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The following Explication of the Shorter Catechifm, and the Sermons an nexed, are printed from the Author's original Manuscripts, without the smallest Variation.
The First Part of the ASSEMBLY'S SHORTER CATECHISM.
Queft. 1. Hat is the chief End of
Man? Anf. Man's chief End is, to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
By Man's chief End is meant, the End which Man was chiefly made for, and which he fhould chiefly feek to reach unto. It confifts of two Parts; his chief Duty, and his chief Happiness. Man's chief Duty is, to glorify God: 1 Cor. x. 31.
Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatfoe ver ye do, do all to the glory of God.' Man glorifies God, by thinking, fpeaking, and living, to his Glory. And this is Man's chief, and laft or fartheft End. Man's chief Happiness is, to enjoy God as his God: Pfal. lxxiii. 25. 26. 27. 28. 'Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is
none upon earth that I defire befides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the ftrength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For lo, they that are far from thee, fhall perish A
⚫ thou haft destroyed all them that go a-whoring · from thee. But it is good for me to draw near
to God: I have put my truft in the Lord God.' And this is Man's chief fubordinate End. A Sinner can never glorify God, until first he enjoy him as his God: Eph. ii. 12. At that time-ye were ' without Chrift, being aliens from the commonwealth of Ifrael, and strangers from the covenants of promife, having no hope, and without God in the world.' Gen. xvii. 1. The Lord appeared to Abram, and faid unto him, I am the almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. Exod. xx. 2. 3. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou 'fhalt have no other gods before me.' Now, the Sinner can attain to the Enjoyment of God, only through Jefus Chrift: John xiv. 6. " Jefus faith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' And one may get a saving Interest in Chrift, by Faith. Moreover, they who enjoy God as their God, are enabled to glorify him, by the Spirit of Chrift dwelling in them as Members of Chrift: Rom. viii. 26. Likewife the · Spirit alfo helpeth our infirmities: for we know " not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itfelf maketh interceffion for us with 6 gronings which cannot be uttered.' Wherefore, none that are out of Chrift, reach the chief End of Man: But they make themselves their chief End. Howbeit, Believers do reach it and they reach, it, in fo far as they fhall, from the firft Moment of their believing, for ever enjoy and glorify
God; imperfectly indeed here, but perfectly in
Queft. 2. What Rule hath God given to direct us, how we may glorify and enjoy him?
Anf. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Teftament, is the only Rule to direct us, how we may glorify and enjoy
The End for which the Scriptures are given, is, to be a Rule to direct us, how we may glorify God, and come to the Enjoyment of him as our God. And they are the only Rule to direct us in thefe Matters. Withal, they are a certain and infallible Rule; and that, because they are the Word of God. It appears, that they are the Word of -God, by the Holiness and Efficacy of their Doctrine, and the Miracles wrought to confirm it? And this, although for the m ft Part they were written by Men, because all fcripture is given by infpiration of God, 2 Tim. iii. 16. The Word Scriptures fignifies Writings: But the Church had not always the written Word, till about Mofes's Time. Howbeit, they were fupplied, while they wanted it, by extraordinary Revelations: And it is the fame Doctrine that was then fo revealed, which we have now in the Scripture. Neverthelefs, the Scripture is altogether neceffary for the
Church now; and that because extraordinary Revelation of Doctrine is ceased, and God hath bound us to the Scripture as the Teft or Touchftone of Doctrine: . viii. 20. To the law and to the teftimony if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Neither will God ever give us another Rule: For the Scripture is a teftamentary Word of God. Now, a Teftament is the laft Will of a dying Perfon. So the Scripture is Chrift's Teftament, confirmed by his Death: And as a Teftament, it declares the laft Will of God concerning Man's Salvation and Duty. Chrift's Teftament is twofold; namely, the Old Testament, and the New Teftament. The Books beginning with Genefis, and ending with Malachi, are Chrift's Old Teftament Thofe beginning with Matthew, and ending with the Revelation, are Chrift's New Teftament. These two Teftaments are one and the fame for Subftance: For in both, Jefus Chrift is the Teftator; eternal Life is the Legacy; Sinners of Mankind are the Legatees; and Faith in Jefus Chrift is the Way of claiming and obtaining the Legacy: 1 John v. 11. 12. And this is the re'cord, that God hath given to us eternal life: and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.'. Prov. viii. 4. Unto you, O men, I call, and my voice is to the fons of man.' But they differ in Circumftances; the new being more clear and full than the old one. Howbeit, neither the one nor the other can be favingly understood, without an inward Illumination of the Mind by the Spirit of Christ: 1 Cor. ii. 10. But * God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit :