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Not that those were the last words that ever David spake, only they were written not long before his death, when he was come near heaven.
So was what is now put into the reader's hand, written by Mr. Flavel not long before his translation to the world of souls, where the spirits of just men are made perfect.
There was a more than ordinary presence of God with him to his laft; and in his last day, not the laft fermon that he preached (which was June 21, 1691.) he did more than once surprize his bearers with an intimation, that that night be the last time he should speak to them in the name of the Lord. And was not then the secret of the Lord with him ?
Dartmouth will know, and Devonshire will know, that there has been a prophet among them.
And now my soul bleeds to look on the dear flock of God, which are as fheep without a thepherd. The Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, have compassion on them, and give them a shepherd like to his blessed fervant Flavel, who did for many years feed them with knowledge, and with understanding.
him for ever.
Question 1. Of Man's chief End.
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Q.1. Seeing a chief supposeth an inferior end; what is that inferior end for which man was made ?
A. It was prudently, soberly, and mercifully, to goverti, use, and dispose of other creatures in the earth, sea, and air, over which God gave man the dominion ; Gen. i. 26. And God said, let us make man in our iinage, after our likeness: and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So Psal. viii. 6. Thou madeft him to have dominion over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put all things under his feet.
Q. 2. What then is to be thought of those men, who being wholly intent upon inferior things, forget and neglect their principal end?
A. They are dead whilst they live; 1 Tim. v. 6. But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead whilft she liveth : They have their portion in this life; Psal. xvii. 14. From men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and their end is destruction ; Phil. iii. 19. Whofe end is destruction.
Q. 3. How can man glorify God, seeing he is perfectly glorious in himself?
A. Man cannot glorify God by adding any new degree of glory to him ; Job xxxv. 7. If thou be righteous, what givest thou him, but by manifesting his glory with the lips ? Psal. l. 23. Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me; or with the life;' Matth. v. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Q. 4. Wherein consists the enjoyment of God?
A. It consists, first, in the facial vision of him in heaven. Secondly, in full conformity to him; 1 John iii. 2. But we know, that when he snall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Thirdly, in that full satisfaction which results from both the former ; Psal. xvii. 15. I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.
Q. 5. Can none enjoy him in heaven, who do not glorify him on earth ?
A. No adult person can scripturally expect happiness in heaven without holiness on earth; Heb. xii. 14. And holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. Rom. viii. 30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.
Q. 6. How comes the glory and enjoyment of God our chief end?
A. He is our Master, and rightful Owner and Benefactor ; we receive our being and preservation from him, of him, and through him, and therefore to him be all things, Rom. xi. 36.
Q. 7. Do all inen make God their chief end?
A. No, they do not; some make their fenfual pleasure their chief end: Phil. ii. 19. Whose God is their belly: and
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fome the world, Col. iii. 5. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth, and covetousness, which is idolatry
Q. 8. What are the signs of a man's making himself bis chie end?
A. Those make themselves their chief end, who ascribe the glory of what they have, or do, to themselves, and not to God; Dan iv. 30. The king fpake, and said, Is not this great Baby: lon which I have built? Isa. X. 18. For he faith, By the strength of my hand have I done it; and by my wisdom, for I am prudent; therefore they facrifice to their own net, and burn incenfe unto their drag, Hab. i. 16.
9. Why are the glorifying and enjoying of God put together, as making up our chief end?
A. Because no man can glorify God, that takes him not for his God; and none takes him for his God, that takes him not for his supreme good; and both these being effentially included in this notion of the chief end, are therefore juftly put together.
10. What is the first truth inferred hence ? A. That God hath dignified inan above all other creatures on earth, in giving him a capacity of glorifying God here, and of enjoying him hereafter.
Q. 7. What is the second truth inferred hence?
A. That the soul of man is not annihilated by death, but advanced by it; Phil. i. 21. To die is gain. V. 23. Having? desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.
