A Catechism or Instructions for Children and Youth
Fundamental Doctrines of Christianity, London 1810
CONCERNING THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
What book is that which is commonly
called the scripture?
The Bible, which contains the Old and the New Testament.
Does it appear likely that bad men should
be the writers of the bible?
No; for the bible is clearly a good book, and therefore could not be written by bad men; for a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Matthew vii. 18
Was it then written by good men?
Yes; for a good tree bringeth forth good fruit. Matthew vii. 17.
Will good men tell known lies?
No; lying is a bad thing; and good men speak the truth, they lie not. Romans ix I.
What do these good men say concerning the
Author of the scripture?
They say all scripture is given by inspiration of God; and holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost 2 Tim. iii 16. 2 Pet. i. 2!
Do these good men declare that they were
witnesses of the leading facts contained in the New Testament?
Yes; they assure us they were eye-witnesses from the beginning. Luke i. 2.
And (do they solemnly profess to write what they saw and heard?
Yes; they say, that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you. I John i. 3.
Did their enemies know the truth of these
Yes; Paul appealed to Agrippa and Festus that this thing was not done in a corner. Acts xxvi. 26.
Does the scripture teach us the doctrines
we are to believe?
Yes; it is profitable for doctrine. 2 Tim. iii. 16.
And does it convince of sin when we do
Yes; it is profitable for conviction and reproof. 2 Tim. iii. 16.
And does it correct our errors and
Yes; it is profitable for correction. 2 Tim. iii. 16.
Does it teach us every branch of duty?
Yes; it is profitable for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim. ii. 17.
Is the scripture sufficient to make us
Yes; it is able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is
in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. iii. 15.
And is it to be used as a test of right
Yes; to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because they have no light in them. Isa. viii. 20.
Ought we to try the sermons we hear by
Yes; the Bereans are commended, because they searched the scriptures daily, to see if the things were so as Paul and Silas taught them. Acts xvii. 11
Ought we to be ruled and guided by human
No; it was the sin of the Pharisees that they made void the commandment of God by their traditions. Matt. xv. 6.
(I desire my young readers and their instructors to observe that the above remarks are not at all designed as a complete proof of the truth and inspiration of scripture, which lies beyond the reach of a childs capacity; and which may be seen as large in other writings: but only as a few obvious and easy thoughts on the subject, which a child may understand.)
Ought the sentiments or practices of
great men to be our rule and
No; for both the priest and prophet have erred. Isa. xxviii. 7.
Ought the example of many to be a rule
No; thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. Exod. xxiii 2.
Ought we to make examples of good men as
No; we ought only to follow them as far as they follow Christ. I Cor. xi.
Must we depend on angels as our guides?
No; for though an angel from heaven preach any other doctrine than that which the ap6stles preadh, let them be accursed. Gal. 1. 8.
Were the truths of scripture confirmed by
miracles from heaven?
Yes; God bore them, witness with signs and wonders, and divers miracles. Heb. ii. 4.
Did the truths of the gospel gain early
and extensive credit in the world?
Yes; their sound went forth into all the earth, and their words into the ends of the world. Rom. x. 18.
Have many sealed these truths with their
Yes; they were slain for the word of God, and the testimony which they held. Rev. vi. 9.
Has the truth of scripture a witness in
the heart of every true believer?
Yes; for he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself. I John v. 10.
Is the scripture a perfect rule?
Yes; the law of the Lord is perfect. Psa. xix. 7.
Is not ignorance of the scriptures a
cause of great errors?
Yes; the Sadducees greatly erred, because they knew not the scriptures. Mar. xii. 24, 27.
Is it not great folly to reject or
despise the scripture?
Yes; they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in them? Jer. viii. 9.
And is it not very dangerous to do so?
Yes; whoso despiseth the word, shall be destroyed. Prov. xiii. 13.
Ought we not to practice what the
scripture requires, as well as hear it?
Yes; be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James i. 22.
And are they happy who do hear and
Yes; blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it. Luke xi. 29.
Ought we not, in all matters of faith and
practice, to go as far as the scripture goes, and to be silent where the scripture is
Yes; for secret things belong into the Lord our God, and things that are revealed belong unto us, and to our children for ever, to do all the words of this law. Deut. xxix 29.
GOD THE CREATOR AND PRESERVER OF ALL THINGS
Can you tell me who made you?
The blessed God made me, and fashioned me. Psal. cxix. 75.
Did the blessed God make all things?
Yes; he created all things, and for his pleasure they are and were created. Rev. iv. 11.
And does he preserve you?
Yes; he holdeth our souls in life. Psa. lxvi, 9.
And does he preserve and uphold all things?
Yes; he preserveth them all. Neh. ix. 6.
Are our life and death and health and sickness, all in the hand of God?
Yes; the Lord killeth and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave, and he bringeth up. I Sam. ii. 6.
Does the blessed God supply all your wants?
Yes; all our springs are in him. Psa. lxxxvii. 7.
And does he supply all creatures?
Yes; he satisfieth the desire of every living thing. Psa. cxiv. 16.
