The Foundation of the Christian Religion gathered into Six Principles

And it is to be learned of ignorant people, that they may be fit to hear sermons with profit, and to receive the Lord’s Supper with comfort.

 

by William Perkins



The entrance into thy word sheweth light, and giveth understanding to the simple” – Psa. 119:130.

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To all ignorant people that desire to be instructed:

Poor people, your manner is to soothe up yourselves, as though you were in a most happy estate; but if the matter come to a just trial, it will fall out far otherwise. For you lead your lives in great ignorance, as may appear by these your common opinions which follow:

1. That faith is a man’s good meaning, and his good serving of God.

2. That God is served by the rehearsing of the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed.

3. That ye have believed in Christ ever since you could remember.

4. That it is pity that he should live which doth any whit doubt of his salvation.

5. That none can tell whether he shall be saved or not certainly; but that all men must be of a good belief.

6. That howsoever a man live, yet if he call upon God on his death-bed, and say, ‘Lord have mercy upon me,’ and so go away like a lamb, he is certainly saved.


7. That if any be strangely visited, he is either taken with a planet or bewitched.

8. That a man may lawfully swear when he speaks nothing but the truth; and swears by nothing but that which is good, as by his faith or troth.

9. That a preacher is a good man no longer than he is in the pulpit. ‘They think all like themselves.’

10. That a man may repent when he will, because the Scripture saith, ‘At what time soever a sinner doth repent him of his sins’ &c.

11. That it is an easier thing to please God than to please our neighbour.

12. That ye can keep the Commandments as well as God will give you leave.

13. That it is the safest to do in religion as most do.

14. That merry ballads and books, as ‘Skoggin’, ‘Bevis of Southampton’ &c. are good to drive away the time and to remove heart qualms.

15. That ye can serve God with all your hearts, and that ye would be sorry else.

16. That a man need not hear so many sermons, except he could follow them better.

17. That a man which cometh at no sermons may as well believe as he which hears all the sermons in the world.

18. That ye know all the preacher can tell you; for he can say nothing but that every man is a sinner, that we must love out neighbour as ourselves, that every man must be saved by Christ; and all this ye can tell as well as he.


19. That it was a good world when the old religion was, because all things were cheap.

20. That drinking and bezeling in the ale-house or tavern is good fellowship and shews a good, kind nature, and maintains neighbourhood.

21. That a man may swear by the Mass because it is nothing now, and by our Lady because she is gone out of the country.

22. That every man must be for himself, and God for us all.

23. That a man may make of his own whatsoever he can.

24. That if a man remember to say his prayers every morning (though he never understand them), he hath blessed himself for all the day following.

25. That a man prayeth when he saith the Ten Commandments.

26. That a man eats his Maker in the Sacrament.

27. That if a man be no adulterer, no thief, no murderer and do no man harm, he is a right honest man.

28. That a man need not have any knowledge of religion because he is not book-learned.

29. That one may have a good meaning when he saith and doth that which is evil.

30. That a man may go to wizards, called wise-men, for counsel, because God hath provided a salve for every sore.

31. That ye are to be excused in all your doings because the best men are sinners.


32. That ye have so strong a faith in Christ that no evil company can hurt you.


These and such like sayings, what argue they but your gross ignorance? Now where ignorance reigneth, there reigneth sin; and where sin reigneth, there the devil rules; and where he rules, men are in a damnable case.

Ye will reply unto me thus: That ye are not so bad as I would make you. If need be, you can say the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments, and therefore ye will be of God’s belief, say all men what they will, and you defy the devil from your hearts.

I answer again that it is not sufficient to say all these without book, unless ye can understand the meaning of the words, and be able to make a right use of the Commandments, of the Creed, of the Lord’s Prayer, by applying them inwardly to your hearts and consciences, and outwardly to your lives and conversations. This is the very point in which ye fail.

And for an help in this your ignorance, to bring you to true knowledge, unfeigned faith and sound repentance, here I have set down the principal points of Christian religion in six plain and easy rules, even such as the simplest may easily learn; and hereunto is adjoined an exposition of them word by word. If ye do want other good directions, then use this my labour for your good instruction. In reading it, first learn the six principles, and when you have them without book, and the meaning of them withal, then learn the exposition also; which being well conceived, and in some measure felt in the heart, ye shall be able to profit by sermons, whereas now ye cannot; and the ordinary parts of the Catechism, namely the Ten Commandments, the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, and the institution of the two Sacraments, shall more easily be understood.

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The First Principle

Q. What dost thou believe concerning God?
A. There is one God, Creator and Governor of all things, distinguished into the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Proof:
1. There is a God
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” – Rom. 1:20;
“Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” – Acts 14:17.

2. This God is One
“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” – 1 Cor. 8:4.

3. He is Creator of all things
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” – Gen. 1:1;
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Heb. 11:3.

4. He is Governor of all things
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” – Prov. 15:3;
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matt. 10:30.

5. Distinguished into the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost
“And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” – Matt. 3:16,17;
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” – 1 John 5:7.


