Compend of Christian Doctrines Held by Baptists: In Catechism
BY W. W. EVERTS, D.D. CHICAGO: CHURCH & GOODMAN, PUBLISHERS, No. 51 La Salle Street, 1866
BEING AND LAW OF GOD
Q. ( I) How is God made known to us?
A. Through nature, intuition, and special revelation Ps. xix: I; Rom. i:20.
Q. ( 2) How is the necessity of special revelation shown?
A. By the failure of natural religion to determine a standard of truth and duty, or provide a way of pardon and salvation. Rom. i; 2 1-25; I Cor. i:21; Luke x: 21.
Q. ( 3) How are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments shown to be a special revelation from God?
A. By inspiration, miracle, prophecies, unity, exalted character and beneficent influence. 2 Tim. iii:16; Acts i:16; Luke xvi: 29; Heb. in: 7; 2 Pet. i: 21; John xvii: 17; Ps. xii: 6, cxix: 140, xix: 7-10.
Q. ( 4) How are we assured of the substantial correctness of the canon of
A. By the carefulness of the Hebrews in guarding the Old, and of the Church in guarding both Old and New Testaments; by comparison of ancient catalogues and manuscripts; and by the concurring testimony of all competent witnesses.
Q. ( 5) What is the significance of the titles of the sacred writings?
A. They are called the Scriptures, from their distinction above all human writings: Bible, as the book of books; Old and New Testaments, as embracing the will and promise of God in two dispensations; and the Word of God, as the grand summary of divine revelation.
Q. ( 6) How should the Scriptures be received?
A. As a treasure of heavenly truth, a standard of faith and practice, available to all without the mediation of priest of council. Deut. xi: 18-21; Josh. i:8, Isa, viii: 20; Ps. cxix: 10, 19; 2 Tim. iii:16; 1 Pet. ii: 12; Deut. v:5; Gal. 1:8,9; Ex. xx: 8-11; Rom. xv: 4.
Q. ( 7) What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The attributes, providence and will of God, and the relations and duties of man. Deut. xxxi: 12; Job xi: 7-11; Ps. xiviii; Luke x: 25, 26.
Q. ( 8) What is God?
A. A Spiritinfinite, eternal, and unchangeable in being, power, wisdom, truth, justice, goodness and holiness. John iv: 24; I Kings viii: 27; Jer. ii: 24; Ps. xc: 2; Mal. iii: 6; Gen. xvii:1; Rom. xvi: 27; I Tim. vi: 1-17;Jer. x:IO; John xvii:3: Isa. xliv.:21; Ps xcic:9; Rev. v4
Q. ( 9) Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is only one the living and true God, whose name is Jehovah; revealed to us in the personal and relative distinctions of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the same in essence, equal in power and glory. Deut. iv. 35 and vi:4; Isa. xliv: 6; 1 John v:7; Matt. iii. 16 and xxvii:ll, 12.
Q. (10) What is the chief end of man?
A. To glorify God and enjoy his favor forever. Rom. xiv: 8; Ps. lxxi: 22 and lxxxvi: II, 12.
Q. (11) How may we glorify God and enjoy his favor?
A. By loving him and keeping his commandments. 1 Cor. x:3l; John xiv: 15.
Q. (12) What is the authorized summary of Gods law?
A. The ten commandments recorded in twentieth chapter of Exodus. repeat the commandments in short).
Q. (13) What is the first commandment of the Decalogue?
A. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Q. (14) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Supreme homage to the living and true God, forbidding the worship of any other being or any object.
Q. (15) What is the second commandment?
A. Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven image, nor the likeness of anything in heaven or earth, to bow down and worship it.
Q. (16) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Spiritual homage, forbidding the worship of images and symbols of God, as confusing the sense of his presence and sovereignty.
Q. (17) What is the third commandment?
A. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Q. (18) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Reverent use of names, attributes, ordinances, word and works of God; forbidding all profane conversation, thoughtless utterance of divine titles, or the careless observance of religion.