THE PERFECTIONS OF GOD
Is the blessed God a Spirit or Spiritual
Yes; God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit, and in truth. John iv. 24.
Is the blessed God every where present?
Yes; he is not far from every one of us. Acts xvii. 27.
And is God eternal?
Yes; from everlasting to everlasting he is God. Psal. xc. 2.
Is he also unchangeable?
Yes; with him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James i. 17.
And does he know all things?
Yes; his understanding is infinite. Ps. cxlvii. 5.
Is he a powerful Being?
Yes; he can do every thing. Job xlii. 2.
And is he a holy Being?
Yes; there is none as holy as the Lord. I Sam. ii.2.
And is he true and faithful?
Yes; God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent. Num. xxiii. II.
is he also a just God?
Yes; he is a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right he is. Deut. xxxii. 4.
And is he not also a God of goodness and love?
Yes; he is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psa. cxiv. 9.
THE PURITY OF MAN IN HIS PRIMITIVE STATE
In what state did God create man?
God created man in his own image, after his likeness. Gen. i. 26, 27.
Wherein does this image of God chiefly consist?
In righteousness and true holiness. Eph. iv. 24.
Was man then at first created holy and upright?
Yes, God made man upright. Ecc. vii. 29.
THE FALL OF MAN
Did man continue upright and holy, as God
No; he hearkened to the tempter, and sinned against his Maker.
Wherein did the sin of Adam consist?
In eating the forbidden fruit. Gen. ii. 16, 17 iii. 16.
What was the first consequence of Adams sin, besides disorders death?
He was full of guilt, and afraid of his kind and gracious God, with whom he had before enjoyed free communion. Gen. iii. 10.
What was the second consequence?
He fled from the presence of his Maker. Gen. iii. 8.
What was the third consequence?
He was so foolish, and so darkened in his mind, that he attempted to hide himself from that God who is every where present. Gen. iii.
What was the fourth consequence?
Instead of humbly confessing their sin, and asking for pardon, our first parents proudly excuse their crime, and endeavour to throw the blame off themselves. Gen. iii. 12, 13.
THE DEPRAVITY OF MANKIND, INCONSEQUENCE OF THE FALL
Are mankind now in the same state in
which Adam was created?
No; we are all as an unclean thing. Isa. lxiv. 6.
Is this the case of all mankind?
Yes; all are gone out of the way; they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no not one. Rom. iii. 12.
Was this the case soon after the fall?
Yes; for then God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen. vi. 5.
Are even children corrupted, and defiled?
Yes; foolishness is bound in the heart of a child. Prov. xxii. 15.
Is this the effect of Adams sin?
Yes; by one mans disobedience, many were made sinners. Rom. v. 19.
Do we derive this corruption from our parents?
Yes; for who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one. Job xiv. 4.
Can those that die unrenewed be happy?
No; for except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John iii. 3.
THE SINFULNESS OF SIN, AND THE VARIOUS KINDS OF SIN
Do not sinful practices arise from our
Yes; for a corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit. Matt. vii. 18.
What is sin?
Sin is the transgression of the law. I John.
Do all men transgress the divine law?
Yes; there is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not. Eccl. vii. 20.
Is not sin a very evil thing?
Yes; it is exceedingly sinful. Rorn. vii. 13.
What proof can you give that sin is so sinful?
It is a rebellion against our God, who bath nourished and brought us up. Isa. i. 2.
What further proof have you of it?
It is the breach of a holy, just, and good law. Rom. vii. 12.
Have you any other proof of it?
Yes; it has filled the world with labor, pain, and death. Gen. iii. 16, 17, 18. Rom. v. 12.
What further shews the evil of sin?
It separated man from God, the Author of all good. Isa. lix. 2.
Are there not many kinds of sins?
Yes; God made man upright; but he bath sought out many inventions. Eccles. vii. 29.
Are there sins of the heart, as well as practice?
Yes; for the apostle said to Simon Magus, thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Acts viii. 12.
Is forgetfulness of God a sin?
Yes; for all that forget God shall be turned into Hell. Psal. ix. 17.
And is pride another sin of the heart?
Yes; every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. Prov. xvi. 6.
Are bitterness, wrath, malice, and anger, sinful?
Yes; let all bitterness, and wrath and anger, be put away from you with all malice. Ephes. iv. 31.
Are vain glory and envy sinful?
Yes; let us not be (desirous of vain glory, envying one another. Gal. v. 26.
Is covetousness very sinful?
Yes; the coveteous man hath no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. Ephes. v. 5.
Are there not also sins of the tongue?
The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity; it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell. James iii. 6.
Are not swearing and cursing sinful?
Yes; bless and curse not. Rom. xii. 15. Matt. v. 34.
Is it a sin to mention the name of God in a light manner, or without necessity?
Yes; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Exod. xx. 7.
Is lying a great sin?
Yes; all liars shall have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. Rev. xxi. 8.
And also foolishness and filthy talking?
Yes; let not filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, be once named among you. Ephes. v. 3, 4.
Are backbiting, whispering, and evil speaking, also, sinful?
Yes; they are often forbidden by the blessed God as great sins. Psa. xv. 3. Rom. i. 29, 30. James iv. 11.
Is it a great sin to use abusive language?
Yes; Whosoever shall say to his brother, thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matt. v. 22.
And are idle, useless words sinful?
Yes; for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account thereof in the day of judgement. Matt. xii. 36.
Are there also many sinful practices, as well as thoughts, tempers, and words?
Yes; destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. Prov. x. 29.
Is every kind of injustice sinful?
Yes; the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. I Cor. vi. 9.
Is it a sinful thing to steal?
Yes; the Lord commands, thou shalt not steal. Exod. xx. 15.
Is drunkeness a great sin?
Yes; drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. v. 21.
Are adultery and extortion very sinful?
Yes; neither adulterers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God. I Cor. vi. 9, 10.
Can you mention any other sinful practice?
Yes; idolatry, witchcraft, murder, revelings, and such like. They who practice these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal. v. 20, 21.
Is not disobedience to parents very sinful in children?
Yes; the command is, children obey your parents in all things, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. Col. iii. 20.
Is it not a wicked thing when children make light of their parents?
Yes; cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother. Deut. xxvii. 16.
Are not those who are guilty of these sins iii a miserable condition?
Yes; for the wages of sin is death. Rom. vi. 23.
Is this the case with regard to every sin?
Yes; for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Rom. i. IS.
Are not you yourself guilty of some of the before-mentioned in heart, lip, or life?
Yes; I, and all others, have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii. 23.
Are you not then in a sad condition till your sins be pardoned?
Yes; for cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them. Gal. iii. 10.
THE NECESSITY AND WORTH OF FORGIVENESS
If you are thus condemned by the divine
law, what will become of you if you die unpardoned?
I must be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. 2 Thess. i. 9.
(Should any think this bears hard on the state of dying infants, they are desired to consult the note on Sect. XI.)
Is it not most needful that you obtain salvation from this dreadful punishment?
Yes; this is the one thing needful. Luke x. 42.
Can you escape everlasting misery if you neglect this?
No; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation? Heb. ii. 3.
Can you enjoy any other good that is worthy to be compared with this great salvation?
No; for what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Matt. xvi. 26.
THE NATURE AND NECESSITY OF REGENERATION
Do you not read in the word of God that
you must be born again?
Yes, our Saviour says, ye must be born again. John iii. 7.
What is meant by this expression?
It signifies to be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Ephes. iv. 23.
Is this change described by any other expression?
Yes; it is being made partakers of the divine nature. 2 Peter i. 4.
Is this an inward change?
Yes; hereby God puts his law in the heart; and writes it on the mind. Heb. x. 16.
Is this an universal change?
Yes; thus old things pass away, and behold, all things become new. 2 Cor. v. 17.
By what doth the holy spirit produce this change in the heart?
By the incorruptible seed of the word, the word of truth. James i. 18. I Peter i. 23.
Are ministers employed as Gods instruments to produce this change?
Yes; they are sent forth to open the eyes of men, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Acts xxvi. 18.
Do they accomplish this blessed end, especially by the gospel?
Yes; for Paul says, In Christ Jesus have I begotten you through the gospel. I Cor. iv. 15.
Does faith come by hearing the word?
Yes; faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom. x. 17
And then is the heart purified by faith?
Yes; God puts no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. Acts xv. 8, 9.
Does God command us to believe in Jesus Christ?
Yes; this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. I John iii. 23.
Is believing obeying the gospel?
Yes: they have not all obeyed the gospel: for Isaias saith, Who hath believeth our report? Rom. x. 16.
Is this the sure and scripture way of obtaining purification?
Yes; ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit. I Peter i. 22.
How is this method effectual to accomplish the glorious end?
Because we received the promise of the spirit of faith. Gal. iii. 14.
Is the holy spirit promised to all that believe in Jesus?
Yes; Jesus said, If any man thirst, let him.come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water: thus he spake of the spirit, which they who believe on him should receive. John vii. 37, 38, 39.
Is the love of God, by this means, shed abroad in the heart?
Yes; the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Rom. v. 5.
What fruits will arise from hence in the temper and life?
The fruit of the spirit is in all goodness and righteousness, and truth. Ephes. v. 9.
Is this the fruit of every regenerate person?
Yes; for every good tree bringeth forth good fruit. Matt. vii. 17.
Can you give a complete description of a regenerate person in a few words?
Yes; he is made free from sin, and become a servant to God; he has his fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Rom. vi. 22.
Is not this change absolutely necessary in order to be happy?
Yes; except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John iii. 3.
THE HELPLESSNESS OF MAN, AND HIS INABILITY TO RECOVER FROM HIS FALL
Are not all mankind fallen into a state
of sin and misery?
Yes; the whole world lieth in wickedness. I John v. 19.
Can any one redeem or save another?
No; none of them can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. Psal. xlix. 7.
Can fallen men perform works of righteousness, sufficient to recommend themselves to God?
No; we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Isai. lxiv. 6.
Are not the best of men defective in their best performances?