The Second Principle

Q. What dost thou believe concerning man, and concerning thine own self?
A. All men are wholly corrupted with sin through Adam’s fall, and so are become slaves of Satan and guilty of eternal damnation.

Proof:

1. All men are corrupted with sin
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” – Rom. 3:10.

2. They are wholly corrupted
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thess. 5:23;
“This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” – Eph. 4:17,18;
“ And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Gen. 6:5.

3. Through Adam’s fall
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” – Rom. 5:12.

4. And so are become slaves of Satan
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” – Eph. 2:2;
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” – Heb. 2:14;
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Cor. 4:4.

5. And guilty of eternal damnation
“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal. 3:10;
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” – Rom. 5:18.


The Third Principle

Q. What means is there for thee to escape this damnable estate?
A. Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, being made man, by His death upon the cross and by His righteousness hath perfectly alone by Himself accomplished all things that are needful for the salvation of mankind.

Proof:
1. Christ Jesus the eternal Son of God
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14.

2. Being made man
“For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” – Heb. 2:16.

3. By His death upon the cross
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isa. 53:5.

4. And by His righteousness
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Rom. 5:19;
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Cor. 5:21.

5. Hath perfectly
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” – Heb. 7:25.

6. Alone by Himself
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12.

7. Accomplished all things needful for the salvation of mankind
“And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” – 1 John 2:2.


The Fourth Principle

Q. But how mayest thou be made partaker of Christ and His benefits?
A. A man of a contrite and humble spirit, by faith alone apprehending and applying Christ with all His merits unto himself, is justified before God and sanctified.

Proof:
1. A man of a contrite and humble spirit
“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” – Isa. 57:15;
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” – Psa. 51:17.

2. By faith alone
“As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.” – Mark 5:36;
“And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.” – Num. 21:9;
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” – John 3:14,15.

3. Apprehending and applying Christ with all His merits unto himself
“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” – John 1:12;
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35.

4. Is justified before God
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” – Rom. 4:3-7.

5. And sanctified
“And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:9;
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” – 1 Cor. 1:30.


The Fifth Principle

Q. What are the ordinary and usual means for obtaining faith?
A. Faith cometh only by the preaching of the word, and increaseth daily by it, as also by the administration of the sacraments and prayer.

Proof:
1. Faith cometh only by the preaching the word, and increaseth daily by it
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Rom. 10:14;
“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Prov. 29:18;
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” – Hos. 4:6.

2. As also by the administration of the sacraments
“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also” – Rom. 4:11;
“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” – 1 Cor. 10:1-4.

3. And prayer
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21.


The Sixth Principle

Q. What is the state of all men after death?
A. All men shall rise again with their own bodies, to the last judgment; which being ended, the godly shall possess the kingdom of heaven, but unbelievers and reprobates shall be in hell tormented with the devil and his angels for ever.

Proof:
1. All men shall rise again with their own bodies
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” – John 5:28,29.

2. To the last judgment
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” – Eccl.12:14;
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” – Matt. 12:36;
“And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked” – 2 Pet. 2:7;
“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” – Ezek. 9:4.

3. Shall possess the Kingdom of God
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” – Matt. 25:34.

4. But unbelievers and reprobates shall be in hell tormented with the devil and his angels
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” – Matt. 25:41.


The Scriptures for proof were only quoted by the author to move thee to search them; the words themselves I have expressed at the earnest request of many, that thou mayest more easily learn them. If yet thou wilt be ignorant, thy malice is evident; if thou gainest knowledge, give God the glory in doing of His will.

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The Exposition of the Principles

The First Principle Expounded

Q. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, or spiritual substance, most wise, most holy, eternal, infinite.

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24.

Q. How do you persuade yourself that there is a God?
A. Besides the testimony of the Scripture, plain reason will shew it.

Q. What is one reason?
A. When I consider the wonderful frame of the world, me thinks the silly creatures that be in it could never make it, neither could it make itself and therefore, besides all these, the Maker of it must needs be God. Even as when a man comes into a strange country and sees fair and sumptuous buildings, and yet finds no living creatures there besides birds and beasts, he will not imagine that either birds or beasts reared those buildings, but he presently conceives that some men either are, or have been there.

“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” – Rom. 1:20;
“Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” – Acts 14:17.

Q. What other reason have you?
A. A man commits any sin, murder, fornication, adultery, blasphemy, &c. albeit he doth so conceal the matter (that no man living know of it), yet oftentimes he hath a griping in his conscience, and feels the very flashing of hell fire, which is a strong reason to shew that there is a God, before whose judgment seat he must answer for his fact.

“Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another” – Rom. 2:15;
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.....And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” – Gen.3;8,10;
“And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.” – Gen.42:21.

Q. How many Gods are there?
A. No more than one.

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” – 1 Cor. 8:6.

Q. How do you conceive this God in your mind?
A. Not by framing an image of him in my mind (as ignorant folks do, that think him to be an old man sitting in heaven) but I conceive him by his properties and works.

“Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female” – Deut.4:16;

“For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.” – Amos 4:13.

