Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

!

Q: Whereby Do you prove that our Righteousness must be entirely perfect ?

A. By Scripture Testimony, Matt. xxii. 37. 38. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all ty Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Mind; this is the first and great Commandment.

Q. Whereby do you prove that our Righteosuness must be conformable in all it's Parts to the Law ?

A. By that which St. Paul faith, Gal. ii. 10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all Things which are written in all the Book of the Law to do them.

Q. Why must it be such a Righteousness?

A. Because the Judgment of God is according to Iruth,

Rom. ii. 2. And that will by na Means clear the Guilty, Exod. xxxiv.

Q. Is not this a Justification by our Works?

Ā. No. Our best Deeds in all this Life are imperfect, for there is no Man that finneth 7101, 1ķings viii. 46. James iii. 2. For in many Things

, we offend all, &c. And Jes. lxiv. 6. And ye are saved, says the Apostle, Eph. 2. Ye are delivered from Wrath, reconciled to God

and made Heirs of his Kingdom, how ? by Grace through Faith : Grace, like a magnificent Sovereign, from the Riches of his own Bounty, and without any Respect to human Worthiness, confers the glorious Gift. Faith like an indigent Petitioner, with an empty Hand, and without any Pretence to perfonal desert, receives the heavenly Blefling; and fo all Works whatever, are set aside in this great Affair.

Q. Does it not come partly of Christ's Righteousness, and partly of our own?

Á. No, by Christ's Righteousness, without any Mixture of ours, Ror. iii. 28. Therefore we conclude, that a Man is justified by Faith, without the Deeds of the Law; and it is not Grace at all, if it is not all Grace. And Rom. xi. 6..

Q. But is it not through Christ that we can merit by our Works?

A. No;

A. No; that we find no where; and Christ has only mentioned Salvation to fome, and saved thein without their Works, Tit. iii. 5. Not by IVorks of Righteousness which we have done, but according to: bis Mercy he saved us by the washing of Regenerations and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

Q. But doth not James say otherwise, James i. 2. 14. What doth it Proht, my Brethren, though a Man say he had Faith, and have not Works : Can Faith fave him?

A. The two Apostles by no Means contradiet cach other : Paul speaks about Justification before God, and James, of justifying our Faith before Mana

The 63d Question of the HEIDELBERO

CATECHISM. Q. HOW is it that our good IVorks deserve nothing,

fince God will reward them both in this Life, and in the Life to come ?

A. That Reward is not given out of Merit, but « of Grace.”

Q. Where do you read that God will Reward our Works?

Bir A. Matt. v. 12. Great is your Reward' in. Heaven, 1 Cor. iii. 14. If any Man's Work abide which he hath built, thereupon he shall receive a Revard.

Q. How many Rewards are there?

A. Two-fold; one by Merits, and one by Grace, Rom. iv. 4, 5. Now to him that worketh, is the Reward not reckoned of Grace, but of Debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justified the ungadby, his Faith is counted for Righteousness,

Q. But how can that be a Reward. which God gives by Grace?

A. Because as when a Present is insured by Promife upon doing the Work to one, who is previously obliged to do it without any Reward; this encou

sages

13

*rages the Workman, and sweetens his Labour. Even so will Salvation be insured, and shared out as a Reward of meer Grace, after we have done the Will of the Lord according to the Covenant of Grace. Gen. xv. I. Fear not, Abraham, for I am thy Shield, and thy exceeding great Reward. Rev. ii. 10. Be thou faithful unto Death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life. The 64th Question of the HEIDELBERG

CATECHISM.
BUT doth not this Doctrine make Men careless

and prophane? A. “ No. For it is impossible that they, who are “ planted in Christ by a true Faith, should not bring « forth the Fruits of Thankfulness.”

