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may no longer rule over us, and that we may of" ter up ourfelves to him a Sacrifice of Thanksgiving." Tbe 44th Question of the HEIDELBERG
CATECHISM. Q. W Hris added, That he descended into Hell?
A. “ That I may be strengthened under my “ greatest Tryals and Temptations, and reap intire 6 Comfort in the Confideration, that my Lord Jesus « Christ by the inexpressible Agonies, Pains, Terrors “ and Sorrows, into which he was plunged during his “ whole Passion, but especially when he was cruci
fied, delivered me from the Agonies and Torments 66 of Hell.”
Q. What do you learn out of these Questions?
A. How Christ has suffered for poor Sinners; how he has been crucified, buried, descended into Hell, i. e. how he hath suffered under the inexpressible. Agonies, Pains and Terrors of Hell; and alo, how he has obeyed his Father, to the End, that by his Sufferings as a Propitiatory Sacrifice, he might redeem. our Bodies and Souls:from eternal Damnatich,
Q. What are the States and Condition of our Redeemer ?
A. They are two-fold; namely, his State of Humiliation, and his State of Exaltation, Phil. ii. 8. And being formed and fasbioned as a Man, he humbled kimself, and became obedientunto Death, even the Death of the Cross; wherefore God hath highly exalted him, and given him a Naine above every Name.
Q. What betongs to the State of Humiliation?
1. , That he has been crucified: 2dly, Died. 3dly, Buried: And“4ihty, Defcended into Hell.
Q. How many Times hås. he suffered?
Ă. He was ia a State of suffering during all the Time he lived upon the Earth, from the Time he was born, cipecially in his Death, I Pet, iïi. 18. For
Chrift hath once suffered for Sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.
Q. Should not the least fuffering of Christ, yea, a Drop of Blood, have been enough to save us ?
A. No, he must undergo Death itself; 1/1, Because the Justification of God requires Death, Rom. i. 32. and Rom. vi. 23. The Wages of Sin are Death. 2dly, That the Truth of God should appear, who has predicted his Death, Ia. liii. 8. How he was cut off out of the Land of the Living, and therefore he is crucified and fain, Aets ii. 23.
Q. Why did he fuffer under the Judge Pontius Pilate.
4. To shew by that, that he was the true Messias, who must suffer when the Sceptre was departed from Judah, Gen. xlix. 10. The Jews being then under the Government of the Romans, their Conquerors.
Q: Why muft he be crucified ?
A. Because the Death of the Cross was cursed by God, Deut. xxi. 23. For he that is hanged is accursed of God. And Gal. iii
. 13. Christ bath redeemed us from the Curse of the Law, being made a Curse for us ; for it is written, curfed is every one who hangeth, on ja tree; as it was necellary the Nature which hath finned, should suffer that Curse.
Q. In what Nature must be suffer? 1. Only in his human Nature, both in Body and Mind.
Q. How can you prove it, that Chrift bath only fuffered in his buman Nature ?
A. It is testified by the holy Scripture, 1 Pet. iii. 18. Being put to Death in the Elefh, hut quickened by the Spirit. And also, I. Pet. iv. I. Chrilt hath fuffered in. the Flih.
Q. Hath he alfo fuffered.in his Mind?
A. Yes, this was foretold, Ifa. liii. 10. When thou Aall make his Saul an Offering for Sin; he shall fee his Seed. Also, Verfeil, And which.is fulfilled, Matt. xxvi. 38, Then said he unto them, My Soul is exceeding forrowful unto Death.
Q. What hath he suffered in bis Body?
Ā. Various Pains and Sorrows, such as whipping Strokes, Wounds, and at last the Death of the Cross, Ifa. liii. 3.
Q. How afted his Godhead in this?
Ā. By the Power of his Divinity only was he able to bear the great Weight of the Wrath of God in his human Nature, and to be delivered from the fame.
Q. Did not his Godhead suffer?
A. By no Means; his Godhead could not fuffer, which is immutable and all-powerful, always remaining the Blessed and only. Potentate, the King of
Kings, and Lord of Lords, i Tim. vi. 15. His Godnead supported him to bear the Wrath of God, fanctifying his Sufferings by the infinite Dignity with which he bore them, so as to be thereby
a sufficient Ransom for our Redemption, Afts xx. 28. God bas purchased his Church with his own Blood. -Q. For whom hath Chrif suffered?
