Puslapio vaizdai
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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. Motives or moral suasion, or the exhibition of divine truth will of itself avail nothing, except as a secondary cause, to the renewing and sanctifying of the heart. There must be the agency of the Holy Ghost to give them efficiency. The saving efficacy of means depends upon God's use of them, and not man's use of them.(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 sancify 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, and sometimes, no doubt, he does this in the salvation of those, who experience a change of heart, in the last moments of life. Although they cannot put forth religious exercises, but in view of divine truth, yet God doubtless can, and does, make special communications of divine knowledge to them, in view of which they exercise holy affections. It is optional with Jehovah, to work with, or without means. But God's ordinary method in renewing and sanctifying the soul is by the instrumentality of means. And he will operate by no means except those of his own appointment. Partic

(c) 1 Cor. 3.6. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1 Peter, 1. 23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. James 1. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

ular means must be used to obtain particular ends, and not the same means in all cases; and the more powerful the means are, the greater will be the effect. Therefore, commonly, by Divine constitution or purpose, means become necessary to the renovation and sanctification of the soul. Without the use of them, 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, in which such means usually issue.

Q. 6. How does this doctrine of means and ends affect the agency and sovereignty of God, and the agency and dependance of man?

A. The connexion of means and ends, however certain, does neither injure, nor destroy the agency 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 dependant, and still a free agent.(d)

Q. 7. Are all men, sinners as well as saints, bound to use the means of grace?

A. They are, from the command of God, and the benefit resulting from their use. Saints are sanctified through the truth and the exercises of holy affections. Sinners are usually converted by the instrumentality of means. 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

(d) 1 Cor. 3.7. So then, neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Philip. 2. 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.

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 any thing 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, commonly, if He ever does, grants 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, 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 the obtaining of the ends. And none but the ignorant, enthusiastick, immoral, and wicked, will deny the duty.(e)

Q. 8.

How should the means of grace be used? A. With sincerity, with a disposition to improve by them, with a deep sense, that the blessing of

(e) Acts 20. 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. John 17. 17. Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth. Acts 2. 57. 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? Acts 2. 41. Then they that gladly received his word were baptised; and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 2 Cor. 10. 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. 8. 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 favour of the Lord. Prov. 15. 8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Heaven is necessary to give them a good effect, and with holy affections of soul.

Q. 9. When are the means of grace to be used? A. In this probationary state only, and the present is the best opportunity for using them. There are no means of grace in eternity, or the world of retribution.(f)

(f) Eccl. 9. 10. Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.

CHAPTER XXVI.

Worship.

Q. 1. What is meant by Divine worship?

A. The paying unto God that homage or veneration, which is due to His perfect and adorable nature.(*)

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 in some respects of a positive nature, and as such are taught by the Scriptures only.

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.(")

(a) Rev. 4. 9-11. And when those beasts give glory and honour, 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 honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

(b) Ps. 84. 4. Blessed are thev, that dwell in thy house; they will be still praising thee. Ps. 132. 7. We will go into his tabernacles; we will worship at his footstool. Jer. 10.

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