[Page] The First PRINCIPLES OF THE ORACLES OF GOD. Collected by THOMAS SHEPHARD, Sometimes of Emanuel College in Cambridge, Now Preacher of Gods Word in New-England.

HEB. 5. 12. For when for the time ye ought to be Teachers, ye have need that one teach you again, which be the first Principles of the Oracles of God; and are be come such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Rothwel. 1655.

[Page] IMPRIMATUR Ioseph Caryl.

Imprimatur Iames Cranford.


IT is no disparagement at all for this wise Ma­ster-Builder, to labour sometimes by the Ham­mer Mr. Thomas Shepheard of New-England. of the VVord, to fasten these nailes of Truth in a sure place, even in the heads and hearts of In­fant-Christians.

Neither is it below the highest Scholar in Christs School, to hold fast the form of wholesome words. 2 Tim. 1. 13.

The great Apostle himselfe, (who was wrapt up into the third Heaven) although he had received a Commission of Christ his Master to make Disciples, yet he was a Disciple still; for he not only Catechi­sed others, but learned, and that again, and again, The first Principles of the Oracles of God, which are called The Mysteries of the Kingdome of Hea­ven, Heb. 5. 12. Mat. 13. 11. [...] 1 Cor. 2. 10. and the depths of God: that is, in plain English, those Doctrinall Truths, which are truly fundamentall, and absolutely necessary unto salva­tion; [Page] that wee may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and convince the gain-sayers; and be ready alwaies to give an answer to every man Tit. 1. 2. 1 Pet. 1. 15. that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us.

Thus heartily beseeching thee, in the name of Christ, to search the Scriptures, and to give thy self continually to prayer, and the Ministery of the Word, that you may grow in Grace, and in Joh. 5. 39. Act. 6. 4. the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; I now commend you to God, and to the Word of his Grace, which is able to build you 2 Pet. 3. 8. Act. 20. 32. up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are Sanctified. So be it.

Friend, I am thine, if thou doest love the Truth, and our Lord Iesus Christ in sincerity.


Christian Reader,

BEing desired to peruse and give our opinion of [...]e resol [...]tions in thi [...] Letter now presented to [...]y view: VVe must confesse, they appeared t [...] [...]ery precious; For we have seldome seen acute­nesse, profoundnesse, and godliness, so eminently, equ [...]l­ly, and happilly matched. There are in Christ, School divers forms, elementaries, and men of exer­cise [...] wits The Scholar proposing these cases was no Puny, and he was happy in meeting with a teacher so able for resolution. Therefore, who ever reads and [...]eeds, will not re [...]ent of his labour. But the mo [...]e kn [...]wing the Reader is, and the more experien­ced in the VVaies of Ch [...]ist, the more delight may [...]e take in, and the more p [...]fit may he reap by these pious and profound resolutions. So we are

Th [...]e in Christ Jesus Iohn Geree, and Will. Greenhill.

THE SUM OF CHRISTIAN RELIGION, In way of Question and Answer.

Quest. WHat is the best and last end of Man?

A. To live to God. Rom. 6. 10, 11. Gal. 3. 19. 2 Cor. 5. 3. 15.

Q. How is man to live unto God?

A. Two waies.

First, by Faith in God. Psal. 37. 3.

Secondly, By observance of God. Eccles. 12. 13.

Q. What is faith in God?

A. It is the first act of our Spirituall life, whereby th [...] soul believing God, believeth in God, and there testeth as in the only Author and Principle of Life. Heb. 10. 38. Joh. 3. 33. 36. Rom. 4. 3. Heb. 11. 13. Heb. 4. 3. Deut. 30. [...]0.

Q. What is God?

A. God only knoweth himself, no man can so know him and live: Yet he hath manifested himself unto us in his back­parts, according to our manner or measure of knowing things: and we need know no more than these, that we may live. 1 Tim. 6. [...]6. Exod. 33. 19. 23.

Q. What are Gods back-parts?

A. They are two, First, His sufficiency. Psal. 36. 9. Secondly, His Efficiency. Rom. 4. 21

Q. What is Gods sufficiency?

A. It is his perfect fulness of all good, whereby he is all­sufficient for us in himself. Psal 16. 1 [...]. Gen 17. 1.

Q. Wherein stands and appears Gods sufficiency?

A. First, In his Essence. Psal. 68. 19.

Secondly, In his subsistence or persons. 2 Sam. 7. 20, 25.

