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westminster shorter catechism - Evangelical 1 THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM; AGREED UPON BY THE...

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  • 1

    THE WESTMINSTER

    SHORTER CATECHISM;

    AGREED UPON BY THE ASSEMBLY OF DIVINES AT WESTMINSTER,

    WITH THE

    ASSISTANCE OF COMMISSIONERS FROM THE CHURCH OF SCOTLAND,

    AS A PART OF THE COVENANTED UNIFORMITY IN RELIGION

    BETWIXT THE CHURCHES OF CHRIST IN THE KINGDOMS

    OF SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, AND IRELAND.

    AND

    APPROVED ANNO 1648, BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CHURCH OF

    SCOTLAND,

    TO BE A DIRECTORY FOR CATECHISING SUCH AS ARE

    OF WEAKER CAPACITY.

    WITH

    THE PROOFS FROM THE SCRIPTURE.

    Assembly at EDINBURGH, July 28, 1648. Seas. 19.

    Act approving the SHORTER CATECHISM.

    THE General Assembly having seriously considered the SHORTER CATECHISM agreed upon

    by the Assembly of Divines sitting at Westminster, with assistance of Commissioners from this

    Kirk; do find, upon due examination thereof, that the said Catechism is agreeable to the word of

    God, and in nothing contrary to the received doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of this

    Kirk: And therefore approve the said Shorter Catechism, as a part of the intended uniformity, to be

    a Directory for catechising such as are of weaker capacity.

    A. KER.

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    THE

    SHORTER CATECHISM.

    QUEST. 1. WHAT is the chief end of man?

    Ans. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, a and to enjoy him for ever.

    b

    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, c is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify

    and enjoy him. d

    Q. 3. What do the scriptures principally teach?

    A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning

    God, and what duty God requires of man. e

    Q. 4. What is God?

    A. God is a Spirit, f infinite,

    g eternal,

    h and unchangeable,

    i in his being,

    k

    wisdom, l power,

    m holiness,

    n justice, goodness, and truth.

    o

    1.

    a l Cor. x. 81. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of

    God. Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for

    ever. Amen. b Ps. lxxiii. 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides

    thee. Ver. 26. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart and my portion

    for ever. Ver. 27. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that

    go a-whoring from thee. Ver. 28. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in

    the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

    2. c 2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by in8piration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for

    reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the founda-

    tion of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone. d 1 John i. 3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fel-

    lowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Ver. 4.

    And these things write we unto you, that our joy may be full.

    3. e 2 Tim. 1. 18. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and

    love which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. iii. 16. [See in letter c.]

    4. f John iv. 24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

    g Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfec-

    tion? Ver. 8. It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?

    Ver. 9.

    The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. h Ps. xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the

    world, even from ever lasting to everlasting thou art God. i James i. 17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Fa-

    ther of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. k Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto

    the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. l Ps. cxlvii. 5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

  • 3

    m Rev iv. 8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes

    within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was,

    and is, and is to come. n Rev. xv. 4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all

    nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. o Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God,

    merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Ver. 7. Keeping mercy

    for thousands, for giving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the

    guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto

    the third and to the fourth generation.

    Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one

    A. There is but One only, the living and true God. p

    Q. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

    A. There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and

    the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance,

    equal in power and glory. q

    Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

    A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the coun-

    sel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained what-

    soever comes to pass. r

    Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?

    A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.

    Q. 9. What is the work of creation?

    A. The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the

    word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good. s

    5.

    p Dent. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true

    God, he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the

    nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

    6. q 1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the

    Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

    Matt. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,

    and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    7. r Eph. i. 4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we

    should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ver. 11. In whom also we have obtained an

    inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the

    counsel of his own will. Rom. ix. 22. What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his

    power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; Ver. 28.

    And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore

    prepared unto glory?

    9. s Gen. 1. throughout. Heb. xi. 8. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by

    the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

    Q. 10. How did God create man?

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    A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowl-

    edge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures. t

    Q. 11. What are God’s works of providence?

    A. God’s works of providence are, his most holy, v wise,

    w and power-

    ful preserving x and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

    y

    Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man

    in the estate wherein he was created?

    A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with

    him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the

    tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death. z

    Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were

    created?

    A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell

    from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God. a

    10.

    t Gen. 1. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them

    have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over

    all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Ver. 27. So God created

    man in his own image: in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Ver.

    28. And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the

    earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and

    over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Col