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Pf. lxviii. 19, 20. Bleffed be the Lord, who daily loads us with Benefits, even the God of our Salvation, &c.
The 19th Queftion of the HEIDELBERG CATECHISM.
ROM whence do you learn all this?
Q. "A. From the holy Gofpel, of which God
"himself made the first Discovery, in the earthly "Paradife; and afterwards revealed it by his holy "Patriarchs and Prophets; then he caused it to be "represented by Sacrifices, and other Ceremonies of "the Law; and at last fully revealed and fulfilled it "by his only Son." Acts x. 43. To him give all the Prophets Witness, that through his Name, whofoever believeth in him, fhall receive Remiffion of Sins. And Heb. i. 1, 2. God, who at fundry Times, and in divers Manners, pake in Times paft unto the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in thefe laft Days fpoke unto us by his Son.
Q. What do you conclude from this Demonftration?
A. That our Catechift has fully anfwered his Intention, by discovering unto the anxious Disciple the true Redeemer and Mediator, in whom his afflicted Soul may fully acquiefce; whereas in him is all that the Word of God can require, to confole a poor and damnable Sinner, as well in his Life as in his Death; which is alfo a Proof of the Truth of our Doctrine.
Q. What may be inferred from hence for our Ufe?
A. 1ft, It is our Duty to have a great Regard for fuch a Redeemer and Mediator as Jefus Chrift, who delivers us from Captivity and Bondage, Giving his Life a Ranfam for many, Matt. xx. 28. Who can deliver us from Sin and Hell? Matt. i. 21. And I Thef. i. And we may cry out with David, Pf. lxxxix. 6. Who in Heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the Sons of the Mighty can be likened unto the Lord? And with the Bride, Cant. v. 16. He is alto
gether lovely. And Jer. iii. 23. Truly in the Lord our God is the Salvation of Ifrael. When we were without Strength, utterly ruined, and abfolutely helpless; when none in Heaven or Earth could offer us any Succour, then our Lord Jesus Christ, most graciously and feasonably interpofed. He faid, deliver them from going down into the Pit: I have found a Ranfom, Job xxxiv. 24. Laying down his Life, not for amiable Perfons, or worthy Creatures, but for vile Earth, and miferable Sinners. Secondly that we endeavour to acquire more Knowledge of fuch an eminent Perfon, and all his lovely Properties, out of the holy Gospel, in which his Divine Beauties are excellently defcribed, John v. 39. Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal Life; and they are they which testify of me. Thirdly, that we ftrive to Rejoice upon a good Foundation in this Redeemer, that we may fay with true Believers, Cant. ii. 16. My Beloved is mine, and I am his. Fourthly, to be thankful to God for all his Mercies bestowed upon us in Chrift, his only begotten Son, whofe wonderful Love in redeeming us at fuch a Rate, whofe Beneficience fo unmerited, fo unequaled, fo difinterested, ought never to be forgotten by us, confidering that we are bought with a Price; therefore we muft glorify God in our Bodies, and in our Spirit, which are God's, 1 Cor. vi, 20.
The 20th Question of the HEIDELBERG:
Q. HATH all Mankind found Salvation by Christ
"A. No. None but thofe only who are incor"porated with. Jefus Chrift by a true and lively Faith, "and apply all the Benefits thereof to themfelves."
Q. As Jefus Chrift is the only Means given for the Salvation of the convinced Difciple, to what further Light must he be brought?
A. To a true Knowledge of the Means whereby he may be united to Chrift, that is, by Faith.
Q. What moved the Catechifer to demonstrate the Neceffity of Faith, after having exhibited our Redeemer ?
A. The Careleffnefs and Rafhnefs of a great many external Profeffors, who will apply Jefus Chrift to themselves without any Foundation; and the Ignorance of others concerning Grace and Salvation for Sinners by Chrift.
Q. Wherein doth the Ignorance of fome in this Point confift?
A. Some are of Opinion, that every Man, none excepted, fhall be faved by Chrift; others, that Chrift hath fatisfied divine Juftice for all Men, faving them when they will.
Q. What Pretence have they for their Opinion?
A. The Reafon which St. Paul affigns, Rom. v. 16 to 19 Verfes, and 1 Cor. xv. 45, 47. in his Diftinction between Adam and Chrift, even that they all should be faved by the latter, who by the firft are damned.
