A Specimen Of Divine Truths
for those who are preparing themselves for the confession of faith
edited more for particular use
Rev. A. Hellenbroek
Late Minister of the Gospel, at Rotterdam
Enlarged by an address to the pupil, the chapter of the counsel of Peace,
a short declaration of the principal errors outside the Reformed Church and an Index.
A revised edition by committee appointed at
Synod of the Netherlands Reformed Churches of America,
Reprinted September, 1942
Conformed to the Holland edition of 1918
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Read further to the end of the chapter.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents *
Jehovah Tsidkenu *
Address to the Pupil *
List of the Books of the Bible *
Concerning the knowledge of God *
Of the Holy Scriptures *
Of God. In general *
Of God's Names *
Of God's Attributes *
Of the Trinity *
Of God's Decrees *
Of Predestination *
Of the Counsel of Peace *
Of the Creation *
Of Providence *
Of the Covenant of Works *
Of the image of God *
Of Sin. Of Adam's Fall *
Of Original Sin *
Of Actual Sin and the Punishment of Sin *
Of the Covenant of Grace *
Of the Mediator of this Covenant *
Of the name Jesus *
Of the name Christ *
Of Christís Offices *
Of Christís Prophetic Office *
Of Christís Priestly Office *
Of Christís Kingly Office *
Of Christís Natures *
Of Christís States *
Of the Decrees of Christís Humiliation. Of His Humble Birth *
Of Christís Sufferings *
Of Christís Death *
Of Christís Burial *
Of Christís Descending into Hell *
Of the End of Christís Humiliation. His Satisfaction *
Of the State and Degree of Christ's Exaltation. Of His Resurrection *
Of Christís Ascension *
Of Christís Sitting at the Right Hand of God *
Of Effectual Calling *
Of the Church *
Of Faith *
Of Sanctification *
Of Good Works *
Of the Law of God *
Of Prayer *
Of the Sacraments *
Of Holy Baptism *
Of the Lord's Supper *
Of Man's Latter End *
Of the Resurrection *
Of the Last Judgment *
Of Everlasting Life *
Compendium of the Principal Errors of Those that are Outside the Reformed Church *
"The Lord Our Righteousness"
(The Watchword of the Reformers)
I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt nest my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.
I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah's wild measure and John's simple page;
But even when they pictured the blood-sprinkle tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.
Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over his soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu;ó't was nothing to me.
When free grace awoke me, by light from on high,
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety in self could I seeó
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Savior must be.
My terrors all vanished before the sweet name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and freeó
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.
Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast,
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I neíer can be lost;
In Thee shall I conquer by blood and by fieldó
Mhy cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!
Even treading the valley, the shadow of death,
This "watchword" shall rally my faltering breath;
For while from life's fever my God sets me free,
Jehovah Tsidkenu my death song shall be.
R. M. M'Cheyne.
Address to the Pupil
Your religion must be spiritual, and likewise your salutary work of catechising, but whereas many perform it in such an unspiritual way, we have desired, dear pupil, to lay before you a small sketch, praying that the Lord will make you understand, desire, and practice, how you have to conduct yourself, becomingly before God, before, during, and after catechism.
First of all, your aim should be pure, in order to learn to know, obey, and glorify God to edify your fellow-creatures, and to promote your own salvation, (which we hope may be anticipated by you). Let the frame of your heart be humble. and seek to be convinced of your own natural ignorance and inability in spiritual things.
Because of this let there be a holy shame and true desire in you, to be delivered therefrom, and to become conformable in true wisdom to the image of God.
To that end, submit yourself to this means of instruction and to the authority of the Minister, yielding yourself to his order and direction, to which the pupil always must be obedient, according to Hebr. 13:17 "Obey them that have rule over you, and submit yourselves." Jesus himself demanded this in regard to the Pharisees and Scribes; Matt. 23:3, "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do."
Then, you have to prepare yourself in several ways.
Especially turn yourself to God with prayer; and in your prayer, these shall be your most proper desires; that the Lord give you, besides the aforementioned things, an enlightened mind to understand the matters, a sanctified judgment to value them, a good memory so as to retain them, an untiring inclination to exert yourself and to continue in catechising, an undivided attention so that you may understand the questions and answers, a ready tongue with further ability to express the matters according to truth and value: together with the guidance of the Spirit of God to understand these subjects in their preciousness and lustre, and finally that the Lord quicken your heart according to the nature of the matters.
Seek to memorise this brief, complete instruction book as your ABC's, which afterwards may serve you as the ABC in increasing your knowledge.
Endeavor also to know readily the necessary Bible texts. In your preparation, accustom yourself to attain a distinct conception of those subjects in your mind and memory, which you are now about to answer, and, to that end, give these subjects one by one, a thought. Make it your practice to meditate upon them, so that when you come to catechism class, you may know what you do understand, and what you do not understand, and to which things you must give special attention. Thus you will show also, that you did not memorise and recite them in a parrot-like fashion.
Let those who are more advanced, read another book on these subjects. But, in reading other books, keep this rule in mind not to read many books, but to read one Book many times.
Thus being prepared, go out with a dependent heart and, to that end, seek continually and vividly to remind yourself of the fact, that without the help of God you are incapable of any good word or deed but that, with the help of God, you will enjoy all the required qualities and fruits.
Go thus, waiting upon the Lord's salvation, to the place where you will answer your questions; with a heart desirous and willing, in the presence of God, to give an account of and to confess the knowledge which the Lord has given you; yea, and therein by this means to increase in knowledge, and to be sanctified.
Seated there, let modesty and seriousness be manifested in such a manner in your behavior, that everyone can see, that the weight of the Triune God and His great truths lay upon your soul.
Offer then your soul and body unto the Lord, with longing and conviction. that the Lord so use, fulfill, govern and work in them as will honor Him most, and can be to your salvation.
Beware not to interrupt the Minister, not to contradict him, or to attempt to ensnare him, so as not to give the impression that you seek to confound him, or through your self-conceit disregard his person and office.
Seek attentively to heed and understand his questions. When he completes asking the question, then answer. But as soon as the Minister recommences, the pupil must be silent, and not speak simultaneously with the Minister.
As to the manner of speaking beware of artificiality, mumbling in an undertone, and rashness but rather take care to speak with a loud, clear voice, so that not only the speaker and the Minister, but the entire class can understand you; each one as is natural to him though respectful, slow, and grave, becoming the nature and the weight of the matters.
This being so in general, we have to observe more particularly how you shall conduct yourself in various cases. If you are asked a question, and God enables you to answer it, acknowledge then, that it is from the Lord, thank Him therefore with humility. If, however, you do not answer correctly, be not discouraged, do not resolve to discontinue further catechising, but consider, that you sit there, not as one that knows all, but as a pupil that desires to learn everything. Neither remain silent, because that takes up the time embarrasses the Minister, and seems like disregarding the questions. But admit that you do not know it, or mention that which you think is right, and show your desire to hear it from the Minister.
With respect to God, acknowledge your ignorance and your obligation to really know it. Pray for the forgiveness of the sin of ignorance and for an increase in true wisdom.
To that end, again incite your hearts to acquire knowledge; seek to understand the explanation of the Minister, thank the Lord for His goodness in sending you such a Minister, through whom He is pleased to teach you what you do not know, but nevertheless of necessity must know, and seek in the future to prepare yourself further and better.
When others are questioned, do not stop to consider, 'what question will be asked of me,' but 'what answer would I give to the question that was asked' and seek to understand what is said in explanation of it. If others know it, envy them not, but thank the Lord for the gifts and the wisdom bestowed on them, and pray to be like unto them.
If they do not know it, do not despise nor mock them, neither rejoice or pride yourself, so that the Lord do not render you speechless or confound you, when you have to answer. But pray for them that God give them more light, desire, confidence, ability, and a better memory; and as much as you are able to do, incite them to it, and encourage them.
Finally catechism being over, here also the conclusion must crown the work. Put away from you pride and vanity. It is unbecoming, to laugh or jest presently, as if coming from a place of vanity, and thus laughing and joking, to pride yourself and despise others, repeating what you or others have known or not known, and speaking disrespectfully thereof, exposing your own foolishness and depriving others of their boldness. But to the contrary, let reverence and modesty be your adornments.
Go to your homes, alone or with one another, discussing the subjects transacted; inquire as in the presence of God, what profit you have obtained, how it has been sanctified to your soul, and how you have conducted yourself during catechism. Hearing with the ears alone, should never satisfy you, but strive to experience those things in your heart.
Thank God for that which you have been enabled to hear or speak, endeavor to retain it in heart and memory, even making notes of it, so as to be able to use them when you need them.
Pray therefore unto God for His Spirit, to retain what was heard and to make you mindful of it.
Above all things, it is your duty to manifest by a holy conversation (since it is a doctrine that leads to godliness) that those truths you have confessed do not consist in words only, but in power.
Speak of them not only in catechism, but let your heart and mouth be filled therewith to speak of them at every opportunity; seek to be unto others an example in doctrine, in correction, in direction, in comforting, and in sanctification.
Thus, dear pupil, you have a brief sketch of the matters to be practised in catechising. God enable you to perform them thus, to the glory of God, as an ornament to His church to the edification of your fellow creatures, and to your own salvation!
List of the Books of the Bible
The books of the Old Testament are:
Song of Solomon
The books of the New Testament are:
Epistle to the Romans
Epistle of James
Lessons in Divine Truths for Beginners
Concerning the knowledge of God
1. Q. Whence do we know that there is a God?
A. From nature, and from the Holy Scripture.
2. Q. Of how many kinds is the knowledge of God from nature?
A. Of two kinds: (1) an internal, or innate (2) an external or acquired knowledge.
3. Q. What is the internal or innate knowledge?
A. That which is inborn in the hearts of all men by nature, Rom. 1:19. Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in them.
4. Q. How can there be such an innate knowledge, seeing there are fools, who say in their hearts, there is no God? Ps. 14:1.
A. That is rather a desire than an actual belief that there is no God.
5. Q. What is the external, or acquired knowledge?
A. That which is derived from the visible creation, Ps. 19:1. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy work.
6. Q. How can we conclude from created beings that there must be a God?
A. Because they cannot exist nor continue to be of themselves, but must necessarily be created, and still sustained by God himself, Job 12:9. Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?
7. Q. Is the knowledge from nature sufficient to salvation?
8. Q. Why not?
A. Because it does not teach the knowledge of Christ.
9. Q. Is the knowledge of Christ absolutely necessary to salvation?
A. Yes, John 17:3, And this is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.
10. Q. Whence do we obtain this saving knowledge?
A. From the Holy Scriptures. 2 Peter 1:19.
Of the Holy Scriptures
1. Q. What do you understand by the Holy Scriptures?
A. The written word of God. John 6:39; 2 Tim. 3:15.
2. Q. Has there always been a written word?
A. No: before the time of Moses there was no written word.
3. Q. How did God then communicate his word?
A. By verbal language and revelation to the fathers. Gen. 18:1; Gen. 28:12.
4. Q. How did they preserve it among themselves?
A. By tradition from the fathers to the children. Gen. 18:19.
5. Q. How could that in those times be better performed?
A. Because men then lived longer, and were fewer in number, God revealed himself more frequently and Satan's devices were less.