Q. (19) What is the fourth commandment?
A. Remember that thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
Q. (20) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. The observance of a seventh part of time (the first day of the week, according to apostolic order) as a holy day, to be devoted to religious worship and duties; forbidding all profanation of that day by secular business the pursuit of pleasure, vacant idleness, or indifference to religion.
Q. (21) What is the fifth commandment?
A. Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land.
Q. (22) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Reverence for parents and guardians; forbidding all rude behavior towards them, or any superiors in age or office.
Q. (23) What is the sixth commandment?
A. Thou shalt do no murder.
Q. (24) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Careful preservation of our own and the life of others; forbidding all temper or conduct that leads to its destruction.
Q. (25) What is the seventh commandment?
A. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Q. (26) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Purity of heart, speech and conduct: forbidding unchaste thoughts words and actions.
Q. (27) What is the eighth commandment?
A. Thou shalt not steal.
Q. (28) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Security of possessions; forbidding unauthorized appropriation of them, either by stealth, violence or fraud.
Q. (29) What is the ninth commandment?
A. Thou shall not bear false-witness against thy neighbor.
Q. (30) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Universal truthfulness; forbidding especially whatever causelessly injures the reputation of others.
Q. (31) What is the tenth commandment?
A. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbors.
Q. (32) What does this commandment comprehend?
A. Contentment in our own condition and circumstances; forbidding inordinate desire for the possessions, offices, or advantages of others.
Q. (33) What do the first four precepts of the Decalogue embrace?
A. Duties of God, summed up in the first great commandment -Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, mind and strength. Matt. xxii: 37.
Q. (34) What do the remaining six precepts embrace?
A. Duties to men, summed up in the second great commandment - Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Matt. xxii: 39.
SALVATION OF MAN
Q. ( 1) Do any perfectly keep the law of God?
A. There is none righteous; no, not one. Fed. vii: 20; Rom. iii: 10.
Q. ( 2) In what state were our first parents created?
A. In a holy and happy state. Gen. i: 27.
Q. ( 3) How did they lose that holy and happy state?
A. By hearkening to Satan (one of the fallen angels) and disobeying God. Gen. ii: 15-17, and iii.
Q. ( 4) How are all mankind made sinners?
A. By inheriting sinful nature, yielding to temptation, and transgressing Gods law. Rom. v: 14; Gen. iii: 20; Rom. v:l2; I Cot. xv: 22.
Q. ( 5) What is sin?
A. Disobedience, or want of conformity to Gods law. I John iii: 4; I)eut. ix: 7; Rev. xv: 9.
Q. ( 6) What is the penalty of sin?
A. Death of the body and of the soul. Ezek. xviii: 4; Rom. vi: 23; Ps. xix: 17.
Q. ( 7) How may we be saved from that penalty?
A. By the regeneration of the soul and the resurrection of the body to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Rom. vi: 4-8; Gal. iv: 4, 5.
Q. (8) Who is the Saviour of the world?
A. Jesus - in mysterious union of human and divine nature, declared to be Son of Man and Son of God. Matt. i: 23; Heb. i: 8; 1 John v: 20; I Tim. iii: 16; Col. ii: 9.
Q. ( 9) What has Jesus done to save us?
A. In our nature He lived a holy life, died for our sins on the cross, and rose for our justification. Rom. v: 8; 1 Tim. i: 15; Fal. iv: 4, 5.
Q. (10) What offices does he execute in becoming the Saviour of men?
A. Those of Mediator, Prophet, Priest and King; and only such as accept Him in these offices avail themselves of His salvation. 1 Tim. ii: 5; Heh. viii: 6; Deut. xviii: 15, 16; Acts iii: 22; Ps. cx: 4; Heh. iv: [5; Isa. vi: 1-5; John xii: 41.
Q. (11) How does Christ execute the office of Prophet?
A. By revealing to us. through his Word and Spirit, the will and promise of God. John xv: 15; xiv: 26, and xx: 31; 2 Cor. v: 19.
Q. (12) How does Christ execute the office of Priest?
A. By once offering up himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice and reconcile us to God, and by making continual intercession for us.
