« PreviousContinue »
in a desire to live by the rules of the religion which we profess.
Q. In what then does Religion consist?
A. In the worship or homage due to God as our Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer; in a dutiful behaviour towards Him; in the government of ourselves, our thoughts, our words, our actions, and our desires; and in the discharge of all our duties to our fellow-creatures.
Q. What is it to be religious in our sentiments ?
A. To have all our wishes regulated by the will of God.
Q. What is it to be religious in our conduct?
A. To observe all the outward duties of homage to God, and to have the spirit of His commands continually before us; to act as under His eye: to conform in all things to the dictates of conscience, and to remember that we are to be judged hereafter for all that we do here.
Q. What is the meaning of the word homage?
A. The act of acknowledging superiority—a form of respect. We pay homage to our Maker by religious rites, and by obedience to His commands.
Q. What is the meaning of the word adoration?
A. Adoration is the service of the heart towards a Superior Being, in which we acknowledge our dependence and obedience by petition and thanksgiving. Adoration should be paid to none but the One True God; and we may adore Him at all times, and in all places, whenever the heart is lifted up towards Him.
Q. What is the meaning of the word worship?
A. The outward form of showing reverence to a superior. We too often worship without adoring. people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me." Isa. xxix. 13.
Q. What is the seat of true religion ?
A. The heart. “ With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” Religion must be seated in the heart, and exemplified in the conduct. Religion is like the root of a plant that lies deep beneath the soil; we see it not, but we know that it is there, giving life and vigour, by the stem, the branches, the leaves, and the fruit that
3 do appear. The grace of God implanted in the heart is itself invisible, yet it is as plainly traced in the life and conduct of the Christian, as the root is by the living and the fruitful tree. “ Ye shall know them by their fruits.” Matt. vii. 16.
Q. What are the two great divisions under which all the parts of religion may be classed?
A. Truth and Duty.
A. The knowledge of God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ; the knowledge of ourselves, as fallen creatures, and of the means which God has appointed for renewing us into his image, and qualifying us for another state after this life is over.
Q. And what is Duty ?
A. What is right or due from man to his Maker, to his fellow-creatures, and to himself. Obedience of every kind.
Q. What does Religion include ?
A. Religion was originally communicated by extraordinary revelations. Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 2 Pet. i. 21.
Q. Could not the wisdom of man invent a Religion suitable to the nature of God, and adapted to the wants of man?
A. No. " When the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." 1 Cor. i. 21.
Q. What may be known of God by the light of nature?
A. His power and goodness. “The heavens declare the glory of God.” Psa. xix. 1. “ The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; even his eternal power and Godhead.” Rom. i. 20. But the light of nature cannot teach us how a sinner is to be reconciled to God:
The Heav'ns declare thy glory, Lord !
The thousand worlds that meet our eyes
That thou art great, that thou art wise.
A world contriy'd with so much skill ?
Could execute his sovereign will ?
Thy wisdom and thy power declare ;
To save a sinner from despair.
The soul-reviving news is known;
And mercy can to man be shown.
The world will pass away; and then
NAMES AND TITLES OF CHRIST.
(Continued from p. 425.) EVERLASTING FATHER, Is. ix. 6. Father of Eternity, or of that which is everlasting; a title very applicable to the Messiah, whether we consider Him as the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him, having Himself existed from all eternity, and being the Founder of the new age, or world to come, the head and introducer of a dispensation which is to last for ever.
IMMANUEL, Is. vii. 14. “God with us," God and man in one person; or a Divine Being made flesh and dwelling among mankind.
THE IMAGE OF THE INVISIBLE GOD, Col. i. 15. It being by his means alone, that God, who is by nature invisible, is manifested and revealed to mankind. In the Son, as in a clear and perfect glass, we see the Father.
STRONGHOLD, Tower, &c. Nahum i. 7. Ps. xviii. 1. A stronghold is a place of safety and security, strengthened and fortified against the attacks of an enemy. And such is the Lord to his people; a place of defence and
1834.] NAMES AND TITLES OF CHRIST.
5 security in every danger. Having fled to Him and sought refuge under his almighty arm, they are safe from every assault; and no adversary can really injure or destroy them. Thus Solomon says, " The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe. Thus David says, " The Lord is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower." He had known the day of trouble ; but he had found in that day, that the Lord was his stronghold ; and such do all his people find him. They may be cast down, but they are not destroyed ; perplexed, but not in despair ; for the Lord sustains and supports them, and will not suffer their enemies to triumph over them.
SEED OF THE WOMAN, Gen. ii. 15. " It shall bruise thy head;" he that shall be born of woman (a pure virgin) shall destroy the devil's power; "and thou shalt bruise his heel;" that is, the tempter shall persecute and harass the woman's seed, but shall not be able to destroy.
SHILOH, Gen. xlix. (10.) This word, which occurs in Jacob's prophecy, who says that, “the sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh come," means, he who is 6
sent.” Till the coming of Christ, who is here intended, Judah possessed considerable authority; but shortly after our Lord's crucifixion, this authority was vastly abridged; and, within that generation, according to his express predictions, Jerusalem was destroyed, the whole state was overthrown; and all distinction
harassed remnant was confounded; they were scattered about over the face of the earth ; and, to this day, after almost 1800 years, they have been completely without a sceptre, and without any thing like regular government. The sceptre being the wand or staff carried by kings, is put for a sign of government and authority.
THE AUTHOR OF ETERNAL SALVATION, Heb. v. 9. Jesus Christ has undertaken to deliver sinful man out of his miserable condition, to make us the children of God, and exalt us to everlasting life. This great and glorious change from a state of wrath and misery, to a state of grace and favour, which may justly be called eternal salvation, is the work of Christ. He begins it, he carries it on; he completes it. He came down from heaven that he might procure this salvation for us. 0. T. K.
(To be continued.)
(From Nowell's Catechism. *) M. What is meant by the word Sabbath ?
S. Sabbath, by interpretation, signifies rest. And on that day (it being set apart for the worship of God) the godly must lay aside all worldly business, that they may the more diligently attend to religion and godliness.
M. Why has God here set before us his own example for our imitation ?
S. Because great and noble examples most powerfully influence mankind. For servants willingly imitate their masters, and children their parents. And nothing is more to be desired of men, than that they should conform themselves to the example of God, and be like him.
M. In what manner is the sabbath to be kept holy? S. People must assemble together, to hear the doctrine of Christ, to make confession of their faith, to offer up public prayers to God, to keep in remembrance the works of God, to render thanks to him for his benefits, and to celebrate his holy sacraments, which he has instituted.
M. Is there nothing more required of us in order to keep holy the Sabbath day.
S. What I have mentioned is the outward rest, and due observance of the Sabbath day; besides which there is a spiritual rest, and manner of sanctifying it.
M. What is that?
S. It is to rest from all worldly business, and from our own works and studies, yielding ourselves wholly to God, that he may conform us to his likeness: and (as the Scriptures term it) to crucify our flesh, to bridle the froward desires and motions of our hearts, restraining our own nature, that we may obey the will of God. For thus our Sabbath days upon earth will most aptly repre
* Alexander Nowell was Dean of St. Paul's; and his Catechism was puba lished about 260 years ago.