Q. What is Gods Essence?

A. Whereby he is that absolute first being. Rev. 1. 8. Isa. 44. 6. Exod. 3. 14.

Q. Can you sufficiently conceive of the Glory of this one most pure Essence, by one act of Faith?

A. No, and therefore the Lord hath manifested it unto us by divers attributes, Deut. 29. 29. Exod. 34. 6, 7.

Q. What are Gods attributes?

A. That one most pure Essence diversly apprehended of us, as it is diversly made known unto us. 1 Joh. 4. 16. Isa. 43. 25.

Q. How many kinds of attributes are there?

A. There are two sorts of them.

First, Some shewing what God is.

Secondly, Some shewing who God is.

Q. By what attr [...]butes know you what God is?

A. By these. God is a Spirit living of himself. Joh. 4. 24. Joh. 5. 26.

Q. By what attributes do you understand who God is?

A. By his Essentiall properties, which shew to us: First, How great a God he is. Psal. 77. 13.

Secondly, What a manner of God he is. Mat. 6. 17.

Q. What attributes shew how great a God he is?

A. First, His infiniteness, whereby he is without all li­mits of Essence. 2. Chr. 2. 5, 6.

Secondly, His Eternity, whereby he is without all limits of beginning, succession, or end of Time. Psal. 102. 25, 26, 27. 1 Tim. 1. 17.

Q. What are those attributes which shew what a man­ner of God he is?

A. His qualities whereby he acteth with, are of two sorts.

First, His Faculties, whereby he is able to act. Esa. 60. 16. & 63. 1.

Secondly, His Vertues of those Faculties, whereby he is prompt and ready to act. Psal. 86. 5.

Q. What are his faculties?

A. First, His Understanding, whereby he understandeth together, and at once all truth. Heb 4. 13. Act. 15▪ [...]8.

Secondly, His Will, whereby he purely willeth all good. Psal. 119. 68.

Q. What are the vertues of those Faculties?

A. First, They a [...]e Intellectuall, the vertues of his un­derstanding, as Wisdom, knowledge, and the rest.

Secondly, [...], the vertue of his Wil [...], as Love, Holi­ness, Mercy. In the acting o [...] both which, consists Gods hap­piness.

Thus much have you seen of Gods sufficiency, in regard of his Essence. Now follows his subsistence.

Q. What are his subsistences or persons?

A. That one most pure Essence with its Relative proper­ties.

Q. What are those Relative properties?

A. They are three.

First, To beget.

Secondly, To be begotten.

Thirdly, To proceed from both.

Q. How many persons learn you from hence to be in God?

A. Three.

First, the first, is the Father, the first Person in order, begetting the Son. Psal. 2. 7.

Secondly, The Son, the second Person, begotten of the Fa­ther Joh. 3. 6. Heb. 1. 3.

Thirdly, The Spirit, the third Person, proceeding from them both. Joh. 15. 26.

Q. Are these three Persons three distinct Gods?

A. No, For they are that one pure Essence, and therefore but one God. Ioh. 1. 1. Rom. 9. 5. 1 Cor. 6. 16. 1 Cor. 2. 10.

Q. If every Person be God, how can they be distinct. Persons, and not distinct Gods?

[Page 4] A. Yes, Because one and the same thing may have many Relative properties, and respects of being, which in the God­head makes distinct Persons. As one and the same man, may be a Father in one respect, a Master in another respect, and a Scholar in aenother respect.

Q. If these three Persons be but one God, what follows from hence?

A. That all the three Persons are Co-equal, Coeternall, subsisting in, not separating from each other, and therefore de­lighting in each [...]ther, glorifying each other. Prov. 8. 30.

Thus much concerning God.

Now concerning the works of God.

Q. Thus much concerning Gods sufficiency, What i [...] his efficiency?

A. Whereby he worketh all things, and all in all things. Rom. 11. 36. Esa. 45. 7.

Q. What of God shines forth, and are you to behold in his Efficiency?

A. Two things.

First, Gods Omnipotency, in respect of his Essence.

Secondly, the co-operation and distinct manner of working of the three Persons. Rom. 1. 20. Iohn 5. 17.

Q. What is Gods Omnipotency?

A. It is his Almighty power, whereby he is able to bring to passe all that he doth will, or what ever he can will or de­cree. 2 Chron. 20. 6. Phil. 3. 21. Mat. 3. 9. Psal. [...]15. 7.

Q. What is Gods Decree?

A. It is his Eternall and determinate purpose, concerning the effecting of all things by his mighty power, according to his counsel. Eph. 1. 11.

Q. What attributes or glory of God appear in his De­cree?

A. First, His Constancy, whereby his Decree remains un­changeable. Num. [...]3. 19.

Secondly, His Truth, whereby he delivereth nothing but what he hath decreed. Jer. 10. 10.

