Westminster Larger Catechism
Question 1: What is the chief and highest end of man?
Answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him
Question 2: How does it appear that there is a God?
Answer: The very light of nature in man, and the works of God, declare plainly
that there is a God; but his Word and Spirit only do sufficiently and
effectually reveal him unto men for their salvation.
Question 3: What is the Word of God?
Answer: The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God,
the only rule of faith and obedience.
Question 4: How does it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?
Answer: The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their
majesty and purity; by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole,
which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and
convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation: 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.
Question 5: What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Answer: The Scriptures principally teach,: What man is to believe concerning
God, and: What duty God requires of man.
Question 6: What do the Scriptures make known of God?
Answer: The Scriptures make known: What God is, the persons in the Godhead, his
decrees, and the execution of his decrees.
Question 7: What is God?
Answer: God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory,
blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable,
incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise,
most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant
in goodness and truth.
Question 8: Are there more Gods than one?
Answer: There is but one only, the living and true God.
Question 9: How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Answer: 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.
Question 10: What are the personal properties of the three persons in the
Answer: It is proper to the Father to beget the Son, and to the Son to be
begotten of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost to proceed from the Father and the
Son from all eternity.
Question 11: How does it appear that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal
with the Father?
Answer: The Scriptures manifest that the Son and the Holy Ghost are God equal
with the Father, ascribing unto them such names, attributes, works, and worship,
as are proper to God only.
Question 12: What are the decrees of God?
Answer: God's decrees are the wise, free, and holy acts of the counsel of his
will, whereby, from all eternity, he has, for his own glory, unchangeably
foreordained: Whatsoever comes to pass in time, especially concerning angels and
Question 13: What has God especially decreed concerning angels and men?
Answer: 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, has elected some
angels to glory; and in Christ has chosen some men to eternal life, and the
means thereof: and also, according to his sovereign power, and the unsearchable
counsel of his own will (whereby he extends or withholds favor as he pleases),
has 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.
Question 14: How does God execute his decrees?
Answer: God executes his decrees in the works of creation and providence,
according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of
his own will.
Question 15: What is the work of creation?
Answer: 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.
Question 16: How did God create angels?
Answer: God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in
knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name,
yet subject to change.
Question 17: How did God create man?
Answer: After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female;
formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib
of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them
after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness,and holiness; having the law of
God written in their hearts, and power to fulfil it, and dominion over the
creatures; yet subject to fall.
Question 18: What are God's works of providence?
Answer: God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful
preserving and governing all his creatures; ordering them, and all their
actions, to his own glory.
Question 19: What is God's providence towards the angels?
Answer: God by his providence permitted some of the angels, wilfully and
irrecoverably, to fall into sin and damnation, limiting and ordering that, and
all their sins, to his own glory; and established the rest in holiness and
happiness; employing them all, at his pleasure, in the administrations of his
power, mercy, and justice.
Question 20: What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which
he was created?
Answer: 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; putting the creatures under his dominion, and
ordaining marriage for his help; affording him communion with himself;
instituting the sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon
condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of
life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good
and evil, upon the pain of death.
Question 21: Did man continue in that estate wherein God at first created
Answer: 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
Question 22: Did all mankind fall in that first transgression ?
Answer: 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, sinned in him, and fell with him in that first transgression.
Question 23: Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
Answer: The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery.
Question 24: What is sin?
Answer: Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, any law of God,
given as a rule to the reasonable creature.
Question 25: Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man
Answer: The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt
of Adam's first sin, 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; which is commonly called original sin, and from
which do proceed all actual transgressions.
Question 26: How is original sin conveyed from our first parents unto their
Answer: 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.
Question 27: What misery did the fall bring upon mankind?
Answer: The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God, his
displeasure and curse; so as we are by nature children of wrath, bond slaves to
Satan, and justly liable to all punishments in this world, and that which is to
Question 28: What are the punishments of sin in this world?
Answer: The punishments of sin in this world are either inward, as blindness of
mind, a reprobate sense, strong delusions, hardness of heart, horror of
conscience, and vile affections; or outward, as the curse of God upon the
creatures for our sakes, and all other evils that befall us in our bodies,names,
estates, relations, and employments; together with death itself.
Question 29: What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
Answer: 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 forever.
Question 30: Does God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and
Answer: God does not leave all men to perish in the estate of sin and
misery,into which they fell by the breach of the first covenant, commonly called
the covenant of works; but of his mere love and mercy delivers his elect out of
it, and brings them into an estate of salvation by the second covenant,commonly
called the covenant of grace.
Question 31: With whom was the covenant of grace made?
Answer: The covenant of grace was made with Christ as the second Adam, and in
him with all the elect as his seed.
Question 32: How is the grace of God manifested in the second covenant?
Answer: The grace of God is manifested in the second covenant, in that he freely
provides and offers to sinners a Mediator, and life and salvation by him; and
requiring faith as the condition to interest them in him, promises and gives his
Holy Spirit to all his elect, to work in them that faith, with all other saving
graces; and to enable them unto all holy obedience, as the evidence of the truth
of their faith and thankfulness to God, and as the way which he has appointed
them to salvation.
Question 33: Was the covenant of grace always administered after one and the
Answer: 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.
Question 34: How was the covenant of grace administered under the Old
Answer: The covenant of grace was administered under the Old Testament, by
promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the passover, and other types
and ordinances, which did all foresignify Christ then to come, and were for that
time sufficient to build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom
they then had full remission of sin, and eternal salvation.
Question 35: How is the covenant of grace administered under the New
Answer: 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, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's
Supper; in which grace and salvation are held forth in more fulness, evidence,
and efficacy, to all nations.
Question 36: Who is the Mediator of the covenant of grace?
Answer: The only Mediator of the covenant of grace is the Lord Jesus Christ,
who, being the eternal Son of God, of one substance and equal with the Father,
in the fulness of time became man, and so was and continues to be God and man,
in two entire distinct natures, and one person, forever.
Question 37: How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
Answer: Christ the Son of God became man, by taking to himself a true body, and
a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost in the womb of
the virgin Mary, of her substance, and born of her, yet without sin.