6. Q. Who has ordered the Holy Scriptures to be written?
A. God. II Tim. 3:16. All Scriptures is given by inspiration of God.
7. Q. By whom hath He caused them to be written?
A. The Old Testament by the Prophets, and the New Testament by the Evangelists and Apostles. Ex. 17:14; Rev. 1:19.
8. Q. By whom were they inspired in writing?
A. By the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet. 1:21. The holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
9. Q. Could they not err in this writing?
A. No: the Holy Spirit led them into all truth. John 16:13.
10. Q. How many Testaments are there in the Holy Scriptures?
A. Two, the Old and the New Testaments. 2 Cor. 3:14; Heb. 9:15.
11. Q. In what language is the Old Testament written?
A. In the Hebrew, and a small part in the Chaldean language.
12. Q. In what language is the New Testament written?
A. In the Greek language.
13. Q. Is the whole Bible a divine book?
A. Yes: because it contains such things as can only proceed from God.
14. Q. Which things are they?
A. Mysteries: as the Triune God; the creation out of nothing in six days; that Jesus is God and Man, the Mediator, etc.; and prophecies: which are predictions of future events that were performed on the exact time and place.
15. Q. Are the Apocryphal books the word of God?
A. No: because they contain things fabulous and contrary to the Word of God: therefore were never acknowledged as divine by the Jewish Church, although the oracles of God were committed to them. Rom. 3:2.
16. Q. Are the Holy Scriptures perfect or imperfect?
A. Perfect. Ps. 19:7. The law of the Lord is perfect.
17. Q. Is then no part of them lost or falsified?
A. No, they are as entire and pure as ever they were. Matt. 5:18.
18. Q. Are human traditions necessary besides the Holy Scriptures?
A. By no means; the Holy Scriptures alone are sufficient. Matt. 15:9. In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
19. Q. Are the Holy Scriptures plain, or obscure?
A. Plain in the things necessary to salvation. Ps. 119:105. Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
20. Q. Yet Peter says, in the epistles of Paul are some things hard to be understood? 2 Peter 3:16.
A. The truth of a thing may be clearly revealed, although the matter in itself may be hard to be understood, as is the case with all mysteries, as the trinity of God, etc.
21. Q. May and must we read the Holy Scriptures?
A. Yes; John 5:39, Search the Scriptures, for in them ye thigh ye have eternal life and they are they which testify of me.
22. Q. How must we search the Scriptures?
A. (1) In the fear of God, Ps. 111:10; (2) with a praying heart, Ps. 119:18; (3) reverently, Isa. 66:5; (4) attentively and with spiritual judgment, 1 Cor. 2:13.
Of God. In general
1. Q. What is God?
A. A perfect and infinite spirit. John 4.24 God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
2. Q. How can that be, since eyes, ears, hands, and other corporal members are ascribed to him in the Holy Scriptures?
A. All this must be figuratively understood of such properties in God. as bear some resemblance to the use of those human members.
3. Q. Wherein must God be known?
A. (1) In His Essence; (2) in His Names, (3) in His Attributes; (4) in His Persons.
4. Q. May an essence be ascribed to God?
A. Yes: although not in a corporal sense. Prov. 8:14. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom (or essence).
6. Q. How many Gods are there?
A. One God. l Tim. 2:5. There is one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.
6. Q. Yet God himself speaks of other Gods in the first commandment. Ex. 20:3.
A. Not because they in reality are Gods, but because men make and hold them as such. I Cor. 8:5,6. For though there by that are called gods, .... to us there is but one God.
Of God's Names
1. Q. Doth God also stand in need of names as men do?
A. No; because there are none like unto him. Gen. 32:29; Judges 13:18.
2. Q. Why do men bear peculiar names?
A. To distinguish them from others, who are like unto them.
3. Q. Why are names then ascribed to God?
A. (1) To distinguish him from idols; (2) thereby to make known something of himself
4. Q. Are then all the names of God significant?
5. Q. Which are his two most common names?
A. The name of God, and the name of Lord.
6. Q. Doth not the name of God merely signify an office?
A. By no means, but it is a name of the divine essence itself; he is God by nature, in opposition to the idols. Gal. 4:8.
7. Q. Yet the name of God is given to angels and magistrates.
A. Then it is figuratively transferred.
8. Q. Which is God's most significant name?
A. The name of Jehovah or Lord.
9. Q. May it be given to any created being?
A. No. Isaiah 42:8. I am Jehovah, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven implies.
10. Q. Is this name then so extensive in signification?
A. Yes: it signifies the self-existence, immutability and faithfulness of God. Exodus 3:14. And God said unto Moses, I am that I am. Ex. 6:2.
11. Q. May Christ be called Jehovah?
A. Yes: because he is also very God. Jer. 23:6.
Of God's Attributes
1. Q. Are the attributes of God distinct from God himself?
A. No: they are God himself; therefore He is said to be Light, 1 John 1:5; the Life, the Truth, the Love, 1 John 4:8. And holiness in the abstract; to swear by his holiness or by himself is the same. Amos 4:2 compared with Heb. 6:13.
2. Q. Are the attributes of God different and distinct from each other?
A. Not in God; for in him every thing is simple infinite perfection; but only in our manner of comprehension, and in the several manifestations of God's perfections towards the creatures.
3. Q. How are God's attributes commonly distinguished?
A. Into incommunicable and communicable attributes. Gen. 1:26. 1 John 3:2. Peter 1:4.
4. Q. Which are the incommunicable?
A. The independence, simplicity, eternity, omnipresence, and the immutability of God.
5. Q. Why are they called incommunicable?
A. Because there is not the least resemblance of them in any creature.
6. Q. What is the independence of God?
A. That He is self-existent and self-sufficient Gen. 17:1, I am the Almighty God; walk before me and be thou perfect.
7. Q. What is the simplicity of God?
A. That all in God is one, without composition of different parts. Deut. 6:4. Hear, o Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.
8. Q. What is the eternity of God?
A. That he is: (1) without any beginning; ( 2 ) without any succession or difference of time; (3) without end. Ps. 90:2. Before the world was, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
9. Q. Doth it belong to the eternity of God that there is no succession of time with him?
A. Yes. II Peter 3:8. For one day is with the Lord as a thousand years. and a thousand years as one day.
10. Q. Where is God?
A. Everywhere present. Jer. 23:23, 24. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? do I not fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.
11. Q. Is this to be understood only of his operations, or also of his essence?
A. Also of His essence which cannot be separated from His operations, because he worketh by virtue of his essence.
12. Q. Why is God then so expressly said to be in heaven?
A. Because he there manifests his glory more than elsewhere. Isaiah 66:1.
13. Q. Is God changeable or unchangeable?
A. Unchangeable. Mal. 3:6. I am the Lord, I change not.
14. Q. Yet repentance is ascribed unto God. Gen. 6:6?
A. This repentance in God is only a change in his work, not in his will and essence itself. Num. 23:19.
15. Q. Change of place is also ascribed unto him; that he descends, comes, and departs again. Gen. 11:5.
A. That is only a change in the more or less manifestation of his presence, not in his essential presence itself.
16. Q. Which are the communicable attributes of God?
A. The following are generally enumerated: God's knowledge, will and power, His goodness, grace, mercy, and patience.
17. Q. Why are they called communicable?
A. Because there is a remote resemblance of them in men, although as they are in God, they are infinite, and thus incommunicable.
18. Q. What is God's knowledge?
A. That perfection in God whereby he from eternity knows everything by himself in the most perfect manner. Acts 15:18. Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.
19. Q. To what doth God's knowledge extend itself?
A. To all things; and thus he is omniscient. 1 John 3:20. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Ps. 147:4.
20. Q. Doth God know all future and contingent things?
A. Yes. Ps. 139:2. Thou knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off.
21. Q. Doth God know them by virtue of a preceding decree, or by a mediate knowledge, as some term it?
A. By virtue of his decree, and with an absolute certainty of their future existence.
22. Q. How is the will of God distinguished?
A. Into the will of his decree, and the will of his command, or his secret and revealed will.
23. Q. What is the will of God's decree?
A. His eternal purpose, according to which he effects all things in time. Eph. 1:11. Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
24. Q. What is the will of God's command, or his revealed will?
A. That which he prescribes in his word as a rule unto us and unto which he demands our obedience. Rom. 12:2. That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
26. Q. By which of these two must we be regulated?
A. By the will of His command, for the will of His decree is unknown to us. Dent. 29:29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but the things which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
26. Q. What is the justice of God?
A. That divine perfection by which He doth hate and punish all sin.
27. Q. Must God of necessity punish all sin?
A. Yes. Rom. 1:32. This is the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death.
28. Q. Is God then under compulsion?
A. No: for his necessity flows from the most perfect freedom of his will. Hab. 1:13.
29. Q. But cannot God in some measure dispense with his justice?
A. Not at all, for then he would deny himself; for his justice is essential to himself. Exodus 34:6, 7. The Lord God will by no means clear the guilty.
30. Q. Nevertheless God pardons believers in regard to both the guilt and punishment of sin.
A. There God's justice is satisfied in Christ, who endured the punishment of sin for them. Eph. 1:7.
31. Q. Of what kind is God's power?
A. A power of omnipotence. Matt. 19:26. With God all things are possible.
32. Q. Can God also die, sin, etc.?
A. No: for that would be impotence and not power.
33. Q. What is God's goodness?
A. In general His kindness toward all creatures, Ps. 4:7,8; in particular the manifestations of His mercy and love towards all men; and above all to His saints. Ps. 36:7; John 3:16.
34. Q. What is God's grace?
A. That goodness of God whereby He shows mercy unto man irrespective of his worthiness.
35. Q. How many kinds of grace are there?
A. It is common, in regard to all men, (Matth. 5:45), or particular and saving in regard to the elect only, Rom. 3:24. And this, again, preventing, accompanying, and following grace.
36. Q. What is God's mercy?
A. God's goodness toward a miserable, elect sinner, by which he daily restores him in the state of grace through the Mediator Jesus. Eph. 2:4; Ex. 34:6.
37. Q. What is God's long-suffering?
A. That goodness of God whereby he delays the well-deserved punishment in order to bring the elect to repentance and to convince the reprobate. Rom. 2:4.
38. Q. What is God's sovereignty?
A. God's supreme authority above all creatures. Jer. 10:6. 7; 18:6; Rom. 9:18, 20.
Of the Trinity
1. Q. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. Three: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
2. 4. May the word 'trinity' be used?
A. Yes, it being scriptural. I John 5:7. Three bear record, these three are one.
3. Q. May the word Ďpersonsí also be used?
A. Yes: for it is scriptural. Heb. 1:3, The express image of his person.
4. Q. Can the doctrine of the holy trinity be proved from nature?
A. In no wise, but only from Holy Scripture, for it is a mystery, not indeed contrary to, but still above nature.
5. Q. How is the trinity proved from Holy Scripture?
A. (1) From the Old Testament, (2) from the New Testament.
6. Q. How from the Old Testament?
A. ( 1 ) From texts where God speaks of himself in the plural number. Gen. 1:26 Ė (2) From texts where God and God, Lord and Lord, are distinguished, as Ps. 45:7 Ė God, thy God hath anointed thee, and Ps. 110:1ó The Lord said unto my Lord. (3) From texts where the three persons are expressly mentioned and distinguished. Ps. 33:6 Ė By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth.
