The Westminster Larger Catechism (with Scripture References)

1. What is the chief and highest end of man?

Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God,1and fully to enjoy him forever.2

2. How doth it appear that there is a God?

The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly that there is a God;1but his word and Spirit only do sufficiently and effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.2

3. What is the Word of God?

The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the Word of God,1the only rule of faith and obedience.2

4. How doth it appear that the Scriptures are of the Word of God?

The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty1and purity;2by the consent of all the parts,3and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God;4by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation:5but 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.6

5. What do the scriptures principally teach?

The scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.1

6. What do the scriptures make known of God?

The scriptures make known what God is,1the persons in the Godhead, 2his decrees,3and the execution of his decrees.4

7. What is God?

God is a Spirit,1in and of himself infinite in being,2glory,3blessedness,4and perfection;5all-sufficient,6eternal,7unchangeable,8incomprehensible,9every where present,10almighty,11knowing all things,12most wise,130most holy,14most just15, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.16

8. Are there more Gods than one?

There is but one only, the living and true God.1

9. How many persons are there in the Godhead?

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

10. What are the personal properties of the three persons in the Godhead?

It is proper to the Father to beget the Son,1and to the Son to be begotten of the Father,2and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the Son from all eternity.3

11. How doth it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father?

The scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal with the Father, ascribing unto them such names,1attributes,2works,3and worship,4as are proper to God only.

12. What are the decrees of God?

God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his will,1whereby, from all eternity, he hath, for his own glory, unchangeably foreordained whatsoever comes to pass in time,2especially concerning angels and men.

13. What hath God especially decreed concerning angels and men?

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;1and in Christ hath chosen some men to eternal life, and the means thereof:2and 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 dishonor and wrath, to be for their sin inflicted, to the praise of the glory of his justice.3

14. How doth God execute his decrees?

God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will.1

15. What is the work of creation?

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.1

16. How did God create angels?

God created all the angels1spirits,2immortal,3holy,4excelling in knowledge,5mighty in power,6to execute his commandments, and to praise his name,7yet subject to change.8

17. How did God create man?

After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female;1formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground,2and the woman of the rib of the man,3endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls;4made them after his own image,5in knowledge,6righteousness, and holiness;7having the law of God written in their hearts,8and power to fulfill it,9and dominion over the creatures;10yet subject to fall.11

18. What are God's works of providence?

God's works of providence are his most holy,1wise,2and powerful preserving3and governing4all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, 5to his own glory.6

19. What is God's providence towards the angels?

God by his providence permitted some of the angels, willfully and irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation,1limiting and ordering that, and all their sins, to his own glory;2and established the rest in holiness and happiness;3employing them all,4at his pleasure, in the administrations of his power, mercy, and justice.5

20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?

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;1putting the creatures under his dominion,2and ordaining marriage for his help;3affording him communion with himself;4instituting the Sabbath;5entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience,6of which the tree of life was a pledge;7and forbidding to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.8

21. Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created him?

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.1

22. Did all mankind fall in that first transgression?

The covenant being made with Adam as a public person, not for himself only, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation,1sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.2

23. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?

The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.1

24. What is sin?

Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God, given as a rule to the reasonable creature.1

25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?

The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam's first sin,1the 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;2which is commonly called Original Sin, and from which do proceed all actual transgressions.3

26. How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity?

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.1

27. What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?

The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God,1his displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath,2bond slaves to Satan,3and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to come.4

28. What are the punishments of sin in this world?

The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of mind,1a reprobate sense,2strong delusions,3hardness of heart,4horror of conscience,5and vile affections;6or outward, as the curse of God upon the creatures of our sakes,7and all other evils that befall us in our bodies, names, estates, relations, and employments;8together with death itself.9

29. What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?

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.1

30. Doth God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?

God doth not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and misery,1into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called the Covenant of Works;2but 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.3

31. With whom was the covenant of grace made?

The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in him with all the elect as his seed.1

32. How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?

The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely provideth and offereth to sinners a Mediator,1and life and salvation by him;2and requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him,3promiseth and giveth his Holy Spirit4to all his elect, to work in them that faith,5with all other saving graces;6and to enable them unto all holy obedience,7as the evidence of the truth of their faith8and thankfulness to God,9and as the way which he hath appointed them to salvation.10

33. Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the same manner?

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.1

34. How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old Testament?

The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by promises,1prophecies,2sacrifices,3circumcision,4the passover,5and 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,6by whom they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.7

35. How is the covenant of grace administered under the New Testament?

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,1and the administration of the sacraments of baptism2and the Lord's supper;3in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence, and efficacy, to all nations.4

36. Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?