Thirdly, His Faithfullnesse, whereby he effecteth what e­ver he decreeth according thereunto. Esa. 46. 10.

Q. What is Gods Counsell?

A His deliberation as it were, for the best effecting of e­very thing according to his Wisdom. Act. 4. 24. Psal. 40. 24.

Q What is Gods Wisdom?

[Page 5] A. It is the Idaea or perfect platform of all things in the mind of God, which either can be known, or shall be done, according to the good pleasure of his will. Heb. [...]1. 3. Prov. 8. 12, 13.

Q. What is the good pleasure of Gods will?

A. It is the most free Act of his Will, whereby he willeth himself directly, as the greatest good, and all other things for himself, according to his good pleasure. Mat. 11. 25. Prov. 16. 4.

Q. What learn you from hence?

A. That Gods good pleasure is the first and best cause of all things. Psal. 115. 3. Psal. 33. 8, 9, 10, 11.

Q What is the Co-operations of the three Persons in Gods Efficiency?

A. Whereby they work the same thing together unseparably. Joh. 5. 17, 19. & 16. 13, 14.

Q. If they work the same thing together, How is it that some works are attributed to God the Father, as Cre­ation; some to the Son, as Redemption; some to the holy Spirit, as application?

A. This is not because the same work is not common to all the three Persons, but because that work is principally attri­buted in Scripture to that person whose distinct manner of wor­king appears chiefly in the work.

Q. What is God the Fathers distinct manner of wor­king?

A. His working is from himself by the Son, and to the holy Ghost, Psal. 33. 6. Joh. 1. 3, and hence the beginning, and so the Creation of all things is attributed to him.

Q. What is God the Sons manner of working?

A. His working is from the Father, by the Holy Ghost, Ioh. 14. 16. and hence the dispensation of all things, and so Redemption, is attributed unto him.

Q. What is the holy Gosts manner of working?

A. His working is from the Father and the Sonne, Joh. 14. [...]6. and hence the consummation of all things, and so applica­tion, is attributed unto him.

Q. Wherein doth Gods efficiency or working appear?

A. In two things.

First, In his creation of the world.

Secondly, In his providence over the world. Esa. 37. 16.

Q. What is his creation?

A. It is Gods efficiency, whereby he made the whole world of nothing, originally exceeding good. Psal. 33. 9. Gen. 1. 31.

Q. Did the Lord make the world in an instant?

A. No, but by parts, in the space of six dayes, descri­bed at large by Moses. Gen. 1.

Q. When did the Lord make the third heaven, with the Angels their inhabitants?

A. In the first day, in the first beginning of it. Gen. 1. 1. Job 38. 6, 7.

Q. What is the creation of the third heaven?

A. Whereby he made it to be the heaven of heaveas, a most glorious place, replenished with all pleasure which belongs to eternall happinesse, wherein his Majesty is seen face to face, and therefore called the habitation of God. 2 Chr. 2. 5, 6. Psal. [...]6. 11. Psal. 63. 15.

Q. VVhat is the creation of the Angels?

A. Whereby he created an innumerable number of them, in holiness, to be ministring spirits, with most accutenesse of un­derstanding, liberty of will, great strength, and speedy in mo­tion, to celebrate his praises, and execute his commands, spe­cially to the heirs of salvation. Heb. 11. 22. Joh. 8. 44. Heb. 1. 14. 2 Sam. 14. 20. Jude 6. 2 Pet. 2. 11. Esa. 6. 2. Psal. 130. 20.

Q. When did God create man?

A. The sixt day. Gen. 1. 27.

Q. How did God create man?

A. He made him a reasonable creature, consisting of body, and an immortall Soul, in the Image of God. Gen. 2. 7. Gen. 1. 28.

Q. What is the Image of God wherein he was made?

A. That hability of man to resemble God, and wherein he was like unto God, in wisdom, holiness, righteousnesse, both in his nature, and in his government of himselfe and all crea­tures. Col. 3. 10. Ephes. 4. 24. Gen. 1. 26.

Q. What became of man being thus made?

A. He was placed in the Garden of Eden, as in his Prince­ly Court, to live unto God, together with the wom [...]n which God gave him. Gen. 2. 15.

Thus much of Gods Creation.

Q. What is his Providence?

A. Whereby he provideth for his creatures being made, e­ven to the least circumstance. Psal. 145. 16. Proverbs 16. 33.

Q. How is Gods Providence distinguished?

A. It is either, first, Ordinary, and mediate, whereby he provideth for his creatures by ordinary and usual means, Hos. 2. 22.

Secondly, Extraordinary and immediate, whereby he pro­vides for his creatures by miracles, or immediately by himself, Psal. [...]6. 4 Dan. 3. 17.

