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not the Son, fhall not fee life; but the wrath of God abideth
Q. 4. Why do we pray for forgiveness? Cannot we make amends for our fins, and be freed from their guilt, without pardon?
A. No, all that we can ever do, or suffer, can never expiate the guilt of the least fin; Pfalm xlix. 7, 8. None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him; (for the redemption of their foul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever.) 1 Sam. ii. 25. Ifone man fin against another, the judge fhall judge him: but if a man fin against the Lord, who fhall intreat for him?
Q5. Does God then freely, and out of mere grace, forgive
A. Yes, without any respect had to any thing we can do, or be; Ifa. xliii. 25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy tranfgreffions for mine own fake, and will not remember thy fins. Rom ix. 15. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compaffion on whom I will have compaffion." Ver. 18. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Q. 6. How doth God forgive fins?
A. (1.) Univerfally, all fins; Exod. xxxiv. 6, 7. And the Lord paffed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-fuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands; forgiving iniquity, and tranfgreffion, and fin. Jer. xxxiii. 8. And I will cleanfe' them from all their iniquity, whereby they have finned against me: And I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have finned, and whereby they have tranfgreffed against me. Hofea xiv. 2. Take away all iniquity, and receive us gracioufly. (2.) Completely, and perfectly; Ifa. xliii. 25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy tranfgreffions for mine own fake, and will not remember thy fins. Pfalm ciii. 12. As far as the eaft is from the weft, fo far hath he removed our tranfgreffions from us. Mic. vii. 19. He will fubdue our iniquities; and thou wilt caft all our fins into the depths of the fea. Ifa. xxxviii. 17. For thou haft caft all my fins behind thy back. (3.). Everlaftingly; Jer. xxxi. 34. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their fin no more. Heb. viii. 12. And their fins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Q.7. But doth not God punish them afterward, whom he has juftified and forgiven?
A. No, not with a proper and vindictive punishment; but
he brings evils upon them for their fins, as a father chastises his child; and other forts of afflictions for their spiritual good; He may be angry, as a Father, with thofe he has pardoned, but never hate them as a condemning Judge; Pfalm lxxxix. 28. My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant fhall ftand faft with him. Ver. 34. My covenant will Į not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
Q. 8. How can God be faid freely to pardon all our fins, when we pray it may be done for Chrift's fake; does not that imply that Chrift has fatisfied God for our fins, and deserved our remifhon?
A. Yes, it does fo; for the Lord Chrift, by his life and death, did fatisfy divine justice, and did merit our forgiveness: But if he did fo, we did not fo; our fins coft him dear, but their pardon coft us nothing; our pardon is perfectly free to us, though due to Chrift, for God gave Chrift freely for us; God accepts of his merits, and applies them to us freely; Rom. iii. 24. Being juftified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jefus Chrift.
Q. 9. But is there nothing required from us as the condition of pardon? and if fo, how can it be abfolutely free?
A. There are required repentance from fin, and faith in the Lord Chrift; Luke xiii. 3. But except ye repent, ye shall all likewife perish; John iii. ult. And he that believeth not the Son, fhall not fee life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. This is required from us towards our pardon, but yet it is free, (1.) Because God freely ordains thus to pardon. (2.) Because both these are the free gifts of God; Acts xi. 18. Then hath God alfo to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life. Eph. ii. 8. For by grace are ye faved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.
Q. 10. When then are our fins forgiven?
A. Juft upon our clofure with Chrift by faith, in that very moment; Rom. v. 1. Therefore being juftified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jefus Chrift Rom. viii. 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Chrift Jefus.
Q. 11. Why do we pray in the answer, for the forgiveness of all our fins?
A. Because if the leaft guilt fhould ren.ain upon us, it would exclude us from God's favour, and lodge us in everlasting burnings; Rom. vi. ult. For the wages of fin is death.
Q. 12. What are the privileges and blessings that accompany
A. Juftification is accompanied with adoption; John i. 12. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the fons of God, even to them that believe on his name. With the Spirit and principle of all grace and holiness; 1 Cor. vi. 11. And fuch were fome of you; but ye are washed, but ye are fanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jefus, and by the Spirit of our God. With an infallible title to eternal glory; John iii. 16. That whofoever believeth in him fhould not perish, but have everlasting life; Rom. viii. 30. Whom he justified, them he also glorified.
13. How may we know that we are pardoned and jus
A. Ordinarily, by our fanctification, by our loathing of fin, our contempt of the world, our valuing of Chrift, our love and thankfulness to God, &c. 1 Cor. vi. II. But ye are fanctified. Rom. vii. 24. O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? Gal. vi. 14. By whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. i Pet. ii. 7. Unto you therefore which believe, he is precious. Luke vii. 47.. Her fins, which are many, are forgiven; for the loved much.