Q. What be his chief properties?
A. First he is most wise, understanding all things aright and knowing the reason of thema. Secondly, he is most holy, which appeareth in that he is most just and merciful unto his creaturesb. Thirdly, he is eternal, without either beginning or end of daysc, and lastly, he is infinite, both because he is present in all placesd and because he is of power sufficient to do whatsoever he wille.

a “With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.” – Job 12:13.
b “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” – Isa. 6:3;  “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” – Exod. 20:5.
c “Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.” – Isa. 41:4.
d “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.” – Psa. 139:2.
e “He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?” – Job 9:4;    “For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward” – Deut. 10:17.

Q. What be the works of God?
A. The creation of the world, and everything therein, and the preservation of them, being created by his special providence.

“He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.” – Jer. 10:12;
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” – Psa. 33:6.

Q. How know you that God governeth every particular thing in the world by his special providence?
A. To omit the Scripturesa, I see it by experience: meat, drink and clothing, being void of heat and life, could not preserve the life of man unless there were a special providence of God to give virtue
unto themb.

a “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” – Matt. 10:30;   “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.” – Prov. 16:33.
b “And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.” – Lev. 26:26;   “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matt. 4:4.

Q. How is this one God distinguished?
A. Into the Father, which begetteth the Son; into the Son, who is begotten of the Father; into the Holy Ghosta, who proceedeth from the Father and the Sonb.

a “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” – 1 John 5:7.
b “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” – John 15:26.


The Second Principle Expounded

Q. Let us now come to ourselves, and first tell me what is the natural estate of man?
A. Every man is by nature dead in sin as a loathsome carrion, or as a dead corpse lieth rotting and stinking in the grave, having in him the seed of all sins.

“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins” – Eph. 2:1;
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.” – 1 Tim. 5:6.

Q. What is sin?
A. Any breach of the law of God, if it be no more but the least want of that which the law requireth.

“Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” – 1 John 3:4;
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” – Rom. 7:7;
“ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal. 3:10.

Q. How many sorts of sin are there?
A. Sin is either the corruption of nature, or any evil actions that proceed of it, as fruits thereof.

“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds” – Col. 3:9;

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” – Psa. 51:5.

Q. In whom is the corruption of nature?
A. In all men, none excepted.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” – Rom. 3:10.

Q. In what part of man is it?
A. In every part both of body and soul, like a leprosy that runneth from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot.

“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Gen. 6:5;
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thess. 5:23.

Q. Shew me how every part of man is corrupted with sin.
A. First, in the mind there is nothing but ignorance and blindness concerning heavenly mattersa. Secondly, the conscience is defiled, being always either benumbed with sin, or else turmoiled with inward accusations and terrorsb. Thirdly, the will of man only willeth and lusteth after evilc. Fourthly, the affections of the heart, as love, joy, hope, desire, &c. are moved and stirred to that which is evil to embrace it, and they are never stirred unto that which is good, unless it be to eschew itd. Lastly, the members of the body are the instruments and tools of the mind for the execution of sine.

a “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” – 1 Cor. 2:14;   “ For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” – Rom. 8:5.
b “Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” – Tit.1:15;   “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.” – Eph. 4:18,19;   “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” – Isa. 57:20.
c “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Phil. 2:13; “How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?” – Job 15:16.
d “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” – Gal. 5:24.
e “I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” – Rom. 6:19.

Q. What be those evil actions that are the fruits of this corruption?
A. Evil thoughts in the mind, which come either by a man’s own conceivinga or by the suggestion of the devilb; evil motions and lusts stirring in the heart, and from these arise evil words and deeds when any occasion is given.

a “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” – Gen. 6:5.
b “And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” – John 13:2;   “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” – Acts 5:3;   “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.” – 1 Chr. 21:1.

Q. How cometh it to pass that all men are thus defiled with sin?
A. By Adam’s infidelity and disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit; even as we see great personages by treason do not only hurt themselves, but also stain their blood and disgrace their posterity.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned....Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Rom. 5:12,18,19;   
Gen. 3 throughout.

Q. What hurt comes to man by his sin?
A. He is continually subject to the curse of God in his lifetime, in the end of his life and after this life.

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal. 3:10.

Q. What is the curse of God in this life?
A. In the body, diseases, aches, pains; in the soul, blindness, hardness of heart, horror of conscience; in goods, hindrances and losses; in name, ignominy and reproach; lastly, in the whole man, bondage under Satan the prince of darkness.

“The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish....The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.....And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: in the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.” – Deut. 28:21,22,27,65,66,67.


Q. What manner of bondage is this?
A. This bondage is when a man is the slave of the devil and hath him to reign in his heart as his god.

“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” – Heb. 2:14;
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” – Eph. 2:2;
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” – 2 Cor.4:4;
“And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.” – Luke 11:14.

Q. How may a man know whether Satan be his god or not?
A. He may know it by this: if he give obedience to him in his heart, and express it in his conversation.

Q. And how shall a man perceive this obedience?
A. If he take delight in the evil motions that Satan puts into his heart, and do fulfil the lusts of the devil.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – John 8:44;
“He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” – 1 John 3:8.

Q. What is the curse due to man in the end of this life?
A. Death, which is the separation of body and soul.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” – Rom. 5:12.