Q. 12. What is the third truth inferred hence ?
A. That it is the 'duity and wisdom of every Chriftian to renounce, deny, and forsake all inferior interests and enjoy ments, when they come in competition with the glory of God, ånd our enjoyment of him : Luke xiv. 33. So Bikewise who soever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. ***
Q. 13. What is the fourth inference hence ?
A. That we are to abhor and renounce all those doctrines and practices, that debase the glory of God, and exalt and magnify the creature,
Of the Scriptures as our Rule. Queft. 2.
Hat rule hath God given to direct us how
we may glorify and enjoy him ? A. The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the old and New Testament, is the only rule to direct us bou we may glorify and enjoy him.
01. How can the scriptures be called the word of God, feeing the things containted there, were spoken and written by men ?
A. They are truly and properly called the word of God, þecaufe they came not by the will of man ; but holy men of God fpake as they were moved by the holy Gholt, 2 Pet. i. 21.
Q. 2. What are the principal arguments to persuade us that the scriptures are of divine authority and inspiration ?
A. Three things especially convince us : First, The holiness of the doctrine therein contained. Secondly, The awful efficacy thereof on the soul. Thirdly, The uncontroulable miracles by which they are fealed, put it beyond all rational doubt that they are the very words of God.
Q. 3. What is the holiness of the scriptures? and how doth that prove
them to be God's word ? A. The holiness of the scriptures doth appear in two things : First, In commanding and encouraging whatsoever is pure, and holy; Phil. iv. 8. Whatsoever things are pure. Secondly, In forbidding all unholiness, under pain of damnation ; i Cor. vi. 9. Know ye not, that the unrighteous fhall not inherit the kingdom of God, &c. This fhews that they came not from Satan, being cross to his design; nor from man, it being against his corrupt nature, and therefore from God
0. 4. What is their aụthority and efficacy on the soul ? and how doth that prove them divine ?
A. Their authority, and efficacy on the soul, consists in three things : First, "In the power they have to search and discover the fecrets of men ; Heb. iv. i2. The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow; and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Secondly, In their converting efficacy, changing and renewing the soul ; Psalm xix. 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Thirdly, In their chearing and restoring efficacy, when the soul is cast down under any inward or outward trouble; Psal. xix. 8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. No human power can do such things as these ; John xvii. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.
Q. 5. How do miracles confirm it?
A. Because all proper miracles are wrought only by the band of God: John iii. 2. And no man can do these miracles that thou doft, except God be with him : and so are his feal to whatsoever he affixes them, and it consists not with his truth and holiness to set it to a forgery.
Q. 6. What was the end of writing the word ?
A. That the church to the end of the world might have a sure, known, standing rule to try and judge all things by, and not be left to the uncertainty of traditions ; John v. 39. Search the scriptures, for in them
, and they are they which testify of me.
Q. 7. Doth not the authority of the scriptures depend on the church, fathers, and councils?
A. No, the scriptures are not built on the authority of the church, but the church on them; Eph. ii. 20. And are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Chrif himself being the chief corner-stone. And as for councils and fathers, the scriptures are not to be tried by them; but they by the scriptures; Isa. viii 20. To the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is bes cause there is no light in them
Q. 8. What may be fairly inferred from this propofition, that the scriptures are the word of God ?
A. Three things may be hence inferred. First, The perfection of the scriptures, which being the only rule given by God, muft therefore be perfect. Secondly, That it is the right of common people to read them ; John v. 39. Search the fcriptures, Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Thirdly, That we owe no obedience to the injunctions of men, farther than they are fufficiently warranted by the written word; Matth. xv. 9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandinents of men.
Of Faith and Obedience. Quest. 3. Hat do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of
Q. 1. Why is faith conjoined with obedience, and put before it?
A. Because faith is the principle from whence all obedience flows; and no man can perform any duty aright in the estate of unbelief; Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him ; for he that cometh to God, mut believe that he ise