The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ,1who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father,2in the fulness of time became man,3and so was and continues to be God and man, in two entire distinct natures, and one person, for ever.4

37. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?

Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul,1being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her,2yet without sin.3

38. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?

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,1give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and intercession;2and to satisfy God's justice,3procure his favor,4purchase a peculiar people,5give his Spirit to them,6conquer all their enemies,7and bring them to everlasting salvation.8

39. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?

It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance our nature,1perform obedience to the law,2suffer and make intercession for us in our nature,3have a fellow-feeling of our infirmities;4that we might receive the adoption of sons,5and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of grace.6

40. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and man in one person?

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,1and relied on by us as the works of the whole person.2

41. Why was our Mediator called Jesus?

Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saveth his people from their sins.1

42. Why was our Mediator called Christ?

Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy Ghost above measure,1and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority and ability,2to execute the offices of prophet,3priest,4and king of his church,5in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.

43. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?

Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church,1in all ages, by his Spirit and Word,2in divers ways of administration,3the whole will of God,4in all things concerning their edification and salvation.5

44. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?

Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a sacrifice without spot to God,1to be reconciliation for the sins of his people;2and in making continual intercession for them.3

45. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?

Christ executeth the office of a king, in calling out of the world a people to himself,1and giving them officers,2laws,3and censures, by which he visibly governs them;4in bestowing saving grace upon his elect,5rewarding their obedience,6and correcting them for their sins,7preserving and supporting them under all their temptations and sufferings,8restraining and overcoming all their enemies,9and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory,10and their good;11and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the gospel.12

46. What was the estate of Christ's humiliation?

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, in his conception and birth, life, death, and after his death, until his resurrection.1

47. How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?

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.1

48. How did Christ humble himself in his life?

Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law,1which he perfectly fulfilled;2and by conflicting with the indignities of the world,3temptations of Satan,4and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.5

49. How did Christ humble himself in his death?

Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by Judas,1forsaken by his disciples,2scorned and rejected by the world,3condemned by Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors;4having also conflicted with the terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God's wrath,5he laid down his life an offering for sin,6enduring the painful, shameful, and cursed death of the cross.7

50. Wherein consisted Christ's humiliation after his death?

Christ's humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried,1and continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third day;2which hath been otherwise expressed in these words, He descended into hell.

51. What was the estate of Christ's exaltation?

The estate of Christ's exaltation comprehendeth his resurrection,1ascension,2sitting at the right hand of the Father,3and his coming again to judge the world.4

52. How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?

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,)1and having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties thereof,2(but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this life,) really united to his soul,3he rose again from the dead the third day by his own power;4whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God,5to have satisfied divine justice,6to have vanquished death, and him that had the power of it,7and to be Lord of quick and dead:8all which he did as a public person,9the head of his church,10for their justification,11quickening in grace,12support against enemies,13and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the last day.14

53. How was Christ exalted in his ascension?

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,1and giving them commission to preach the gospel to all nations,2forty days after his resurrection, he, in our nature, and as our head,3triumphing over enemies,4visibly went up into the highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men,5to raise up our affections thither,6and to prepare a place for us,7where he himself is, and shall continue till his second coming at the end of the world.8

54. How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?

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,1with all fulness of joy,2glory,3and power over all things in heaven and earth;4and does gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnisheth his ministers and people with gifts and graces,5and maketh intercession for them.6

55. How doeth Christ make intercession?

Christ maketh intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually before the Father in heaven,1in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on earth,2declaring his will to have it applied to all believers;3answering all accusations against them,4and procuring for them quiet of conscience, notwithstanding daily failings,5access with boldness to the throne of grace,6and acceptance of their persons7and services.8

56. How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the world?

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,1shall come again at the last day in great power,2and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of his Father's, with all his holy angels,3with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God,4to judge the world in righteousness.5

57. What benefits hath Christ procured by his mediation?

Christ, by his mediation, hath procured redemption,1with all other benefits of the covenant of grace.2

58. How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured?

We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ hath procured, by the application of them unto us,1which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost.2

59. Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?

Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all those for whom Christ hath purchased it;1who are in time by the Holy Ghost enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel.2

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?

They who, having never heard the gospel,1know not Jesus Christ,2and believe not in him, cannot be saved,3be they never so diligent to frame their lives according to the light of nature,4or the laws of that religion which they profess;5neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone,6who is the Savior only of his body the church.7

61. Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?

