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religious truths—the same God, the same plan of mercy, the same Saviour, the same repentance and faith, and the same future state of retribution.()

Q. 17. Of what use is human reason in reference to the Scriptures? A.

Its only use is to ascertain whether the Bible is the word of God, and also what are its contents, or what is its true meaning. When this is done, the office of reason is done.

Q. 18. Are all things in the Scriptures alike plain and easy to be understood? A.

They are not. But the grand and essential truths of the Bible are most clearly taught, and most easily discerned. They are sufficiently plain and intelligible to all capacities.(TM)

Is it of consequence what a man be- . lieves in religion, provided he is sincere in his faith?

A. It is all important. Our hearts and our lives are much affected by our faith. Besides a man may be very sincere in a great error, perhaps a fatal one. St. Paul once sincerely opposed Christ and His cause, but for this very conduct, he calls himself a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. His sincerity did not excuse him. He was still in the broad road to destruction.(-)

Q. 19.

(1) 2.Tim. 3. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

(m) Isa. 35. 8. And an high way shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called, The way of holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the way faring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

(11) John 8. 24. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Acts 26. 9. I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 1 Tim. 1. 13. Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Prov. 16. 25. There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2. But there were false proph

Q. 20. In what manner should the language of Scripture be used in conversation and writing?

A. It should always be used with reverence and sobriety; and should never be quoted in a profane and wicked manner; nor accommodated to trifling subjects. It is highly improper to use the words hell, Lord, God, faith, damnation, vow, curse, and similar expressions; or words of like import, in a light and trivial way. It is not only unpolite and vulgar; but it is profane, and highly displeasing to

God.)

Q. 21. How should the Bible be regarded and treated?

A. It should be valued above all price; embraced firmly, meekly, and in its purity; perused with reverence and gratitude, diligence and attention, faith and prayer; and reduced to practice in daily deportment. To estimate lightly, to neglect, and thus to abuse the Bible, is highly criminal, for it is to treat the messages of Heaven with contempt, to slight offered mercy, and to trifle with the interests of the soul and the solemnities of eternity.(P)

ets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2 John 10. 11. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

(0) Ex. 20. 7. 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.

(p) Ps. 19, 8, 10. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much_fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honey-comb. Eph. 2. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. John 8. 24. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins; for if ye believe not

that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 5. 39. Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of me. Matt. 22. 29. Jesus answered and said unto them, ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

CHAPTER III.

The character of God natural and moral, as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures.

Q. 1. What perfections, natural and moral, does God possess?

A. God, who is a pure spirit,(a) that is, an immaterial substance, or an essence distinct from matter, possesses self-existence, eternity, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, independence, unity, goodness, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth.

Q. 2. What is meant by the self-existence of God, and how is it proved?

A. By His self-existence is meant, that He exists not by any extrinsic, relative, or accidental cause, but exists of and from Himself. There is no reason or ground of His existence out of Himself. That God is self-existent is evident from the fact, that He is the Author of all creatures and things, and that He Himself could not be created by any other being, nor be the effect of chance; but must be uncaused and eternal;—and from the fact, that in Scripture, He is styled “Jehovah," "I Am," “who is, who was, and who is to come.” These terms mean self-existence.()

(a) John 4. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him'must worship him in spirit and in truth.

(b) Ps. 83. 18. That man may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovalı, art the Most High over all the earth. Ex. 3. 14. And God said unto Moses I Am that 1 Am. And

Q. 3. What is meant by the eternity of God? and how is it proved? A. By His eternity is meant His

existence without beginning, succession, or end. There never was a time, when He did not exist, and there never will be a time when He will not exist.- -That God possesses this perfection is manifest from His selfexistence, and the express declarations of the Holy Scriptures.)

Q. 4. What is meant by the immutability of God? and how is it proved?

A. By His immutability is meant His unchangeableness in His essence, perfections, purposes, promises, and threatenings. This perfection of Godis proved from His self-existence and eternity, from the unchanging order, exhibited in the works of creation and providence, and from the Bible.(4)

Q. 5. What is meant by the omnipresence of God? and how is it proved?

A. By His omnipresence is meant His being ever present in every place throughout the universe. He is confined to no part, and excluded from no part. -This perfection of God may be argued from His infinite nature, from His general and particular agency at all times, in all parts of the universe, and from the Sacred Scriptures.(C) he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. Rev. 1. 4. John to the seven churches which are in Asia; Grace be unto you, and peace from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven spirits, which are before his throne,

(c) Deut. 33. 27. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

(d) James 1. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Ps. 33. 11. The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.

(e) Ps. 139. 7--10. Whither shall I go from thy spirit or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there, if I make my bed in hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwellin

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