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Q. 3. What is the distinguishing property of the person of the Father?
A. To be of himself only the fountain of the Godhead; John v. 26, 27. Eph. i. 3.
Q. 4. What is the property of the Son?
A. To be begotten of his Father from eternity; Psal. ii. 7. John i. 14. jii. 16.
Q. 5. What of the Holy Ghost?
A. To proceed from the Father and the Son ; John xiv. 17, xyi. 14. xv. 26. xx. 22.
Q. 6. Are these three one?
A. One every way, in nature, will, and essential properties, distinguished only in their personal manner of subsistence; John x.30. Rom. iii. 30. John xv. 26. 1 John v. 7.
Q. 7. Can we conceive these things as they are in themselves?
A. Neither we, nor yet the angels of heaven, are at all able to dive into these secrets, as they are eternally in God; but in respect of the outward dispensation of themselves, to us, by creation, redemption, and sanctification, a knowledge may
be attained of these things, saving and heavenly; 1 Tim. yi, 16. Isa. vi. 2, 3. Col. i. 11-14.
Of the works of God, and first, of those that are internal and immanent.
Q. 1. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the works
A. That they are of two sorts; first, internal," in his counsel, decrees, and purposes towards his creatures; secondly, external, in his works over and about them, to the praise of his own glory; Acts xv. 18. Prov. xvi. 4.
Q. 2. What are the decrees of God?
A. Eternal, unchangeable purposes of his will, concerning the being and well-being of his creatures ; Mic. v. 2.
We must labour to make out comfort from the proper work of erery person towards us.
• The purposes and decrees of God, so far as by him revealed, are objects of our faith, and full of comfort.
Farther reasons of God's decrees than his own will, not to be inquired after The changes in the Scripture ascribed unto God, are only in the outward dispensaticns and works, variously tending to one infallible event, by him proposed. - The Aminians' blasphemy in saying, God sometimes fails of his purposes.
Eph. iii. 9. Acts xv. 18. Isa. xiv. 24. xlvi. 10. Rom. ix. 12. 2 Tim. ii. 19.
Q. 3. Concerning which of his creatures chiefly are his decrees to be considered ?
A. Angels and men, for whom other things were ordained ; 1 Tim. v. 21. Jude 6.
Q. 4. What are the decrees of God concerning men?
A. The eternal, free, immutable purpose of God, whereby, in Jesus Christ, he chooseth unto himself, whom he pleaseth, out of whole mankind, determining to bestow. upon them, for his sake, grace here, and everlasting happiness hereafter, for the praise of his glory, by the way of mercy i Eph. i. 4. Acts xiii. 48. Rom. viii. 29, 30. Matt. xi. 26. 2 Tim. ii. 19. Eph. i. 4, 5. Matt. xxii. 14. Rom. ix. 18— 21. John vi. 37. xvii. 6. 9, 10. 24.
Q. 6. Doth any thing in us move the Lord thus to choose us from amongst others.?
A. No, in nowise ;d we are in the same lump with others rejected, when separated by his undeserved grace ; Rom. ix. 11, 12. Matt. xi. 25. 1 Cor. iv. 7. 2 Tim. i. 9.
Q. 7. What is the decree of reprobation?
A. The eternal purpose of God, to suffer many to sin, leave them in their sin, and not giving them to Christ, to punish them for their sin; Rom. ix. 11, 12. 21, 22. Prov. xvi. 4. Matt. xi. 25, 26. 2 Pet. ii. 12. Jude 4.
c The decree of election is the fountain of all spiritual graces, for they are bestowed only on the elect-In nothing doth natural corruption more exalt itself against God, than in opposing the freedom of his grace in his eternal decrees.
d From the execution of these decrees flows that variety and difference we see in the dispensation of the means of grace, God sending the gospel where he hath á remnant according to election.
Of the works of God that outwardly are of him. Q. 1. What are the works of God, that outwardly respect his creatures ?
A. First, of creation; secondly, of actual providence; Psal. xxxiii. 9. Heb. i. 2, 3.
Q. 2. What is the work of creation?
A. An act or work of God's almighty power, whereby of nothing, in six days, he created heaven, earth, and the sea, with all things in them contained; Gen. i. 1. Exod. xx.11. Prov. xvi. 4.
Q. 3. Wherefore did God make man? · A. For his own glory in his service and obedience ; Gen. i. 26, 27. ii. 16, 17. Rom. ix. 23.
Q. 4. Was man able to yield the service and worship that God required of him?
A. Yea, to the uttermost, being created upright, in the image of God, in purity, innocency, righteousness, and holiness; Gen. i. 26. Eccles. 7. 29. Eph. iv. 24. Col. iii. 10.
Q. 5. What was the rule, whereby man was at first to be directed in his obedience?
A. The moral or eternal law of God, implanted in his nature," and written in his heart, by creation; being the tenor of the covenant between God and him, sacramentally typified by the tree of knowledge of good and evil; Gen. ii. 15--17. Rom. ii. 14, 15. Eph. iv. 24.