Question 38: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
Answer: 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; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience, and
intercession; and to satisfy God's justice, procure his favor, purchase a
peculiar people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring
them to everlasting salvation.
Question 39: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be man?
Answer: It was requisite that the Mediator should be man, that he might advance
our nature, perform obedience to the law, suffer and make intercession for us in
our nature, have a fellow feeling of our infirmities; that we might receive the
adoption of sons, and have comfort and access with boldness unto the throne of
Question 40: Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God and man in
one person ?
Answer: 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, and relied on by us, as
the works of the whole person.
Question 41: Why was our Mediator called Jesus?
Answer: Our Mediator was called Jesus, because he saves his people from their
Question 42: Why was our Mediator called Christ?
Answer: Our Mediator was called Christ, because he was anointed with the Holy
Ghost above measure; and so set apart, and fully furnished with all authority
and ability, to execute the offices of prophet, priest, and king of his church,
in the estate both of his humiliation and exaltation.
Question 43: How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a prophet, in his revealing to the church,
in all ages, by his Spirit and Word, in divers ways of administration, the whole
will of God, in all things concerning their edification and salvation.
Question 44: How does Christ execute the office of a priest?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a priest, in his once offering himself a
sacrifice without spot to God, to be a reconciliation for the sins of his
people; and in making continual intercession for them.
Question 45: How does Christ execute the office of a king?
Answer: Christ executes the office of a king, in calling out of the world a
people to himself, and giving them officers, laws, and censures, by which he
visibly governs them; in bestowing saving grace upon his elect, rewarding their
obedience, and correcting them for their sins, preserving and supporting them
under all their temptations and sufferings, restraining and overcoming all their
enemies, and powerfully ordering all things for his own glory, and their good;
and also in taking vengeance on the rest, who know not God, and obey not the
Question 46: What was the estate of Christ's humiliation?
Answer: 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
Question 47: How did Christ humble himself in his conception and birth?
Answer: 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.
Question 48: How did Christ humble himself in his life?
Answer: Christ humbled himself in his life, by subjecting himself to the law,
which he perfectly fulfilled; and by conflicting with the indignities of the
world, temptations of Satan, and infirmities in his flesh, whether common to the
nature of man, or particularly accompanying that his low condition.
Question 49: How did Christ humble himself in his death?
Answer: Christ humbled himself in his death, in that having been betrayed by
Judas, forsaken by his disciples, scorned and rejected by the world,condemned by
Pilate, and tormented by his persecutors; having also conflicted with the
terrors of death, and the powers of darkness, felt and borne the weight of God's
wrath, he laid down his life an offering for sin, enduring the painful,
shameful, and cursed death of the cross.
Question 50: Wherein consisted Christ's humiliation after his death?
Answer: Christ's humiliation after his death consisted in his being buried, and
continuing in the state of the dead, and under the power of death till the third
day; which has been otherwise expressed in these words, he descended into hell.
Question 51: What was the estate of Christ's exaltation?
Answer: The estate of Christ's exaltation comprehends his resurrection,
ascension, sitting at the right hand of the Father, and his coming again to
judge the world.
Question 52: How was Christ exalted in his resurrection?
Answer: 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), and
having the very same body in which he suffered, with the essential properties
thereof (but without mortality, and other common infirmities belonging to this
life), really united to his soul, he rose again from the dead the third day by
his own power; whereby he declared himself to be the Son of God, to have
satisfied divine justice, to have vanquished death, and him that had the power
of it, and to be Lord of quick and dead: all which he did as a public person,
the head of his church, for their justification, quickening in grace, support
against enemies, and to assure them of their resurrection from the dead at the
Question 53: How was Christ exalted in his ascension?
Answer: 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, and giving them commission
to preach the gospel to all nations, forty days after his resurrection, he, in
our nature, and as our head, triumphing over enemies, visibly went up into the
highest heavens, there to receive gifts for men, to raise up our affections
thither, and to prepare a place for us, where himself is, and shall continue
till his second coming at the end of the world.
Question 54: How is Christ exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God?
Answer: Christ is exalted in his sitting at the right hand of God, in that as
God-man he is advanced to the highest favor with God the Father, with all
fulness of joy, glory, and power over all things in heaven and earth; and does
gather and defend his church, and subdue their enemies; furnishes his ministers
and people with gifts and graces, and makes intercession for them.
Question 55: How does Christ make intercession?
Answer: Christ makes intercession, by his appearing in our nature continually
before the Father in heaven, in the merit of his obedience and sacrifice on
earth, declaring his will to have it applied to all believers;
Answering all accusations against them, and procuring for them quiet of
conscience, notwithstanding daily failings, access with boldness to the throne
of grace, and acceptance of their persons and services.
Question 56: How is Christ to be exalted in his coming again to judge the
Answer: 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, shall come again at the
last day in great power, and in the full manifestation of his own glory, and of
his Father's, with all his holy angels, with a shout, with the voice of the
archangel, and with the trumpet of God, to judge the world in righteousness.
Question 57: What benefits has Christ procured by his mediation?
Answer: Christ, by his mediation, has procured redemption, with all other
benefits of the covenant of grace.
Question 58: How do we come to be made partakers of the benefits which Christ
Answer: We are made partakers of the benefits which Christ has procured, by the
application of them unto us, which is the work especially of God the Holy Ghost.
Question 59: Who are made partakers of redemption through Christ?
Answer: Redemption is certainly applied, and effectually communicated, to all
those for whom Christ has purchased it; who are in time by the Holy Ghost
enabled to believe in Christ according to the gospel.
Question 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
Answer: They who, having never heard the gospel, know not Jesus Christ, and
believe not in him, cannot be saved, be they never so diligent to frame their
lives according to the light of nature, or the laws of that religion which they
profess; neither is there salvation in any other, but in Christ alone, who is
the Savior only of his body the church.
Question 61: Are all they saved who hear the gospel, and live in the church?
Answer: 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.
Question 62: What is the visible church?
Answer: 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, and of their children.
Question 63: What are the special privileges of the visible church?
