« PreviousContinue »
Pareus, Mylius, Reuter, Altingius, Guilnomma, Melchior Leydecker, Hulsius, and Cocceius. To these may be added the celebrated L'Enfant, who vindicated the doctrines contained in it against the aspersions of a certain Jesuist, and published his book entitled "L'innocence du Catechism d' Heidelberg demontrée contre deux libelles d'un Jesuite du Palatinat." Amsterdam, 1723-8; to which he added a Dissertation on Catechisms in general.
Such is the brief history of this celebrated Catechism; of its particular merits the reader must judge for himself, but the translator feels assured that, after the work shall have become more known and generally distributed, it will meet with the approbation of every unprejudiced mind; since it contains nothing that cannot be satisfactorily proved by the words of Scripture, which he has endeavoured to shew by a careful selection of appropriate texts. Impressed, therefore, with a conviction of its general utility, he sincerely hopes that it will meet with encouragement commensurate with its merits and its former celebrity.
Oxford, April 29, 1828.
THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION.
1. Q. WHAT is your only consolation in life and death?
A. That in my soul as well as my body, whether I live, or whether I die, I belong not to myself,a but unto my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,b who by his most precious blood having made ample satisfaction for all my sins, delivered me from the
a For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. Rom. xiv. 7.
b For whether we live, we live unto the Lord, or whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be the Lord both of the living and the dead. Rom. xiv. 8, 9.
c Christ said-My blood is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matt. xxvi. 28. Now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Heb. ix. 26. The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us 1 John i. 7.
from all sin.
dominion of the devil;d and that he so preserves and watches over me that, without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair of my head can fall ;e yea, and what is more, that all things should be subservient to my welfare; wherefore by his holy Spirit he assures me of eternal life, and renders
d For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John iii. 8. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. Heb. ii. 14.
e Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Matt. xxviii. 20. I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee. Acts xviii. 10. He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and we will come and make our abode with him. John xiv. 21, 23. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows. Matt. x. 29–31.
f The Lord will withhold no good from those that walk uprightly. Ps. lxxxiv. 11. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose. Rom. viii. 28. O fear the Lord ye his saints; for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger; but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Ps. xxxiv. 9, 10, 19.
He that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Gal. vi. 8. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Rom. viii. 13. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ
me prompt and prepared to live henceforth to his glory.h
2. Q. How many things are necessary to be known that you may be able to enjoy that consolation, and live and die happily?
A. Three. First, The greatness of my sin and misery. Secondly, The means whereby I may be delivered from all sin and misery. Thirdly, The gratitude which is due to God for such a deliver
ON MAN'S WRETCHEDNESS.
3. Q. From whence do you perceive your wretchedness?
A. From the law of God? i
our Saviour. Tit. iii. 6. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Rom. viii. 16. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. 2 Cor. i. 22. 2 Cor. v. 5.
h I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments. Ezek. xxxvi. 27. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Rom. viii. 14. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he pure. 1 John iii. 3.
i I had not known sin but by the law. Rom. vii. 7. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once; but when the commandment came sin revived, and I died. Was then that which is good made death unto me?
4. Q. What does the law of God require of you?
A. Christ hath taught us that in the following words:"Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, with all thy thought, and with all thy strength; that is the first and greatest commandment; and the second is like unto it-Love thy neighbour as thyself; for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."j
5. Q. Are you able to observe all these commandments of God faithfully?
A. By no means. For I am by nature inclined to hate God, and my neighbour also.k
6. Q. Did then God at the beginning make man so wicked and perverse?
A. He did not: nay, more, he made him good,1 and after his own image; that is, He endowed
God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. Rom. vii. 8, 9, 13.
i Matt. xxii. 37, 40.
k In me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 'I find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me: for I delight in the law of God, after the inward man; but I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Rom. vii. 18, 23. We are all of us by nature the children of wrath. Eph. ii. 3. Jer. iii. 25.
1 God made man upright, but they have sought out many inventions. Eccles. vii. 29.
m So God created man in his own image in the image of