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90. Q. How is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?
A. That the word may become effectual to salvation, we must attend thereunto with diligence, preparation, and prayer, receive it with faith, and love, lay it up in our hearts, and practise it in our lives.
Preparation. Endeavouring to put the heart in a right frame.
91. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation ?
A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not from any virtue in them, or in him that doth administer them, but only by the blessing of Christ, and the working of his spirit in them that by faith receive them.
Virtue. Sufficient power.
Administer. Perform or distribute by way of office.
Blessing of Christ. Christ's powerful influence for our good. 92. Q. What is a sacrament?
A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ, wherein by senaible signs Christ and the benefits of the new covenant are represented, sealed and applied to believers.
Sensible signs. Marks or tokens that are perceived by the senses, viz. seeing, feeling, tasting.
New covenant. The covenant of grace, or the gospel.
Represented. Set forth in a lively manner as in a picture or resemblance. Sealed. Confirmed and assured to us, as the possession of a house or land is made sure to a person by a seal set to a writing.
Applied. Conveyed or given.
Believers. Those who trust in Christ, or have faith in him.
93. Q. What are the sacraments of the New Testament?
A. The sacraments of the New Testament are baptism and the Lord's-supper.
A. Baptism is a sacrament, wherein the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, doth signify and seal our ingrafting into Christ, and partaking of the benefits of the covenant of grace and our engagement to be the Lord's.
Ingrafting into Christ. Our entrance into christianity, or union to Christ.
To be the Lord's. To be entirely givea up to the service of Christ, and to his disposal.
95. Q. To whom is baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any who are out of the visible church till they profess their faith in Christ and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized,
Administer. See answer 91.
Visible church. All that profess the true religion with their lips, and openly practise it in their life, are the members which make up the visible church.
It is called visible, because it is to be seen by men, whereas the invisible church is made up of those who have true religion in the beart, which God only knows and sees.
96. Q. What is the Lord's-supper ?
A. The Lord's-supper is a sacrament, wherein by giving and receiving bread and wine according to Christ's appointment, bis death is shewed forth, and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporeal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourish. ment and growth in grace,
Worthy receivers. Those who are fit to receive the Lord's-supper, and do receive it in a right manner.
Partakers of his body and blood. United to Christ, and partakers of the blessings procured by his death.
Spiritual nourishment and growth in grace. The soul's increase or improvement
97. Q. What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord's-supper?
A. It is required of them who would worthily partake of the Lord's-supper that they examine themselves of their knowledge to discern the Lord's body, of their faith to feed upon him, of their repentance, love, and new obedience, lest coming unworthily, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.
Worthily parlake. Eat and drink of the bread and wine with a heart prepared
To discern the Lord's body. To know and consider that the bread and wine represent the body and blood of Christ.
To feed upon Christ by faith. To derive blessings from him by trusting in
Unworthily. Without any fit temper of mind.
Eat and drink judgment. Expose themselves to the displeasure of God by eating and drinking the bread and wine unworthily.
98. Q. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires to God for things agreeable to his will in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledg, ment of his mercies.
In the name of Christ. Hoping to obtain mercy for the sake of Christ.
99. Q. What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer?
A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in prayer, but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which Christ taught his disciples, commonly called, the Lord's prayer.
Note, It were to be wished that the reverend authors had declared this form of prayer not to be so complete a pattern for christians in all ages, since Christ did not here teach his disciples to pray in his name, as he did afterward, See John xvi. 23, 24.
100. Q. What doth the preface of the Lord's prayer teach us?
A. The preface of the Lord's prayer, which is, "Our Father, which art in heaven," teacheth us to draw near to God with all holy reverence and confidence, as children to a father able and ready to help us, and that we should pray with and for others.
Preface. See answer 43.
Reverence and confidence. Fear and hope.
101. Q. What do you pray for in the first petition.
A. In the first petition, which is, "Hallowed be thy name," we pray that God would enable us and others to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known, and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.
Petition. Humble request.
Hallowed. Sanctified or honoured as becomes the name of God.
102. Q. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, which is, "Thy kingdom come," we pray, that Satan's kingdom may be destroyed, and that the kingdom of grace may be advanced, ourselves and others brought into it and kept in it, and that the kingdom of glory may be hastened.
Satan's kingdom. The dominion or power of the devil over men.
Kingdom of grace. The merciful dominion or government of God and Christ among men.
Kingdom of glory. The dominion or government of God among saints in beaven, especially after the day of judgment.
103. Q. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, which is, "Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven," we pray, that God by his grace would make us able and willing, to know, obey and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
104. Q. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, which is, "Give us this day our daily bread," we pray, that of God's free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.
A competent portion. A sufficient share.
The blessing of God. The favour of God, which alone can make the grea tures comfortables and useful to us.
105. Q. What do we pray for in the fifth petition.
A. In the fifth petition, which is, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors," we pray, that God for Christ's sake would freely pardon all our sins: which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
106. Q. What do we pray for in the sixth petition ?
A. In the sixth petition, which is, " And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," we pray, that God would either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted,
Temptation. Any thing that intices or persuades us to sin, or that diverts or discourages us from our duty, or that becomes an occasion of our offending God.