Answer: The visible church has the privilege of being under God's special care
and government; of being protected and preserved in all ages, not withstanding
the opposition of all enemies; and of enjoying the communion of saints, the
ordinary means of salvation, 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, and excluding none that will come unto him.
Question 64: What is the invisible church?
Answer: The invisible church is the whole number of the elect, that have been,
are, or shall be gathered into one under Christ the head.
Question 65: What special benefits do the members of the invisible church
enjoy by Christ?
Answer: The members of the invisible church by Christ enjoy union and communion
with him in grace and glory.
Question 66: What is that union which the elect have with Christ?
Answer: The union which the elect have with Christ is the work of God's grace,
whereby they are spiritually and mystically, yet really and inseparably, joined
to Christ as their head and husband; which is done in their effectual calling.
Question 67: What is effectual calling?
Answer: Effectual calling is the work of God's almighty power and grace, whereby
(out of his free and special love to his elect, and from nothing in them moving
him thereunto) he does, in his accepted time, invite and draw them to Jesus
Christ, by his Word and Spirit; savingly enlightening their minds, renewing and
powerfully determining their wills, 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
Question 68: Are the elect only effectually called?
Answer: All the elect, and they only, are effectually called; although others
may be, and often are, outwardly called by the ministry of the Word, and have
some common operations of the Spirit; 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.
Question 69: What is the communion in grace which the members of the
invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: 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, adoption, sanctification, and: Whatever else, in this life,
manifests their union with him.
Question 70: What is justification?
Answer: Justification is an act of God's free grace unto sinners, in which he
pardons all their sins, accepts and accounts their persons righteous in his
sight; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the
perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and
received by faith alone.
Question 71: How is justification an act of God's free grace?
Answer: 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;
yet inasmuch as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have
demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son, imputing his
righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but
faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace.
Question 72: What is justifying faith?
Answer: Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner by
the Spirit and Word of God, 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, not only assents to the truth of the promise of the gospel,
but receives and rests upon Christ and his righteousness, therein held forth,
for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous
in the sight of God for salvation.
Question 73: How does faith justify a sinner in the sight of God?
Answer: 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,
nor as if the grace of faith, or any act thereof, were imputed to him for his
justification; but only as it is an instrument by which he receives and applies
Christ and his righteousness.
Question 74: What is adoption?
Answer: Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son
Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number
of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his Son given to
them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, 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.
Question 75: What is sanctification?
Answer: Sanctification is a work of God's grace, whereby they whom God has,
before the foundation of the world, chosen to be holy, are in time, through the
powerful operation of his Spirit applying the death and resurrection of Christ
unto them, renewed in their whole man after the image of God; having the seeds
of repentance unto life, and all other saving graces, put into their hearts, and
those graces so stirred up, increased, and strengthened, as that they more and
more die unto sin, and rise unto newness of life.
Question 76: What is repentance unto life?
Answer: Repentance unto life is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner
by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby, out of the sight and sense, not only of
the danger, but also of the filthiness and odiousness of his sins, and upon the
apprehension of God's mercy in Christ to such as are penitent, he so grieves for
and hates his sins, as that he turns from them all to God, purposing and
endeavoring constantly to walk with him in all the ways of new obedience.
Question 77: Wherein do justification and sanctification differ?
Answer: Although sanctification be inseparably joined with justification, yet
they differ, in that God in justification imputes the righteousness of Christ;in
sanctification his Spirit infuses grace, and enables to the exercise thereof; in
the former, sin is pardoned; in the other, it is subdued:the one does equally
free all believers from the revenging wrath of God, and that perfectly in this
life, that they never fall into condemnation; the other is neither equal in all,
nor in this life perfect in any, but growing up to perfection.
Question 78: Whence arises the imperfection of sanctification in believers?
Answer: The imperfection of sanctification in believers arises 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, are hindered in all their spiritual services, and their best
works are imperfect and defiled in the sight of God.
Question 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 ?
Answer: True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God, and his
decree and covenant to give them perseverance, their inseparable union with
Christ, his continual intercession for them, and the Spirit and seed of God
abiding in them, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of
grace, but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
Question 80: Can true believers be infallibly assured that they are in the
estate of grace, and that they shall persevere therein unto salvation?
Answer: Such as truly believe in Christ, and endeavor to walk in all good
conscience before him, 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, and bearing
witness with their spirits that they are the children of God, be infallibly
assured that they are in the estate of grace, and shall persevere therein unto
Question 81: Are all true believers at all times assured of their present
being in the estate of grace, and that they shall be saved?
Answer: Assurance of grace and salvation not being of the essence of faith, true
believers may wait long before they obtain it; and, after the enjoyment thereof,
may have it weakened and intermitted, through manifold distempers, sins,
temptations, and desertions; yet are they never left without such a presence and
support of the Spirit of God as keeps them from sinking into utter despair.
Question 82: What is the communion in glory which the members of the
invisible church have with Christ?
Answer: The communion in glory which the members of the invisible church have
with Christ, is in this life, immediately after death, and at last perfected at
the resurrection and day of judgment.
Question 83: What is the communion in glory with Christ which the members of
the invisible church enjoy in this life?
Answer: 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;
and, as an earnest thereof, enjoy the sense of God's love, peace of conscience,
joy in the Holy Ghost, and hope of glory; 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
Question 84: Shall all men die?
Answer: Death being threatened as the wages of sin, it is appointed unto all men
once to die; for that all have sinned.
Question 85: Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous
delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?
Answer: 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; so that, although
they die, yet it is out of God's love, to free them perfectly from sin and
misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory,
which they then enter upon.
Question 86: What is the communion in glory with Christ, which the members of
the invisible church enjoy immediately after death ?
Answer: 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, and received into the highest heavens, where they behold
the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their
bodies, which even in death continue united to Christ, and rest in their graves
as in their beds, till at the last day they be again united to their souls.
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.
Question 87: What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
Answer: We are to believe, that at the last day there shall be a general
resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: when 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. 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; and the
bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonor by him, as an offended
Question 88: What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
Answer: Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final
judgment of angels and men; the day and hour whereof no man knows, that all may
watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.
Question 89: What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
Answer: At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ's left hand,
and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences, shall
have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them; and
thereupon shall be cast out from the favorable 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.
Question 90: What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
Answer: At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the
clouds, shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and
acquitted, shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men, and
shall be received into heaven, where they shall be fully and forever freed from
all sin and misery; filled with inconceivable joys, made perfectly holy and
happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy
angels, 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. 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.
Question 91: What is the duty which God requires of man?
Answer: The duty which God requires of man, is obedience to his revealed will.
Question 92: What did God at first reveal unto man as the rule of his
Answer: 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.
Question 93: What is the moral law?
Answer: The moral law is the declaration of the will of God to mankind,
directing and binding everyone to personal, perfect, and perpetual conformity
and obedience thereunto, in the frame and disposition of the whole man, soul and
body, and in performance of all those duties of holiness and righteousness which
he owes to God and man: promising life upon the fulfilling, and threatening
death upon the breach of it.
Question 94: Is there any use of the moral law to man since the fall?
Answer: Although no man, since the fall, can attain to righteousness and life by
the moral law; yet there is great use thereof, as well common to all men, as
peculiar either to the unregenerate, or the regenerate.
Question 95: Of what use is the moral law to all men?
Answer: The moral law is of use to all men, to inform them of the holy nature
and will of God, and of their duty, binding them to walk accordingly;to convince
them of their disability to keep it, and of the sinful pollution of their
nature, hearts, and lives; to humble them in the sense of their sin and misery,
and thereby help them to a clearer sight of the need they have of Christ, and of
the perfection of his obedience.
Question 96: What particular use is there of the moral law to unregenerate
Answer: The moral law is of use to unregenerate men, to awaken their consciences
to flee from wrath to come, and to drive them to Christ; or, upon their
continuance in the estate and way of sin, to leave them inexcusable, and under
the curse thereof.
Question 97: What special use is there of the moral law to the regenerate?
Answer: Although they that are regenerate, and believe in Christ, be delivered
from the moral law as a covenant of works, so as thereby they are neither
justified nor condemned; yet, 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; and thereby to provoke them to more thankfulness, and to express
the same in their greater care to conform themselves thereunto as the rule of
Question 98: Where is the moral law summarily comprehended?
Answer: 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; and are recorded in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. The four
first commandments containing our duty to God, and the other six our duty to
Question 99: What rules are to be observed for the right understanding of the
Answer: For the right understanding of the ten commandments, these rules are to
be observed: That the law is perfect, and binds 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. That it is spiritual, and so reaches the understanding,
will, affections, and all other powers of the soul; as well as words, works, and
gestures. That one and the same thing, in divers respects, is required or
forbidden in several commandments. That as, where a duty is commanded, the
contrary sin is forbidden; and, where a sin is forbidden, the contrary duty is
commanded: so, where a promise is annexed, the contrary threatening is included;
and, where a threatening is annexed, the contrary promise is included. That:
What God forbids, is at no time to be done;: What he commands, is always our
duty; and yet every particular duty is not to be done at all times. 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. That: What is forbidden or commanded to ourselves, we are bound,
according to our places, to endeavor that it may be avoided or performed by
others, according to the duty of their places. That in: What is commanded to
others, we are bound, according to our places and callings, to be helpful to
them; and to take heed of partaking with others in: What is forbidden them.
Question 100: What special things are we to consider in the ten commandments?
Answer: 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.
Question 101: What is the preface to the ten commandments?
Answer: 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. Wherein God manifests his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the
eternal, immutable, and almighty God; having his being in and of himself, and
giving being to all his words and works: and that he is a God in covenant, as
with Israel of old, so with all his people; who, as he brought them out of their
bondage in Egypt, so he delivers us from our spiritual thraldom; and that
therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his
Question 102: What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty
Answer: 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.
Question 103: Which is the first commandment?
Answer: The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me.
Question 104: What are the duties required in the first commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and
acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God; and to worship and
glorify him accordingly, by thinking, meditating, remembering, highly esteeming,
honoring, adoring, choosing, loving, desiring, fearing of him; believing him;
trusting, hoping, delighting, rejoicing in him; being zealous for him; calling
upon him, giving all praise and thanks, and yielding all obedience and
submission to him with the whole man; being careful in all things to please him,
and sorrowful when in anything he is offended; and walking humbly with him.
Question 105: What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or
not having a God; idolatry, in having or worshiping more gods than one, or any
with or instead of the true God; the not having and avouching him for God, and
our God; the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this
commandment; ignorance, forgetfulness, misapprehensions, false opinions,
unworthy and wicked thoughts of him; bold and curious searching into his
secrets; all profaneness, hatred of God; self-love, self-seeking, 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; vain credulity,
unbelief, heresy, misbelief, distrust, despair, incorrigibleness, and
insensibleness under judgments, hardness of heart, pride, presumption, carnal
security, tempting of God; using unlawful means, and trusting in lawful means;
carnal delights and joys; corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal; lukewarmness, and
deadness in the things of God; estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God;
praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other
creatures; all compacts and consulting with the devil, and hearkening to his
suggestions; making men the lords of our faith and conscience; slighting and
despising God and his commands; resisting and grieving of his Spirit, discontent
and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he
inflicts on us; and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have, or can
do, to fortune, idols, ourselves, or any other creature.
Question 106: What are we specially taught by these words before me in the
Answer: These words before me, or before my face, in the first commandment,
teach us, that God, who sees all things, takes 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: as also
to persuade us to do as in his sight,: Whatever we do in his service.
Question 107: Which is the second commandment?
Answer: 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.
Question 108: What are the duties required in the second commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving,
observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and
ordinances as God has instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and
thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the
Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments; church government and
discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by
the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting,
opposing, all false worship; and, according to each one's place and calling,
removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.
Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising,
counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not
instituted by God himself; tolerating 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; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any
representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging
to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it,
or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by
tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion,
good intent, or any other pretense: Whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect,
contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has
Question 110: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the
more to enforce it?
Answer: 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; are, besides God's sovereignty over us, and propriety in
us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against
all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of
this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers
generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his
commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.
Question 111: Which is the third commandment?
Answer: 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 takes his name in
Question 112: What is required in the third commandment?
Answer: The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles,
attributes, ordinances, the Word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots, his
works, and: Whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily
and reverently used in thought, meditation, word, and writing; by an holy
Answerable conversation, to the glory of God, and the good of ourselves, and
Question 113: What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God's
name as is required; and the abuse of it in an ignorant, vain, irreverent,
profane, superstitious, or wicked mentioning, or otherwise using his titles,
attributes, ordinances, or works, by blasphemy, perjury; all sinful cursings,
oaths, vows, and lots; violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful; and
fulfilling them, if of things unlawful; murmuring and quarreling at, curious
prying into, and misapplying of God's decrees and providences; misinterpreting,
misapplying, or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it, to profane
jests, curious or unprofitable
Questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines; abusing it,
the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms, or sinful
lusts and practices; the maligning, scorning, reviling, or anywise opposing of
God's truth, grace, and ways; making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for
sinister ends; being ashamed of it, or a shame to it, by unconformable, unwise,
unfruitful, and offensive walking, or backsliding from it.
Question 114: What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
Answer: The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord
thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in
vain, are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be
profaned, or any way abused by us; 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, albeit many such escape the
censures and punishments of men.
Question 115: Which is the fourth commandment?
Answer: The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labor, 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 manservant, nor thy maidservant, 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.
Question 116: What is required in the fourth commandment?
Answer: The fourth commandment requires of all men the sanctifying or keeping
holy to God such set times as he has 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, and in the New
Testament called the Lord's day.
Question 117: How is the sabbath or the Lord's day to be sanctified?
Answer: The sabbath or Lord's day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the
day, 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; and making it
our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to betaken up in
works of necessity and mercy) in the public and private exercises of God's
worship: 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
Question 118: Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially
directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
Answer: 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.
Question 119: What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the
duties required, all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them,
and being weary of them; all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which
is in itself sinful; and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our
worldly employments and recreations.
Question 120: What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the
more to enforce it?
Answer: 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
labor, and do all thy work: from God's challenging a special propriety in that
day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: 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.
Question 121: Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth
Answer: The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment,
partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped
in our preparation to keep it, and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest
of the commandments, and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great
benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of
religion; and partly, because we are very ready to forget it, for that there is
less light of nature for it, and yet it restrains our natural liberty in things
at other times lawful; that it comes 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;and that Satan with his instruments
much labor to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all
irreligion and impiety.
Question 122: What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty
Answer: The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man is, to
love our neighbor as ourselves, and to do to others: What we would have them to
do to us.
Question 123: Which is the fifth commandment?
Answer: The fifth commandment is, Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days
may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee.
Question 124: Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
Answer: By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only
natural parents, but all superiors in age and gifts; and especially such as, by
God's ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family, church,
Question 125: Why are superiors styled father and mother?
Answer: 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; and to work inferiors to a greater
willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as
to their parents.
Question 126: What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
Answer: The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those
duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors,
Question 127: What is the honor that inferiors owe to their superiors.?
Answer: The honor which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence
in heart, word, and behavior; prayer and thanksgiving for them; imitation of
their virtues and graces; willing obedience to their lawful commands and
counsels; due submission to their corrections; fidelity to, defense and
maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks,
and the nature of their places; bearing with their infirmities, and covering
them in love, that so they may be an honor to them and to their government.
Question 128: What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
Answer: The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the
duties required toward them; envying at, contempt of, and rebellion against,
their persons and places, in their lawful counsels, commands, and corrections;
cursing, mocking, and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a
shame and dishonor to them and their government.
Question 129: What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
Answer: It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from
God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love, pray for, and bless their
inferiors; to instruct, counsel, and admonish them; countenancing, commending,
and rewarding such as do well; and discountenancing, reproving, and chastising
such as do ill; protecting, and providing for them all things necessary for soul
and body: and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to
God, honor to themselves, and so to preserve that authority which God has put
Question 130: What are the sins of superiors?
Answer: The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of
them, an inordinate seeking of themselves, their own glory, ease, profit, or
pleasure; commanding things unlawful, or not in the power of inferiors to
perform; counseling, encouraging, or favoring them in that which is evil;
dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good;
correcting them unduly; careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation,
and danger; provoking them to wrath; or any way dishonoring themselves, or
lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss
Question 131: What are the duties of equals?
Answer: The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other,
in giving honor to go one before another; and to rejoice in each other's gifts
and advancement, as their own.
Question 132: What are the sins of equals?
Answer: The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required, the
undervaluing of the worth, envying the gifts, grieving at the advancement of
prosperity one of another; and usurping preeminence one over another.
Question 133: What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more
to enforce it?
Answer: The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy
days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee, 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.
Question 134: Which is the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill.
Question 135: What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the sixth commandment are, all careful studies,
and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves and others by resisting
all thoughts and purposes, subduing all passions, and avoiding all occasions,
temptations, and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of
any; by just defense thereof against violence, patient bearing of the hand of
God, quietness of mind, cheerfulness of spirit; a sober use of meat, drink,
physic, sleep, labor, and recreations; by charitable thoughts, love, compassion,
meekness, gentleness, kindness; peaceable, mild and courteous speeches and
behavior; forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving
of injuries, and requiting good for evil; comforting and succoring the
distressed, and protecting and defending the innocent.
Question 136: What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the
life of ourselves, or of others, except in case of public justice, lawful war,
or necessary defense; the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary
means of preservation of life; sinful anger, hatred, envy, desire of revenge;all
excessive passions, distracting cares; immoderate use of meat, drink, labor, and
recreations; provoking words, oppression, quarreling, striking, wounding, and:
Whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any.
Question 137: Which is the seventh commandment?
Answer: The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Question 138: What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body,
mind, affections, words, and behavior; and the preservation of it in ourselves
and others; watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance, keeping
of chaste company, modesty in apparel; marriage by those that have not the gift
of continency, conjugal love, and cohabitation; diligent labor in our callings;
shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto.
