fheep, &c.
Q. 11. What is the first instruction from hence?
A. That great preparation is due to all the ordinances, before we engage in them; Job xi. 13, 14. If thou prepare thine heart, and fretch 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. xxix. 18. And prepare their heart unto thee.
Q. 12. What is the fecond inference from hence ?
A. That great reverence is due to God's ordinances, when we are actually engaged in the use of them; Pfalm lxxxix. 7. God is greatly to be feared in the affembly of the faints; and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him,
Q. 13. What is the third inference from hence?
A. That thofe people that want ordinances, are in a fad and deplorable condition; Eph. ii, 11, 12. Wherefore remember that ye being in time paft Gentiles in the flesh, who are called uncircumcifion by that which is called the circumcifion in the fleth made by hands; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Ifrael, and strangers from the covenants of promife, having no hope, and without God in the world.
Q. 14. What is the laft inftruction hence?
A. That those that perish in the midft of ordinances, and means of salvation, will perish with aggravated perdition; Mat. xi. 23. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, fhalt 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.
Qeft. 89. HOW is the word made effectual to falvation? A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but efpecially the preaching of the word, an effectual means of convincing and converting finners; and building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith unto falvation.
Q.. What mean you by the word?
A. By the word is meant the word of God, configned to