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2. Q. What is sin?

A. It is the transgression of God's law. 1 John, iii. 4. Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also, the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Whether by our omitting to do what that required us to have done; or by our doing any thing contrary to its commands.

3. Q. What mean you by the law of God?

A. The will of God, howsoever made known to us; whether by the light of our own consciences, or by the declarations of his word; especially that which is delivered to us in the books of the New Testament.

Proofs SUBJOINED.-1 Jobn, i. 7. If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin. Psalm xxxii. 1, 2. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Comp. Rom. iv. 7, 8. Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

4. Q. How does God forgive sin ?

A. He washes away the stain of it by bis sanctifying grace; and remits the punishment of it for the sake and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

5. Q. What assurance have we that God will thus forgive us our sins?

A. The covenant of the Gospel is founded upon the promise of such forgiveness: so that if we believe that Christ died for our sins, we must also believe that God, for Christ's sake, will forgive all those who

truly repent of their sins. Luke, xxiv. 47. That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Acts, v. 31. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. xxvi. 18. To open their

eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith, which is in me. Eph. iv. 32. Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.--Acts, iii. 26. Unto you first God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. xiii. 38, 39. Be it known unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 1 Cor. xv. 2, 3. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have beliered in rain. For 1 delivered unto you, first of all, that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 2 Cor. v. 21. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

6. Q. Is this the peculiar privilege of the church of Christ?

A. So the Scriptures tell us; there being no other name under hearen giren among men, by which we

must be saved, but only that of the Lord Jesus, Acts, iv. 12.

7. Q. From whom is this forgiveness to be sought?

A. Who hath power to forgive sins but God only? Mark, ii. 7. Of him, therefore, it must be sought in the name of Jesus Christ.

8. Q. But has not Christ left a power with his church to forgive sins?

A. He has left with his church a ministerial power to declare forgiveness of sins to all such as truly repent of them and believe in him. When, therefore, the ministers of his word are called in to the assistance of sick or scrupulous persons; they may, upon the supposition of a true repentance, pronounce in God's name the pardon of their sins to them. But in this they only deliver the sentence of God, which, if the sinner be truly penitent, God will infallibly make good: otherwise it will be of no use to them, because it was erroneously, though charitably, passed

upon them.

9. Q. But does not the church of Rome ascribe much more to the absolution of the priest than this?

A. Yes it does : nor is this one of the least presumptuous, or least dangerous of its errors. They tell us that the sentence of the priest in this case is not only declarative, but judicial. And, which is yet worse, they add, that though a sioner be not affected with such a sorrow for his sins, as would otherwise be sufficient to obtain God's pardon; yet, by rightly confessing them to a priest, they shall be forgiven, and an entrance opened into heaven, by the power of the keys in absolution. By the former of wbich, as they usurp upon the prerogative of God, Mark, ii. 7; so do they, by the latter, lay a very dan

gerous stumbling-block in the way of wicked men ; whilst they encourage them to rely on such a sorrow for the forgiveness of their sins, as will certainly fail and ruin them in the end.


Sect. XIX.

Of the General Resurrection.

1. Q. What is the third privilege promised by God to Christ's church?

A. The resurrection of the body.

2. Q. Shall not all men whatsoever be raised again at the last day?

A. They shall.

3. Q. How then is this a privilege of those who are the faithful members of Christ's church?

A. Because, though all men shall be raised, yet not all after the same manner. The bodies of the faithful shall be raised in a most blessed and glorious state. 1 Cor. xv. 42, &c. So also is the resurrection of the dead, (i. e. the righteous dead). It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in power. They shall be perfected in all their parts and qualities ; shall be rendered an habitation fit for a glorified soul to dwell in; and be prepared for the enjoyment of an everlasting felicity. And thus to rise, in such a state, and for such an end, is certainly a very great benefit, and the peculiar privilege of Christ's holy church. Luke, xiv. 14. And thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. xx. 35, 36, 37. But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor

are given in marriage: neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Now, that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. John, v. 28, 29. The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Phil. iii. 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself. Matt. xiii. 43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Dan. xii. 3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for cver and ever.

4. Q. How then shall the wicked be raised ?

A. Their bodies shall also be restored to them; and that in such a state as to be capable of undergoing for ever those torments which God has prepared for them. But their resurrection shall be to shame and misery: and what is the blessing of the righteous, shall to the wicked be a means of increasing their pain, and enlarging their punishment.

Proofs SUBJOINED.-John, v. 28, 29. Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, to the resurrec

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