If one member suffer, what should all the other members be?

Of a compassionate temper and suffer with it; and if one member be honoured, all the rest should sincerely rejoice with it.

What ought to be the effect of these considerations upon our conduct?

We ought to examine whether we do feel in our hearts this good disposition, as a mark of being Members of Christ; and if we find this is not the case, to form ourselves to it without delay.

What is the second privilege of baptism?

It is, that by it we are made the Children of God, in a sense and manner, in which by nature we are not so.

What is our Saviour called in Scripture ?
The only begotten Son of God.

any of God's creatures claim God for his Father, by the same right that he doth ?

No; but in a lower sense God is the Father of angels and men; whom he hath created in their several degrees of likeness to his own image.

In what light was Adam our first parent, the son of God?

By a strong resemblance to his heavenly Father in original uprightness.

How was this similitude greatly obscured?

By the transgression of Adam and Eve, which is commonly called the fall.

How was this similitude preserved from being totally effaced ?

By the covenant of the promised seed; but in time it was almost entirely lost among men, by the prevalence of sin.

What did they in general become?
Enemies of God, and children of the devil.
What did our gracious Maker then do?

Pitying us notwithstanding, and treating us like children, even when thus degenerated he mercifully appointed a method for adopting us into his family again ; and for restoring and raising us gradually to the same, and even a greater, likeness to him, and favor with him, than even our first parents.

By whom was this inestimable blessing procured for mankind ?

By Jesus Christ.
How do we become entitled to it.

By taking him for our head, and becoming his mem. bers, in such manner as has been before explained. For we are told by St. John, that “ to as many as receive him, to them gives he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name." Being therefore thus united to him, who is in the highest sense the Son God; and claiming not in our own name,

but under him; we are admitted unto such a degree of Son-ship as we are capable of, and made. “ Children of God, by faith in Jesus Christ."

Are there any other people called Children of God in the Scriptures, besides Christians?

Yes, the Jews; and such they really were ; being first, as Christians were afterwards, the children of the covenant.

Are they to be considered as children of God, exactly in the same light as Christians ?

Certainly not-; for as theirs was a state of less, knowledge, more burthensome precepts, and stricter govern

Even so we,

ment; the Apostle speaks of them, compared with us only as servants of Christ's family.' “ Now I say, thał the heir, so long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be Lord of all. (speaking of the Jewish nation,) when we were children, were in bondage under the element of the world.

But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son to redeem them that were under the law. Where. fore we are no more servants but sons." Ought we not to be most thankful for this distinction ?

Certainly we ought; particularly when we consider the consequence drawn by St. Paul from it. If children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ.

What is the third and last privilege of baptism ?

That we are made Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven,

What do you mean by the expression, Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven?

Being entitled to perfect and endless happiness in body and soul. Supposing we had continued in the primitive upright.

parents, and never sinned at all, what could we merely have claimed ?

We could have had no claim, but from God's free promise, to any thing more than that our being should not be worse to us, than not being. But as we are originally depraved, and have actually sinned, far from having any claim to happiness, we are liable to just punishment.

What will then be the consequence to those people who have no knowledge of this covenant ?

ness of

our first


The Apostle hath told us, that as many as have sinned without law, shall perish without; but he hath told us also, that when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, they are a law unto themselves.

Of what may we be certain at all events ?

That he who hath shewn the abundance of his love to us, will undoubtedly shew, not only his justice, but his mercy, to all the works of his hands, as far, and in such manner as is fit. We believe there is indeed - None other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” But whether they who have not had in this life the means of calling upon it, shall receive any benefit from it, it is presumptuous to determine, and useless to inquire.

What are the points to which we mnst attend?

That we give due thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the Inheritance of the Saints in Light;” and be duly careful to “ Walk worthy of God, who hath called us to his Kingdom and Glory.”

When may we be said to have a right to the privileges of the covenant?

When we perform the obligation of it?

What then must be said with respect to those Children of Believers, who are taken out of the world before they become capable of faith and obedience ?

We doubt not they are happy, for the general declararations of holy writ plainly comprehend their case; and our Saviour hath particularly declared 6 of such is the Kingdom of God.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


AFTER mentioning the privileges to which baptism

gives us a claim, what does our Catechism proceed to do?

It sets forth the duties to which it binds us : those things which our godfathers and godmothers promised and vowed in our names.

What is necessary to qualify and prepare us for a virtuous and religious blessedness hereafter ?

A virtuous and religious temper here. What are the conditions or obligations on our part? They are 1st. That we renounce what God forbids. 2nd. That we believe what he teaches. 3rd. That we do what he commands. Why is the condition that we are to renounce, put first ?

Because, it opens the way for the other two. When once we come to have a due sense that we are sinners, and perceive the baseness, the guilt, the mischief of sin, we shall flee from it, with sincere penitence, to the remedy of faith, which God has appointed.

When we have in earnest resolved to forsake that which is wrong, what shall we gladly embrace ?

All such truths as will direct us right. What effect, on the contrary, will a love for wickedhave upon our

minds? It will make us, with respect to the doctrines of religion, backward to receive them, or unwilling to think of them, or desirous to interpret them unfairly.


« VorigeDoorgaan »