A. The Catechist alledgeth, that he hath Porno the Wrath of God for the Sins of all Mankind.
Q. Doth the Catechist mean hereby, that he hath borne the Wrath of God for every individual?
A. No. But that he hath borne the Wrath of God for the same Şins to which, by the Fall of Adam, all Mankind are subject; not that he has suffered for every individual, but for the Elect only, out of all Mankind, as we see by John vi. 38. Matt. i. 21. Joha xvii. 9. John x. 27, 28. Aets xx. 28, &c. And as already is demonstrated in the 20th Question; besides, Experience teachęth us, that not every one is delivered from the Wrath of God, or sanctified or converted as the End of Christ's Death in redeeming his People, John xvii, and Eph. v. And St. Paul testifies, that he for whom he is made Redemption and Juftification, for them also is, he made Sanctification, 1 Cor. i. 30.
And fince it evidently appears, that such Operations, as the End of Christ's Suffering, are not to be seen in every one, consequently it must follow, that Christ has not borne the Wrath of God for all Mankind. Farther, if we thould be of that Opinion, certainly it must follow, that Christ has shed his Blood in vain, because every one is not justified and sanctified ; and it would be the greatest Absurdity to assert so, because his Ransom is too precious to be paid for one only Soul in vain.
How do you apprehend then the Scripture Pasage, by which our Adversaries defend that Christ has died
A. The Word, All, is taken sometimes for one limited Generality of the Elect, to which the Ge-: nerality of the Reprobates is opposed, Rom. v. 18. 2 Cor. v. 14. Sometimes it signifies as much as all Sorts
of Men, Fews and Heathen, Tit. ii. 11. Even also the : Word, World, is of the same Signification, John i. 29. 1 John ii. 2.
Q. But must not every one believe that Christ has 1 died for him?
X. No. , Faith is a Duty required of us in the Covenant of Grace, and supposed an internal Calling and Conversion by the Spirit of God; which Faith
therefore cannot be in the wicked and ungodly Pera - fons, as long as they continue in their Sins, and at least in such who never have heard of Christ.
Q. Is it the Wrath of God alone which Chrift hath berne for his Eleet?
A. No. He hath been also obedient to the Law of God, coming as well to minister, as to give his Life a Ransom for many, Matt. xx. 28.
Q. Why hath Christ suffered so much, and demeaned himself unto perfect Obedience to the Law of God?
A. To redeem his People from all temporal and eternal Punishment; and to acquire for us the Grace of God, Justification, Sanctification, and a blessed Immortality
Q. What is the meaning of Chrift's having defcended. into Hell?
1. By this are meant not only the inexpressible Agonies, Pains, Terrors and Sorrows, into which he was plunged during lis whole Paffion, especially when he was crucified; but also his submitting to the State of Death, of which Solomon speaks, Eat xii. 7. His Body being buried, and his Soul being departed from his Body, returning to Godz until his Juftification was declared by his Resurrection from the Dead.
Q. Why do you call those Sufferings, a descending into Het?
A. if, Because we find them revealed to us by those Expreffions in the holy Scripture, PJ. xviii. 5. The Sorrows of Hell encompassed me. And Þf. cxvi. 3. The Pains of Hell got hold upon me. He having experienced an Extract, as it were, of the torrid Wrath of God, wherein the Misery of Hell confifts.
Q. Did the Body of Christ remain upon the Cross?
A. No; it was begged of Pilate, by one of his Disciples, and committed to the Earth, Matt. xxvii. John xix.
Q. Why was he buried ?
Q. What Benefits do we receive by the Sacrifice of Jefus Chrift, and by bis Death on the Crofs ?
A. Unto this the Catechift has answered; Question 43, and signified, That by the Sacrifice of Chrift, the Bonds of Sin are broken, our San&tification made perfect; or Righteousness is given us, by Virtue of which, we may have free and welcome Access to God; the Merit of which we may plead for obtaining all the Blessings of Time and Eternity; and that by his Sufferings we have an Example how our outward Man, i. e. our corrupt Naturc, must be crucified, die, and be buried, that our carnal Appetites may no longer rule over us, 1 Pet. iv. 1, 2. Rom. vi. 6. But that we give ourselves to him as a Sacrifice of Thankfgiving, Rom. xii. 1.