Question 139: What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of
the duties required, are, adultery, fornication, rape, incest, sodomy, and all
unnatural lusts; all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and
affections;all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto; wanton
looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; prohibiting of lawful, and
dispensing with unlawful marriages; allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and
resorting to them; entangling vows of single life, undue delay of marriage;
having more wives or husbands than one at the same time; unjust divorce, or
desertion; idleness, gluttony, drunkenness, unchaste company; lascivious songs,
books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts
of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.
Question 140: Which is the eighth commandment?
Answer: The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.
Question 141: What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness,
and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; rendering to everyone
his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof;
giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of
others; moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly
goods; a provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose these things
which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and
suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality;
avoiding unnecessary lawsuits and suretyship, or other like engagements; and 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.
Question 142: What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the
duties required, are, theft, robbery, man_stealing, and receiving anything that
is stolen; fraudulent dealing, false weights and measures, removing land marks,
injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man, or in matters of
trust; oppression, extortion, usury, bribery, vexatious lawsuits, unjust
enclosures and depopulations; engrossing commodities to enhance the price;
unlawful callings, and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding
from our neighbor: What belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves; covetousness;
inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods; distrustful and distracting
cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them; envying at the prosperity
of others; as likewise idleness, prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other
ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate, and defrauding
ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God has given us.
Question 143: Which is the ninth commandment?
Answer: The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy
Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and
promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as
well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart,
sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth,
in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a
charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their
good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely
acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready
receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report,
concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and
care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of
lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest,
lovely, and of good report.
Question 145: What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the
truth, and the good name of our neighbors, as well as our own, especially in
public judicature; giving false evidence, suborning false witnesses, wittingly
appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth;
passing unjust sentence, 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; forgery, concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause, and
holding our peace when iniquity calls for either a reproof from ourselves, or
complaint to others; speaking the truth unseasonably, or maliciously to a wrong
end, or perverting it to a wrong meaning, or in doubtful and equivocal
expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice;speaking untruth, lying,
slandering, backbiting, detracting, tale bearing, whispering, scoffing,
reviling, rash, harsh, and partial censuring; misconstructing intentions, words,
and actions; flattering, vainglorious boasting, thinking or speaking too highly
or too meanly of ourselves or others; denying the gifts and graces of God;
aggravating smaller faults;hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called
to a free confession;unnecessary discovering of infirmities; raising false
rumors, receiving and countenancing evil reports, and stopping our ears against
just defense; evil suspicion; envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any,
endeavoring or desiring to impair it, rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy;
scornful contempt, fond admiration; breach of lawful promises; neglecting such
things as are of good report, and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not
hindering: What we can in others, such things as procure an ill name.
Question 146: Which is the tenth commandment?
Answer: The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house,
thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his
maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.
Question 147: What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full
contentment with our own condition, and such a charitable frame of the whole
soul toward our neighbor, as that all our inward motions and affections touching
him, tend unto, and further all that good which is his.
Question 148: What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our
own estate; envying and grieving at the good of our neighbor, together with all
inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.
Question 149: Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
Answer: No man is able, either of himself, or by any grace received in this
life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God; but does daily break them in
thought, word, and deed.
Question 150: Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in
themselves, and in the sight of God?
Answer: 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.
Question 151: What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous
Answer: Sins receive their aggravations, From the persons offending: if they be
of riper age, greater experience or grace, eminent for profession, gifts, place,
office, guides to others, and whose example is likely to be followed by others.
From the parties offended: if immediately against God, his attributes, and
worship; against Christ, and his grace; the Holy Spirit, his witness, and
workings; against superiors, men of eminency, and such as we stand especially
related and engaged unto; against any of the saints, particularly weak brethren,
the souls of them, or any other, and the common good of all or many. From the
nature and quality of the offense: if it be against the express letter of the
law, break many commandments, contain in it many sins: if not only conceived in
the heart, but breaks forth in words and actions, scandalize others, and admit
of no reparation: if against means, mercies, judgments, light of nature,
conviction of conscience, public or private admonition, censures of the church,
civil punishments; and our prayers, purposes, promises, vows, covenants, and
engagements to God or men: if done deliberately, wilfully, presumptuously,
impudently, boastingly, maliciously, frequently, obstinately, with delight,
continuance, or relapsing after repentance. From circumstances of time and
place: if on the Lord's day, or other times of divine worship; or immediately
before or after these, or other helps to prevent or remedy such miscarriages: if
in public, or in the presence of others, who are thereby likely to be provoked
Question 152: What does every sin deserve at the hands of God?
Answer: Every sin, even the least, being against the sovereignty, goodness, and
holiness of God, and against his righteous law, deserves his wrath and curse,
both in this life, and that which is to come; and cannot be expiated but by the
blood of Christ.
Question 153: What does God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and
curse due to us by reason of the transgression of the law?
Answer: That we may escape the wrath and curse of God due to us by reason of the
transgression of the law, he requires of us repentance toward God, and faith
toward our Lord Jesus Christ, and the diligent use of the outward means whereby
Christ communicates to us the benefits of his mediation.
Question 154: What are the outward means whereby Christ communicates to us
the benefits of his mediation?
Answer: 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
Question 155: How is the Word made effectual to salvation?
Answer: The Spirit of God makes the reading, but especially the preaching of the
Word, an effectual means of enlightening, convincing, and humbling sinners; of
driving them out of themselves, and drawing them unto Christ; of conforming them
to his image, and subduing them to his will; of strengthening them against
temptations and corruptions; of building them up in grace, and establishing
their hearts in holiness and comfort through faith unto salvation.
Question 156: Is the Word of God to be read by all?
Answer: Although all are not to be permitted to read the Word publicly to the
congregation, yet all sorts of people are bound to read it apart by themselves,
and with their families: to which end, the holy Scriptures are to be translated
out of the original into vulgar languages.
Question 157: How is the Word of God to be read?
Answer: The holy Scriptures are to be read with an high and reverent esteem of
them; with a firm persuasion that they are the very Word of God, and that he
only can enable us to understand them; with desire to know, believe, and obey
the will of God revealed in them; with diligence, and attention to the matter
and scope of them; with meditation, application, self_denial, and prayer.
Question 158: By whom is the Word of God to be preached?