Q. Wherein is his Providence seen?

A. First, in Conversation, whereby he upholdeth things in their being and power of working, Act. 17. 28. Psal. 104. 29, 30. Nehem. 9. 6.

Secondly, in Gubernation, whereby he guides, directs and brings all creatures to their ends, Psal. 29 10. Psal. 33. 11.

Q. Doth God govern all creatures alike?

A. No, but some he governs by a common providence, and others by a special providence, to wit, Angels and Men, to an e­ternal estate of happiness in pleasing him, or of misery in dis­pleasing [...]im, Deut. 30. 15, 16.

Q. What of Gods Providence appears in his speciall government of man?

A. Two things.

  • 1. Mans Apostacy or fall.
  • 2. His Recovery or rising again.

Q. Concerning mans fall, what are you to observe therein?

A. Two things.

  • 1. His transgression in eating the forbidden fruit, Gen. 2. 17.
  • 2. The propagation of this unto all Adams posterity.

Q. Was this so great a sin to eat of the forbidden fruit?

A. Yes, exceeding great, this Tree being a Sacrament of the Covenant; also he had a special charge not to eat of it: and in it the whole man did strike against the whole Law, even when God had so highly advanced him.

Q. What are the causes of this transgression?

A. The blamelesse cause was the Law of God. Rom. 5. 13. And hence as the Law did it, so God did it, holily, justly, and blamelesly. Rom. 7. 10, 1 [...], 12.

Q. What are the blameable causes?

A. Two principally

  • 1. The devill abusing the Serpent to deceive the women, Gen. 3. 1.
  • 2. Man himself, in abusing his own free-will, in receiving [Page 8] the temptations which he might have resisted, Eph. 7. 29.

Q. What is the Devil?

A. That great number of apostate and rebellious Angels, which through pride and blasphemy against God, and malice against man, became lyars and murtherers of man, by bringing him into that sin, Luke 11. 18. 1 Tim. 3. 6. 1 John 3. 12. John 8. 44.

Q. What are the effects and fruits of this transgression?

A. They are two.

  • 1. Guilt, whereby they are tyed to undergo due punishment for the fault, Rom. 3 19.
  • 2. Punishment, which is the just anger of God upon them for the filth of sin, Rom. 1. 18.

Q. What are the particular punishments insllcted on the causes of this sin?

A. Besides the fearful punishment of the devils, mentioned Jude 6. and that of the Serpent and the Woman, Gen. 3. 14, 16. the punishment of man was first, Sin Original and Actual; Secondly, death. Gen. 5. 5.

Q. What is sin?

A. The transgression of Gods Law, John 3. 4.

Q. What is Original and Actual sin?

A. First, Original sin is the contrariety of the whole nature of man to the Law of God, whereby it being averse from all good, is enclined to all evil, Eccles. 8. 11. Gen. 6. 5. Rom. 6. 20.

Secondly, Actual sin is the continual jarring of the actions of man from the Law of God, by reason of Original sin, and so man hath no free-will to any spiritual good, Esa. 65. 2, 3. James 1. 14, 15. Esa. 1. 11.

Q. What death is that God inflicts on man for sin?

A. A double death.

  • 1. The first death of the body, together with the beginnings of it in this world, as grief, shame, losses, sicknesses, Deut. 28. 21, 22, 25.
  • 2. The second death of the soul, whi [...]h is the eternal sepa­ration and ejection of the soul after death, and soul and body after judgment, from God, into everlasting torments in hell.

Q Is there no beginning of this death, as there is of the other in this life?

A. Yes, at first, security and hardnesse of heart, which can­not feel sin its greatest evil.

2. Terrors of conscience, Heb. 2: 15.

3. Bondage of Satan, Eph. 2. 2.

[Page] 4. The curse of God in all blessings, whereby they are fitted for destruction, Rom. 9. 22.

Q. What of Gods Attributes shine forth here?

1. His holiness, whereby he being pure from all sin, cannot away with the least sin in the best of his creatures, Heb. 1. 13.

2. His Iustice, whereby he being most just in himself, can­not but punish man for sin, as well as reward him for well do­ing, 2 Thes. 1. 6.

3. His Patience, whereby he useth pitty, patience, and bounty, to his creatures offending, Rom. 2. 3.

Q. Is this sin, and the punishment of it derived to all mens postetity?

A. Yes, John 3. 3. Eph. 2. 3.

Q. How is it propagated?

A. By the imputaiion of Adams sin unto us, and so the pu­nishment must needs follow upon it, Rom. 5. 13.

Q. Why should Adams sin be imputed to all his poste­rity?

A. Because we were in him as the members in the head, as children in his loynes, as debtors in their surety, as branches in their roots, it being just, that as if he standing, all had stood, by imputation of his righteousnesse, so he falling, all should fall, by the imputation of his sin.

