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Q. 3. How do the means of grace have an effect?
A. By instructing and impressing the minds of men. The mind is influenced by the instrumentality of motives. All the Christian graces are put forth in view of truth. There can be no love to God, without a knowledge of Him ;-no repentance for sin, without a knowledge of the law ;-no faith in Christ, without a knowledge of Him;—and no Christian hope, without a knowledge of the blessings to be conferred upon Christians. There is, ordinarily, a connection between knowledge and grace; that is, there is not, ordinarily, grace or holiness without knowledge. And there can be no conversion, or sanctification, without religious impression. The mind in ordinary cases will not act till instructed and impressed. The means of grace, then, produce their effect by presenting truth before the inind, and motives to induce the mind to act in view of truth. (6) ets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.-Acts xvii. 11. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether these things were so.—Matt. vii. 7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.—Matt. xxviii
. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.-1 Cor. xi. 26. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.—Luke xxiv. 32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures ?-Ps. i. 2. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate, day and night.—2 Cor. xiii. 5. Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith, prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates ?-Deut. vi. 6, 7. And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up:
(b) Ps. xix. 8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.-Heb. iv. 12. For the word of God is quick, and powe erful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to
Q. 4. Will the means of grace, of themselves, ever effect, or ensure, the regeneration or sanctification of the soul?
A. They never will. They are to be viewed only as the instrument, used by the Holy Spirit in enlightening the understanding, and influencing the conscience ;—in occasioning, but not causing, holy affections of heart. Moral suasion, or the exhibition of divine truth, will of itself avail nothing towards renewing and sanctifying the heart. There must be the agency of the Holy Ghost to give efficiency to
The saving efficacy of means depends upon God's agency: (c)
Q. 5. Is the use of the common means of grace absolutely necessary, in the nature of things, to prepare men for heaven?
A. It is presumed they are not. God could renew and sanctify the hearts of those whom he saves, without the use of the common means of grace, if he pleased. He does this in the salvation of infants. But God's ordinary method, in renewing and sanctifying the soul, is by the instrumentality of means. Without the use of them, therefore, there will, ordinarily, be no convictions, no conversions, no fruits of the Spirit, no accessions to the Church of Christ; but with the use of them there will, generally, be the ends for which they are used.
Q. 6. How does this doctrine of means and ends affect the agency and sovereignty of God, and the agency and dependence of man?
A. The connection of means and ends, however certain, does neither injure nor destroy the agency
the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the ihoughts and intents of the heart.-Jer. xxiii. 29. Is not my word like as a fire, saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces ?
(c) '1 Cor. iii. 6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.—1 Pet. ì. 23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.- James i. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
or sovereignty of God, nor the agency or dependence of man; but proves and illustrates these doctrines. God acts by the instrumentality of means; and, in doing it, His agency is as real and sovereign as though He acted without means. Man acts freely, while he is acted upon by the Holy Spirit, and, thus, man is really dependent, and still a free agent. (d)
Q.7. Are all men, sinners as well as saints, obligated to use the means of grace ?
A. They are. The commands of God, and the benefit resulting from their use, bind them to this duty. Saints are sanctified through the truth. Sinners are usually converted by the instrumentality of
There is no account in Scripture, that any who had arrived to years of discretion were converted until the means of grace had been used with them. There is, therefore, a much greater hope of the salvation of those who attend upon the means of grace than there is of those who do not. This hope does not arise from anything good in the doings of the unregenerate, but from the fact, that they are brought within the influence of means, and into a situation in which God is wont to grant His Spirit in renewing and sanctifying the soul. God does not, generally, extend His grace, in the salvation of men, further than the use of the means which he has appointed. The prospect, therefore, of the salvation of sinners in human view is limited to the use which they make of the means of grace. As means and ends are thus inseparably connected by God, in the economy of salvation, saints and sinners are bound to use the means, in order to obtain the ends. And none but the ignorant, enthusiastic, immoral, and wicked will deny the duty. (e)
(d) 1 Cor. iii. 7. So then, neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Philip. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God, which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
(e) Acts xx. 32. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified,
Q. 8. How should the means of grace be used ?
Ă. With sincerity, with a disposition to improve by them, with a deep sense that the blessing of Heaven is necessary to give them a good influence, and with earnest prayer to God that he would render them efficacious.
A. Paying God that homage, or veneration, which is due to his perfect and adorable nature. (a)
Q. 2. Is worship a moral or positive duty, or both ?
A. Worship, considered in itself, is a moral duty, and is, therefore, taught by the light of nature; but the manner and time of worshipping God are subjects of positive injunction, and are taught by the Scriptures only.
-John xvii. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.-Acts ii. 37. Now when they heard ihis, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter, and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, What shall we do?-Acts ii. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized ; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.--2 Cor. x. 4, 5. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity
every thought to the obedience of Christ.--Prov. viii. 33–35. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord.--Prov. xv. 8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord; but the prayer of the upright is his delight:
(a) Rev. iv. 9–11. And when those beasts give glory, and honor, and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth forever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honor, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Q. 3. What kinds of worship does God require of man?
A. Public, private or family, and secret worship. These kinds of worship are taught by the light of nature, and the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, and are congenial to the feelings of good people. (b)
R. 4. When is public worship to be observed ?
A. On the sabbath, and at other times, as circumstances may require. (c)
Q.5. What are the services of public worship?
Ă. They are reading the Sacred Scriptures, preaching the gospel, prayer, psalmody, the administration of baptism, and of the Lord's supper. These services are always to be performed in a known language. The practice, therefore, of the Greek and Latin Churches, in this respect, cannot be jus
(b) Ps. Ixxxiv. 4. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house; they will be still praising thee.--Ps. cxxxii. 7. We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool.--Josh. xxiv. 15. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.--Matt. vi. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly:
(c) Lev. xix. 30. Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am the Lord. --Joel i. 14. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders, and all the inhabita ants of the land, into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord.-Ps.c. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
(d) Acts xv. 21. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogue every sabbath day.--Acts xviii. 4. And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.--1° Tim. íi. 8. I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting: -Col. iii. 16. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.—Acts ii. 41, 42. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.