Author: The Westminster Assembly
In 1643, during the English Civil War under Charles I, the English Parliament called together a group of 121 Puritan clergymen. The group, which met at Westminster Abbey over the next several years, sought to provide counsel to the Church of England on issues of worship, doctrine, government, and discipline. Their meetings produced The Westminster Confession of Faith, a Larger Catechism and a Shorter Catechism, the Directory of Public Worship, and the Form of Church Government. The Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, written in simple question and answer format, are designed to educate lay Christians in matters of basic doctrine. The Westminster Confession is arguably the most influential Reformed confession ever written and is used by Reformed churches around the world.
Question 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer. Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God (Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 6:20†; 10:31; Ps 86:9, 12†), and fully to enjoy him for ever (Ps 73:24-28; John 17:21-23; Ps 16:5-11†; Rev 21:3-4†).
Q. 2. How doth it appear that there is God?
A. The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God (Rom 1:19-20; Ps 19:1-3; Acts 17:28); but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation (1 Cor 2:9-10; 1:20-21†; 2 Tim 3:15-17; Isa 49:21).
Q. 3. What is the word of God?
A. The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:19-21; 3:2, 15-16†; Matt 19:4-5†; with Gen 2:24†), the only rule of faith and obedience (Deut 4:2†; Eph 2:20; Rev 22:18-19; Isa 8:20; Luke 16:29, 31; Gal 1:8-9; 2 Tim 3:15-17).
Q. 4. How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God?
A. The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty (Isa 66:1†; Hos 8:12; Amos 9:2-4†; 1 Cor 2:6-7, 13; Ps 77†; 119:18, 129) and purity (Ps 12:6; 119:140); by the consent of all the parts (Luke 24:27†; Acts 10:43; 26:22), and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God (Rom 3:19, 27; 16:25-27†; 2 Cor 3:6-11†); by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation (Acts 18:28; Heb 4:12; Jas 1:18; Ps 19:7-9; Rom 15:4; Acts 20:32): but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God (John 16:13-14; 1 John 2:20, 27; John 20:31).
Q. 5. What do the scriptures principally teach?
A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God (Gen 1:1†; Exod 34:5-7†; Ps 48:1†; John 20:31†; 2 Tim 3:15†), and what duty God requires of man (Deut 10:12-13†; Ps 119:105†; 2 Tim 1:13; 3:15-17†; Acts 16:30-31†).
What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God.
Q. 6. What do the scriptures make known of God?
A. The scriptures make known what God is (John 4:24†; Exod 3:14†; 34:6–7†; Isa 40:18, 21-23, 25, 28†; Heb 11:6), the persons in the Godhead (Matt 3:16-17†; Deut 6:4-6†; 1 Cor 8:4, 6†; Matt 28:19-20†; 2 Cor 13:14†; 1 John 5:7 [TR]), his decrees (Acts 15:14-15, 18 [TR]; Isa 46:9-10†), and the execution of his decrees (Acts 4:27-28).
Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit (John 4:24), in and of himself infinite in being (Exod 3:14; Job 11:7-9; Ps 145:3†; 147:5†), glory (Acts 7:2), blessedness (1 Tim 6:15), and perfection (Matt 5:48); all-sufficient (Exod 3:14†; Gen 17:1; Rom 11:35-36†), eternal (Ps 90:2; Deut 33:27†), unchangeable (Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17), incomprehensible (1 Kgs 8:27; Ps 145:3†; Rom 11:34†), every where present (Ps 139:1-13), almighty (Rev 4:8; Gen 17:1†; Matt 19:26†), knowing all things (Heb 4:13; Ps 147:5), most wise (Rom 11:33-34†; 16:27), most holy (1 Pet 1:15-16†; Isa 6:3; Rev 15:4), most just (Deut 32:4; Rom 3:5, 26†), most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Exod 34:6; Ps 117:2†; Deut 32:4†).
Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There is but one only (Deut 6:4; 1 Cor 8:4, 6; Isa 45:21-22†; Isa 44:6†), the living and true God (Jer 10:10; John 17:3†; 1 Thess 1:9†; 1 John 5:20†).
Q. 9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties (1 John 5:7 [TR]; Matt 3:16-17; 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14; John 10:30).
Q. 10. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?
A. It is proper to the Father to beget the Son (Heb 1:5-6, 8; John 1:14†), and to the Son to be begotten of the Father (John 1:14, 18), and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity (John 15:26; Gal 4:6).
Q. 11. How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?
A. The scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names (Isa 6:3, 5, 8; with John 12:41; with Acts 28:25; Jer 23:6†; 1 John 5:20; Ps 45:6†; Acts 5:3-4), attributes (John 1:1; Isa 9:6; John 2:24-25; 1 Cor 2:10-11; Heb 9:14†), works (Col 1:16; Gen 1:2; Job 26:13†; John 1:3†), and worship (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14), as are proper to God only.
Q. 12. What are the decrees of God?
A. God’s decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will (Isa 45:6-7†; Eph 1:11; Rom 11:33; 9:14-15, 18), whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time (Isa 14:24†; Acts 2:23†; 4:27–28†; Eph 1:4, 11; Rom 9:22-23; Ps 33:11), especially concerning angels and men.
Q. 13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
A. God, by an eternal and immutable decree, out of his mere love, for the praise of his glorious grace, to be manifested in due time, hath elected some angels to glory (1 Tim 5:21); and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof (Eph 1:4-6; 2:10†; 2 Thess 2:13-14; 1 Pet 1:2†): and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable counsel of his own will, (whereby he extendeth or withholdeth favor as he pleaseth,) hath passed by and foreordained the rest to dishonour and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice (Rom 9:17-18, 21-22; Matt 11:25-26; 2 Tim 2:20; Jude 4; 1 Pet 2:8).
Q. 14. How doth God execute his decrees?
A. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence (Rev 4:11†; Isa 40:12-31†), according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will (Eph 1:11; Ps 148:8†; Dan 4:35†; Acts 4:24-28†).
Q. 15. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good (Gen 1; Heb 11:3; Prov 16:4; Rom 11:36†; Rev 4:11†).
Q. 16. How did God create angels?
A. God created all the angels (Col 1:16) spirits (Ps 104:4), immortal (Matt 22:30; Luke 20:36†), holy (Matt 25:31 [TR]), excelling in knowledge (2 Sam 14:17; Matt 24:36), mighty in power (2 Thess 1:7), to execute his commandments, and to praise his name (Ps 91:11-12†; 103:20–21), yet subject to change (2 Pet 2:4).
Q. 17. How did God create man?
A. After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female (Gen 1:27; Matt 19:4†); formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7), and the woman of the rib of the man (Gen 2:22), endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls (Gen 2:7; Job 35:11; Eccl 12:7; Matt 10:28; Luke 23:43); made them after his own image (Gen 1:27), in knowledge (Col 3:10), righteousness, and holiness (Eph 4:24); having the law of God written in their hearts (Rom 2:14-15), and power to fulfil it (Eccl 7:29), and dominion over the creatures (Gen 1:28; Ps 8:6-8†); yet subject to fall (Gen 2:16-17†; 3:6; Eccl 7:29).
Q. 18. What are God’s works of providence?
A. God’s works of providence are his most holy (Ps 145:17; Lev 21:8†), wise (Ps 104:24; Isa 28:29), and powerful preserving (Heb 1:3; Ps 36:6†; Neh 9:6†) and governing (Ps 103:19; Job 38-41†; Ps 145:14-16†) all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions (Matt 10:29-31; Gen 45:7; Ps 135:6†), to his own glory (Rom 11:36; Isa 63:14).
Q. 19. What is God’s providence towards the angels?
A. God by his providence permitted some of the angels, wilfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation (Jude 6; 2 Pet 2:4; Heb 2:16; John 8:44), limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory (Job 1:12; Matt 8:31; Luke 10:17†); and established the rest in holiness and happiness (1 Tim 5:21; Mark 8:38; Heb 12:22); employing them all (Ps 103:20†; 104:4), at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice (2 Kgs 19:35; Heb 1:14).
Q. 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
A. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth (Gen 2:8, 15-16); putting the creatures under his dominion (Gen 1:28), and ordaining marriage for his help (Gen 2:18; Matt 19:3-9†; Eph 5:31†); affording him communion with himself (Gen 1:26-29; 3:8); instituting the Sabbath (Gen 2:3; Exod 20:11†); entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience (Gen 2:16-17†; Rom 5:14†; Gal 3:12; Rom 10:5; Gal 3:10†; 1 Cor 15:22, 47†; Hos 6:7†), of which the tree of life was a pledge (Gen 2:9; 3:22-24†); and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death (Gen 2:17; Jas 2:10†).
Q. 21. Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?
A. Our first parents being left to the freedom of their own will, through the temptation of Satan, transgressed the commandment of God in eating the forbidden fruit; and thereby fell from the estate of innocency wherein they were created (Gen 3:6-8, 13; Eccl 7:29; 2 Cor 11:3).
Q. 22. Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam as a publick person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation (Acts 17:26; Rom 3:23†), sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression (Gen 2:16-17; Jas 2:10†; Rom 5:12-20; 1 Cor 15:21-22).
Q. 23. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery (Gen 3:16-19†; Rom 5:12; Gal 3:10†; Eph 2:1†; Rom 3:23).
Q. 24. What is sin?
A. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature (Lev 5:17†; Rom 3:23†; Jas 4:17†; 1 John 3:4; Gal 3:10, 12).
Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin (Rom 5:12, 19; 1 Cor 15:22†), the want of that righteousness wherein he was created, and the corruption of his nature, whereby he is utterly indisposed, disabled, and made opposite unto all that is spiritually good, and wholly inclined to all evil, and that continually (Rom 3:10-20; Eph 2:1-3; Rom 5:6; 8:7-8; Gen 6:5; Col 3:10†; Eph 4:24†); which is commonly called Original Sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions (Jas 1:14-15; Ps 53:1-3†; Matt 15:19; Rom 3:10-18, 23†; Gal 5:19-21†).
Q. 26. How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?
A. Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so as all that proceed from them in that way are conceived and born in sin (Ps 51:5; Job 14:4; 15:14; John 3:6).
Q. 27. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
A. The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God (Gen 3:8, 10, 24; John 8:34, 42, 44†; Eph 2:12†), his displeasure and curse (Gen 3:16-19†; Job 5:7†; Eccl 2:22-23†; Rom 8:18-23†); so as we are by nature children of wrath (Eph 2:2-3; John 3:36†; Rom 1:18†; Eph 5:6†), bond slaves to Satan (2 Tim 2:26; Luke 11:21-22†; Heb 2:14†), and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come (Gen 2:17; Lam 3:39; Rom 5:14†; 6:23; Matt 25:41, 46; Jude 7).
Q. 28. What are the punishments of sin in this world?
A. The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind (Eph 4:18), a reprobate sense (Rom 1:28), strong delusions (2 Thess 2:11), hardness of heart (Rom 2:5), horror of conscience (Isa 33:14; Gen 4:13; Matt 27:4; Heb 10:27†), and vile affections (Rom 1:26); or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures for our sakes (Gen 3:17), and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments (Deut 28:15-68); together with death itself (Rom 6:21, 23).
Q. 29. What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
A. The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire for ever (2 Thess 1:9; Mark 9:43-44, 46, 48; Luke 16:24; Matt 25:41, 46†; Rev 14:11†; John 3:36†).
Q. 30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?
A. God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery (1 Thess 5:9), into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works (Gen 3:17†; Rom 5:12, 15†; Gal 3:10, 12); but of his mere love and mercy delivereth his elect out of it, and bringeth them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Grace (Tit 3:4-7; 1:2†; Gal 3:21; Rom 3:20-22; 2 Thess 2:13-14†; Acts 13:48†; Eph 1:4-5†).
Q. 31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?
A. The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed (Gal 3:16; Rom 5:15-21; Isa 53:10-11; 59:21†; Zech 6:13†; Luke 22:29†; 2 Sam 23:5†).
Q. 32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
A. The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator (Gen 3:15; Isa 42:6; John 6:27; 1 Tim 2:5†), and life and salvation by him (1 John 5:11-12); and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him (John 3:16; 1:12; 3:36†), promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit (Prov 1:23; Isa 59:21†; Zech 12:10†; Luke 11:13†; John 14:16-20†; 1 Cor 12:13†; Rom 8:9† [and vv. 4, 11, 14–16†]) to all his elect, to work in them that faith (2 Cor 4:13; 1 Cor 12:3, 9†; Eph 2:8-10†; Acts 16:14†; 2 Pet 1:1†), with all other saving graces (Gal 5:22-23); and to enable them unto all holy obedience (Ezek 36:27; Eph 2:10†), as the evidence of the truth of their faith (Jas 2:18, 22) and thankfulness to God (2 Cor 5:14-15), and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation (Eph 2:10; Tit 2:14†; 3:8†).
Q. 33. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?
A. The covenant of grace was not always administered after the same manner, but the administrations of it under the Old Testament were different from those under the New (2 Cor 3:6-9; Heb 1:1-2†; 8:7–8†).
Q. 34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?
A. The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises (Gen 3:15†; 12:1–3†; 15:5†; Rom 15:8; Acts 3:20†), prophecies (Isa 52:13-53:12†; Acts 3:20, 24), sacrifices (Lev 1-7†; Heb 10:1), circumcision (Gen 17:1-14†; Rom 4:11), the passover (1 Cor 5:7; Exod 12:14, 17, 24†), and other types and ordinances, which did all fore-signify Christ then to come, and were for that time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah (Heb 8-10; Heb 11:13), by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation (Gal 3:7-9, 14).
Q. 35. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?
A. Under the New Testament, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the same covenant of grace was and still is to be administered in the preaching of the word (Matt 28:19-20†; Luke 24:47-48†; Mark 16:15 [TR]), and the administration of the sacraments of baptism (Matt 28:19-20) and the Lord’s supper (Matt 26:28†; 1 Cor 11:23-25); in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations (Rom 1:16†; 2 Cor 3:6-18; Heb 8:6, 10-11; Matt 28:19; Eph 3:1-12†).
