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Q. 3. How do the saints persevere?
A. By the aids of Divine grace in the use of means which God has appointed.
The use of means is as necessary in sanctification as in regeneration. Man, as a moral being, never acts but in the view and under the influence of motives.
Q. 4. How ought persons who profess to have experienced a change of heart to view their experience, if they do not persevere in the Christian life?
A. They ought to fear that their religious experience is not genuine, but delusive. A person has no evidence of his being a Christian, any further than he lives the life of a Christian.
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.- Jer. xxxi. 3. 'The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea; I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee -2 Tim. ii. 19. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are bis.-Phil. i. 6. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.--2 Thes. iii. 3. But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil.--Jer. xxxii. 40. And I will make an everlasting covenani with them, that I will not turn away from them to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.--John xvii. 12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.---John vi. 64. 70, 71. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you iwelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon; for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.--John vi. 37. 39. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mire own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.--John x. 27-29. My sheep hear my voice, and know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perisht, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater than all; and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.--Ps. xxxvii. 23, 24. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and he delightech in his way. Though he fall he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholdeih him with his hand.--1 Pet. i. 4, 5. To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeih not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Job xvii. 9. The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
Q. 5. Do the commands and exhortations to persevere in holiness, and the warnings against apostasy given in the Scriptures, prove that saints may apostatize!
A. Certainly not. They only prove that they are liable in themselves to fall away, and also show what would be the consequence if they should apostatize; not that they ever in fact do. It is in this light that those passages of Scripture are to be viewed which are usually brought to disprove the doctrine of the saints' perseverance. They are merely hypothetical, and were written to be used as means in securing the saints from apostasy.
Q. 6. What effect is the doctrine of perseverance adapted to have
saints? Å. It is adapted to excite them to the duty of selfexamination, to console weak believers, and to encourage all to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, in the hope that it will finally be well with them. The certainty of the end does not supersede the necessity of means, but lays a foundation for the use of them. The doctrine of the saints' perseverance in no sense tends to licentiousness. To the truth of this saints on earth and saints in heaven can attest.
Q. 1. What is death?
A. It is the extinction of animal life, and the separation of soul and body. When this event takes place, the animal functions cease, the body becomes lifeless, and the soul enters the eternal world disembodied, or freed from its tenement of clay.
Q. 2. Is death the portion of all men?
A. All have died to the present generation, Enoch and Elijah only excepted, and all that now live, and shall hereafter live, will die, except those who shall be alive on the earth at Christ's second appearing, who will be
changed as to their bodies, and pass into eternity without
Can death in any way be averted?
Neither infancy, youth, manhood, health, strength, beauty, nor goodness, can resist its approach. But though there is a certainty of death, yet the time, manner, and other circumstances of it, are uncertain. (6) Q. 4.
Would mankind have died if they had not sinned?
A. Most likely they would not; but would probably have been translated to heaven at the close of their probation, as were Enoch and Elijah.
Q. 5. Who is the author of death?
(a) Gen iii. 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return._Eccl. xii. 7. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. Heb. ix. 27. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.—Heb. xi. 5. By faith Enoch was translated, that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.—2 Kings ii. 11. And it came to pass, as they still went on and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.—1 Cor. xv. 51, 52. Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
(b) Eccl. viii. 8. There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither bath he power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.-Job xiv. 5. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass.-Job xxx. 23. For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.-James iv. 14. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? it is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
(c) Deut. xxxii. 39. See now that I, even I am he, and there is no God with me. I kill, and I make alive; I wound and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.—Job xiv. 5, Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed his bounds, that he cannot pass.—Job xxx. 23. For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living
A. He does it to admonish us that we are sinners, to show the evil of sin, to display his justice, and because death, or some similar change, is necessary to an introduction into the future world.
Q. 7. What are the effects of death upon the human race?
A. It puts a period to all their earthly connections, possessions, honors, joys, and sorrows, and to their probationary state; levels all distinctions between the rich and the poor, high and low, bond and free; and introduces its subjects into the eternal world.(d)
Q. 8. Does death affect all men alike?
A. It does not in all respects. It is in some degree terrific to all—to the righteous as well as to the wicked. To the latter it is a justly terrible evil, for it terminates all their carnal enjoyments and hopes, and fixes them in a state of complete and endless wretchedness. To the former it is a great blessing, for it closes their state of suffering, removes all moral and natural evil, and admits them to heaven and to a participation of all its joys.(e)
Q. 9. Is it important to be constantly prepared for death?
A. It is all important; for we are liable to the arrest of death every moment; and our enjoying the happiness of heaven, or suffering the misery of hell, depends upon our being prepared or not prepared for this event.(f)
(d) Eccl. ix. 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.-Rev. xxii. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
(e) Ps. lv. 4. My heart is sore pained within me, and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.--Is. Ivii. 1. The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from evil to come.--Rev. iv. 13. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors and their works do follow them.--Prov. xi. 7. When a wicked man dieth, his expectations shall perish; and the hope of unjust men perisheth.--Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness, but the righteous hath hope in his death.--Matt. xxv. 46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment; but the righteous into life eternal.
(S) Matt. xxiv. 44. Therefore, be ye also ready, for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man comelh.--Eccl. ix. 10. Whatsoever
Q. 10. What constitutes preparation for death?
A. That which prepares for judgment and eternitywhich fits for heaven, and entitles to the everlasting rewards of the righteous; and this is repentance and faitha new heart and an obedient life.(g)
Q. 11. How should the subject of death be treated at all times?
A. With solemnity. All levity in respect to it is highly improper, and is characteristic of a vain, inconsiderate, and sinful mind.
Q. 1. What is the evidence that man will exist in a future world?
A. 1. The soul is immaterial, and, therefore, capable of surviving its clayey tenement. It is not always, and by absolute necessity, impaired by diseases or decays of the body. This consideration is an evidence in favor of the existence of the soul hereafter. 2. The fact, that some animated creatures pass through several changes before they arrive at their most perfect condition, renders it probable that man may exist in another and higher state. Death may prove but another birth. 3. The soul's capacity for eternal progress in knowledge, holiness, and happiness, is another argument in favor of its immortality. Would God make such a glorious being to be consigned to oblivion almost in the very commencement of its existence? 4. The ardent desires and hopes for
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.-1 Tim. vi. 19. Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
(g) Luke xiii. 3. I tell you, Nay; but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.--Mark xvi 16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.--John iii. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.--James ii. 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.--Prov. xiv. 32. The wicked is driven away in his wickedness; but the righteous hath hope in his death.