Q. What is the curse after this life?
A. Eternal damnation in hell fire, whereof every man is guilty, and is in great danger of it, as the traitor apprehended is in danger of hanging, drawing and quartering.

“For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal. 3:10;

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” – Rom. 3:19.


The Third Principle expounded

Q. If damnation be the reward of sin, then is man of all creatures most miserable; a dog or a toad when they die, all their misery is ended, but when a man dieth, there is the beginning of his woe.
A. It were so indeed, if there were no means of deliverance; but God hath shewed his mercy in giving a Saviour to mankind.

Q. How is this Saviour called?
A. Jesus Christ.

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” – Matt. 1:21.

Q. What is Jesus Christ?
A. The eternal Son of God made man in all thingsa, even in his infirmities like other men, save only in sinb.

a “For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” – Heb. 2:16; “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John 1:14.
b “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared” – Heb. 5:7; “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” – Mark 13:32.

Q. How was he made man void of sin?
A. He was conceived in the womb of a virgin, and sanctified by the Holy Ghost at his conception.

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” – Matt. 1:18.

Q. Why must our Saviour be both God and man?
A. He must be man because man had sinned, and therefore a man must die for sin to appease God’s wrath; He must be God to sustain and uphold the manhood, to overcome and vanquish death.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” – 1 Tim. 2:5,6.

Q. What be the offices of Christ to make him an all-sufficient Saviour?
A. He is a Priest, a Prophet, a King.

“Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” – Psa. 45:7;
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” – Luke 4:8;
“The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken....I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” – Deut. 18:15,18;
“And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” – Luke 1:33;
“ The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.” – Psa. 110.

Q. Why is he a Priest?
A. To work the means of salvation in the behalf of mankind.

Q. How doth he work the means of salvation?
A. First, by making satisfaction to his Father for the sin of man; secondly, by making intercession.

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – Matt. 20:28;
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” – Heb. 7:25,26.

Q. How doth he make satisfaction?
A. By two means: and the first is by offering a sacrifice.

Q. What is the sacrifice?
A. Christ himself, as he is a man consisting of body and soul.

“Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.” – Isa. 53:10.

Q. What is the altar?
A. Christ as he is God, is the altar on which he sacrificed himself.

“And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” – Rev. 8:3;
“We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.” – Heb. 13:10.

Q. Who was the Priest?
A. None but Christ, and that he is both God and man.

“So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” – Heb. 5:5,6.

Q. How oft did he sacrifice himself?
A. Never but once.

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” – Heb. 9:28.

Q. What death did he suffer when he sacrificed himself?
A. A death upon the cross, peculiar to himself alone; for besides the separation of body and soul, he felt also the pangs of hell, in that the whole wrath of God due to the sin of man, was poured forth upon him.

“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” – Isa. 53:5;
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” – John 12:27;
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” – Rev. 19:15;
“And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – Luke 22:44.

Q. What profit cometh from his sacrifice?

A. God’s wrath is appeased by it.

“For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” – Heb. 9:26.

Q. Could the sufferings of Christ, which was but for a short time, countervail everlasting damnation, and so appease God’s wrath?
A. Yes; for seeing Christ suffered, God suffered, though not in his Godhead; and that is more than if all men in the world had suffered for ever and ever.

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28;
“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” – 2 Cor. 5:15.

Q. Now tell me the other means of satisfaction.
A. It is the perfect fulfilling of the law.

Q. How did he fulfil the law?
A. By his perfect righteousness, which consisteth of two parts; the first, the integrity and pureness of his human naturea; the other, his obedience in performing all that the law requiredb.

a “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” – 1 Cor. 1:30;  “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God” – Rom. 3:25;  “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Cor. 5:21.
b “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” – Rom. 5:19;  “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” – Rom. 4:8.

Q. You have shewed how Christ doth make satisfaction, tell me likewise how he doth make intercession.
A. He alone doth continually appear before his Father in heaven, making the faithful, and all their prayers, acceptable unto him, by applying of the merits of his own perfect satisfaction to them.

“Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” – Rom. 8:34;
“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” – 1 Pet. 2:5.

Q. Why is Christ a Prophet?
A. To reveal unto his church the way and means of salvation, and this he doth outwardly by the ministers of his word, and inwardly by the teaching of his Spirit.

“It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” – John 6:45;
“While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” – Matt. 17:5.

Q. Why is he also King?
A. That he might bountifully bestow upon us, and convey unto us, all the aforesaid means of salvation.

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” – Isa. 9:7.

Q. How doth he shew himself to be King?
A. In that being dead and buried, he rose from the grave, quickened his dead body, ascended into heaven, and now sitteth at the right hand of the Father, with full power and glory in heaven.

“Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly” – Acts 10:40;
“Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” – Eph. 4:8;
“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” – Acts 1:9.

Q. How else?
A. In that he doth continually inspire and direct his servants, by the divine power of his Holy Spirit, according to his holy word.

“Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” – Isa. 9:7;
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” – Isa. 30:21.