Yes; for holy Paul confesseth, when I would do good, evil is present with me. Rom. viii. 21.
Cannot a sinner then be saved by his own works?
No; it is not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph. ii. 8.
Can no one save a poor sinner except the Lord Jesus Christ?
No; there is not salvation in any other. Acts. iv. 12.
THE CERTAINTY OF ETERNAL MISERY TO THOSE
UNRECOVERED FROM THEIR FALLEN AND SINFUL STATE
(The author begs leave here to suggest a
remark, by way of caution; namely, That he is firmly persuaded that it is both
inconsistent with scripture and the divine perfections, to suppose that infants are
exposed to eternal misery, or that, dying in infancy, they should be consigned to hell. He
supposes the scriptures were written for, and are addressed to, those who are capable of
understanding them, and none else. And he desires that nothing in this section, or any
other may be interpreted in a manner by which this sentiment may be opposed. But as this
is not a place for controversy, he desires that this caution may be considered as
sufficient to explain his meaning.)
Are all men sinners?
Yes; there is none righteousness, no not one. Rom. iii. 10.
Are you yourself in a sinful state?
Yes; I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psal. li. 5.
Can a sinful disposition be pleasing to a holy God?
No; God desireth truth in the inward parts. Psal. ii. 6.
Is not the blessed God offended with sin?
Yes; sin provokes the Holy One of Israel to anger. Isai. i. 4.
Are you yourself in danger of divine wrath?
Yes; we are by nature children of wrath, even as others. Ephes. ii. 3.
What will become of you if you die in your natural state?
If I die in my natural state, I cannot be happy; but except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John iii. 3.
And if you dont go to heaven, what will become of you?
I must depart from the blessed Jesus into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. Matt. xxv. 41.
Can you ever be delivered from that state ,if you be once sent into it?
No; if the Lord, in his wrath, take me away with his stroke, a great ransom cannot deliver me. Job xxxvi. 13.
Is it not then very foolish to neglect the salvation of your soul one single day?
Yes; for I dont know that I shall live another day: for I cannot tell what a day may bring forth. Prov. xxvii. 1.
THE WILLINGNESS OF THE BLESSED GOD TO SAVE POOR SINNERS
Is the great and blessed God willing that
you should die in your sins, and go to hell?
No; God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pet. iii. 9.
Does the Lord confirm this delightful truth by a solemn oath, that you may not doubt it?
Yes; as I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Ezek. xxxiii. 11.
Why is the blessed God so unwilling that sinners should perish?
Because he delighteth in mercy. Mw. vii. 18.
Is the Lord kind and good to all men?
Yes; the Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works. Psa. cxiv. 9.
Has the blessed God given us a substantial proof of his love and pity to all poor sinners?
Yes; for his own dear Son Jesus was made a little lower than the angels, and for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. Heb. ii. 9.
What further proof of it has the Lord given?
He has commanded his ministers to preach the gospel (that is to proclaim good things) to every creature. Mark xvi. 15.
Which is the leading truth in the gospel?
That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures. I Cor. xv. 3
Is every part of salvation thereby provided for poor sinners?
Yes; for ministers are directed to say, Come, for all things are now ready. Luke xiv. 17.
Are ministers directed thus to invite all who hear them?
Ye; the Lords direction is, as many as you find, bid to the marriage. Matt. xxii. 9.
And are all sinners, who are willing to partake of this, salvation, welcome to it?
Yes; the Lords work is, Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. Rev. xxii. 17.
THE GLORIOUS PROVISIONS WHICH GOD HATH MADE FOR POOR SINNERS
Has the great and blessed God made his
own Son a surety for sinful man?
Yes; Jesus was made the surety of a better testament. Heb. vii. 22.
Was Jesus made under the law?
Yes, he was made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law. Gal. iv. 4.
And were our sins laid upon Jesus Christ?
Yes; the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquity of us all. Isa. liii. 6.
Did Jesus suffer for our sins?
Yes; he suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he niight bring us to God. I Pet. iii. 18.
And did he by this means obtain redemption for us?
Yes; he hath obtained eternal redemption for us. Heb. ix. 12.
And has he brought in righteousness?
Yes; he hath brought in everlasting righteousness. Dan. ix. 24.
Is this for justification?
Yes; by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Rom. v. 19.
Is this the privilege of all that believe in Jesus?
Yes; he is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Rom. x. 4.
Is righteousness imputed to believers without works?
Yes; even as David describeth the blessedness of the man to whom the Lord imputeth righteousness without works. Rom. vi. 6,
Did Jesus make reconciliation for guilty man?
Yes; he made reconciliation for iniquity. Dan. ix. 24.
And did he make peace for sinners?
Yes; he hath made peace through the blood of his cross. Col. i. 20.
Is the Holy Ghost given to renew, comfort, and direct believers in Jesus?
Yes; the renewing of the Holy Ghost is shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Tit. iii. 6.
Is Jesus the author of eternal salvation?
Yes; he is the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him. Heb. v. 9.
THE FREENESS OF SALVATION
Is the salvation of Jesus Christ to be
obtained by our own righteousness?
