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thefe Questions and Answers by heart, but not to flatter ourselves, that we have a Right (as long as we are In the State of Nature) to apply to ourselves the Benefits contained therein, because the Perfon who fpeaks here, represents a true regenerated and affured Chriftian, whofe Example every one muft follow, and strive for fuch a Faith (which Obfervation always must be kept in our Memory.)
Q. What is that full and perfect Good?,
A. That I belong not unto myself, but unto my faithful Saviour Jefus Chrift.
Q. Don't you belong to yourself?
A. No, for St. Paul fays, ift Cor. vi. xix. You are not your own.
Q. What is the Meaning of being our own?
A. To be given up to ourselves, to be our own Mafters, to ftand and fall by our own Works and Merits.
Q. Is it not unhappy to be under our own Government?
A. Yes; for fuch a Perfon cannot be acquitted before the Judgment of God, Job. ix. 2. 3. How fhould a Man be just with God, and Pf. xliii. 2. Enter not into Judgment with thy Servant, for in thy Sight hall no Man living be justified. He follows his own corrupt Will; he goes from Evil to Evil, and can expect nothing else than the Punishment of God, Pf. Ixxxi. 11. 12. But my People would not hearken to my Voice; and Ifrael would none of me, fo I gave them up to their own Hearts Luft, and they walked in their own Counfels.
Q. Wherein confifts your Comfort and Salvation?
Q. Who is Chrift?
A. The beloved Son of God the Father, who is come into the World for our Redemption, and to giveus eternal Life. Tit. ii. 14. Who gave himself for us, that be might redeem us from all Iniquity, and John iii. 16. For God fo loved the World that he gave his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting Life.
Q. What do you mean by belonging to Jefus Chrift? A. To be his Property, Rom. viii. his Holy Bride, Jes. 56. his Children, Jes. viii. 18. his Sheep, John X. 14. &c.
Q. How did you become his Property?
A. By a voluntary Gift of the Father to the Son, John xvii. 6.-I have manifefted thy Name unto the Men which thou gavest me out of the World.
Q. In what other Manner?
A. Because he has made with his precious Blood, full Satisfaction for all my Sins, 1ft. Pet. i. 18. 19. For as much as ye know, that ye were not redeemed with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold, from your vain Converfation received by Tradition from your Fathers, but with the precious Blood of Christ.
Q. How else?
A. By a Covenant, Ezech. xvi. 8. I fware unto thee, and entered into a Covenant with thee faith the Lord God, and fo you became mine.
Q. But why must you be his Property in Soul and Body?
A. This we learn in the Scripture, 1ft Cor. vi. 20. becaufe God will be glorified in both.
Q. Do you belong to Chrift as well in Life as Death? A. Yes. Rom. xiv. 8. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore or die,we are the Lord's. Q. What Benefits have you received from that?
A. Ift. That he delivered me from the Power of Satan, Heb. ii. 14. 15. that through Death he might defroy him that had the Power of Death; that is,the Devil. 2. That he preferves me to eternal Life. John vi. 39, 40. And this is the Father's Will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lofe nothing, but fhould raife it up again at the laft Day. 3. That he affured me of my Salvation. Rom. viii. 16, 17.
The Spirit itself beareth Witness with our Spirits, that we are the Children of God; and if Children, then Heirs; Heirs of God, and joint Heirs with Chrift. 4. That he reforms, and makes me willing to live with a fincere Heart and Affection towards him. Pf. cx. 3. The People fhall be willing in the Day of thy Power, in the Beauties of Holiness, from the Womb of the Morning. Tit. ii. 14. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all Iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good Works..
Q. But is it fufficient to know that there is fuch a Confolation for a Chriftian?
A. No. I muft endeavour to be able to anfwer and know for myself, that Soul and Body, whether alive or dead, belong not to me, but to my faithful Saviour Jefus Christ.
Q. How fhall you obtain this Knowledge?
A. By ufing all fuch Means as can give true Com
Q. What are fuch Means?
A. We do find them in the following Question, under three chief Articles.
The Second Question of the HEIDELBERG
Q. How many Things ought you to know in order
Q. What do you mean by the firft Article?
A. 1. I mean not only to know, but alfo to repent of and confefs the Sins by which I have offended and provoked the Mercy and Goodness of God, according to P. li. 3, 4. I acknowledge my Tranfgrefions; and my Sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, C3
have I finned, and done this Evil in thy Sight. 2. That I know the evil Confequence of Sin, how highly it wrongs my Soul, defacing and defiling it; alfo renders me guilty, and confequently expofes me to Condemnation, as Prov. viii. 36. He that finneth against me, wrongeth his own Soul; and they that hate me, love Death.
Q. Is that the true Method to obtain a faving Comfort?
A. Yes, certainly. For by this, 1. The Spirit of God humbles the Heart of Man, brings it to Selfdenial, and makes it long for Salvation. Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their Hearts; and faid unto-Peter, and the Reft of the Apostles, Men and Brethren, what shall we do? 2. It reveals the Excellency and Preciousness of Jefus Chrift. Phil. iii. 8, 9. I count all Things but Lofs, for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Chrift Jefus; for whom I have Juffered the Lofs of all Things, and do count them but Dung, that I may win Chrift, &c.
Q. What do you mean by the fecond Article, "To be delivered from them ?”
A. That isto fay, how that by Faith in the Son of God, and byhis Righteousness manifested in the Holy Gospel, I can be justified and redeemed from all Sin and Misery, and become a Partaker of all the Benefits, which he, as Mediator, has obtained. Acts xvi. 31. And they faid, believe in the Lord Jefus Chrift, and thou shalt be faved. Q. Is this Faith expedient for our Confolation?
A. Yes. Becaufe by it we difcover the only and perfect Saviour; it moves the Soul to adore him; and is the Medium to unite us to Christ.
Q. What is the third Article?
A. It fhews, "what Acknowledgment I ought to make to God for fuch Deliverance;" that is, 1.That I confefs my own Invalidity, Guiltinefs, and Corruption ; and that I deserve eternal Punishment. 2. That I glorify God in all his Attributes, especially his Wifdom, Love, Power, and Juftice difcovered in the Re
velation of fuch an All-gracious Redeemer, through whose super-abundant Merits, we can be delivered from all our Sins and Miferies. O! unfpeakable Love! well may we cry out, Pf. cxvi. 12, 13. What fhall I render unto the Lord, for all his Benefits towards me. I will take the Cup of Salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord. And that we present our Soul and Body as reasonable, holy, and lively Sacrifice unto him, who has not only rescued us from Hell, but established our Title to all his Bleffings included in the Promises, and all the Felicity laid up in Heaven. Q. Is that alfo a certain Way to obtain fubftantial Comfort?
A. Yes. Whilft fuch a Gratitude is the End of my Deliverance. Luke i. 74. That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the Hands of our Enemies, might ferve him without Fear. And I John, v. 2. By this we know, that we love the Children of God, when we love God, and keep his Commandments.
Q. What Ufe fhould we make of this pure Doctrine? A. Thereby to endeavour to become the Property of Jefus Chrift.
Q. In what Manner?
A. By defpifing all vain and idle Things, which used to be my only Comfort; difclaiming all Selffufficiency; but as a poor returning Sinner going to Jefus Chrift, devoting myfelf wholly to him, praying that he may make me his Property, to live and die in him.
The FIRST PART
Of the Mifery of MAN.
The third Question of the HEIDELBERG CATECHISM.
HOW are you made fenfible of your Mifery?
By the Law of God.