Support and deliver, &c. Keep us from sinning when we are tempted to it. 107. Q. What doth the conclusion of the Lord's prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord's prayer, which is," For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen," teacheth us to take encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power and glory to him; and in testimony of our desire, and assurauce to be heard, we say Amen.
Conclusion. The close or end.
Ascribing. Acknowledge as due,
Amen. A wish and hope that it may be as we ask.
I BELIEVE in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth: And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; he descended into bell*, the third day he rose again from the dead, he ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right-hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic church; the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting, Amen.
THE LORD's PRAYER.
OUR Father, which art in heaven: hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
* His soul continued in the state of the dead, or separated from the body.
TO "A PRESERVATIVE FROM THE SINS AND FOLLIES OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH."
THE most effectual way to teach children and youth to avoid any thing
that is evil, is to represent it to them in a plain and lively manner, and that in particular instances; setting the sins, vices and follies before them in their hateful colours, and their dreadful consequences: and this may be done with better success if we let them see how much these follies are contrary to reason, and that both reason and scripture join to forbid the same sins: but it was not possible to do this at large in any of the foregoing Catechisms: I have therefore attempted it in the following scheme, which is drawn up in a way of question for greater ease to the understanding and memory.
1 do not call this a Catechism, because I do not propose it to be learned by heart: but if it be frequently read over by young persons, their teachers may bring them into an easy acquaintance with it, may give them warning of these vices, and impress the warning often on their consciences: thus by the divine blessing it may become a happy preservative from many of the sins and frailties which are incident to mankind, especially in their younger parts of life.
PRESERVATIVE FROM THE SINS AND FOLLIES OF CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH;
A brief Account of the Sins, Vices and Frailties, to which Childhood and Youth are liable, and of which they should be warned early; drawn up in the Way of Question and Answer, with Arguments against them taken from Reason and Scripture.
WHAT are the chief dangers that attend childhood and youth? Answer. We are in danger of many sins; and there are many frailties and follies attend us in younger years.
2. Q. What is it that is most properly called sin? A. Doing what God has forbidden, or neglecting to do what God hath required.
3. Q. What is it you call frailties and follies? A. Those things which God hath not so plainly forbidden; but if they are indulged, will lead us into sinful practices, and are attended with many inconveniences.
Note, 'The word vice is sometimes used to signify sins, and sometimes
4. Q. How many sorts of sins are committed by mankind? A. Our sins are of three sorts, viz. the sins of the heart, the sins of the tongue, and the sins of the life.
5. Q. Against whom are those sins committed? A. Some more directly against God, some against our neighbours, and some against ourselves.
6. Q. But are not all sins committed against God? A. Yes, we sin against God in all the evil that we do, because his law forbids it all: But in some sins we do more particular injury to our neighbours or ourselves.
7. Q. Are children and youth in danger of all these sorts of sin? A. Yes, our natures being sinful, we children are in danger of these sins, as well as grown persons.
8. Q. What are the best ways to avoid these sins, and to free yourself from them? A. I must do these six things:-1. I must endeavour to see the evil nature and ill consequences of every sin I am in danger of,-2. 1 must be sorry for what evil I have done in time past.-3. I must be more watchful for time to come.-4. I must pray to God to change my sinful nature, and to give me strength against these sins.-5. I must trust in Jesus Christ, and his grace to keep me from them.-6. I should have some good reason, and some proper scripture in my memory always ready to oppose them. Thus far of sins in general: Let us now come to particulars.
PART I-Of Sins against God.
9. Q. What are the chief sins more directly against God, of which children are in danger? A. Our sins against God may be ranked under these three heads, viz. ungodliness, profaneness, and self-sufficiency.
10. Q. What is ungodliness? A. To forget God continually, and have nothing to do with him: And it appears in four things.
11. Q. What is the first sign of ungodliness? A. If I never honour nor praise God for his own greatness and glory.
Reason against this sinful neglect. The great and glorious God, who is our Maker, deserves our honour, and demands it of us, on account of his own excellencies manifested in all his works.
Scripture saith, "Rom. i. 20, 21. They are without excuse, because when they knew God, they glorified him not as God."
12. Q. What is the second mark of ungodliness? A. When I do not pray to God for the blessings which I want.
Reason for prayer to God. God is gracious, and will hear when we pray to him; but I have no reason to hope he will bless me, if I do not ask it of him, nor acknowledge any dependence on him,
*Though it is sufficiently evident that there are some fooleries or frailties of children which cannot properly be called sins, yet there are also some sins or follies, wherein it is hard to distinguish some of the kinds or branches of them from one another in their own natures. Nor is it easy to say under which head they should be ranked. The scripture often calls sin, folly; and if any of those which I have mentioned be ranked under an improper name, the candid reader will excuse it.
+ Ungodliness is a neglect of God; profaneness is an actual contempt of him: One is negative, or a sin of omission: the other is positive, and a sin of commission, as we may well distinguish them.
And perhaps some may think that a sinful self-sufficiency is implied in the neglect of God: But children must have every thing spoken in a plain and explicit manner to make them attend and remember it, and therefore I have made it a distinct head,