7. Q. How is the trinity proved from the New Testament?
A. From I John 5:7. For there are three that hear record in heaven the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost and these three are one. Also from our baptism. Matt. 28:19. Go ye, teach all nations, baptising therm in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as also when Christ was baptised. Matt. 3: The Son was baptised, the Father spake from heaven, and the Spirit of God descended like a dove.
8. Q. Wherein are the three persons one?
A. In essence.
9. Q. Wherein are they three?
A. In person.
10. Q. Are they then personally distinct?
A. Yes, by their personal properties, or manner of subsisting.
11. Q. Which is the personal attribute of the Father?
A. That He, as Father, is self-existent.
12. Q. Which is the personal attribute of the Son?
A. That He is begotten of the Father. Ps. 2:7. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
13. Q. Which is the personal attribute of the Holy Ghost?
A. That He proceeds from the Father and from the Son.
14. Q. Why do you call these personal, and not essential attributes?
A. Because they belong not to the whole essence, but each of them only to one person in particular.
15. Q. When is the Son begotten of the Father?
A. From all eternity. Prov. 8:24. When there were no depths or fountains, I was brought forth.
16. Q. Why is it then said, Ps. 2:7, This day have I begotten thee?
A. In God is only one eternal and unchangeable day.
17. Q. Is He then the peculiar and natural Son of God?
A. Most surely. John 1:18. The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father.
18. Q. Why is the second Person called God's Son?
A. Because the Father from eternity to eternity communicates divine essence to the Son. John 5:26; Col. 7:15; Hebr. 1:3; Col. 2:9.
19. Q. Is He not become the Son of God by being born of Mary. or by his mediatorship?
A. In no wise, for He was the Son of God before. Gal. 4:4. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son made of a woman, made under the law.
20. Q. Doth the Holy Ghost proceed from the Father only?
A. No; but from the Son also, therefore He is called the Spirit of Christ. Rom. 8:9. And the Spirit of the Son, Gal. 4:6.
21. Q. Is not the Holy Ghost only a power or attribute of God?
A. No: but a real person, having understanding and will; for the Spirit searcheth all things, I Cor. 2:10, 12:11, dividing to every man severally as he will; he also appeared at the baptism of Christ. Matt. 3:16,17.
22. Q. Is He also a distinct person?
A. Yes; He is expressly termed another. John 14:16. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter.
23. Q. Whence do you prove that the Son and Holy Ghost are very God as well as the Father?
A. (1) From their divine names; (2) from their divine attributes, (3) from their divine work; (4) from their divine honor.
24. Q. Prove that divine names are ascribed to the Son.
A. ( 1 ) The name Lord or Jehovah. Jer. 23:6, The Lord our righteousness. (2) The name of God. I John 6:20, His Son Jesus Christ is the true God, and eternal life.
25. Q. Prove that the name of God is given to the Holy Ghost.
A. Acts 5:3, 4. And Peter said: Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost? Thou host not lied unto men but unto God.
26. Q. Give an instance of a divine attribute of the Son.
A. Eternity. Micah 5:2. Whose goings forth heave been from of old, from everlasting.
27. Q. Give an instance of a divine attribute of the Holy Ghost.
A. Omnipresence. Ps. 139:7. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit?
28. Q. What divine works are ascribed to them?
A. The creation and preservation of all things. Ps. 33:6. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all the host of them: by the breath, or Spirit of His month.
29. Q. To what divine honor are they entitled?
A. To be baptised in their name, to believe in them, and to worship them. II Cor. 13:14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.
30. Q. Is this doctrine necessary unto salvation?
A. Yes, because we thereby receive true knowledge of God and learn to seek atonement with the Father as judge in the satisfaction of the Son, through the working of the Holy Spirit. John 6:44.
Of God's Decrees
1. Q. Are God's decrees any thing distinct from himself?
A. No: they are the decreeing God himself so as His understanding and will manifest themselves in determining matters without Him.
2. Q. When hath God formed his decrees?
A. From eternity. Acts 16:18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
3. Q. Are then the decrees of God formed freely?
A. Yes. Matt. 11:26. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.
4. Q. Are they wise decrees?
A. Yes. Rom. 11:33. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
5. Q. Are His decrees changeable?
A. No, they are unchangeable. Isa. 46:10. My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
6. Q. To what do the decrees of God extend?
A. To all things. Eph. 1:11. He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.
7. Q. Are there also conditional decrees, which depend on the free will of man?
A. Not at all: but only on a condition which God hath also decreed, and which He himself infallibly executes. Thus God had decreed to save Peter under condition of faith and repentance, but at the same time God had decreed to work faith and repentance in him and actually wrought it in him in due season.
1. Q. Hath God also decreed who shall be saved and who not?
2. Q. How is that decree termed?
A. Predestination or fore-ordaining. Rom 8:30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called.
3. Q. How many parts or acts of God must we therein distinguish?
A. Two: election and reprobation. I Thess. 5:9. God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
4. Q. When was this decree of election formed?
A. From eternity. Eph. 1:4. As He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.
5. Q. Is this universal? Are all men elected?
A. No: the smaller number. Matt. 20:16. Many are called, but few chosen.
6. Q. Has it respect to individual persons known to God by name?
A. Yes. Rom. 9:13. Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated.
7. Q. For what reason hath God elected the one and not the other?
A. Only for his free and sovereign pleasure. Rom. 9:18. He hath merely on whom He will have mercy, and whom He will He hardeneth.
8. Q. Is it not then by reason of foreseen faith or good works?
A. No. Rom. 9:16. It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
9. Q. Is there no severity or injustice in this?
A. No: for God might justly have suffered all men to perish in sin.
10. Q. Is this election changeable?
A. No; it is unchangeable. Rom. 9:11. That the purpose of God according to election night stand.
11. Q. Will it hence follow that it is a matter of indifference how we live and act?
A. No; for God hath decreed the means as well as the end to be obtained by them. Rom. 8:29, 30.
12. Q. But if an elect person should refuse to use the means, what then?
A. God gives him a heart and desire to use the means. Phil. 2:13.
13. Q. What are the signs of election?
A. Faith, hope and love. I Thess. 1:3, 4.
14. Q. Whereunto doth the doctrine of predestination serve?
A. (1) It serves to glorify God in his supreme power, independence, wisdom, grace, righteousness, and truth. Rom. 11:33. (2) To humble man before God. Rom. 9:20, 21; I Cor. 4:7.
Of the Counsel of Peace
1. Q. How could God predestinate to salvation a portion of fallen mankind, since He can have no communication with sinners?
A. In order for God to be consistent with His holiness and righteousness, Christ intervened with His ransom, from eternity. This is usually called "The Covenant of Redemption, or The Counsel of Peace."
2. Q. What do you understand by the counsel of peace?
A. The eternal will of the Father to redeem the elect through Christ's suffering, and the will of the Son to offer Himself as the Surety for the elect.
3. Q. Has such an agreement existed between the Father and the Son from eternity?
A. Yes, theologians quote Ps. 2:7, 8: "I will declare the decree, the Lord hath said unto Me. Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee. Ask of Me, and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, arm the uttermost parts of the earl for Thy possession. Luke 22:29: "And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto Me."
4. Q. How many things must be considered in this counsel of peace?
A. Two things. (1) The agreeing parties (2) the work of the respective parties.
5. Q. In what respect does the Father reveal himself therein?
A. As a sovereign Lord, who deals with his Son concerning the ransom for the elect, which he was not bound to permit.
6. Q. In what respect does the Son reveal himself therein?
A. As Redeemer and Mediator who obliged himself to pay the debts of the elect.
7. Q. What was the work of the Father in the counsel of peace.
A. The Father demanded that the Son fulfill all the requirements necessary for the redemption of the elect, which is the eternal will of the Father. John 6:89. And this is the Father's will, which had sent He, that of all which He hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
8. Q. Did the Father also make a promise to the Son?
Q. Yes. He promised him a certain seed over which He would be Head and King. John 17:9. I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me.
9. Q. Is there anything else the Father has done?
A. Yes: God the Father has confirmed the promise to His Son by oath. Ps. 110:4. The Lord hath sworn and will not repent. Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
10. Q. What was the work of the Son in this agreement?
A. Christ accepted the demand of the Father, and assumed complete responsibility to fulfill this demand for the elect. Ps. 40:7, 8. Then said I, Lo, I come, in the volume of the Book, it is written of Me, I delight to do Thy will, O my God: yea, Thy law is written within my heart.
11. Q. Is there anything else the Son of God hast done?
A. Yes. He now required in return that the elect be His inheritance. Ps. 2:8. Ask of Me and I shall give Thee the heathen for Thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
Of the Creation
1. Q. Doth God also execute his decrees?
A. Yes, in time by his works.
2. Q. Of how many kinds are the works of God in time?
A. Of two kinds; His works of nature and of grace.
3. Q. Of how many kinds are His works of nature?
A. Also of two kinds, the work of creation and of providence.
4. Q. What is it to create?
A. To produce or give existence to something, by an omnipotent act of a simple will. Rev. 4:11. For thy pleasure they are and were created.
5. Q. Who is the Creator of all things?
A. The triune God. Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
6. Q. When did He create all things?
A. In the beginning.
7. Q. Of what are all things created?
A. Out of nothing. Rom. 4:17. He calleth those things which be not as though they were.
8. Q. Where do we read the history of the creation?
A. In Genesis 1.
9. Q. In what space of time did God create all things?
A. Respecting the matter, in a moment, and respecting the farther disposition of them, in six days.
10. Q. Are the angels also created?
A. Yes. Ps. 104:4. Who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flaming fire.
11. Q. What are angels?
A. Ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for the heirs of salvation. Heb. 1:14.
12. Q. When were they created?
A. Probably on the first day; for when the earth was founded, then the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:6, 7.
13. Q. How did God create the angels, good or bad?
A. Good; for God saw everything that He had made, and behold it was very good. Gen. 1:31.
14. Q. Did they all continue good?
A. No; some of them apostatised, and became devils in hell. Jude 5, 6.
15. Q. Who were the first of mankind?
A. Adam and Eve.
16. Q. Of what did God create Adam?
A. Of the dust of the earth. Gen. 2:7.
17. Q. Of what did He create Eve?
A. Of a rib of Adam's body. Gen. 2.
18. Q. Of how many parts doth man consist?
A. Of two: soul and body.
l9. Q. Was the soul created of the same matter with the body?
A. No: the soul proceeded immediately from God, for he breathed a living soul into them. Gen. 2.
20. Q. What is the soul?
A. An immortal spirit, whereby we live and exercise reason.
21. Q. What did God do on the seventh day?
A. He rested on it, and sanctified the same. Gen. 2.
22. Q. Was God then wearied by creating?
A. No. Isa. 40:28. The Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary.
23. Q. What then doth it signify that He rested?
A. That He ceased to create.
24. Q. For what reason did God create the world?
A. The Lord hath made all things for Himself, that is to His glory. Prov. 16:4.
1. Q. Doth God now cease to operate with respect to his creatures?
A. No; there is still a continual operation of divine providence. John 5:17. My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
2. Q. Of how many acts doth the providence of God consist?
A. Three: preservation, co-operation, and government.
3. Q. What is preservation?
A. The almighty power of God, whereby He continueth all things in being. Heb. 1:3. Who upholdeth all things by the word of his power.