Q. 36. Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
A. The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim 2:5; John 14:6†; Acts 4:12†), who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; Phil 2:6; Ps 2:7†; Matt 3:17†; Matt 17:5†), in the fulness of the time became man (Gal 4:4; Matt 1:23†; John 1:14†), and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, for ever (Luke 1:35; Acts 1:11†; Rom 9:5; Col 2:9; Heb 7:24-25; 13:8†; Phil 2:5-11†).
Q. 37. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul (John 1:14; Matt 26:38; Phil 2:7†; Heb 2:14-17†; Luke 2:40†; John 11:33†), being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her (Luke 1:27, 31, 35, 42; Gal 4:4), yet without sin (Heb 4:15; 7:26; 2 Cor 5:21†; 1 John 3:5†).
Q. 38. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
A. It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might sustain and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and the power of death (Acts 2:24-25; Rom 1:4; Rom 4:25; Heb 9:14); give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession (Acts 20:28; Heb 9:14; 7:25-28; John 17†); and to satisfy God’s justice (Rom 3:24-26), procure his favour (Eph 1:6; Matt 3:17), purchase a peculiar people (Tit 2:13-14), give his Spirit to them (John 15:26†; 16:7†; 14:26†; Gal 4:6), conquer all their enemies (Luke 1:68-69, 71, 74), and bring them to everlasting salvation (Heb 5:8-9; 9:11-16).
Q. 39. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?
A. It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature (Heb 2:16; 2 Pet 1:4†), perform obedience to the law (Gal 4:4; Matt 5:17†; Rom 5:19†; Phil 2:8†), suffer and make intercession for us in our nature (Heb 2:14; 7:24-25), have a fellow-feeling of our infirmities (Heb 4:15); that we might receive the adoption of sons (Gal 4:5), and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace (Heb 4:16).
Q. 40. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and man in one person?
A. It was requisite that the Mediator, who was to reconcile God and man, should himself be both God and man, and this in one person, that the proper works of each nature might be accepted of God for us (Matt 1:21, 23; 3:17; Heb 9:14), and relied on by us, as the works of the whole person (1 Pet 2:6).
Q. 41. Why was our Mediator called Jesus?
A. Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saveth his people from their sins (Matt 1:21).
Q. 42. Why was our Mediator called Christ?
A. Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure (Matt 3:16†; Acts 10:37-38†; John 3:34; Ps 45:7); and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability (John 6:27; Matt 28:18-20; Rom 1:3-4†), to execute the offices of prophet (Acts 3:21-22; Luke 4:18, 21; Heb 1:1-2†; Deut 18:18†), priest (Heb 5:5-7; Heb 4:14-15), and king of his church (Ps 2:6; Luke 1:32-34†; John 18:37†; Matt 21:5; Isa 9:6-7; Phil 2:8-11), in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.
Q. 43. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church (John 1:18), in all ages, by his Spirit and word (1 Pet 1:10-12), in divers ways of administration (Heb 1:1-2), the whole will of God (John 15:15), in al things concerning their edification and salvation (Acts 20:32; Eph 4:11-13; John 20:31).
Q. 44. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God (Heb 9:14, 28; 10:12†; Isa 53†), to be a reconciliation for the sins of his people (Heb 2:17; 2 Cor 5:18†; Col 1:21-22†); and in making continual intercession for them (Heb 7:25; 9:24†).
Q. 45. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself (Acts 15:14-16; Isa 55:4-5; Gen 49:10; Ps 110:3; John 17:2†), and giving them officers (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Cor 12:28), laws (Isa 33:22), and censures, by which he visibly governs them (Matt 18:17-18; 1 Cor 5:4-5; 1 Tim 5:20†; Tit 3:10†); in bestowing saving grace upon his elect (Acts 5:31; Ps 118:18†), rewarding their obedience (Rev 22:12; 2:10; Matt 25:34-36†; Rom 2:7†), and correcting them for their sins (Rev 3:19; Heb 12:6-7†), preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings (Isa 63:9), restraining and overcoming all their enemies (1 Cor 15:25; Ps 110), and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory (Rom 14:10-11; Phil 2:11†), and their good (Rom 8:28); and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel (2 Thess 1:8-9; Ps 2:8-9).
Q. 46. What was the estate of Christ’s humiliation?
A. The estate of Christ’s humiliation was that low condition, wherein he for our sakes, emptying himself of his glory, took upon him the form of a servant (Phil 2:6-8), in his conception (Luke 1:31) and birth (Luke 2:7†), life (Gal 4:4†; 2 Cor 8:9; Luke 9:58†; Heb 2:18†; Isa 53:3†), death (Ps 22:1†; Matt 27:46†; Isa 53:10†; 1 John 2:2†; Phil 2:8†), and after his death (Matt 12:40†; 1 Cor 15:3-4†), until his resurrection (Acts 2:24).
Q. 47. How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?
A. Christ humbled himself in his conception and birth, in that, being from all eternity the Son of God, in the bosom of the Father, he was pleased in the fulness of time to become the son of man, made of a woman of low estate, and to be born of her; with divers circumstances of more than ordinary abasement (John 1:14, 18; Gal 4:4; Luke 2:7).
Q. 48. How did Christ humble himself in his life?
A. Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law (Gal 4:4), which he perfectly fulfilled (Matt 5:17; Rom 5:19); and by conflicting with the indignities of the world (Ps 22:6; Isa 53:2-3†; Heb 12:2-3), temptations of Satan (Matt 4:1-12; Luke 4:13), and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition (Heb 2:17-18; 4:15; Isa 52:13-14).
Q. 49. How did Christ humble himself in his death?
A. Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by Judas (Matt 27:4), forsaken by his disciples (Matt 26:56), scorned and rejected by the world (Isa 53:2-3), condemned by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors (Matt 27:26-50; John 19:34; Luke 22:63-64†); having also conflicted with the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God’s wrath (Luke 22:44; Matt 27:46; Rom 8:32†), he laid down his life an offering for sin (Isa 53:10; Matt 20:28†; Mark 10:45†), enduring the painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross (Phil 2:8; Heb 12:2; Gal 3:13).
Q. 50. Wherein consisted Christ’s humiliation after his death?
A. Christ’s humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried (1 Cor 15:3-4), and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day (Ps 16:10; Acts 2:24-27, 31; Rom 6:9; Matt 12:40); which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, He descended into hell.
Q. 51. What was the estate of Christ’s exaltation?
A. The estate of Christ’s exaltation comprehendeth his resurrection (1 Cor 15:4), ascension (Ps 68:18†; Mark 16:19 [TR]; Acts 1:11†; Eph 4:8†), sitting at the right hand of the Father (Eph 1:20; Ps 110:1†; Acts 2:33-34†; Heb 1:3†), and his coming again to judge the world (Acts 1:11; Acts 17:31; Matt 16:27†).
Q. 52. How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?
A. Christ was exalted in his resurrection, in that, not having seen corruption in death, (of which it was not possible for him to be held [Acts 2:24, 27; Ps 16:10†],) and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof (Luke 24:39), (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul (Rom 6:9; Rev 1:18), he rose again from the dead the third day by his own power (John 10:18); whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God (Rom 1:4), to have satisfied divine justice (Rom 8:34; 3:25-26†; Heb 9:13-14†), to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it (Heb 2:14), and to be Lord of quick and dead (Rom 14:9): all which he did as a public person (1 Cor 15:21-22; Isa 53:10-11†), the head of his church (Eph 1:20, 22-23; Col 1:18), for their justification (Rom 4:25), quickening in grace (Eph 2:1, 5-6; Col 2:12), support against enemies (1 Cor 15:25-27; Ps 2:7-9†), and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day (1 Cor 15:20; 1 Thess 4:14†).
Q. 53. How was Christ exalted in his ascension?
A. Christ was exalted in his ascension, in that having after his resurrection often appeared unto and conversed with his apostles, speaking to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2-3), and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations (Matt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15†), forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head (John 20:17†; Heb 6:20), triumphing over enemies (Eph 4:8), visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men (Acts 1:9-11; Eph 4:7-8†; Eph 4:10; Ps 68:18; Acts 2:33†), to raise up our affections thither (Col 3:1-2), and to prepare a place for us (John 14:3), where himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world (Acts 3:21).
Q. 54. How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?
A. Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that as God-man he is advanced to the highest favour with God the Father (Phil 2:9), with all fulness of joy (Acts 2:28; Ps 16:11), glory (John 17:5), and power over all things in heaven and earth (Dan 7:13-14†; Eph 1:22; 1 Pet 3:22); and doth gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnisheth his ministers and people with gifts and graces (Eph 4:10-12; Ps 110; Heb 10:12-14†; Ezek 37:24†), and maketh intercession for them (Rom 8:34; 1 John 2:1†; Heb 7:25†).
Q. 55. How doth Christ make intercession?
A. Christ maketh intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually before the Father in heaven (Heb 9:12, 24), in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on earth (Isa 53:12†; Heb 1:3), declaring his will to have it applied to all believers (John 3:16; 17:9, 20, 24); answering all accusations against them (Rom 8:33-34), and procuring for them quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings (Rom 5:1-2; 1 John 2:1-2), access with boldness to the throne of grace (Heb 4:16), and acceptance of their persons (Eph 1:6) and services (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 8:3-4†).
Q. 56. How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world?
A. Christ is to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world, in that he, who was unjustly judged and condemned by wicked men (Acts 3:14-15), shall come again at the last day in great power (Matt 24:30; 2 Thess 1:9-10†), and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father’s, with all his holy angels (Luke 9:26; Matt 25:31), with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God (1 Thess 4:16), to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31; 2 Thess 1:6-8†).
Q. 57. What benefits hath Christ procured by his mediation?
A. Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption (1 Tim 2:5-6†; Heb 9:12; Eph 1:7†), with all other benefits of the covenant of grace (2 Cor 1:20; Eph 1:3-6†; 2 Pet 1:3-4†).
Q. 58. How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured?
A. We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured, by the application of them unto us (John 1:11-12), which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost (Tit 3:5-6; John 16:7-8†; 16:14–15†; 3:3–8†).
Q. 59. Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?
A. Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it (Eph 1:13-14; John 6:37, 39; 10:15-16); who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel (Rom 10:17†; 1 Cor 2:12-16†; Eph 2:8; 2 Cor 4:13; John 3:36†; Rom 8:9, 14†).
Q. 60. Can they who have never heard the gospel, and so know not Jesus Christ, nor believe in him, be saved by their living according to the light of nature?
A. They who, having never heard the gospel (Rom 10:14), know not Jesus Christ (2 Thess 1:8-9; Eph 2:12; John 1:10-12), and believe not in him, cannot be saved (John 8:24; Mark 16:16 [TR]; John 3:18†), be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature (1 Cor 1:20-24), or the laws of that religion which they profess (John 4:22; Rom 9:31-32; Phil 3:4-9); neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone (Acts 4:12), who is the Saviour only of his body the church (Eph 5:23).
Q. 61. Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
A. All that hear the gospel, and live in the visible church, are not saved; but they only who are true members of the church invisible (John 12:38-40; Rom 9:6; Matt 22:14; 7:21; Rom 11:7; 1 Cor 10:2-5†).
Q. 62. What is the visible church?
A. The visible church is a society made up of all such as in all ages and places of the world do profess the true religion (1 Cor 1:2; 12:13; Rom 15:9-12; Rev 7:9; Ps 2:8; 22:27-31; 45:17; Matt 28:19-20; Isa 59:21), and of their children (1 Cor 7:14; Acts 2:39; Rom 11:16; Gen 17:7).
Q. 63. What are the special privileges of the visible church?
A. The visible church hath the privilege of being under God’s special care and government (Isa 4:5-6 [?]; 1 Tim 4:10; Eph 4:11-13†); of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies (Matt 16:18†; Ps 115:1-18; Isa 31:4-5; Zech 12:2-4, 8-9; Exod 3:2-3† [?]); and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation (Acts 2:39, 42; Matt 28:19-20†; 1 Cor 12:12-13†), and offers of grace by Christ to all the members of it in the ministry of the gospel, testifying, that whosoever believes in him shall be saved (Ps 147:19-20; Rom 9:4; Eph 4:11-12; Mark 16:15-16 [TR]; Acts 16:31†; 22:16†; 2:21†; Joel 2:32†; Rom 10:10-13, 17†; Isa 45:22†; Rev 22:17†), and excluding none that will come unto him (Matt 11:28-29†; John 6:37).
Q. 64. What is the invisible church?
A. The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head (Eph 1:10, 22-23; John 10:16; 11:52; Eph 5:23, 27, 32†).
Q. 65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?
A. The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory (John 17:21; Eph 2:5-6; John 17:24; 1 John 1:3†; John 1:16†; Eph 3:16-19†; Phil 3:10†; Rom 6:5-6†).
Q. 66. What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
A. The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God’s grace (Eph 1:22; 2:6-8), whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband (1 Cor 6:17; John 10:28; Eph 5:23, 30; John 15:5†; Eph 3:17†); which is done in their effectual calling (1 Pet 5:10; 1 Cor 1:9).
Q. 67. What is effectual calling?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God’s almighty power and grace (Ezek 37:9, 14†; John 5:25; Eph 1:18-20; 2 Tim 1:8-9), whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto [Tit 3:4-5; Eph 2:4-5, 7-9; Rom 9:11; Deut 9:5†]) he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his word and Spirit (John 3:5†; Tit 3:5†; 2 Cor 5:20; 6:1-2; John 6:44; Acts 16:14†; 2 Thess 2:13-14); savingly enlightening their minds (Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 2:10, 12; 2 Cor 4:6†; Eph 1:17-18†), renewing and powerfully determining their wills (Ezek 11:19; 36:26-27; John 6:45), so as they (although in themselves dead in sin) are hereby made willing and able freely to answer his call, and to accept and embrace the grace offered and conveyed therein (Eph 2:5; Phil 2:13; Deut 30:6; Isa 45:22†; Matt 11:28-30†; Rev 22:17†).
Q. 68. Are the elect only effectually called?
A. All the elect, and they only, are effectually called (Acts 13:48); although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the word (Matt 22:14; Acts 8:13, 20-21†), and have some common operations of the Spirit (Matt 7:22; 13:20-21; Heb 6:4-5); who, for their wilful neglect and contempt of the grace offered to them, being justly left in their unbelief, do never truly come to Jesus Christ (John 12:38-40; Acts 28:25-27; John 6:64-65; Ps 81:11-12; Prov 1:24-32†; Ps 95:9-11†; Heb 10:29†; 1 John 2:19†).