Q. 6. Do we stand in the same covenant still, and have we the same power to yield obedience unto God?
A. No, the covenant was broken by the sin of Adam, with whom it was made, our nature corrupted, and all power
a The very outward works of God are sufficient to convince men of his eternal power and Godhead, and to leave them inexcusable, if they serve him not.
6 The glory of God is to be preferred above our own, either being, or well-being, as the supreme end of them. The approaching unto God in his service, is the chief exaltation of our nature above the beasts that perish.
e God never allowed from the beginning, that the will of the creature should be the measure of his worship and honour.
4 Though we have all lost our right unto the promise of the first covenant, yet all not restored by Christ are under the cominination and curse thereof.
to do good utterly lost; Gen. iii. 16–18. Gal. ji. 10, 11.21. Heb. vii. 19. viii. 13. John xiv. 4. Psal. li. 5. Gen, vi. 5. Jer. xiii. 23.
Of God's actual providence.
A. The effectual working of his power, and almighty act of his will, whereby he sustaineth, governeth, and disposeth, of all things, men and their actions, to the ends which he hath ordained for them; Exod. iv. ll. Job v. 10-12. ix. 5, 6. Psal. cxlvii. 4. Prov. xv. 3. Isa. xlv. 6, 7. John v. 17. Acts xvii. 28. Heb. i. 3.
Q. 2. How is this providence exercised towards mankind ?
A. Two ways : first, peculiarly towards his church, or elect, in their generations, for whom are all things; secondly, towards all in a general manner; yet with various and divers dispensations; Deut. xxxii. 10. Psal. xvii. 8. Zech. ii. 8. Matt. xvi. 18, 19. ii. 29. 1 Pet. v. 7. Gen, ix. 5. Psal. lxxv. 6, 7. Isa. xlv. 6. Matt. v. 45.
Q. 3. Wherein chiefly consists the outward providence of God towards his church?
A. In three things; first, in causing all things to work together for their good ;' secondly, in ruling and disposing of kingdoms, nations, and persons, for their benefit; thirdly, in avenging them of their adversaries; Matt. vi. 31–33. Rom. viii. 28. 1 Tim. vi. 16. 2 Pet. i. 3. Psal. cv. 14, 15. Isa. xliv. 28. Dan. ii. 44. Rom. ix. 17. Isa. lx. 12. Zech. xii. 2. 5. Luke xviii. 7. Rev. xvii. 14.
Q. 4. Doth God rule also in and over the sinful actions of wicked men ?
A. Yea, he willingly (according to his determinate coun
* To this providence is to be ascribed all the good we do enjoy, and all the affilictions we undergo.--- Fortune, chance, and the like, are names without things, scarce fit to be used among Christians, seeing providence certainly ruleth all to appointed ends.---No free will in man, exempted either from the eternal decree or the overruling providence of God.
b Though the dispensations of God's providence towards his people be various, yet every issue and act of ii tends to one certain end, their good in his glory.
sel) suffereth them to be,« for the manifestation of his glory and by them effecteth his own righteous ends; 2 Sam. xii. 11. xvi. 10. 1 Kings xi. 31. xxii. 22. Job i. 21. Prov. xxii. 14. Isa, x. 6, 7. Ezek. xxi. 19-21. Amos vii. 17. Acts iv. 27, 28. Rom. i. 24. ix. 22. 1 Pet. ii. 8. Rev. xvii. 17.
Q. 5. Doth the providence of God extend itself to every small thing?
A. The least grass of the field, hair of our heads, or worm of the earth, is not exempted from his knowledge and care; Job xxxix. Psal. civ. 21. cxlv. 15. Jonah iv. 7. Matt. vi. 26-29. A. 29, 30.
Of the law of God.
A. The same which was afterward written with the finger of God in two tables of stone on mount Horeb,* called the Ten Commandments ; Rom. ii. 14, 15.
Q. 2. Is the observation of this law still required of us ?.
A. Yes, to the uttermost tittle; Matt. v. 17. 1 John iii. 4. Rom. iii. 31. James ii. 8. Gal. iii.
Q. 3. Are we able of ourselves to perform it?
A. No, in no wise, the law is spiritual, but we are carnal; 1 Kings viii, 46. Gen. v.6. John xv. 5. Rom. vii. 11. viii.7. 1 John i. 8.
Q. 4. Did then God give a law which could not be kept .?
A. No, when God gave it, we had power to keep it, which since we have lost in Adam; Gen. i. 26. Eph. vii. 29. Rom. v. 12.
Q. 5. Whereto then doth the law now serve?
A. For two general ends: first, to be a rule of our daty, or to discover to us the obedience of God required; se
c Almighty God knows how to bring light out of darkness, good out of evil, the salvation of his elect out of Judas's treachery, the Jews' cruelty, and Pilate's injustice.
a This law of God bindeth us now, not because delivered to the Jews on mount Horeb, but because written in the hearts of all by the finger of God at the first.
• After the fall, the law ceased to be a rule of justification, and became a rule for sanctification only. It is of free grace that God giveth power to yield any obedience, and accepteth of any obedience that is not perfect.