4. Q. What is the co-operation of God?
A. God's almighty power, whereby He influences all the motions and operations of His creatures. I Cor. 12:6. But it is the same God that, worketh all in all.
5. Q. What is the government of God?
A. That mighty power whereby He directs every thing to a certain determinate end. Ps. 93:1. The Lord reigneth.
6. Q. Unto what doth the providence of God extend?
A. Unto all things. Eph. 1:11. He worketh all things of after the counsel of His own will.
7. Q. Doth it extend even to small things? A. Yes. Matt. 10:30. Yea, the hairs of your head are all numbered.
8. Q. Is it no disgrace to God to extend His care to such trifling things?
A. (1) No, since it was no disgrace to Him to create them; (2) since He thereby need not neglect greater matters; (3) and He by them frequently effects great things.
9. Q. Doth the Providence of God extend to things contingent to us?
A. Yes. Prov. 16:33. The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.
10. Q. Is there any such thing as contingency?
A. Not with respect to God, but only with respect to us.
11. Q. Doth the providence of God also extend to our life and death?
A. Yes, the time thereof is also determined by Him. Job 14:6. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months is with thee, thou host appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.
12. Q. Can a man then neither prolong nor shorten his life?
A. Not with respect to God, but only with respect to man.
13. Q. Is it not then in vain to use means for preserving life?
A. No: God hath decreed these means to that end, and He giveth man a willing mind to use them.
14. Q. Doth the providence of God direct the most voluntary things?
A. Yes, even our very thoughts. Prov. 21:1. The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water, He turneth it whithersoever He will.
15. Q. Doth not that destroy the free will of man?
A. No, for that direction is no compulsion, but inclining to a ready willingness.
16. Q. Does God's providence extend to sin also?
A. Yes. He permits it, limits it, and directs it to a certain end. Gen. 50-20. Ye thought evil but God meant it unto good.
17. Q. Doth not God cause sin Himself?
A. No, a holy God cannot be the cause of anything that is sinful: He hates and punishes sin.
18. Q. Doth God then work that which is good?
A. Yes. II Cor. 3:5. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is of God.
19. Q. Doth God once for all grant inherent power thereto, or must He influence every particular act?
A. He must influence every particular act, exciting thereto, and co-operating therein. Phil. 2:13. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.
20. Q. What benefit is derived by the doctrine of God's Providence?
A. That God's children may be patient in adversity, thankful in prosperity, and to trust in God in all future things. Job 1:21, 22; Gen. 32:10; Job 13:15.
Of the Covenant of Works
1. Q. Hath God any other particular direction respecting man?
A. Yes; He governs him in a covenant-way.
2. Q. How many covenants are there?
A. Two, the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace.
3. Q. When was the covenant of works?
A. Before the fall.
4. Q. With whom did God make this covenant?
A. With Adam, and in him as the head of the covenant, with all his posterity.
5. Q. What did God require in the covenant of works?
A. Perfect obedience to the law.
6. Q. What law?
A. The law of love, to love God with all his might and his neighbour as himself.
7. Q. How did Adam get knowledge of this law .
A. God implanted it in his nature by creation.
8. Q. What did God promise in the covenant of works?
A. Eternal life.
9. Q. Was this promise confirmed by any sacrament?
10. Q. What did God threaten in this covenant?
11. Q. Did God also add a probationary command?
A. Yes; not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gen. 2:17.
Of the image of God
1. Q. Was man capable to keep that covenant?
A. Yes; God had created him capable to keep it.
2. Q. How did God create man?
A. Good and upright.
3. Q. Was he not created in a simple state of nature between good and evil?
A. No, but in an actual moral uprightness. Eccles. 7:29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.
4. Q. Wherein did God create man?
A. In His image. Gen. 1:27.
5. Q. Wherein did the image of God consist?
A. In knowledge, righteousness, and holiness.
6. Q. Not in the external form of the body?
A. No; because God hath no body.
7. Q. Not in dominion over the animals?
A. No. for that is a consequence of this image, and will not be in heaven, where nevertheless the image of God will be most perfect.
8. Q. Prove that the image of God consisted in knowledge?
A. Col. 3:10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him.
9. Q. Prove also that it consists in righteousness and true holiness?
A. Eph. 4:24. And that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
10. Q. Was Adam mortal with that image?
A. No; immortal, for death was first threatened as the punishment of sin, Gen. 2:17. In the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Of Sin. Of Adam's Fall
1. Q. Doth man still possess that image?
A. No, he lost it by sin.
2. Q. What was the first sin of man?
A. Eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
3. Q. Where did that tree stand?
A. In Paradise.
4. Q. Which fruit did it bear?
A. That is unknown.
5. Q. Who ate of it first, Adam or Eve?
6. Q. By whom was she deceived?
A. By the devil, through means of a serpent. Gen. 3:1-7.
7. Q. What did he make her believe?
A That she should not die, but be like unto God; knowing good and evil.
8. Q. By whom was Adam deluded?
A. By his wife: she gave him, and he did eat.
9. Q. Where do we read the history of the fall?
A. Gen. 3.
10. Q. What consequences had this sin on Adam and Eve?
A. (1) The loss of God's image. (2) Sensibility of nakedness. (3) Horror of conscience. (4) Expulsion out of Paradise. (5) Death itself.
Of Original Sin
1. Q. Doth Adam's sin also affect us?
A. Yes; it is imputed to us.
2. Q. Why?
A. Because Adam was the head of the covenant, and therein considered as representing all his posterity. Rom. 5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
3. Q. What kind of sin do we derive from Adam?
A. Original sin. Ps. 51:5. Behold, I was shaped in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
4. Q. How many kinds of sin are there?
A. Two kinds, original and actual sin.
5. Q. How does original sin become ours?
A. By imputation and heredity.
6. Q. Who imputes Adam's sin to us?
7. Q. What doth he impute to us?
A. The guilt of sin. Rom. 5:19. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
8. Q. What do we inherit?
A. The pollution of sin. Job 14:4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.
9. Q. From whom?
A. From our parents.
10. Q. What is the guilt of sin?
A. A subjection to punishment for Adam's sin. Rom. 5:18.
11. Q. What is the pollution of sin?
A. The inherent corruption which is extended over the whole man.
12. Q. Have all men original sin?
A. Yes; all except Christ. John 3:5. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh.
18. Q. Why had Christ no original sin?
A. Because he was conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Of Actual Sin and the Punishment of Sin
1. Q. Have all men actual sin?
A. Yes. James 8:2. We all offend in many things.
2. Q. In how many ways are they committed?
A. In thoughts, in words, and in actions.
3. Q. Are all men by nature in a state of misery?
4. Q. In how many things doth the misery of man consist?
A. In three: in sin, in impotence under it, and in punishment.
5. Q. Is man under sin, then also spiritually impotent?
A. Yes, with respect to all spiritual good. Rom. 8:7. The carnal wind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
6. Q. Hath man then no free will, or inherent natural powers to spiritual good?
A. No. Eph. 2:1. And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.
7. Q. Are then all commands, as well as threatenings and promises of God, in vain?
A. No; for these are means whereby God will operate upon man as a rational creature to the discharge of his duty.
8. Q. What is the punishment of sin?
A. Death. Rom. 6:23. The wages of sin is death.
9. Q. How many kinds of death are there?
A. Three: corporal, spiritual and eternal.
10. Q. Wherein doth the corporal death consist?
A. In a separation between soul and body.
11. Q. What is the spiritual death?
A. (1) A separation from God's favour, (2) an impotence in sin.
12. Q. What do you understand by eternal death?
A. Suffering eternal punishment in hell.
13. Q. Do all sins deserve this punishment?
A. Yes, even the least. Gal. 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.
14. Q. Are there then no pardonable sins?
A. All indeed in Christ (the sin against the Holy Ghost only excepted) but none so in their own nature. Jas. 2:10.
15. Q. Is the covenant of works abolished by sin?
A. Yes: respecting its power to justify.
16. Q. What conclusion do you draw from the misery of man?
A. That (excepting Satan) there is not a more unfortunate creature than natural man.
Of the Covenant of Grace
1. Q. Is there another covenant made instead of the covenant of works?
A. Yes; the covenant of grace.
2. Q. When was that covenant established?
A. Immediately after the fall. Genesis 3:15. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
3. Q. What is the covenant of grace?
A. The covenant of grace is the way by which God through Christ becomes the property of the sinner and by which he in turn becomes the property of God. Jer. 31:33.
4. Q. With whom is it established?
A. With the elect only.
5. Q. What doth God require in this covenant?
A. That which God requires in it is also a promise of the covenant, namely, faith in Jesus Christ.
6. Q. What doth God promise therein?
A. Grace here, and eternal life hereafter. Acts 16:31. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
7. Q. Is this covenant in all ages essentially the same?
8. Q. Did believers under the Old Testament also partake of all the essential benefits of the covenant of grace?
A. Yes. Heb. 13:8. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
9. Q. How does the sinner enter this covenant?
A. God first comes to him when He kindly and beseechingly invites him. II Cor. 6:20. With much earnestness and uprightness, Ezek. 33:11; and solves all his difficulties, Isa. 55:2.
10. Q. What is the result of such an invitation?
A. I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love. Hosea 11:4.
11. Q. What does the called sinner do from his side?
A. He accepts the Lord as his God and surrenders himself to God. Songs of Solomon 2:16.
12. Q. What are the characteristics of this consent?
A. The sinner does it calmly, willingly, humbly, faithfully, uprightly, with a full assenting of the demands as well as the promises of the covenant. Ps. 61:8.
18. Q. What are the consequences of this consenting?
A. God remembers his covenant forever. Ps. 105:8. And the covenant-people have the right to require everything necessary unto life and eternal salvation. Ps. 74:19-21.
Of the Mediator of this Covenant
1. Q. Who is the mediator of this covenant?
A. The Lord Jesus Christ. I Tim. 2:5. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
2. Q. Is he a mediator of intercession only or also of reconciliation?
A. Also of reconciliation; for thus it follows in the same text: Who gave himself a ransom for all. I Tim. 2:5, 6.
8. Q. Is our Jesus the right mediator, or Messiah, who was to come?
A. Yes; because all is fulfilled in Him that was prophesied of the Messiah.
4. Q. Did He come at the proper time?
A. Yes; before the sceptre was departed from Judah, and the lawgiver from between his feet. Gen. 49:10. While the second temple was yet standing. Hag. 2:9. And when the seventy weeks were expired. Dan. 9.