Answer: The Word of God is to be preached only by such as are sufficiently
gifted, and also duly approved and called to that office.
Question 159: How is the Word of God to be preached by those that are called
Answer: They that are called to labor in the ministry of the Word, are to preach
sound doctrine, diligently, in season and out of season; plainly, not in the
enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit, and of
power; faithfully, making known the whole counsel of God; wisely, applying
themselves to the necessities and capacities of the hearers; zealously, with
fervent love to God and the souls of his people; sincerely, aiming at his glory,
and their conversion, edification, and salvation.
Question 160: What is required of those that hear the Word preached?
Answer: It is required of those that hear the Word preached, that they attend
upon it with diligence, preparation, and prayer; examine: What they hear by the
Scriptures; receive the truth with faith, love, meekness, and readiness of mind,
as the Word of God; meditate, and confer of it; hide it in their hearts, and
bring forth the fruit of it in their lives.
Question 161: How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation?
Answer: 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.
Question 162: What is a sacrament?
Answer: A sacrament is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church, to
signify, seal, and exhibit unto those that are within the covenant of grace, the
benefits of his mediation; to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other
graces; to oblige them to obedience; to testify and cherish their love and
communion one with another; and to distinguish them from those that are without.
Question 163: What are the parts of a sacrament?
Answer: 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.
Question 164: How many sacraments has Christ instituted in his church under
the New Testament?
Answer: Under the New Testament Christ has instituted in his church only two
sacraments, Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
Question 165: What is Baptism?
Answer: Baptism is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein Christ has ordained
the washing with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost, to be a sign and seal of ingrafting into himself, of remission of
sins by his blood, and regeneration by his Spirit; of adoption, and resurrection
unto everlasting life; and whereby the parties baptized are solemnly admitted
into the visible church, and enter into an open and professed engagement to be
wholly and only the Lord's.
Question 166: Unto whom is Baptism to be administered?
Answer: 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, 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.
Question 167: How is our Baptism to be improved by us?
Answer: 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; 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; by being humbled for our sinful defilement, our falling
short of, and walking contrary to, the grace of baptism, and our engagements; by
growing up to assurance of pardon of sin, and of all other blessings sealed to
us in that sacrament; by drawing strength from the death and resurrection of
Christ, into whom we are baptized, for the mortifying of sin, and quickening of
grace; and by endeavoring to live by faith, to have our conversation in holiness
and righteousness, as those that have therein given up their names to Christ;
and to walk in brotherly love, as being baptized by the same Spirit into one
Question 168: What is the Lord's Supper?
Answer: The Lord's Supper is a sacrament of the New Testament, wherein, 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; have
their union and communion with him confirmed; testify and renew their
thankfulness, and engagement to God, and their mutual love and fellowship each
with other, as members of the same mystical body.
Question 169: How has Christ appointed bread and wine to be given and
received in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper?
Answer: Christ has 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.
Question 170: How do they that worthily communicate in the Lord's Supper feed
upon the body and blood of Christ therein?
Answer: 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, 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; 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, while by faith they receive and apply unto themselves
Christ crucified, and all the benefits of his death.
Question 171: How are they that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to
prepare themselves before they come unto it?
Answer: They that receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper are, before they
come, to prepare themselves thereunto, by examining themselves of their being in
Christ, of their sins and wants; of the truth and measure of their knowledge,
faith, repentance; love to God and the brethren, charity to all men, forgiving
those that have done them wrong; of their desires after Christ, and of their new
obedience; and by renewing the exercise of these graces, by serious meditation,
and fervent prayer.
Question 172: May one who doubts of his being in Christ, or of his due
preparation, come to the Lord's Supper?
Answer: One who doubts 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; and in God's account has it, if he be duly affected
with the apprehension of the want of it, and unfeignedly desires to be found in
Christ, and to depart from iniquity: in which case (because promises are made,
and this sacrament is appointed, for the relief even of weak and doubting
Christians) he is to bewail his unbelief, and labor to have his doubts resolved;
and, so doing, he may and ought to come to the Lord's Supper, that he may be
Question 173: May any who profess the faith, and desire to come to the Lord's
Supper, be kept from it?
Answer: 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 has left in his
church, until they receive instruction, and manifest their reformation.
Question 174: What is required of them that receive the sacrament of the
Lord's Supper in the time of the administration of it?
Answer: 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, diligently observe the
sacramental elements and actions, heedfully discern the Lord's body, and
affectionately meditate on his death and sufferings, and thereby stir up
themselves to a vigorous exercise of their graces; in judging themselves, and
sorrowing for sin; in earnest hungering and thirsting after Christ, feeding on
him by faith, receiving of his fulness, trusting in his merits, rejoicing in his
love, giving thanks for his grace; in renewing of their covenant with God, and
love to all the saints.
Question 175: What is the duty of Christians, after they have received the
sacrament of the Lord's Supper?
Answer: 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; if they find quickening and comfort, to bless
God for it, beg the continuance of it, watch against relapses, fulfil their
vows, and encourage themselves to a frequent attendance on that ordinance: but
if they find no present benefit, more exactly to review their preparation to,
and carriage at, the sacrament; 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:
but, if they see they have failed in either, they are to be humbled, and to
attend upon it afterwards with more care and diligence.
Question 176: Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Answer: The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper agree, in that the
author of both is God; the spiritual part of both is Christ and his benefits;
both are seals of the same covenant, are to be dispensed by ministers of the
gospel, and by none other; and to be continued in the church of Christ until his
Question 177: Wherein do the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
Answer: 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, and that even to infants; 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, and to
confirm our continuance and growth in him, and that only to such as are of years
and ability to examine themselves.
Question 178: What is prayer?
Answer: Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ,
by the help of his Spirit; with confession of our sins, and thankful
acknowledgment of his mercies.
Question 179: Are we to pray unto God only?
Answer: God only being able to search the hearts, hear the requests, pardon the
sins, and fulfil the desires of all; and only to be believed in, and worshiped
with religious worship; prayer, which is a special part thereof, is to be made
by all to him alone, and to none other.
Question 180: What is it to pray in the name of Christ?