Q. How do you refute this Affertion?
A. If we are not willfully blind, we may plainly fee, that the Scope of Paul is only to teach that all. the Children of Adam, i. e. all Men, muft die; and that all the Children of Chrift, i. e. all that believe in him, fhall be made alive; fo that we muft obferve, that Adam and Chrift are made the Reprefentatives of two particular Covenants, and the Heads of a certain People.
Q. Cannot you put this in a clearer Light?
A. Yes, in this Refpect, that as Adam was a publick Perfon, and acted in the Stead of all Mankind, fo Chrift was a public Person, and acted in Behalf of all his People; that as Adam was the first generalRepresentative of this Kind, Chrift was the Second, and the last That what they feverally did in this Capacity, was not intended to terminate in themselves,
but to affect as many as they respectively reprefented. Death came even upon those Defcendents of Adam, who have not finned in their own Perfons; and the Righteoufnefs of Chrift entitles to Life even those Believers in Jefus, who have not obeyed in their own Perfons. Q. What Anfwer doth the Catechift give to this Error? A. He entirely denieth the whole Scope of it, and fhews the Contrary, both by Scripture Teftimony, and a Description of the Perfons that fhall be faved: by Chrift.
Q. Hath the Catechist just Reason to deny it?
A. Yes, certainly; because, 1ft, All Men are not. given unto Chrift, John xvii. 9, 11. 2dly, God's Elect from all Eternity, fpeaks not of all, but of fome who are chofen, Matt. xx. 16. 3aly, Many there be which go in the Way of Deftruction, Matt. vii. 13, 14. 4thly,. The Word of Promise speaks only of a certain Seed, Gen. iii. 15. which Seed is defcribed as the People of Chrift, his Church, who obey him, his Sheep, Matt. i. 21. Ecle. v. 25. Heb. v. 9. John x. II.
Q. Doth it not appear by a Defcription of certain Perfons, who are to be faved by Chrift?
A. Yes. They are called Believers, Mark xvi. 16. Acts. xvi. 31. Without Diftinction, John iii. 16.. Only believers, excluding all others, John iii. 36. Mark xvi. 16.
Q. How do you confim this Pofition farther?
A. By Faith they are united to Christ, thro' the Holy Ghoft, which makes one intimate Relation between Chrift and Believers, as there is between the Branch and the Vine, between Man and Wife, Eph. v. 30. For we are Members of his Body, of his Flefh, and of his Bone, Eph. iii. 17. Chrift dwells in their Hearts by Faith, they live in him, Gal. vi. 20. from this Union with Chrift, it evidently follows, that his Wifdom is theirs, to inlighten them; his
Righteousness is theirs, to justify them; and his Spirit is theirs, to fanctify them.
Q. Is this alfo a Confequence of their Salvation?
A. Yes. For by this Union they are accounted as humbled, exalted, fuffering, and glorified with. Chrift; and that all his Paffion and Obedience do as certainly belong to them, as if they had fuffered all in their own Perfons, and had themselves made Satisfaction to God for their Sins.
Q. What is the fecond Effect?
A. By Faith they receive Chrift and all his Benefits, Col. ii. 6. John i. 12. 1 Cor. i. 30.
Q. How follows their Salvation from hence?
A. Because they receive Chrift as their Saviour, and all his Benefits, which certainly will fave them,. Acts xxvi. 18. Rom. v. 17. Pf. xxiv. 5.
The 21st Question of the HEIDELBERG
Q. WHAT is true Faith?
"A.. The true Faith is not only a Know"ledge or Certainty, whereby I believe all to be true: "which God hath revealed to us in his Word, but "alfo a certain Confidence which the holy Spirit "produces in my, Heart by the Gospel, that God "will not only grant to others, but to me alfo, Re"miffion of my Sins, Juftification and eternal Hap"pinefs; and that purely by Grace, and only in "Confideration of the Merrits of Jefus Chrift."
Q How do you comprehend this Defcription of the Catechiff's?
A. That he speaks of Faith in the highest Degree, to defend it against Popery, that the true Believers may not only be affured of their believing Act, but that by their believing Act they are Partakers of Christ, and that they have obtained by him Forgivness. of Sin.
Q. What do you call this Confidence in general?
A. A pofitive