Q. (13) How does Christ execute the office of King?
A. By subduing us to himself, by ruling and defending us, and by restraining and conquering all his and our foes. Ps. cx; 3; Isa. xxxiii: 22; Ps. lxxxix: 18 and lxxxi: 10; 1 Cor. xv: 25.
Q. (14) How does Christ execute the office of Mediator?
A. By pleading with the Father his own death and righteousness for our pardon and peace.
Q. (15) How is Christ a Redeemer?
A. By paying, as the price of mans redemption, his own righteousness and sufferings. Heb. ix: 12.
Q. (16) How does Christ make atonement?
A. By obedience and sufferings in mans stead, thereby securing to him the righteousness, and freeing him from the penalty of the law. Gal. iv: 4, 5; Acts iv: 12.
Q. (17) Wherein appears the humiliation of Christ?
A. In being born, and in that lowly condition, made under the law, suffering the miseries of this life, the frown of his Father, and the cursed death of the cross; in being buried, and continuing for a period under the power of death. Phil. ii: 6, 7; Luke 1: 35; Phil. ii: 8; Matt. xxvii: 46 and xii: 40.
Q. (18) Wherein appears the exaltation of Christ?
A. In his rising from the dead, ascending to heaven, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, and in coming to judge the world at the Last day. 1 Cor. xv: 4; Luke xxiv: 51; Col. iii: 1; Acts xvii: 31.
Q. (19) How is this salvation made sure?
A. By the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, leading to faith, repentance and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ. Eph. ii: 8; 2 Cor. vii: 10; 1 John ii: 3. Heb. ix: 26 and vii: 27.
Q. (20) What are the principal evidences of the acceptance of this salvation?
A. Love to Christ and his church, hatred of sin, purity of life, and abounding charity - leading to hatred of sin, forgiveness of enemies, habitual beneficence and zeal in good works. I Pet. ii: 7; 1 John iii: 14; Matt. v: 10, 44, 45.
Q. (21) What are good works?
A. Works of charity, philanthropy and piety, done through love to God, and an indispensable fruit of it. 2 Cor. ix: 8-14; 2 Tim. vi: 18, 19; James i: 27.
Q. (22) What are the decrees of God?
A. The prescribed plan of creation and providence, according to which all events take place. Eph. i: 11 and iii: 11; Rom. ix: 18; Acts iv: 28; Rev. iv: 11; Ps. ciii: 19.
Q. (23) What is Gods providence?
A. That supervision and over-ruling of the order and operations of nature and the affairs of the world that insures his will in all things. Ps. cxix: 6.8, lxv: 8-13; xxxv: 5; civ: 14-28; xxxvi: 6; cxiv: 15, 16; Luke xii: 6, 7.
Q. (24) What is the doctrine of election?
A. Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which he regenerates, sanctifies and saves sinners. John xv:16; Eph. v:11, 12; Rom. viii: 29; 1 Pet. i: 2; 2 Thes. ii: 13.
Q. (25) What is regeneration?
A. The work of Gods spirit convincing man of sin and helplessness disposing him to righteousness, and enabling him to reform his life and embrace the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. John iii: 3, 5,7, 8; Matt. xviii: 13.
Q. (26) What is justification?
A. Pardoning the believer and accepting him as righteous through the name and righteousness of Christ. Rom. iii: 24 and v: 1; Gal. ii: 16; 1 Cor. v: 11; Tit. iii: 7.
Q. (27) How are we assured of the perseverence of the believer to everlasting life?
A. By the tendency of his renewed nature to perfect and defend itself by circumstances, companionship and habit, and especially by the promised agency of the Holy Spirit to complete in the believer the work of salvation. I John iii: 9; Job xvii: 9; Phil. i: 6; John viii: 31 and ii: 19; Rom. viii: 28.
Q. (28) What is sanctification?
A. The progressive conformity of the believer to the divine law, through the Word and Spirit of God. 2 Cor. vi: 17; 1 Cor. vi: II; Heb. i: 10; Eph. v: 26, 27.
