The Reformed Presbyterian Catechism by William Roberts – Q. Is not the Christian religion, or church of Christ adapted to exert a benign influence upon the nation by which it is embraced?

SECTION VIII.

The Duty of Nations, in their National Capacity, to acknowledge and support the True Religion.

“Q. Is not the Christian religion, or church of Christ adapted to exert a benign influence upon the nation by which it is embraced?

A. Yes, in a great variety of ways. 1. It teaches the true character of civil government, as a benign institution of heaven, or God’s own minister for the promotion of the happiness of man, and is adapted by its teachings to restrain tyranny on the one hand, and to prevent anarchy on the other, be establishing the just spheres of rulers and ruled. 2. lt. is favourable to true liberty, by checking selfishness and inspiring benevolence, and teaching a strict moral equality. 3. It operates favourably upon national wealth, as it requires all to “be diligent in business,” for “ he that will not work shall not eat ;” teaches moderation in the use of earthly good, and inspires all to exercise a tender regard for the poor, and prevent, or at least ameliorate, the evils of pauperism, “ which spread like a leprosy over an immoral population.” 4. Greatly promotes the peace of a nation. It proclaims “peace on earth and good will towards men ;” unites men and nations in the bonds of Christian love ; and securing peace with God, inclines its subjects to “follow peace with all men ;” and will ultimately eradicate the fierce and warlike passions of our depraved nature, and bring about, in proportion as it is nationally embraced, that blessed period when “nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more”. 5. It secures the true morality of a nation. It alone carries with it those it, influences by which corrupt man is changed in the disposition of his mind, and his affections are sanctified. Its laws and institutions are adapted to advance the same process of purification; particularly its Sabbath is a national blessing, as the most effectual instrumentality for the promotion of the national morality and piety. 6. It places the nation which embraces and practises it under the divine protection, and secures it “God’s full flood” of blessings, so that by his arm it is defended against all its foes, and by his bounty it is rendered prosperous and happy. Thus Israel was protected and blessed, as the nation adhered, to the religion of the Messiah ; but “ wrath came upon it to the uttermost” when his religion was corrupted and abandoned.”

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More sections of this catechism will be forthcoming soon.

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