by Abraham Hellenbroek
1. Q. Which are the principal parties outside the reformed church?
A. They are either without or within Christendom.
2. Q. Which are those outside of Christendom?
A. Heathens, present-day Jews, and Mohammedans.
3. Q. What are Heathens?
A. The Heathens have principally sprung forth from Ham and Japhet, who have departed from the word of promise and live without the revelation of God.
4. Q. Wherein doth their religion consist?
A. Concerning the manner, this varies greatly; but it consists therein, that they revere and serve the creature above the Creator, since they know neither God nor Christ.
5. Q. What are Jews?
A. The Jews are the descendants of Abraham, the ninth from Shem, and are called Jews, since the Babylonian captivity, after Judah the son of Jacob. Before the coming of Christ, the true church was amongst them.
6. Q. What is their present-day conception?
A. They say, that Jesus of Nazareth is not the Messiah promised of God, therefore they deny the Divinity and the authority of the New Covenant Scriptures, and are yet waiting for the coming of the Messiah, whom they fancy to be a worldly and mighty prince.
7. Q. What are Mohammedans?
A. Followers of a certain Mohammed, who was an Arabian, and lived in the beginning of the seventh century.
8. Q. Wherein doth their religion principally consist?
A. In a mixture of Judaism, Heathenism and Christendom. In addition to their doctrine: there is one God, they own Mohammed as His prophet and consider him greater than Moses and Christ.
9. Q. Which are the principal present day factions within Christendom?
A. Romanists, Lutherans, Socinians, Mennonites, Remonstrants or Arminians.
10. Q. From where have the Romanists their origin?
A. The Roman Catholic church is indebted for her origin to the ever increasing corruption, which already manifested itself early in the Christian Church. However, in the beginning of the seventh century, the Bishop of Rome, Boniface III, was declared the head of the church, with the assistance of the Emperor Phocas, and since that time the errors have increased considerably.
11. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. (1) That the pope of Rome is the visible head of the church here on earth, the vicar of Christ, and an infallible interpreter of the differences in faith, and can sell letters of indulgence for the remission of sins.
(2) That the traditions of the church are of equal authority and are as credible, as the Holy Scripture itself.
(3) That the Holy Scripture may not be translated from Latin into other languages, neither be read by the laymen.
(4) That the Holy Scripture is obscure and does not perfectly contain that which is necessary unto salvation.
(5) That the angels and saints in heaven are mediators and advocates before God, for the believers on earth and therefore they should be called upon.
(6) That it is permissible to make images of the Divine Trinity, of Christ and the saints, to kneel down to them and to worship God thereby.
(7) That the unbaptised children go to hell but, after baptism they no longer have original sin, that one after baptism and by fasting and chastisements is able to give satisfaction for sins and by good words can merit heaven and eternal salvation.
(8) That, besides both Sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, there are five more, viz.: marriage, confession, priestly ordination, confirmation, and the holy unction.
(9) That the bread and the wine in the Lord's Supper are essentially changed into the body and blood of Christ. This they call Transubstantiation.
Therefore, they withhold the cup, from the laymen in the Lord's Supper, and say, that in the mass the priest conducts a true sacrifice for the sins of the quick and the dead.
(10) That, besides hell there is also a purgatory, wherein the souls of men, before they enter into heaven. are purified by torture, and that one therefore must pray for the delivery of the souls of the departed.
12. Q. From whom are the Lutherans derived?
A. They are named after Luther, the great reformer of the sixteenth century.
13. Q. What is their principal error?
A. That the body of Christ at the ascension has become omnipresent, from which follows, that Christ is also bodily present with and in the bread of the Lord's Supper, which they term Consubstantiation.
14. Q. To whom are the Mennonites indebted for their origin?
A. To a Menno Simons, a Frisian by birth, who before was a Catholic Priest, and in 1536 deserted the Roman church.
15. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. Their errors for want of mutual agreement, are not easily to determine. However, the principal ones, wherein all agree, are: 1. The rejection of infant baptism. 2. The denial, that it is lawful for a Christian to swear an oath by the name of God, to hold public office and to employ the sword against the evildoers.
16. Q. Who were the founders of the Socinian doctrine?
A. Lelius Socinius and Faustus Socinius, who were living in the middle of the sixteenth century.
17. Q. Which are their principal errors?
A. 1. They teach, that there is but one Divine Person, namely the Father; that Jesus Christ is not a Divine Person with the Father from eternity, and that the Holy Ghost is not a Person, but merely a power of God.
2. They deny the satisfaction and the imputation of the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ, and seek the salvation through their own Evangelical obedience.
3. They disown God's foreknowledge and eternal decree concerning the particular cases, and the spiritual death of all men, because they set forth, that man has a free will.
18. Q. From whom have the Arminians or Remonstrants their origin?
A. From Jacob Arminius, Doctor of Divinity and Professor at Leiden, who lived in the beginning of the seventeenth century and whose followers were later called Remonstrants after a petition, named remonstrance, which was presented by them to the government, in which they defended themselves and requested liberty to practice their religion.
19. Q. Which are their errors?
A. They teach:
1. That the election occurred due to a foreseen faith and good works.
2. That Christ has satisfied for all men.
3. That the will of man is free, to choose the good as well as the evil.
4. That the Spirit of God does not work irresistibly in the conversion.
5. That the believers can fall out of the state of grace.
From Abraham Hellenbroek's A Specimen of Divine Truths