5. Q. Wherein must the Mediator be known?
A. (1) In His names. (2) In His offices. (3) In His natures. (4) In His states. (6) In His benefits.
Of the name Jesus
1. Q. Which are His most common names?
A. These two: Jesus and Christ; the first a Hebrew and the second a Greek name.
2. Q. What doth the name Jesus signify?
A. Savior. Matt. 1: 21. Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
3. Q. What is it to save?
A. To deliver a person from the greatest evil, and make him a partaker of the supreme good.
4. Q. Whereby doth He effect that?
A. By acquiring. and actually applying salvation.
5. Q. Hath Christ merited the salvation?
A. Yes. Heb. 5:9. He became the author of eternal salvation.
6. Q. Doth he also actually apply it unto his people?
A. Yes. John 10:28. I give unto them eternal life.
7. Q. Cannot this meriting and applying be separated?
A. No, He surely applies it to all those for whom He hath merited it. Isa. 53:11. By His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for He shall bear their iniquities.
8. Q. Does not this application depend on ourselves?
A. No, but on the powerful operation of divine grace.
Of the name Christ
1. Q. What doth the name Christ signify?
2. Q. How is that name in Hebrew?
A. Messiah. John 1:41. We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
3. Q. Of how many parts doth this anointing consist?
A. Of two parts: His appointment, and qualification to His mediatorial office.
4. Q. Who hath appointed and qualified Him?
A. God the Father.
5. Q. When was this appointment made?
A. From eternity. Prov. 8:23. I was set up, or anointed, from eternity
6. Q. According to which nature was He appointed?
A. According to both His divine and human nature.
7. Q. When was He qualified?
A. In the fullness of time.
8. Q. In which nature?
A. In his human, for in the divine nature no qualification could take place.
9. Q. Why is His appointment called an anointing?
A. Because under the Old Testament men were by anointing ordained and installed to certain offices.
10. Q. Why is this qualification called an anointing?
A. Because God by His anointing infused into such persons the qualifications necessary for those offices.
11. Q. Wherewith is Christ anointed or qualified?
A. With the Holy Ghost. Acts 10:38. How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power.
12. Q. What gifts of that Spirit are peculiarly communicated to Him?
A. Wisdom, power, and holiness.
13. Q. Wherein did He manifest His wisdom?
A. In His teachings. Matt. 7:28, 29.
14. Q. Wherein did His power appear?
A. In His miracles. Luke 24:19. A prophet mighty in deed and in word.
16. Wherein did His holiness consist?
A. In that He had no sin.
16. Q. Had He no original sin?
A. No. Luke 1:36. That holy thing which shall be born of thee.
17. Q. Had He no actual sins?
A. No. John 8:46. Which of you convinceth Me of sin?
18. Q. Should He not have any sin?
A. No, for one who is himself a sinner cannot satisfy for others. Heb. 7:26. For such an high-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sincere.
Of Christís Offices
1. Q. Unto how many offices was He anointed?
A. Unto three, prophet, priest, and king.
2. Q. Was He in those offices typified under the Old Testament?
A. Yes; by anointed prophets, priests and kings.
3. Q. Were those three offices all necessary in Him?
4. Q. Why must He be a prophet?
A. To enlighten our ignorance.
5. Q. Why a priest?
A. To expiate our guilt.
6. Q. Why a king?
A. To deliver us from the servitude of the devil and sin.
Of Christís Prophetic Office
1. Q. Was He promised as a prophet?
A. Yes. Deut. 18:15. The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.
2. Q. Wherein doth He execute the office of a prophet?
A. He teaches us.
3. Q. What doth He teach us?
A. The way of salvation. Isa. 61:1, 2, 3.
4. Q. Whereby doth He teach us?
A. Externally by His Word, and internally by His Spirit. Acts 16:14.
5. Q. Was Christ a prophet in the times of the Old Testament?
A. Yes; the prophets of those times have also spoken by the Spirit of Christ which was in them. I Peter 1:11.
6. Q. Hath He also taught in His own person?
A. Yes; when He was in the flesh on earth. John 17:6; Acts 1:3.
7. Q. Doth He after His ascension continue to be a prophet?
A. Yes; He now teacheth by pastors and teachers whom He hath given. Eph. 4:11.
8. Q. Doth He himself now cease to teach?
A. By His spirit He alone, always hash, and doth still continue to teach. Isa. 59:21.
Of Christís Priestly Office
1. Q. Was He also promised as a priest?
A. Yes. Ps. 110:4. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
2. Q. What doth this intimate?
A. (1) That He alone is a priest. (2) An everlasting priest.
3. Q. How doth He execute the office of a priest?
A. By offering and making intercession.
4. Q. What hath He offered?
A. Himself. Heb. 9:14. Who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God.
5. Q. When was this offering made?
A. During His whole sufferings, but especially on the cross. I Peter 2:24. Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree.
6. Q. To whom hath He offered himself?
A. To His Father.
7. Q. For whom did He sacrifice Himself?
A. For all the elect.
8. Q. Was His offering a real sacrifice of atonement?
A. Yes. Heb. 10:14. For by one offering He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
9. Q. What is His intercession?
A. That He continually presents His merits unto His Father, and demands thereon the salvation of His people. John 17:24. Father I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.
10. Q. Where doth He thus intercede?
A. In heaven. Rom. 8:34. Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
11. Q. For whom?
A. Only for the elect. John 17:9. I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me.
12. Q. Is there more than one mediator of intercession?
A. No. I John 2:1. We have an advocate with the Father. Jesus Christ the righteous and He is the propitiation for our sins.
13. Q. Are not the angels or saints our intercessors in heaven?
A. No, for (1) they know not our necessities; (2) cannot hear our prayers; (3) nor have they made satisfaction for us, whereupon they might demand.
Of Christís Kingly Office
1. Q. Was Christ also promised as a king?
A. Yes. Ps. 2:6. I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
2. Q. Wherein doth He execute the office of a king?
A. By governing and protecting His people.
3. Q. Whereby doth He govern them?
A. By His Word and Spirit. Ps. 43:3. Send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles.
4. Q. Against whom doth He defend them?
A. Against their spiritual and corporal enemies. John 10:28, 29.
5. Q. Is He an earthly king?
A. No, a spiritual and heavenly King. John 18:36. My kingdom is not of this world.
6. Q. Was He King also under the Old Testament?
A. Yes; even then as King he gave laws unto, and protected His church.
7. Q. How long is He to continue a King?
A. To eternity. Luke 1:33. He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
8. Q. Why are the believers called Christians?
A. Because they are partakers of Christ's unction. I John 2:20, 27; I Peter 2:9.
Of Christís Natures
1. Q. How many natures hath Christ?
A. Two natures; a divine and a human nature. I Tim. 3:16. God was manifest in the flesh.
2. Q. Was this also foretold?
A. Yes. Isa. 9: 6. For unto us a child is born unto us a son is given, and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
3. Q. Is He very God?
A. Yes. I John 5:20. This is the true God and eternal life.
4. Q. Which of the three persons is He according to His godhead?
A. The second person, the Son. Gal. 4:4. But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.
5. Q. Is He also very man?
A. Yes. I Tim. 2:5. The man Christ Jesus.
6. Q. Of how many parts doth His human nature consist?
A. Of two parts, soul and body.
7. Q. Was not His godhead instead of His soul?
A. No; for He suffered in His soul. Matt. 26:38. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.
8. Q. Why was it necessary that He should be God?
A. (1) To support the human nature in bearing the infinite wrath of God. (2) To give an infinite value to His merits. Isa. 63: 1-3.
9. Q. Why should He be man?
A. To be capable of suffering and dying.
10. Q. Are the two natures in Christ united?
A. Yes, in unity of person.
11. Q. How is this unity effected?
A. By the divine person assuming the human nature. Phil. 2:7. He took upon Him the form of a servant.
12. Q. Is then His Godhead not changed into his human nature?
A. No, He continueth to be God.
13. Q. But it is said, John 1:14, The word was made flesh?
A. All making is not a change of essence, Gal. 3:13. Christ is made a curse, but not changed into a curse.
14. Q. Are not the two natures intermixed, so as to become one nature?
A. No; they remain two, even after their union.
15. Q. Will these two natures constitute two persons?
A. No; there is but one person.
16. Q. Are any divine attributes transferred to the human nature?
A. No; each nature retains its distinct properties.
Of Christís States
1. Q. How many states must we distinguish in Christ?
A. Two, a state of humiliation, and a state of exaltation. Ps. 110:7. He shall drink of the brook in the way, therefore shall He lift up the head. Compare Phil. 2:5-11.
2. Q. Were both these states necessary?
A. Yes; in the state of humiliation He must purchase, and in the state of exaltation He must apply salvation.
3. Q. Which are the degrees of His humiliation?
A. (1) His humble birth. (2) His sufferings. (3) His death. (4) His burial. (5) His descending into hell.
4. Q. Which are the degrees of his exaltation?
A. (1) His resurrection. (2) His ascension. (3) His sitting at the right hand of God. (4) His coming again to judgment.
Of the Decrees of Christís Humiliation. Of His Humble Birth
1. Q. Of whom was He born?
A. Of the Virgin Mary. Isa. 7:14. Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and shall call His name Immanuel.
2. Q. By whom was He conceived?
A. By the power of the Holy Ghost. Luke 1:35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee, therefore also, that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.
3. Q. Was He also born of her flesh and blood?
A. Yes. Gal. 4:4. Made of a woman.
4. Q. Did He not then bring His human substance or flesh and blood with Him from heaven?
A. No! He first assumed it from the Virgin Mary.
5. Q. But it is said, He that ascended, is the same that descended. Eph. 4:9, 10?
A. The same person, but not the same nature; according to His human nature, He ascended, but according to His divine nature He descended; manifesting Himself in the flesh.
6. Q. Where was Christ born?
A. At Bethlehem. Micah 5:2. 2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. The fulfilment of this we read in the history of His birth. Luke 2.
Of Christís Sufferings
1. Q. Was it necessary that Christ should suffer?
A. Yes, it being foretold. Ps. 8; Ps. 22; Isa. 53; Dan. 9.
2. Q. How long did His sufferings continue?
A. From the beginning to the end of His life. II Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:8.
3. Q. Wherein did He suffer?
A. Both in soul and body. Matt. 26:38; I Pet. 2:24.
4. Q. Did He suffer immediately after His birth?
A. Yes, a painful circumcision on the eighth day.
5. Q. Why was Christ circumcised?
A. Among other reasons, that He might have the sign of Abraham's seed.
6. Q. Did any other sufferings follow?
A. Yes, a poor and humble bringing up, and finally a life full of hatred, contempt. and persecution by his enemies.
7. Q. When were His sufferings most aggravated?
A. Towards the end of His life, the circumstances whereof we may read Matt. 26 and 27.
8. Q. Under what judge did He suffer death?
A. Under Pontius Pilate.
Of Christís Death
1. Q. What death did He die?
A. The death of the cross. Phil. 2:8. He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. See Matt. 27:31-50 and the other Evangelists.
2. Q. Was His crucifixion also foretold?
A. Yes. Ps. 22:16. They pierced My hands and My feet.
3. Q. Was that death attended with any aggravating circumstances?
A. Yes. It was (1) a contemptible, (2) a painful, and (3) an accursed death.
4. Q. Why did He die such an accursed death?
A. To redeem us from the curse. Gal. 3:13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, for it is written, cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
5. Q. Where was Christ crucified?
A. On Mount Calvary, between two malefactors.
6. Q. Was His death also a necessary part of His sufferings?
A. Yes, because death was threatened as a punishment for sin, and He must take away all punishment.
Of Christís Burial
1. Q. Who buried Christ?
A. Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus.