Q. But to whom will this blessed King communicate all these means of salvation?
A. He offereth them to many, and they are sufficient to save all mankind; but all shall not be saved thereby, because by faith they will not receive them.

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.” – Matt. 20:16;
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” – John 1:11.


The Fourth Principle expounded

Q. What is faith?
A. Faith is a wonderful grace of God, by which a man doth apprehend and apply Christ and all his benefits unto himself.

“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” – John 1:12;
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35;
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” – Gal. 3:7;
“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” – Col. 2:12.

Q. How doth a man apply Christ unto himself, seeing we are on earth and Christ in heaven?
A. This applying is done by assurance, when a man is verily persuaded by the Holy Spirit of God’s favour towards himself particularly, and of the forgiveness of his own sins.

“Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” – 2 Cor. 1:21,22;
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” – Rom. 8:16.

Q. How doth God bring men truly to believe in Christ?
A. First, he prepareth their hearts, that they might be capable of faith, and then he worketh faith in them.

Q. How doth God prepare men’s hearts?
A. By bruising them, as if one would break an hard stone to powder; and this is done by humbling them.

“And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh” – Ezek. 11:19;
“Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” – Hos. 6:1,2.

Q. How doth God humble a man?
A. By working in him a sight of his sins, and a sorrow for them.

Q. How is this sight of sin wrought?
A. By the moral law, the sum whereof is the Ten Commandments.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” – Rom. 3:20;
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.” – Rom. 7:7,8.

Q. What sins may I find in myself by them?
A. Ten.

Q. What is the first?
A. To make something thy God which is not God, by fearing it, loving it, and so trusting in it more than in the true God.

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – Exod. 20:3.

Q. What is the second?
A. To worship false gods, or the true God in a false manner.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” – Exod. 20:4-6.

Q. What is the third?
A. To dishonour God in abusing his titles, words and works.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” – Exod. 20:7.

Q. What is the fourth?
A. To break the Sabbath in doing the works of their calling and of the flesh, and in leaving undone the works of the Spirit.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” – Exod. 20:8-11.


Q. What be the six latter?
A. To do anything that may hinder thy neighbour’s dignitya, lifeb, chastityc, wealthd, good namee, though it be but in the secret thoughts and motions of the heart unto which thou givest no liking nor consentf.

a “Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” – Exod. 20:12.
b “Thou shalt not kill.” – Exod. 20:13.
c “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” – Exod 20:14.
d “Thou shalt not steal.” – Exod. 20:15.
e “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” – Exod. 20:16.
f “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.” – Exod. 20:17.

Q. What is sorrow for sin?
A. It is when a man’s conscience is touched with a lively feeling of God’s displeasure for any of these sinsa; in such wise that he utterly despairs of salvation, in regard of anything in himself, acknowledging that he hath deserved shame and confusion eternallyb.

a “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:37,38.
b “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – 1 Tim. 1:15; “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” – Luke 15:21; “And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day.” – Ezra 9:6,7.

Q. How doth God work this sorrow?
A. By the terrible curse of the law.

Q. What is that?

A. He which breaks but one of the commandments of God, though it be but once in all his lifetime, and that only in one thought, is subject to, and in danger of eternal damnation thereby.

“ For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” – Gal. 3:10.

Q. When men’s hearts are thus prepared, how doth God ingraft faith in them?
A. By working certain inward motions in the heart which are seeds of faith, out of which it breedeth.

Q. What is the first of them?
A. When a man is humbled under the burden of his sins, doth acknowledge and feel that he stands in great need of Christ.

“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” – Isa. 55:1;
“ In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” – John 7:37;
“He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” – Luke 1:53.

Q. What is the second?
A. An hungering desire and a longing to be made partaker of Christ and all his merits.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – Matt. 5:6.

Q. What is the third?
A. A flying to the throne of grace from the sentence of the law pricking the conscience.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Heb. 4:16.

Q. How is it done?
A. By praying, with sending up loud cries for God’s favour in Christ, in the pardoning of sin; and with fervent perseverance herein, till the desire of the heart be granted.

“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” – Luke 15:18,19;

“And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.” – Matt. 15:22,23;
“For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” – Acts 8:23;
“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.” – 2 Cor. 12:8.

Q. What followeth after this?
A. God then according to his merciful promise, lets the poor sinner feel the assurance of his love wherewith he loveth him in Christ, which assurance is a lively faith.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” – Matt. 7:7;
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” – Isa. 65:24;
“He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render unto man his righteousness.” – Job 33:26.

Q. Are there divers degrees and measures of true faith?
A. Yea.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” – Rom. 1:17;
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” – Luke 17:5.

Q. What is the least measure of true faith that any man can have?
A. When a man of an humble spirit, by reason of the littleness of his faith, doth not yet feel the assurance of the forgiveness of his sins, and yet he is persuaded that they are pardonable, and therefore desireth that they should be pardoned, and with his heart prayeth to God to pardon them.

“A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.” – Isa. 42:3;
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” – Matt. 17:20;
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.” – Luke 17:5.

