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Q. 12. When does the Sabbath begin?
Å. Some are of the opinion that it begins at evening, some, at midnight, some, at morning, and some, that it cannot be determined when it does begin. All, however, agree in the opinion, that a seventh portion of time ought to be kept holy. And it may, perhaps, be safe and expedient for Christians to conform their reckoning of days to that which prevails in the country where they live.
Q. 13. How should the Sabbath be kept ?
Ă. It should be kept in a holy manner. Preparation should be made for it when approaching, and it should commence with prayer. On it servile labor, all works of vanity, pride, and luxury, all slothfulness and stupidity, travelling on journeys, visiting from house to house, strolling the fields, walking the streets, conversation upon worldly concerns, reading irreligious books, or even books on ordinary subjects, should be avoided. Keeping the Sabbath holy implies, also, that the day be spent in public, private, and secret devotion, or religious exercises generally. (g)
day of charituble collections.—1 Cor. xvi. 2. Upon the first day of the week, let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.--Christ appeared to his disciples on this day, and blessed them.- John xx. 1. 19. 26. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene, early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And after eight days, again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be
(gi Exod. xx. 8–11. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.-Jer. xvii
. 21 22. Thus saith the Lord; Take heed
Q. 14. May not works of necessity and mercy be perforined on the Sabbath ?
A. They may, if they cannot be properly deferred, such as healing the sick, administering to the relief of the distressed, and other works of mercy and necessity. (h)
Q. 15. By what name ought the Christian Sabbath to be called?
A. It is appropriately called the Lord's Day, or the First Day of the week. It may also, with great propriety, be called Sabbath, but not Sunday.
Q. 16. Is the Sabbath an important institution ?
A. It is; for it has been of more utility in preserving the knowledge and worship of God, and hereby promoting the temporal and spiritual happiness of man, than all other institutions.
Q. 17. Should the Sabbath be highly prized ?
A. It should; for with it is connected our pros. perity as individuals, and as a nation, and the happiness of the present and future generations. Conseto yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem. Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your faihers. Nehem. xiii. 15. In those days I saw in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of bure dens which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day; and 1 testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals.- Isaiah lviii. 13,14. If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my boly day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words; then shalt thou delight ihyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the ingh places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob, thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(h) Mark ii. 27. And he said unto them. The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.-Luke xiii. 15, 16, The Lord then answered hiin, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighicen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
quently every exertion should be made to prevent its violation.
Church. Q. 1. How is the Church of God to be regarded in its distinctive character ?
A. It is to be regarded as catholic or particular, visible or invisible, militant or triumphant.
Q. 2. What is meant by the catholic Church?
It means, either all the professed friends of Christ, who dwell on the earth, that have publicly entered into covenant with God and His people; or all those who shall finally be sanctified and saved. (a) Q. 3. What is meant by a particular Church?
A suitable number of professed Christians, who, embracing the great and essential truths of Christianity, and living in some good measure agreeably to them, covenant to walk together according to the laws, institutions, and ordinances of Christ. Such were the Churches at Rome, Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, Colosse, and Thessalonica. (b).
Q. 4. What is intended by the Church visible ?
Ă. All those who have, openly and freely, professed the religion of the Bible, and entered into covenant with God and His people, according to Divine prescriptions. (c)
R. 5. What is meant by the Church invisible ? (a) Eph. i. 10. 22, 23. That the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ. both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in him. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
(b) Rev. ii. 7. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
(c) 1 Cor. i. 2. Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Chrisi our Lord, both theirs and ours.
A. All those who have really experienced religion, or who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth, whether they belong to the visible Church or not. (d)
Q. 6. , What is to be understood by the Church militant?
A. All true Christians upon the earth who, while here in probation, are conflicting with self, sin, Satan, and the world. (e)
Q.7. What is meant by the Church triumphant? A. All true Christians, who are in a glorified state, or are confirmed in holiness and happiness in heaven.
Q. 8. What particular act constitutes, or embodies, a particular Church?
A. The act of covenanting. Every body of persons must have some bond of union, some covenant, some associating act.
Q.9. When did the Church have its origin?
Å. Soon after the apostasy of man. erally supposed that Adam and Eve repented and believed in the promised Seed. Abel, it is certain, was a believer. (8)
It is gen
(d) 2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his.1 Cor. xii. 12, 13. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
(e) 1 Tim. vi. 12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay bold on eternal life, whereunto ihon art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.-Rev. xxi. 7. Hethat overcometh shall inherit all things, and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.—Eph. vi. 12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(f) Rev. v. 9. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain; and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.
(g) Gen. iii. 31. Unto Adam also, and to his wife, did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.--It is supposed by some, that these were skins of beasts slain and offered
Q. 10. What qualifies for Church membership?
A. Experimental piety, or vital godliness--repentance, and faith. (h)
Q. 11. Are all who profess religion possessed of this qualification ?
4. They are not. Some are hypocritical profesSors. No Church on earth, probably, is entirely
Q. 12. What is the design of the institution of the Church on earth?
.1. The maintenance and diffusion of the truths of religion, the support of Gospel ordinances, the promotion of holiness and happiness among mankind, and the edification of the people of God. (j)
Q. 13. What are the special ordinances of the Church?
in sacrifice, and that this circumstance is indicative of the faith of our first parents in the great atoning sacrifice, which is Christ, of whom these were a type.-Heb. xi. 4.-By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he ob. tained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gitis • and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
(h) Acts viii. 47. And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.-Acts ii. 41. Then they that gladly received liis word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
(i) Matt. xiii. 47. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind. Matt. viii. 21, 22, 23. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, Have we not prophesied in thy name ? And in thy name have cast out devils ? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess onto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity:
(j) Eph. iv. 11-13. And he gave some, apostles; and sonne, prophets ; and some, evangelists ; 'and some, pastors and ieachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of ihe faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.-Eph. v. 27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.