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ven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation. x. 12, 14. But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God; for by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 1 Pet. ii. 24. Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we are healed. iii. 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit. 1 John, 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 his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
17. Q. What do you then say to those satisfactions which the church of Rome teaches we ourselves may, and ought to make, for our sins?
A. That they are built upon a false foundation; are contrary to the goodness of God; and beyond the capacity of man.
18. Q. What is the foundation upon which they are built?
A. It is this: that when God forgives us our sins, whether upon our own repentance, or by virtue of
the priest's absolution, he remits, indeed, the fault, and purges our guilt; and by this acquits us from the everlasting punishment that would otherwise have been due to them: but yet still retains us under an obligation to some temporal sufferings, either by satisfactory works to be done for them in this life, or by undergoing a certain proportion of pain for them after death, in a place which they call purgatory.
19. Q. How does it appear that this foundation is false and erroneous?
A. Because, in the first place, it is absurd to suppose that God should forgive the whole guilt of our sins, and yet having done so, should afterwards punish us for them: and, secondly, it is injurious to the sufferings and merits of Christ, whose death was a sufficient satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, and has left no room either for God to require, or for us to pay any thing more.
20. Q. Does repentance then, if it be sincere, without any thing more, restore us again to our state of grace, and reconcile us to God Almighty?
A. If it be sincere, it does, through faith in Jesus Christ.
21. Q. Does God allow repentance to all sins?
A. There is no sin but what true repentance washes away but there may be some cases in which God may deny us his grace, so that we shall not be able truly to repent.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Acts, ii. 37, 38. Now, when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized, every one of you,
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 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. xvi. 30, 31. And he brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
22. Q. What are those cases?
A. They may all be reduced to this one general: namely, a wilful abuse, and resistance of the Divine Grace: whether it be by a long habit of sinning, or by frequently acting against the dictates of our own consciences, and the motions of God's Holy Spirit: to say nothing of some sins, which are in an eminent manner destructive of the Divine Grace, such as pride, covetousness, sensuality; but especially that sin which is expressly called in Scripture, the sin against the Holy Ghost.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Prov. i. 28, &c. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 1 also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh. xxviii. 14. Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief. Isaiah, lxvi. 4. I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear; but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. Jer. vii. 13. And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the
Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early, and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; therefore will I do unto this house which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave unto you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. Heb. iii. 13, 15. Exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. While it is said, to-day if ye will hear his voice, har den not your hearts, as in the provocation. vi. 6. It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. xii. 17. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it with tears. Prov. xvi. 5. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. James, iv. 6. But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 1 Pet. v. 5. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace unto the humble. Psalm x. 3. For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom God abhorreth. 1 Cor. v. 11. Now I have written to you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one, no not to eat. vi. 10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor
extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. Eph. v. 5. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
23. Q. What is meant by that sin?
A. I suppose it to have been the particular sin of the Jews heretofore, in not only obstinately refusing to receive our blessed Lord for their Messiah, after sufficient proofs given by him to convince them that he was so; but ascribing those miracles which he wrought in proof of his Divine authority to the help of the devil, when, at the same time, they either were abundantly convinced, or but, for their own faults might have been, that he did them by the power of God. Matt. xii. 31. compare Mark, iii. 28. Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Mark, Verily, I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies, wherewithsoever they shall blaspheme: but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, he hath an unclean spirit. Luke, xii. 10. Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.-John, v. 44. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? ix. 16, 30, &c. Therefore said some of the Pharisees, this man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, how can a man that is a sinner do