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felves. On the other hand, there is nothing more
The divine warrant for such compofures, is a-
The Shorter Catechism fets forth the principles
I. The CHIEF END of the Christian religion,
II. We have the ONLY RULE of the Christian
principal parts, which are, first, what man is to believe concerning God; and then, the duty which Gou requires of man. Quest. 3.
III. The GLORIOUS OBJECT of the Christian religion, which is God, considered, 1/1, Esentially, in his spiritual nature, infinite perfections, and in his most perfect unity and limplicity. Quest. 4, 5. 2dly, Relatively or personally, in the three distinct persons of the God-head'; and in the consubstantiality and absolute equality of these persons. Quest. 6. 3dly, Efficiently, in his acts and operations, which are either immanent and effential, such as, his decrees; or transient and external, such as, his works of creation and providence, wherein he executes? his decrees.* Queft. 7,----12.
IV. The GREAT SUBJECT of the Ghriftian religion, which is man, considered, Ili, In his state of innocency, where the covenant of works is 0pened. Quest. 12. 2dly, In his state of nature, together with the sinfulness and misery of that ftare. Queft. 13,------20. 3dly, In his plate of grace, or begun recovery; where the Catechism treats, (1.) of the niture of the covenant of grace. Quest. 20. (2.) Of the Mediator of the covenant ; who is described, in his person, offices, humiliation, exaltation, and in the application of his purchased redemption by the Holy SPIRIT. Quest. 21,-----:2; (3) Of the benefits of the covenant, in this i.te, at death, at the refurrection, and through all eternity. Queft. 32,----39. (4.) Of the duties, whereby we evidence our covenant-relation and gratiiude to God, in the Ten Commandments, as connected with their Preface. Quest. 39,-----82. (5.) Of man's utter inability to obey the law in this life, Quest. 82. (6.) Of the nggravation and desert of sin. Quest. 83, 8.4. (7.) of the means whereby our salvation is carried on, and perfected at death; the internal means, faith and repentance;
the external means, the word, facraments, and prayer. Quest, 85. to the end.
The first part of this catechetical treatise, ends with Quest 38. “ What benefits do believers re6 ceive from Christ at the resurrection," containing the doctrines we are to believe concerning GOD. The second part respects the duty which GoD requires of man.
The materials of the following Catechisın, especially of what is designed for the second part, are collected by several ministers ; and it was recommended to three of their number, to revise what should be done by so many hands, that there might be an uniformity of Gule and method, and that repetitions might be prevented as much as possible. It has pleased the LORD, to take home to himself one of these three, who assisted in composing and revising of this first part ; but though he be dead, he yet speaketh, and will be spoken of, for his excellent works (which have already, or may hereafter see the light) by all these who shall have any relish and taste for found doctrine and experimental godliness. Whatever loss the second part of this Catechism may luftain by the removal of such an able and skilful hand, the OTHER TWO make not the least doubt, but the LORD would carry on this work, with as great, or greater advantage, though they were laid in the grave likewife.
Mean time, that what is here presented to public view, may be blessed of God, for the edification of fouls, is, in the name of our brethren, the carneft prayer of
Τ Η Ε
Ε Χ Ρ Ε Α Ι Ν Ε D.
WHAT is the chief end
of man? Answ. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Q 1. What is meant by man's chief end ?
Answ. That which ought to be man's chief aim and design, namely, the glory of God; and that which he should seek after as his chief happiness, which is, the enjoyment of God.
Quest. 2. Does the chief end exclude subordinate ends?
Anfw. No : for, in aiming principally at the glory of God, men may use the supports of natural life for refreshing their bodies, i Cor. x. 31.; and be diligent in their particular callings, that they may provide for themselves and their families. 1 Thess. iv, 11, 12.
Quest. 3. Why ought the glory of God to be the chief end and design of man?
Anfw. Because this was God's chief end in man's creation, preservation, redemption, and regeneration ; and therefore it ought to be man's chief end likewise. Queft
. 4. How manifold is the glory of God? Anfw. Twofold; his essential and declarative glory.
Quest. 5. What is God's essential glory?
Answ. It is what he is absolutely in himself, Exod. iii. 14.--.--I AM THAT I AM.
Quest. 6. What is his declarative glory?
Answ. His sewing or making known his glory to, in, and by the creatures. Isa, xliv. 23. and lx. 21. i Thefl. i. 10.
Quest. 7. Can any creature whatsoever add any thing to God's ell'ential glory?
Answ. No: for his essential glory is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. Job. xxxv. 7.
Quest. 8. Do not the heavens and the earth, and all inferior creatures, glorify God?
Answ. Yes : in a passive way all his works praise him. Psal. xix. 1. and cxlv, 10.
Queft. 9. How ought man to glorify God?
Answ. Man being endowed with a reasonable soul, ought to glorify God in an active way, by declaring his praise, and essaying to give him the glory due to his name. Pial, lxiii. 4. and ciii. 1, 2. and xcvi. 7.
Queft. 10. How was man to glorify God in a sate of innocence ?
Answ. By a perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience to his law ; and by giving him the glory of all his works.
Queit, 11. Has man answered his chief end?
Answ. No: for, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Rom. iii. 23.
Quest. 12. Has God then lost his end in making man?
Answ. No: for, God will glority his justice and power upon fome, and his grace and mercy upon others of Adam's family. Rom. ix. 22, 23.
Quest. 13. Was ever God glorified by a perfect on bedience since Adam's fall ?
Anw. Never, until Christ, the Second Adam, appeared as a new covenant-head.
Quelt. 14. How did Clrist, the second Adam, glorify God as our surety and representative on earth ?
rinfw. By finising the work the Father gave him to do. Jolin xvii. 4.