2. Q. Where?
A. In a new tomb hewn out of a rock.
3. Q. Why was He buried?
A. To assure us that He had really died.
4. Q. Was His burial also foretold?
A. Yes. Isa. 53:9. He made His grave with the wicked, and with the rich in His death.
Of Christís Descending into Hell
1. Q. What is meant by His descending into hell?
A. That He suffered the agonies of hell in His soul.
2. Q. When did He suffer them?
A. Particularly in the garden of Gethsemane, and on the cross.
3. Q. What was His complaint in Gethsemane?
A. Matt. 26:38. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.
4. Q. What on the cross?
A. Matt. 27:46. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken Me?
5. Q. Did He then not descend into hell itself?
A. No, for while He was dead, His body was in the grave, and His soul in heaven. Luke 23:43-54. Verily I say unto thee, this day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.
6. Q. Did His descending into hell take place before His death?
A. Yes; during the suffering of His body.
7. Q. Was that suffering of His soul also necessary?
A. Yes; because we also sinned in our soul.
Of the End of Christís Humiliation. His Satisfaction
1. Q. Hath Christ by his humiliation also satisfied divine justice?
A. Yes. Isa. 53:4.
2. Q. Wherein doth His satisfaction consist?
A It consists in two parts: (1) In obeying the law; (2) In suffering punishment.
3. Q. Doth actual obedience to the law belong to His satisfaction?
A. Yes. Rom. 6:19. By the obedience of one many shall be made righteous.
4. Q. Doth suffering punishment also belong to His satisfaction?
A. Yes. Isa. 63:5. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him.
5. Q. Was suffering the punishment only not sufficient to merit or satisfy for us?
A. No; suffering punishment might indeed free from punishment, but could give no right to eternal life; that was promised only on the obedience of the law. Luke 10:28. Do this and thou shalt live.
6. Q. Was satisfaction necessary?
A. Yes. (1) By reason of God's justice, which admits of no remission of sins without punishment, or satisfaction, (2) by reason of his truth, having thus expressly declared Himself.
7. Q. Is there an absolute atonement made by this satisfaction, or only a possibility of salvation merited?
A. There is an actual, absolute, and personal atonement made. I John 2:2. And He is a propitiation for our sins. Compare Luke 18:12.
8. Q. For whom hath made this satisfaction?
A. Only for the elect.
9. Q. Did He not then die for all men?
A. No, but only for His people. Matt. 1:21. For His sheep John 10:11. For His church. Acts 20:28.
10. Q. How then must it be understood, where Christ is said to have died for the world, and for all men?
A. Thereby must be understood, either all the elect in the world, or the Gentile world together with the Jews under the New Testament, or all kinds of people.
11. Q. What is the result of this satisfaction?
A. (1) God is now reconciled with the elect sinner. (2) He receives the right to life. Gal. 4:4, 5.
12. Q. Has everyone ground to believe that Christ has satisfied for him?
A. No; but only those who accept Christ as the meriting, working, effecting, and exemplary cause of their spiritual life. Tit. 2:14. John 12:24. 2 Cor. 5:14, 15 and Rom. 6:5.
Of the State and Degree of Christ's Exaltation. Of His Resurrection
1. Q. Was the resurrection of Christ necessary?
A. Yes. Ps. 16:10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Compare Acts 2:25-31.
2. Q. What certainty have we that He is risen?
A. ( 1 ) The testimony of angels and the watchmen; (2) the manifold appearances of the Lord Jesus to the women and the disciples.
3. Q. Is there any benefit in His resurrection?
A. Yes our spiritual and corporal resurrection, and an assurance that He in all things hath fully satisfied. Rom. 4:25. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
4. Q. By whose power did He rise?
A. By His Father's power and by His own divine power, being quickened by His Father, He arose of Himself. Acts 2:24; John 2:19.
5. Q. On what day did He arise?
A. On the third day after His death.
6. Q. By whom was that prefigured?
A. By Jonas; For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly so shall the Son of main be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt. 12:40.
7. Q. On what day of the week was He buried, and on what day did He arise?
A. He was buried on Friday evening, and arose on the morning of the Lord's day.
8. Q. But these were not the three whole days and nights.
A. The parts of days must be taken for the whole. Compare Luke 24:21.
9. Q. Who are the partakers of Christ's resurrection?
A. Those who know Christ and the power of His resurrection. Phil. 3:10.
Of Christís Ascension
1. Q. How many days did Christ remain on earth after His resurrection?
A. Forty days. Acts 1:3.
2. Q. To what end?
A. (1) More fully to manifest the certainty of His resurrection. (2) To instruct His disciples still farther in some things.
3. Q. What degree of exaltation did then follow?
A. His ascension into heaven.
4. Q. Was that also foretold?
A. Yes. Ps. 68:18. Thou hast ascended on high.
5. Q. Did any witnesses attend His ascension?
A. Yes, angels, and the disciples of the Savior. Acts 1.
6. Q. Was His ascension also necessary?
A. Yes. (1) There to rule as King, (2) there to pray as intercessor; (3) there to receive His people unto Himself.
7. Q. From where did Christ ascend?
A. From the Mount of Olives, outside of Jerusalem.
8. Q. Whither did Christ ascend?
A. Into the third heaven. Eph. 4:10. He ascended up far above the heavens.
9. Q. In what manner did He ascend?
A. Actually, visibly, and locally. John 16: 28; Acts 3:21.
10. Q. Is not His human nature become omnipresent by His ascension?
A. No; Matt. 26:11, Ye have the poor always with you, but Me ye have not always.
11. Q. Who can comfort themselves with Christ's ascension?
A. Those who are risen with Christ, etc. Col. 3:1.
Of Christís Sitting at the Right Hand of God
1. Q. Was Christ's sitting at God's right hand also foretold?
A. Yes. Ps. 110:1. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at My right hand.
2. Q. Is that accomplished in Jesus?
A. Yes. Stephen saw Him standing at God's right hand. Acts 7:65.
3. Q. What is sitting at God's right hand?
A. His exaltation to all power and glory. Heb. 1:3. He sat down at the right hand of the majesty on high.
4. Q. Must not that be literally understood?
A. No; for God, who is a spirit, has, properly speaking, no right hand.
5. Q. What are the benefits of this glorification?
A. Ps. 68:18. Thou hast ascended on high, Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellions also, that the Lord God might dwell among there.
Of Effectual Calling
1. Q. To what end is Christ thus exalted?
A. To apply His benefits unto us.
2. Q. How may the benefits of Christ be distinguished?
A. Into two kinds: (1) benefits in this life; (2) benefits after this life.
3. Q. What are the benefits bestowed in this life?
A. These are principally: calling, justification and sanctification.
4. Q. Which are those conferred in the life to come?
A. Resurrection, final judgment, and eternal life.
5. Q. How manifold is this calling?
A. Twofold, an external, and an internal calling.
6. Q. Whereby is the external calling effected?
A. By the Word of God. Prov. 9:3ff.
7. Q. Whereby the internal calling?
A. By the Spirit of God. Jer. 31:33.
8. Q. Who are externally called?
A. All sorts of men, even such as are not elected. Matt. 20:16. Many are called, but few chosen.
9. Q. Is then the external calling universal?
A. In Christendom, but not through the whole world.
10. Q. Is it not however more general now than it was under the Old Testament?
A. Yes, for then it respected the Jews only, but now also the Gentiles.
11. Q. Is there not a calling in nature that leads to salvation?
A. No, nature knows nothing of Christ, without whom there is no salvation.
12. Q. Is the external calling sufficient to conversion?
A. No. I Cor. 3:7. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.
13. Q. What must then be added to it?
A. The internal calling as in Lydia. Acts 16:14. Whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken by Paul.
14. Q. Who then are internally called?
A. The elect only. Rom. 8:30. Whom He did predestinate, them He also called.
15. Q. What is the internal calling?
A. An efficacious change of the whole man.
16. Q. Is there then anything to be changed in man?
A. Yes, the understanding, will, affections, and conversation.
17. Q. How are these then by nature?
A. The understanding is darkened, the will is perverse, the affections irregular, and the conversation is sinful. Eph. 4:18. Rom. 8:7.
18. Q. What do they become by effectual calling?
A. The understanding is enlightened to know God in His all-sufficiency; Jesus in His preciousness; and himself in his damnable condition, I Cor. 2:2, 13. The will to serve and glorify God. Rom. 7:16. The affections purified to hate sin and on the other hand to love God as the supreme good, and a desire to holiness, etc. Rom. 6:19. And the conversation sanctified.
19. Q. Is this internal calling efficacious?
A. Yes, it hath an irresistible power. Eph. 1:19, 20.
20. Q. Is there any thing more in it than external persuasion?
A. Yes, an inward inclining of the will. Phil. 2: l 3.
21. Q. Doth God then compel man?
A. No, he makes him willing. Songs of Solomon 1:4.
22. Q. How is the efficacy of the internal calling expressed in Scripture?
A. It is called a creating, Eph. 2:10, For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Also a drawing. John 6:44. No man can come unto Me, except the Father, which hath sent Me draw him.
Of the Church
1. Q. Doth Christ also gather a church by this calling?
2. Q. Where is the church?
A. Here on earth, and in heaven.
3. Q. What name is given to the church on earth?
A. The church militant, because it is in a continual warfare. Rom. 7:23.
4. Q. With whom?
A. With the world. the devil, and our own flesh.
5. Q. What name is given to the church in heaven?
A. The church triumphant, because she hath then overcome all things. Rev. 7:9.
6. Q. Are these then two different churches?
A. No; but two distinct parts of the same church. Eph. 1:10.
7. Q. Is there more than one church?
A. No. Songs of Solomon 6:9. My dove, my undefiled, is but one. The church is everywhere and in all ages the same church. Compare John 10:16.
8. Q. Is there always a church?
A. Yes. Matt. 16:18. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
9. Q. Is she always equally visible?
A. No: she may be invisible under persecution.
10. Q. Doth the church then still exist?
A. Yes; as in the days of Elijah, who supposed he was left alone although there were seven thousand who had not bent their knees to Baal. I Kings 19:14-18.
11. Q. Who is at the head of the church?
A. Jesus Christ. Eph. 5:23. Christ is the head of the church.
12. Q. Is not the Pope of Rome the head of the church?
A. No; he is the Antichrist.
13. Q. Why so?
A. Because every thing is fulfilled in him that was foretold of the Antichrist.
14. Q. What are marks of the true church?
A. The pure preaching of God's Word, and the proper administration of the sacraments.
15. Q. Is not antiquity a mark of the church?
A. No: for Satan's kingdom is also old.
16. Q. Is multitude of men a mark?
A. No: Christ's church is a little flock. Luke 12:32.
17. Q. Is not prosperity in this world a mark?
A. No. John 16:33. In the world ye shall have tribulation.
18. Q. Wherein doth the authority of the church consist?
A. In exercising the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
19. Q. How many keys are there?
A. Two, the preaching of the gospel, and Christian discipline.
20. Q. Is it enough to be an outward member of the church?
A. No, we must examine ourselves whether we are a living member thereof.
1. Q. Are the internally called also justified?
A. Yes. Rom. 8:30. Whom he called, them he also justified.
2. Q. What is it to be justified?
A. It is to be acquitted from guilt and punishment, and to be entitled to eternal life.
3. Q. Is there any difference between justification and sanctification?
A. Yes: (1) Justification is an act without, but sanctification within us. (2) Justification removes the guilt, and sanctification the pollution of sin. (3) The act of justification is complete, but sanctification. during this life, is not complete.