Q. Thus have you seen mans apostacy from God, What is his recovery?

A. It is the return of man to the favour of God again, meerly out of favour, and the exceeding riches of his free grace, Eph. 2. 12, 13. Rom. 5. 8.

Q. How are we brought into favour, and what are the parts of this recovery?

A. Two wayes.

First, by Redemption, 2 Cor. 5. 19, 20,

Secondly, by Application hereof, Tit. 3. 6.

Q. What is Redemption?

A. The satisfaction made, or the price paid, to the justice of God for the life and deliverance of man out of the captivity of sin, Satan, and death, by a Redeemer, according to the Cove­nant made between him and the Father, 1 Cor. 6. 20. Luk. 1. 74. Esa. 55. 10, 11.

Q. Who is this Redeemer?

A. Iesus Christ, God and Man, Matth. 1. 23. John 1. 14. Col. 2. 19.

Q. Why is he God-Man?

[Page 10] A. That so he might be a fit Mediator, to transact all busi­nesses between God and man, in the execution of his three Of­fices whereunto he was anointed of the Father, 1 Tim. 2. 5. Esa. 42. 12.

Q. What are those three Offices of Christ?

1. His Propheticall Office, whereby he doth reveale the will of the Father, Act. 3. 22. Col. 2. 3.

2. His Priestly Office, whereby he makes full atonement with the Father for us, Col. 1. 20.

3. His Kingly Office, whereby he governs his people whom he had taught and reconciled, subduing their enemies, and procuring their eternal peace, Psal. 2. 6. Esa. 9. 6.

Q. How hath Christ Jesus made satisfaction?

A. By his humiliation, whereby he was made subject throughout his whole life and death, to the strict Iustice of God, to perform what ever the same might require for the re­demption of man, Gal. 4. 4, 5.

Q. What did Gods Justice require of man?

A. 1. Death, for the breach of the Law, and that Christ tasted, in his bitter sufferings, both of body and Soul, by being made sin, and so abolishing sin; and this is called his Passive Obedience, Heb. 2. 9. Eph. 1. 7. 2 Cor. 5. 21. Gal. 3. 13.

2. Perfect Obedience, in fulfilling the Law perfectly, both in his Nature and Actions, for the procuring and meriting of life; and this is called his Active Obedience, Heb. 7. 26.

Q. What follows Christs Humiliation?

A. His Exaltation, which is his glorious victory, and open Triumph over all his and our enemies, sin, Satan, and death, in the severall degrees of it, Luke 24. 26. Phil. 2. 8, 9. 1 Cor. 15. 5, 7.

Q. What is the first degree of Christs Exaltation?

A. His Resurrection the third day, whereby his Soul and body by the power of the God-head, were brought together a­gain, and so rose again from death, appearing to his Disciples for the space of fourty days, 1 Cor. 15. 4. Joh. 2. 19. Act. 1. 3.

Q. What is the second degree of Christs Exaltation?

A. His Ascension into Heaven, which was the going up of the Man-hood into the third Heaven, by the power of the God­head, from Mount Olivet, in the sight of his Disciples, Acts 1. 11, 12.

Q. What is the third degree of his exaltation?

A. His sitting at the right hand of God, whereby he being advanced to the fulnesse of all glory, in both natures, governeth and ruleth all things together with the Father, as Lord over [Page 11] all, for the good of his people, Mark 16. 9. Psal. 110. 1. 1 Cor. 15. 25. Eph. 1. 20, 21, 22. 1 Pet. 3. 22.

Q. What is the fourth and last degree of his exaltation?

A. His return to judgement, which is his seconid comming into this world with great glory and Majesty to judge the quick and the dead, to the confusion of all them that would not have him rule over them, and to the unspeakable good of his people, Mat. 19. 28. 2 Tim. 4. 1. Act. 17. 31. 2 Thes. 1. 7, 8, 9.

Q. Thus much of Redemption, the first part of his Reco­very. What is application?

A. Whereby the Spirit by the Word and Ministery thereof, makes all that which Christ as Mediator hath done for the Church, efficacious to the Church as her own, John 16. 14. Titus 3. 5, 6, 7. John 10. 16. Rom. 10. 14, 17. Eph. 5. 25, 26.

Q. What is the Church?

A. The number of Gods Elect, Heb. 12. 23. John 17. 9, 10, 11. John 10. 16. Eph. 1. 22, 23.

Q. How doth the Spirit make application to the Church?

A. 1. By union of the Soul to Christ, Phil. 3. 9, 10.

By Communion of the benefits of Christ to the Soul.