No; it is not by works of righteousness which we have done. Tit. iii.
Is eternal life then the gift of God?
Yes; the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 23.
Is this gift given to sinners?
Yes; Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I Tim. 1. 15.
And is this salvation for those who are lost?
Yes; the son of man came to save that which was lost. Matt. xviii. 11.
Do believers enjoy his blessings as a free gift?
Yes: they are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, through faith in his blood. Rom. iii. 24, 25.
Is it a free gift to those who have destroyed themselves by sin?
Yes; O Israel, thou has destroyed thyself, but in me is thy help. Hos. xiii. 9.
Are sinners invited to receive it freely?
Yes; Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat, yea, come, buy wine and milk, without money, and without price. Isai. lv. 1.
Does the Lord condescend to beseech poor sinners to receive this free gift?
Yes; the apostle says, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christs stead, be ye reconciled to God. 2 Cor. v. 20.
And does he wait upon and plead with sinners, to bring them to receive it?
Yes; for he says; Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev. iii. 20.
Will not the Lord Jesus cast out any poor sinner that comes to him?
No: for he says. Him that cometh unto me. Twill in no wise cast out. John vi. 37.
Has the blessed God given instances of the freeness of this salvation, in bestowing it upon some of the vilest sinners, when they turned to him?
Yes; the woman who had sinned much, the publican, the jailor, the persecuting Saul, and many great sinners at Corinth, found mercy with him. Luke vii. 47,48. Luke xviii. 13, 14. Acts. xvi. 30,31. I Tim. i. 13, 16. I Cor. vi. 9, 10, 11.
THE WAY TO BE PARTAKERS OF THIS SALVATION
Is it necessary for sinners to repent?
Yes; except we repent, we must all perish. Luke xiii. 3, 5.
Is this necessary for all men?
Yes; for God commandeth all men every where to repent. Acts xvii. 30.
What is repentance?
When the wicked heartily forsaketh his sinful way, and the unrighteous his vain and unscriptural thoughts, that is repentance. Isai. lv. 7.
But does repentance give any one an interest in Christ and his great salvation?
No; but the scripture says, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. Acts xvi. 31.
What does believing in Christ imply?
It implies that we believe the record that God has given of his Son. I John v. 10.
What is the record God has given of his Son?
This is the record that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. I John v. 11.
What does believing in Christ contain?
It contains in it, seeing the promises which God hath made to sinners through him, being persuaded of them, and embracing them. Heb. xi. 13.
Is pardon of sin enjoyed by faith?
Yes; whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts x. 43.
And does the sinner hereby enjoy peace with God?
Yes; being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. vi.
And does a person become a child of God by faith?
Yes; true believers are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. iii. 26, John i. 12.
Are the firey darts of Satan quenched by faith?
Yes; the shield of faith is able to quench all the firey darts of the wicked. Eph. vi. 16.
(Not wicked men, but the wicked One, i.e. Satan)
And is the world overcome by faith?
Yes; this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. I John v. 4.
Are believers kept through faith to the full enjoyment of salvation?
Yes; they are kept by the power of God throughout faith unto salvation. I Pet. I. 3.
Can you be saved without this faith?
No; for he that believeth not shall be damned. Mar. xvi. 16.
Is a sinner kept under condemnation by unbelief?
Yes; he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John iii. 18.
And are sinners by unbelief kept from going to heaven?
Yes; we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief. Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being made us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Heb. iii. 19. iv. 1.
Is the word preached unprofitable for want of faith?
Yes; the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. Heb. iv. 2.
Does Satan, therefore, labour to keep those that hear from believing, lest they should be saved?
Yes; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts; lest they should believe and be saved. Luke viii. 12.
Is it then certain that all true believers in Christ are entitled to eternal life?
Yes; for whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 15, 16.
THE HAPPINESS OF THOSE WHO PARTAKE OF SALVATION
Are not those very happy that partake of
salvation by Jesus Christ?
Yes; blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Rom. iv. 7.
What is the first part of their happiness?
They are justified by faith, and have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. v. 2.
What other blessings are they posses2? of?
They have access into the grace (of favour) of God, and in that grace (of favour) they stand. Rom. v. 2.
What other blessings do they enjoy?
They can rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Rom. v. 2.
Can they be happy in times of affliction and distress?
Yes; they can glory in tribulations also. Rom. v. 3.
Are they the children of the blessed God?
Yes; as many as receive Jesus Christ, he gives them power to become the sons of God. John 1. 12.
And does the Lord regard and pity them as his children?
Yes; like a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psalm ciii. 13.
And does God give them every thing needful to make them happy?
Yes; his divine power bath given them all things that pertain both to life and godliness. 2 Pet. i. 3.
Are many precious promises given them?
Yes; the Lord bath given them exceeding great and precious promises. 2 Peter i. 4.
Will the Lord be their constant companion in this world?
Yes; for he bath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Heb. xiii. 5.
And will he help them in all trials?
Yes; for his gracious words are, Fear thou not, for lam with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. lsai. xli. 10.
