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false, and wicked. It is preposterous, because it disregards the means connected, with the ends, and without which the ends cannot be obtained. It is false, because contrary to the nature of things, the divine determination, and the whole tenour of Scripture. It is wicked, because designed to bring blame on God, and exculpate the sinner. None, therefore, ought to believe it, or practice according to it. On the contrary, the doctrine of Divine purposes is a ground of encouragement.

Q. 9. How do the purposes of God afford encouragement in endeavours to obtain salvation?

A. They afford encouragement in this way: In the purposes of God are embraced the means, as well as the ends. He has constituted a certain and infallible connexion between means and ends. No end can be effected without the use of the means, connected with it; but if the means are used, the end will follow. This doctrine is as true in regard to Christians as to husbandmen, mechanics, and students. If a person, then, repents, believes, and leads a holy life, he will be saved. It is as certain he will be saved, as that God has any purpose, and he cannot be saved in any other way. Hence arise the necessity and encouragement to repent, believe, and live a godly life. The reasoning is this: God has ordained, that there shall be no harvest without the use of means; therefore the husbandman cultivates the earth. God has purposed, that there shall be no salvation without repentance, faith, and holiness of life; therefore we should repent, believe, and obey(4)

Q. 10. Are the Divine purposes any rule of conduct for man?

(d) Acts 27. 23, 24, 31. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul, thou must be brought before Cæsar; and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.-Paul said to the centurion, and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved.

man.

A. They are not. God's revealed will, in the Sacred Scriptures, is the only rule of conduct for

His secret will is the rule of conduct for Himself, but not for man. In all his conduct, man is to act not in reference to the purposes of God, which are secret, but in reference to commanded duty, which is revealed.()

Q. 11. How are the Divine purposes to be viewed and treated!

A. They are to be viewed not as arbitrary, despotick, and capricious; but as altogether reasonable and proper, and after the good pleasure of Godas the fruit of His wisdom and goodness. They are to be treated, not in a cavilling manner, but with a reverential, humnble, submissive, and candid spirit.

Q. 12. Is the doctrine of Divine purposes a new doctrine!

A. It is not. It is as old as the Bible, and is contained in the confessions of faith in the reformed Churches generally.

Q. 13. Is it important, that the doctrine of the Divine purposes should be preached, and believed?

A. It is; because it is a truth, which God has revealed to be believed and embraced; and because it is the only foundation of the sinner's hope of eternal life; for had not God purposed salvation in Jesus Christ, none would ever have been saved.()

(e) Deut. 29. 29. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things, which are revealed belong unto us, and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

(f) Jer. 26. 2. Thus saith the Lord, Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them, diminish not a word. Jer. 23. 28. The prophet that hath a dream let him tell dream;—and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully; what is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Isa. 30. 9, 10. That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord; which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 2 Tim. 4.3. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching

ears.

CHAPTER VI.

Creation.

Q. 1. What is meant by creation?

Å. The act of giving existence, or the production of all creatures and things. Creation is either immediate or mediate. Creation immediate is the production of something out of nothing or where nothing existed before. Creation mediate is giving existence in a new form, or the production of something out of materials, that before existed. The production of this world, at first, in a chaotick state, was creation immediate. The production of man, in his corporeal nature, from the dust of the earth, was creation mediate. * This last kind of creating is sometimes termed forming, moulding, fashioning, and making.)

૨. 2. What are included in the works of creation?

A. The heavens and the earth, and all things in them--the whole universe-all finite existences, animate and inanimate, rational and irrational, visible and invisible.)

(a) Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Gen. 2.7. And the Lord God formed inan of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a livirg soul.

(b) Col. 1. 16. For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible, and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him. * The production of the soul of man is creation immediate.

Q. 3. Who created all things?
Ă. The almighty God.(*)
Q. 4. How did He create all things?

Ă. It is usually said, that God created all things by the word of His power, but by this cannot be meant any thing more, than that He willed, or signified His pleasure, and creation took place. His power accompanied His word.(4)

Q. 5. Did God create all things at one time?

A. He did. From the time He commenced creating, He ceased not, till the whole work of creation was finished.

Q. 6. How long was God in creating all things?

Ă. He was six days in creating them, though He could have created them in an instant of time, had He seen fit. Creation was successive, and thus gradual, though it is always instantaneous, when it takes place.(e)

Q. 7. How long is it since the world was created?

(c) Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

(d) Heb. 11. 3. Through faith we understand, that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Ps. 33. 9. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast,

(e) Gen. 1.3, 11, 21, 25, 27. And God said, Let there be light; and there was light. And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth; and it was so. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen. 2. 1, 2. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day, God ended his work, which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work, which he had made.

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