Q. How do you know that such a man hath faith?
A. These desires and prayers are testimonies of the Spirit, whose property is to stir up a longing and a lusting after heavenly things with sighs and groans for God’s favour and mercy in Christa. Now where the Spirit of Christ is, there is Christ dwelling, and where Christ dwelleth, there is true faith, how weak soever it beb.

a “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body....Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Rom. 8:23,26; “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” – Gal. 4:6; “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – Matt. 5:6.
b “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” – Rom. 8:9; “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love” – Eph. 3:17.

Q. What is the greatest measure of faith?
A. When a man daily increasing in faith comes to be fully persuaded of God’s love in Christ towards himself particularly, and of the forgiveness of his own sins.

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Rom. 8:38,39;
“Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.” – Song 8:6,7.

Q. When shall a Christian heart come to this full assurance?
A. Not at the first, but in some continuance of time, when he hath been well practiced  in repentance, and hath had divers experiences of God’s love to him in Christ; then after them will appear in his heart the fulness of persuasiona, which is ripeness and strength of faithb.

a “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” – 2 Tim. 4:7,8; “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” – Psa. 23:6 cf. vv.1-4.
b “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” – Rom. 4:20,21.

Q. What benefits doth a man receive by faith in Christ?
A. Hereby he is justified before God, and sanctified.

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” – 1 Cor. 1:30;

“And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.” – Acts 15:9;
“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” – Rom. 4:3.

Q. What is this, to be justified before God?
A. It comprehendeth two things: the first, to be cleared from the guiltiness and punishment of sin; the second, to be accepted as perfectly righteous before God.

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.” – Rom. 8:33.

Q. How is a man cleared from the guiltiness and punishment of his sins?
A. By Christ’s sufferings and death upon the cross.

“In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight” – Col. 1:22;
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” – 1 Pet. 2:24;
“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:7.

Q. How is he accepted for righteous before God?
A. By the righteousness of Christ imputed to him.

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Cor. 5:21.

Q. What profit comes by being thus justified?
A. Hereby, and by no other means in the world, the believer shall be accepted before God’s judgment seat as worthy of eternal life by the merits of the same righteousness of Christ.

“Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” – Rom. 4:7;
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” – Rev. 22;17.

Q. Do not good works then make us worthy of eternal life?
A. No, for God, who is perfect righteousness itself, will find in the best works we do more matter of damnation than of salvation, and therefore we must rather condemn ourselves for our good works, than look to be justified before God thereby.

“And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” – Psa. 143:2;

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” – Isa. 64:6;
“If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.” – Job 9:3.

Q. How may a man know that he is justified before God?
A. He need not ascend into heaven to search the secret counsel of God, but rather descend into his own heart to search whether he be sanctified or not.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Rom. 8:1;
“ 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.” – 1 John 3:9.

Q. What is it to be sanctified?
A. It comprehendeth two things: the first, to be purged from the corruption of his own nature; the second, to be endued with inward righteousness.

Q. How is the corruption of sin purged?
A. By the merits and power of Christ’s death, which being by faith applied is as a corrosive to abate, consume and weaken the power of all sin.

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” – Rom. 6:6;
“Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” – 1 Pet. 4:1,2.

Q. How is a man endued with inherent righteousness?
A. Through the virtue of Christ’s resurrection; which being applied by faith is a restorative to revive a man that is dead in sin to newness of life.

“Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” – Rom. 6:4,5;
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” – Phil. 3:10.

Q. In what part of man is sanctification wrought?
A. In every part of body and soul.

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Thess. 5:23.


Q. In what time is it wrought?
A. It is begun in this life, in which the faithful receive only the firstfruits of the Spirit, and it is not finished before the end of this life.

“And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” – Rom. 8:23;
“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.” – 2 Cor. 5:2,3.

Q. What graces of the Spirit do usually shew themselves in the heart of a man sanctified?
A. The hatred of sin, and the love of righteousness.

“I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.” – Psa. 119:113;
“I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest.” – Psa. 40:9;
“I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” – Psa. 101:3;
“For I delight in the law of God after the inward man” – Rom. 7:22.

Q. What proceeds of them?
A. Repentance, which is a settled purpose in the heart, with a careful endeavour to leave all his sins and to live a Christian life according to all God’s commandments.

“Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” – Psa. 119:2;
“Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.” – Psa.119:57;
“I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love.” – Psa. 119:113.

Q. What goeth with repentance?
A. A continual fighting and struggling against the assaults of a man’s own flesh against the motions of the devil and the enticements of
the world.

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” – Gal. 5:17;
“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Eph. 6:11,12.

Q. What followeth after a man hath gotten the victory in any temptation or affliction?
A. Experience of God’s love in Christ, and so increase of peace of conscience, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” – Rom. 5:3,4;
“That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge” – 1 Cor. 1:5.

Q. What followeth if in any temptation he be overcome and through infirmity fall?
A. After a while there will arise a godly sorrow, which is when a man is grieved for no other cause in the world, but for this only, that by his sin he hath displeased God, who hath been unto him a most merciful and loving Father.

“For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.” – 2 Cor. 7:8,9;
“And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.” – Matt. 26:75.