Q. (29) What does sanctification embrace?
A. Primarily, consecration of heart; and secondarily, of mind and body. 1 Cor. vi: 15-19 and ix: 27; Rom. ii: 1.
Q. (30) How does the importance of consecration of heart appear?
A. It is more particularly enjoined in the Scriptures: the heart leaves its impress upon the character and life, and in judging men God looks at the heart. Prov. iv: 23 and iii: 5; Matt. xxii: 37; Jer. xvii: 9, 10; Matt. v: 28.
Q. (31) How does the importance of consecration of mind appear?
A. In elevation of mind man rises above animal races, and is endowed with immortality; and through its improved capacity truth and duty are apprehended, and being and destiny enobled. Isa. xxvi: 13; Acts xx: 19; Rom. vii: 25; Phil. iv: 7; Heb. xiii: 16.
Q. (32) How does the importance of consecration of the body appear?
A. It is the most wonderful of the material works of God - is claimed as his abode and temple, and its true condition is essential to the greatest virtue, happiness and progress of the race, while its abuse betrays insensibility to the goodness and contempt for the authority of the Creator. Rom. viii: 13; 1 Cor. vi: 13, 15, 19; Eph. v: 23; Col. ii: 11; 1 Thes. v: 1,2,3; Phil, iii: 21.
Q. (33) What do the Scriptures specially enjoin as a means of attaining exalted spiritual life?
A. Prayer. Ps. cxiv: 18, 19; Matt. vii: 7, 8, 9; Luke xi: 13; James 1: 5; John xiv: 13, 14.
Q. (34) What is acceptable prayer?
A. Offering up desires to God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of sins and acknowledgement of his mercies. James v: 16; Mark xi: 24; Matt. v: 44.
Q. (35) What is our guide in prayer?
A. The Scriptures generally, and the Lords Prayer particularly.
Q. (36) What does the address of the Lords Prayer teach?
A. It teaches that we should come to God in reverence and endearing confidence, as children to a father, praying with and for each other.
Q. (37) What does the first petition ask?
A. That God will dispose all to hallow his name and declare his glory.
Q. (38) What does the second petition ask?
A. That opposing rule and rival authority may be put down, and the kingdom of God cstablished in the earth.
Q. (39) What does the third petition ask?
A. That men may know, do, and submit to Gods will on earth, as angels do in heaven.
Q. (40) What does the fourth petition ask?
A. Food for the body, mind and heart.
Q. (41) What does the fifth petition ask?
A. Forgiveness of all our sins, of thought, and deed, through the plenitude of Gods mercy, as we forgive those trespassing against us.
Q. (42) What does the sixth petition ask?
A. That God would by his providence shield us from temptation, or succor us in it, and deliver us from it.
Q. (43) What does the close of the Lords Prayer teach?
A. That we should praise God in Prayer, and seek ever all our supply from the sufficiency of his power and goodness.
Q. (44) What blessings does Christ pronounce upon exalted spiritual life?
A. The Beatitudes, accorded in Matthew V.
Q. (45) What is the first beatitude?
A. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Q. (46) Who are the poor in spirit?
A. Those humbly estimating their own attainments, sensible of their imperfections, and penitent for their faults.
Q. (47) How do they possess the kingdom of heaven?
A. fly sharing its power, protection and promise.
Q. (48) What is the second beatitude?
A. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Q. (49) How is this blessing bestowed?
A. By alleviating, terminating and sanctifying sorrow, and crowning it with heavenly hope.
Q. (50) What is the third beatitude?
A. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth
Q. (51) Who are the meek?
A. Not the haughty or vindictive, but the gentle, patient and forbearing.
Q. (52) How do they inherit the earth?
A. By conciliating favor and friends, they gain property and power, the most valued possessions of earth.
Q. (53) What is the fourth beatitude?
A. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be filled.
Q. (54) How is this promise verified?
A. In the sanctification of individuals seeking after holiness, and in certain progress of truth and righteousness in the earth, filling the heart of the church with joy.
Q. (55) What is the fifth beatitude?
A. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Q. (56) How is the blessing realized?
