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owe to God, and are bound to do, as we are creatures, and subjects, and children.
Q. 6. Are we bound to nothing in point of practice, but: what is requited in the scriptures ?
A. No. Because the laws and commandments of God in the scriptures are fo exceeding large and extensive, that they reach both the inward and outward man, and whole conversation ; so that nothing is lawful for us to do, except it be directly or consequentially prescribed in the word.
Q. 7. How do the foriptures teach matters of faith ard. practice ?
A. The scriptures reach the matters of faith and prac. tice, by revealing these things externally ; but it is the Spirit of God only, in the scriptures, which can teach them internally and effectually unto falvation.
Q. 8. Why are the scriptures faid principally to teach what man is to believe concerning. God, and what duty God requireth of man?
A. Because though all things taught in the fcriptures ; are alike true, having the stamp of divine authority upon them; yet all things in the scriptures are not alike neces. fary and useful. Those things which man is bound to: believe and do, as neceffary to falvation, are the things which the scriptures do principally teach..
IV. Queft. What is God?
Anfw. God is a Spirit, infinite, , eternal, unchangeables: in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, juftice, goodness,, and truth.
Q. 1. What kind of fübftance is God?
A. God is a Spirit. John įv. 24. God is a Spirit', and they that worfhip him, muft, worship him in spirit. and in truth.”
Q. 2. What is a spirit ?
A. A fpirit is an immaterial substance, without flesh or bones, or bodily parts. Luke xxiv. 39. Behold my hands, and my feet, that it is I'myfelf; handle me and fee, for a fpirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye fee.me have."
Q: 3. How is God said then in feripture to have eyes, and! cars, and mouth and hands, and other parts. Pfal. xxxiv. 15... s.The eyes of the Lord axe. upon the righteous, and his ears are:
open unto their cry.'
Isa. i. 20. The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.' Heb. x. 31. 'It is a fearful thing to fall ina the hands of the living God.'
A. These and the like bodily parts are not in God prop. erly, as they be in men ; but figuratively, and after the manner of men, he is pleased to condescend (in expresling himself thereby) to our weak capacities, that we might the more easily conceive of him by such resemblances.
Q. 4. How doth God differ from angels and the fouls of men, who
also are spiritual and immaterial substances ?
A. 1. Angels and the souls of men are created fpirits, and depend in their being upon God; but God is an uncreated spirit, and dependeth in his being upon none. 2. Angels and the souls of men are finite fpirits ; but God is an infinite fpirit.
Q. 5. What is it to be infinite ?
A. To be infinite, is to be without measure, bounds, or limits.
Q. 6. In what regard is God infinite ? - A. 1. God is infinite, or without bounds, in regard of his being and perfection ; and therefore is incomprehensible. Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? 2. God is infinite, and without meafure and bounds, in regard of place; and therefore he is every where present. Jer.
• Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him, faith the Lord : Do not I fill heaven and earth ?' And yet neither the earth, nor the heavens, nor the heaven of heavens, is able to contain him, 1 Kings, viii. 27. 3. God is infinite, or without measure and bounds, in regard of time ; and therefore he is eternal. 1. Tim, i. 17. Now unto the king eternal, immortal, in. visible, the only wise God, be honor and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.' 4. God is infinite, or without mealure and bounds, in regard of all his communicable attributes. Q. 7. What is it to be eternal.
A. Tobeeternal, is to have neither beginning nor ending.
A 1. From scripture. Psal. xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadít formed the
carth or the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art. God.'
2. From reafon. li God gave a being to the world, and all things therein, at the beginning of time ; therefore he must needs be before the world, and before time, and therefore from everlasting. 2. God is an absolutely necefsary being, becaufe the first being, because altogether independent, and beyond the reach of any power to put an end to him ; therefore he is unchangeable ; therefore to verlasting he is God.
0.9. How doth God differ from bis creatures, in regard of his eternity?
A. s. Some creatures have their beginning with time, and their ending with time, as the heavens and the foundations of the earth. 2. Some creatures have their beginning in time, and their ending also in time ; as those creatures upon the earth, which are generated and core rupted, which are born, and live for a while, and then die. 3. Some creatures have their beginning in time,. yet do not end with or in time, but endure forever ; as angels and the souls of men. 4. But God differeth from all, in that he was from everlasting, before time, and will remaja unto everlasting, when time shall be no more.
Q.10. What is it to be unchangeable ? A. To be upchangeable, is to be always the same. without any alteration.
Q. 11. In what regard is God unchangeable ?
A. God is unchangeable in regard of his nature and essence. Pfal. cii. 25, 26, 27. Of old thou hast laid, the foundations of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They fhall perish, but thou. shalt endure : they shall be changed, but thou art the fame.' . God is unchangeable in regard of his counsel and purpose. Ifa. xlvi. 10. My counsel fhall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.' Heb. vi. 27. 6. Wherein God willing to fhew. the immutability of, his counsel.' 3. God. is unchangeable in regard of his love and fpecial favors. Rom. xi., 29.. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.' James i. 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 fiadow of turning.'
Q. 12. How is God said to be infinite, eternal, unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth?
A. 1. In that being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, which are communicable unto, and may be in some degree and measure found in the crea. tures, they are in God, infinitely, eternally and unchange. ably, and so altogether in an incommunicable manner. 1. Creatures have a being, but it is a finite being ; a being in time, a changeable being : God's being is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. 2. Creatures may have wisdom, but it is finite and imperfect wisdom : God's wisdom is infinite and absolutely perfect. 3. Creatures may have some power, but it is finite and limited power, such as may be taken away ; they may have power to do something dependingly upon God: but God is infinite in pow. er, he is omnipotent, and can do all things independently, without the help of any. 4. Creatures may have some holiness, and justice, and goodness, and truth ; but all these are qualities in them, they are finite, and in an inferior degree, and they are subject to change : but these things are essence in God, they are infinite and perfect in him ; his holiness is infinite, his justice is infinite, his goodness is infinite, his truth is infinite ; and all these are eternally in him, without any variableness or poflibility of change.
Q.13. What is the wisdom of God?
À. The wisdom of God is his essential property, whereby by one fimple and eternal act, he knoweth both him. self and all possible things perfectly, and according to which he maketh, directeth, and ordereth all future things for his own glory.
Q. 14. Wherein doth the wisdom of God appear ? A. 1. God's wisdom doth appear in his perfect knowledge of all possible things, all past things, all present things, all future things, in their natures, causes; virtues; and operations; and that not by relation, observation, or induction of reason, as men know some things ; but by one fimple and eternal act of his understanding. Psal. cxlvii. 5. His understanding is infinite.' Psal. cxxxix. 1, 6. O Lord, thou hast searched me and known me : such
knowledge is too wonderful for me : it is high, I cannot attain unto it.' Heb. iv. 13. • Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his fight : but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.'
2. God's wisdom doth appear in the beautiful variety of creatures which he hath made above and below. Pfal. ciy.
24. • O Lord, how manifold are thy works ! in wis. dom haft thou made them all.'
3. God's wisdom doth appear in his admirable contriv. ance of our redemption through his Son, whereby his jus. tice is fully fatisfied, and his people are graciously saved. i Cor. . 6,7. · Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect : the wisdom of God in a mystery, &c.' This is that wisdom which was made known by the church unto the angels. Eph. iii. 10. "To the intent that unto the principalities might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.'
4. God's wisdom doth appear in his excellent government of all his creatures. 1. In his government of unreasonable creatures, directing them unto their ends, though they have no reason to guide them.
2. In his government of reasonable creatures that are wicked, overruling all their actions for his own glory, though they be intended by them for his dishonor. Pfal. lxxvi. 10. •Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee.' 3.
govern. ment of his church and people ; the disposal of his special favors to the most unworthy, that he might reap all the glory ; his qualifying and making use of instruments in great works, beyond their own thoughts and designs; his seasonable provisions for his people ; his strange preservation of them from the malice of subtle and powerful enemies ; his promoting his own interest in the world, by the means which men use to subvert it, and the like, do evi. dently declare the infinite wisdom of God.
Q. 15. What is the power of God ?
A. The power of God is his essential property, whereby he can do all things. Gen. xvii. i. 'I am the almigh
Q. 16. Wherein doth the power of God Mew itself?