Answer: 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; not by bare mentioning of
his name, but by drawing our encouragement to pray, and our boldness, strength,
and hope of acceptance in prayer, from Christ and his mediation.
Question 181: Why are we to pray in the name of Christ?
Answer: 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; and there being none in heaven or earth appointed to, or fit for, that
glorious work but Christ alone, we are to pray in no other name but his only.
Question 182: How does the Spirit help us to pray?
Answer: We not knowing: What to pray for as we ought, the Spirit helps 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
Question 183: For whom are we to pray?
Answer: We are to pray for the whole church of Christ upon earth; for
magistrates, and ministers; for ourselves, our brethren, yea, our enemies; and
for all sorts of men living, or that shall live hereafter; but not for the dead,
nor for those that are known to have sinned the sin unto death.
Question 184: For what things are we to pray?
Answer: We are to pray for all things tending to the glory of God, the welfare
of the church, our own or others good; but not for anything that is unlawful.
Question 185: How are we to pray.?
Answer: We are to pray with an awful apprehension of the majesty of God, and
deep sense of our own unworthiness, necessities, and sins; with penitent,
thankful, and enlarged hearts; with understanding, faith, sincerity, fervency,
love, and perseverance, waiting upon him, with humble submission to his will.
Question 186: What rule has God given for our direction in the duty of
Answer: The whole Word of God is of use to direct us in the duty of prayer; but
the special rule of direction is that form of prayer which our Savior Christ
taught his disciples, commonly called the Lord's Prayer.
Question 187: How is the Lord's Prayer to be used?
Answer: 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.
Question 188: Of how many parts does the Lord's Prayer consist?
Answer: The Lord's Prayer consists of three parts; a preface, petitions, and a
Question 189: What does the preface of the Lord's Prayer teach us?
Answer: The preface of the Lord's Prayer (contained in these words, Our Father
which art in heaven), teaches us, when we pray, to draw near to God with
confidence of his fatherly goodness, and our interest therein; with reverence,
and all other childlike dispositions, heavenly affections, and due apprehensions
of his sovereign power, majesty, and gracious condescension: as also, to pray
with and for others.
Question 190: What do we pray for in the first petition?
Answer: In the first petition (which is, Hallowed be thy name), acknowledging
the utter inability and indisposition that is in ourselves and all men to honor
God aright, we pray, that God would by his grace enable and incline us and
others to know, to acknowledge, and highly to esteem him, his titles,
attributes, ordinances, Word, works, and: Whatsoever he is pleased to make
himself known by; and to glorify him in thought, word, and deed: that he would
prevent and remove atheism, ignorance, idolatry, profaneness, and: Whatsoever is
dishonorable to him; and, by his overruling providence, direct and dispose of
all things to his own glory.
Question 191: What do we pray for in the second petition.?
Answer: In the second petition (which is, Thy kingdom come), acknowledging
ourselves and all mankind to be by nature under the dominion of sin and Satan,
we pray, that the kingdom of sin and Satan may be destroyed, the gospel
propagated throughout the world, the Jews called, the fulness of the Gentiles
brought in; the church furnished with all gospel officers and ordinances, purged
from corruption, countenanced and maintained by the civil magistrate: 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: that Christ would rule in
our hearts here, and hasten the time of his second coming, and our reigning with
him forever: 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.
Question 192: What do we pray for in the third petition?
Answer: In the third petition (which is, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in
heaven), acknowledging, that by nature we and all men are not only utterly
unable and unwilling to know and do the will of God, but prone to rebel against
his Word, to repine and murmur against his providence, and wholly inclined to do
the will of the flesh, and of the devil: we pray, that God would by his Spirit
take away from ourselves and others all blindness, weakness, indisposedness, and
perverseness of heart; and by his grace make us able and willing to know, do,
and submit to his will in all things, with the like humility, cheerfulness,
faithfulness, diligence, zeal, sincerity, and constancy, as the angels do in
Question 193: What do we pray for in the fourth petition?
Answer: In the fourth petition (which is, Give us this day our daily bread),
acknowledging, that in Adam, and by our own sin, we have forfeited our right to
all the outward blessings of this life, and deserve to be wholly deprived of
them by God, and to have them cursed to us in the use of them; and that neither
they of themselves are able to sustain us, nor we to merit, or by our own
industry to procure them; but prone to desire, get, and use them unlawfully: 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; and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and
comfortable use of them, and contentment in them; and be kept from all things
that are contrary to our temporal support and comfort.
Question 194: What do we pray for in the fifth petition?
Answer: In the fifth petition (which is, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our
debtors), 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: 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, accept us in his Beloved; continue
his favor and grace to us, pardon our daily failings, and fill us with peace and
joy, in giving us daily more and more assurance of forgiveness; 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 offenses.
Question 195: What do we pray for in the sixth petition?
Answer: In the sixth petition (which is, And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil), 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; that Satan, the
world, and the flesh, are ready powerfully to draw us aside, and ensnare us; and
that we, even after the pardon of our sins, by reason of our corruption,
weakness, and want of watchfulness, are not only subject to be tempted, and
forward to expose ourselves unto temptations, but also of ourselves unable and
unwilling to resist them, to recover out of them, and to improve them; and
worthy to be left under the power of them: we pray, that God would so overrule
the world and all in it, subdue the flesh, and restrain Satan, order all things,
bestow and bless all means of grace, 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; or, if tempted, that by his Spirit we may be powerfully
supported and enabled to stand in the hour of temptation: or when fallen, raised
again and recovered out of it, and have a sanctified use and improvement
thereof: that our sanctification and salvation may be perfected, Satan trodden
under our feet, and we fully freed from sin, temptation, and all evil, forever.
Question 196: What does the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer teach us?
Answer: The conclusion of the Lord's Prayer (which is, For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.), teaches us to enforce our
petitions with arguments, which are to be taken, not from any worthiness in
ourselves, or in any other creature, but from God; and with our prayers to join
praises, ascribing to God alone eternal sovereignty, omnipotency, and glorious
excellency; in regard whereof, as he is able and willing to help us, so we by
faith are emboldened to plead with him that he would, and quietly to rely upon
him, that he will fulfil our requests. And, to testify this our desire and
assurance, we say, Amen.