And will the blessed Jesus take them home to himself at last?
Yes; he says, I will come again, and will take you to myself, that where I am, there ye may be also. John xiv. 3.
Can you, in a few words, mention any little part of their happiness in the blessed world above?
Yes; they shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shall feed them; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. vii. 16, 17.
Shall they be happy forever?
Yes; they shall be ever with the Lord. I Thess. iv. 17.
THE MISERY OF UNCONVERTED SINNERS
What is the state of man by nature?
We are by nature children of wrath. Ephes. ii. 3.
What is the state of those who go on in sin?
The face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Psa. xxxiv. 16.
Does the wrath of God abide on those who continue in unbelief?
Yes; they shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on them. John iii. 36.
Are they, as sinner and rebels, hated by God?
Yes; though he loves and pities them as his miserable creatures, yet he hateth all the works of iniquity. Psa. v. 5.
Is their habitation under the divine curse?
Yes; the curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked. Prov. iii. 33.
Can they go to heaven if they die unconverted?
No; for Jesus declares, Except as ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt. xviii. 8.
What must their place be then?
The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. Psa. ix. 17.
What must they suffer in hell?
They must be punished with everlasting destruction, from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. I Thess. i. 9.
THE DUTY OF CONVERTED PERSONS
Do all truly converted persons love God?
Yes; they say, We love him, because he first loved us. i John iv. 19.
And ought they to shew their love to God by obedience?
Yes; this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grevious. I John v. 3.
Is not uniform obedience a substantial proof of our conversion?
Yes; hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoso keepth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected. Hereby know we that we are in him. I John ii. 3, 5.
Is there no other sufficient proof of conversion, where this is wanting?
No; for if any man say I know him, and keep not his command-
ments, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him. I John ii. 4.
Ought this obedience to be universal?
Yes; they ought to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. Luke i. 6.
And does this prove them real friends to Christ?
Yes; for he says, ye are my friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. John xv. I.
REASONS FOR DISSENTING FROM ESTABLISHED CHURCHES
What is meant by a gospel church?
A society of persons professing faith in Jesus Christ, and love to him and agreeing to come together, for divine worship. This appears from the following passages of scripture. Gal. i. 22. Acts viii. I, ix. 31, xiii. I. Rom. xvi. 6. I Cor. xiv. 33. Rev. i. II and many others.
Who is the head of the church?
Jesus Christ is the head of the body, the church; and the head over all things to the Church. Col. 1. 18. Ephes. 1. 22.
Does Jesus Christ, as our Lord and Master, require cheerful and uniform obedience?
Yes; he says, Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke vi. 46.
Does he require that his disciples, in matters of religion, submit to no other authority besides his own?
Yes; he says, You have one master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren. Matt. xxiii. 9,10.
Are national churches, established by civil laws, which are enforced by human penalties, under the direction and government of Jesus Christ alone?
No; they are under the direction and government of men. Hence their creeds, and their rights and ceremonies are different in different countries and in different ages.
Are these sufficient reasons for dissenting and separating from national churches?
Yes; for no man can serve two masters; and we must serve the Lord Christ. Matt. v. 24. Cot. iii. 24.
Did Christ and his apostles, and the first christians, dissent and separate from all national churches?
Yes; it is evident that they did, from the whole New Testament and the history of the following ages.
How did they vindicate themselves, when called to account for their conduct?
They said, We ought to obey God, rather than men. Acts. v. 29.
But ought you not to obey all the civil laws of the country in which you live?
Yes; civil laws are the ordinances of men; and we are commanded to submit ourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake. I Pet. ii. 13.
Is the church of Christ then distinct from all civil governments?
Yes; the kingdom of Christ is not of this world. John xviii. 36.
But are the members of christian churches allowed to rebel against
No; they ought to be the best subjects under every government; and if real, well-instructed christians, they are the best in reality; for they fear God, and honour the king. They are subject to civil rulers, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. I Pet. ii. 17. Rom. xiii. 5.
Is the scripture a sufficient guide for man in every branch of faith and practice, without any human additions?
Yes; all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.
Has every man a right to judge of the scriptures for himself, and to act according to that judgement?
Yes; even our Lord himself appeals to the scriptures, and exhorts the Jews to search them. John v. 39. And the Bereans are commended because they searched the scriptures, to see if these things were so. Acts xvii 11.
Is this a duty of sacred and awful importance?
Yes; for we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Cor. v. 10.
BAPTISM AND THE LORDS SUPPER
Is the ordinance of baptism of divine
Yes; it was God that sent John to baptize with water. John i. 33.
Did John baptize our Lord Jesus Christ?
Yes; Jesus came to John to be baptized of him. Matt. iii. 13.
Where did John baptize our blessed Lord?
In the river Jordan. Mar. i. 9.
Did our Saviour also baptize his followers?
Yes; he made and baptized more disciples than John. John iv. I.
Did our Lord baptize them himself with his own hands?
No; but his disciples. John iv. 2.
Did our Saviour direct his apostles to baptize after his ascension?
Yes; he directed them to go and teach all nations, baptizing them. Matt. xxviii. 19.