Q. 69. What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is their partaking of the virtue of his mediation, in their justification (Rom 8:30), adoption (Eph 1:5), sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him (1 Cor 1:30; 6:11†).
Q. 70. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners (Rom 3:23-25; 4:5), in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight (Jer 23:6†; Rom 4:6-8†; 2 Cor 5:19, 21; Rom 3:22, 24-28); not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them (Tit 3:5, 7; Eph 1:7; Rom 3:28†), but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them (Rom 3:24-25†; 5:17–19; 4:6–8), and received by faith alone (Rom 3:25-26†; 5:1†; Acts 10:43; Gal 2:16; Phil 3:9).
Q. 71. How is justification an act of God’s free grace?
A. Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice in the behalf of them that are justified (Matt 20:28†; Rom 5:8-10, 19; 1 Tim 2:6†; 1 Pet 1:18-19†); yet in as much as God accepteth the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son (1 Tim 2:5-6; Heb 10:10; Matt 20:28; Dan 9:24, 26; Isa 53:4-6, 10-12; Heb 7:22; Rom 8:32; 1 Pet 1:18-19), imputing his righteousness to them (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 4:6, 11†; 1 Cor 1:30†), and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith (Rom 3:24-25; Acts 16:31†), which also is his gift (Eph 2:8), their justification is to them of free grace (Eph 1:7; Rom 3:24-25†).
Q. 72. What is justifying faith?
A. Justifying faith is a saving grace (Heb 10:39), wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit (2 Cor 4:13; Eph 1:17-19; 1 Cor 12:3†; 1 Pet 1:2†) and word of God (Rom 10:14, 17; 1:16†; 1 Cor 1:21†), whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and of the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition (Acts 2:37; 16:30; John 16:8-9; Rom 5:6; 7:9†; Eph 2:1; Acts 4:12), not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel (Eph 1:13; Heb 11:13†), but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin (John 1:12; Acts 16:31; 10:43; Zech 3:8-9†), and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation (Phil 3:9; Acts 15:11).
Q. 73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
A. Faith justifies a sinner in the sight of God, not because of those other graces which do always accompany it, or of good works that are the fruits of it (Gal 3:11; Rom 3:28), nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification (Rom 4:5; 10:10); but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness (John 1:12; Phil 3:9; Gal 2:16).
Q. 74. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God (1 John 3:1), in and for his only Son Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5; Gal 4:4-5), whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children (John 1:12; Rom 8:15-16†), have his name put upon them (Num 6:24-27†; Amos 9:12†; 2 Cor 6:18; Rev 3:12), the Spirit of his Son given to them (Gal 4:6), are under his fatherly care and dispensations (Ps 103:13; Prov 14:26; Matt 6:32; Heb 12:5-7, 11†), admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory (Heb 6:12; Rom 8:17; 1 Pet 1:3-4†).
Q. 75. What is sanctification?
A. Sanctification is a work of God’s grace, whereby they whom God hath, before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the powerful operation of his Spirit (Ezek 36:27†; Phil 2:13†; Eph 1:4; 1 Cor 6:11; 2 Thess 2:13) applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them (Rom 6:4-6; Col 3:1-3†; Phil 3:10†), renewed in their whole man after the image of God (2 Cor 5:17†; Eph 4:23-24; 1 Thess 5:23†); having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts (Acts 11:18; 1 John 3:9), and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened (Jude 20; Heb 6:11-12; Eph 3:16-19; Col 1:10-11), as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life (Ezek 36:25-27†; Rom 6:4, 6, 14; 2 Cor 7:1†; 1 Pet 2:24†; Gal 5:24).
Q. 76. What is repentance unto life?
A. Repentance unto life is a saving grace (2 Tim 2:25; Acts 11:18†), wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit (Zech 12:10) and word of God (Acts 11:18, 20-21; Ps 19:7-14†; Acts 2:37†), whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger (Ezek 18:28, 30, 32; Luke 15:17-18; Hos 2:6-7), but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins (Ezek 36:31; 16:61, 63†; Isa 30:22; Phil 3:7-8†), and upon the apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ to such as are penitent (Ps 51:1-4†; 130:3–7†; Joel 2:12-13; Zech 12:10†; Luke 15:7, 10†; Acts 2:37†), he so grieves for (Jer 31:18-19; Ps 32:5†) and hates his sins (2 Cor 7:11), as that he turns from them all to God (Luke 1:16-17†; 1 Thess 1:9†; Acts 26:18; Ezek 14:6; 1 Kgs 8:47-48; 1 Sam 7:3†), purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience (2 Chr 7:14†; Ps 119:6, 59, 128; Matt 3:8†; 2 Cor 7:10†; Luke 1:6; 2 Kgs 23:25).
Q. 77. Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
A. Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification (1 Cor 6:11; 1:30), yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ (Rom 4:6, 8; 2 Cor 5:21†; Rom 3:24†); in sanctification his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof (Ezek 36:27; Heb 9:13-14†); in the former, sin is pardoned (Rom 3:24-25); in the other, it is subdued (Rom 6:6, 14): the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation (Rom 8:33-34); the other is neither equal in all (1 John 2:12-14; Heb 5:12-14), nor in this life perfect in any (1 John 1:8, 10), but growing up to perfection (2 Cor 7:1; Phil 3:12-14).
Q. 78. Whence ariseth the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
A. The imperfection of sanctification in believers ariseth from the remnants of sin abiding in every part of them, and the perpetual lustings of the flesh against the spirit; whereby they are often foiled with temptations, and fall into many sins (Rom 7:18, 23; Mark 14:66-72; Gal 2:11-12), are hindered in all their spiritual services (Gal 5:17†; Heb 12:1), and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God (Isa 64:6; Exod 28:38; Gal 5:16-18†).
Q. 79. May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace?
A. True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God (Jer 31:3; John 13:1†), and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance (2 Tim 2:19; Heb 13:20-21; 2 Sam 23:5; Isa 54:10†), their inseparable union with Christ (1 Cor 1:8-9), his continual intercession for them (Heb 7:25; Luke 22:32), and the Spirit and seed abiding in them (1 John 3:9; 2:27), can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace (Jer 32:40; John 10:28), but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Pet 1:5; Phil 1:6†).
Q. 80. Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
A. Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before him (1 John 2:3; Heb 10:19-23†), may, without extraordinary revelation, by faith grounded upon the truth of God’s promises, and by the Spirit enabling them to discern in themselves those graces to which the promises of life are made (1 Cor 2:12; 1 John 3:14, 18-19, 21, 24; 4:13, 16; Heb 6:11-12), and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God (Rom 8:16), be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation (1 John 5:13; Heb 6:19-20†; 2 Pet 1:5-11†).
Q. 81. Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
A. Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith (Eph 1:13), true believers may wait long before they obtain it (Isa 50:10; Ps 88:1-18); and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions (Ps 77:1-12; Song 5:2-3, 6; Ps 51:8, 12; 31:22; 22:1; 30:6-7†; 51:13†; Eph 4:30†; Luke 22:31-34†); yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair (1 John 3:9; Job 13:15; Ps 73:15, 23; Isa 54:7-10; 1 Pet 4:12-14†).
Q. 82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?
A. The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life (2 Cor 3:18), immediately after death (Luke 23:43), and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment (1 Thess 4:17).
Q. 83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?
A. The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the first-fruits of glory with Christ, as they are members of him their head, and so in him are interested in that glory which he is fully possessed of (Eph 2:5-6); and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God’s love (Rom 5:5; 2 Cor 1:22), peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory (Rom 5:1-2; 14:17; 2 Pet 3:18†); as, on the contrary, sense of God’s revenging wrath, horror of conscience, and a fearful expectation of judgment, are to the wicked the beginning of their torments which they shall endure after death (Gen 4:13; Matt 27:4; Heb 10:27; Rom 2:9; Mark 9:44 [av]).
Q. 84. Shall all men die?
A. Death being threatened as the wages of sin (Rom 6:23), it is appointed unto all men once to die (Heb 9:27); for that all have sinned (Rom 5:12).
Q. 85. Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
A. The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it (1 Cor 15:26, 56; Heb 2:15; John 11:25-26†); so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love (Isa 57:1-2; 2 Kgs 22:20), to free them perfectly from sin and misery (Rev 14:13; Eph 5:27), and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon (Luke 23:43; Phil 1:23).
Q. 86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?
A. The communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death, is, in that their souls are then made perfect in holiness (Heb 12:23; Acts 7:55, 59†; 1 John 3:2†; Eph 5:27†), and received into the highest heavens (2 Cor 5:1, 6, 8; Phil 1:23; Acts 3:21; Eph 4:10; Luke 23:43†), where they behold the face of God in light and glory (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 22:4-5†; Matt 5:8†), waiting for the full redemption of their bodies (Rom 8:23; Ps 16:9), which even in death continue united to Christ (1 Thess 4:14), and rest in their graves as in their beds (Isa 57:2), till at the last day they be again united to their souls (Job 19:26-27). Whereas the souls of the wicked are at their death cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, and their bodies kept in their graves, as in their prisons, till the resurrection and judgment of the great day (Luke 16:23-24; Acts 1:25; Jude 6-7).
Q. 87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
A. We are to believe, that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust (Dan 12:2†; Acts 24:15): when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the self-same bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls for ever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ (Job 19:26†; 1 Cor 15:51-53; 1 Thess 4:15-17; John 5:28-29; Rom 8:11†). The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body (1 Cor 15:21-23, 42-44; Phil 3:21; Dan 12:2†); and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonour by him, as an offended judge (John 5:27-29; Matt 25:33; Dan 12:2†).
Q. 88. What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
A. Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men (Eccl 12:14†; 2 Pet 2:4; 2 Cor 5:10†; Rom 14:10, 12†; Jude 6-7, 14-15; Matt 25:46; Rev 20:12†); the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord (Matt 24:36, 42, 44; Mark 13:35-37†; Luke 21:35-36).
Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand (Matt 25:33), and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences (Rom 2:15-16), shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them (Matt 25:41-43); and thereupon shall be cast out from the favourable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels for ever (Matt 25:46†; Luke 16:26; 2 Thess 1:8-9; John 3:36†; Mark 9:43-44† [av]; 14:21†).
Q. 90. What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds (1 Thess 4:17; 1 Cor 15:42-43†), shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted (Matt 25:33; 10:32), shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men (1 Cor 6:2-3), and shall be received into heaven (Matt 25:34, 46), where they shall be fully and for ever freed from all sin and misery (Eph 5:27; Rev 7:17†; 14:13); filled with inconceivable joys (Ps 16:11; 1 Cor 2:9†), made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels (Heb 12:22-23), but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity (1 John 3:2; Rom 8:29†; 1 Cor 13:12; 1 Thess 4:17-18; Rev 22:3-5†). And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection and day of judgment.
Having Seen What the Scriptures Principally Teach Us to Believe Concerning God, It Follows to Consider What They Require as the Duty of Man.
Q. 91. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will (Deut 29:29†; 1 John 5:2-3†; Rom 12:1-2; Mic 6:8; 1 Sam 15:22).
Q. 92. What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule of obedience revealed to Adam in the estate of innocence, and to all mankind in him, besides a special command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law (Gen 1:26-27; Rom 2:14-15; 10:5; Gen 2:17).
Q. 93. What is the moral law?
A. The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind, directing and binding every one to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and body (Deut 5:1-3, 32-33; Luke 10:26-27; Gal 3:10; 1 Thess 5:23; Eph 4:24†), and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man (Luke 1:75; Acts 24:16; 1 Pet 1:15-16†): promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it (Rom 10:5; Gal 3:10, 12; Rom 5:12†).
Q. 94. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
A. Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law (Rom 8:3; Gal 2:16); yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate (1 Tim 1:8).
Q. 95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?
A. The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and will of God (Rom 1:20†; Lev 11:44-45; 20:7-8; Rom 7:12), and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly (Mic 6:8; Jas 2:10-11; Rom 1:32†); to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives (Ps 19:11-12; Rom 3:20; 7:7): to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery (Rom 3:9, 23; 7:9, 13†), and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ (Gal 3:21-22), and of the perfection of his obedience (Rom 10:4).
Q. 96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?
A. The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come (Ps 51:13†; 1 Tim 1:9-10), and to drive them to Christ (Gal 3:24); or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable (Rom 1:20; 2:15), and under the curse thereof (Gal 3:10).
Q. 97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
A. Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works (Rom 6:14; 7:4, 6; Gal 4:4-5; Col 2:13-14†), so as thereby they are neither justified (Rom 3:20) nor condemned (Gal 5:23; Rom 8:1); yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to shew them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good (Rom 7:24-25; Gal 3:13-14; Rom 8:3-4; 2 Cor 5:21†; Acts 13:38-39†); and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness (Luke 1:68-69, 74-75; Col 1:12-14; Rom 6:14†), and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience (Deut 30:19-20†; Rom 7:22; 12:2; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:25†).
Q. 98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
A. The moral law is summarily comprehended in the ten commandments, which were delivered by the voice of God upon mount Sinai, and written by him in two tables of stone (Deut 4:13†; 10:4; Exod 34:1-4; Rom 13:8-10†; Jas 2:8, 10-12†); and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus (Exod 20:2-17). The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man (Matt 22:37-40; Matt 19:17-19†).
Q. 99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?
A. For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to be observed:
That the law is perfect, and bindeth every one to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience fore ever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin (Ps 19:7; Jas 2:10; Matt 5:21-48).
That it is spiritual, and so reacheth the understanding, will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and gestures (Rom 7:14; Deut 6:5; cf. Matt 22:37-39; 5:21-22, 27-28, 33-34, 36-48; 12:36-37†).
That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments (Col 3:5; Amos 8:5; Prov 1:19; 1 Tim 6:10; Exod 20:3-5†).
That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden (Isa 53:13; Deut 6:13; Matt 4:9-10; 15:4-6); and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded (Matt 5:21-25; Eph 4:28): so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included (Exod 20:12; Prov 30:17); and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included (Jer 18:7-8; Exod 20:7; cf. Ps 15:1, 4-5; 24:4-5).