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.1

62. What is the visible church?

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,1and of their children.2

63. What are the special privileges of the visible church?

The visible church hath the privilege of being under God's special care and government;1of being protected and preserved in all ages, notwithstanding the opposition of all enemies;2and of enjoying the communion of saints, the ordinary means of salvation,3and 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,4and excluding none that will come unto him.5

64. What is the invisible church?

The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.1

65. What special benefits do the members of the invisible church enjoy by Christ?

The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion with him in grace and glory.1

66. is that union which the elect have with Christ?

.The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's grace,1whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined to Christ as their head and husband;2which is done in their effectual calling.3

67. What is effectual calling?

Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace,1whereby (out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving him thereunto)2he doth, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus Christ, by his Word and Spirit;3savingly enlightening their minds,4renewing and powerfully determining their wills,5so 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.6

68. Are the elect only effectually called?

All the elect, and they only, are effectually called:[279]1although others may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word,[280]2and have some common operations of the Spirit;[281]3who, 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.[282]4

69. What is the communion in grace which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?

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,1adoption,2sanctification, and whatever else, in this life, manifests their union with him.3

70. What is justification?

Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners1, in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight2; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them3but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them4, and received by faith alone.5

71. How is justification an act of God's free grace?

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;1yet 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,2imputing his righteousness to them,3and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith,4which also is his gift,5their justification is to them of free grace.6

72. What is justifying faith?

Justifying faith is a saving grace,1wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit2and Word of God,3whereby 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,4not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel,5but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth, for pardon of sin,6and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.7

73. How doth faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?

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,1nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his justification;2but only as it is an instrument by which he receiveth and applieth Christ and his righteousness.3

74. What is adoption?

Adoption is an act of the free grace of God,1in and for his only Son Jesus Christ,2whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children,3have his name put upon them,4the Spirit of his Son given to them,5are under his fatherly care and dispensations,6admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.7

75. What is sanctification?

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 Spirit1applying the death and resurrection of Christ unto them,2renewed in their whole man after the image of God;3having the seeds of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts,4and those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened,5as that they more and more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.6

76. What is repentance unto life?

Repentance unto life is a saving grace,1wrought in the heart of a sinner by the Spirit2and Word of God,3whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of the danger,4but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins,5and upon the apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are penitent,6he so grieves for7and hates his sins,8as that he turns from them all to God,9purposing and endeavouring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.10

77. Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?

Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification,1yet they differ, in that God in justification imputeth the righteousness of Christ;2in sanctification of his Spirit infuseth grace, and enableth to the exercise thereof;3in the former, sin is pardoned;4in the other, it is subdued:5the one doth equally free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this life, that they never fall into condemnation6the other is neither equal in all,7nor in this life perfect in any,8but growing up to perfection.9

78. Whence ariseth the imperfection of sanctification in believers?

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,1are hindered in all their spiritual services,2and their best works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.3

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?

True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God,1and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance,2their inseparable union with Christ,3his continual intercession for them,4and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them,5can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace,6but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.7

80. Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?

Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavour to walk in all good conscience before him,1may, 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,2and bearing witness with their spirits that they are the children of God,3be infallibly assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto salvation.4

81. Are all true believers at all times assured of their present being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?

Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith,1true believers may wait long before they obtain it;2and, after the enjoyment thereof, may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins, temptations, and desertions;3yet they are never left without such a presence and support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.4

82. What is the communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ?

The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have with Christ, is in this life,1immediately after death,2and at last perfected at the resurrection and day of judgment.3

83. What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of the invisible church enjoy in this life?

The members of the invisible church have communicated to them in this life the firstfruits 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;1and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God's love,2peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory;3as, 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.4

84. Shall all men die?

Death being threatened as the wages of sin,1it is appointed unto all men once to die;2for that all have sinned.3

85. Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?

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;1so that, although they die, yet it is out of God's love,2to free them perfectly from sin and misery,3and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon.4

86. What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of the invisible church enjoy immediately after death?

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,1and received into the highest heavens,2where they behold the face of God in light and glory,3waiting for the full redemption of their bodies,4which even in death continue united to Christ,5and rest in their graves as in their beds,6till at the last day they be again united to their souls.7Whereas 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.8

87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?

We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust:1when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ.2The 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;3and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonour by him, as an offended judge.4

88. What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?

Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men;1the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.2

89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?

At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ's left hand,1and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences,2shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them;3and 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 forever.4

90. What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?

At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds,1shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted,2shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men,3and shall be received into heaven,4where they shall be fully and forever freed from all sin and misery;5filled with inconceivable joys,6made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels,7but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity.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.8

91. What is the duty which God requireth of man?

The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.1

92. What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his obedience?

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 knowledge of good and evil, was the moral law.1

93. What is the moral law?

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,1and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which he oweth to God and man:2promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening death upon the breach of it.3

94. Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?

Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by the moral law:1yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.2

95. Of what use is the moral law to all men?

The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature and the will of God,1and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly;2to convince them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their nature, hearts, and lives:3to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery,4and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ,5and of the perfection of his obedience.6

96. What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate men?

The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences to flee from wrath to come,1and to drive them to Christ;2or, upon their continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable,3and under the curse thereof.4

97. What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?

Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered from the moral law as a covenant of works,1so as thereby they are neither justified2nor condemned;3yet, besides the general uses thereof common to them with all men, it is of special use, to show them how much they are bound to Christ for his fulfilling it, and enduring the curse thereof in their stead, and for their good;4and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness,5and to express the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of their obedience.6

98. Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?

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;1and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to man.2

99. What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the ten commandments?

For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to be observed:

1; That the law is perfect, and bindeth everyone to full conformity in the whole man unto the righteousness thereof, and unto entire obedience forever; so as to require the utmost perfection of every duty, and to forbid the least degree of every sin.4221

2; 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.4232

3; That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or forbidden in several commandments.4243

4; That as, where a duty is commanded, the contrary sin is forbidden;4254and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is commanded:4265so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included;4276and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included.4287

5; That what God forbids, is at no time to be done;4298what he commands, is always our duty;4309and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times.43110

6; 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.43211

7; 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.43312

8; That in what is commanded to others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to them;43413and to take heed of partaking with others in what is forbidden them.43514

100. What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?

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.

101. What is the preface to the ten commandments?

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.1Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God;2having his being in and of himself,3and giving being to all his words4and works:5and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people;6who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivereth us from our spiritual thralldom;7and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments.8

102. What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?

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.1

103. Which is the first commandment?

The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me.1

104. What are the duties required in the first commandment?

The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God;1and to worship and glorify him accordingly,2by thinking,3meditating,4remembering,5highly esteeming,6honouring,7adoring,8choosing,9loving,10desiring,11fearing of him;12believing him;13trusting14hoping,15delighting,16rejoicing in him;17being zealous for him;18calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks,19and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man;20being careful in all things to please him,21and sorrowful when in any thing he is offended;22and walking humbly with him.23

105. What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?

The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or not having a God;1idolatry, in having or worshipping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God;2the not having and avouching him for God, and our God;3the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment;4ignorance,5forgetfulness,6misapprehensions,7false opinions,8unworthy and wicked thoughts of him;9bold and curious searching into his secrets;10all profaneness,11hatred of God;12self-love,13self-seeking,14and 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;15vain credulity,16unbelief,17heresy,18misbelief,19distrust,20despair,21incorrigibleness,22and insensibleness under judgments,23hardness of heart,24pride,25presumption,26carnal security,27tempting of God;28using unlawful means,29and trusting in lawful means;30carnal delights and joys;31corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal;32lukewarmness,33and deadness in the things of God;34estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God;35praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures;36all compacts and consulting with the devil,37and hearkening to his suggestions;38making men the lords of our faith and conscience;39slighting and despising God and his commands;40resisting and grieving of his Spirit,41discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us;42and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have or can do, to fortune,43idols,44ourselves,45or any other creature.46

106. What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?

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:1as also to persuade us to do as in his sight, whatever we do in his service.2

107. Which is the second commandment?

The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything 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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.1

108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?

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;1particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ;2the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word;3the administration and receiving of the sacraments;4church government and discipline;5the ministry and maintainance thereof;6religious fasting;7swearing by the name of God;8and vowing unto him;9as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing all false worship;10and, according to each one—s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.11

109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?

The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising,1counseling,2commanding,3using,4and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself;5tolerating a false religion; 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;6all worshipping of it,7or God in it or by it;8the making of any representation of feigned deities,9and all worship of them, or service belonging to them,10all superstitious devices,11corrupting the worship of God,12adding to it, or taking from it,13whether invented and taken up of ourselves,14or received by tradition from others,15though under the title of antiquity,16custom,17devotion,18good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever;19simony;20sacrilege;21all neglect,22contempt,23hindering,24and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.25

110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?

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 showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments;1are, besides God—s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us,2his fervent zeal for his own worship,3and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom;4accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations;5and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.6

111. Which is the third commandment?

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.1

112. What is required in the third commandment?

The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes,1ordinances,2the Word,3sacraments,4prayer,5oaths,6vows,7lots,8his works,9and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought,10meditation,11word,12and writing;13by an holy profession,14and answerable conversation,15to the glory of God,16and the good of ourselves,17and others.18

113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?

