Imatges de pÓgina
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gers that either our own weakness, or the cunning and malice of the devil may raise against us; to draw us away from, or hinder us in our duty. Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it, until the day of Jesus Christ. 1 Cor. i. 8. Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. i. 22. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Eph. iv. 30. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Deut. xxix. 4. Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. Jer. xxxii. 40. I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good: but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Ezek. xxxvi. 27. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. John, vi. 44. No man can come to me, except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him. 2 Thess. iii. 3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil. 1 John, iii. 9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

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12. Q. Will the Holy Ghost alone do all this for us?

A. No; but we must use our own endeavour if ever we mean to be assisted by him. It is by the grace of the Holy Spirit alone, that we are either disposed to will, or enabled to do those things which

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But that grace

God and our duty require of us. is not to exclude, but to assist and perfect our own endeavours; and to enable us thereby to do that, which without it, we should never have been able to have done. Phil. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: for it is God which worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good pleasure.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-*Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.

13. Q. By what means may we obtain this help of the Holy Spirit?

A. By fervent prayer to God for his grace. Luke, xi. 9, 13. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him.

And by a diligent care to use that portion of it, whatever it be, which God hath given us, to his honour and service. Matt. xiii. 12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away, even that which he hath. XXV. 29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

Upon our doing of which, not only that grace which we already have, shall be sure to be continued to us, but greater degrees shall be added to it. 2 Pet. iii. 18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

14. Q. Are these the only ends for which the Holy Spirit was given by Christ to his church?

A. No; his operations are very many, and can hardly be particularly enumerated. He not only regenerates and sanctifies us; disposes us to our duty; and fortifies us against temptation: but, moreover, directs us in our doubts; comforts us in our afflictions; supports us in our troubles; arms us against the fear of death; gives us strength and courage in trials and persecutions: and in such cases as he sees needful, seals our souls with such an inward sense and assurance of God's favour, as makes us firmly satisfied of our future everlasting salvation. Rom. v. 5. And hope maketh not ashamed: because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us. xiv. 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righte ousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. viii. 14, 16. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God. 2 Cor. i. 22. Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts. Eph. i. 14. Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. iv. 30. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Gal. iv. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Phil. i. 29. For unto you it is given in behalf of Christ, not only to believe 1 Thess. i. 6. on him, but also to suffer for his sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, hav

ing received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.

15. Q. How long shall the Holy Ghost continue thus to comfort, sanctify, and guide the faithful?

A. As long as there shall any faithful remain in need of his assistance; which because there will be to the end of the world, therefore Christ has promised that he shall also, till then, continue to conduct and govern his faithful servants. John, xiv. 16. I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Matt. xxviii. 20. Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

SECT. XVI.

Of the Catholic Church, and of Heretics and Schismatics.

1. Q. What does the fourth and last part of your Creed relate to?

A. To the church of Christ: its duty and privileges here; and its future hope of glory and immortality hereafter.

2. Q. What is the first thing which you are taught to believe concerning Christ's church?

A. That there is a holy Catholic church.

3. Q. What is that church, of which this Article speaks?

A. It is the universal church of Christ; the general assembly of all those, who, from the time of the first publishing of the Gospel, to this day, have believed in Christ; or shall hereafter profess his faith, to the end of the world.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Matt. xvi. 18. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gales of hell shall not prevail against it. 1 Cor. xii. 27, 28. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular: and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers; after that, miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Eph. i. 22. And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church. v. 25, 27. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing: but that it should be holy, and without blemish. Col. i. 18, 24. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the pre-eminence. Whereof I, Paul, am made a minister; who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.

4. Q. How can such a church be the object of our faith?

A. Not as to that part of it which we see, and communicate with; but chiefly in these two respects. First, as we believe, by the word of God, that those who have gone before us, in the true faith of Christ, and the fear of his holy name, though out of all visible communion, at present, with us, do yet live to God; and are still members of Christ's church, though in a different state from us, and shall, together with us, be gathered into one glorious society, at

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