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WHAT IS TO BE BELIEVED.
ο μεν δη λόγος ημίν ομολγηθείς μενέτω, ως οίγε ορθώς πεπαιδευμένοι, σχεδόν άγαθοί yiyvortal.—Plato de Legibus.
Let this truth be confessed, and remain for ever, That they who are well instructed, easily become good men.
A short Catechism for the Institution of Young Persons in the
QUESTION. In what does true religion consist ?
Answer. In the knowledge of the one, true God, and, whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ; and in the worshipping and serving them a.
Quest. What dost thou believe concerning God?
Ans. 1. That there is a God; 2. That he is one; 3. Eternal; 4. Almighty; 5. That he hath made all the world; 6. That he knows all things; 7. That he is a Spirit, not of any shape, or figure, or parts, or body; 8. That he is present in all places; 9. That his seat is in heaven, and he governs all the world, so that nothing happens without his order and leave; 10. That he is the fountain of justice; 11. Of mercy ; 12. Of bounty, and goodness; 13. That he is unalterably happy, and infinitely perfect; 14. That no evil can come near him; 15. And he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him b.
a John, xvii. 3. John, ii. 23.
b Deut. vi. 4. Exod. xx. 2, 3. Revel. i. 4. Psal. xc. 2. 1 Tim. i. 17. Gen. i. 1. Exod. xx. 11. Heb. iii. 4. Isa. xl. 12. Job, xlii. 2, 3. Psal. cxxxix. 1, &c. Psal. cxlvii. 5. Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16. John, iv. 24. 1 Kings, vüi. 27. Psal. cxxxix. 8, 9. Acts, vii. 48, 49. Psal. ü. 4. and ciii. 19. and cxv. 3. Isa. xli. 4. and xliv. 6. Job, ix. 4, &c. Deut. xxxii. 39. Gen. xviii. 25. Deut. xxxii. 4. Psal. ciii. 8. and xxv. 8. and lxxxvi. 5. Psal. I. 12. Jam. i. 17.
Quest. What other mystery is revealed concerning God?
Ans. That God being one in nature, is also three in person ; expressed in Scripture by the names of “ Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” The first person is known to us by the name of “ The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The second person is called “ The Son, and the Word of the Father.” The third is “ The Spirit and Promise of the Father.” And these are three and one after a secret manner, which we must believe, but cannot understand c.
Quest. What is this God to us ?
Ans. He is our Creator and Father, and therefore he is our Lord; and we are his creatures, his sons, and his servants d.
Quest. Wherefore did God create and make us ?
Ans. That we might do him honour and service, and receive from him infinite felicities e.
Quest. How did God make man?
Ans. By the power of his Word, out of the slime of the earth; and he breathed into him the breath of life f.
Quest. Was man good or bad, when God made him ?
and innocent g. Quest. How then did man become sinful and miserable?
Ans. By listening to the whispers of a tempting spirit, and breaking an easy commandment which God gave him as the first trial of his obedience h.
Quest. What evils and changes followed this sin ?
Ans. Adam, who was the first man, and the first sinner, did, both for himself and his posterity, fall into the state of death, of sickness, and misfortunes, and disorder both of
c Alatt. xxviii. 19. John, xiv. 16. 26. and xv. 26. 1 Cor. xii. 4, 5, 6. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. 1 John, i. 1. and v. 7, 5. and iii. 23. Luke, xxiv. 49.
Acts, i. 4. and ii. 33.
d Coloss. i. 16. Acts, xvii. 24. 1 Cor. viii. 6. and 1 Cor. vi. 19. Gal. i. 4. Phil. ii. 15. Dan. ii. 47. Zech. iv. 14. and xiv. 9. Matth. xi. 25. e Psal. cxlv. To, 11. Acts, xiv. 15.
i Gen. ii. 7. 3 Eccles. vii. 29. Ecclus, xv. 14.
b Gen. iii. per tot.
body and soul: we were thrown out of paradise, and lost our immortality i.
Quest. Was man left in these evils without remedy?
Ans. No; but God, pitying his creature, promised, that of the seed of the woman he would raise up a Saviour and Redeemer, who should restore us to God's favour, and to the felicity which we lostk.
Quest. How did God perform the promise ?
Ans. By sending Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, to die for our sins, to become our Lord, and the Author of holiness, and life, and salvation to mankind 1.
Quest. Who is Jesus Christ?
Ans. He is the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity, equal with the Father, true God, without beginning of life, or end of days m.
Quest. How then could he be our Redeemer, and the promised seed of the woman?
Ans. The Son of God, in the fulness of time, by the miracles of his mercy, took upon him human nature, and united it after a wonderful manner to his godhead; so that he was both God and man. He was born of a virgin, who conceived him not by any natural means, but by the power of the Holy Ghost, and was called Jesus Christ; and his mother's name was Mary, of the seed of Abraham, of the family of king David; and all these things came to pass, when Augustus Cæsar was lord of the Roman empire 1.
Quest. How did Jesus Christ work this promised redemption for us?
Ans. By his holy and humble life, and his obedient dying a painful death for us upon the cross 0.