Q. Why so ?

A. Because Justification and Sanctification are infeparable, Rom. vi. 1, 2. What fball we say then? Shall we continue in Sin, that Grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to Sin, live any longer therein? And command us to perfect Holiness in the Fear of God, 2 Cor. vii. 1. And what is said of Im. piety, is also not true, for the Scripture calls them, Who turn the Grace of God into Lasciviousness, ungodly Men, Jud. ver. 4. Teaching us that we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this World, Tit. ii. 12. And it is impossible for them who are united with Christ, to live ungodly, John xv. 5. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the jame bringeth forth much Fruit. This is the invariable, and the most effectual Method of adorning our Profession, and magnifying it's divine Author, Tit. iii, 8.

Q. What do you infer from hence ?

A. That our Catechist has perfectly answered his Intention, in thewing the Excellency and Necessity of Faith, whereby we can only be justified and comforted; and firmly refuted all' the Arguments that

can

can be used in favour of Self-Works, and in this hath made Truth to triumph over Untruth,

Q. What other Inference may be drawn?

A. That we ought to be exceeding humble, far from Vanity or vain boasting, which are excluded by the Law of Faith, Rom. iii. 27. But seeing off from our own Works and Capacity, believing in Chriit, for whose righteousness we get only Pardon of all our Sins, and Peace with God, Rom. v. 1. And without Faith in Christ, our Persons are abominable, our State is damnable, and how can any of our Works be acceptable ? Of the SACRAMENTS.

. The 65th Question of the HEIDELBERG

CATECHISM. Q. SINCE then it is by Faith alone that we have

a Part in Jesus Christ, and all his Benefits, whence doth this Faith proceed?

" A. From the Holy Ghost, who produces it in

our Hearts by the preaching of the Holy Gospel, « and confirms it by the Use of the Sacraments.”

Q. What is the Root or Cause of Faith?

A. Not the Power of Man's Will, but God alone, Eph, i. 8. For by Grace ye are saved through Faith, and thatnot of yourselves, it is the Gift of God?

Q. Who is the particular Dispencer of it?

A. The Holy Ghost, by Virtue of his Office, according to the divine Oeconomy, Gal. v. 22. But the Fruit of the Spirit is Foy, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith. And 1 Cor. xii

. 3. N. Man can say, that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Gholt; and Verse 9. To another Faith by the fame Spirit.

Q. How doth the Spirit of God ordinarily produce Faith?

A. P:

A. By the preaching of the Word he ordinarily begets it; Especially of the Holy Gospel, Rom. x. 17. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word

of God.

Q. Is Faith produced meerly by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Chrift?

A. No. But God himself, by the effectual working of his mighty Power and blesfed Spirit, produces it in the human Soul. He shews us the all-fufficient Fullness of Christ. He brings us by ardent Longings to Christ. He implants us into Christ, and makes us Partakers of his Merits. 2 Thef. i. 11. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good Pleasure of his Goodness, and the Work of Faith with Power.

Q. Is it sufficient that this Faith is once wrought up in us by the Holy Ghost?

A. No; but we must constantly pray to be strengthened and confirmed in it; because of it's weakness in the Beginning, and that it is subject to waver thro' Temptations. Mark ix. 24. And straightway the Father of the Child cried out and said with Tears, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief Luke xvii. 5. And the Apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our Faith?

Q. Wherein consists the Confirmation of Faith?

Ā. In an Illumination of our Understanding by the Spirit, in the manifold Sweetness and sensible Experience of Grace, and all tender Love of Chrift; when we may use the Language of the Spouse, My Beloved is mine, and I am his; trusting on the precious Promises of the Gospel, Heb. x. 23. Giving unto the Soul sometimes the Foretastes of Heaven upon Earth, 1 Pet. i. 8. Tasting that the Lord is gracious, I Pet. ii. 3. In a Word, this Assurance is a sweet Support in all the Troubles and Afflictions on this Side the Grave. Let the assured Soul be cast into what Condition the Lord pleases, let him be upon a Bed of Sickness, this gives his Soul a Support and

Comfort,

« ForrigeFortsæt »