A. Through sympathy awakened in the hearts of men toward the merciful; and by the gracious providence of God over them.
Q. (57) What is the sixth beatitude?
A. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Q. (58) How is this promise fulfilled?
A. By clearer perception of truth, duty, divine character and providence; and by a nearer approach to the presence of God in heaven.
Q. (59) What is the seventh beatitude?
A. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Q. (60) Why are peace-makers called the children of God?
A. Because all strifes of earth arise from undutifulness to God, and only by renewed filial devotion in the heart of the race can the peace of the world be restored.
Q. (61) What is the eighth beatitude?
A. Blessed are they which are persecuted for 'righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Q. (62) How do they possess the kingdom of heaven?
A. They suffer in its cause, are promised its succor, and will enjoy its triumph.
Q. (63) What is the ninth beatitude?
A. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, falsely, for my sake.
Q. (64) How is this blessing assured?
A. Because slander leaves no stain on the soul; righteousness of character ultimately manifests itself as the light, and the last judgement will correct and compensate for the false judgements of earth..
Q. (65) How is a future life proved?
A. It is proved by the instinct of immortality in man, by natural religion, and by divine revelation. 2 Tim. i: 10; Rom. ii: 17; 1 Cor. xv: 53.
Q. (66) How are we assured of the resurrection of the dead?
A. Obviously, the power that creates man can raise him from the dead. Renewal of spring from the death of winter and frequent exaltation of being from a lower to a higher grade, through apparent death, illustrate the possibility of a resurrection. The foregoing doctrine of a future life implicates it, and the testimony of Scripture renders it certain.
Q. (67) How is a future general judgement proved?
A. It is proved by the present unequal distribution of rewards and punishments, the instinctive and irrepressible craving of man for universal and impartial justice, and the explicit declaration of Holy Scripture.
Q. (68) What will be the reward of the righteous?
A. More intimate enjoyment of God, and companionship of glorified and happy spirits in progressive exaltation of being and destiny. I Cor. vi: 2; Rom. viii: 33, 34; Matt. xxv: 34-40; 2 Tim. iv: 8.
Q. (69) What will be the punishment of the wicked?
A. Separation from the favoring presence of God, and abandonment to sinful and miserable character and companionship. Matt. vii: 22, 23; xxv. 25, 40, 41.
Q. (70) How is the future punishment of the wicked proved?
A. By instinctive apprehension of mankind; by natural religion and the traditions of ages; and by the explicit testimony of divine revelation. 2 Pet. iii: 7; Feel. iii: 17; Acts xxiv: 25; 2 Cor. v: II.
Q. (71) What do the Scriptures teach of a spiritual world?
A. That as science proves that there is an endless gradation of being, from man to nothing, so there are orders of being rising in gradation from men toward the Supreme Being some fallen from their exalted state, and others remaining in their original purity and glory. Heb. xii: 22, 23; 2 Pet. ii: 4; Jude vi; Rev. vii: II.
Q. ( 1) What is a positive institution?
A. One not resting merely on deductions of reason or supposed fitness of things, but upon positive enactment. Lcv. i-viii.
Q. ( 2) What positive institutions are enjoined or recognized and guarded by Christianity?
A. Baptism, Lords Supper, Church, Sabbath, Family and State.
Q. ( 3) What is Christian Baptism?
A. The immersion of the believer in water, in the name of the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. Mark iii: 16; Acts viii: 38.
Q. ( 4) What is the doctrine of Baptism?
A. It is the symbol of regeneration and new birth - of Christian profession, obedience, and of resurrection of the dead. Gal. iii: 26; Col. ii: II, 12; Rom. vi: 3-8; John xiv: 15 and xv: 14; Luke vi: 46; I Sam. xv: 16-23.
Q. ( 5) How is it proved that other modes of using water are not Baptism?
A. From the terms and symbolic import of the law, and from the concurring testimony of the best scholars. Rom. vi: 4, 5; Matt. iii: 16; Acts viii: 36-39 and ii: 41; Col. ii: 12.