Quest. What benefits do we receive by the life and death of Jesus Christ?
i Rom. v. 12. and iii. 23. and vi. 20. Ephes. ii. 3. k Gen. iii. 15. Gal. iv. 4. 1 Pet. i. 20, John, iii. 16. Heb. ii. 14, 15, &c. 1 John, viii, 25. 28. Heb. ii. 9, and 16, 17, 18. Luke, i. 74, 75.
m Isai. ix. 6. 1 Tim. ii. 16. 1 John, v. 20. Isai. xxxv. 4, 5. John, i. 2. and 18. and John, viii. 5. 8. Rev. i. 8. Heb. xiii. 8. and i. 8. Phil ii. 6. Rom. ix. 5.
Gal. iy. 4. Rom. i. 3. Acts, ii. 30, and iï. 32. and iii. 22. Heb. i. 1. and ii. 11. Acts, xiii. 23. Deut. xviii, 15. Matth. i. 18. Matth. i. 21. Luke, ii. 4, 5, &c.
• Heb, ü. 9, 10.
Ans. We are instructed by his doctrine, and encouraged by his excellent example; we are reconciled to God by his death; he hath given us an excellent law, and glorious promises; and himself hath received power to make good all those promises to his servants, and fearfully to destroy them that will not have him to reign over them P.
Quest. What promises hath Jesus Christ made us in the Gospel ?
Ans. He hath promised to give us all that we need in this life; that every thing shall work together for our good; that he will be with us in tribulation and persecution. He hath promised his graces and his Holy Spirit to enable us to do our duty; and if we make use of these graces, he hath promised to give us more: he hath promised to forgive us our sins; to hear our prayers; to take the sting of death from us; to keep our souls in safe custody after death; and in his due time to raise our bodies from the grave, and to join them to our souls, and to give us eternal life, and joys that shall never cease 9.
Quest. How is Jesus Christ able to do all this for us?
Ans. When he had suffered death, and was buried three days, God raised him up again, and gave him all power in heaven and earth, made him Head of the church, Lord of men and angels, and the Judge of the quick and dead'.
Quest. By what means doth Jesus Christ our Lord convey all these blessings to us?
Ans. Jesus Christ had three offices, and in all he was Mediator between God and man; he is our prophet, our priest, and our kings.
Quest. What was his office as he was a prophet?
p Read the 3d, and 4th, and the 5th chapters to the Hebr. Eph. ii. 13, 14, 15. Luke, xix. 27. and xxiv. 46, 47.
4 Matth. vi. 25, &c. Rom. viii. 28. John, xüi. 33. Acts, xiv. 22. 2 Cor. i. 4. Matth. iv. 11, 12. and xi. 20, 21. John, vi. 44, 45. 2 Pet. i. 3, 4. Matth. xv. 59. Acts, ii. 38. and iii. 19. Luke, xviii. 7. Matth. vii. 7. Coloss. ü. 13. 1 Cor. xv. 54, 55. 57. Rev. xiv. 13. 1 Cor. xv. 22. 1 Cor. vi. 14. 2 Cor. iv. 14. John, vi. 40.
r Matth. xxviii. 6. and 18. Phil. ii. 9, &c. Heb. ii. 9. and v. 9. and i. 8. Tit. ii. 13, 14. Eph. ii. 14, 15, 20. 1 Cor. xi. 3. Ephes. v. 23. Coloss. ii. 10. Acts, X. 42. 2 Tim. iv. 1. and viii. 17. 31. 1 Pet. iv, 5.
1 Tim. ii. 5. Heb. viii. 6. and ix. 15. and xii. 24.
he was thirty years old to preach the Gospel of the kingdom, faith, and repentance.
Quest. When began his priestly office, and wherein does it consist?
Ans. It began at his death; for he was himself the priest and the sacrifice, offering himself upon the altar of the cross for the sins of all the world u.
Quest. Did his priestly office then cease ?
Ans. No, he is a priest for ever; that is, unto the end of the world, and represents the same sacrifice to God in heaven, interceding and praying continually for us, in the virtue of that sacrifice, by which he obtains relief of all our necessities
Quest. What doth Christ in heaven pray for on our behalf?
Ans. That our sins may be pardoned, our infirmities pitied, our necessities relieved, our persons defended, our temptations overcome, that we may be reconciled to God, and be savedy.
Quest. How is Jesus Christ also our King ?
Ans. When he arose from his grave, and had for forty days together conversed with his disciples, showing himself alive by many infallible tokens, he ascended into heaven, and there sits at the right hand of God; all things being made subject to him, angels, and men, and devils, heaven and earth, the elements, and all the creatures; and over all he reigns, comforting and defending his elect, subduing the power of the devil, taking out the sting of death, and making all to serve the glory of God, and to turn to the good of his electa.
Quest. How long must his kingdom last ?
Ans. Till Christ hath brought all his enemies under his feet; that is, till the day of judgment: in which day shall be performed the greatest acts of his kingly power; for then he shall quite conquer death, triumph over the devils,
+ John, i. 18. Luke, iii. 23. John, v. 43. Luke, xxiv. 19. Acts, iii. 23, &c. u Heb. v. 5. 7, 8, &c. Heb. vii. per totum.
x Heb. vii. 24, 25. y Rom. viii. 33, 34. 1 John, ii. 1. Heb. iv. 14, 15, 16.
? Heb. i. 3. 8. Psal. cx. l. 1 Thess. i. 10. Acts, i. 3. Luke, xxiv. 51. and i. 33. 1 Pet, üi. 23.