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Heathen, Mahometan, Jewish, or Christian, in the existence of such a Being, is a strong presumption of the existence of God. Such a general belief in the existence of a God must be supposed to have its foundation in the reality of His existence.
Q: 4. What does the light of nature teach concerning the nature or perfections of God?
A. It teaches His self-existence, eternity, immutability, omnipotence, independence, omnipresence, omniscience, unity, goodness, and wisdom.*
Q. 5. What relation does God sustain towards man, discoverable by the light of nature!
A. The relation of Creator, Preserver, Proprietor, Benefactor, Lawgiver, Governor, and Disposer.
Q. 6. Are all men every where under indispensible obligations to believe in the being of God?
A. They are. The evidence, which he has afforded them of His existence by the light of nature, binds them to this duty. Consequently, Atheism, or the disbelief of God in any, even in the Heathen, is awfully criminal; because it rejects the instructions, and discredits the testimony of God Himself, in the works of His hands.(b)
Q. 7. Are mankind naturally prone to resist and reject the evidence of God's existence?
A. They are. This fact appears from experience and observation. (9)
(b) Rom. 1. 20, 21. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that when they knew (might have known) God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
(c) Rom. 1. 28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate
* Perhaps it is not certain, that the perfect goodness and wisdom of God are discovered from the mere light of nature by depraved man. It is rather doubtful, whether the unity of God can be fully proved aside from the Bible. For a full consideration of the perfections of God, the reader is referred to Chapter III,
Q. 8. Whence does this proneness arise?
Ă. From the depravity of their hearts. This is the only reason why any in Pagan, Mahometan, or Christian countries are Atheists.(a)
Q. 9. Is a belief in the existence of God an essential doctrine of religion?
A. It is the very first and fundamental principle of all true religion.(*)
Q: 10. Is it important to have just views of God?
A. It is highly important; for without them we shall naturally and necessarily be led astray in religious sentiments and practices.“ Q. 11.
What duties does the light of nature teach as incumbent on man to perform?
A. It teaches his duty of loving, obeying, serying, worshipping, and enjoying God; and his moral duties towards his fellow creatures?(5)
mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Ps. 82.5. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darknesș. Job 21. 14, 15. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty that we should serve him, and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him!
(d) Ps. 14. 1. The fool hath said in his heart there is no Gòd. Ps. 10. 4. The wicked through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God; God is not in all his thoughts.
(e) Heb. 11. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(f) John 4. 24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. Rom. 1.22-25. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves; who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for evermore,
(g) Rom. 2. 14, 15. For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law,
Q. Does the light of nature teach
that mankind are in a sinful or depraved state?
A. It does. When man's conduct is compared with his duty as made known by the works of creation and providence, conscience points out his transgressions or depravity.
these having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing, witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another.
The sacred Scriptures.
Q. 1. What is meant by the Sacred Scriptures?
À. God's successive written revelations to mankind, or the Holy Bible, containing the books of the Old and New Testaments, given by inspiration of God.(a)
Q. 2. What books are included in the Old Testament?
A. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings, 2 Kings, i Chronicles, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Solomon's Song, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Q. 3. What books are included in the New Testament?
A. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, i Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.
Q. 4. Are the books commonly called the Apocraphy, sometimes appended to the Old Testament,
(a) Heb. 1.1, 2. God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. 2 T'im. 3. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God.
divinely inspired? or are they any part of the Sacred Canon
A. There is no evidence, that they are; but there is much evidence, that they are not.
1. The Authors of them do not pretend to be inspired.
2. The Jews never acknowledged them to be of Divine authority, as they were written after the days of Malachi, with whom the spirit of prophecy ceased, as they universally believed.
3. They are never quoted by Christ and His apostles. 4. They were never received in the first
of the Christian church, as canonical Scripture.
Q. 5. How are the books of the Apocrypha to be regarded?
A. Simply as human writings, containing some truths and facts important to be known.
Q. 6. In what language were the Sacred Scriptures at first written?
A. Speaking in general terms, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and the New Testament in Greek. Q. 7. What is meant by the Septuagint?
A translation of the Old Testament into Greek, in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus under the superintendence of Demetrius Phalereus, by seventy-two interpreters or translators, about the year 284 before Christ. They are usually called the Seventy, as that is a full or round number.
Q. 8. When was the English version of the Bible, now in use,
made? A. About two hundred years ago in the reign of James I, King of England. Fifty-four of the most learned men of the realm were appointed to this service. Forty-seven only engaged in the work, and, after five or six years labour, the present translation was published in 1613.