4. Q. Are we then not changed inwardly by justification?
A. No, this is effected by sanctification.
5. Q. Is not justification an infusion of righteousness?
A. No; it is but a sentencing, or acquitting of man, such as judges pronounce in courts of justice.
6. Q. Is it used in this sense in Scripture?
A. Yes, thus it is opposed to condemnation. Prov. 17:15. He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord.
Q. Is it used so in reference to this justification?
A. Yes. Rom. 8:33, 34. It is God that justifieth, logo is he that condemneth?
8. Q. Who is it then that justifieth or acquits us?
A. God, the Father, representing the person of a judge.
9. Q. In what character doth the Son appear in this matter?
A. As intercessor and mediator, for whose sake we are justified.
10. Q. How doth the Holy Ghost appear?
A. As one who giveth us knowledge of our justification, and sealeth it unto us.
11. Q. Can we be assured of our justification?
A. Yes. Rom. 5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
12. Q. From what are we justified?
A. From all sins without exception.
13. Q. For whose sake are we justified?
A. Only for the sake of Christ. Rom. 3:24. Being justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
14. Q. Are we not justified on account of our own works?
A. No. Rom. 3:28. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
15. Q. Why can we not be justified by our own works?
A. Because the best of them are imperfect, and therefore cannot satisfy the justice of God. Jas. 3:2; Isa. 64:6.
16. Q. But in order to our being justified by the merits of Christ, must they not become ours?
A. Certainly they must.
17. How do they become ours?
A. By being imputed to us and received by us.
18. Q. Who imputes them to us?
A. God, by a gracious gift.
19. Q. How do we receive them?
A. By faith.
20. Q. Are we then justified on account of our faith?
A. No; the Scripture saith, by faith, and through faith, but never on account of faith.
21. Q. How then doth faith operate in this matter?
A. As a hand or instrument, whereby we receive the merits of Christ.
1. Q. How many kinds of faith are there?
A. Four kinds: historical, temporary, miraculous, and a saving faith.
2. Q. What is an historical faith?
A. A bare assent to known truth.
3. Q. Is this not a good faith?
A. Yes, it is necessary, but not sufficient. James 2:19. Thou believest that there is one God: thou dost well, the devils also believe and tremble.
4. Q. What is a temporary faith?
A. An assent to and profession of the truth for a time with some external satisfaction. Matt. 13:20, 21. He heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it, yet hath he not any root in himself, but dureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth, because of the word, by and by he is offended.
5. Q. What is the faith of miracles?
A. A strong persuasion that a miracle wilt be performed either by, or on us.
6. Q. When doth that take place?
A. When the working of miracles takes place.
7. Q. Is not then this faith of miracles saving?
A. No. I Cor. 13:2. Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
8. Q. In how many things does saving faith consist?
A. In three: knowledge, assent and trust.
9. Q. Is not an implicit faith without knowledge sufficient?
A. No. John 17:3. This is life eternal that they might know thee.
10. Q. What is the principal and true justifying deed of faith?
A. It is that deed of the soul whereby she heartily wills and desires, not alone that the promises of the Gospel be true in themselves, but whereby she also, with submissive affection longs for an actually accepts the Lord Jesus as the only cause of her salvation, accompanied with a denial of herself and all other things or persons.
11. Q. What is the fruit of the justifying deed of faith?
A. The special and certain application of the promises of the Gospel and the Lord Jesus personally to every believer. Which is not always present in all believers, because of the temptations of Satan and the accusation of the Law, and the allurements of the flesh, for which however all should strive who have truly accepted Jesus.
12. Q. Can and ought believers be assured of the uprightness of their faith?
A. They can. II Tim. 1:12b. For I know whom I have believed. They must also strive thereafter; II Cor. 13:5. Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith, prove your ownselves.
13. Q. By whom is this faith wrought in us?
A. By the Holy Ghost. I Cor. 12:3. And that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost. Compare Phil. 1:19, 29, and Gal. 5:22.
14. Q. Whereby doth he work faith?
A. By the Word of God. Rom. 10:17. So then faith cometh by heating, and hearing by the Word of God.
15. Q. Have we not self-sufficiency to believe?
A. No. Eph. 2:8. For by grace ye are saved through f pith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
1. Q. Are those who are justified also sanctified?
A. Yes: both go together. I Cor. 1:30. But of him ye are in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Compare Ps. 130:4.
2. Q. What is sanctification?
A. A renewing of the whole man.
3. Q. Is it not only a change in the outward actions?
A. No: but also of the inward man. Rom. 12:2. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
4. Q. Doth an external change also flow from it?
Q. Yes; in all the conduct. I Thess. 6:23. The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and, I pray God, your whole spirit and soul and body, be preserved blameless.
5. Q. Who worketh that sanctification in us?
A. God by His Spirit. I Cor. 6:11.
6. Q. Is sanctification necessary?
A. Yes. Heb. 12:14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
7. Q. Is sanctification perfect in this life? A. No, but in part and imperfect. Phil. 3:12. Not as though I had already attained either were already perfect.
8. Q. Is it equal in all believers?
A. No, in one more, and in another less, it has its various degrees.
9. Q. Is it also changeable?
A. Yes; it is subject to increase and decrease in the same person.
10. Q. Can it be totally lost?
A. No; the grace of God once begun continues to be.
11. Q. Is there then no apostasy of saints?
A. No; they may fall, but cannot fall away. I Peter 1:5. Who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.
12. Q. How do God's people advance in sanctification?
A. By removing all inward and outward hindrances through the grace of the Holy Spirit, depending upon Jesus' power in using all means toward advancement.
Of Good Works
1. Q. What are the fruits of faith and sanctification?
A. Good works. James 2:18. Show me thy faith, by thy works.
2. Q. What are good works?
A. Deeds that are performed: (1) of faith; (2) according to the law of God, (3) to the glory of God.
3. Q. Prove that they must proceed from faith.
A. Heb. 11:6. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
4. Q. Prove that they must be performed according to the law of God.
A. Matt. 15:9. In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
5. Q. Prove that they must be directed to God's glory.
A. I Cor. 10:31. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
6. Q. Must we do good works?
A. Yes. Matt. 5:16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
7. Q. Can such good works merit heaven?
A. No. Christ alone hath merited that for us.
8. Q. Why not?
A. Because they are imperfect. Isa. 64:6. And all our righteousness are as filthy rags.
9. Q. Why must we then yet perform good works?
A. (1) To glorify God thereby; (2) to edify our neighbours; (3) to assure ourselves of our faith.
Of the Law of God
1. Q. How manifold are the laws which God gave to Israel?
A. Threefold: (1) the moral; (2) the civil; and (3) the ceremonial law.
2. Q. Which of these three is still in force?
A. The moral law, which is an everlasting law.
3. Q. When were the others abolished?
A. When the new dispensation began.
4. Q. How many commandments hath the moral law?
A. Ten commandments.
5. Q. How many tables?
A. Two tables.
6. Q. What doth the first table require?
A. To love God above all.
7. Q. What doth the second table require?
A. To love our neighbour as ourselves.
S. Q. How many commandments are there in the first table?
9. Q. How many in the second table?
10. Q. Where was this law given?
A. On Mount Sinai. Gal. 4:26.
11. Q. When?
A. Soon after Israel's departure out of Egypt.
12. Q. Hath Christ not enlarged this law under the New Testament?
A. No, it is so perfect that nothing can be added thereto.
13. Q. Can we keep this law perfectly?
A. No. James 3:2. We all offend in many things.
14. Q. Repeat the law of God.
A. I am the Lord thy God, etc. Exod. 20: 1-17 inclusive.
15. Q. When we see our impotence out of the law, to what must it excite us?
A. To prayer. Ps. 119:4, 5. Lord, thou host commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes.
1. Q. Is prayer necessary?
A. Yes, it is a means of obtaining, which God hath commanded. Ps. 50:15. Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee.
2. Q. Unto whom must we pray?
A. Unto God only. Matt. 4.10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God; and Him only shalt thou serve.
3. Q. May we not pray unto angels or saints?
A. No; they are not entitled to that honour, and are ignorant of our condition. Isa. 42:8; Col. 2:18.
4. Q. In what manner must we pray?
A. With an holy frame of heart, and modest gestures of body.
5. Q. For what are we to pray?
A. For spiritual and corporal necessities.
6. Q. Hath Christ given us a form of prayer?
A. Yes, in the Lord's Prayer. Matt. 6.
7. Q. How doth the Lord's Prayer read?
A. Our Father, which art in heaven, etc. See. Matt. 6:9-13.
Of the Sacraments
1. Q. What means hath God instituted to promote the work of sanctification?
A. The word and sacraments.
2. Q. What are the sacraments?
A. Signs and seals of God's grace. Rom. 4:11. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of faith.
3. Q. Which were the principal sacraments of the Old Testament?
A. Circumcision and the Passover.
4. Q. On which day were the children circumcised?
A. On the eighth day.
5. Q. In whose time was circumcision instituted?
A. In Abraham's time, Gen. 17.
6. Q. In whose time was the Passover instituted?
A. In the time of Moses: the same night in which Israel departed out of Egypt. Exod. 12.
7. Q. What did they eat in the Passover?
A. A lamb.
8. Q. Of whom was it a type?
A. Of Christ. I Cor. 5:7. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
9. Q. How long did these sacraments continue?
A. Unto the time of the New Testament.
10. Q. How many sacraments are there under the New Testament?
A. Two; Baptism, and the Lord's Supper.
11. Q. By whom were they instituted?
A. By Christ.
Of Holy Baptism
1. Q. What do we baptise with?
A. With water.
2. Q. Must this water not be mixed with something else?
A. No, it must only be pure, unmixed water.
3. Q. What is signified by this water?
A. The blood and the Spirit of Christ.
4. Q. How must that water be applied?
A. By dipping in, or sprinkling with it.
5. Q. What doth dipping in, or sprinkling with this water signify?
A. The washing away of sin by the blood and Spirit of Christ.
6. Q. How many benefits are sealed by baptism?
A. Two: justification by the blood of Christ, and sanctification by His Spirit.
7. Q. Can water itself wash away sin?
A. No. I John 1:7. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from an sin.
8. Q. In whose name must baptism be administered?
A. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Matt. 28:19.
9. Q. May any one baptise in time of need?
A. No, only those who are sent to teach. Matt. 28:19. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them.
10. Q. May infants also be baptised?
A. Yes. Acts 2:29. The promise in to you and to your children.
11. Q. Is baptism necessary?
A. Yes; by virtue of the command of Christ.
12. Q. Doth salvation absolutely depend thereon?
A. No; God never connects His grace with a sacrament.
13. Q. How often must we be baptized?
A. Only once, even as we are born but once, for baptism is a sacrament of our being born and incorporated into the church, which can be but once effected.