The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's name as is required;1and the abuse of it in an ignorant,2vain,3irreverent, profane,4superstitious5or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes,6ordinances,7or works,8by blasphemy,9perjury;10all sinful cursings,11oaths,12vows,13and lots;14violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful;15and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful;16murmuring and quarrelling at,17curious prying into,18and misapplying of God—s decrees19and providences;20misinterpreting,21misapplying,22or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it;23to profane jests,24curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines;25abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms,26or sinful lusts and practices;27the maligning,28scorning,29reviling,30or any wise opposing of God's truth, grace, and ways;31making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends;32being ashamed of it,33or a shame to it, by unconformable,34unwise,35unfruitful,36and offensive walking,37or backsliding from it.38

114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?

The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain,1are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us;2especially 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;3albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men.4

115. Which is the fourth commandment?

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 in the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day and hallowed it.1

116. What is required in the fourth commandment?

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,1and in the New Testament called The Lord's day.2

117. How is the sabbath or the Lord's day to be sanctified?

The sabbath or Lord's day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day,1not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful;2and 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)3in the public and private exercises of God's worship:4and, 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.5

118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?

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.1

119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?

The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required,1all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them;2all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful;3and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations.4

120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?

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:1from God's challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God:2from 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.3

121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?

The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,1partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it,2and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments,3and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion;4and partly, because we are very ready to forget it,5for that there is less light of nature for it,6and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful;7that 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;8and that Satan with his instruments labours much to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety.9

122. What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?

The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man, is, to love our neighbour as ourselves,1and to do to others what we would have them to do to us.2

123. Which is the fifth commandment?

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.1

124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?

By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents,1but all superiors in age2and gifts;3and especially such as, by God's ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family,4church,5or commonwealth.6

125. Why are superiors styled father and mother?

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;1and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents.2

126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?

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.1

127. What is the honour that inferiors owe to their superiors?

The honour which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart,1word,2and behavior;3prayer and thanksgiving for them;4imitation of their virtues and graces;5willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels;6due submission to their corrections;7fidelity to,8defense,9and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places;10bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love,11that so they may be an honour to them and to their government.12

128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?

The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them;1envying at,2contempt of,3and rebellion4against, their persons5and places,6in their lawful counsels,7commands, and corrections;8cursing, mocking9and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonour to them and their government.10

129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?

It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love,1pray for,2and bless their inferiors;3to instruct,4counsel, and admonish them;5countenancing,6commending,7and rewarding such as do well;8and discountenancing,9reproving, and chastising such as do ill;10protecting,11and providing for them all things necessary for soul12and body:13and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God,14honour to themselves,15and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them.16

130. What are the sins of superiors?

The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them,1and inordinate seeking of themselves,2their own glory,3ease, profit, or pleasure;4commanding things unlawful,5or not in the power of inferiors to perform;6counseling,7encouraging,8or favouring them in that which is evil;9dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good;10correcting them unduly;11careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger;12provoking them to wrath;13or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour.14

131. What are the duties of equals?

The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other,1in giving honour to go one before another;2and to rejoice in each others' gifts and advancement, as their own.3

132. What are the sins of equals?

The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required,1the undervaluing of the worth,2envying the gifts,3grieving at the advancement of prosperity one of another;4and usurping pre-eminence one over another.5

133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?

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,1is 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.2

134. Which is the sixth commandment?

The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.1

135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?

The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves1and others2by resisting all thoughts and purposes,3subduing all passions,4and avoiding all occasions,5temptations,6and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any;7by just defence thereof against violence,8patient bearing of the hand of God,9quietness of mind,10cheerfulness of spirit;11a sober use of meat,12drink,13physic,14sleep,15labour,16and recreations;17by charitable thoughts,18love,19compassion,20meekness, gentleness, kindness;21peaceable,22mild and courteous speeches and behaviour;23forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil;24comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent.25

136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?

The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves,1or of others,2except in case of public justice,3lawful war,4or necessary defence;5the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life;6sinful anger,7hatred,8envy,9desire of revenge;10all excessive passions,11distracting cares;12immoderate use of meat, drink,13labor,14and recreations;15provoking words,16oppression,17quarreling,18striking, wounding,19and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.20

137. Which is the seventh commandment?

The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.1

138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?

The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections,1words,2and behavior;3and the preservation of it in ourselves and others;4watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses;5temperance,6keeping of chaste company,7modesty in apparel;8marriage by those that have not the gift of continency,9conjugal love,10and cohabitation;11diligent labor in our callings;12shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.13

139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?

The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,1are, adultery, fornication,2rape, incest,3sodomy, and all unnatural lusts;4all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections;5all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto;6wanton looks,7impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel;8prohibiting of lawful,9and dispensing with unlawful marriages;10allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them;11entangling vows of single life,12undue delay of marriage,13having more wives or husbands than one at the same time;14unjust divorce,15or desertion;16idleness, gluttony, drunkenness,17unchaste company;18lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays;19and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.20

140. Which is the eighth commandment?

The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.1

141. What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?

The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man;1rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof;2giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others;3moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods;4a provident care and study to get,5keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition;6a lawful calling,7and diligence in it;8frugality;9avoiding unnecessary lawsuits,10and suretiship, or other like engagements;11and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.12

142. What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?

The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,1are, theft,2robbery,3man-stealing,4and receiving any thing that is stolen;5fraudulent dealing,6false weights and measures,7removing landmarks,8injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man,9or in matters of trust;10oppression,11extortion,12usury,13bribery,14vexatious lawsuits,15unjust inclosures and depopulations;16ingrossing commodities to enhance the price;17unlawful callings,18and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding from our neighbour what belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves;19covetousness;20inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods;21distrustful and distracting cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them;22envying at the prosperity of others;23as likewise idleness,24prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate,25and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God hath given us.26

143. Which is the ninth commandment?

The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.1

144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man,1and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own;2appearing and standing for the truth;3and from the heart,4sincerely,5freely,6clearly,7and fully,8speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice,9and in all other things whatsoever;10a charitable esteem of our neighbours;11loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name;12sorrowing for,13and covering of their infirmities;14freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces,15defending their innocency;16a ready receiving of a good report,17and unwillingness to admit of an evil report,18concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers,19flatterers,20and slanderers;21love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth;22keeping of lawful promises;23studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.24

145. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?

The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own,1especially in public judicature;2giving false evidence,3suborning false witnesses,4wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth;5passing unjust sentence,6calling 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;7forgery,8concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause,9and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves,10or complaint to others;11speaking the truth unseasonably,12or maliciously to a wrong end,13or perverting it to a wrong meaning,14or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;15speaking untruth,16lying,17slandering,18backbiting,19detracting, tale bearing,20whispering,21scoffing,22reviling,23rash,24harsh,25and partial censuring;26misconstructing intentions, words, and actions;27flattering,28vain-glorious boasting;29thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others;30denying the gifts and graces of God;31aggravating smaller faults;32hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession;33unnecessary discovering of infirmities;34raising false rumors,35receiving and countenancing evil reports,36and stopping our ears against just defense;37evil suspicion;38envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any,39endeavoring or desiring to impair it,40rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy;41scornful contempt,42fond admiration;43breach of lawful promises;44neglecting such things as are of good report,45and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.46

146. Which is the tenth commandment?

The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shall not covet they neighbor's wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.1

147. What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?

The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition,1and 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.2

148. What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?

The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate;1envying2and grieving at the good of our neighbor,3together with all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.4

149. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?

No man is able, either of himself,1or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God;2but doth daily break them in thought,3word, and deed.4

150. Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?

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.1

151. What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?

Sins receive their aggravations,

1; From the persons offending9221if they be of riper age,9232greater experience or grace,9243eminent for profession,9254gifts,9265place,9276office,9287guides to others,9298and whose example is likely to be followed by others.9309

2; From the parties offended:93110if immediately against God,93211his attributes,93312and worship;93413against Christ, and his grace;93514the Holy Spirit,93615his witness,93716and workings93817against superiors, men of eminency,93918and such as we stand especially related and engaged unto;94019against any of the saints,94120particularly weak brethren,94221the souls of them, or any other,94322and the common good of all or many.94423

3; From the nature and quality of the offense:94524if it be against the express letter of the law,94625break many commandments, contain in it many sins:94726if not only conceived in the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions,94827scandalize others,94928and admit of no reparation:95029if against means,95130mercies,95231judgments,95332light of nature,95433conviction of conscience,95534public or private admonition,95635censures of the church,95736civil punishments;95837and our prayers, purposes, promises,95938vows,96039covenants,96140and engagements to God or men:96241if done deliberately,96342wilfully,96443presumptuously,96544impudently,96645boastingly,96746maliciously,96847frequently,96948obstinately,97049with delight,97150continuance,97251or relapsing after repentance.97352

4; From circumstances of time97453and place:97554if on the Lord—s day,97655or other times of divine worship;97756or immediately before97857or after these,97958or other helps to prevent or remedy such miscarriages;98059if in public, or in the presence of others, who are thereby likely to be provoked or defiled.98160

152. What doth every sin deserve at the hands of God?

Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty,1goodness,2and holiness of God,3and against his righteous law,4deserveth his wrath and curse,5both in this life,6and that which is to come;7and cannot be expiated but by the blood of Christ.8

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?

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,1and the diligent use of the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.2

154. What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation?

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.1

155. How is the Word made effectual to salvation?

The Spirit of God maketh the reading, but especially the preaching of the Word, an effectual means of enlightening,1convincing, and humbling sinners;2of driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ;3of conforming them to his image,4and subduing them to his will;5of strengthening them against temptations and corruptions;6of building them up in grace,7and establishing their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.8

156. Is the Word of God to be read by all?

Although all are not to be permitted to read the Word publicly to the congregation,1yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves,2and with their families:3to which end, the holy scriptures are to be translated out of the original into vulgar languages.4

157. How is the Word of God to be read?

The holy Scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of them;1with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God,2and that he only can enable us to understand them;3with desire to know, believe, and obey the will of God revealed in them;4with diligence,5and attention to the matter and scope of them;6with meditation,7application,8self-denial,9and prayer.10

158. By whom is the Word of God to be preached?

The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently gifted,1and also duly approved and called to that office.2

159. How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called thereunto?

They that are called to labour in the ministry of the Word, are to preach sound doctrine,1diligently,2in season and out of season;3plainly,4not in the enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of power;5faithfully,6making known the whole counsel of God;7wisely,8applying themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers;9zealously,10with fervent love to God11and the souls of his people;12sincerely,13aiming at his glory,14and their conversion,15edification,16and salvation.17

160. What is required of those that hear the Word preached?

It is required of those that hear the Word preached, that they attend upon it with diligence,1preparation,2and prayer;3examine what they hear by the Scriptures;4receive the truth with faith,5love,6meekness,7and readiness of mind,8as the Word of God;9meditate,10and confer of it;11hide it in their hearts,12and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.13

161. How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?

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

162. What is a sacrament?

A sacrament is an holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church,1to signify, seal, and exhibit2unto those that are within the covenant of grace,3the benefits of his mediation;4to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces;5to oblige them to obedience;6to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another;7and to distinguish them from those that are without.8

163. What are the parts of a sacrament?

The parts of the 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.1

164. How many sacraments hath Christ instituted in his church under the New Testament?

Under the New Testament Christ hath instituted in his church only two sacraments, baptism and the Lord's supper.1

165. What is baptism?

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,1to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself,2of remission of sins by his blood,3and regeneration by his Spirit;4of adoption,5and resurrection unto everlasting life;6and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted into the visible church,7and enter into an open and professed engagement to be wholly and only the Lord's.8

166. Unto whom is baptism to be administered?

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,1but 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.2

167. How is our baptism to be improved by us?

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;1by 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;2by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements;3by growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to us in that sacrament;4by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of grace;5and by endeavoring to live by faith,6to have our conversation in holiness and righteousness,7as those that have therein given up their names to Christ;8and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one body.9

168. What is the Lord's supper?

The Lord's supper is a sacrament of the New Testament,1wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine according to the appointment of Jesus Christ, his death is showed forth; and they that worthily communicate feed upon his body and blood, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace;2have their union and communion with him confirmed;3testify and renew their thankfulness,4and engagement to God,5and their mutual love and fellowship each with the other, as members of the same mystical body.6

169. How hath Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and received in the sacrament of the Lord's supper?

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 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

170. How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord's supper feed upon the body and blood of Christ therein?

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,1and yet are spiritually present to the faith of the receiver, no less truly and really than the elements themselves are to their outward senses;2so 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,3while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.4

171. How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper to prepare themselves before they come unto it?

They that receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper are, before they come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves1of their being in Christ,2of their sins and wants;3of the truth and measure of their knowledge,4faith,5repentance;6love to God and the brethren,7charity to all men,8forgiving those that have done them wrong;9of their desires after Christ,10and of their new obedience;11and by renewing the exercise of these graces,12by serious meditation,13and fervent prayer.1101^14

172. May one who doubteth of his being in Christ, or of his due preparation, come to the Lord's supper?

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;1and in God's account hath it, if he be duly affected with the apprehension of the want of it,2and unfeignedly desires to be found in Christ,3and to depart from iniquity:4in which case (because promises are made, and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting Christians)5he is to bewail his unbelief,6and labor to have his doubts resolved;7and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord's supper, that he may be further strengthened.8

173. May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord's supper, be kept from it?

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,1until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation.2

174. What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the Lord's supper in the time of the administration of it?

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,1diligently observe the sacramental elements and actions,2heedfully discern the Lord's body,3and affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings,4and thereby stir up themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces;5in judging themselves,6and sorrowing for sin;7in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ,8feeding on him by faith,9receiving of his fullness,10trusting in his merits,11rejoicing in his love,12giving thanks for his grace;13in renewing of their covenant with God,14and love to all the saints.15

175. What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the sacrament of the Lord's supper?

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;1if they find quickening and comfort, to bless God for it,2beg the continuance of it,3watch against relapses,4fulfill their vows,5and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance:6but if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to, and carriage at, the sacrament;7in 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:8but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled,9and to attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence.10

176. Wherein do the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper agree?

The sacraments of baptism and the Lord—s supper agree, in that the author of both is God;1the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits;2both are seals of the same covenant,3are to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, and by none other;4and to be continued in the church of Christ until his second coming.5

177. Wherein do the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's supper differ?

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,1and that even to infants;2whereas 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,3and to confirm our continuance and growth in him,4and that only to such as are of years and ability to examine themselves.5

178. What is prayer?

Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God,1in the name of Christ,2by the help of his Spirit;3with confession of our sins,4and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.5

179. Are we to pray unto God only?

God only being able to search the hearts,1hear the requests,2pardon the sins,3and fulfill the desires of all;4and only to be believed in,5and worshipped with religious worship;6prayer, which is a special part thereof,7is to be made by all to him alone,8and to none other.9

180. What is it to pray in the name of Christ?

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;1not by bare mentioning of his name,2but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength, and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.3

181. Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?

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 without a mediator;1and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that glorious work but Christ alone,2we are to pray in no other name but his only.3

182. How doth the Spirit help us to pray?

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 in 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.1

183. For whom are we to pray?

We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth;1for magistrates,2and ministers;3for ourselves,4our brethren,5yea, our enemies;6and for all sorts of men living,7or that shall live hereafter;8but not for the dead,9nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death.10

184. For what things are we to pray?

We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God,1the welfare of the church,2our own3or others, good;4but not for anything that is unlawful.5

185. How are we to pray?

We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God,1and deep sense of our own unworthiness,2necessities,3and sins;4with penitent,5thankful,6and enlarged hearts;7with understanding,8faith,9sincerity,10fervency,11love,12and perseverance,13waiting upon him,14with humble submission to his will.15

186. What rule hath God given for our direction in the duty of prayer?

The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in the duty of prayer;1but the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which our Savior Christ taught his disciples, commonly called The Lord's Prayer.2

187. How is the Lord's Prayer to be used?

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.1

188. Of how many parts doth the Lord's Prayer consist?

The Lord's Prayer consists of three parts; a preface, petitions, and a conclusion.

189. What doth the preface of the Lord's Prayer teach us?

The preface of the Lord's Prayer (contained in these words, Our Father which art in heaven,1teacheth us, when we pray, to draw near to God with confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein;2with reverence, and all other childlike dispositions,3heavenly affections,4and due apprehensions of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension:5as also, to pray with and for others.6

190. What do we pray for in the first petition?

In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed by thy name,)1acknowledging the utter inability and indisposition that is in ourselves and all men to honor God aright,2we pray, that God would by his grace enable and incline us and others to know, to acknowledge, and highly to esteem him,3his titles,4attributes,5ordinances, Word,6works, and whatsoever he is pleased to make himself known by;7and to glorify him in thought, word,8and deed:9that he would prevent and remove atheism,10ignorance,11idolatry,12profaneness,13and whatsoever is dishonorable to him;14and, by his over-ruling providence, direct and dispose of all things to his own glory.15

191. What do we pray for in the second petition?

In the second petition, (which is, Thy kingdom come),1acknowledging ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan,2we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed,3the gospel propagated throughout the world,4the Jews called,5the fullness of the Gentiles brought in;6the church furnished with all gospel-officers and ordinances,7purged from corruption,8countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate:9that 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:10that Christ would rule in our hearts here,11and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with him forever:12and that he would be pleased so to exercise the kingdom of his power in all the world, as may best conduce to these ends.13

192. What do we pray for in the third petition?

In the third petition, (which is, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven),1acknowledging, that by nature we and all men are not only utterly unable and unwilling to know and do the will of God,2but prone to rebel against his Word,12373to repine and murmur against his providence,4and wholly inclined to do the will of the flesh, and of the devil:5we pray, that God would by his Spirit take away from ourselves and others all blindness,6weakness,7indisposedness,8and perverseness of heart;9and by his grace make us able and willing to know, do, and submit to his will in all things,10with the like humility,11cheerfulness,12faithfulness,13diligence,14zeal,15sincerity,16and constancy,17as the angels do in heaven.18