That what God forbids, is at no time to be done (Job 13:7-8; Rom 3:8; Job 36:21; Heb 11:25); what he commands, is always our duty (Deut 4:8-9; Luke 17:10†); and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times (Matt 12:7; Mark 14:7†).
That under one sin or duty, all of the same kind are forbidden or commanded; together with all the causes, means, occasions, and appearances thereof, and provocations thereunto (Matt 5:21-22, 27-28; 15:4-6; Heb 10:24-25; 1 Thess 5:22; Gal 5:26; Col 3:21).
That what is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound, according to our places, to endeavour that it may be avoided or performed by others, according to the duty of their places (Exod 20:10; Lev 19:17; Gen 18:19; Josh 24:15; Deut 6:6-7; Heb 10:24-25†).
That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them (2 Cor 1:24); and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them (1 Tim 5:22; Eph 5:11).
Q. 100. What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?
A. We are to consider, in the ten commandments, the preface, the substance of the commandments themselves, and several reasons annexed to some of them, the more to enforce them (Exod 20:2-17‡; Eph 6:1-3†).
Q. 101. What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is contained in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Exod 20:2; Deut 5:6†). Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God (Isa 44:6); having his being in and of himself (Exod 3:14), and giving being to all his words (Exod 6:3) and works (Acts 17:24, 28): and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people (Gen 17:7; Rom 3:29); who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivereth us from our spiritual thraldom (Luke 1:74-75; Gal 5:1†); and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments (1 Pet 1:15-18; Lev 18:30; 19:37).
Q. 102. What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?
A. The sum of the four commandments containing our duty to God, is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind (Luke 10:27; Matt 22:37-40†).
Q. 103. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Exod 20:3‡; Deut 5:7†).
Q. 104. What are the duties required in the first commandment?
A. The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God (1 Chr 28:9; Deut 26:17; Isa 43:10; Jer 14:22); and to worship and glorify him accordingly (Ps 95:6-7; Matt 4:10; Ps 29:2), by thinking (Mal 3:16), meditating (Ps 63:6), remembering (Eccl 12:1), highly esteeming (Ps 71:19), honouring (Mal 1:6), adoring (Isa 45:23; Ps 96:1-13†), choosing (Josh 24:15, 22), loving (Deut 6:5), desiring (Ps 73:25), fearing him (Isa 8:13); believing him (Exod 14:31; Rom 10:11†; Acts 10:43†); trusting (Isa 26:4; Ps 40:4†), hoping (Ps 130:7), delighting (Ps 37:4), rejoicing in him (Ps 32:11); being zealous for him (Rom 12:11; Rev 3:19†; Num 25:11); calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks (Phil 4:6), and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man (Jer 7:23; Jas 4:7; Rom 12:1†); being careful in all things to please him (1 John 3:22), and sorrowful when in any thing he is offended (Neh 13:8†; Ps 73:21†; Jer 31:18; Ps 119:136); and walking humbly with him (Mic 6:8).
Q. 105. What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the first commandment, are, Atheism, in denying or not having a God (Ps 14:1; Eph 2:12); Idolatry, in having or worshipping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God (Jer 2:27-28; 1 Thess 1:9); the not having and avouching him for God, and our God (Ps 81:11; Rom 1:21†); the omission or neglect of any thing due to him, required in this commandment (Isa 43:22-24); ignorance (Jer 4:22; Hos 4:1, 6), forgetfulness (Jer 2:32; Ps 50:22†), misapprehensions (Acts 17:23, 29), false opinions (Isa 40:18), unworthy and wicked thoughts of him (Ps 50:21); bold and curious searching into his secrets (Deut 29:29); all profaneness (Tit 1:16; Heb 12:16), hatred of God (Rom 1:30); self-love (2 Tim 3:2), self-seeking (Phil 2:21), and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part (1 John 2:15-16; 1 Sam 2:29; Col 3:2, 5); vain credulity (1 John 4:1), unbelief (Deut 9:6, 23-24 [?][or Deut 30:6, 14?]; Heb 3:12), heresy (Gal 5:20; Tit 3:10), misbelieve (Acts 26:9), distrust (Ps 78:22), despair (Gen 4:13), incorrigibleness (Jer 5:3), and insensibleness under judgments (Isa 42:25), hardness of heart (Rom 2:5), pride (Jer 13:15), presumption (Ps 19:13), carnal security (Zeph 1:12), tempting of God (Matt 4:7); using unlawful means (Rom 3:8), and trusting in unlawful means (Jer 17:5): carnal delights and joys (2 Tim 3:4); corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal (Gal 4:17; John 16:2; Rom 10:2; Luke 9:54-55); lukewarmness (Rev 3:16), and deadness in the things of God (Rev 3:1); estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God (Ezek 14:5; Isa 1:4-5); praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures (Rom 10:13-14; Hos 4:12; Acts 10:25-26; Rev 19:10; Matt 4:10; Col 2:18; Rom 1:25); all compacts and consulting with the devil (Lev 20:6; 1 Sam 28:7, 11; 1 Chr 10:13-14), and hearkening to his suggestions (Acts 5:3); making men the lords of our faith and conscience (2 Cor 1:24; Matt 23:9); slighting and despising God and his commands (Deut 32:15; 2 Sam 12:9; Prov 13:13); resisting and grieving of his Spirit (Acts 7:51; Eph 4:30), discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us (Ps 73:2-3, 14-15, 22; Job 1:22); and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have, or can do, to fortune (1 Sam 6:7-9; Luke 12:19†), idols (Dan 5:23), ourselves (Deut 8:17; Dan 4:30), or any other creature (Hab 1:16).
Q. 106. What are we specially taught by these words [before me] in the first commandment (Exod 20:3)?
A. These words [before me] or before my face, in the first commandment, teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh special notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God: that so it may be an argument to dissuade from it, and to aggravate it as a most impudent provocation (Deut 30:17-18†; Ezek 8:5-18; Ps 44:20-21): as also to persuade us to do as in his sight, whatever we do in his service (1 Chr 28:9).
Q. 107. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Exod 20:4-6; Deut 5:8-10†).
Q. 108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A. The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his word (Deut 12:32†; 32:46–47; Matt 28:20; Acts 2:42; 1 Tim 6:13-14); particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ (Phil 4:6; Eph 5:20); the reading, preaching, and hearing of the word (Deut 17:18-19; Acts 15:21; 2 Tim 4:2; Jas 1:21-22; Acts 10:33); the administration and receiving of the sacraments (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23-30); church government and discipline (Matt 18:15-17; 16:19; 1 Cor 5; 12:28); the ministry and maintenance thereof (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 Cor 9:7-15); religious fasting (Joel 2:12-13; 1 Cor 7:5 [TR]); swearing by the name of God (Deut 6:13), and vowing unto him (Isa 19:21; Ps 76:11; 116:14, 18†): as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship (Acts 17:16-17; Ps 16:4); and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry (Deut 7:5; Isa 30:22).
Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising (Num 15:39), counseling (Deut 13:6-8), commanding (Hos 5:11; Mic 6:16), using (1 Kgs 11:33†; 12:33), and any wise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself (Deut 12:30-32; Lev 10:1-2†; Jer 19:5†); [tolerating a false religion (Deut 13:6-12; Zech 13:2-3; Rev 2:2, 14-15, 20; 17:12, 16-17);] the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever (Deut 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Rom 1:21-23, 25); all worshipping of it (Dan 3:18; Gal 4:8), or God in it or by it (Exod 32:5); the making of any representation of feigned deities (Exod 32:8), and all worship of them, or service belonging to them (1 Kgs 18:26, 28; Isa 65:11); all superstitious devices (Acts 17:22; Col 2:21-23), corrupting the worship of God (Mal 1:7-8, 14), adding to it, or taking from it (Deut 4:2), whether invented and taken up of ourselves (Ps 106:39), or received by tradition from others (Matt 15:9), though under the title of antiquity (1 Pet 1:18), custom (Jer 44:17), devotion (Isa 65:3-5; Gal 1:13-14), good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever (1 Sam 13:11-12; 15:21); simony (Acts 8:18); sacrilege (Rom 2:22; Mal 3:8); all neglect (Exod 4:24-26), contempt (Matt 22:5; Mal 1:7, 13), hindering (Matt 23:13), and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed (Acts 13:44-45; 1 Thess 2:15-16).
Q. 110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments (Exod 20:5-6); are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us (Ps 45:11; Rev 15:3-4; Ps 95:2-3, 6-7†; Exod 19:5†; Isa 54:5†), his fervent zeal for his own worship (Exod 34:13-14), and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom (1 Cor 10:20-22; Jer 7:18-20; Ezek 16:26-27; Deut 32:16-20); accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations (Hos 2:2-4); and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations (Deut 5:29).
Q. 111. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exod 20:7; Deut 5:11†).
Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes (Matt 6:9; Deut 28:58; 1 Chr 29:10-13†; Ps 29:2; 68:4; Rev 15:3-4), ordinances (Mal 1:14; 2:4†; Eccl 5:1; Luke 1:6†), the word (Ps 138:2), sacraments (1 Cor 11:24-25, 28-29), prayer (1 Tim 2:8), oaths (Jer 4:2), vows (Eccl 5:2, 4-6), lots (Acts 1:24, 26), his works (Job 36:24), and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought (Mal 3:16), meditation (Ps 8), word (Col 3:17; Ps 105:2, 5), and writing (Ps 102:18); by an holy profession (1 Pet 3:15; Mic 4:5), and answerable conversation (Phil 1:27), to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), and to the good of ourselves (Jer 32:39), and others (1 Pet 2:12).
Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required (Mal 2:2); and the abuse of it in an ignorant (Acts 17:23), vain (Prov 30:9), irreverent, profane (Mal 1:6-7, 12; 3:14), superstitious (1 Sam 4:3-5; Jer 7:4, 9-10, 14, 31; Col 2:20-22) or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes (2 Kgs 18:30, 35; Exod 5:2; Ps 139:20), ordinances (Ps 50:16-17), or works (Isa 5:12), by blasphemy (2 Kgs 19:22; Lev 24:11), perjury (Zech 5:4; 8:17); all sinful cursings (1 Sam 17:43; 2 Sam 16:5; Rom 12:14†), oaths (Jer 5:7; 23:10), vows (Deut 23:18; Acts 23:12, 14), and lots (Esth 3:7; 9:24; Ps 22:18); violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful (Ps 24:4; Ezek 17:16, 18-19) and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful (Mark 6:26; 1 Sam 25:22, 32-34); murmuring and quarrelling at (Rom 9:14, 19-20), curious prying into (Deut 29:29), and misapplying of God’s decrees (Rom 3:5, 7; 6:1) and providences (Eccl 8:11; 9:3; Ps 39; 73:12-13†); misinterpreting (Matt 5:21-48), misapplying (Ezek 13:22), or any way perverting the word, or any part of it (2 Pet 3:16; Matt 22:24-31), to profane jests (Isa 22:13; Jer 23:34, 36, 38), curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines (1 Tim 1:4, 6-7; 6:4-5, 20; 2 Tim 2:14; Tit 3:9); abusing it, the creatures, or any thing contained under the name of God, to charms (Deut 18:10-14; Acts 19:13), or sinful lusts and practices (2 Tim 4:3-4; Rom 13:13-14; 1 Kgs 21:9-10; Jude 4); the maligning (Acts 13:45; 1 John 3:12), scorning (Ps 1:1; 2 Pet 3:3), reviling (1 Pet 4:4), or any wise opposing God’s truth, grace, and ways (Acts 13:45-46, 50; 4:18; 19:9; 1 Thess 2:16; Heb 10:29); making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends (2 Tim 3:5; Matt 23:14; 6:1-2, 5, 16); being ashamed of it (Mark 8:38), or a shame to it, but unconformable (Ps 73:14-15), unwise (1 Cor 6:5-6; Eph 5:15-17), unfruitful (Isa 5:4; 2 Pet 1:8-9), and offensive walking (Rom 2:23-24), or backsliding from it (Gal 3:1, 3; Heb 6:6).
Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these word, [The Lord thy God,] and, [For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Exod 20:7),] are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us (Lev 19:12); especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment (Ezek 36:21-23; Deut 28:58-59; Zech 5:2-4), albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men (1 Sam 2:12, 17, 22, 24; 2:29†; 3:13).
Q. 115. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath-day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day, and hallowed it (Exod 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-15†).
Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath (Deut 5:12-14; Gen 2:2-3; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Acts 20:7; John 20:19-27†; Matt 5:17-18; Isa 56:2, 4, 6-7), and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day (Rev 1:10).
Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day (Exod 20:8, 10), not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful (Exod 16:25-28; Neh 13:15-19, 21-22; Jer 17:21-22); and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy [Matt 12:1-13]) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Isa 58:13; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Ps 92 [title]; Isa 66:23; Lev 23:3): and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day (Exod 20:8; Luke 23:54, 56; Exod 16:22, 25-26, 29; Neh 13:19).
Q. 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own (Exod 20:10; Josh 24:15; Neh 13:15, 17; Jer 17:20-22; Exod 23:12; 16:22, 25, 29†).
Q. 119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required (Ezek 22:26), all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them (Acts 20:7, 9; Ezek 33:30-32; Amos 8:5; Mal 1:13); all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful (Ezek 23:38); and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations (Jer 17:24, 27; Isa 58:13).
Q. 120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself, in these words, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work (Exod 20:9): from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God (Exod 20:10): from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day, and hallowed it (Exod 20:11).
Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?
A. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment (Exod 20:8), partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it (Exod 16:23; Luke 23:54, 56; Mark 15:42; Neh 13:19), and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments (Ps 92 [title], 13–14; Ezek 20:12, 19-20), and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion (Gen 2:2-3; Ps 118:22, 24; Acts 4:10-11; Heb 4:9†; Rev 1:10); and partly, because we are very ready to forget it (Ezek 22:26), for that there is less light of nature for it (Neh 9:14), and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful (Exod 34:21); that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it (Exod 20:9†; Deut 5:14-15; Amos 8:5); and that Satan with his instruments much labour to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety (Lam 1:7; Jer 17:21-23; Neh 13:15-23).
Q. 122. What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?
A. The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man, is, to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matt 22:39), and to do to others what we would have them to do to us (Matt 7:12).
