« PreviousContinue »
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.
Isaiah lviji. 7. Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out, to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh.
-70th Q.-If our Rulers or Governors require obedience in things repugnant to our duty to God, are we to obey them ?
A.-Certainly not, as God is to be obeyed rather than man.
· Acts iv. 18. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God, to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.
Acts v. 27. And the high priest asked them, 28. , Saying, Did not we straitly command you, that you should not teach in this name of Jesus? 29. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
71st Q.-Is this doctrine illustrated by practice ?
A.-It is; for instance, several Christians have refused to take oaths, as being contrary to the express command of our Saviour; and to engage in war, as being repugnant in its nature and principles to the meek and forgiving spirit of the Prince of peace, who
enjoins us to love our enemies, and to do good to them that hate us and despitefully entreat us.*
Matt. v. 34. I say unto you, Swear not at all: 37. But let your communication be, Yea, yea ; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil. 38. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, 39. But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil. 44. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
James v. 12. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, peither by any other oath; but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
James iv. 1. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members. .
Rom. xii. 19. Dearly beloved, avenge not your. selves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him: if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
.72d Q.-Are not good works necessary to our justification ?
A.--Certainly they are, for “as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without i works is dead also.” (James ii. 26.) Hencefaith
and works are inseparable from each other,
. From the works of Justin Martyr, Tatian, Tertullian, Cyprian; and others, it appears that the early Christians considered war as repägnant to Christianity.
with regard to our justification in the divine sight.
James ii. 20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21. Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22. Seest thou how faith w.rought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 24. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
73d Q.-Do we not, by this, ascribe our justification to faith and works?
A.-No, not strictly so, for though we cannot be justified without them, they are not, properly speaking, the cause of our justification, but the new birth or regenerating power of the Spirit of Christ within us; from which only "living faith and acceptable works can proceed."*
Rom. iii. 24. Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.
Rom. xi. 6. And if by grace, then is it no more of works.
· Eph. ii. 8. Fór by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 10. For we are his workmauship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,
Titus iii, 5. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; 6. Which he shed on us abundantly;
* See Tuke's Principles of Religion, p. 42.
through Jesus Christ our Saviour: 7. That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs accord. ing to the hope of eternal life..
74th Q.—Is it possible for a Christian, in this life, to attain to such a stability in Christ that he cannot finally fall away from it?
A.-Doubtless; as saith the Scripture, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.” (Rev. iii. 12.) So also says the Apostle Paul; “I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor "height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. viii. 38, 39.)
2 Tim, iv. 7. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.' 8. Hence.' forth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give me at that day.
75th Q.-What is it that constitutes the characteristic difference between the Christian,
or spiritually minded man, and the man of the world, or carnally minded man ?
A.—The Christian walks in the way of the cross and of self-denial; mortifies his corrupt affections and lusts; and is not conforined to the world, but transformed by the renewing of his mind, the love of God being the governing principle of his conduct. The man of the world is at enmity with God, his ways, and his people; the love of the world being the governing principle of his conduct, he conforms to its crooked policy, pursuing with avidity its possessions, pomps, and vanities, and the sinful lusts of the flesh.
- Luke ix. 23. And he [Jesus] said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Luke xiv. 27. Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
Gal. v. 24. And they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts.
Rom. viii. 13. If ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Rom. xii. 2. Bc not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
1 John ii. 5. Whoso keepeth his Christ's] word, in him verily is the love of God perfected.
1 John iv. 19. We love him because he first lored us. 7. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth, is born of God, and knoweth God.
John xv. 17. These things I command you, that ye love one another. 18. If the world hate you, ye know