Q. What is this Vnion?

A. Whereby the Lord joyning the Soul to Christ, makes it one spirit with Christ, and so gives it possession of Christ, and right unto all the benefits and blessings of Christ, 1 Cor. 6. 17. John 17. 21. Rom. 8. 32. 1 John 5. 12.

Q. How doth the Spirit make this Vnion?

A. Two wayes.

  • 1. By cutting off the Soul from the old Adam, or the wild Olive-Tree; in the work of preparation, Rom. 11. 23, 24.
  • 2. By putting or ingrasting the Soul into the second Adam, Christ Iesus, by the work of vocation, Acts 26. 18.

Q. What are the Parts of the Preparation of the Soul so Christ?

A. They are two.

  • 1. Contrition, whereby the Spirit immediately cuts off the Soul from its security in sin, by making it to mourn for it, and separating the Soul from it, as the greatest evill, Isa. 61. 1, 3. Jer. 4. 3. 4. Mat. 11. 20, 28.
  • 2. Humiliation, whereby the Spirit cuts the Soul off from self-confidence in any good it hath or doth. Especially, by ma­king it to feel its want, and unworthinesse of Christ, and [...]nce submitteth to be disposed of as God pleaseth, Phil. 3. 7, 8. [...]ke 16. 9. Luke 15. 17, 18, 19.

Q. Wh [...]t a [...]e the parts of Vocation of the Soul to Christ?

[Page 12] A. 1. The Lords call and invitation of the Soul to come to Christ, in the Revelation, and offer of Christ and his rich Grace, 2 Cor. 5. 10.

2. The receiving of Christ, or the comming of the whole Soul out of it self unto Christ, for Christ by vertue of th [...]t re­sistable power of the Spirit in the call, and this is Faith, Jer. 3. 32. John 6. 44, 45. John 10. 16. Esa. 55. 5.

Q. Thus much of our Union. What is the communion of Christs benefits unto the Soul?

A. Whereby the Soul possessed with Christ, and right'unto him, hath by the same Spirit fruition of him, and all his bene­fits, John 4. 10. 14.

Q. What is the first of those benefits we do enjoy from Christ?

A. Justification, which is the Gracious Sentence of God the Father, whereby for the satisfaction of Christ apprehended by Faith, and imputed to the faithfull, he absolves them from the guilt and condemnation of all sins, and accepts them as perfectly righteous to eternall life, Rom. 3. 24, 25. Rom. 4. 6, 7, 8. Rom. 8. 33, 34.

Q. What difference is there between Justification, and Sanctification?

A. Iustification is by Christs Righteousnesse inherent in Christ onely▪ Sanctification is by a righteousness from Christ inherent in our selves, 2 Cor. 5. 21. Phil. 3. 9.

2. Iustification is perfected at once, and admits of no de­grees, because it is by Christ his perfect righteousnes: sanctifica­tion is imperfect, being begun in this life, Rev. 12. 1. Phi. 3. 11.

Q. What is the second benefit next in order to Justifi­cation, which the faithfull receive from Christ?

A. Reconciliation, whereby a Christian justified is actually reconciled, and at peace with God, Rom. 5. 1. John 2. 12. and hence follows his peace with all creatures.

Q. What is the third benefit next unto Reconciliation?

A. Adoption, whereby the Lord accounts the faithfull his Sons, c [...]owns them with privileges of Sons, and gives them the Spirit of Adoption, the same spirit which is in his only be­gotten Son, 1 John 3. 2. Rom. 8. 11. 14, 15, 16, 17.

Q. What is the fourth benefit next to Adoption?

A. Sancification, whereby the Sons of God are renewed in the whole man, unto the Image of their heavenly Father in Christ Iesus, by Mortification, or their dayly dying to sin by vertue of Christs death: and by Vivification their dayly rising to newness of life, by Christs resurrection, 1 Thes. 5. 23. Eph. 4. 24. Jer. 31. 32. Rom. 6. 7, 8.

Q. What follows from this Mortification and Vivifica­tion?

A. A continuall war and combat between the renewed part assisted by Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the unrenewed part assisted by Satan and this evill world, Rom. 7. 21, 22, 23.

Q. What is the fifth and last benefit next unto Sancti­fication?

A. Glorification, which hath two degrees. The one in this life, and the other in the world to come.

Q. What is the first degree of Glorification in this life?

A. Lively expectation of Glory, from the assurance and shedding abroad Gods love in our hearts, working joy unspeak­able, Rom 5. 2, 5. Titus 2. 13.

