« ForrigeFortsæt »
A. A positive, enjoying, and assured Confidence, Ifa. xii. 1, 2. xxxii. 17. and xlv. 25.
Q. How do you prove that Believers may attain to such a Degree of Confidence ?
1. Because they are enabled by the Spirit of God to speak with such a Certainty, fob xix. 25. I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c. And 2 Tim. i. 12. For I know in whom I have believed, and I am persuaded, that he is able to keep that, which I have committed unto him against that Day. And Rom. viii. 16. The Spirit itself beareth Witness with aur Spirit, that we are Children of God. 2dly, To have this Confidence, we find the Promise John xiv. 20. At that Day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. And we are exorted to 2 Cor. xiii.
felves whether you be in the Faith, &c. And the Fruits of Faith are, Boldness, a full Aflurance, and Joy, Heb. iv. 16. Let us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of Gráce, &c. And 1 Pet. i. 8. Yet Believing, ye rejoice with Joy unspeakable, and full of Glory.
Q. But is this ñot Rashness, and mere Imagination ?
Ā. No. For this Faith and Confidence is wrought by the Power of God in my Heart; by his Spirit and the Ministry of the Gospel, Rom. X. 14.
Q. Is not this the true essential Art of Faith?
1. No. But only a Description of the highest Degree to which Man can arrive by the Grace of God.
Wherein confifteth the essential Act of Faith? A. It is an - Act of the effectually called and convinced Sinner, wrought in him by the Word and Spirit of God, by which he receives Jesus Christ, according to the Testimony of the Gospel; and of fers himself, with Denial of Self-Righteousness, unto him to be justified, sanctified, and saved only by him.
Q. Why do you call this a true Faith?
A. To distinguish the true Faith from other Kinds of Faith, such as a Faith that endureth for a while, but in Time of Tryal or Temptation, vanisheth,
Luke viï. 13. 2d, There is a dead Faith; for which see James ii. 26. 3d, There is a Faith that is of ourselves, and not of the special Grace of God, Eph. ji. 8. 4th, There is a Faith that standcth in the Wisdom of Men, and not in the Power of God, i Cor. ii. 5. 5tb, There is a Faith that seems to be holy, but is not thoroughly acceptable to God; because it is not the most holy Faith, 2 Pet. ii. 20.
Q. As there are so many kinds of Faith, what are the Properties of the true Faith?
A. Three Things. Il, A right Knowledge of what God hath revealed in his Word, as necessary to Salvation ; especially of Christ, who is powerful to deliver us from Mifery. 2d, An aflenting to the Word of God. 3d, A receiving of Jefus Chrift wholly, and only with a Trust in him.
Q. How do you prove that there ought to be a right Knowiedge of Faito?
1. From lja. liii. 11. By bis Knowledge shall my righteous Servant justify many. John xvii. 3. And this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou haft fent.
Q. How do you prove that there ought to be an Affent to the Word of God?
A. From John iii. 33. He that hath received his Testimony, hath set to his Seal, that God is true. And without this we cannot trutt in Chriít.
Q. What follows hereupon ?
A. The essential Act of Faith, by which we receive Jesus Christ, wholly and alone, to trust in him with Self-Denial.
Q. Do you find our believing in Chrift, described by receiving him!
4. Yes, very amply, John i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God; even to them that believe on his Name. Col. ii. 6. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him. And Fohn xliii. 44, &c. And be
fides this, there is no Word which is so expreffive to explain the essential Act of Faith, as that of our receiving Christ.
Q. What is implied in receiving of Chrijt alone? A. That we forsake ourselves, and reject all false Means, Matt. xvi. 24. If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself. Luke xiv. 33. Se likewise whosoever he be of you, that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my Disciple. 2dly, That we have a great Desire and Love for Christ, Pf. lxxxiv. 2. My Soul longetb, yea, even fainteth for the Courts of the Lord; my Heart and my Flesh crieth out for the living God. 3dly, To trust in him, that we may be justified, Pf. ii . 12. Blessed are all they that put their Truf in him. Q. What is implied in receiving of Christ wholly?
