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164 Of the Properties, Signs and Means of Faith.
That I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jejus. It is Cordial in a sainting Season, Psal. xxvii. 3. I had fainted, unless I hadbelieved, &c.
Q^ 3. What are the Foundations that support Faith?
A. The first Foundation or Prop of Faith is the Power of God, Rom. iv. 20, 21. He staggered not at the Promise through Unbelief: but was strong in Faith, giving Glory to God. And being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he •was able also to perform, Heb. Vii. 25. —He is abh also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, &c.
Qi 4. What is the second Prop of Faith?
A. The Truth and Faithsulness of God in his Promises, Heb. x. 23. Let us holdfast the Profestion of our Faith without wavering, for he is faithful that hath promised, Heb. vi. 18. That by two immutable Things, in which it was impojstble for God to lie, we might have a strong Consolation, who have fied for Refuge to lay hold upon the Hope set before us.
Q^_ 5. What encourages the Faith of the Saints?
A. The manifold sweet and senfible Experiences of others, Pfiil, lxxiv. 14. Thou breakest the Heads of Leviathan in Pieces, and gavest him to be Meat for the People inhabiting the Wildernej.s. And especially their own Experiences, Joshua xxiii. 1 4.—Ye know in all your Hearts, and in all your Souls, that not one Thing hath failed of all the good Things which the Lord your God spake concerning you: all are come to pass unto you, and not one Thing hath failed thereof.
Q^ 6. What is the first Sign of a weak Faith,?
A. Staggerings in our assent to divine Truths argue the Weakness of Faith, Rom. iv. 20, He staggered not at the Promise of God through Unbelief, but was flrong in Faith ? &c.
Q^ 7. What is the second Sign of weak Faith?
A. Inability to trust God in Time of Danger, evidenced by sinsul Haste to avoid it, Isa. xxviii. 16:—He that believeth stall not make haste.
Q;_ 8. What is the third Sign of a weak Faith?
A. When we cannot live purely by Faith, except we have .some senfible Encouragement, John xx. 25. —Except I stall see in his Hands the Print of the Nails, and put my Finger into the Print of the Nails, and thrust my Hand into his Side, I will not believe.
Q;, 9. What is the fourth Signof a weak Faith?
A. When a new Temptation makes us easily let go our former Confidence, Luke xxiv. 21. But we trushd that it bad been be which should have redeemed Israel: and befides all this, to day is the third Day fence these Things v>ere done, X
Q^ 10. What is the fifth Sign of a weak Faith?
A. The Prevalence of carnal Fears in Times of Trouble argues weak Faith, Matth. viii. 26, And he faith unto them, why are ye fearful, O ye oflittle Faith? Sec.
Q^ 11. What is the sixth Sign of a weak Faith?
A. Too much Caresulness and Anxiety about the Things of this Lise, Matth. vi. 30. Wherefore if God so clothe the Grass of the Field, which to day is, and to morrovi is cast into the Oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little Faith?
Q^ 12. What is the first Benefit of a strong Faith?
A. A strong Faith gives much Glory to God, Rom. iv. 19, 20. And being not weak, in Faith, he confidered not his evm Body mw dead, whcn he was ahout an hundred Years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's Womb: He staggered not at the Promise os God through Unbelief: but was strong in Faith, giving Glory to God.
Q^ 13. What is the second Benefit of a strong Faith?
A. It gives the Soul the ravishing Forefight and Foretastes of Heaven upon Earth, 1 Pet. i. 8. WLom having not seen, ye love; in whom though now you see him not, yet believing ye rejoice witb Jay unspeakable and full of Glory.
Q^ 14. What is the last Ossice Faith doth for a Believer in this World i
A. It supports and encourages him at Death by the Promises, when all other Comforts sail, Heb. xi. 13. These all died in Faith, not having received the Promises, hut having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and cansesjed that they were Strangers and Pilgrims on the Earth.
Of Saving Repentance. '.
Quest. 87. \\T H A T is Repentance unto Lise?
V V A. Repentance unto Lise is a saving
Grace, whereby a Sinner out of a true Senfe of his Sin, and
Apprehension Apprehension of the Mercy of God in Christ doth with Grief and Hatred of his Sin, turn from it unto God with sull Purpose of, and endeavour after new Obedience.
Q;_ 1. Who is the Author of saving Repentance?
A. The Spirit of God is the Author of it; the Heart by Nature is so hard, that none but the Spirit can break it, E2ek. xxxvi. 26, 27. A new Heart also will I give, and a new Spirt.t will I put within you; and I will take away the stony Heart out ofyour Fhsh, and I will give you an Heart of Flesh. And I willput my Spirit within you, &c.
Qi_ 2. In what Act doth all true Repentance begin?
A. It begins in a true Sight and Sense of Sin, and the Danger and Misery we are in by Sin, Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their Hearts, &c.
Q^ 3. Why doth God work such a Sense of Sin and Misery?
