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Q Wherein doth the Misery of a natural Man confift? A. In every Thing capable of rendering the State of a rational Creature unhappy.
Q. How do you describe this Unhappiness?
A. Man is by Nature sinful, departed from Communion with God; is under his Wrath and Curse, in Time and Eternity ; and unable to help himfelf out of this Mi'ery
Q. How do you prove that he is sinful?
A. From Rom. iii. 10, 23. As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one. For all have fmned, and come short of the Glory of God.
Q. How do you prove that he has no Communion with God?
A. From Eph. ii. 12. At that Time ye were without Christ, being Aliens from the Common-zealth of Israel, and Strangers from the Covenant of Promise ; having no Hope, and without God in tbe World.
Q. How do you prove that he is under God's Wrath?
A. From Eph. ii. 3. And were, by Nature, Children of Wrath, even as athers. Which, impends over all the unregenerate in the World. Gal. iii. 10. Cursed is every one that continucth not in all Things which are written in the Books of the Law, to do then.
Q. How do you prove the Miseries of lime, to Death itself?
A. From Gen. iii. 17, 19: Cursed is the Ground for thy Sake, in Sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the Days of thy Life; in the Sweat of thy Face shalt thou eat Bread, till thou return to the Ground, for out of it was thou taken, . And Rom. vi. 23. The Wages of. Sin is Death.
Q. How do you prove the Miferies after this Life, to Eternity?
A. From Pf. ix. 17. The IVicked Mall be turned into Hell; whose Tornitnts are pain of Loss, and Pain of Sense. Luke xvi. 22, 23. The rich Man also died, and was buried; and in Heli he lift up his Eyes, being in Torments, and seeth Abraham ofar off, and·Lazarus
in bis Bofom. As also at the Resurrection, and reuniting of Soul and Body, when that awful Sentence
shall be pronounced, Matt. xxv. 41. Depart from me, iye Cursed, into everlasting Fire!
Q. How do you prove that Man is anable to help himfelf out of his Misery? A. From Rom. vii. 24.
0! wretched Man that I am; who shall deliver me from the Body of this Death.
Q. Is not every one convinced of such a woful State?
A. No. Man by Nature is so blind, and so full of self Love, and Pride, that nothing can convince him, except only, the Spirit of God. Rev. iii. 17. Because thou Jayeft, I am rich and increased in Goods; and have need of nothing; and knoweft not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.
Q. Is not the bare survey of your forrowful State, sufficient to acquaint you with your Misery?
A. No. I must be persuaded thereof by myself, and find, and know myself so Miserable; as David said unto Natban, 2 Sam. xii. 13. I have sinned against the Lord; and Pfa. li. 3. For I acknowledge my Transgressions : Being thus convinced of my ruined State, causes true Repentance, and a looking out for my Redemption.
Q. How are you thus convinced, and made Sensible of
A. By the Law of God: I mean the Moral Law, which God hath given at Sinai ; summarily Comprehending the ten Commandments. Exo. xx. and Deut. V. the Explication of which is contained in, and throughout the whole written Word of God; and named therefore very often the Law. Pfa. xix. and 119.
Q. But since the Law is given upon Sinai, under the Old Testament; in what Sense dath it bind Christians being under the Gospel ?
A. As a Rule given by our Saviour to order their Conversations. Mat. v. and Gal.. vi. 16. And as
many as walk according to this Rule, Peace be on them, and Mercy; and upon the Israel of God. Jam. ii. 8, 9, 10. If ye fulfil the royal Law according to the Scriptures, thou shalt love tby Neighbour as thy self ; ve do well, &c.
Q. What Power hath the Law to Shew you your Misery?
A. The Catechiser shall shew that, when he makes a Comparison between the Demand of the Law, and the Inability of Mankind. The fourth Question of the HEIDELBERG
HAT. dith the Law of God require of us? ?