Did he appoint this practice to continue to the end of time?
Yes; for the promise annexed is. Lo! I am with you always even to the end of the world. Matt. xxviii. 20.
Did the apostles afterwards baptize those who were converted by their ministry?
Yes; it is evident they did, from Acts ii. 37-43, viii. 12, xvi. 88, xviii. 8.&c.&c.
At what age was our Lord Jesus baptized?
Not when he was an infant, but when he began to be about thirty years of age. Luke iii. 21. 22, 23.
What kind of persons did John baptize?
Those who confessed their sins, and brought forth fruit meet for repentance. Matt. iii. 6, 8.
What kind of people did our Lords disciples baptize?
Those who were first made disciples. John iv. 1, 2.
And what kind did Peter baptize at Jerusalem?
Such as gladly received the word. Acts ii. 41.
What kind did Phillip baptize at Samaria?
Such as believed the things he taught them concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ. Acts viii. 12.
What kind did Peter baptize at Cesarea?
Such as had received the Holy Ghost. Acts x. 47.
And whom did Paul and Silas baptize at Philippi?
Those to whom they had spoken the word of the Lord, and who believed and rejoiced in God. Acts xvi. 32, 33, 34.
Who were baptized at Corinth?
Those who heard and believed. Acts xviii. 9.
Do you read in scripture of men and women being baptized?
Yes; they were baptized both men and women. Acts viii. 12.
And do you not read in scripture of infants being baptized?
Were there no infants in the household of the jailer baptized at Philippi?
No; for the apostles spake the word of the Lord to all that were in his house; and he believed, rejoicing in God with all his house. Acts xvii. 32, 33, 34.
Were there no infants baptized in the household of Stephanas?
No; for they addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. I Cor. i. 16, xvi. 15.
Nor in the house of Lydia?
No; for the apostles entered into the house of Lydia, and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them and departed. Acts xvi. 40.
Were not infants brought to Christ, that he might baptize them?
No; but that he might put his hands on them and pray. Matt. xix. 13
If scripture be silent on this head, ought we not to baptise them?
No; for who hath required this at your hands? Isai. i. 12.
Is that worship vain and useless which is not appointed of God?
Yes; for the Lord says, In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matt. xv. 9.
Is the Lord displeased, if we do not observe the method and order which he has prescribed in worship?
Yes; the Lord our God made a breach upon us, because we sought or worshipped him not after the due order. I Chron. xv. 13.
What is the meaning of the word baptizo?
Learned men say, the word means to dip, or plunge.
Is this confirmed from the scripture account of Johns baptism?
Yes; for he baptized our Lord and the Jews in the river Jordan. Mar. i. 5, 9.
Does the reason of his baptizing in Enon further prove it?
Yes; he was baptizing in Enon, near to Salias, because there was so much water there. John iii. 23.
And is it proved from a circumstance recorded respecting our Lords baptism?
Yes; for when he was baptized, he went up straightway out of the water. Matt. iii. 16.
And from the circumstances at the baptism of the eunuch?
Yes; they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him; and when they were come up out of the water, the spirit of God caught away Philip. Acts viii. 38, 39.
Are believers, in allusion to this practice, said to be buried with Christ in baptism?
Yes; they are buried with him in baptism. Ccl. 2. 12..
Is it not a very wicked thing to alter or change an ordinance of the blessed God?
Yes; the earth is defiled under the inhabitants thereof because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, &c. lsai. xxiv. 5.
And ought we to add any thing to the commands or appointments A, of God?
No; add not to his words, less he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. Prov. xxx. 6.
Ought we then to keep the ordinances exactly as they were first delivered?
Yes; Paul says, I praise you brethern, that ye keep the ordinances as I delivered them to you. I Cor. xi. 2.
Is it the duty if all men to repent and be baptized?
Yes; repent and be baptized every one of you. Acts ii. 38.
And is it the duty if every converted person to be baptized at the first opportunity?
Yes; and now, why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, &c. Acts xxii. 16. Psa. cxix. 60.
Is the Lords Supper an ordinance of divine appointment?
Yes; I have received of the Lord, that which also I delivered unto you. I Cor. xi. 25.
Did our Lord institute this ordinance a little before he died?
Yes; the same night in which he was betrayed. I Cor. xi. 23.
Is bread to be used at this ordinance?
Yes; he took bread. I Cor. xi. 23.
Did he give thanks and break it?
Yes; when he had given thanks, he brake it. I Cor. xi. 24.
Does this represent the broken body of Christ?
Yes; this is my body, which is broken for you. I Cor. xi. 24.
Is wine also to be used?
Yes; after the same manner he took the cup. I Cor. xi. 25.
Does the wine represent the blood of Christ shed for us?
Yes; this cup is the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you. Luke xxii. 20.
Does this remind us that we are pardoned through the blood of Christ?
Yes; this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matt. xxvi. 28.
Ought all receivers to drink of the wine as well as eat of the bread?
Yes; drink ye all of it. Matt. xxvi. 27.
Should all be done in remembrance of Christ?
