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EXPOSITORY LECTURES



HEIDELBERG CATECHISM.



BY

GEORGE W. BETHUNE, D. D.



IN TWO VOLUMES
VOL. II.



NEW YORK:

SHELDON & CO^rPANY, PUBLISHERS,
498 & 500 BROADWAY.

1866.



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1864, by

Sheldon and Company,

in the Clerk's OfiSce of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.



CONTENTS OF VOLUME II.



-♦-



LECTURE XXIII.

FAOB

THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST ... . . 5

LECTURE XXIV.

THE DIVINITY, PEKSONALITY, AND WORK OF THE HO-
LY GHOST 19

LECTURE XXV.
THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH, THE COMMUNION OF

SAINTS 53

LECTURE XXVI.
THE FORGIVENESS OP SINS 79

LECTURE XXVII.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY .... 95

LECTURE XXVIII.
THE LIFE EVERLASTING 123

LECTURE XXIX.
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH 147

LECTURE XXX.

JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH DEFENDED ; OR, THE DOC-
TRINE OF GOOD "WORKS 165

LECTURE XXXL
FAITH FROM THE HOLY GHOST THROUGH THE WORD

AND THE SACRAMENTS 183

LECTURE XXXII.

BAPTISM. ITS AUTHORITY AND DESIGN . . . 201

LECTURE XXXin.

BAPTISM. THE MODE 223



iv CONTENTS.

LECTURE XXXIV.

FAGB
BAPTISM. THE SUBJECTS 243

LECTURE XXXV.

THE SACRAMENT OF THE SUPPER. ITS INSTITUTION

AND ITS MODE 261

LECTURE XXXVL
THE lord's SUPPER 289

LECTURE XXXVIL
THE lord's SUPPER. (SECOND LECTURE) . . . 309

LECTURE XXXVIIL
AGAINST TRANSUBSTANTIATION 321

LECTURE XXXIX.
THE POWER OF THE KEYS 345

LECTURE XL.
OF THANKFULNESS 363

LECTURE XLI.
THE NATURE OF TRUE CONVERSION .... 377

LECTURE XLIL
THE NATURE OF GOOD WORKS 393

LECTURE XLIII.
THE TEN COM.MANDMENTS 409

LECTURE XLIV.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT 425

LECTURE XLV.
ON THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF IDOLATRY . . 443

LECTURE XLVI.
ON PROFANE SWEARING 459

LECTURE XLVIL
THE PURPOSE OF THE SABHATII 477



LECTURE XXm.

THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST,



NINETEENTH LORD'S DAY.
THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST.

He hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in right-
eousness, by that man whom he hath ordained. — Acts xvii. 31.

npHE works of nature demonstrate the truth of the
-■- revelation, that " God created the heavens and the
earth." No power less than infinite, no skill less than
all-wise, could produce from nothing, or maintain in
its order, so vast, so varied, so harmonious a system.
But when Ave search in the events of human life for
evidences of God's moral government, the discovery is
partial and even doubtful. Virtue is praised. There
are systems and teachers of ethics. Religion is a sacred
name. There is no land without temples, no nation
without worshippers. Yet there are few who are nota-
ble for virtue, none who are perfect. Religion fails to
preserve the sanctity of truth, purity, and love. We
cannot mistake the fact that men are governed by men
more than by God. Their supposed interests, or at the
best their natural affections, ramifying self, through
family, friends, and humanity, decide for the most part
the right and the wrong of every action. What con-
fusion is the result ? The rich trample on the poor
The poor conspire against the rich. The just man is
persecuted because he is just. The vile, when success-
ful, are flattered in their success. The calumniator
stands erect upon the ashes of his victim. The tyrant
grasps at other sceptres, and the blood-drenched earth
quakes beneath artillery more destructive than heaven's



8 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect. XXHI.

thunders. Vice does often prove its own punishment !
There are physical reasons why incautious excess should
produce wretchedness, disease, and death. But does
virtue escape ? It may be imperfect virtue, but has it
immunity so far as it is virtue ? Is vice punished so
far as it is vice ? Are rewards and punishments ao
equally distributed as to show beyond a question that
there is a power over all exact in justice ? We must
go beyond this life and this world for the satisfaction
of our anxious reason, and faith must be our guide.
God alone can vindicate his ways to man. He has
done so. The aixes of heathen ignorance and dim Ju-
daism have for us passed away. The voice of God
calls aloud to our souls by the revelation of his son.
" Repent, ye children of men. No longer dream of se-
curity in your sins, nor think because no fire at once
descends to consume the wicked, that sin shall go un-
punished. Though men may boast themselves without
the fear of God, because one day is like another, and
all things continue as they were ; though the hearts
of the children of men are more fully set to do evil,
because of long impunit}'-, know this, that I, the Lord
your God, your Creator and your Governor, am your
Judge. I have appointed a day in the which to judge
the world in righteousness by that man whom I have
ordained."