Q. 14 What is meant by [our ?] Is it only fuch fins as we, have perfonally and actually committed?
A. No, but also Adam's fin, which is ours by imputation; Rom. v. 19. By one man's disobedience, many were made finners. And original fin, which is ours by inhefion; Pfalm li. 5. Behold, I was fhapen iniquity, and in fin did my mother conceive me. And other mens fins, which we have made ours, by exciting them to them, not hindering of them, filence at them, and other ways; 2 Sam. xii 9. Thou haft killed Uriah the Hittite with the fword, and haft taken his wife to be thy wife, and haft flain him with the fword of the children of Ammon. 1 Tim. v. 22. Neither be partaker of other mens fins.
Q. 15. Wherefore are fins called debts?
A. Because they are a non-payment of God's dues, a nonperformance of our duty; which makes us liable to the arrest of death, and to the prison of hell.
Q. 16. Why do we plead our own forgivenefs of others?
A. Not as any merit of our own pardon; but either as an encouragement to ourselves to beg pardon; seeing fuch evil, envious, and malignant perfons, are enabled to forgive others, much more may we hope the good and gracious God will forgive us or, as a condition, without which we can have no pardon, and with which we fhall; Matth. vi. 14. For if
forgive men their trefpaffes, your heavenly Father will alfo forgive you.
Q. 17. How do others trespass against us?
A. When they injure us, either in our perfons, or names, or families, or eftates, or fouls, &c. 1 Sam. ii. 25. If one man fin against another, the judge fhall judge him; but if a man fin against the Lord, who fhall intreat for him?
Q. 18. Can we forgive our neighbour freely, fully, and perfectly, as God doth forgive us?
A. We cannot.
Q. 19. What then is the meaning of God's forgiving us, as we forgive others?
A. Not as to the quantity and perfection of forgiveness, but as to the fincerity and quality thereof; Matth. xviii. ult. So likewife fhall my heavenly Father do alfo unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trefpaffes.
Q. 20. Are we always bound to manifeft outwardly our love and forgiveness to all our enemies, and to behave ourselves towards them as friends?
A. No, if we have experienced them to be treacherous and false, and fee no change, we are not bound to trust them; if they be, and remain, wicked and profane, we must not associate with them; Pfal. xxvi. 5. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not fit with the wicked. Ver. 4. I have not fat with vain perfons, neither will I go in with diffemblers. Q. 21. What then must we do to fuch?
A. We muft heartily forgive them all their injuries, we muft love them with the love of benevolence, pray for them, and be ready and willing to do them all good, both of body and foul; Matth. v. 44, 45. But I fay unto you, Love your enemies bless them that curfe you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which defpitefully ufe you and perfecute you. That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his fun to rife on the evil, and on the good, and fendeth rain on the juft and on the unjuft.
Q. 22. If we forgive others, fhall we be forgiven ourfelves?
A. We fhall, if out of obedience to God, and love to Chrift, we do it.
Q. 23. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That except our fins be forgiven, we are loft and undone creatures; and therefore we must never be contented, till we are pardoned.
Q24. What is a fecond inference?
A. That God is a God of love, goodness, and pardon; feeing he will not pardon us, if we do not pardon others; but will, if we do so.
Q. 25. What is a third inference?
A. That if we live in hatred when we pray the Lord's prayer, we pray for our own damnation; Matth. xviii. 22. Jefus faith unto him, I fay not unto thee, Until feven times, but until feventy times seven. Ver. 35. So likewife fhall my heavenly Father do alfo unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not e very one his brother their trefpaffles.
Of God's leading us into temptation.
Hat do we pray for in the fixth petition? A. In the fixth petition, which is, [And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil:] we pray, that God would either keep us from being tempted to fin, or fupport and deliver us when we are tempted.
Q. 1. Why is this petition joined to the former with the copulative and?
A. Because it will be but little advantage to have former fins pardoned, and to be left to the power and practice, to the love and trade of fin for the future; Ezek. xviii. 26. When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done, fhall he die
Q. 2. What is meant by temptation?
A. In general, a trial or probation of what is in us, or of what we will do.
Q. 3. What is meant by temptation here?
A. Temptation to fin and wickedness.
Q. 4. How may we be faid to be tempted to fin?
A. (1.) Effectually by ourfelves, and our own hearts; Jam. i. 14, 15. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own luft, and enticed. Then when luft hath conceived, it bringeth forth fin; and fin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (2) Formally, with an intention to draw into fin; and fo we are tempted of the devil; 1 Chron. xxi. 1. And Satan ftood up against Ifrael, and provoked David to number Ifrael. Matth. iv. 1, 3. Then was Jefus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. And when the Tempter came to him, he faid, If thou be the Son of God, command that thefe ftones be made bread. (3.) Innocently, and blamelefly; and fo God is faid to tempt; 2 Sam. xxiv. i.