Page images

bę great, and called the Son of the Highest; chat the Lord God should give unto Him the Throne of his Father David ; that He should reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and that of his Kingdom there should be no end.

Q. What do you mean by Ember-days ?

A. Certain days set apart by our Church to implore, by prayer and fasting, the blessing of God upon

all those who are to be obtained to the office of Ministers: they are stiled Ember-days, because the ancient Christians used, on their soJemn fasts, to sprinkle Ashes upon their hicads, or sit in Embers or Ashes.

Q. What are the Vigils ?

A. The word signifies watchings; it being a religious custom in ancient times to spend a great part of the night before certain festivals in watching and prayer, and meditating ou the examples of the Saints.

Q. What is the Sunday before Easter gene rally called ?

A. Palm Sunday.
Q. For what reason ?

A. In commemoration of our Saviour's coming in great triumph from Bethany to Jerusalen., when the multitude that attended Him, to shew their joy, cut down branches of palın trces, and strewed them in the way as He passed by, crying out • Hosanna to the Son of David.'

Q. Why is the Thursday before Easter called Maunday Thursday ?

A. Either from the mandate or command which our Saviour gave his Apostles to conmemorate his Supper; which, after the celebration of the


passover, He instituted on this day: Or else from the new commandment which He gave to his disciples, To love one another as. He had loved them: After He had washed their feet, in token of the love He bore to them, He enjoins them to go and do likewise, and to be ready to stoop to the lowest offices of kindness and charity for the good of their fellow-christians.

Q. What are the Rogation-days?

A. They are the Monday, Tuesday, and Wedzesday before the festival of our Lord's Ascension, and are called Rogation-days, or Praying-days, from the extraordinary prayers and supplications which are offered at this season by devout Christians to entreat Almighty God to turn away from our nation those judgments which our sins had deserved; that He would be pleased to bless the fruits, with which the Earth is at this me covered, and not pour upon us those scourges of his wrath, war, pestilence, or famine.

At the Reformation, when all Processions were banished, the preambulation of the circuits of parishes was thought necessary to be retained, when it was ordered that the Minister and suba stantial men of the parish should walk about the bounds thereof, and at certain convenient places should give thanks to God, in the beholding his benefits for the increase and abundance of his fruits upon the Earth, with the saying of the 104th Psalm: At which time also the Minister is to inculcate this and the like sentences, “ Cursed is he that translateth the bounds and doles of his neighbour;" Or, as we now read it, “ Cursed is he that removeth his neighbour's land mark.” Deut.


[ocr errors]

Q. What is meant by the Reformation ?

A. That change in Religion which was brought about in this nation, during the reigns of King Edward the Sixth, and Queen Elizabeth; when our forefathers renounced or threw off the corruptions of the Roman Church, and established that form of worship which is now used by the Church of England, still holding fast the profession of the true old religion cleansed from many errors and superstitions, which had, by degrees, been added thereto.

SECT XV. Q. What does the word Pentateuch signify ?

A. The five first books of the Bible, written by Moses.

Q. Why is the first book called Genesis ?

A. Because it gives an account of the original or first beginning of things; as the creation of the world, and all that is therein, the renewing of mankind after the flood, and of the generations and families of holy men of old.

Q. Why is the second book of Moses called Exodus ?

A. Because it chiefly relates to the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Q. Why is the third book called Liviticus ?

A. Because it treats of the sacrifices of the Priests who were to be of the tribe or posterity of Levi.

Q. Why is the fourth book of Moses styled Numbers ? A. Because it begins with an account of the

Rumbering of the people of Israel, and contains the most remarkable thinks which they did or suffered during their wanderings in the wilderness.

Q. Why is the fifth book styled Deuteronomy?

A. Because it speaks of the delivery of the Law or Ten Commandments the second time; and contains a repetition of divers other laws; with motives and exhortations to observe them.

Q. Of what books in the Old Testament have we no certain account who were the authors ?

A. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, two books of Samuel and of Kings, and the book of Job ; nor is it material to know who wrote them, as we are well assured they were men directed and assisted by the Holy Spirit of God.

Q. Who wrote the two books of Chronicles ?

A. Ezra is supposed to have wrote these books, which were chiefly designed to complete the records concerning the Kings of Judah, and to gather up such parts of sacred history as were omitted in the books of Samuel and Kings, and to explain some passages therein.

Q. Who is supposed to have wrote the Book of Esther ?

A. Esra : though some have thought Mordecai the Jew to have been the author of it, an holy man of God, and a principal actor in this history.

Q. What does the title Apocrypha signify?

A. Books whose divine authority hath been generally doubted of. And although they contain many useful instructions and examples of Piety, yet are not to be believed or regarded like the other Scriptures in the Bible, of which we have un. deniable proof that they were written by holy men wao spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Q. What is meant by an Evangelist

A. It signifies a publisher of good tidings which name was first given to all those whe preached the Gospel; but afterwards it came to be confined to those four who wrote the history of our Saviour's Life, and preaching, namely, St. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Q. Who wrote the Acts of the holy Apostles ?

A. St. Luke, who therein relates the chief things that were done by the Apostles of Christ after his Ascension into heaven.

R. What other books are contained in the New Testament?

A. Fourteen Epistles written by St. Paul: one by St. James; two by St. Peter; one by St. John the Evangelist, and the Revelation, of which he was also the author.

Q. Why are these books called Epist! 43 ?

A. They are a kind of religious letters to the people of that place or nation to whom they are directed, or in some particular person of eminence ; but contain precepts of instruction for all succeeding Christians to observe and follow as they were written by inspired men, the holy Apostles of Christ. Q. Who was Timothy A. Bishop of Ephesus, a large city in Asia. Q. Who was Titus ? A. Bishop of Crete, an island of Greece.

2. Who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews ? * A. It is generally said to be one of those fourteen which St. Paul wrote ; though he does not begin with his name, as in other Epistles; for this reason, as is supposed, because he was made an

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »