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A. Yes, it is, Isa. lv. 3.
Ear, and come unie me; hear, and your Soul jnall live, &c. ? Cor. i. 21. pleafed 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 Chrilt, 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. But if all Prophesy, and there.come in one that believeih not, or one unlearned: he is convinced of all, he is judged of all. And ihus are the Secrets of his Heart made manifeft, &c.
Q. 6. What is it useful for besides Conviction ?
A. 'Tis useful for Conversion, as well as Convi&ion, Psal. xix. 7.
The Larw of the Lord is perfect, conversing the Soul, dec. Acts xxvi. 18.- To turn them from Darkness to Light, and from the Power of Satan unto God, &c.
2.7. Doth the Word convince and convert all that hear it?
A. No, but those only that are ordained to eternal Life, Acts xiii. 48.
- As many as were ordained to éternal Life believed,
Q. 8. What else is the Word useful for ?
A. To build up the Saints to Perfection in Chrift, Eph. iv. 11, 12, 13. And he gave some Apostles, and some Propbots, and some Évangélifts, and some Pajtors and Teacbers; for the perfe&ting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Chrift: Till we all come in the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, anto a perfeat Man; unto the Measure of ihe Stature of the Fulness of Chrift, Aets xx. 32. And now Brethren, 1.commend you to Cod, and to the Word of his Grace, which is able to build you uip, and give you an Inheritance among all them that are lancrified.
Q. 9. May the common Peap le read the Scriptures ?
A. Yes, it is a Duty commanded by Chrift, Joh. v. 39. Search the Scriptures, &c. and commended by the Aponle, A&s xvii. JI. These were more noble than those in Thefjälonica, in that they received the Word with all Readiness of Mind, and searcbed the Scriptures daily, whether those' Things were fo.
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. X. 14, 15.--How jhall they hear
without a Preacher, and how fall they preach except they be Jent? &c.
Q. 11. What is the first Instruction from hence ?
A. That the Enjoyments of the Scripture, and an able faithful Ministry to expound and apply them, is a special Mercy to any People, Pfal. cxlvii. 19, 20. He fnewith his Word unto Jacob, his Statutes and Judgments unto Israel, he hath not dealt fo 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 Blesfings from God in the wilful Neglect of the Ordinances, Prov. xxviii. 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 fad is their Condition, who fit all their Days under the Word to no Purpose at all, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. If our Gospel te bid, it is hid to them that are loft: In whom the God of ihis World hath llinded the Minds of them which believe not, left the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, jould pine 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. lii. 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.
Queft. 90. H that it may become effettual to Salvation
O W is the Word to be read and heard,
A. That the Word may become effectual to Salvation, we must attend thereto with Diligence, Preparation and Prayer, receive it with Faith and Love, lay it up in our Hearts, and practise it in our Lives.
Q. 1. If the Matter we read or hear be good, is not that enough for Salvation ?
A. No, God requires that the Word be read and heard in a due Manner, and the Manner of hearing is of special Re
gard with God, Luke viii. 18. Take heed therefore how ye bear, &c.
Q. 2. How many Things belong to the due Manner of Hearing?
A. Three Sorts of Duties belong to it; fome antecedent, as, Preparation and Prayer ; some concomitant, as due Diligence and Retention ; and some subsequent, as practise.
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, A&s x. 33.--Now therefore we are all here present before God, to bear all Things that are commanded thee of God. And awing the Heart even to a Degree of holy trembling thereby, Ila. Ixvi. 2. To him will I look, even to bim 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 an Heart-searching Word. Heb. iv. 12. For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged Sword, piercing even to the dividing ajunder of Soul and Spirit, and of ite Joints and Marrow, and is a Discerner of The Tboughts and Intents of the Heart. And that eventually it will be the Savour of Life or Death to us, 2 Cor. ii. 16. . To the one we are the Savour of Deoih urte 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, Matth. xiii. 7. And some fell among Thorns, and the Thorns Sprang up and chqaked them. And carnal Lufts, Jam. i. 21. Wherefore lay apart, all Filthiness and Superfluity of Naughtiness, and receive with Meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your
A Longing after the Word for further Communications of Grace by it, 1 Pet. ii. 2. As new Born Babes de fire the fincere Milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby, Ifa. ii. 3. And many people shall go and say, come je, 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 Affittance of the Minitter, 2 Theff. iii. I. Finally, Brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may bave free Course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: And our own Illumination, Plal. cxix. 18. Open thou mine Eyes, that I may bebold 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. i. 23.--I will pour out my Spirit unto 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 fometimes is found of them that fought him not, Ifa. Ixv. 1. I was found of them that fought me not, &c. But it is a Sin to neglect it, and needs a Pardon of God.
Q. 10. What is the firft Motive to prepare for folemn Duties?
A. That it argues the Sincerity of the Heart, and in that Case God will be merciful to Infirmities, 2 Chron. XXX. 18, 19. For a Multitude of the People, even a Multitude of Ephraim and Manaseth, Ifachar and Zebulun had not cleansed themselves, yet did eat the Passover, but not as it is written: Wherefore Hezekiah prayed for idem, 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 cleanfed according to the Purification of the Sanctuary.
Q. u. What is the fecond Motive?
A. It is a sweet Sign that God will make that Duty fuccessful for which the Heart is prepared, Psal. x. 17.-Thou prepareft their Heart: Thou bendejt ibine Ear to them.
Q. 12. What is the third Motive to Preparation ?
A. The Majesty and Jealousy of God, to whom we approach, cbliges us to folemn Preparation, Heb. xii. 28, 29. -Whereby we may ferve 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 te not duly prepared for it?
A. No, frilat wculd be to add a new Sin to a former, and aggr.vale it t'i mare,
Q: 14. To w.ai laimer_must the prepared Heart go to the Words
A. Not in Dependence on its own Preparations, but upon the Spirit's Aliliance, Pfal. lxxi. 15. I will go forward in the Sirengih of the Lord God, &c.
Q. 15. What is the first Ait of Faith due to the Word ?
A. The asienting Act of Faith is required to the Word read or preached, whereby we acknowledge it to be of Divine Authority, 2 Tim. iii. 16. All Scipture is given by Inspiration of God, and is profitabl for Doctrine, for Reproof, for Corretion, for Instruction in Righteousness: 2 Pet. i. 21. For the Prophejy came not in old Time by the Will of Man: but holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghoft.
R 16. What is the second Act of Faith required of us ?
A. An applying Act of Faith is alfo required of us, Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever Things were written afore-time, were written for our learning, that we through Patience and comfort of the Scriftures might have Hope.
Q: 17. What is the first End in applying the Word?
A. It is firit to be applied to our Conviction both of Sin and Mifery, A&ts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their Heart, and said unte Peter, and to the rest of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what mall 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 Chrift, John vi. 45.- Every Man therefore that bath beard, 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. i. 19. We have also a more sure Word of Prophely; whereunto ye do well that ye take beed, as unto a Lighi that shineth in a dark Place, until the Day dacun, and ihe Day far 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. xv. 4. For whatsoever Things written afore-time, were written for our Learning, that we