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A. He cannot do it, because it is the Prerogative belonging to Christ's Kingly Ossice, Matth. xxviii. 20. Teaching them to observe all Things whatsoever I have commanded you.
Q^_ 5. For what other Reason cannot Man do it?
A. Because he cannot bless them, and make them effectual to their Knds, but they will be in vain, Matth. x,v. 9. But in -vain do they wori*. ip me, teaching for Doctrines, the Commandment! of Men.
Q^ 6. Why. are the Ordinances called Means of Salvation I
A. Because by and through them, the Spirit os the Lord conveys Spiritual Graces into Mens Souls, 1 Cor. i. 21.— It pleased God by the_ soolishness of preaching to save them that believe, 2 Cor. lii. 5. Not that •we are sufficient of ourselves to think any Thing as of ourselves: but our Sufficiency is of God.
Q^ 7. Whence is the Virtue of Ordinances?
A. It is not in and from themselves, or the Gifts and Abilities of him that administers them, but from the Blessing and Spirit of the Lord, 1 Cor. iii. 7.—Neither is he that plantetb any. Thing, neither be that isicteretb, but God that giveth the Increase.
Q^ 8. Do all God's Ordinances attain their End I
A. Yes, there is none of them in vain, but do attain their End, in the Salvation or Damnation of all that come under them, Isa. lv, 10, 11. For as the Rain cometh down, and the Show from Heaven, aud rtturneth not thither, but watereth the Earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give Seed to the Sower and Bread to the eater: So shall my Word be that'goes hforth out of my Mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it-shall acctmplifh that which I please, and it shall prosper in the Thing whereto I send it, 2 Cor. 2. 15, 16. Fot we are unto God a sweet Savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the Savour of Death unto Death, and to the other the Savour of Life unto h'se, &C.
Qi 9. Are instituted Ordinances the only Means of Salvation 1
A. They are not the only Means; for God can convert Men to Christ, without them, Acts ix. 4, 5. And he sell to the Earth, and heard a Voice, saying unto him, Saul, Saul,
Q_ why why persecutej} thou me? And he said, •who art thou, lord! And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou perf cutest : It is hard for thee to kid against the Pricks. But they are the oidim.-y standing Means, Rom. x. 14, 15. How then/ball t by call en hiin in whom they have nor believed: and how s/ball they believe in him, if whom they have not bea.ds' and hew shall they hear wi.'hoxt.a Preacher!' aud hoiv foalt they preachexcept they le/etit? he.
Q^ 10. To whom are the Ordinances made effectual to £alvation?
A. To all God's Elect they are effectual to Salvation, and to them only, Acts xiii. 48.'—As .many at were ordained tc eternal Lise, believed,- John x. 26. But ye believe not, because .ye are not of my Sneep, &c. ....
Qi 11. W hat is the first Instruction from hence? A. That great Preparation is due to all the Ordinances before we engage in them, Job xi. 13, 14. If. thou prepare -thine Heart, and fretch cut thy Hand towards him. . If Iniquity Le in thine Hand, put it far away, and let not 11 ickidness dwell in thy Tabirnacles, 1 Chron. xxix. 18. — And prepare their Heart unto thee. • ...
Q;_ 12. What is the second Inserence from hence? •' A. That great Reverence is due to God's Ordinances, when we are actually engaged in the Use of them, Psal. .Ixxxix. 7. Cod is greatly to be feared in the Assembly of the Saints: and to be had in Reverence of all them that are about him. .
Q^ 13. What is the third Inserence from hence? A. That thole People that want Ordinances, are in a sad 'and "deplorable Condition, Eph. ii.'li, 12. Wherefore remember that ye being in Time passed Gentiles in the Flesh, who are called uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcifion in the Flesh made by Hands; that at that Time ye were wilhout Christ, being aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, and Sf-angers from the Covenants of Promise, having no Hope, and without God in the World. ...:..,
Q^ 14. What is the last Instruction hence? A. That those that perish in the midst of Ordinances, Means of Salvation, will perish with aggravated perdition, Matth. xi. 23. And thou Capernaum, wbich art exalted unto Heaven, shali Le brought down to Hell; for if the mighty Works, M 2 ">which ivhich have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this Day.
Of the Word read and heard.
Quest. 89. TT O W is the Word made effectual to SalXjL vation? A. The Spirit of God maketh the Reading., but especially the Preaching of the Word, an effectual Means of convincing and converting Sinners; and building them up in Holiness and Comfort, through Faith unto Salvation? Q^ 1. What mean you by the Word f A. By the Word is meant the Word of God, consigned to Writing in the Books of the Old and NewTellamerit, which though it be ministred by Men, yet it is no other than the very Word of God, and as such r.6 be received, 1 Thess. ii. 13. For this Cause also thank ive God without ceafing, because hvhen ye received the Word of God, which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the Word of Men: bus (as it is in Truth) the Word of God, &o
Q^ 2. Whence is the Essicacy of this Word? A. It is wholly from.the Spirit of God that it.becomes effectual to any Man's Salvation, 1.Cor. iii. 6. I have planted, and Apollo watered, but God gave the Increase.. So then neither is he that planteth any Thing, neither he that wateretti; but God that giveth the Increase.