A. He doth it to make Christ desirable in the Sinner's. Eyes, that he may fly to him, Matth. ix. 12, 13. But whenJesus heard that, he jaidunto them, they that be •whole need not a Physician, but they that are fick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth. I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice: for I am not come to call the Righteous, but Sinners to Repentance.
Q^ 4. Is the Sight of Sin sussicient to Repentance?
A. No; there must be Apprehenfion of Mercy and Forgiveness with God, or else no Man can sincerely repent, Rom. ii. 4.—Not knowing that the Goodness of God leadeth thee to Repentance. And this Mercy must be discerned in and through Christ,—Zech. xii. 10. —And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only Son, and shall be in Bitterness for him as one that is in Bitterness for his firf-horn.
Q^ 5. Wherein doth Repentance chiefly consist?
A. It confists in real inward Sorrow for Sin, as committed against God, Psal. Ii. 3, 4. For I acknowledge my Transgresfions, and my Sin is ever before me. Againf thee, thee otdy have J finned, and done this Evil in thy Sight, &c. A Loathing of ourselves for it, E2ek. xxxvi. 31.—And shall loath yourselves in your own Sight for your Iniquities, and for your Alominations. And of our belt Duties as sinsul and insussicient Things, Isa. lxiv. 5, 6.—•We are all as an unclean Thing; and all our Righteousness art as filthy Rags, ice.
Qi.6. Wherein else doth it consist?
A. In turning from Sin as well as grieving for it, Isa. Iv. y. Let the wicked forsake his Way, and the unrighteous Man bis Thoughts, Sec. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth his Sins, shall not profper, tut whofo confejseth and forsaketh them, shall have Mercy.
Q;_ 7. Is turning from Sin sussicient?
A. No, that is but the negative Part of Religion, there .must be also a sincere turning to God, Psal. cxix. 59. / thought on my Ways, and turned my Feet unto thy Testimonies, Acts xi. 23. — And exhorted them all that with Purpese of Heart, they would cleave uuto the Lord.
Q^ 8. Is all Sorrow for Sin saving?
A. No, there is a Repentance that doth no good, Matth. xxvii. 3. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, &c. And a Repentance unto Lise, Acts xi. 18.—Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted Repentance unto Life.
QT 9. What are the Signs of true Repentance?
A. Fear of Sin, Care to preserve ourselves from it, and Zeal to honour God by new Obedience, 2Cor. vii. n. For behold, this selfsame Thing that ye sorrowed after a godly Sort, what Carefulness is wrought in you, yea, what clearing of your selves, yea, what Indignation, yea, what Fear, yea, what . vehement Defire, yea, what Zeal, yea, 'what Revenge? in all Things you have approved yourselves to be clear in this Matter.
Q^ 10. Is there a Necessity of Repentance in order to forgiveness?
A. Yes, there is, and they are therefore conjoined in Scripture, Acts v. 31.—For to give Repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of Sins. And destruction threatned to the Impenitent, Lukexiii. 3. —Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Q^ 11. What is the first Inserence hence?
A. That it is a salse Doctrine which teaches us that Sins are actually forgiven from Eternity, and therefore no Need either of Repentance or Prayer, save only for the Manisestation of Pardon.
Q. 12. What is the second Inserence hence?
A. That an hard Heart is a dreadsul Sign of a lost State of Soul, Rom. ii. 5. But after thy hardness and impenitent Heart, treasurest up unto thyself Wrath against the Day of Wrath, and Revelation of the righteous Judgment os God.
Q^_ 13. What is the last Inserence hence?
A. That there is no Cause to despair of the vilest Sinner, seeing there is Power enough in the Spirit of God to break the hardest Heart, E2ek. xxxvi. 26. —I will take away the stony Heart out of your Flesh, and I will give you an Heart bs Flejh.
Os Christ's Ordinances.
I AT are the outward
Christ communicateth to us the Benefits
Quest. 88. \\T HAT are the outward Means whereby
A. The outward and ordinary Means whereby Christ communicateth to us the Benefits of Redemption, are his Ordinances, especially the Word, Sacraments and Prayer, all which are made efsectual to the Elect for Salvation. .
Q^ 1. What makes any Thing become a Divine Ordinance?
A. The Institution or Appointment of God, is that alone Which makes a Divine Ordinance, Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to observe all Things 'whatsoever I have commanded you, &c.
Q^ 2. Are the Institutions of all Ordinances alike clear in Scripture. .
A. No, some are more explicitly and clearly revealed in Scripture than others; as the Lord's Supper more clear than Baptism, but whatever hath Scripture Warrant in the Words or Confequence, is of divine Appointment.
Q^ 3. May not Men institute Ordinances of Divine Worship f
A. No, this in Scripture is condemned as Will-worstiip, Col. ii. 20, 22, 23. Wherefore if ye he dead with Christ from the Rudiments of the World, why, as though living in (he World are ye subject to Ordinances? he. Which Things indeed have a Shew of Wisdom in Will-worjhip, &c.
Q^ 4. Why cannot Man institute a Divine Ordinance?