A. « Jefus Christ teaches us in that Sum“mary which he hath given us of it, Matt. xxii. Thou 4 shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy Heart, and “ with all thy Soul, and with all thy Mind : That is “ the first and great Commandment; and the second “ is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as “ thy self. On these two Commandments hang all .66 the Law and the Prophets."
Q. What is the first Object of your Love? A. God; as the perfect Good of Man. Q. Wherein doth the Love of God confift? A. In having great Delight and Esteem in his Word, and keeping his Commandments. Pf. cxix. 97. For thy Law is my Delight. And John xiv. 21. He that hath my Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.
Q. How must you love the Lord your God? A. With all my Heart, and with all my Soul, and with all my Might, Deut. vi. 5.
Q. What is contained herein?
A. It implies the loving of God purely; and abfolutely for himself, and his divine Excellencies, Cant.
1 i. Thy
i. Thy Name is as Ointment poured forth; therefore the Virgins love thee. And the Benefits we receive from him, Pf. cxvi. 1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my Voice and my Supplication,
Q. What doth it contain more?
A. It causes the Soul to depreciate and flight all other Things in Comparison of God's Glory, and Interest in Christ. AEts xx. 24. But none of these Things move me; neither count I my Life dear unto myse!f, lo that I might finish my Course with Joy. Phil. ii. 8. 1 count all Things but Loss, for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord.
Q. Why must we love God with a supreme Love?
A. Because such Love only suits the transcendent Excellency of God; and devotes all we are, and have, to God; and is the only Love that will continue to the End, Rom. viii. 35. IV he shall separate us from the Love of Chrift?
Q. What is meant by our loving our Neighbours as ourselves?
A. It is the exact Observation and Practice of the Golden Rule of Christ, Matt. vii. 12. Therefore all Things whatsoever ye. would that Men should do to you, do ye even foto them; for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Q. Are all Men to be loved alike with the fame Degree
A. No. We must love all Men benevolently, even our Enemies, Matt. Vi 44. But the Saints we must love with Complaisancy, Pf. xvi. 3. But to the Saints that are in the Earth, and to the Excellent, in whom is all my Delight. And to such, especially we must do good, Gal. vi. 10. As we have therefore Opportunity, let us do good to all Men; but especially unto them who are of the House of Faith.
Q. Can we love God, and not our Neighbour ?
A. No, I John, iv. 20, 21. If a Man fay, I love God, and hateth his Brother, he is a Liar.; for he that Loveth not his Brother, whom he hath feen, how can he
love God, whom he hath not seen. And this Commandment have we from him, That he that loveth God, loveth his Neighbour also.
The fifth Question of the HEIDELBERG
CATECHISM. Q.CAN you perfectly keep these Commandments?
Å. “ No. For I am inclined by Nature to " hate both God and my Neighbour.'
Q. Can you prove, that fince the Fall, no mere Man is able per fetly to keep the Word of God, but doth daily break them in Thougbt, Word, and Deed?
A. Yes. For the Word of God teacheth plainly, Rom. iii. 12. They are all gone out of the Way; they are together become unprofitable ; there is none that doth good,
Prov. xx. 9. Who can say, I have made my Heart clean: I am pure from my sin. James iii
. 2. For in many Things we offend all, &c. 1 John, i. 8. If we say that we have no Sin, we deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us.
Q. Why can't you perfectly keep the Law of God?
A. Because I am by Nature inclined to hate both God and my Neighbour.
Q. Do you find in the Holy Scriptures that we are haters
no not one.
A. Yes. Rom. i. 30. Back-biters, Haters of God,&c. And Rom. viii: 7. The carnal Mind is Enmity against God; for it is not Subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be.
Q. How do you prove that we are Haters of our Neighbours?
A. By Tit.iii. 3. Living in Malice and Envy, hateful, and hating one another.
Q. Is then the reasoning of the Catechist sufficient to shew that we are not capable of keeping the Laws perfectly?
A. Yes. Whereas the perfect keeping of the Law of God confifts in the perfect and constant Conformity