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Act approving the SHORTER CATECHISM.


HE General Assembly having seriously considered the SHORTER CATECHISM agreed upon by the Assembly of Divines sitting at Westminster, with assistance of Commissioners from this Kirk; do find, upon due examination thereof, that the said Catechism is agreeable to the word of God, and in nothing contrary to the received doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of this Kirk: And therefore approve the said Shorter Catechism, as a part of the intended uniformity, to be a Directory for catechising such as are of weaker capacity. A. KER.



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

Answ. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever b.

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?

A. The word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him,

1. 1 Cor. x, 31. Whether there fore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

b Psal. lxxiii. 25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee, Ver. 26. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Ver. 27. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast de

Q. 3. What

stroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. Ver. 28. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

2. C2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.

d1 John i. 3. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,


Q. 3. What do the scriptures principally teach?

A. The scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man*. Q. 4. What is God?

A. God is a spirit, infinite, eternal", and unchangeable, in his being, wisdom', power, holiness", justice, goodness, and truth.

Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?

4. There is but One only, the living and true God".

that ye also may have fellowship with us and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. Ver. 4. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

3. 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. iii. 16. [See in letter C.]

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

8 Job xi. 7. Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? Ver. 8. It is as high as heaven, what canst thou do? deeper than hell, what canst thou know? Ver. 9. The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.

h Psal. xc. 2. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world: even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

i James i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

k Exod iii. 14. And God said unto Moses, AM THAT I AM: and e said, Thus shalt thou say unto

Q. 6. How

the children of Israel, I AM hath

sent me unto you.

1 Psal. cxlvii. 5. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

m Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

n Rev. xv. 4. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all na tions shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

o Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Ver. 7. Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

5. P Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord. Jer. x. 10. But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlast


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

A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory 9.

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?

A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass'.

Q. 8. How doth God execute his decrees?

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

Q. 9. What is the work of creation?

A. The work of creation is, God's making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 10. How did God create man?

A. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures *.

ing King at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.

6. 1 John v. 7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. Mat. xxviii. 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

7. Eph. i. 4. According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love. Ver. 11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Rom. ix. 22. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much

Q. 11. What

long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; Ver. 23. And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory?

9 Gen. i. throughout. Heb. xi. 3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

10. Gen. i. 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Ver. 27. So God created man in his own

image: in the image of God created he him; male and female created he


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


4. God's works of providence are, his most holy", wise", and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions ".

Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?

A. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death".

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

4. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God".

them. Ver. 28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Col. iii. 10. And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him. Eph. iv. 24. And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

11. "Psal. cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.

W Psal. civ. 24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches, Isa, xxviii. 29. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.

* Heb. i. 3. Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our

Q. 14. What

sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.

y Psal. ciii. 19. The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Mät. x. 29. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. Ver. 30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Ver. 31. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many spar



12. Gal. iii. 12. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Gen. ii. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

13. a Gen. iii. 6. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

Ver. 7.


Q. 14. What is sin?

4. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God".

Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?

A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit c.

Q. 16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression? A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity; all mankind, descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression d.

Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?

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

Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?

4. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam's first sin, the want of original righ

And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. Ver. 8. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. Ver. 18. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Eccl. vii. 29. Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

14. b 1 John iii. 4. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law for sin is the transgression of the law.


15. © Gen. iii. 6. [See in lettera.] Ver. 12. The woman, whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

16. d Gen. ii. 16. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: Ver. 17. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Rom. v. 12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. 1 Cor. xv. 21, For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. Ver. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

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