Yes; do this in remembrance of me. I Cor. xi. 24.
Is this designed to shew the death of Christ?
Yes; for as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lords death till he come. I Cor. xi. 26.
Is this ordinance to continue to the end of time?
Yes; till the Lord come. I Cor. xi. 26.
Who are the proper subjects of this ordinance?
Those who gladly receive the word, and are baptized, and added to the church. Acts ii. 41, 42.
Are malice and wickedness very sinful in those who attend it?
Yes; let us keep the feast, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness. I Cor. v. 8.
Are sincerity and truth necessary?
Yes; with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I Cor. v. 3.
A SCRIPTURAL REPRESENTATION OF DEATH, JUDGEMENT, HEAVEN AND HELL
Is it certain that all men must die?
Yes; it is appointed to all men once to die. Heb. ix. 27.
Have you both a body and a soul?
Yes; fear him who is able to destroy both and soul in hell. Matt. x. 28.
Is the soul called from the body at death?
Yes; this night shall thy soul be required of thee. Luke xii. 20.
Does not the body immediately follow it?
No; the dust, i.e. the body, returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to the God that gave it. Eccl. xii. 7.
Does the Lord take the soul of a converted person to heaven?
Yes, Jesus said to the converted thief. Today thou shalt be with me in paradise. Luke xxiii. 40.
And does he send the soul of the wicked immediately into misery?
Yes; for the rich man dies, and was burned and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments. Luke xvi. 23.
Shall the bodies of the dead be raised from their graves?
Yes; there shall be a ressurection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.
Will God call us to judgement hereafter for what we have done here?
Yes; God hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness. Acts xvii. 31.
Must all men be judged?
Yes, I saw the dead, both small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. Rev. xx. 12. 2 Cor. v. 10. Rom. xiv. 12.
Will all our works be then brought to light?
Yes; God will bring every work to judgement with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Eccl. xii. 14.
Will the man Jesus Christ sit as judge?
Yes; God will judge the world by that Man whom he hath ordained. Acts xvii. 31.
How can the man Christ Jesus be qualified for this great work?
Because in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 1 Col. ii. 9.
How shall mankind be disposed of when the judgement is over?
The wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. Matt. xxv. 40.
Can you give any account of the punishment to which the ungodly shall be at last sentenced by the Lord the Judge?
Yes; they shall be cast into outer darkness. Matt. viii. 12.
Is the misery of hell represented by fire?
Yes; the wicked shall be cast into a furnace of fire. Matt. xiii. 42.
Is it represented by a burning lake?
Yes; it is a lake that burns with fire and brimstone. Rev. xxi. 8.
Will the fire of hell never cease to burn?
No; the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, Rev. xiv. II.
Can nothing deliver the poor sinner out of these dreadful torments?
No; a great ransom cannot deliver him. Job xxxvi. 18.
Can nothing ease him in the midst of them?
No; for the rich man begged in vain for one drop of water to cool his tongue. Luke xvi. 24.
Will God himself have no mercy on poor sinners in that dreadful place?
No; he that made them will not have mercy on them; and he that formed them will shew them no favour. Isai. xxvii. 11.
Will not the Lord hear them then, if they call upon them?
No; they shall call upon the Lord, but he will not hear them; they shall seek him early, but they shall not find him. Prov. i. 28.
Why does the blessed God so severely punish sinners hereafter?
Because, when he called upon them in this world, they refused, he stretched out his hand, and they regarded not. Prov. i. 24.
Is there no peace or pardon to be enjoyed hereafter, to those who neglect it here?
No; behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation. 2 Cor. vi. 2.
What use, my dear child, ought you to make of these thing?
I ought to seek the Lord while he may be found, and to call upon him while he is near. Isai. lv. 6.
Can you now give me any account of the happiness to be enjoyed in
Yes; for though it does not yet fully appear what we shall be, yet we know that when he shall appear, the saints shall be like him, for they shall see him as he is. I John iii. 2.
Is heaven a place of rest?
Yes; there remaineth a rest for the people of God. Heb. iv. 9.
And is it a place of pleasure?
Yes; at Gods right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psa. xvi. 11.
Is it a place of Joy?
Yes; in the Lords presence is fulness of joy. Psa. xvi. 11.
Is heaven a place of light?
Yes; it is the inheritance of the saints in light. Col. i. 12.
Will perfection be enjoyed in heaven?
Yes; there the spirits of just men are made perfect. Heb. xiii. 23.
Shall they who go to heaven be perfect in body as well as soul?
Yes; for Jesus shall change their vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body. Phil. iii. 21.
Shall they be free from sin?
Yes; they are as the angels of God in heaven. Matt. xxii. 30.
And will there be no sickness there?
No; the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick. Psal. xxxiii. 24.
And shall there be no sorrow there?
No; God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Rev. vii. 17.
Shall there not be any death in heaven?
No; there shall be no more death , neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. Rev. xxi. I.
Is anything so desirable as to die the death of the righteousness, and to be for ever happy with them and their Saviour?
No; let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his. Numb. xxiii. 10.
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