My friends, careless and full of life and worldly
hopes as we may be, every one of us must stand before
the judgment-seat of God. AVe do not believe this.
It cannot be that we realize it. If we did, this great
thought would control our hearts, and press upon our
minds, and rule our lives. But we forget it. The tre-
mendous future is shut out from our view by the temp-



Lect. XXIII.] THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. 9

tations of the present. O that God would by our holy
text this day compel us to believe and tremble, that so
we may come to believe and hope !

We have before us,

The fact, the method, the person.

First: Tliefact.

He has appointed a day in the which he will judge
the world.

Secondly : The method.

Pie will judge the world in righteousness.

Thirdly : The person.

By that man whom he hath ordained.

First: The fact.

He will judge. Judgment signifies investigation of
the conduct of a moral being, and the passing sentence
upon him of reward or punishment, according to his
merit or demerit.

God alone is judge. He only has authority. None
can judge him, for he is supreme, and his will is the
law, and all other beings are his creatures, and there-
fore his subjects. He does sometimes delegate his
authority, as to parents or magistrates, but the judg-
ment in his sio;ht is void if it be not accordino; to his
law. He, therefore, is really the judge. It is, then, a
most blasphemous thing to quarrel with God's doings,
or to doubt the justice of his most holy law and right-
eous sentences. It is a most presumptuous thing to
sit in harsh judgment upon our fellow-men, our fellow-
subjects and sinners ; for God has said, " Vengeance
is mine, I will repay."

God only is able to judge. None but he can discern
the inner motives of the moral creature, and know his
true character. None but he can discern the conse-



10 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect. XXHI.

quences of any moral act, or estimate its true goodness
or evil. None but he can bestow reward, or execute
wrath, after the decision is made. It is, then, a most
silly and rebellious thing in us to try ourselves other-
wise than by the divine will, or to form our conduct
otherwise than by the divine rule. Rather let us
ask him to search us and try us, and see if there
be any evil way in us, and lead us in the way ever-
lasting.

God will judge his creatures.

Judgment is an attribute of sovereignty. There
would be no divine government, and the divine laws
would be inoperative and void, if God were not to
reward his obedient, and punish his disobedient sub-
jects. The Epicureans were justly considered no bet-
ter than atheists for teaching that the divinity had no
regard to the conduct of men ; and those in our time
are as bad who strive to think that they may sin with-
out God's taking note or vengeance. It is essential to
his justice. For, as he is the Creator, so he is the
teacher and pattern for all his intelligent creatures,
whose only excellence is in being like him. But, if he
never visits iniquity with wrath, or righteousness with
favor, if the inequalities of this life are never to be
compensated in another, his creatures cannot know
from him which is the right or which the wrong. They
can have no motive to do well, no determent from do-
ing ill. Nay, his very nature is such that he is a con-
suming fire to all that is evil, and the light of joy
and peace to all that is good. So that they who deny
a judgment, destroy all morals, and would abandon
the world to a fearful and most destructive confusion
of chance.



Lect. XXIII.J the judgment by CHRIST. 11

God will judge the ivorld. By " the world," we
must understand men, as the only moral agents in it.
Each man has a particular judgment when he passes
into the eternal world by death. For then the spirit
returns unto God who gave it, and cannot fail to meet
his favor or condemnation. Thus, in the parable, we
see Lazarus enjoying his reward in Abraham's bosom,
but the rich man lifting up his eyes, being in torments.
The penitent thief was promised immediate admission
into Paradise. Paul desired to depart and to be with
Christ. And Peter tells us that the spirits of the old
world who despised the long-suifering of God in the
days of Noah, are in prison. This should make us
very solemn and pious in our preparation for death, for
at any moment death may come and usher us before
God, after which no repentance can avail for our deliv-
erance from the wrath of God, which burns unto the
lowest hell.

But this judgment is not the great judgment oi
which the apostle speaks. Nor will all the penalties of
sin, nor all the rewards of righteousness, be dispensed
until both soul and body shall receive them after the
resurrection. Nor will the justice of God be mani-
fested unto all men, except all men be present as wit-
nesses of the judgment of all men. He will judge the
world.

The whole world shall be judged. Not one shall
escape. Before him shall be gathered all nations.
" Every one of us must appear before the judgment-
seat of Christ." The rich and the poor, the bond and
the free, the learned and the unlearned, the pious and
the lanbelieving. God will send forth his holy angels to
compel every soul before him. His piercing eye shall



12 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect. XXHI.

detect eveiy liiding fugitive. His flames shall burn
the terror-stricken, wretched souls that would cover
tliemselves under rocks and mountains.

Yet the individuality of each sinner will not be lost
in the vast multitude. Each will be as distinct, and
know himself to be as distinct in the eye of the Judge,
as though he stood alone and there were no sinner but
he. The inquiry will be into all the actions of each,
— his thougiits, his words, his deeds. For every evil
thought and every idle Avord (Oh what a scrutiny !)
will he bring each of us into judgment. Each man
shall receive the reward of his own works, whether
they be good or whether they be evil. As Ave have
been instrumental in leading others to sin or to right-
eousness, Ave shall share in their punishment or reward.
But otherAvise, no one Avill suffer for his neighbor, or
can thrust his neighbor into his room. Our sins are
our oAvn acts ; Ave must bear them ourselves, unless by
faith Ave have covered ourselves Avitli the righteousness
of Christ.

In the sight of the Avhole Avorld Ave shall be judged.
God Avili bring every man's work into judgment. The
evil thoughts of lust, dishonest longings, or euA'ious
meanness, Avhich Ave had hidden in our hearts from our
closest friends, Avill then be apparent. Our secret sins,
at the detection of Avhich Ave Avould noAv burn Avith
shame, before the eyes of the good, the eyes of our
evil companions, all will appear Avithout cunning, pal-
liation, or excuse. Each one's conscience Avill then be
fearl'ully awake. We shall feel intensely our oavu
shame. We shall see each one the shame of the rest.
The sinner Avill condemn himself. All sinners Avill
condemn him. There Avill be no more a ftxlse public



Lect. XXIII.] THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. 13

opinion ; no more conspiracies of liancl joining in liancl
to make the wrong appear the right ; no more standing
hy friends to cover up iniquities. The whole world,
condemned themselves, will condemn each sinner of
the whole world. Oh what inftimy for the sinner !
oh what illustrious fame for the good !

God hath appointed a day in the which he will judge
the world.

His vengeance, though it delay, does not sleep. The
day is fixed. His determination is made. He is now
recording our every act, and word, and thought, against
that day. So that even now our account is making up,
our judgment is preparing. The day is fixed. It Avill
come, and come in all its terrible truth. When that
day shall come, no man knoweth. They profane the
scriptures Avho dare to pronounce it. But the same
scriptures teach that it will be at the end of the world.
Not at the end of this dispensation, as some interpret
the word. That is not the usual meaning of the word
world in Scripture ; and we have no right to change a
meaning the Holy Ghost has given, when the Holy
Ghost does not change it. The judgment must be
after the final resurrection, for all the dead will be
there. It is to be followed immediately by the eternal
punishment of the wicked, and the eternal life of the
righteous. It shall be when Christ comes in great
glory, and all his holy angels with him, and he shall sit
upon the throne of his glory. It shall be at the con-
summation of the things of this world, or else the
design of the judgment in vindicating all God's ways
to man will not be met. Ah, my friends, whether
that day be remote or near, the day of our death is
near, and after death there can be no preparation made



14 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect.XXHI-

to meet it. Would that the time, wasted in curious
questions about times and seasons, were spent in holy
walking with God, and preaching and telling the story
of Christ ci'ucified.

Secondly : TAe method of the judgment.

He will judge the world in righteousness.

In righteousness. Not in arbitrary severity. God
will be angry with the wicked in that day. But the
anger of God is not like the wrath of man, unjust and
cruel. The wicked are his enemies, but he will, even
in judging his enemies, lay "judgment to the line, and
righteousness to the plummet." He will try them
fairly, and only by the laAv he has given them, and the
eternal principles of right from which that law pro-
ceeded. Their own conscience, the conscience of all
moral beings, shall confess him to be just.

" Nor will he judge partially or leniently. He has
declared that he will by no means clear the guilty ;
that every man shall receive the reward of his deeds ;
that the wages of sin is death ; and that the wicked
shall go away into everlasting punishment. That there
will be degrees of wickedness in the persons judged,
one cannot question ; and, consequently, there will be
degrees of punishment ; but the judgment will be rigid,
no weak sympathy for the criminal will melt the judge
to pardon or reduce the penalty. Stern, unbending,
perfect righteousness will determine all.

But will there be no mercy ? Yes ; but mercy
through righteousness. God will be as faithful to his
promises as to his law. He has promised pardon to
Christ for all his people, because Christ for them hath
fulfilled the law and made it honorable ; carried their
sorrows, and borne their sins upon the tree. There



Lect. XXIII.] THE JUDGMENT BY CIIKIST 15

was mercy in the provision of tlie atoning righteous-
ness of the Son of God. There will be justice in
acquitting for the sake of that righteousness all who,
according to the promise, have trusted in Christ as
their surety, their advocate, and redeemer. Thus, even
while the sinner saved through Christ enters into eter-
nal life, the justice of God will burn the more brightly,
because he pardoned not without a ransom. Vain,
therefore, are all the sinner's hopes of escape from the
mere goodness or the mere justice of God. Goodness
cannot save him. Justice will not let him escape.
There is no safety from the righteousness of God, but
under the coverino; wings of a Saviour's righteousness.

Thirdly : The ijerson of the judge.

That man whom he hath ordained.

This we know from other scriptures is Jesus Christ
our Lord. He is the man ordained mediator in all
God's dealings with fallen man ; ordained as the Sav-
iour ; ordained as the advocate ; ordained as the king ;
ordained as the judge.

He is called that man, not because he is merely man,
for he is also God, equal with God. For, indeed, who
that is not God could bear the tremendous majesty that
shall cover the judgment-throne ? Who that is not
God can exert the omniscient scrutiny essential to that
judgment of righteousness ? Who that is not God
(for if not God, he must be a creature and a servant)
can judge the servants of the Most High ? But he is
called " that man,^^ because, for reasons we shall soon
discover, it is Christ, God incarnate as the mediator,
who shall execute the judgment of that great day.

Christ is the eternal Word ; the Word that was God,
and that was made flesh and dwelt among us, his glory



16 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect. XXIII

being that of the only begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth. It is the office of the eternal Word to
manifest the godhead. By him the worlds were made.
By him all providence is administered, and by him the
world will be judged.

But it is the Word incarnate by whom God will
judge the world. This is because

Christ undertook in the covenant of redemption the
full vindication of the law. Because of the intercession
of Christ the judgment has been suspended. It is,
therefore, due to eternal justice, and to the honor of the
law, that Christ should adjudge the full penalty of that
law upon all who, notwithstanding his atonement, have
refused to repent and believe, that they might be saved
through the righteousness of God in Christ. It is meet
that the world should see that Christ is not the minis-
ter of sin, but that even he who opened the way of
righteous mercy should execute a righteous vengeance
on the impenitent. Nay, his own honor, as the well-
beloved of God, demands that he should be uplifted
in glory and power, over all those who insulted and
reviled and persecuted himself and his people.

Christ, also, has redeemed his people. God has
accepted the ransom price. He has, therefore, given
him his people, even all who believed upon his name.
Therefore, to make his glory as a Saviour most fully
manifest, the Father appoints him judge ; that with his
own lips, those out of which went forth his atoning
life, those from which have proceeded so many interces-
Gory prayers, he might pronounce the acquittal of his
people ; and, with his own hands, that were nailed upon
the cross, and so long stretched forth in petition, he
might put upon their heads the crown of life.



Lect. XXIII.] THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. 17

Thus tlie apostle declares that God has given assur-
ance of Christ being the judge of the world, by raising
him up from the dead, because in raising him from the
dead, God the Father by the Eternal Spirit declared
Christ's merit in the covenant complete, and his atone-
ment finished.

Here is great comfort for the believer. Sinner
though he has been, and is, he shall meet no angry
judge. The judge is he who once was his advocate,
his elder brother, liis sympathizing friend, his everlast-
ing righteousness. Jesus sits upon the throne, — Jesus,
who saves his people from their sins.

But it is a huge aggravation of terror to the impen-
itent, that they shall see in their judge the Saviour
they rejected and scorned. All hope will be at an
end when the Saviour condemns. They then will be
Avilling to give worlds, if they had them, for one of
those gracious invitations, or of those hours of plead-
ing mercy which they once scorned in such frequency.
Then shall they be without excuse, for they would not
believe and repent, until the very blood of the cross
witnesses against them. Oh, how fierce the anger of
love like Christ's turned into unpit^nng wrath !

APPLICATION'.

The wisdom of preparing for the judgment.

We cannot avoid it.

We cannot abide it.

We cannot resist it.

The method of preparing for the judgment.

By meeting God now.

In his word as the test and rule of our conduct.

In prayer as in his searching presence.



18 THE JUDGMENT BY CHRIST. [Lect. XXIH.

In Christ as the only righteousness.

The folly of postponing the preparation.

We may die.

We may become hardened.

We need all onr time.



LECTURE XXIV.



THE DIVINITY, PERSONALITY, ANL WOEK,



THE HOLY GHOST.



TWENTIETH LORD'S DAY.

" I believe in the Holy Ghost."

THE DIVINITY, PERSONALITY, AND
WORK, OF THE HOLY GHOST.

Quest. LIII. What dost thou believe concerning the Moi-y Ghost?

Ans. First, that he is true and eternal God with the Father and the Son ;
secondly, that he is also given me to make me by a true faith partaker
of Christ and all his benefits, that he may comfort me and abide with
me forever.

T^HE lesson for to-day brings before us the doctrine
-■- of scripture concerning the Third Person of the
ever-blessed Trinity, the Holy Ghost ; and is divided
into two parts : the first, asserting his true and proper
divinity, coequal and coessential with the Father and the
Son ; the second, his official work, or the gracious ben-
efits conferred by his personal agency upon all believers.

First : The true and proper divinity of the Holy Grhost.

This is an essential article in the faith of the Catho-
lic church from the beginning and ever since. Devout
Christians of all ages have been unanimous in cherish-
ing this belief, not only because it is clearly taught
in the divine Word, but also because it is an especial
source of religious comfort and strength. It is found
universally, that, as they who deny the necessity and
reality of the atonement, deny the divinity of Christ,
so they who deny the necessity and reality of a new
birth, deny the divinity of the Holy Ghost, and vice
versa ; as they who deny the divinity of Christ, deny
the atonement, so they, who deny the divinity of



22 THE DIVINITY, PERSONALITY, [Lect. XXIV.

the Holy Ghost, deny the new birth or regenera-
tion. Just as our sense of sin and guilt makes the
divinity of Christ the Saviour precious to us, because
no merit less than infinite can suffice for our justifi-
cation with God, so our sense of ignorance, infirmity,
and corruption makes the divinity of the Comforter
precious, because none less than almighty energy can
suffice for our re-creation in the image of God unto
eternal life. And as the evano-elical Christian is never
weary of meditating on the excellence of the atone-
ment, and of him through whose vicarious righteous-
ness it is accomplished, though the truth be never so
familiar to him, so does he delight to confirm, by re-
peated examination of scripture testimony, his faith in
the divine perfections of that gracious agent by whom
he is brousrht out of darkness into lisht, and from the
depths of sin to the heights of glory. Nor let any be
impatient of this discussion, because, as they think,
their faith in the article before us is settled, so that
they need no further instruction on it ; for, in the first
place, with all deference to the ordinary information
of professing Christians, it may be questioned Avhether
there are not at least some in every congregation who
have not even glanced over the scriptural evidence of
this doctrine ; or, if they have, are prepared to state it
for the satisfaction of an inquirer, or defend it against
a caviller, as they are bound to do, should occasion re-
quire. Besides, it is the office of the blessed Para-
clete (Comforter), whose divine honor we celebrate,
to teach us all things, and to brino; all thinn;s to our
remembrance ; nor can we hope to enjoy such great
benefits, except we use the means by which he imparts
them. Were the exhibition of Christian doctrine to



Lect. XXIV.] AND WOEK OF THE HOLY GHOST. 23

be suspended because most Christians are acquainted
with it, the younger disciples would soon be found
ignorant, and all forms of mischievous error would grow
up in the church from the absence of teaching the con-
trary. Nor are we without reason of fear that this par-
ticular doctrine, fundamental and edifying as it is, has,
especially of late, received too little consideration.

It must be obvious to you, that, though the doctrine
of the Holy Ghost pervades the whole Scriptures, it is
not so formally or elaborately expressed as that con-
cerning the mediator Christ Jesus ; and the reason is,
that our Lord being presented to us in a human form,



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