« IndietroContinua »
13. Q. Where are those articles to be met with?
A. They are only to be found in and believed upon the authority of God's word: yet have been collected into that short summary of our faith which is commonly called the Apostles' Creed. See Part II.
14. Q. What was the third thing which your Godfathers and Godmothers promised in your name at your baptism? .
A. That I should keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of my life,
15. Q. Has there been any such summary collection made of God's commandments, as you say there has been of the principal articles of your Christian faith?
A. Yes, there hath, and that by God himself, in those ten commandments which he delivered to the Jews beretofore; Exod. xx. and which continue no less to oblige us now. Matt. v. 17, &c. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. See Part III.
Proors SUBJOINED. — Matt. xix. 17, 18, 19. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother; and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. Luke, xviii. 18, 20. And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, why callest thou me good? None is good, save one,
that is God. Thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill; do not steal, do not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother. Rom. xiii. 8, &c. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
16. Q. fflost tbou not tbtntt tbat tbou art bowflj to beltebe arid oo as tijep babe prom(seti for thee?
A. pts, bertlp, ario bp (Mi's belp so 3 totll,
17. Q. Upon what grounds do you think yourself obliged to make good what your Godfathers and Godmothers promised for you at your baptism?
A. Upon mauy accounts;. but chiefly, because what was then transacted, was not only done in my name, but for my benefit and advantage: and I must resolve to fulfil what they promised for me, or I shall not receive the blessings, which, in consideration thereof, God was pleased to make over to me. Besides, that they promised nothing on my behalf, but what it would otherwise have been my duty, as well as interest, to have fulfilled.
18. Q. By what means do you hope you shall be able to fulfil what they promised for you?
A. By the grace of God, which I am assured shall not be wanting to me, if I do but heartily pray to God for it, and take care to use it as I ought to do. Luke, xi. 13. If ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.
I?roofs Subjoined.—John, vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 2 Cor. Hi. 5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God. Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing, that he, which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. ii. 1.3. For it is God, that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
19. Q. How are you assured of God's grace to enable you to believe, and to do, what he requires of you?
A. I am assured of it from hence, that by my baptism I was put into a state of salvation, which I could not have been, were I not thereby secure of whatsoever is needful, on God's part, to be bestowed upon me, in order to my attaining of salvation through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Rom. i. 16. The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Phil. ii. 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 good pleasure.
Proofs Subjoined.—Jer. xxxii. 40. 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. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26, 27. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness md 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 1 will
take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will gire you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my commandments and do them. John, iii. 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. 2 Thess. ju. 3. But the Lord is faithful who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.
20. Q. How came you to be called unto such a blessed state as this?
A. Only by the mercy of God, and through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour; and therefore I do most heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he has called me to this state of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.—John, vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Futher, which hath sent me, draw him : and I will raise him up at the last day. Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are ye sared through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Phil. j. 29. For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. 2 Tim. i. 9. God 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. Tit. jii. 4, 5. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we have done, but according to his mercy, He saved us, by the wushing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
21. Q. Do you think yor shall be able still to go on, and persevere in this state?
A. It is my earnest desire and purpose so to do;
and I trust, that by the grace of God, I shall do so. For which cause I will never cease to pray unto him for the continuance of his Grace; that so I may be found faithful and sincere in my duty to my life's end. 2 Thess. iii. 3. The Lord is faithful, who shall establish you and keep you from evil. Eph. iv. 30. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing. That He which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Proofs Subjoined. — John, viii. 31. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed. Rom. ii. 7. God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well doing, seek for glory and honor, and immortality, eternal life. 1 Cor. i. 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, xv. 58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 2 Cor. i. 22. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the spirit in our hearts. Gal. 6, ix. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Of the method and means of restoring ourselves to God's Favour after the Violation of them.
1. Q. But what if notwithstanding all your present desires and resolutions, you should chance to