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Question 1. What is the chief and highest end of Man? Answer. Man's chief and guest end is to glorify God,a and fully to enjoy him for ever.b
Q. 2. How doth it appear that there is a God?
The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God; but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.
1. a Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. 1 Cor. x. 31. Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
b Psal. lxxiii. 24 to 23. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For lo, they that are far from thee, shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works. John xvii. 21, 22, 23. That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given them: that they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved
2. c Rom. i. 19, 20. Because that which may be known of God, is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them. For, the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Psal. xix. 1, 2, 3. The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth his handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech, nor language, where their voice is not heard. Acts xvii. 28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being.
d 1 Cor. ii. 9, 10. But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16, 17. And that from a
Q. 3. What is the word of God?
A. The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God,e the only rule of faith and obedience.f Q. 4. How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God? A. The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty, and purity; by the consent of all
child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Isa lix. 21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord. My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.
3. e 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. 2 Peter i. 19, 20, 21. We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
f Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. Rev. xxii. 18, 19. For, I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Luke xvi. 29, 31. They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead. Gal. i. 8,9. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. 2 Tim. iii. 15, 16. (See in letter d.)
4. g Hos. viii. 12. I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing. 1 Cor. ii. 6, 7, 13. Howbeit, we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world that come to nought. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world unto our glory. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. Psal. cxix. 18, 129. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore, doth my soul keep them.
h Psal. xii. 6. The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver
the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God;k by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.m
Q. 5. What do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.n tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Psal. cxix. 140. Thy word is very pure: therefore, thy servant loveth it.
i Acts x. 43. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name, whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins. Acts xxvi. 22. Having, therefore, obtained help of God, I continue ento this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.
k Rom. iii. 19, 27. Now we know, that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay; but by the law of faith.
7 Acts xviii. 28. For, he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the scriptures, that Jesus was Christ. Heb. iv. 12. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. James i. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Psal. xix. 7, 8, 9. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judg ments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning; that we, through patience and comfort of the scriptures, might have hope. Acts xx. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
m John xvi. 13, 14. Howbeit, when he the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 1 John ii. 20, 27. But ye have an unction from the holy One, and ye know all things. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you: and ye need not that any man teach you: but, as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie; and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. John xx. 31. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.
5. n 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which th hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
WHAT MAN OUGHT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD.
Q. 6. What do the scriptures make known of God?
A. The scriptures make known what God is, the persons in the Godhead,P his decrees, and the execution of his decrees.r
Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,s in and of himself infinite in being,t glory, blessedness,w and perfection; all sufficient,y eternal, unchangeable, a incomprehensible, every where present, Almighty,d knowing all things,e most wise,f most
6. o Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
p 1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
q Acts xv. 14, 15, 18. Simeon hath declared how God, at the first, did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
r Acts iv. 27, 28. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
7. s John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.
t Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: And he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Job xi. 7, 8, 9. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? it is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? The measure thereof, is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.
Acts vii. 2. The God of glory appeared unto our Father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.
w 1 Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times he shall show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
x Mat. v. 48. Be ye, therefore, perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
y Gen. xyii. 1. And when Abraham was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abraham, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God: walk before me, and be thou perfect.
z Psal. xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
a Mal. iii. 6. For I am the Lord, I change not: therefore, ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. James i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
b 1 Kings viii. 27. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house that I have builded?
Psal. cxxxix. 1, 13. O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known
holy, most just,h most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.i
Q, 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but One only, the living and true God.k
A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one, true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.1
me: thou knowest my down-sitting, and mine up-rising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off, &c. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? &c.
d Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.
e Heb. iv. 13. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked, and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Pal. cxlvii. 5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
f Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
g Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. Rev. xv. 4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy for all nations shall come and worship before thee: for thy judgments are made manifest.
h Deut. xxxii. 4. He is the Rock, his work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is he.
i Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.
8. Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel, The Lord, our God, is one Lord. 1 Cor. viii. 4, 6. As concerning, therefore, the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Jer x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
9. 11 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Mat. iii. 16, 17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him. And lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of