14. Q. What have the baptised to perform?
A. They have to examine whether they have with their whole heart recommended themselves to the Triune God.
Of the Lord's Supper
1. Q. Why do we then receive the Lord's Supper often?
A. Because it is a sacrament of continual strengthening in faith.
2. Q. Why is it called a supper?
A. Because Christ instituted it in the night.
3. Q. When did he institute it?
A. The night in which he was betrayed. Matt. 26.
4. Q. What are the visible signs in the Lord's Supper?
A. Bread and wine.
5. Q. What kind of bread?
A. Common and nourishing bread.
6. Q. May we not use wafers in the Lord's Supper?
A. No; they do not fully signify the spiritual nourishment.
7. Q. What doth the bread signify in this supper?
A. The body of Christ: I Cor. 11:20. Take eat, this is My body which is broken for Con, this do in remembrance of Me.
8. Q. Ought not the bread to be broken?
A. Yes; to signify the breaking of Christ's body for us.
9. Q. What sort of wine is to be used?
A. That is indifferent.
10. Q. Must the wine be mixed with water?
A. No; there is no command for that.
11. Q. What doth the wine signify?
A. The blood of Christ. I Cor. 11:26. This cup is the New Testament in my blood.
12. Q. What doth the pouring out of the wine signify?
A. That the blood of Christ is shed for us.
13. Q. Is not bread alone sufficient in the Lord's Supper?
A. No, Christ says: Matt. 14, Drink ye all of it.
14. Q. Is that also to be understood of all common believers?
A. Yes. I Cor. 11:28. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of this bread and drink of this cup.
15. Q. Is Christ bodily present in the signs of this supper?
A. No; His human nature is only in heaven. Acts 3:21. Whom the heavens must receive until the time of restitution of all things.
16. Q. Is not this bread and wine changed into His flesh and blood?
A. No; it remains bread and wine even after the consecration.
17. Q. How then can Christ say, This is my body?
A. The meaning is, this signifies my body.
18. Q. Do other passages of Scripture speak in this manner?
A. Yes often, as appears in I Cor. 10:4. The rock was Christ; that is, it signified Christ.
19. Q. Can we then not eat and drink Christ himself?
A. Not corporally, but spiritually.
20. Q. What doth it denote to eat Christ spiritually?
A. To receive Him by faith.
21. Q. For whom is the Lord's supper instituted?
A. For believers only.
22. Q. Is it not for children?
A. No, because they cannot examine themselves.
23. Q. How must we examine ourselves?
A. (1) Whether we sincerely repent of our sins; (2) whether we believe in Christ; (3) whether we express this faith by a holy conduct.
Of Man's Latter End
1. Q. Is man to live for ever?
A. No. Heb. 9:27. It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
2. Q. Doth every part of man die?
A. No, the soul is immortal. Matt. 10:28. Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul.
3. Q. How many places of abode are there for souls after death?
A. Only two, hell or heaven. Matt. 7:13 14. Wide is the gate, and broad is the wall that leadeth unto destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; but strait is the gate and narrow is the wag which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
4. Q. Do souls depart hither immediately after death?
A. Yes as appears in Lazarus and the rich man. Luke 16:22, 23. The rich man immediately lifted up his eyes in hell, and Lazarus was carried into Abraham's bosom.
5. Q. Is there no purgatory?
A. No. Rev. 14:13. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth. The penitent thief went immediately into heaven without passing through purgatory. Luke 23: 43. Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.
Of the Resurrection
1. Q. Will there be a resurrection?
A. Yes. Acts 24:15. Of both the just and the unjust.
2. Q. When?
A. At the last day.
3. Q. By whom shall they be raised?
A. By God.
4. Q. Will the wicked also be raised?
A. Yes. John 6:2S, 29. The hour is coming in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.
5. Q. With what bodies will the dead arise?
A. With the same bodies; otherwise it would be no resurrection, but a new creation: this was the expectation of Job. Job 19:25, 26, 27. I know that nay redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold and not another.
6. Q. But is this possible?
A. Yes. With God all things are possible; it would seem still more impossible to create the world out of nothing.
7. Q. Will not those bodies be changed?
A. Not in essence, but only in their qualities.
8. Q. In what qualities will they be changed?
A. I Cor. 15:53. This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Of the Last Judgment
1. Q. What will follow the resurrection of the body?
A. The final judgment.
2. Q. Will there be a final judgment?
A. Yes. Acts 17:31. God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom he hath ordained.
3. Q. Who is to be the judge?
A. Christ our Savior, who will appear visible in his human nature.
4. Q. Where will that judgment be held?
A. In the clouds of heaven. Matt. 26:64. Nevertheless I say unto you, hereafter shall ye see the Son of man, sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
5. Q. When is this to be?
A. That day and hour no man knows. Mark 13:32.
6. Q. Who are the persons to be judged?
A. All mankind. 2 Cor. 6:10. 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 bout.
7. Q. How will mankind there be divided?
A. Into two classes, the wicked and the righteous.
8. Q. Where will Christ place them?
A. The wicked on his left and the righteous on his right hand.
9. Q. What sentence will He pass on the wicked?
A. Matt. 25:41. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
10. Q. What will he pronounce on the righteous?
A. Matt. 25:34. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world.
Of Everlasting Life
1. Q. What will follow the final judgment?
A. Eternal life, or eternal damnation.
2. Where will this damnation be?
A. In hell. Luke 16:22, 28. And the rich man also died and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
3. Q. How long will this torment continued?
A. For ever. Matt. 25:46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment.
4. Q. Will not this damnation consist in a total annihilation of man or end with time?
A. No; it will be a punishment of feeling and without end. Mark 9:44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
5. Q. Where will eternal life be enjoyed?
A. In heaven. Luke 6:23. Your reward is great in heaven.
6. Q. How long will this continue?
A. Also for ever. Matt. 25:46. The righteous go into everlasting life.
7. Wherein will this consist?
A. In eternal enjoyment of God, with perfection of joy. Ps. 16:11. Thou wilt show me the path of life: In that presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand there are pleasure for evermore.
Compendium of the Principal Errors of Those that are Outside the Reformed Church
1. Q. Which are the principal parties outside the reformed church?
A. They are either without or within Christendom.
2. Q. Which are those outside of Christendom?
A. Heathens, present-day Jews, and Mohammedans.
3. Q. What are Heathens?
A. The Heathens have principally sprung forth from Ham and Japhet, who have departed from the word of promise and live without the revelation of God.
4. Q. Wherein doth their religion consist?
A. Concerning the manner, this varies greatly; but it consists therein, that they revere and serve the creature above the Creator, since they know neither God nor Christ.
5. Q. What are Jews?
A. The Jews are the descendants of Abraham, the ninth from Shem, and are called Jews, since the Babylonian captivity, after Judah the son of Jacob. Before the coming of Christ, the true church was amongst them.
6. Q. What is their present-day conception?
A. They say, that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Messiah promised of God, therefore they deny the Divinity and the authority of the New Covenant Scriptures, and are yet waiting for the coming of the Messiah, whom they fancy to be a worldly and mighty prince.
7. Q. What are Mohammedans?
A. Followers of a certain Mohammed, who was an Arabian, and lived in the beginning of the seventh century.
8. Q. Wherein doth their religion principally consist?
A. In a mixture of Judaism, Heathenism and Christendom. In addition to their doctrine: there is one God, they own Mohammed as His prophet and consider him greater than Moses and Christ.
9. Q. Which are the principal present day factions within Christendom?
A. Romanists, Lutherans, Socinians, Mennonites, Remonstrants or Arminians.
10. Q. From where have the Romanists their origin?
A. The Roman Catholic church is indebted for her origin to the ever increasing corruption, which already manifested itself early in the Christian Church. However, in the beginning of the seventh century, the Bishop of Rome, Boniface III, was declared the head of the church, with the assistance of the Emperor Phocas, and since that time the errors have increased considerably.
11. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. (1) That the pope of Rome is the visible head of the church here on earth, the vicar of Christ, and an infallible interpreter of the differences in faith, and can sell letters of indulgence for the remission of sins.
(2) That the traditions of the church are of equal authority and are as credible, as the Holy Scripture itself.
(3) That the Holy Scripture may not be translated from Latin into other languages, neither be read by the laymen.
(4) That the Holy Scripture is obscure and does not perfectly contain that which is necessary unto salvation.
(5) That the angels and saints in heaven are mediators and advocates before God, for the believers on earth and therefore they should be called upon.
(6) That it is permissible to make images of the Divine Trinity, of Christ and the saints, to kneel down to them and to worship God thereby.
(7) That the unbaptised children go to hell but, after baptism they no longer have original sin, that one after baptism and by fasting and chastisements is able to give satisfaction for sins and by good words can merit heaven and eternal salvation.
(8) That, besides both Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, there are five more, viz.: marriage, confession, priestly ordination, confirmation, and the holy unction.
(9) That the bread and the wine in the Lord's Supper are essentially changed into the body and blood of Christ. This they call Transubstantiation.
Therefore, they withhold the cup, from the laymen in the Lord's Supper, and say, that in the mass the priest conducts a true sacrifice for the sins of the quick and the dead.
(10) That, besides hell there is also a purgatory, wherein the souls of men, before they enter into heaven. are purified by torture, and that one therefore must pray for the delivery of the souls of the departed.
12. Q. From whom are the Lutherans derived?
A. They are named after Luther, the great reformer of the sixteenth century.
13. Q. What is their principal error?
A. That the body of Christ at the ascension has become omnipresent, from which follows, that Christ is also bodily present with and in the bread of the Lord's Supper, which they term Consubstantiation.
14. Q. To whom are the Mennonites indebted for their origin?
A. To a Menno Simons, a Frisian by birth, who before was a Catholic Priest, and in 1536 deserted the Roman church.
15. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. Their errors for want of mutual agreement, are not easily to determine. However, the principal ones, wherein all agree, are: 1. The rejection of infant baptism. 2. The denial, that it is lawful for a Christian to swear an oath by the name of God, to hold public office and to employ the sword against the evildoers.
16. Q. Who were the founders of the Socinian doctrine?
A. Lelius Socinius and Faustus Socinius, who were living in the middle of the sixteenth century.
17. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. 1. They teach, that there is but one Divine Person, namely the Father; that Jesus Christ is not a Divine Person with the Father from eternity, and that the Holy Ghost is not a Person, but merely a power of God.
2. They deny the satisfaction and the imputation of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and seek the salvation through their own Evangelical obedience.
3. They disown God's foreknowledge and eternal decree concerning the particular cases, and the spiritual death of all men, because they set forth, that man has a free will.
18. Q. From whom have the Arminians or Remonstrants their origin?
A. From Jacob Arminius, Doctor of Divinity and Professor at Leiden, who lived in the beginning of the seventeenth century and whose followers were later called Remonstrants after a petition, named remonstrance, which was presented by them to the government, in which they defended themselves and requested liberty to practice their religion.
19. Q. Which are their errors?
A. They teach:
1. That the election occurred due to a foreseen faith and good works.
2. That Christ has satisfied for all men.
3. That the will of man is free, to choose the good as well as the evil.
4. That the Spirit of God does not work irresistibly in the conversion.
5. That the believers can fall out of the state of grace.