Q. What is the second degree in the world to come?

A. Full frution of Glory, whereby being made compleat and perfect in Holinesse, and Happinesse, we enjoy all that good eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard, in our Immediate and Eternall Communion with God in Christ, Heb. 12. 23. 1 Cor. 15. 23.

Thus much of the first part, of living to God by Faith in God.

Q. What is the second part, viz. our Observance?

A. It is the duty that is to be performed to God of us, through the power of his Holy Spirit, working in us by Faith according to the Will of God, Eph. 6. 6, 7. Psal. 139. 24. Rom. 6. 1. Luk. 1. 74.

Q. Wherein consists our observance of God?

A. It is either Moral, or Ceremonial.

Q. Wherein consists our Moral observance of God?

A. In two things.

  • 1. In suffering his will, whereby a Believer for the sake of Christ, chooseth rather to suffer any misery, than to commit the least sin, Heb. 11. 26. Acts 21. 13.
  • 2. In doing his will, whereby a Believer in sense of Christs love, performeth universall obedience to the Law of God, Rom. 7. 22. 1 John. 5. 3. Luke 1. 6. Phil. 3. 12.

Q. Is there any use of the Law to a Christian?

A. Although it be abolished to a Christian in Christ, as a Covenant of life; (for so Adam and his posterity are still under it) yet it remains as a rule of life, when he is in Christ, [Page 14] and to prepare the heart for Christ, Rom. 6. 14, 15. Ma [...]. [...]. 17, 18, 19, 20. Ezech. 10. 11. Rom. 9.

Q. Why is not a Christian so under the Law as a Cove­nant of life, so as if he breaks it by the least sin he shall die for it?

A. Because Iesus Christ hath kept it perfectly for him, Rom. 8. 3, 4. Rom. 5. 20, 21.

Q. Can any man keep the Law perfectly in this life?

A. No, for the unregenerate wanting the Spirit of Life, cannot perfect an act of life in obedience to it. The regenerate having the Spirit but in part, perform it only imperfectly, Rom. 8. 7. Rom 7. 21.

Q. What befal [...] the unregenerate upon their disobedi­ence unto it?

A. The eternal curse of God for the least sin, and the in­crease of Gods fierce and fearful secret wrath as they increase, in sin, Gal. 3. 10. Rom. 2 5.

Q. What befals the regenerate after their breach of the Law, and imperfect obedience unto it?

A. The Lord may threaten and correct them, but his loving kindness (in covering their sins in their best duties by Christ, and accepting their meanest services so far as they are quick­ned by his Spirit) is never taken from them, Psal 89. 31, 32, 33. Zach. 3 1. to 8. Isa. 56. 7. Rom. 7. 20.

Q. What is that imperfect obedience of Believers which is accepted?

A. When they observe the will of Christ, as that therein

1. They confesse and lament their sins, 1 John 1. 9. Rom. 7. 24.

2. They desire mercy in the blood of Christ, and more of his Spirit, Phil. 39, 10, 11.

3. They return him the praise of the least ability to do his will, Psal. 50. 23. 1 Cor. 15. 10.

Q. How is the Law, or ten Commandments divided?

A. Into two Tables. The first, shewing our duty to God immediately, in the four first Commandments. The second, our duty to man, in the six last Commandments.

Q. What rules are you to observe to understand the Moral Law?

A. These.

1. That in whatsoever Commandment any duty is enjoyn­ed, there the contrary sin is forbidden: and where any sin is forbidden, there the contrary duty is commanded.

2. That the Law is spiritual, and hence requires not onely [Page 15] outward, but inward and spirituall obedience.

3. Where any grosse sin is forbidden, there all the signs, de­grees, means, and provocations to that sin are forbidden also, and are in Gods account that sin. And so where any duty is commanded, there all the signs, means, and provocations to that duty are commanded also.

4. That the Law is perfect, and therefore, there is no sin in all the Scripture, but is forbidden in it; nor no duty re­quired (if moral) but it is commanded in it.

Thus much of our morall observance of God.

Q. What is our ceremoniall observance?

A. The celebration of the two Sacraments, Baptism and the Lords Supper.

Q What is a Sacrament?

A. It is an holy ceremony wherein external sensible things by the appointment of Christ are separate from common use, to signifie, exhibite and seal to us that assurance of eternall life by Christ Iesus, according to the covenant of his grace, Gen. 17. 9, 10.

