« AnteriorContinuar »
A BRIEF VIEW, &c.
1st Question-What is the principal object sought after by mankind ?
Answer-Happiness: all their pursuits, however various, may be traced to it as to a central point.
2nd. Q.-How is true happiness to be attained ?
A.-True happiness is only to be found in loving God, fearing to offend him, and obeying his commands.
Psal. xxxiv. 9. O fear the Lord, ye his saints; for there is no want to them that fear him. 10. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.
Psal. cxxviii. 1. Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord, that walketh in his ways. 2. Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
Rom. viii. 28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
1 Cor. ii. 9. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love him. 10. But God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit.
3d. Q.-Who is God?
A-God is the infinite, eternal, and invisible Being or Spirit, who created and who upholds all things.
John iv. 24. God is a Spirit.
Psalm xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
Jer. xxiii. 24. Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him ? do not I fill heaven and the earth? saith the Lord.
Psal. cxxxix. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there. 9. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the utmost part of the sea ; 10. Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me. 12. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day : the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
Heb. iii. 4. He that built all things is God.
Heb. i. 3. Upholding all things by the Word of his power.
4th Q. Is it not true that there is but one God?
A.-Certainly; for though there are the Father, Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, these three are one God.*
* This belief of the Father, Son, and Spirit, is usually called the Doctrine of the Trinity, which has been variously explained by the professors of Christianity, but we think it safest to adhere as much as possible to the guarded manner in which the sacred writers have treated this mysterious subject; as it necessarily extends into a depth unfathomable by the limited understanding of man, for “Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty to perfection. Job xi. 7.
Deut. iv. 35. The Lord, he is God, there is none else besides him.
John i. 1. The Word was God. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
John x. 30. I and my Father are one.
John xiv. 23. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.
John xv. 26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify
Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Gal. iv. 6. God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
5th Q.—What are the proofs we have of the existence of a God?
A.—They are of two sorts, 1st. The works of creation. 2ndly. The revelation God has made of himself to man.
6th Q.-What are the proofs derived from creation ?
A.—They are innumerable: the earth we live upon abounds with them; which, with the sun, the moon and the stars, and the various revolutions in the planetary system, proclaims the existence of an all-wise, all-powerful Being,
by whom they must have been created, and by whose power they continue to be upheld. Thus when we see a house, we are certain that it could not have made or built itself, but must have been the work of some man; so when we behold things indicative of design that far exceed the ability of man, we reasonably attribute them to a Superior Power.
Psalm civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works ! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of
Psal. xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handy work. 2. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. 3. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard,
Açts xiv. 17. He left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruit. ful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
Rom. i. 20. The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.
Psal. cxxxix. 14. I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well.
7th Q.-How does God reveal himself to
A.-By his Holy Spirit, which checks us when we incline to do evil, and incites and encourages us to do good.*
* “How often,” says the pious Grove, “are good thoughts suggested, heavenly affections kindled and inflamed! How often is the Christian prompted to holy actions, drawn to his duty, re
Deut. xxx. 11. For this commandment which I command thee this day, is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 14. But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, that thou mayst do it.
Neh. ix. 20. Thou gavest also thy good spirit to in. struct them.
Rom. ii. 14. When the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15. Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing, one another.
Rom. x. 6. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above :) 7. Or, who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8. But what saith it? 'The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
8th Q.-Has not God also revealed his will to man by the Holy Scriptures ?
A.--Yes, inasmuch as they were written for the instruction of mankind by men inspired of God.
2 Tim. iii. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of
stored, quickened, persuaded, in such a manner, that he would be unjust to the Spirit of God, to question his agency in the whole! Yes, O my soul! there is a Supreme Being, who governs the world, and is present with it; who takes up his more special habitation in good men, and is nigh to all who call upon Him, to sanctify and assist them! Hast thou not felt Him, O my soul! like another soul, actuating thy faculties, exalting thy views, purifying thy passions, exciting thy graces, and begetting in thee an abhorrence of sin and a love of holiness? And is not all this an argument of his presence, as truly as if thou didst see him?" Hints on Regeneration, by Richard Phillips, second edition, p. 41.