Q. What sign is there of this sorrow?
A. The true sign of it is this, when a man can be grieved for the very disobedience of God in his evil word or deed, though he should never be punished, and though there were neither heaven nor hell.

“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.” – I Pet. 2:19.

Q. What follows after this sorrow?
A, Repentance renewed afresh.

“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” – 2 Cor. 7:11.

Q. By what signs will this repentance appear?
A. By seven:
    1. A care to leave the sin into which he is fallen.
    2. An utter condemning of himself for it, with a craving of pardon.
    3. A great anger against himself for his carelessness.
    4. A fear lest he should fall into the same sin again.
    5. A desire ever after to please God.
    6. A zeal of the same.
    7. Revenge upon himself for his former offence.

“For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” – 2 Cor. 7:11.


The Fifth Principle expounded

Q. What outward means must we use to obtain faith, and all the blessings of God which come by faith?
A. The preaching of God’s word, and the administration of the sacraments, and prayer.

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” – Prov. 29:18;
“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” – Rom. 10:14;
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matt. 28:19,20;
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” – 2 Tim. 3:16.

Q. Where is the word of God to be found?
A. The whole word of God needful to salvation is set down in the holy Scriptures.

Q. How know you that the Scriptures are the word of God, and not men’s policies?
A. I am assured of it: first, because the Holy Ghost persuadeth my conscience that it is soa; secondly, I see it by experience, for the preaching of the Scripturesb have the power of God in them to humble a man when they are preached, and to cast him down to hell, and afterward to restore and raise him up again.

a “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” – Eph. 1:13.
b “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Heb. 4:12; “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” – 1 Cor. 14:25.

Q. What is the use of the word of God preached?
A. First, it breedeth, and then it increaseth faith in them which are chosen to salvation; but unto them that perish, it is by reason of their corruption, an occasion of their further damnation.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” – Rom. 1:17;
“To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” – 2 Cor. 2:16;
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” – Heb. 4:2.

Q. How must we hear God’s word, that it may be effectual to salvation?
A. We must come unto it with hunger-bitten hearts, having an appetite to the word; we must mark it with attention, receive it by faith, submit ourselves unto it with fear and trembling, even then when our faults are reproved; lastly we must hide it in the corners of our hearts, that we may frame our lives and conversations by it.

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” – Jam. 1:19;
“And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.” – Acts 16:14;
“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” – Heb. 4:2;
“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” – Isa. 66:2;
“And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.” – Luke 2:51;
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” – Psa. 119:11.

Q. What is a sacrament?
A. A sign to represent, a seal to confirm, an instrument to convey Christ and all his benefits to them that do believe in him.

“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also” – Rom. 4:11;
“And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” – Gen. 17:11;
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?” – Gal. 3:1.

Q. Why must a sacrament represent the mercies of God before our eyes?
A. Because we are dull to conceive and to remember them.

Q. Why do the sacraments seal unto us the mercies of God?
A. Because we are full of unbelief, and doubting of them.

Q. Why is the sacrament the instrument of the Spirit to convey the mercies of God into our hearts?
A. Because we are like Thomas; we will not believe till we feel them in some measure in our hearts.

Q. How many sacraments are there?
A. Two and no more: Baptism, by which we have our admission into the true church of God; and the Lord’s Supper, by which we are nourished and preserved in the true church after our admission.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat” – 1 Cor. 10:1-3.

Q. What is done in baptism?
A. In the assembly of the church, the Covenant of grace between God and the party baptised is solemnly confirmed and sealed.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” – Acts 2:38;
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” – Tit. 3:5;
“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” – Acts 22:16;
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – Matt. 28:19.


Q. In this Covenant, what doth God promise to the party baptised?
A. Christ, with all blessings that come by him.

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” – Gal. 3:27;

“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” – 1 Pet. 3:21.

Q. To what condition is the party baptised bound?
A. To receive Christ and to repent of his sin.

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” – Mark 16:16.

Q. What meaneth the sprinkling or dipping in water?
A. It seals unto us remission of sins, and sanctification by the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Christ.

“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” – 1 Pet. 1:2.

Q. How cometh it to pass that many after their baptism for a long time feel not the effect and fruit of it, and some never?
A. The fault is not in God, who keeps his covenants, but the fault is in themselves, in that they do not keep the condition of the Covenant, to receive Christ by faith, and to repent of all their sins.

Q. When shall a man then see the effect of his baptism?
A. At what time soever he doth receive Christ by faith, though it be many years after, he shall then feel the power of God to regenerate him, and to work all things in him, which he offered in baptism.

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” – Heb. 10:10;
“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” – 1 Pet. 3:21.

Q. How if a man never keep the condition to which he bound himself in baptism?
A. His damnation shall be the greater because he breaketh his vow made to God.

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.” – Deut. 23:21,22;
“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.” – Eccl. 5:4.

Q. What is done in the Lord’s Supper?
A. The former Covenant solemnly ratified in baptism is renewed in the Lord’s Supper, between the Lord himself and the receiver.

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” – 1 Cor. 11:23,24;
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” – 1 Cor. 12:13.

Q. Who is the receiver?
A. Every one that hath been baptised, and after his baptism hath truly believed in Christ and repented of his sins from his heart.