A. It is receiving his whole Person in both Natures, in bis Offices and States, Cant, v. 16. He is altogether lovely. And concerning his Offices, 1 Cor. i. 30. Who has been made by God for us, Wisdom and Righteousness
, and Sanctification and Redemption. e. Is this receiving of, and trusting in Chrif, the Essence of Faith?
A. Yes. Elle our Faith proceedeth not from our Heart, Acts viii. 37. And Philip said, if thou believes? with all thine Heart, thou mayest. 2d, Elfe it could not be distinguished from any other Kind of Faith. 3d, It is disbelieving Christ when we do not trust in him, for out such Trust we have no Union with him, John iii. 36. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting Life; and he that believeth not the Son, fhall not see Life, but the Wrath of God abideth on him.
The 22d Question of the HEIDELBERG
WHAT is a true Chriflian necessarily obliged
" A. All
“ A. All that is promised in the Gospel; and
what the Articles of the universal and constant « Faith of all Christians contain in Abstract (which « are Twelve in Number).
The 23d Question of the HEIDELBERG
Q. W HAT do these Articles contain ?
« A. I believe in God the Father, Al“ mighty Maker of Heaven and Earth. And in “ Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was « conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin “ Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruci- N “ fied, dead and buried. He descended into Hell, the “ The third Day he arose again
from the Dead. He C « afcended into Heaven, and fitteth on the Right “ Hand of God the Father, Almighty. From thence “ he shall come to judge the Quick and the Dead. “I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholick “ Church, the Communion of Saints, the Forgiv“ ness of Sins, the Resurrection of the Body, and « the Life everlasting.”
Q. Do you find those Twelve Articles in the foregoing Order in the holy Scripture?
A. No. But the Substance of them is taken from the Word of God.
Q: Are these Twelve_Articles in the foregoing Order sufficient for a true Chriftian to believe ?
A. No. Unless they are explained according to the Word of God, together with the other Principles of Faith included therein, such as the eternal Election; the Satisfaction of Chrift; -Juftification by Grace; and the Doctrine of the Sacraments.
Q: if there be a Neceflity for believing these Principles, why are they not particularly expressed in the Twelve Articles of Faith?
A. Those Twelve Articles were composed out of the Scripture, in a Time when there was no Dispute about tha Belief of those Principles; and many other Christian Principles must be supposed to be admitted, although not particularly comprised in the twelve Articles, such as the holy Scripture, and the Covenant of Grace.
Q. Is this Form of Faith a Prayer ?
A. No. In a Prayer we ask fomething of God; but herein we make a Profeffion of Faith to God, and to the World.
Q. What do you conclude from what has been said?
A. That the Catechift hath fully answered his Intention, which is, to convince his Disciple of the Necessity of a true Faith, by a clear Demonstration, that such only who possess this Faith can trust in Jesus Christ their Redeemer, and that they are united to
him. By which Faith, all Carelessness is banished, s and the right Way to an eternal Consolation plainly Ed exhibited.
Q. Doth it not appear also that this is the pure Dottrine ?
A. Yes. It evidently appears, because it is suitable to the Gospel Rule of Faith in Chrift, as the only Means of saving Comfort; and also because it is
according to the Doctrine of Mofes, the Prophets i and Apostles.
Q. What may, we infer from thence ?
A. That every one, who desires to be saved by the Lord Jesus, ought to inform himself in, and to examine himself whether he be in the true Faith, 2 Cor.
Q. What is the principal Sign of Faith ?
Ā. A real Desire of the Soul, springing out of a sorrowful Experience of our Misery, and longing, above all Things to be united to Christ, 'which is called the unfeigned Faith, 2 Tim. ii. 5. And this Desire is the true Reason that Faith is lo often com