Q. ( 6) How is it proved that Baptism is limited to believers?
A It is limited to them in the Commission, in scriptural examples of its observance, and in the voluntary character of the Christian profession. Matt. xvi: 16; Acts ii: 37, 38, 41. and x: 47.
Q ( 7) Why may not Infant Baptism be enforced as a positive law?
A While positive law must rest at once on certain precept and example as well as clear inference, Infant Baptism, having neither of these supports, can not properly be regarded as a law of the New Testament.
Q. ( 8) What is the Lords Supper?
A. Partaking of bread and wine by the church, in commemoration of the sufferings and death of Christ for the salvation of the world. Luke xxii: 14-20; I ?r. xi: 23-26 and x: 16.
Q. ( 9) Who are the proper subjects of this fellowship?
A. Believers, walking in the prescribed order and discipline of the church. Acts ii: 39-41.
Q. (10) Why may not all claiming discipleship be invited to the communion?
A. Because a ceremonial fellowship should be limited to ceremonial order; the Lords Supper should be approached only in the Lords way; and in the primitive church none but baptized believers partook of the supper. I Cor. xii: 13; Eph. iv: 4, 5.
Q. (11) What analogies support the limitation of church fellowship?
A. As immunities of citizens are awarded to attested citizenship, and connubial fellowship only to authenticated marriage, so church communion should be awarded only to church institution - ceremonial fellowship to ceremonial order.
Q. (12) Is this ordinance designed to be a test of Christian fellowship?
A. It was not established for this purpose, but to be a perpetual remembrance of Christs suffering and death. Luke xxii: 14-20; 1 Cor. x: 16 and xi: 23-26.
Q. (13) Is it practically a measure of Christian fellowship?
A. It is not, as often those inter-communing evince little increase of this fellowship, while those not inter-communing are united by closer affinities of faith, experience and practice.
Q. (14) What is the church of Christ?
A. His calling or followers taken collectively, or any number of them personally associated for his worship and glory. 1 Cor. 1: 2; Rev. ii: 7; Col. i: 18-24.
Q. (15) What is the government of the church?
A. A rule of teaching, example and persuasion, enforced only by admonition, rebuke or dis-fellowship.
Q. (16) Where is the government of a church vested?
A. In the sense of the membership, acting freely under the law of Christ. Matt. xviii: 17.
Q. (17) Why should wider ecclesiastical jurisdiction be distrusted?
A. Because unauthorized in the Scriptures; discrediting the freedom and enterprise of the church; and insidiously leading to hierarchy and anti-Christ.
Q. (18) What are the principal dangers of church governments?
A. Encroachments from without by ecclesiastical association or council, or aggression from within by pretension of individuals or schism of parties.
Q. (19) What is the advantage of true church government?
A. It is the weakest with a worldly, and the strongest with a spiritual community. It declines or disappears when no longer answering its purpose, while enlarged and usurped jurisdiction may become more powerful and firm in the decline of spiritual life and liberty.
Q. (20) What is the superiority of the Church over other societies?
A. It is more easily available to all ages, lands, and classes; it is based upon higher principles and character; combines more versatile and spiritual ministries; and is exempt from evils of exclusiveness, partiality and corruption, incident to prevailing orders of association.
Q. (21) Why should all be subject to the church in its essential character?
A. Because it is the organ of public religious conscience - the executive of the kingdom of heaven; and provides the exact discipline and companionship necessary to spiritual life and achievement.
Q. (22) What is the ministry of the church?
A. The co-operation of the membership with necessary official service.
Q. (23) What officers are distinguished in the church?
A. Proclaimers or evangelists, pastors and deacons. Eph. iv: ii, 12.
Q. (24) What is the office of evangelist?
A. it embraces primarily missions, but may include all general supervision and ministry required by the church.
Q. (25) What is the scope of the pastoral office?
A. It is limited to the service and care of a particular congregation or church. Eph. iv: II; I Tim. iii: 17.
Q. (26) What is the deaconship?
A. It supplements the pastoral office, assuming the less public and more secular care of the congregation. Acts vi: 1-6; 1 Tim. iii: 8-13.
