THE SCRIPTURES: THE ONLY RULE OF FAITH: An Exposition of the Second Answer of the Shorter Catechism
John Hall with an Introduction by John Whitecross
Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
This uncovered treasure is intended for all who desire to teach or to learn the rule that God has given to direct us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. John Hall (1806-1894) is best known for his long-term friendship with J.W. Alexander, that later resulted in his two volume work which included the 800 letters he received from Alexander over their 40 year relationship.
"The author, in illustrating the answer to the Second Question in the Shorter Catechism, has furnished a well digested treatise on the value of the Bible as the only true and infallible rule of faith. The excellence of this little volume will be appreciated by the intelligent reader.It gives a portable and effectual preventitive of the prime error of Popery." -from The Descriptive Catalogue of the Publication of the Presbyterian Board of Publication
This little gem is the complementary volume to our book entitled THE CHIEF END OF MAN: An Exposition of the First Answer of the Shorter Catechism, also written by Hall. Parents and children, teachers and pupils, pastors and congregation alike will benefit from this wonderful book.
We have chosen to add a brief Introduction by John Whitecross drawn from his book THE SHORTER CATECHISM ILLUSTRATED (also published by Solid Ground). A few examples are given below:
John Locke, a little before his death, being asked what was the shortest and surest way for a young gentleman to attain a true knowledge of the Christian religion, made this reply; 'Let him study the Holy Scriptures, especially the New Testament; therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.'
It was customary, in Cromwell's time, for his soldiers to carry each a Bible in his pocket; among others, a profligate young man, who was ordered out to attack some fortress. During the engagement, a bullet had perforated his Bible, and gone so far as to rest opposite these words in Ecclesiastes; 'Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth; and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.' These words so appropriate to his case, powerfully affected his mind, and proved, by the blessing of God, the means of his conversion. He wed to observe that the Bible had been the happy means of saving both his soul and his body.
During days of war a godly man visited a camp of French soldiers at Toulon, taking with him a number of French New Testaments which he distributed to the men, many of whom seemed pleased with the gift. He had at length exhausted all his store, with the exception of one copy; this he offered to a man standing near him. The man took it, opened it, and turning to a companion said sneeringly, 'Oh, this will do to light my pipe with.' A discouraging enough reception; but the book, having been once given, was beyond recovery.
About a year and half after this occurrence, the distributor of the Testaments was on a short journey through the South of France, and stopped on his way at a roadside inn for refreshment and a night's lodging. On entering the house, he soon perceived that something of a sad nature had happened to the landlady. On inquiring what it was, she informed him that her eldest son had been buried that very week. She went on very naturally to dilate on his many excellencies, and spoke of his happy deathbed. 'And sir,' said she, 'all his happiness was got from a little book that was given him sometime ago.' The traveler inquired further concerning the little book. 'You shall see it,' said the mother, 'it is upstairs.' She soon returned with the book. On opening it, he found it to be French New Testament, and identified it as the very one he had himself given, so many months before, to that seemingly unpromising soldier at Toulon. He discovered that five or six of the early pages had been torn out, thus indicating that the man had actually commenced the fulfillment of his threat to use the book to light his pipe with. This was not all. On the inside cover were written the words: 'Given to me at Toulon on óday; first despised, then read, and finally blessed to the saving of my soul.'
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