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Q. 33. In which nature hath lre suffered this ?
A. His Godhead, by its power, in such wise strengthened the assumed human nature, that it could bear the burden of God's wrath against sin, and deliver us from it.
Q. 35. Did Christ then remain under the power of death? A. No: but he rose from the dead the third day for our jus tification, Rom. 4. 25.
Q. 36. Where is Christ now, as to bis human nature ? A. He is ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand f God the Father; that is, exalted in the highest glory, fai above all creatures, Eph. 1. 20, 21.
Q. 37. To what end is he there so highly exalted ?
A. Particularly that he might from thence govern his church, and there be our intercessor with the Father.
Q. 33. Is he not with us then even unto the end of the world, as he hath promised us, Mat. 28. 20.
A. With respect to his Godhead, majesty, grace and spirit, he is never absent from us; but with respcet to his human nature, he remains in heaven, until he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.
Q. 39. What do you believe concerning the Holy Ghost ?
A. That he is the true and co-eternal God with the Father and Son: and that he being given to me of the Father through Christ, regenerates me and leads me into all truth, comforts me, and will abide with me for ever.
Q. 40. What believest thou concerning the Holy Catholic Church ?
A. That the Son of God gathers by his word and spirit out of the whole human race, those, who are chosen to eternal life, to be a church to himself; of which I believe I am and always shall remain a living member.
Q. 41. Where doth he gather his church ?
A. Where God's word is purely preached, and the holy sa craments administered according to the institution of Christ.
Q. 42. What benefits doth Christ bestow on his church?
A. He grants her remission of sins, the resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life.
Q. 43. What doth it profit thee now that thou believest all this?
A. That I am righteous in Christ before God, Rom. 5. 10.
,!i A. Only by a true faith in Jesus Christ.
. Q. 45. How is it io be understood that thou art justified by faith only ?
A. Thus: that the perfect satisfaction, and righteousness of Christ alone are imputed to me of God, by which my sins are forgiven me, and I become an heir of everlasting life: and that I cannot receive that righteousness by any other means than by faith.
Q. 46. Why cannot our good works be our righteousness before God, or some part thereof?
A. Because even our best works in this life, are imperfect, and polluted with sins.
Q. 47. Do our good works then merit nothing, which yet God will reward in this and in a future life?
A. This reward is not given out of merit, but of grace.
A. By the same word preached, and by the use of the holy sacraments,
Q. 51. What are the sacraments?
A. They are holy signs and seals instituted by God, thereby to assure us, that he of grace grants us remission of sins, and life eternal, for the sake of that one sacrifice of Christ finished on the cross.
Q. 52. How many sacraments hath Christ instituted in the new testament? A. Two: holy baptism, and the holy supper. Q. 53. Which is the outward sign in baptism?
A. The water, with which we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Q. 54. What doth that signify and seal ?
A. The washing away of sins by the blood and spirit of Jesus Christ?
Q. 55. Where hath Christ promised and assured us of this?
A. In the institution of baptism; which is as follows, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, but he that believeth not, shall be damned.”
Q. 56. Are infants also to be baptised ?
A. Yes, for they, as well as the adult, are comprehended in the covenant of God, and in his church.
Q. 57. What is the outward sign in the Lord's supper ?
A. The broken bread that we eat, and the poured out wine, which we drink, in remembrance of the sufferings and death of Christ.
Q. 58. What is thereby signified and sealed ?
A. That Christ, with his crucified body and shed blood, feeds and nourishes our souls to everlasting life.
Q. 59. Where hath Christ promised such things to us?
A. In the institution of the Lord's supper, which is thus expressed by St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11. 23, 24, 25, 26, “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 betray. ed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, brake it, and said, take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you.
this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood : this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For so oft as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.”
Q. 60. Is the bread changed into the body of Christ, and the wine into his blood ?
A. No: no more than the water in baptism is changed into the blood of Christ.
Q. 61. After what manner must you examine yourself be fore you come to the Lord's supper ?
A. 1. I must examine whether I abhor myself for my sins, and humble myself before God on account of them. 2. Wh ther I believe and trust that all my sins are forgiven me for Christ's sake. 3. Whether I also have a sincere resolution henceforward, to walk in all good works.
Q. 62. May those be admitted to the Lord's supper, who teach false doctrines, or lead offensive lives?
A. No: lest the covenant of God be profaned, and his wrath kindled against the whole church.
Q. 63. How must we then deal with such persons ? A. According to the appointment given us by Christ, Mat, 18. 15, 16, 17. If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother; but if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be 98. tablished: and if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it ulito the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."
THE THIRD PART.
Of the Gratitude we owe to God for
Redemption. Q. 64. Since we are saved merely of grace through Christ. why must we then yet do good works?
A. Not to merit heaven thereby (which Christ bath done ;) but because this is commanded me of God.
Q. 65. What purpose then do your good works answer ?
A. That I may thereby testify my thankfulness to God for all his benefits, and that he may be glorified by me; and that also I may be assured of the sincerity of my faith, by good works, as the fruits thereof, and that my neighbours may be edified thereby and gained to Christ.
Q. 66. Shall they also be saved who do no good works?
A. No: For the scripture saith, that neither fornicators nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor whoremongers, nor thieves
for covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers, nor much like, shall inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 9, and 10, unless they turn to the Lord.
Q. 67. Wherein doth the conversion of man consist ?
A. In a hearty repentance, and avoiding of sin, and in an earnest desire after, and doing all good works.
Q 68. What are good works?
A. Only those, which proceed from a true faith ; are done according to the law of God, and to his glory; and not those which are founded on the human institutions, or on our own imaginations.
69. Can they, who are converted to God, perfectly keep the law ?
A. Not at all: but even the most holy men, as long as they are in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedi. ence; yet so, that they with a sincere resolution begin to live not only according to some, but according to all the commandments of God, as they also constantly pray to God that they may daily increase therein.
(1. 70. To whom must we pray for this?
A. Not to any creature, but to God alone, who can help us, an I will hear us for Jesus Christ's sake.
Q. 71. In whose name must we pray to God?
A. Only in the name of Christ, John 16. 23, and not in the natue of any saints.
Q. 72. What must we pray to God for ?
A. For all things necessary for soul and body, which Christ our Lord has comprised in that prayer, he himself has taught
Q. 73. What are the words of that prayer ?
A. Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the king. dom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Q. 74. What do you desire of God in this prayer ?
A. 1. That all things which tend to the glory of God, may be promoted, and whatsoever is repugnant thereto, or contrary to his will, may be prevented. 2. That he may provide me with all things necessary for the body, and as to my soul, preserve me from all evil, which might in any wise be detri mental to my salvation. Amen.
When those who are inclined to become members in full communion of the church, and to approach the Holy Supper of the Lord, thoroughly know and confess these fundamental truths, they are then to be asked whether they have any doubt in any point concerning the doctrine; to the end they may be satisfied; and in case any of them should answer in the affirmative, endeavours must be used to convince them
from the scriptures; and if satisfied, they must be asked whether they have experienced the power of the truth in their hearts, and are willing and desirous to be saved by Jesus Christ from their sins; and whether they propose, by the grace of God, to persevere in this doctrine, to forsake the world, and to lead a new Christian life.
Lastly, they are to be asked, whether they will submit themselves to the Christian discipline.
Which being done, they are to be exhorted to peace, love and concord with all men, and to reconciliation, if there is any variance subsisting between them and their neighbours.
THE CONFESSION OF FAITH
REFORMED DUTCII CHURCH, Revised in the National Synod held at Dordrecht, in
the years, 1618, and 1619.
That there is one only God. We all believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God; and that he is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good.
II. By what means God is made known unto us. We know him by two means: first, by the creation, preservation and government of the universe; which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, arc as so many characters leading us to contem. plate the invisible things of God, namely, his eternal power and Godhead, as the apostle Paul saith, Rom. i. 20. All which things are sufficient to convince men, and leave them without excuse. Secondly, he makes himself more clearly and fully known to us, by his holy and divine word; that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to his glory and our salvation,