Q. Which are the Sacraments?

A. They are two, Baptism and the Lord Supper.

Q. What is the externall sensible part of Baptism?

A. Water, John 3. 23.

Q. What is the inward and spirituall part of Baptism, signified, exhibited, and sealed thereby?

A. Christs Righteousnesse and his Spirit,

1. Washing away our sin, and so delivering us spom death.

2. Presenting us clear before the Father, and so restoring us again to life, Rom. 4. 1 Cor. 2. 11. Mat. 3. 11.

Q. What follows from hence?

A. 1. That it is a Sacrament of our new birth and ingraf­ting into Christ, John 3. 5.

2. That as we are perfectly justified at once, and being new-born once, shall never dye again. Hence this Seal is to be Administred but once.

Q. What is the externall and sensible part of the Lords Supper?

A. Bread and Wine, with the Sacramentall actions about the same.

Q What is the inward and spiritual part of it, signified, sealed, and exhibited thereby?

[Page 16] A. The body and bloud of Christ crucified, offered and gi­ven to nourish and strengthen beleevers, renewing their faith unto eternal life, 1 Cor. 11. 24. John 6. 54, 55.

Q. What follows from hence?

A. 1. That it is the Sacrament of our growth in Christ, be­ing new-born, because it is food given to nourish us, having re­ceived life.

2. That therefore it is to be administred and received often that we may grow.

3. That children and fools, and wicked, ought not to par­take of the Sacrament, because they cannot examin themselves, and so renew their Faith, 1 Cor. 11. 28.

Q. Ought not the Sacrament to be administred to car­nal people, if they have been baptized?

A. No, because such as are not within the Covenant, have no right to the seal of the Covenant.

Q. Where are Believers, who have right unto this Sa­crament, to seek fruition from it?

A. Because it ought not to be administred privately, (as the Papists would) hence Gods people are to seek to enjoy their right to it in some particular visible Church, in joyning with them, as fellow-members of the same body, 1 Cor. 11. 20, 22. 1 Chron. 10. 17. Acts 2. 42.

Q What Members ought every particular visible Church to consist of?

A. Christ being head of every particular Church, and it his body, hence none are to be members of the Church, but such as are members of Christ by faith, 1 Cor. 1. 2. 1 Thes. 1.

Q. But do not Hypocrites, and no true Members of Christ creep in?

A. Yes, but if they could have been known to be such, they ought to be kept out, and when they are known, they are orderly to be cast out, Mat. 25. 1. 2 Tim. 3. 5. Rev. 2. 20. Tit. 3. 20.

Q. Are these Members bound only to cleave to Christ their head by Faith?

A. Yes, and to one another also by brotherly love, which they are bound to strengthen and confirm (as well as their faith) by a solemn Covenant, Eph. 4. 15, 16. Col. 1. 4. Jer. 50. 4. Isa. 56. 45. Zach. 11. 14. Zeph. 3. 9. Psal. 119. 106.

Q. What benefits are there by joyning thus to a parti­cular Church?

A: 1. Hereby they come to be under the special Governmen [...] of Chr [...]st in his Church, and the Officers thereof. Isa. 30. 20.

2. Hereby they have the promise of special bless [...]ng, and on [Page 17] their children also. Psal. 133. 3. Exod. 20. 6.

3. Herein they have the promise of Gods special presence.

1. Reveuling unto them his Will, Psal. 27. 4. Psal. 63. 2, 3.

2. Protecting them, Isa. 44. 6.

3. Hea [...]ing all their Prayers, Deut. 4. 7. Mat. 18. 19.

Q. Are there not some who never find these benefits?

A. Yes, Because many knowing not how to make use of Gods Ordinances, not feeling a need of Gods presence only in them, their sin also b [...]inding, & partly hardning their hearts, and pol­luting Gods h [...]se, they then become worse when they have best means, Mat. 11. 23. ser. 17. 5, 6. Heb. 6. 8. 1 Sam. 5. 8, 9. Eze. 14. 4. 1 King. 8. 21.

Q. What are the miseries of those who carelesly, and wilfully despise, and so refuse to joyn to Gods Church?

A. Besides the losse of Gods presence in the fellowship of his people, it is a fearful sign (continuing so) God never intends to save their soals, Acts 2. 47. Isa. 60. 12. Rev. 2. 23, 24.

Q. What therefore ought people chiefly to labour for, and to hold forth unto the Church, that so they may be joyned to it?

A. A three-fold work.

  • 1. Of Humiliation, under their misery, death, and sin, as their greatest evil, Act. 2. 37. Mat. 3. 6.
  • 2. Of Vocation, or their drawing to Christ, out of this mi­sery, as to their greatest, and only good, Acts [...]. 38, 41.
  • 3. Of new Obedience, how they have walked in Christ since called, Act. 9. 26, 27. Mat. 3. 8.

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