Qi 3- ^s tne reading of the Scripture an Ordinance of God for Mens Salvation r
A. Yes, it is, Deut. xvii. 19. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the Days of his Life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep ell the Words of this Lav.', and these Statutes to do them. And in reading of it, God sometimes comes in by his Spirit to Mens Conversion, Acts viii. 27, 28, 29. And hi arese andwent, and behold a Man of Ethiopia, an Euwch of great Authority under Candace Queen if the Ethiopians, who had the Charge of all her Treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worjhip, was returning, and fitting in his Chariot, read Isaias the Prophet. Then the S/irit said to Philip, go near, and join thyself to his Chariot, &c. Qi 4. Is the hearing of the Word a Means of Salvation > M 2 A. Yes,
A. Yes, it is, Isa. Iv. 3. Incline jour Ear, andcome Witt me; bear, and your Soul shall live, ice. 1 Cor. i. 21. — It fleased God by tbt Foolishness of Preaching tosa•ve them that believe t
(^ 5. To what End is the Word usesul to Men?
A. The first End and Use of the Word is to convince Men of their Sin and.Misery out of Chrilt, 1 Cor. xiv. 24, 25. Hut if all Prophesy, and there come in owe that heliiveih not, or one unlearned: he is convinced of all, be is judged of all. And thus are the Secrets of his Heart made manifest, &C.
Q^ 6. What is it usesul for besides Conviction?
A. 'Tis usesul for Conversion, as well as Conviction, Psal. xix. 7. The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting tht Soul, iec. Acts xxvi. 18.—To turn them from Darkness to Ligit, and from (he Power of Satan unto Cod, tec.
<5± 7. Ddth .t'he Word convince and convert all that hear it?
A. No, but those only that -are ordained to .eternal lift) Acts xiii. 48. — As many at were ordained to cUrnallift it' lieved.
Q;. 8. Whatelse.is the Word usesul for?' . . .
A. To build up the Saints to Pei'section in Christ, 3ph. iv. 11, 12, 13. Jnd he gave some Apostles, and some Prophets, and some Evangelists, and some Pastors and TeacberKi for V* perfecting of ihe Saints, for the Work of t.he Ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ: Till we all came in the Unity of the Faith, and of the Knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect Man; unto the Measure of the Stature of the Fulnlfs *f Christ, Act* xx. 32. And no.tu Brethren, I commendyou" Cod, and to the Word of his Grace, whicb is able to buildJ" up, and give you an Inheritance among all them that are Jamlisted.
Q^ 9. May the common People read the Scriptures?
A. Yes, his a Duty commanded by Christ, Job. v. «•
Search (be Scriptures, &C. and commended by the Afoblc.
Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than these in ThesfakniMt
in that they received the Word with all Readiness of Mind, <**
searched the Scriptures daily, •whether these Things werefo.
Q^ 10. Is it their Duty or Liberty also to preach.it i
A. No, it is not, for befides Abilities for that Work, there mult be a Call, Rom. x. 14, is—How shall they hear
without a Preacher, and hew shall they preach except they be sent? Sec.
Q^ 11. What is the first Instruction from hence?
A. That the Enjoyments of the Scripture, and an able faithsul Ministry to expound and apply them, is a special Mercy to any People, Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. He sheweih his Word unto Jacob, his Statutes and Judgments unto Israel, he hath not dealt so with any Nation, and as for his Judgments they have not known them.
Q^ 12. What is the second Instruction?
A. That Men cannot expect Special and Spiritual Blessings from God in the wilsul Neglect of the Ordinances, Prov. xxviii. 9. He that turneth away his Ear from hearing the Law, even his Prayer shall be Ahomination.
Q^ 13. What is the third Inserence f
A. That sad is their Condition, who sit all their Days under the Word to no Purpose at all, 2 Cor, iv. 3, 4. If our Gofpel le hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the God of this World hath llindcd the Minds of them tubich believe not, left the Light of the glorious Gofpel of Christ, who is the Image of God, shouldshine into them.
Q^ 14. What is the last Inserence?
A. That Christ's Ordinances and Ministers should be most welcome to the People to whom God sends them, Isa. Hi. 7. How beautiful upon the Mountains are the Feet of him that bringeth good Tidings, that publisheth Peace, that publisheth Salvation, that saith unto Zion, thy God reigneth.
Of the Manner of Hearing.
Quest. 90. T T O W is the Word to be read and heard, XI that it may become effectual to Salvation f
A. That the Word may become effectual to Salvation, we must attend thereto with Diligence, Preparation and Prayer, receive it with Faith and Love, lay it up in our Hearts, and practise it in our Lives.
Q^ 1, If the Matter we read or hear be good, is not that enough for Salvation?
A. No, God requires that the Word be read and heard in a due Manner, and the Manner of hearing is of special Re
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