Q. (27) What is the meaning of titles of the Christian minister?
A. He is called deacon, as devoted to service; elder, as receiving office originally and naturally confided to the experience of years; bishop as entrusted with supervision; and pastor, as assuming the tender care of the shepherd.
Q. (28) Why should no gradation be established in the pastoral office?
A. Because none is recognized in Scriptures; names of office adduced to sustain such gradation are fallaciously applied; and such gradation is the natural stepping-stone to papacy and Anti-Christ.
Q. (29) What are the origin and significance of principal denominational titles?
A. The ecclesiastical order rising in the ascendancy of ancient Rome, is called the Romish church; the order arising in the ascendancy of Greek cities and civilization, the Greek church; the various order of those protesting against corruptions of Christianity is called Protestantism; the followers of Luther are called Lutherans; those magnifying an order of government by elders (preshutcros), Presbyterians; those maintaining rule by diocesan bishops (episcopio), Episcopalians; those following Wesley, in his method of life and discipline, Methodists; those insisting on the independence of the congregation, Indpendents or Congregationists; those retaining the primitive baptisms are called Baptists.
Q. (30) What is the age of the Baptists?
A. While other denominations may boast uninspired founders and modern institutional and historical development, Baptists can trace their origin directly, and only to the age and teachings of the Apostles. They claim, therefore, to be older than prevailing sects and national establishments - older than Protestantism or Papacy.
Q. (31) What are the principles and practices of Baptists?
A. Exaltation of the Scriptures as the only rule of faith and practice; voluntary Christian profession, symbolized by baptism of believers; orderly observance of the Lords Supper; covenant meeting,. as a circumspect approach to the Lords Supper; prayer meeting, as of more certain authority and no less importance than the more imposing order of public worship; congregational government; careful instruction of the rising generation in the family and Sabbath school and zealous devotion to the spread of the gospel at home and abroad.
Q. (32) What is the missionary organization of Baptists?
A. The individual church acting freely in the diffusion of Christian knowledge through its own locality; any number of churches combining for the spread of the gospel through a particular district; the churches of a State associating for its spiritual culture; and various national associations for education, general benevolence, and home and foreign missions.
Q. (33) What is the social influence of Baptists?
A. Discrediting artificial and hereditary distinctions and monopolies, pledged alike by tradition and principle against persecution for conscience sake, they cherish the broadest philanthropy, assert the equal rights of all, and are foremost champions of soul-liberty.
Q. (34) Who are responsible for the dis-fellowship of sects?
A. Chiefly those holding error, and those holding truth in uncharitable temper.
Q. (35) What are the principal obstacles to the re-union and fellowship of the church?
A. Weak piety, sectarian spirit, and organized error proselyting succeeding generations to unscriptural doctrines and observance.
Q. (36) What is the law of the Sabbath?
A. Consecration of the seventh part of time to religious worship and duty. Ex. xx: 8-12 and xxxi: 13-17.
Q. (37) How was this law originally enforced?
A. As periods are distinguished in the works of the Creator, so periods are fixed to the labors of the creature. As material creation was followed by spiritual repose and promise, so secular cares of the week should be followed by the spiritual rest of a Sabbath. As the Creator regarded with complacency the completion and glory of his works, so man is summoned by the recurring Sabbath to worship and adore Jehovah, made glorious by those works. Gen. ii: 3; Deut.
v:l4; Jer. xxi: 22; Isa. lvi: 2-7 and lviii: 13, 14. lviii: 13, 14.
Q. (38) Why was the Sabbath changed from the seventh to the first day of the week?
A. To commemorate, in connection with its rest, the new creation by Christ, and the restored and perfected spiritual order of the world promised through him. Mark ii: 28 and xvi: 1-4; John xx: 19, 26; Acts xx: 7.
Q. (39) How should the Christian Sabbath be observed?
A. By scrupulously guarding its sanctity in private and public religious worship and duty. Gen. ii: 3; Isa. lviii: 13, 14; Heb. xvi: 25; Matt. xxviii: 1-8.
