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A SHORT CATECHISM,
USED BY THE PASTOR IN INSTRUCTING THE YOUNG
PEOPLE OF HIS CHARGE.
Question. What is naturally every man's chief desire ?
A. The true and lively knowledge of the only true God, and of him whom he hath sent, Jesus Christ.
Q. Whence is this knowledge to be learned ?
A. All the works of God declare his being, and his glory; but the clearer knowledge of himself, and his Son Jesus Christ, is to be learned from his own word, contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament.
Q. What do those Scriptures teach us concerning God ?
A. That he is one infinite eternal Spirit, most wise, and holy, and just, and merciful, and the all-powerful Maker and Ruler of the world.
Q. What do they further teach of him?
A. That he is Three in One, and One in Three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Q. What will the love of God effectually work in us?
A. It will cause us to believe in him, and to love him above all things, even above ourselves, to adore and worship him, to pray to him, and to praise him, and exalt him with
all our might, and to yield up ourselves to the obedience of all his commandments, as having both made us, and made himself known to us for that very end.
Rehearse the articles of our belief.
Rehearse the Ten Commandments of the law, which are the rules of our obedience, and so, the trial of our love.
A. God spake these words, I am the Lord thy God, &c.
Q. What is the summary our Saviour hath given us of this law ?
A. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.
Q. What is the effectual means of obtaining increase of faith and power to obey, and generally, all graces and blessings at the hand of God ?
Rehearse that most excellent and perfect prayer that our Saviour hath taught us.
A. Our Father, which art in heaven, &c.
A. No. But by breaking the commandment which his Maker gave him, eating of the fruit of that tree which was forbidden him, he made himself and his whole posterity subject to sin and death.
Q. Hath God left man in this misery, without all means and hopes of recovery ?
A. No. For he so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Q. What is then the great doctrine of the gospel ?
A. That same coming of the Son of God in the flesh, and giving himself to the death of the cross, to take away the sin
of the world, and his rising again from the dead, and ascending into glory
Q. What doth that gospel mainly teach and really persuade all the followers of it to do?
A. It teacheth them to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live soberly, and righteously, and godly in this present world.
Q. How hath our Lord Jesus himself expressed the great and necessary duty of all his disciples ?
A. That they deny themselves, and take up their cross, and follow him.
Rehearse then some of the chief points wherein we are to follow our Lord Jesus Christ.
A. 1. To surrender ourselves wholly to our heavenly Father, and his good pleasure in all things, even in the sharpest afflictions and sufferings : and not at all to do our own will, or design our own praise or advantage, but in all things to do his will and intend his glory.
2. To be spotless, and chaste, and holy, in our whole conversation.
Add a third.
3. To be meek and lowly, not to slander or reproach, to mock or despise any; and if any do so to us, to bear it patiently, yea to rejoice in it.
4. Unfeignedly to love our Christian brethren, and to be kindly affected towards all men, even to our enemies, forgiving them, yea, and praying for them, and returning them good for evil; to comfort the afflicted, and relieve the poor, and to do good to all, as we are able.
Q. Is it necessary that all Christians live according to these rules ?
A. So absolutely necessary, that they who do not so in some good measure, whatsoever they profess, do not really believe in Jesus Christ, nor have any portion in him.
Q. What visible seals hath our Saviour annexed to that gospel, to confirm our faith, and to convey the grace of it to
A. The two Sacraments of the New Testament, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Q. What doth Baptism signify and seal ?
A. Our spiritual nourishment and growth in him, and transforming us more and more into his likeness, by commemorating his death, and feeding on his body and blood, under the figures of bread and wine.
Q. What is required to make fit and worthy communicants of the Lord's Supper ?
A. Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and repentance towards God, and charity towards all men.
Q. What is faith in our Lord Jesus ?
A. It is the grace by which we both believe his whole doctrine, and trust in him as the Redeemer and Saviour of the world, and entirely deliver up ourselves to him, to be taught, and saved, and ruled by him, as our Prophet, Priest, and King.
Q. What is repentance ?
A. It is a godly sorrow for sin, and a hearty and real turning from all sin unto God.
Q. What is the final portion of unbelieving and unrepentant sinners ?
A. The everlasting torments of devils.
Q. What is the final portion of them who truly repent, and believe and obey the gospel ?
A. The blessed life of angels, in the vision of God for
THE SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY.
When the persons to be married are assembled with their friends, the minister addresses them thus :
We are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman, in matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his church; which estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence and first miracle that he wrought in Cana of Galilee: and is commended of the apostle Paul to be honorable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, discreetly, soberly and in the fear of God; duly considering, that matrimony was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into this honorable estate these two persons present come now to be joined.