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.....For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.”– 1 Cor. 11:28,31;
“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” – Matt. 5:23,24;
“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog’s neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine’s blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations.” – Isa. 66:2,3.

Q. What meaneth the bread and wine, the eating of the bread and the drinking of the wine?
A. These outward actions are a second seal set by the Lord’s own hand unto his Covenant. And they do give every receiver to understand that as God doth bless the bread and wine, to preserve and strengthen the body of the receiver, so Christ apprehended and received by faith shall nourish him and preserve both body and soul unto eternal life.

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” – 1 Cor. 10:16,17.

Q. What shall a true believer feel in himself after the receiving of the sacrament?
A. The increase of his faith in Christ, the increase of sanctification, a greater measure of dying to sin, a greater care to live in newness of life.

“The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” – 1 Cor 10:16,17;
“And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” – 1 Cor. 11:24.

Q. What if a man after the receiving of the sacrament, never find any such thing in himself?
A. He may well suspect himself whether he did ever repent or not; and thereupon is to use means to come to sound faith and repentance.

Q. What is another means of increasing faith?
A. Prayer.

Q. What is prayer?
A. A familiar speech with Goda in the name of Christ, in which we either crave things needful or give thanks for things receivedb.

a “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us”  – 1 John 5:14.
b “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” – 1 Tim. 2:1; “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” – Phil. 4:6.

Q. In asking things needful, what is required?
A. Two things: an earnest desire and faith.

Q. What things must a Christian man’s heart desire?
A. Six things especially.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” – Mark 11:24.

Q. What are they?
A.     1. That he may glorify Goda.
         2. That God may reign in his heart and not sinb.
         3. That he may do God’s will and not the lusts of his fleshc.
         4. That he may rely himself on God’s providence for all the means of this temporal lifed.
         5. That he may be justified and be at peace with Gode.
         6. That by the power of God he may be strengthened against all temptationsf.

a 1st petition.
b 2nd petition.
c 3rd petition.
d 4th petition.
e 5th petition.
f 6th petition.

Q. What is faith?
A. A persuasion that those things which we truly desire, God will grant them for Christ’s sake.

Amen.


The Sixth Principle expounded

Q. After that a man hath led a short life in this world, what followeth then?
A. Death, which is the parting asunder of body and soul.

Q. Why do wicked men and unbelievers die?
A. That their bodies may go to the earth, and their souls may be cast into hell fire.

“And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” – Luke 16:22,23.

Q. Why do the godly die, seeing Christ by death hath overcome death?
A. They die for this end, that their bodies may rest for a while in the earth and their souls may enter into heaven immediately.

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43;

“And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” – Acts 7:60;
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.” – 1 Thess. 4:13;
“ Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” – Heb. 2:14;
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” – 1 Cor. 15:51.

Q. What followeth after death?
A. The day of judgment.

Q. What sign is there to know this day from other days?
A. Heaven and earth shall be consumed with fire immediately before the coming of the judge.

“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” – 2 Pet. 3:11,12.

Q. Who shall be the judge?
A. Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Q. What shall be the coming to judgment?
A. He shall come in the clouds in great majesty and glory, with infinite company of angels.

“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – 1 Thess. 4:16,17.

Q. How shall a man be cited to judgment?
A. At the sound of a trumpeta, the living shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and the dead shall rise every one with his own bodyb, and all shall be gathered together before Christ; and after this the good shall be severed from the badc,these standing on the left hand of Christ, the other on the right.

a “And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” – Matt. 24:31; “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory” – Matt. 25:31; “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Cor. 15:51,52.
b “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” – Job 19:25,26.
c “And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” – Matt. 25:32,33.

Q. How will Christ try every man’s cause?
A. The books of every man’s doings shall be laid opena, men’s consciences shall be made either to accuse them or excuse them, and every man shall be tried by the works which he did in his life time, because they are open and manifest signs of faith or unbeliefb.

a “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” – Rev. 20:12; “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” – Dan. 7:10.
b “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” – John 5:24.

Q. What sentence will he give?
A. He will give sentence of salvation to the elect and godly, but will pronounce sentence of damnation against unbelievers and reprobates.

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world....Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels” – Matt. 25:34,41.

Q. What state shall the godly be in after the day of judgment?
A. They shall continue for ever in the highest heaven in the presence of God, having fellowship with Christ Jesus, and reigning with him for ever.

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” – Matt. 25:34;
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” – Rev. 21:2-5.

Q. What state shall the wicked be in after the day of judgment?
A. In eternal perdition and destruction in hell fire.

Q. What is that?
A. It stands in three things especially: First, a perpetual separation from God’s comfortable presence. Secondly, fellowship with the devil and his angels. Thirdly, an horrible pang and torment both of body and soul, arising from the feeling of the whole wrath of God poured forth on the wicked for ever world without end; and if the pain of one tooth for one day be so great, endless shall be the pain of the whole man, body and soul for ever.

“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” – 2 Thess. 1:9;
“And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” – Isa. 66:24;
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” – Rev. 21:8.