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sire and constantly endeavour to live, not only according to some, but according to all the commandments of God.
115. Q. Why, then, will God have his law so exactly and severely preached, seeing there is no man, in this life, who is able to observe it?
A. First, That all our life time we should have more reason to perceive and acknowledge the great proneness of our nature to sin," and should so
hate, that I do. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not. Rom. vii. 14, 15, 18. For in many things we offend all. James iii. 2. There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good and sinneth not. Eccles. vii. 20. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. I John i. 10. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Gal. v. 17. For the good that I would, I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Rom. vii. 19, 21.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man. Rom. vii. 22. But his delight is in the law of the Lord : and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Ps. i. 2. I will delight myself in thy statutes : I will not forget thy word. Ps. cxix. 16. And I will delight myself in thy commandments which I have loved. Ps. cxix. 47, 48. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. Behold, I have longed after thy precepts : quicken me in thy righteousness. Ps. cxix. 35, 40. Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways; they take delight in approaching to God. Isa. lviii. 2. Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live : for thy law is my delight. Ps. cxix. 77.
w Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
much the more earnestly desire remission of sins and righteousness in Christ;* secondly, That we (constantly keeping this in remembrance, and meditating upon it always,) should implore of the Father the grace of his holy Spirit, whereby we may daily more and more be renewed to the image of God, until at length, after we have departed this life, we may attain with joy that blessed per
Rom. iii. 20. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. I John i. 9, 10. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord ; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Ps. xxxii. 5. With the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom. x. 10. Give glory to God, and make confession to him. Josh. vii, 19. They shall confess their sin which they have done. Num. v. 7. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Prov. xxviii. 13. Now, therefore, make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers. Ezra x. Jl.
x Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. Matt. v. 6. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vii. 24, 25. 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. John xv. 5. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; 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. iii. 24-26. Who was delivered for our offences. Rom. iv. 25.
fection of holiness, which is proposed to us in the
y Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize ? So run, that ye may obtain. 1 Cor. ix. 24. If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended : but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things wbich are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Phil. iii. 11-14, 17, 20, 21. Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Tit. ii. 13. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope ; by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Pet. i. 3-5. 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 all them also that love his appearing. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Heb. xiii. 14. A city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Heb. xi. 10. For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; that mortality may be swallowed up of life. 2 Cor. v. 1, 2, 4.
116. Q. Wherefore is prayer necessary for Christians ?
A. Because it is an especial part of that gratitude which God requires of us.z And also because God gives his grace and holy Spirit only to those who, with faith and unfeigned sorrow, beg them
For which cause we faint not, but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us an eteraal weight of glory; while we look not on the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor. iv. 16–18. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. I Cor. xv. 58.
? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Ps. 1. 14, 15. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for every one that asketh receive eth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matt. vii. 7, 8. Then shall ye call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. Prov. i. 28. Hitherto ye have asked nothing in my name ; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John xvi. 24. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. James i. 6. Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me. Ps. 1. 23. .
continually of him, and yield him thanks for them.a.
117. Q. What is required unto that prayer, which shall please God, and be heard of him?
A. That we ask of the only true God, who has manifested himself in his word, all things which he
a All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matt. xxi, 22. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. James is. 3. I will, therefore, that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath, and nothing doubting. Tim. ii. 8. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. James i. 6. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark xi. 24. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit. Eph. vi. 18. If any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. John ix. 31. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them. Jer. xxxi. 9. Turn again, and tell Hezekiah, the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears; behold I will heal thee. 2 Kings xx. 5. The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping; the Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord will receive my prayers. Ps. iv. 8, 9. Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Ps. lxxxvi. 5. Ye have not, because ye ask not. James, iv. 2. I will cut off them that are turned back from the Lord; and those that have not sought the Lord, nor inquired after him. Zeph. i. 4, 6. Thou hast not called upon me, O Jacob; but thou hast been weary of me, O Israel. Therefore I have given Jacob to the curse, and Israel to reproaches. Isa. xliii. 22, 28. Woe unto them for they have fled from me ; they have not cried unto me with their hearts, when they howled upon their beds. Hos. vii. 13, 14.
b God is a Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John iv. 24.