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tion of angelic messengers at the time of his ascension, and the preaching of his apostles, we assuredly expect that he will return to call the dead from their graves, and to judge the world in righteousness.
1. Into how many principal branches may our duty as christians be divided?
Into three-our duty to God, to mankind, and to ourselves.
2. What is our duty to God?
To love and honour him above all, and to express these dispositions by adoring and praising him, by praying to him, by obedience to his commands and submission to his will.
3. Why are we to adore and praise God?
Because we are under the highest obligations to him for all that we are, all we have, and all we hope for. 4. Why should we pray to him?
Not because it is necessary to inform him of our wants, but to raise and to preserve in our minds a sense of our constant dependence on him, and a humble and cheerful confidence in his goodness.
5. Repeat the model of prayer which Christ his disciples.
"Our Father, who art in heaven," &c.
6. What advantage will follow our obedience to the commands of God?
Peace in our own minds-the esteem of the wise and good among men; and the joyful hope of the favour of God and his acceptance unto life eternal.
7. How do we learn submission to the will of God?
By the sober exercise of reason-but principally by the example of Christ, who in the prospect of the most grievous sufferings said "Father, not my will but thine be done."
1. How are we to perform our duty to mankind? By obedience to parents and all who have a just authority over us,
By a strict adherence to truth in our words, By honesty and punctuality in our dealings and engagements,
By a faithful and diligent performance of the duties of family and social relations,
By universal love and good will,
By abstaining from injurious actions, and guarding against the bad dispositions of malice, envy and
2. But doth not the religion of Christ require something more than this?
Yes-it commands us to be kind even to the evil and unthankful, to return good for evil, and blessing for cursing.
3. By what consideration doth Christ urge this duty upon us?
By the example of God himself, who doth not withhold the bounties of his providence from those who are most unworthy of them.
4. Did he not also exemplify this in his own conduct?
Yes-while his enemies and murderers were fastening him to the cross he prayed "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."
5. What excellent rule hath he left us for the cultivation and practice of these virtues?
"All things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even unto them likewise."
1. What are the duties we owe to ourselves? They may be generally comprehended under the titles of humility and self government. 2. What is humility?
It consists in not esteeming ourselves too highly, and in knowing our own imperfections and faults. 3. In what does the government of ourselves consist?
In the keeping all our appetites and passions within the bounds prescribed by reason and revelation; more particularly-In purity and chastity,
In denying ourselves any bodily gratification which would be injurious to our health or destroy our peace of mind,
In moderation in the pursuit and enjoyment of the honours, riches and pleasures of the world.
4. What end should we propose to ourselves in our search after happiness?
The attainment of such a state of mind as will prevent us from being unduly elated by prosperity, or depressed by adversity.
5. What was the conclusion of Solomon, who had the fairest opportunity for procuring and enjoying whatever might be supposed to contribute to human happiness?
"Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole of man."
6. So that every thing we owe to our Maker, to our fellow creatures or ourselves may be comprehended under the idea of our duty to God?
Yes-for in no way can we please the greatest and best of beings so much as by doing that which will make others as well as ourselves most happy.
1. Are we able to obey the laws of God perfectly, that is, so as never to be guilty of any sin?
No-we are frail creatures, and often do what God, for our good, has forbidden; and neglect to do what he has also, for our good, commanded.
2. Will not God punish us for these things? Certainly, if we do not repent; but if we repent God is merciful and will pardon us.
3. How do we know this?
He declared himself by Moses "the Lord, the Lord God merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin."
4. Was this confirmed under the gospel?
Yes-Jesus Christ uniformly represents his heavenly Father as a God of mercy, and particularly in the parable of the Prodigal Son gives the most af fecting representation of the divine compassion to returning penitents.
5. Will he forgive any who are not penitents?
He will not; and awful threatenings are denounced against such.
6. What is meant by a penitent?
One who as soon as he is sensible that he has committed a sin, confesses it to God, asks his pardon for it, avoids a repetition of the offence and prays for strength to resist temptation—or if he has done wrong to man, repairs the injury to the utmost of his power.
1. What will become of us when we depart this life?
We shall go into the state of the dead; but as God hath raised up Jesus, so he will raise us up also by Jesus.
2. Why will the dead be raised?
The dead will be raised that they may appear to judgment, and be recompensed according to those things which they have done in this life.
3. By whom will he execute this judgment?
Jesus Christ who is our Saviour will also be our judge.
4. Will every man be judged for his secret as well as his open actions?
Yes-in that day the secrets of all hearts shall be made manifest.
5. What will be the portion of the wicked?
They will be sentenced to an awful but righteous punishment.
6. What will be the lot of the virtuous?
God will cause them to live for ever in a state of perfect happiness.