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25. Who were the reputed parents of Christ? A. Joseph and Mary.-v. 18.

26. Were they married at this time? A. No; they were only espoused or betrothed to each other in marriage.

27. What discovery was made before they came together? A. She was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

28. When Joseph, her intended husband, became acquainted with this circumstance, what did he purpose doing? A. To put her away privily, that is, to divorce her, and thus break the contract that was between them.

v. 19.

29. Why did he wish to put her away? A. Because he was a just man ; that is, he strictly adhered to the law of Moses, and did not wish to take an adulteress to wife.

30. Why did he wish to put her away "privily?A. He was an humane man, and did not wish to expose her to the punishment denounced against adulteresses, by the law which commanded that such offenders should be stoned to death. Deut. xxii. 23, 24. John viii. 5.

31. Did he put her away? A. No, for while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

. -v. 20. 32. When the child was born, what name did the angel say he was to be called ? A. Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.

33. What prophecy was fulfilled by this ? A. That of Isaiah, which says, Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel. Isaiah vii. 14'.-y. 23.

34. What is the meaning of the word Emmanuel ? A. It is, by interpretation, God with us.

35. How was the prophecy of his being called Emmanuel fulfilled by his being called Jesus? A. Because God was with us when he descended upon earth as our Saviour in the form of man.

Our Lord was born of a pure Virgin: he thus fulfilled the prophecy spoken by God to our first parents; he was the seed of the woman. Gen. iii. 15,

36. What did Joseph do when he awoke from sleep ? A. He did as the angel of the Lord had commanded, and took unto him Mary his wife, that is, acknowledged her as such, and took her to his home.-. 24.

37. When the child was born, what name was he called ? A. Jesus.

38. What is meant by the term Angel? A. It signifies a messenger Good angels are certain spiritual beings created by God to execute the orders of his Providence : they minister to the righteous, and guard them from the assaults of Satan and his evil angels. Matt. xviii. 10. Heb. i. 14.

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GENERAL QUESTIONS.

39. What is the difference between the genealogy given by St. Matthew, and that given by St. Luke ? A. The former gives the genealogy of Joseph, and the latter of Mary.

40. Why are both mentioned ? A. To shew that Jesus Christ had descended, as was prophesied, from David, both by his reputed father, and also by his mother.

41. How many years from the creation of the world to the birth of our Saviour ? A. Four thousand and four, to the commencement of the Christian Æra, which is supposed to begin four years after the birth of our Saviour.

42. Why did Jesus Christ come into the world ? A. To save mankind from eternal death.

43. How did mankind become subject to death ? A. By the transgression of Adam and Eve, our first parents, who ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which they had been commanded by God not to taste. Gen. ii. 17.

44. What principal changes took place with respect to them after this? A. They became exposed to the wrath of their offended God; their hearts grew corrupt and wicked, and, from being immortal, they became subject to death.

45. What would have been the consequence if we had no Saviour ? A. Every human being would have been doomed to eternal punishment; because, from the corruption of our natures through the sin of Adam, not being able to afford perfect obedience both in thought and action to the law of God, we could never have expected to attain that degree of perfection which the law requires.

46. When was our Saviour first promised ? A. Immediately after the fall, when God declared that “ the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head.” Gen. iii. 15.

47. How did Jesus, that divine seed of the woman, bruise the serpent's head ? A. By his infinite mercy to man, he rescued him, by his own death, from the old serpent, Satan.

48. In the same prophecy (Gen. iii. 15.) it was declared that the serpent should bruise his heel; how was this fulfilled ? A. By our Lord, while upon earth, being subject to the temptations and persecutions which he raised against him, and by the agonies which he was obliged to endure upon the cross to rescue man from eternal perdition.

49. Why is this book, containing the Gospel, called the New Testament? A. Because it succeeded the Old Testament, and sets forth that which does away the necessity of those rites and ceremonies ordained by the Old.

50. What was the nature of the Old Testament? A. The Old Testament or Covenant ? was that made with the children of Israel by God through Moses, whereby God promised them many blessings if they kept his laws, and ordained divers sacrifices and atonements to redeem them from the effects of those heavy curses denounced against such as should transgress the law which God had given.

51. What was the use of the first Testament or Covenant ? A. It was, as the Apostle Paul terms it, “ A school-master to bring us to Christ," because the law required perfect obedience; and as, in consequence of the present fallen state of man, such obedience was impossible, all mankind were subjected to the penalties of its curses, and would, therefore, when conscious of their otherwise lost state be the more inclined to have recourse to their Saviour. It was also added because of offences, and served to point out those acts which were pleasing or displeasing to God. Gal. iii. 19-24.

1 I have selected that translation of the word Alanin most approved of by those commentators to whom I have referred. They all prefer translating it “ Covenant" instead of “a will.” Vide Heb. ix. 15.

52. What is the nature of the New Testament or Covenant? A. If we have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, and believe that it is to him alone we owe our salvation, and humbly endeavour, guided by God's Holy Spirit, to obey his laws, eternal happiness is promised us.

53. What were the uses of those various sacrifices enjoined under the first Covenant? A. They were intended to remind mankind that some atonement for sin was necessary, and to teach them that their repentance and sorrow alone for their sins could not reconcile them to God; and as they were types of that great future sacrifice of the Saviour of the world, they had their efficacy, not from any intrinsic merits which they possessed, but solely through his blood which was to be shed. Hebrews x. 1.

54. Why could not repentance alone save us ? A. Because the law of the supreme Being can never be violated with impunity, the offence can never be undone : sin must be punished; but this punishment Jesus Christ has taken away from man, and borne it himself. Gal. iii. 10.

55. What may we learn from Jesus Christ suffering in our stead ? A. What a dreadful thing sin is in the sight of God, when, to satisfy the divine justice, his only Son con• sented to become that victim which it was necessary should suffer, to free wretched man from its destructive effects.

56. What should be our conduct in return for such mercy ? A. We should testify our gratitude by constantly endeavouring to please that compassionate Being who has done so much for us.

57. How was Jesus Christ a Prophet ? A. He foretold his own death, the destruction of Jerusalem, and many other events.

58. Why was he anointed as a priest ? A. Because he was our High Priest, when he offered up himself for the sins of mankind, and is still ever making intercession for

Heb. vii. 25. ix. 12. 59. How was he a King ? A. He was son of the King of kings, he was “ the Prince of Peace," " of his kingdom there shall be no end."

us.

1 The term Prophet is frequently used in Scripture to express a teacher, in which sense it is also eminently applicable to our blessed Lord.

60. How was he anointed ? A. He was

anointed by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him at his baptism, when he was about to commence his public ministry.

61. Why could no other person act the part of mediator between God and man, but one of the blessed Persons of the eternal Godhead ? A. No man could save us, for no man is without sin; no mortal could atone for the sins of others, for he cannot atone even for his own.

62. Why did not the Almighty depute the salvation of mankind to any angel or intermediate being ? A. Because man should not be indebted for such a blessing to any being but to his Creator : besides, no angel could claim merit for any thing done by him, all his actions being debts due by him to his great Creator.

CHAPTER II.

V.

1. WHERE was Jesus born ? A. In Bethlehem of Judea'.—v.1.

2. Who was the king of Judea at that time? A. Herod the Great.

3. What circumstance shews us that the coming of the Messiah was expected by other nations besides the Jews? A. Wise men came from the East to Jerusalem to inquire, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ?”. 2.

4. How did they know he was born ? A. Because they had seen his star in the East.

5. For what purpose did they come ? A. To worship him.

6. Who were the wise men ? A. Certain learned men, or prophets, who dwelt in those countries east of Jerusalem

1 There was another Bethlehem in Galilee, called Ephrata, originally belonging to the tribe of Zabulon.

2 It is supposed that there were prophets in those kingdoms east of Jerusalem, who were descendants of Abraham by Keturah, or who were the posterity of his son Ishmael, and still preserved a knowledge of the one true God, as handed down by tradition. The dispersion of the ten tribes, and the captivity in Babylon, were also very principal means of producing that persuasion in the East, " that one should be born who should rule the world.” Tacitus and Suetonius, the historians, bear testimony to the truth of this opinion being very general at that time

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