Q. 123. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Exod 20:12; Deut 5:16†).
Q. 124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
A. By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents (Prov 23:22, 25; Eph 6:1-2), but all superiors in age (1 Tim 5:1-2) and gifts (Gen 4:20-22; 45:8); and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family (2 Kgs 5:13), church (2 Kgs 2:12; 13:14; Gal 4:19), or commonwealth (Isa 49:23).
Q. 125. Why are superiors styled Father and Mother ?
A. Superiors are styled Father and Mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations (Eph 6:4; 2 Cor 12:14; 1 Thess 2:7-8, 11; Num 11:11-12); and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents (1 Cor 4:14-16; 2 Kgs 5:13).
Q. 126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A. The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals (Eph 5:21; 1 Pet 2:17; Rom 12:10; 13:1†; Eph 5:22, 24†; 6:1, 4–5, 9†).
Q. 127. What is the honour that inferiors owe to their superiors?
A. The honour which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart (Mal 1:6; Lev 19:3), word (Prov 31:28; 1 Pet 3:6), and behaviour (Lev 19:32; 1 Kgs 2:19); prayer and thanksgiving for them (1 Tim 2:1-2); imitation of their virtues and graces (Heb 13:7; Phil 3:17); willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels (Eph 6:1-2, 5-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14; Rom 13:1-5; Heb 13:17; Prov 4:3-4; 23:22; Exod 18:19, 24); due submission to their corrections (Heb 12:9; 1 Pet 2:18-20); fidelity to (Tit 2:9-10), defence (1 Sam 26:15-16; 2 Sam 18:3; Esth 6:2), and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places (Matt 22:21; Rom 13:6-7; 1 Tim 5:17-18; Gal 6:6; Gen 45:11; 47:12); bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love (1 Pet 2:18; Prov 23:22; Gen 9:23), that so they may be an honour to them and to their government (Ps 127:3-5; Prov 31:23).
Q. 128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
A. The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them (Matt 15:4-6; Rom 13:8†); envying at (Num 11:28-29), contempt of (1 Sam 8:7; Isa 3:5), and rebellion (2 Sam 15:1-12) against, their persons (Exod 21:15) and places (1 Sam 10:27), in their lawful counsels (1 Sam 2:25), commands, and corrections (Deut 21:18-21); cursing, mocking (Prov 30:11, 17), and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonour to them and their government (Prov 19:26).
Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love (Col 3:19; Tit 2:4), pray for (1 Sam 12:23; Job 1:5), and bless their inferiors (1 Kgs 8:55-56; Heb 7:7; Gen 49:28); to instruct (Deut 6:6-7), counsel, and admonish them (Eph 6:4); countenancing (1 Pet 3:7), commending (1 Pet 2:14; Rom 13:3), and rewarding such as do well (Esth 6:3); and discountenancing (Rom 13:3-4), reproving, and chastising such as do ill (Prov 29:15; Rom 13:4†; 1 Pet 2:14); protecting (Job 29:12-17; Isa 1:10, 17), and providing for them all things necessary for soul (Eph 6:4) and body (1 Tim 5:8): and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God (1 Tim 4:12; Tit 2:3-5), honour to themselves (1 Kgs 3:28), and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them (Tit 2:15).
Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them (Ezek 34:2-4), and inordinate seeking of themselves (Phil 2:21), their own glory (John 5:44; 7:18), ease, profit, or pleasure (Isa 56:10-11; Deut 17:17); commanding things unlawful (Dan 3:4-6; Acts 4:17-18), or not in the power of inferiors to perform (Exod 5:10-18; Matt 23:2, 4); counseling (Matt 14:8; Mark 6:24), encouraging (2 Sam 13:28; Jer 5:30-31†), or favouring them in that which is evil (Judg 20:13-14†; 1 Sam 3:13; Jer 6:13-14†; Ezek 13:9-10†); dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good (John 7:46-49; 9:28†; Col 3:21; Exod 5:17); correcting them unduly (1 Pet 2:18-20; Heb 12:10; Deut 25:3); careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger (Gen 38:11, 26; Lev 19:29†; 1 Sam 23:15-17†; Isa 58:7†; Acts 18:17); provoking them to wrath (Eph 6:4); or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour (Gen 9:21; 1 Kgs 12:13-16; 1:6; 1 Sam 2:29-31; 3:13†).
Q. 131. What are the duties of equals?
A. The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other (1 Pet 2:17), in giving honour to go one before another (Rom 12:10; Phil 2:3†); and to rejoice in each others gifts and advancement, as their own (Rom 12:15-16; Phil 2:3-4).
Q. 132. What are the sins of equals?
A. The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required (Rom 13:8), the undervaluing of the worth (Prov 14:21†; Isa 65:5†; 2 Tim 3:3), envying the gifts (Acts 7:9; Gal 5:26), grieving at the advancement or prosperity one of another (1 John 3:12†; Matt 20:15†; Num 12:2; Esth 6:12-13; Luke 15:28-29†); and usurping pre-eminence one over another (Matt 20:25-27†; 3 John 9; Luke 22:24).
Q. 133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Exod 20:12), is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment (Deut 5:16; 1 Kgs 8:25; Eph 6:2-3).
Q. 134. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill (Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17†).
Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies, and lawful endeavours, to preserve the life of ourselves (Matt 10:23†; Eph 5:28-29) and others (1 Kgs 18:4; Job 29:13†) by resisting all thoughts and purposes (1 Sam 19:4-5†; Jer 26:15-16; Acts 23:12, 16-17, 21, 27), subduing all passions (Eph 4:26-27), and avoiding all occasions (Prov 22:24-25†; 1 Sam 25:32-33†; 2 Sam 2:22; Deut 22:8), temptations (Matt 4:6-7; Prov 1:10-11, 15-16), and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any (1 Sam 24:12; 26:9-11; 1 Kgs 21:9-10, 19†; Gen 37:21-22); by just defence thereof against violence (Ps 82:4; Prov 24:11-12; 1 Sam 14:45; Jer 38:7-13†), patient bearing of the hand of God (2 Sam 16:10-12†; Luke 21:19†; Jas 5:7-11; Heb 12:9), quietness of mind (1 Thess 4:11; 1 Pet 3:4; Ps 37:8-11), cheerfulness of spirit (Prov 17:22; 1 Thess 5:16†); a sober use of meat (Prov 23:20†; Prov 25:16, 27), drink (Prov 23:29-30†; Eccl 10:17†; 1 Tim 5:23), physick (Matt 9:12†; Isa 38:21), sleep (Eccl 2:23†; Ps 127:2), labour (Eccl 5:12; 2 Thess 3:10, 12; Prov 16:26), and recreations (Eccl 3:4, 11; Mark 6:31†); by charitable thoughts (1 Sam 19:4-5; 22:13-14; 1 Cor 13:4-5†), love (Rom 13:10; Prov 10:12†), compassion (Zech 7:9†; Luke 10:33-35), meekness, gentleness, kindness (Col 3:12-13); peaceable (Rom 12:18†; Jas 3:17), mild and courteous speeches and behaviour (1 Pet 3:8-11; Prov 15:1; Judg 8:1-3; 1 Cor 4:12-13†); forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil (Matt 5:24; Eph 4:2, 32; Col 3:13†; 1 Pet 2:20†; Rom 12:17, 20-21); comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent (1 Thess 5:14; Job 31:19-20; Isa 58:7†; Matt 25:35-36; Prov 31:8-9).
Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves (Acts 16:28; Prov 1:18†), or of others (Gen 9:6), except in case of publick justice (Exod 21:14†; Num 35:31, 33; Rom 13:4†), lawful war (Jer 48:10; Deut 20; Heb 11:32-34†), or necessary defence (Exod 22:2-3); the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life (Matt 25:42-43; Jas 2:15-16; Eccl 6:1-2); sinful anger (Matt 5:22), hatred (1 John 3:15; Lev 19:17; Prov 10:12†), envy (Job 5:2†; Prov 14:30), desire of revenge (Rom 12:19); all excessive passions (Eph 4:31; Jas 4:1†), distracting cares (Job 21:25†; Matt 6:31, 34); immoderate use of meat, drink (Luke 21:34; Rom 13:13), labour (Eccl 4:8†; 12:12; 2:22–23), and recreations (Eccl 11:9†; Isa 5:12); provoking words (Prov 15:1; 12:18), oppression (Isa 3:15†; Ezek 18:18; Exod 1:14), quarrelling (Gal 5:15; Prov 23:29), striking, wounding (Num 35:16-18, 21), and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any (Exod 21:18-36; Prov 28:17†).
Q. 137. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery (Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18†).
Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections (1 Thess 4:4; Job 31:1; 1 Cor 7:34), words (Eph 4:29†; Col 4:6), and behaviour (1 Pet 3:2); and the preservation of it in ourselves and others (1 Cor 7:2, 35-36; Tit 2:4-5†); watchfulness of the eyes and all the senses (Matt 5:28†; Job 31:1); temperance (Prov 23:31, 33†; Jer 5:7†; Acts 24:24-25), keeping chaste company (Prov 2:16-21; 1 Cor 5:9†), modesty in apparel (1 Tim 2:9); marriage by those that have not the gift of continency (1 Cor 7:2, 9), conjugal love (Prov 5:19-20), and cohabitation (1 Pet 3:7; 1 Cor 7:5†); diligent labour in our callings (Prov 31:11, 27-28; 1 Tim 5:13-14†); shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto (Prov 5:8; Gen 39:8-10).
Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required (Prov 4:23, 27†; 5:7), are, adultery, fornication (Heb 13:4; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:5†), rape, incest (2 Sam 13:14; Mark 6:18†; 1 Cor 5:1), sodomy, and all unnatural lusts (Rom 1:24, 26-27; Lev 20:15-16); all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections (Matt 5:28; 15:19; Col 3:5); all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto (Eph 5:3-4; Prov 7:5, 21-22; 19:27†); wanton looks (Isa 3:16; 2 Pet 2:14), impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel (Prov 7:10, 13); prohibiting of lawful (1 Tim 4:3), and dispensing with unlawful marriages (Lev 18:1-21; Mark 6:18; Mal 2:11-12); allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them (1 Kgs 15:12; 2 Kgs 23:7; Deut 23:17-18; Lev 19:29; Jer 5:7; Prov 7:24-27); entangling vows of single life (Matt 19:10-11), undue delay of marriage (1 Cor 7:7-9; 1 Tim 5:14-15†; Gen 38:26); having more wives or husbands than one at the same time (Mal 2:14-15; Matt 19:5; 1 Cor 7:2†); unjust divorce (Mal 2:16; Matt 5:32; 19:8-9†), or desertion (1 Cor 7:12-13); idleness, gluttony, drunkenness (Ezek 16:49; Prov 23:30, 33), unchaste company (Gen 39:10; Prov 5:8; Eph 5:11†); lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays (Eph 5:4; Ezek 23:14-16; Isa 23:15-17; 3:16; Mark 6:22; Rom 13:13; 1 Pet 4:3); and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others (2 Kgs 9:30; Jer 4:30; Ezek 23:40; Rom 13:14†; 2 Pet 2:17-18†).
Q. 140. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal (Exod 20:15; Deut 5:19†).
Q. 141. What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
A. The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man (Ps 15:2, 4; Mic 6:8†; Zech 7:4, 10; Zech 8:16-17); rendering to every one his due (Rom 13:7); restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof (Lev 6:2-5; Luke 19:8); giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others (Deut 15:7-8, 10†; Luke 6:30, 38; 1 John 3:17; Eph 4:28; Gal 6:10); moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods (1 Tim 6:6-9; Gal 6:14); a provident care and study to get (1 Tim 5:8), keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition (Prov 27:23-27; Eccl 2:24; 3:12-13; 1 Tim 6:17-18; Isa 38:1; Matt 11:8); a lawful calling (1 Cor 7:20; Gen 2:15; 3:19; Eccl 9:10†; Rom 12:5-8†; Eph 4:28†), and diligence in it (Eph 4:28; Prov 10:4; Rom 12:11†); frugality (John 6:12; Prov 12:27†; 21:20); avoiding unnecessary law-suits (1 Cor 6:1-9), and suretiship, or other like engagements (Prov 6:1-6; 11:15); and an endeavour, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own (Lev 25:35; Deut 22:1-4; Exod 23:4-5; Gen 47:14, 20; Phil 2:4; Matt 22:39).
Q. 142. What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required (Prov 23:21†; Jas 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17), are, theft (Eph 4:28), robbery (Ps 62:10), man-stealing (1 Tim 1:10; Exod 21:16†; Gen 1:28†), and receiving any thing that is stolen (Prov 29:24; Ps 50:18); fraudulent dealing (1 Thess 4:6; Lev 19:13†), false weights and measures (Prov 11:1; 20:10), removing land-marks (Deut 19:14; Prov 23:10), injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man (Amos 8:5; Ps 37:21), or in matters of trust (Luke 16:10-12); oppression (Ezek 22:29; Lev 25:17), extortion (Matt 23:25; Ezek 22:12), usury (Ps 15:5), bribery (Job 15:34; Isa 33:15†), vexatious lawsuits (1 Cor 6:6-8; Prov 3:29-30), unjust inclosures and depopulations (Isa 5:8; Mic 2:2); ingrossing commodities to enhance the price (Prov 11:26); unlawful callings (Acts 19:19, 24-25), and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding from our neighbour what belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves (Job 20:19; Jas 5:4; Prov 21:6); covetousness (Prov 1:19†; Luke 12:15); inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods (1 Tim 6:5; Col 3:2; Prov 23:5; Ps 62:10; 1 John 2:15-16†); distrustful and distracting cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them (Matt 6:25, 31, 34; Eccl 5:12); envying at the prosperity of others (Ps 73:3; 37:1, 7; Jas 5:9†); as likewise idleness (2 Thess 3:11; Prov 18:9), prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate (Prov 21:17; 23:20-21; 28:19), and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God hath given us (Eccl 4:8; 6:2; 1 Tim 4:3-5†; 5:8).
Q. 143. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (Exod 20:16; Deut 5:20†).
Q. 144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man (Zech 8:16; Eph 4:25†), and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own (3 John 12); appearing and standing for the truth (Prov 31:8-9); and from the heart (Ps 15:2), sincerely (2 Chr 19:9), freely (1 Sam 19:4-5; Jer 9:3†), clearly (Josh 7:19; Jer 42:4†; Acts 20:20†), and fully (2 Sam 14:18-20; Acts 20:27†), speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice (Lev 19:15; Prov 14:5, 25), and in all other things whatsoever (Isa 63:8†; 2 Cor 1:17-18; Eph 4:25; Col 3:9†); a charitable esteem of our neighbours (Heb 6:9; 1 Cor 13:7); loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name (Rom 1:8; 2 John 4; 3 John 3-4); sorrowing for (Ps 119:158†; 2 Cor 2:4; 12:21), and covering of their infirmities (Prov 17:9; 1 Pet 4:8); freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces (1 Cor 1:4-5, 7; 2 Tim 1:4-5), defending their innocency (1 Sam 22:14; Ps 82:3†); a ready receiving of a good report (1 Cor 13:6-7), and unwillingness to admit of an evil report (Ps 15:3), concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers (Prov 25:23), flatterers (Prov 26:24-25), and slanderers (Ps 101:5); love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth (Prov 22:1; John 8:49; 2 Cor 11:18, 23†); keeping of lawful promises (Ps 15:4); studying and practising of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report (Phil 4:8).
Q. 145. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own (1 Sam 17:28; 2 Sam 16:3; 1:9-10, 15-16; Luke 3:14†), especially in public judicature (Lev 19:15; Hab 1:4); giving false evidence (Prov 19:5; 6:16, 19), suborning false witnesses (Acts 6:13), wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, out-facing and over-bearing the truth (Jer 9:3, 5; Acts 24:2, 5; Ps 12:3-4; 52:1-4); passing unjust sentence (Prov 17:15; 1 Kgs 21:9-13), calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked (Isa 5:23); forgery (1 Kgs 21:8†; Ps 119:69; Luke 19:8; 16:5-7), concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause (Lev 5:1; Deut 13:8; Acts 5:3, 8-9; 2 Tim 4:16), and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves (1 Kgs 1:6; Lev 19:17; Isa 58:1†), or complaint to others (Isa 59:4); speaking the truth unseasonably (Prov 29:11), or maliciously to a wrong end (1 Sam 22:9-10; Ps 52:1-4), or perverting it to a wrong meaning (Ps 56:5; John 2:19; with Matt 26:60-61), or in doubtful or equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice (Gen 3:5; 26:7, 9); speaking untruth (Isa 59:13), lying (Lev 19:11; Col 3:9), slandering (Ps 50:20), backbiting (Ps 15:3; Rom 1:30†), detracting (Jas 4:11; Tit 3:2†; Jer 38:4), tale-bearing (Lev 19:16), whispering (Rom 1:29-30; Prov 16:28†), scoffing (Gen 21:9; with Gal 4:29; Isa 28:22†), reviling (1 Cor 6:10), rash (Matt 7:1), harsh (Acts 28:4; Jas 2:13†), and partial censuring (Gen 38:24; John 7:24†; Rom 2:1); misconstructing intentions, words, and actions (Neh 6:6-8; Rom 3:8; Ps 69:10; 1 Sam 1:13-15; 2 Sam 10:3); flattering (Ps 12:2-3), vain-glorious boasting (2 Tim 3:2), thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others (Luke 18:9, 11; Rom 12:16; 1 Cor 4:6; Acts 12:22; Gal 5:26†; Exod 4:10-14); denying the gifts and graces of God (Job 27:5-6; 4:6; Luke 9:49-50†; 2 Cor 10:10†; Acts 2:13†); aggravating smaller faults (Isa 29:20-21†; Matt 7:3-5); hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession (Prov 28:13; 30:20; Gen 3:12-13; Jer 2:35; 2 Kgs 5:25; Gen 4:9); unnecessary discovering of infirmities (Gen 9:22; Prov 25:9-10); raising false rumours (Exod 23:1), receiving and countenancing evil reports (Ps 41:7-8†; Prov 29:12; Jer 20:10†), and stopping our ears against just defence (Acts 7:56-57; Job 31:13-14); evil suspicion (1 Cor 13:5; 1 Tim 6:4); envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any (Num 11:29; Matt 21:15), endeavouring or desiring to impair it (Ezra 4:12-13; Dan 6:3-4†), rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy (Jer 48:27); scornful contempt (Ps 35:15-16, 21; Matt 27:28-29), fond admiration (Jude 16; Acts 12:22; 1 Cor 3:21†); breach of lawful promises (Rom 1:31; 2 Tim 3:3); neglecting such things as are of good report (1 Sam 2:24; 2 Sam 12:14†), and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name (2 Sam 12:13†; 13:12–13; Prov 5:8-9; 6:33; Phil 3:18-19†; 2 Pet 2:2†).
Q. 146. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (Exod 20:17; Deut 5:21†).
Q. 147. What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
A. The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition (Heb 13:5; Phil 4:11†; 1 Tim 6:6), and such a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbour, as that all our inward motions and affections touching him, tend unto, and further all that good which is his (Job 31:29; Rom 12:15; Ps 122:7-9; Phil 2:4†; 1 Tim 1:5; Esth 10:3; 1 Cor 13:4-7).
Q. 148. What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate (1 Kgs 21:4; Esth 5:13; 1 Cor 10:10); envying (Gal 5:26; Jas 3:14, 16) and grieving at the good of our neighbour (Ps 112:9-10; Neh 2:10), together with all inordinate motions and affections to any thing that is his (Rom 7:7-8; 13:9; Col 3:5; Deut 5:21).
Q. 149. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No man is able, either of himself (Job 15:14†; Jas 3:2; John 15:5; Rom 8:3), or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God (Eccl 7:20; 1 Kgs 8:46†; 1 John 1:8, 10; Gal 5:17; Rom 7:18-19); but doth daily break them in thought (Gen 6:5; 8:21; Jas 1:14†), word, and deed (Ps 19:12†; Rom 3:9-21; Jas 3:2-13).
Q. 150. Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
A. All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others (John 19:11; Ezek 8:6, 13, 15; 1 John 5:16; Ezra 9:14†; Ps 78:17, 32, 56; Heb 2:2-3†).
Q. 151. What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?
A. Sins receive their aggravations,
1. From the persons offending (Jer 2:8); if they be of riper age (Job 32:7, 9; Eccl 4:13), greater experience or grace (1 Kgs 11:4, 9), eminent for profession (2 Sam 12:14; 1 Cor 5:1), gifts (Jas 4:17; Luke 12:47-48), place (John 3:10†; Jer 5:4-5), office (2 Sam 12:7-9; Ezek 8:11-12), guides to others (Rom 2:17-25), and whose example is likely to be followed by others (Gal 2:11-14; 2 Pet 2:2†).
2. from the parties offended (Ps 2:12†; 1 John 5:10†; Matt 21:38-39): if immediately against God (1 Sam 2:25; Acts 5:4; Ps 51:4), his attributes (Rom 2:4), and worship (Mal 1:8, 14; 1 Cor 10:21-22†); against Christ, and his grace (John 3:18, 36†; Heb 2:2-3; 12:25); the Holy Spirit (Heb 10:29; Matt 12:31-32), his witness (Eph 4:30), and workings (Heb 6:4-5); against superiors, men of eminency (Jude 8; Num 12:8-9; Isa 3:5), and such as we stand especially related and engaged unto (Prov 30:17; Ps 41:9†; 2 Cor 12:15; Ps 55:12-15); against any of the saints (Zeph 2:8, 10-11; Zech 2:8†; Matt 18:6; 1 Cor 6:8; Rev 17:6), particularly weak brethren (1 Cor 8:11-12; Rom 14:13, 15, 21), the souls of them, or any other (Ezek 13:19; 1 Cor 8:12; Rev 18:13; Matt 23:15), and the common good of all or many (1 Thess 2:15-16; Matt 23:34-38†; Josh 22:20).
3. From the nature and quality of the offence (Prov 6:30-35; Isa 3:9†): if it be against the express letter of the law (Ezra 9:10-12; 1 Kgs 11:9-10; Ezek 20:12-13†), break many commandments, contain in it many sins (Col 3:5; 1 Tim 6:10; Prov 5:8-12; Prov 6:32-33; Josh 7:21): if not only conceived in the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions (Jas 1:14-15; Matt 5:22; Mic 2:1), scandalize others (Matt 18:7; Rom 2:23-24), and admit of no reparation (Deut 22:22, 28-29; Prov 6:32-35; Matt 16:26†): if against means (Matt 11:21-24; John 15:22), mercies (Isa 1:3; Deut 32:6; Ezra 9:13-14†), judgments (Amos 4:8-12; Jer 5:3), light of nature (Rom 1:26-27), conviction of conscience (Rom 1:32; Dan 5:22; Tit 3:10-11), publick or private admonition (Prov 29:1), censures of the church (Tit 3:10; Matt 18:17), civil punishments (Prov 27:22; 23:35); and our prayers, purposes, promises (Ps 78:24-37; Jer 2:20; 13:5-6, 20-21†; 42:5–6, 20–21), vows (Eccl 5:4-6; Prov 20:25), covenants (Lev 26:25; Jer 31:32†), and engagements to God or men (Prov 2:17; Ezek 17:18-19): if done deliberately (Ps 36:4), wilfully (Jer 6:16), presumptuously (Num 15:30; Exod 21:14), impudently (Jer 3:3; Jer 6:15†; Prov 7:13), boastingly (Ps 52:1), maliciously (Ezek 35:5-6†; 3 John 10), frequently (Num 14:22), obstinately (Zech 7:11-12), with delight (Prov 2:14), continuance (Isa 57:17; Jer 9:3, 5†), or relapsing after repentance (Jer 34:8-11; Heb 6:4, 6†; 2 Pet 2:20-22).
4. From the circumstance of time (2 Kgs 5:26; Isa 22:12-14†) and place (Jer 7:10; Isa 26:10): if on the Lord’s day (Ezek 23:37-39), or other times of divine worship (Isa 58:3-5; Num 25:6-7); or immediately before (1 Cor 11:20-21) or after these (Jer 7:8-10; Prov 7:14-15; John 13:27, 30), or other helps to prevent or remedy such miscarriages (Ezra 9:13-14; Neh 9:13-16†; 2 Chr 36:15-16†): if in public, or in the presence of others, who are thereby likely to be provoked or defiled (2 Sam 16:22; 1 Sam 2:22-24; Isa 3:9†).
Q. 152. What doth every sin deserve at the hands of God?
A. Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty (Jas 2:10-11), goodness (Exod 20:1-2; Deut 32:6†), and holiness of God (Hab 1:13; Lev 10:3; 11:44-45; 1 Pet 1:15-16†), and against his righteous law (1 John 3:4; Rom 7:12), deserveth his wrath and curse (Eph 5:6; Gal 3:10), both in this life (Lam 3:39; Deut 28:15-68; Prov 13:21†), and that which is to come (Matt 25:41; Rom 6:21, 23†); and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ (Heb 9:22; 1 Pet 1:18-19; 1 John 1:7†).
Q. 153. What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
A. That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the transgression of the law, he requireth of us repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:21; Matt 3:7-8; Mark 1:15†; Luke 13:3, 5; Acts 16:30-31; John 3:16, 18), and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediations (Prov 2:1-6; 8:33-36; Luke 13:24†).
Q. 154. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?
A. The outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates to his church the benefits of his mediation, are all his ordinances; especially the word, sacraments, and prayer; all which are made effectual to the elect for their salvation (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 2:42, 46-47; 1 Tim 4:16†; 1 Cor 1:21†; Eph 5:19-20†; 6:17–18†).
Q. 155. How is the word made effectual to salvation?
A. The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the word, and effectual means of enlightening (Neh 8:8; Acts 26:18; Ps 19:8), convincing, and humbling sinners (Jer 23:28-29†; 1 Cor 14:24-25; 2 Chr 34:18-19, 26-28; Heb 4:12†; Rom 8:16†); of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ (Acts 2:37, 41; 8:27-39); of conforming them to his image (2 Cor 3:18; Col 1:27†), and subduing them to his will (2 Cor 10:4-5; Rom 6:17); of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions (Matt 4:4, 7, 10; Eph 6:16-17; Col 1:28†; Ps 19:11; 1 Cor 10:11); of building them up in grace (Eph 4:11-12†; Acts 20:32; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 Cor 3:9-11†), and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation (Rom 16:25; 1 Thess 3:2, 10-11, 13; Rom 15:4; 10:13-17; 1:16).
Q. 156. Is the word of God to be read by all?
A. Although all are not to be permitted to read the word publickly to the congregation (Deut 31:9, 11-13; Neh 8:2-3; 9:3-5), yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves (Deut 17:19; Rev 1:3; John 5:39; Isa 34:16), and with their families (Deut 6:6-9; Gen 18:17, 19; Ps 78:5-7): to which end, the holy scriptures are to be translated out of the original into vulgar languages (1 Cor 14:6, 9, 11-12, 15-16, 24, 27-28; Neh 8:8†).
Q. 157. How is the word of God to be read?
A. The holy scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them (Ps 19:10; 119:97†; Neh 8:3-10; Exod 24:7; 2 Chr 34:27; Isa 66:2); with a firm persuasion that they are the very word of God (2 Pet 1:19-21; Matt 4:4†; Mark 7:13†; 2 Thess 2:13†), and that he only can enable us to understand them (Ps 119:18†; Luke 24:45; 2 Cor 3:13-16); with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them (Deut 17:19-20; Jas 1:21-22†; 1 Pet 2:2†; Mark 4:20†); with diligence (Deut 11:13†; Acts 17:11), and attention to the matter and scope of them (Acts 8:30, 34; Matt 13:23†; Luke 10:26-28); with meditation (Ps 1:2; 119:97), application (2 Sam 12:7†; 2 Chr 34:21; Acts 2:38-39†), self-denial (Prov 3:5; Deut 33:3; Matt 16:24†; Luke 9:23†; Gal 1:15-16†), and prayer (Prov 2:1-6; Ps 119:18; Neh 7:6, 8).
Q. 158. By whom is the word of God to be preached?
A. The word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted (Matt 2:7†; 1 Tim 3:2, 6; 2 Tim 2:2†; Eph 4:8-11; Hos 4:6; Mal 2:7; 2 Cor 3:6), and also duly approved and called to that office (Jer 14:15; Rom 10:15; Heb 5:4; 1 Cor 12:28-29; 1 Tim 3:10; 4:14; 5:22).
Q. 159. How is the word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?
A. They that are called to labour in the ministry of the word, are to preach sound doctrine (Tit 2:1, 8), diligently (Acts 18:25), in season and out of season (2 Tim 4:2); plainly (1 Cor 14:19), not in the enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power (1 Cor 2:4); faithfully (Jer 23:28; 1 Cor 4:1-2; Matt 24:45-47†), making known the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27); wisely (Col 1:28; 2 Tim 2:15), applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers (1 Cor 3:2; Heb 5:12-14; Luke 12:42; 1 Thess 2:7†); zealously (Acts 18:25; Ps 119:139†; 2 Tim 4:5†), with fervent love to God (2 Cor 5:13-13; Phil 1:15-17) and the souls of his people (Col 4:12; 2 Cor 12:15; 1 Thess 3:12†); sincerely (2 Cor 2:17; 4:2), aiming at his glory (1 Thess 2:4-6; John 7:18), and their conversion (1 Cor 9:19-22), edification (2 Cor 12:19; Eph 4:12), and salvation (1 Tim 4:16; 2 Tim 2:10†; Acts 26:16-18).
Q. 160. What is required of those that hear the word preached?
A. It is required of those that hear the word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence (Ps 27:4†; 84:1–2, 4†; Prov 8:34), preparation (1 Pet 2:1-2; Luke 8:18; Jas 1:21†), and prayer (Ps 119:18; Eph 6:18-19); examine what they hear by the scriptures (Acts 17:11); receive the truth with faith (Heb 4:2), love (2 Thess 2:10), meekness (Jas 1:21; Ps 25:9†), and readiness of mind (Acts 2:41†; 17:11), as the word of God (1 Thess 2:13); meditate (Luke 9:44; Heb 2:1), and confer of it (Luke 24:14; Deut 6:6-7); hide it in their hearts (Prov 2:1; Ps 119:11), and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives (Luke 8:15; Jas 1:25).
Q. 161. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
A. The sacraments become effectual means of salvation, not by any power in themselves, or any virtue derived from the piety or intention of him by whom they are administered, but only by the working of the Holy Ghost, and the blessing of Christ, by whom they are instituted (1 Pet 3:21; Acts 8:13, 23; 1 Cor 3:6-7; 1:12-17†; 12:13; 6:11†).
Q. 162. What is a sacrament?
A. A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church (Gen 17:7, 10; Exod 12; Matt 28:19; 26:27-28; Mark 14:22-25†; Luke 22:19-20†; 1 Cor 11:22-26†), to signify, seal, and exhibit (Rom 4:11; 1 Cor 11:24-25) unto those that are within the covenant of grace (Rom 9:8†; 15:8; Exod 12:48; Gal 3:27, 29†; 4:28†), the benefits of his mediation (Acts 2:38; 22:16†; 1 Cor 10:16); to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces (Rom 4:11; 15:8-9†; Gal 3:27); to oblige them to obedience (Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 10:21); to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another (Eph 4:2-5; 1 Cor 12:13; 10:17†); and to distinguish them from those that are without (Eph 2:11-12; Gen 34:14).
Q. 163. What are the parts of a sacrament?
A. The parts of a sacrament are two; the one an outward and sensible sign, used according to Christ’s own appointment; the other an inward and spiritual grace thereby signified (Matt 3:11; 1 Pet 3:21; Rom 2:28-29; Deut 10:16†; 30:6†; Jer 4:4†).
Q. 164. How many sacraments hath Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?
A. Under the New Testament Christ hath instituted in his church only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord’s supper (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:20, 23; Matt 26:26-28).
Q. 165. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ hath ordained the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost (Matt 28:19), to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself (Gal 3:27; Rom 6:3†), of remission of sins by his blood (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38†; 22:16†; 1 Pet 3:21†; Rev 1:5), and regeneration by his Spirit (John 3:5†; Acts 2:38†; Tit 3:5; Eph 5:26); of adoption (Gal 3:26-27), and resurrection unto everlasting life (1 Cor 15:29; Rom 6:5); and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church (1 Cor 12:13; Acts 2:41†), and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord’s (Rom 6:4; Acts 2:38-42†).
Q. 166. Unto whom is baptism to be administered?
A. Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, and so strangers from the covenant of promise, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him (Acts 8:36-37 [TR]; 2:38; 16:15†), but infants descending from parents, either both, or but one of them, professing faith in Christ, and obedience to him, are in that respect within the covenant, and to be baptized (Gen 17:7, 9; Gal 3:9, 14; Col 2:11-12; Acts 2:38-39; Rom 4:11-12; 1 Cor 7:14; Matt 28:19; Luke 18:15-16; Rom 11:16).
Q. 167. How is our baptism to be improved by us?
A. The needful but much neglected duty of improving our baptism, is to be performed by us all our life long, especially in the time of temptation, and when we are present at the administration of it to others (Ps 22:10-11†; Col 2:11-12; Rom 6:4, 6, 11); by serious and thankful consideration of the nature of it, and of the ends for which Christ instituted it, the privileges and benefits conferred and sealed thereby, and our solemn vow made therein (Rom 6:3-5; 1 Pet 3:21†); by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements (1 Cor 1:11-13; Rom 6:2-3; Gal 3:1†); by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament (Rom 4:11-12; 6:4-7, 22†; Phil 3:7, 10-11†; 1 Pet 3:21; Rom 5:1-2†; Jer 33:8†); by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace (Rom 6:3-5); and by endeavouring to live by faith (Gal 3:26-27), to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness (Rom 6:22), as those that have therein given up their names to Christ (Acts 2:38; Gal 2:20†; Rev 2:17†); and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body (1 Cor 12:13, 25-27).
Q. 168. What is the Lord’s supper?
A. The Lord’s supper is a sacrament of the New Testament (Luke 22:20), wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is shewed forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace (Matt 26:26-28; John 6:55-56†; 1 Cor 11:23-26); have their union and communion with him confirmed (1 Cor 10:16); testify and renew their thankfulness (1 Cor 11:24-26), and engagement to God (1 Cor 10:14-16, 21; Rom 7:4†), and their mutual love and fellowship each with other, as members of the same mystical body (1 Cor 10:17).
Q. 169. How hath Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and received in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?
A. Christ hath appointed the ministers of his word, in the administration of this sacrament of the Lord’s supper, to set apart the bread and wine from common use, by the word of the institution, thanksgiving, and prayer; to take and break the bread, and to give both the bread and the wine to the communicants: who are, by the same appointment, to take and eat the bread, and to drink the wine, in thankful remembrance that the body of Christ was broken and given, and his blood shed, for them (1 Cor 11:23-24; Matt 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; Eph 2:11, 13†).
Q. 170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord’s supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
A. As the body and blood of Christ are not corporally or carnally present in, with, or under the bread and wine in the Lord’s supper (Acts 3:21), and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses (Matt 26:26, 28; Gal 3:1†; Heb 11:1†); so they that worthily communicate in the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, do therein feed upon the body and blood of Christ, not after a corporal and carnal, but in a spiritual manner; yet truly and really (John 6:51-53†; 1 Cor 11:24-29), while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death (1 Cor 10:16).
Q. 171. How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper to prepare themselves before they come unto is?
A. They that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper are, before they come to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves (1 Cor 11:28) of their being in Christ (2 Cor 13:5), of their sins and wants (1 Cor 5:7; Exod 12:15); of the truth and measure of their knowledge (1 Cor 11:29), faith (2 Cor 13:5; Matt 26:28), repentance (Zech 12:10; 1 Cor 11:31); love to God and the brethren (1 Cor 10:16-17; Acts 2:46-47), charity to all men (1 Cor 5:8; 11:18, 20), forgiving those that have done them wrong (Matt 5:23-24); and of their desires after Christ (Isa 55:1; Luke 1:53†; John 7:37), and of their new obedience (1 Cor 5:7-8); and by renewing the exercise of these graces (1 Cor 11:25-26, 28; Heb 10:21-22, 24; Ps 26:6), by serious meditation (1 Cor 11:24-25), and fervent prayer (2 Chr 30:18-19; Matt 26:26).
Q. 172. May one who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord’s supper?
A. One who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation to the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, may have true interest in Christ, though he be not yet assured thereof (Isa 50:10; 1 John 5:13; Ps 88; 77:1-12; Jonah 2:4, 7); and in God’s account hath it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it (Isa 54:7-10; Matt 5:3-4; Ps 31:22; 73:13, 22-23), and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ (Phil 3:8-9; Ps 10:17; 42:1-2, 5, 11), and to depart from iniquity (2 Tim 2:19; Isa 50:10; Ps 66:18-20; Rom 7:24-25†): in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians [Isa 40:11, 29, 31; Matt 11:28; 12:20; 26:28]) he is to bewail his unbelief (Mark 9:24 [TR]), and labour to have his doubts resolved (Acts 2:37; 9:6†; Acts 16:30); and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord’s supper, that he may be further strengthened (Matt 11:28†; Rom 4:11; 1 Cor 11:28).
Q. 173. May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, be kept from it?
A. Such as are found to be ignorant or scandalous, notwithstanding their profession of the faith, and desire to come to the Lord’s supper, may and ought to be kept from that sacrament, by the power which Christ hath left in his church (1 Cor 11:27-34; Matt 7:6; 1 Cor 5; Jude 23; 1 Tim 5:22), until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation (Gal 6:1†; 2 Cor 2:7).
Q. 174. What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper in the time of the administration of it?
A. It is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, that, during the time of the administration of it, with all holy reverence and attention they wait upon God in that ordinance (Lev 10:3; Heb 12:28; Ps 5:7; 1 Cor 11:17, 26-27), diligently observe the sacramental elements and actions (Exod 24:8; Matt 26:28; Gal 3:1†), heedfully discern the Lord’s body (1 Cor 11:29 [TR]), and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings (Luke 22:19), and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces (1 Cor 11:26; 10:3-5, 11, 14; Eph 3:17-19†); in judging themselves (1 Cor 11:31), and sorrowing for sin (Zech 12:10); in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ (Rev 22:17; Matt 5:6†), feeding on him by faith (John 6:35; Gal 2:20†), receiving of his fulness (John 1:16; Col 1:19†), trusting in his merits (Phil 3:9), rejoicing in his love (Ps 63:4-5; 2 Chr 30:21; 1 Pet 1:8†), giving thanks for his grace (Ps 22:26; 1 Cor 10:16†); in renewing of their covenant with God (Jer 50:5; Ps 50:5), and love to all the saints (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 10:17†).
Q. 175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper?
A. The duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord’s supper, is seriously to consider how they have behaved themselves therein, and with what success (Ps 28:7; 78:28†; 85:8; 1 Cor 11:17, 30-31); if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it (2 Chr 30:21-23, 25-26; Acts 2:42, 46-47; 2 Cor 2:14†), beg the continuance of it (Ps 36:10; Song 3:4; 1 Chr 29:18; Rom 15:13†), watch against relapses (1 Cor 10:3-5, 12), fulfil their vows (Ps 50:14), and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance (Ps 27:4†; 1 Cor 11:25-26; Acts 2:42, 46): but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at the sacrament (Ps 77:6†; 139:23–24†; Song 5:1-6; Eccl 5:1-6†); in both which, if they can approve themselves to God and their own consciences, they are to wait for the fruit of it in due time (Ps 123:1; 42:5, 8; 43:3-5; Isa 8:17†): but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled (2 Chr 30:18-19; Isa 1:16, 18; Hos 6:1-2†; 14:2†), and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence (2 Cor 7:11; 1 Chr 15:12-14).
Q. 176. Wherein do the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper agree?
A. The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper agree, in that the author of both is God (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23); the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits (Rom 6:3-4; 1 Cor 10:16); both are seals of the same covenant (Rom 4:11; Col 2:12; Matt 26:27-28), are to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, and by none other (John 1:33; Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23; 4:1; Heb 5:4); and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming (Matt 28:19-20; 1 Cor 11:26).
Q. 177. Wherein do the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper differ?
A. The sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s supper differ, in that baptism is to be administered but once, with water, to be a sign and seal of our regeneration and ingrafting into Christ’s (Matt 3:11; Tit 3:5; Gal 3:27), and that even to infants (Gen 17:7, 9; Acts 2:38-39; 1 Cor 7:14); whereas the Lord’s supper is to be administered often, in the elements of bread and wine, to represent and exhibit Christ as spiritual nourishment to the soul (1 Cor 11:23-26; Col 2:19†), and to confirm our continuance and growth in him (1 Cor 10:16; Eph 4:15-16†), and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves (1 Cor 11:28-29).
Q. 178. What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God (Ps 10:17†; Ps 62:8; Matt 7:7-8†), in the name of Christ (John 16:23), by the help of his Spirit (Rom 8:26); with confession of our sins (Ps 32:5-6; Dan 9:4; 1 John 1:9†), and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies (Phil 4:6; Ps 103:1-5†; 136†).
Q. 179. Are we to pray unto God only?
A. God only being able to search the hearts (1 Kgs 8:39; Acts 1:24; Rom 8:27), hear the requests (Ps 65:2), pardon the sins (Mic 7:18), and fulfil the desires of all (Ps 145:18-19); and only to be believed in (2 Sam 22:32†; John 14:1†; Rom 10:14), and worshipped with religious worship (Matt 4:10); prayer, which is a special part thereof (1 Cor 1:2), is to be made by all to him alone (Ps 50:15; Isa 42:8†; 45:22†; Matt 6:9†; Luke 4:8†), and to none other (Isa 43:11†; 46:9†; Jer 3:23†; 14:22†; Rom 10:14).
Q. 180. What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
A. To pray in the name of Christ is, in obedience to his command, and in confidence on his promises, to ask mercy for his sake (John 14:13-14; 16:24; Dan 9:17); not by bare mentioning of his name (Matt 7:21; Luke 6:46†), but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation (Heb 4:14-16; 1 John 5:13-15).
Q. 181. Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?
A. The sinfulness of man, and his distance from God by reason thereof, being so great, as that we can have no access into his presence with a mediator (John 14:6; Isa 59:2; Eph 3:12); and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that glorious work but Christ alone (John 6:27; Heb 7:25-27; 1 Tim 2:5), we are to pray in no other name but his only (Col 3:17; Heb 13:15).
Q. 182. How doth the Spirit help us to pray?
A. We not knowing what to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities, by enabling us to understand both for whom, and what, and how prayer is to be made; and by working and quickening our hearts (although not in all persons, nor at all times, in the same measure) those apprehensions, affections, and graces which are requisite for the right performance of that duty (Rom 8:26-27; Ps 10:17; 80:18†; Zech 12:10).
Q. 183. For whom are we to pray?
A. We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth (Eph 6:18; Ps 28:9); for magistrates (1 Tim 2:1-2), and ministers (Col 4:3; 2 Thess 3:1†); for ourselves (Gen 32:11), our brethren (2 Thess 1:11†; Jas 5:16), yea, our enemies (Matt 5:44); and for all sorts of men living (1 Tim 2:1-2), or that shall live hereafter (John 17:20; 2 Sam 7:29); but not for the dead (2 Sam 12:21-23); nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death (1 John 5:16).
Q. 184. For what things are we to pray?
A. We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God (Matt 6:9), the welfare of the church (Ps 51:18; 122:6), our own (Matt 7:11) or others good (Ps 125:4; 1 Thess 5:23†; 2 Thess 3:16†); but not for any thing that is unlawful (1 John 5:14; Jas 4:3†).
Q. 185. How are we to pray?
A. We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God (Ps 33:8†; 95:6†; 145:5†; Eccl 5:1), and deep sense of our own unworthiness (Gen 18:27; 32:10; Ps 144:3†), necessities (Ps 86:1†; Luke 15:17-19), and sins (Ps 130:3†; Luke 18:13-14); with penitent (Ps 51:17; Zech 12:10†), thankful (Phil 4:6; 1 Thess 5:18†), and enlarged hearts (1 Sam 1:15; 2:1; Ps 81:10†; Eph 3:20-21†); with understanding (1 Cor 14:15), faith (Mark 11:24; Heb 10:22†; Jas 1:6), sincerity (Ps 145:18; 17:1; John 4:24†; Heb 10:22†), fervency (Jas 5:16), love (Ps 116:1-2†; Matt 5:23-24†; Rom 15:30†; 1 Tim 2:8), and perseverance (Eph 6:18), waiting upon him (Mic 7:7), with humble submission to his will (Matt 26:39).
Q. 186. What rule hath God given for our direction in the duty of prayer?
A. The whole word of God is of use to direct us in the duty of prayer (1 John 5:14); but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which our Saviour Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord’s prayer (Matt 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4).
Q. 187. How is the Lord’s prayer to be used?
A. The Lord’s prayer is not only for direction, as a pattern, according to which we are to make other prayers; but may also be used as a prayer, so that it be done with understanding, faith, reverence, and other graces necessary to the right performance of the duty of prayer (Matt 6:9; Luke 11:2).
Q. 188. Of how many parts doth the Lord’s prayer consist?
A. The Lord’s prayer consists of three parts; a preface, petitions, and a conclusion (Matt 6:9-13‡).
Q. 189. What doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The preface of the Lord’s prayer (contained in these words, Our Father which art in heaven [Matt 6:9; Luke 11:2†],) teacheth us, when we pray, to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein (Ps 103:13†; Luke 11:13; Rom 8:15); with reverence, and all other child-like dispositions (Ps 95:6-7†; Isa 64:9), heavenly affections (Ps 123:1; Lam 3:41; Col 3:1-2†), and due apprehensions of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension (Ps 104:1-2†; 113:4–6†; Isa 63:15-16; Neh 1:4-6): as also, to pray with and for others (Zech 8:21†; Acts 12:5; 1 Tim 2:1-2†; Eph 6:18†).
Q. 190. What do we pray for in the first petition?
A. In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed be thy name [Matt 6:9; Luke 11:2†],) acknowledging the utter inability and indisposition that is in ourselves and all men to honour God aright (2 Cor 3:5; Ps 51:15), we pray, that God would by his grace enable and incline us and others to know, to acknowledge, and highly esteem him (Ps 67:2-3; 72:19†; 99:1–3†; Eph 3:20-21†), his titles (Ps 83:18), attributes (Ps 86:10-13, 15; 145:6-8†), ordinances, word (2 Thess 3:1; Ps 107:32†; 147:19–20; 138:1–3; 2 Cor 2:14-15), works, and whatsoever he is pleased to make himself known by (Ps 145; 8); and to glorify him in thought, word (Ps 103:1; Ps 19:14), and deed (Phil 1:9, 11; Ps 100:3-4†): that he would prevent and remove atheism (Ps 67:1-4; 79:10†), ignorance (Eph 1:17-18), idolatry (Ps 97:7), profaneness (Ps 74:18, 22-23), and whatsoever is dishonourable to him (2 Kgs 19:15-16; Jer 14:21†); and, by his over-ruling providence, direct and dispose of all things to his own glory (2 Chr 20:6, 10-12; Ps 83; 140:4, 8; Isa 64:1-2†; Rom 11:33-36†; Rev 4:11†).
Q. 191. What do we pray for in the second petition?
A. In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come [Matt 6:10; Luke 11:2†],) acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan (Eph 2:2-3), we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed (Ps 68:1, 18; Rev 12:10-11), the gospel propagated throughout the world (2 Thess 3:1; Ps 67:2†), the Jews called (Rom 10:1), the fulness of the Gentiles brought in (John 17:9, 20; Rom 11:25-26; Ps 67); the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances (Matt 9:38; 2 Thess 3:1), purged from corruption (Mal 1:11; Zeph 3:9; Eph 5:26-27†), countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate (1 Tim 2:1-2; Isa 49:23†): that the ordinances of Christ may be purely dispensed, and made effectual to the converting of those that are yet in their sins, and the confirming, comforting, and building up of those that are already converted (Acts 4:29-30; 26:18†; Eph 6:18-20; Rom 15:29-30, 32; 2 Cor 4:2†; 2 Thess 1:11; 2:16-17): that Christ would rule in our hearts here (Eph 3:14-20; Col 3:15†), and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him for ever (Rev 22:20; 2 Tim 2:12†; 2 Pet 3:12†): and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends (2 Chr 20:6, 10-12†; Ps 45:3-4†; Isa 64:1-2; Rev 4:8-11).
Q. 192. What do we pray for in the third petition?
A. In the third petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven [Matt 6:10; Luke 11:2† [TR]],) acknowledging, that by nature we and all men are not only utterly unable and unwilling to know and do the will of God (Rom 7:18; 8:5, 8†; Job 21:14; 1 Cor 2:14), but prone to rebel against his word (Rom 8:7), to repine and murmur against his providence (Exod 17:7; Num 14:2; Ps 73:3†; Matt 20:11-12†), and wholly inclined to do the will of the flesh, and of the devil (Eph 2:2; Tit 3:3†): we pray, that God would by his Spirit take away from ourselves and others all blindness (Eph 1:17-18), weakness (Eph 3:16), indisposedness (Matt 26:40-41; Rom 7:24-25†), and perverseness of heart (Jer 31:18-19; Ezek 11:19†); and by his grace make us able and willing to know, do, and submit to his will in all things (1 Sam 3:18†; Ps 19:14†; 119:1, 8, 35–36; Acts 21:14; 1 Thess 5:23†; Heb 13:20-21†), with the like humility (Ps 123:2†; 131:2†; Mic 6:8), cheerfulness (Ps 100:2; Job 1:21; 2 Sam 15:25), faithfulness (Isa 38:3; Eph 6:6†), diligence (Ps 119:4-5), zeal (Ps 69:9†; John 2:17†; Rom 12:11), sincerity (Josh 24:14†; Ps 119:80; 1 Cor 5:8†; 2 Cor 1:12†), and constancy (Ps 119:112; Rom 2:7†), as the angels do in heaven (Isa 6:2-3; Ps 103:20-21; Dan 7:10†; Matt 18:10).
Q. 193. What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
A. In the fourth petition, (which is, Give us this day our daily bread [Matt 6:11; Luke 11:3†],) acknowledging, that in Adam, and by our own sin, we have forfeited our right to all the outward blessings of this live, and deserve to be wholly deprived of them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them (Gen 2:17; 3:17; Rom 8:20-22; Jer 5:25; Lam 3:22†; Deut 28:15-68); and that neither they of themselves are able to sustain us (Deut 8:3), nor we to merit (Gen 32:10), or by our own industry to procure them (Deut 8:17-18; Prov 10:22†); but prone to desire (Jer 6:13; Mark 7:21-22; Luke 12:15†), get (Hos 12:7), and use them unlawfully (Jas 4:3): we pray for ourselves and others, that both they and we, waiting upon the providence of God from day to day in the use of lawful means, may, of his free gift, and as to his fatherly wisdom shall seem best, enjoy a competent portion of them (Gen 43:12-14; 28:20; Ps 90:17†; 144:12–15†; Eph 4:28; 2 Thess 3:11-12; Phil 4:6; Jas 4:13, 15†); and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and comfortable use of them (Prov 10:22†; 1 Tim 4:3-5), and contentment in them (1 Tim 6:6-8); and be kept from all things that are contrary to our temporal support and comfort (Prov 30:8-9).
Q. 194. What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, (which is, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors [Matt 6:12; Luke 11:4†],) acknowledging, that we and all others are guilty both of original and actual sin, and thereby become debtors to the justice of God; and that neither we, nor any other creature, can make the least satisfaction for that debt (Rom 3:9-2; Matt 18:24-25; Ps 130:3-4; Mic 6:6-7†): we pray for ourselves and others, that God of his free grace would, through the obedience and satisfaction of Christ, apprehended and applied by faith, acquit us both from the guilt and punishment of sin (Acts 13:39†; Rom 3:24-26; Rom 5:19†; Heb 9:22), accept us in his Beloved (Eph 1:6-7); continue his favour and grace in us (2 Pet 1:2), pardon our daily failings (Ps 130:3†; 143:2†; Dan 9:17-19†; Hos 14:2; Jer 14:7; 1 John 1:9†), and fill us with peace and joy, in giving us daily more and more assurance of forgiveness (Rom 5:1-2†; 15:13; Ps 51:7-10, 12); which we are the rather emboldened to ask, and encouraged to expect, when we have this testimony in ourselves, that we from the heart forgive others their offences (Luke 11:4; Matt 6:14-15; 18:35; Eph 4:32†; Col 3:13†).
Q. 195. What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
A. In the sixth petition, (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil [Matt 6:13; Luke 11:4†],) acknowledging, that the most wise, righteous, and gracious God, for divers holy and just ends, may so order things, that we may be assaulted, foiled, and for a time led captive by temptations (2 Chr 32:31; Job 2:6†); that Satan (1 Chr 21:1; Job 2:2†; 1 Pet 5:8†), the world (Luke 21:34; Mark 4:19), and the flesh, are ready powerfully to draw us aside, and ensnare us (Jas 1:14); and that we, even after the pardon of our sins, by reason of our corruption (Gal 5:17; Rom 7:18†), weakness, and want of watchfulness (Matt 26:41), are not only subject to be tempted, and forward to expose ourselves unto temptations (Matt 26:69-72; Gal 2:11-15; 2 Chr 18:3; 19:2; Prov 7:22†; Eccl 9:12†; 1 Tim 6:9†), but also of ourselves unable and unwilling to resist them, to recover out of them, and to improve them (Rom 7:23-24; Eph 6:11-12†; 1 Chr 21:1-4; 2 Chr 16:7-10); and worthy to be left under the power of them (Ps 81:11-12): we pray, that God would so over-rule the world and all in it (John 17:15; Rom 8:28†), subdue the flesh (Ps 51:10; 119:133), and restrain Satan (1 Cor 10:13†; 2 Cor 12:7-8; Heb 2:18†), order all things (1 Cor 10:12-13), bestow and bless all means of grace (Eph 4:11-12†; Heb 13:20-21), and quicken us to watchfulness in the use of them, that we and all his people may by his providence be kept from being tempted to sin (Matt 26:41; Ps 19:13); or, if tempted, that by his Spirit we may be powerfully supported and enabled to stand in the hour of temptation (1 Cor 10:13†; Eph 3:14-17; 1 Thess 3:13; Jude 24); or when fallen, raised again and recovered out of it (Ps 51:12), and have a sanctified use and improvement thereof (1 Pet 1:6-7†; 5:8–10): that our sanctification and salvation may be perfected (2 Cor 13:7, 9; 1 Thess 3:13†), Satan trodden under our feet (Rom 16:20; Zech 3:2; Luke 22:31-32), and we fully freed from sin, temptation, and all evil, for ever (John 17:15; 1 Thess 5:23).
Q. 196. What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us?
A. The conclusion of the Lord’s prayer, (which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. [Matt 6:13 [TR]]) teacheth us to enforce our petitions with arguments (Job 23:3-4†; Jer 14:20-21†; Rom 15:30), which are to be taken, not from any worthiness in ourselves, or in any other creature, but from God (Dan 9:4, 7-9, 16-19); and with our prayers to join praises (Phil 4:6), ascribing to God alone eternal sovereignty, omnipotency, and glorious excellency (1 Chr 29:10-13; 1 Tim 1:17†; Rev 5:11-13†); in regard whereof, as he is able and willing to help us (Ps 84:11†; Eph 3:20-21; Luke 11:13), so we by faith are emboldened to plead with him that he would (2 Chr 20:6, 11; Eph 3:12†; Heb 10:19-22†), and quietly to rely upon him, that he will fulfil our requests (2 Chr 14:11; Rom 8:32†; 1 John 5:14†). And, to testify this our desire and assurance, we say, Amen (1 Cor 14:16; Rev 22:20-21).
The text is taken with slight modification from The Westminster Confession of Faith Together with the Larger Catechism and the Shorter Catechism with Scripture Proofs (3rd ed.; Atlanta, GA: Committee for Christian Education & Publications, PCA Bookstore, 1990), 3–151. © Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America, 1990.
1 Ed. note: The phrase in brackets is omitted in American editions.
† This symbol indicates references added in later editions of a confession or catechism
‡ This symbol indicates references added by editors of the RSB project
The Westminster Larger Catechism