Q. (40) What social order is prescribed in the Scriptures?
A. The Family, the State and the Church.
Q. (41) Can other associations be of equal authority with these?
A, Arising from particular occasions, and without special warrant, other associations may pass away; but the family, the state and the church, founded upon permanent, necessity and divine appointment are of universal and perpetual obligation.
Q. (42) How is the divine authority of the family shown?
A. It was instituted in the garden, guarded by Moses, and reaffirmed with more spiritual sanctions by Christ, while the universal experience of mankind proved it to be a necessary foundation of happiness, social virtue and true civilization. Gen. ii: 18, 21, 22; Matt. xix: 4-9; Heb. xiii: 4; Prov. xviii: 22; Eph. v:22, 25, 28.
Q. (43) How is this institution guarded?
A. By numerical equality of the sexes; by civil enactments; and by divine retributions against all departure from its order.
Q. (44) Who are eligible to family order?
A. Those of suitable age and congeniality of mind, with mutual esteem and an affection transcending every other earthly love.
Q. (45) What do those entering the family order mutually pledge?
A. That, leaving all others, they will be faithful to each other, assisting each others duties, lightening each others cares, and promoting each others happiness to the end of life. Gen. ii: 18, 24; Matt. xix: 5-9; Eph. v: 31.
Q. (46) Where is the final authority in family government vested?
A. In man, as the superior in office. Eph. v:22, 23.
Q. (47) What is womans ascendency in the family?
A. An empire of the heart - a rule of love.
Q. (48) What duties do parents owe their offspring?
A. Material support, impartial government, religious instruction, pure example, and continued sympathy, providence and prayer for their present and everlasting welfare. Gen. xviii: 18, 19; Deut. xxxi: 11-13; xxxii: 46, and vi: 7-9; 1 Sam. iii: 11-13; Prov. xxii: 6; xix: 7, IS; Eph. vi: A; Rom. v: 8.
Q. (49) What do children owe their parents?
A. Filial obedience and reverence, with sympathy and care for them in old age. Ex. xx: 12; Col. iii: 20; Prov. xxiii: 22 and xxx: 17; Deut. xvii: 16.
Q. (50) What is a State?
A. A form of civil government.
Q. (51) What is the end of civil government?
A. To protect individual liberty, and promote public welfare.
Q. (52) What is liberty?
A Freedom of person and pursuit, as inviolate in peasant as in prince.
Q. (53) How is liberty shown to be a religious as well as civil right?
A. Because it is a natural and inalienable endowment of man; is essential to his highest culture, virtue and happiness; and also to the duties he owes to God and man.
Q. (54) What are the limits of freedom?
A. Man is free to do right - not wrong. The will of Heaven is the true freedom of earth and only by rigid enforcement of law and order are the rights of any secure. I Pet. ii: 19.
Q. (55) How does it appear that existing government is an ordinance God?
A. Because any government is better than anarchy; existing government always approximates the character of the governed; while revolution, without preparation of the people, results in anarchy, demoralization and fiercer despotism. 1 Pet. ii: 13-15; Rom. xiii: 1-7.
Q. (56) Is the obligation to uphold free government especially binding?
A. It is: because, proceeding from the people, it may by the suffrage be progressively and perfectly conformed to public justice and the rights of all; resistance to its authority, therefore, is a crime against the peace of nations and the Supreme Governor.
Q. (57) How may the jurisdiction of unjust government by thrown off?
A. Only by a right of revolution - a right so exceptional as to be defined by no human or divine law. If a State may at will secede from a Republic, a province may from an empire, a city from a common-wealth, and there are no powers ordained of God, and binding the conscience.
Q. (58) What are the chief dangers to a free government?
A. Popular ignorance, party prejudice, and practical atheism. No government can be beneficent whose citizens are in antagonism with the laws of God. The wisest constitution, in the hands of a wicked nation, may be perverted to sublime mechanics of depravity.
Q. (59) Should the State be supported?
A. By obedience to its authority, prayers for its magistracy, and promotion of its constitutional reform.
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