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The Westminster Larger Catechism

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Q. 101. What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A. The preface to the ten commandments is contained in these words, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Ex 20:2). Wherein God manifesteth his sovereignty, as being JEHOVAH, the eternal, immutable, and almighty God (Isa 44:6); having his being in and of himself (Ex 3:14), and giving being to all his words (Ex 6:3) and works (Acts 17:24, 28): and that he is a God in covenant, as with Israel of old, so with all his people (Gen 17:7; Rom 3:29); who, as he brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, so he delivereth us from our spiritual thraldom (Luke 1:74-75); and that therefore we are bound to take him for our God alone, and to keep all his commandments (1 Pet 1:15, 17-18; Lev 18:30; 19:37).

Q. 102. What is the sum of the four commandments which contain our duty to God?
A. The sum of the four commandments containing our duty to God is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind (Luke 10:27).

Q. 103. Which is the first commandment?
A. The first commandment is, Thou shall have no other gods before me (Ex 20:3).

Q. 104. What are the duties required in the first commandment?
A. The duties required in the first commandment are, the knowing and acknowledging of God to be the only true God, and our God (1 Chron 28:9; Deut 26:7; Isa 43:10; Jer 14:22); and to worship and glorify him accordingly (Ps 95: 6-7; Matt 4:10; Ps 29:2), by thinking (Mal 3:16), meditating (Ps 63:6), remembering (Ecc 12:1), highly esteeming (Ps 71:19), honouring (Mal 1:6), adoring (Isa 45:23), choosing (Josh 24:15, 22), loving (Deut 6:5), desiring (Ps 73:25), fearing of him (Isa 8:13); believing him (Ex 14:31); trusting (Isa 26:4) hoping (Ps 130:7), delighting (Ps 37:4), rejoicing in him (Ps 32:11); being zealous for him (Rom 12:11; Num 25:11); calling upon him, giving all praise and thanks (Philip 4:6), and yielding all obedience and submission to him with the whole man (Jer 7:23; James 4:7); being careful in all things to please him (1 John 3:22), and sorrowful when in any thing he is offended (Jer 31:18; Ps 119:136); and walking humbly with him (Mic 6:8).

Q. 105. What are the sins forbidden in the first commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the first commandment are, atheism, in denying or not having a God (Ps 14:1; Eph 2:12); idolatry, in having or worshipping more gods than one, or any with or instead of the true God (Jer 2:27-28; 1 Thess 1:9); the not having and avouching him for God, and our God (Ps 81:11); the omission or neglect of anything due to him, required in this commandment (Isa 43:2, 23-24); ignorance (Jer 4:22; Hos 4:1, 6), forgetfulness (Jer 2:32), misapprehensions (Acts 17:23, 29), false opinions (Isa 40:18), unworthy and wicked thoughts of him (Ps 50:21); bold and curious searching into his secrets (Deut 29:29); all profaneness (Tit 1:16; Heb 12:16), hatred of God (Rom 1:30); self-love (2 Tim 3:2), self-seeking (Philip 2:21), and all other inordinate and immoderate setting of our mind, will, or affections upon other things, and taking them off from him in whole or in part (1 John 2:15-16; 1 Sam 2:29; Col 2:2, 5); vain credulity (1 John 4:1), unbelief (Heb 3:12), heresy (Gal 5:20; Tit 3:10), misbelief (Acts 26:9), distrust (Ps 78:22), despair (Gen 4:13), incorrigibleness (Jer 5:3), and insensibleness under judgments (Isa 42:25), hardness of heart (Rom 2:5), pride (Jer 13:15), presumption (Ps 10:13), carnal security (Zeph 1:12), tempting of God (Matt 4:7); using unlawful means (Rom 3:8), and trusting in lawful means (Jer 17:5); carnal delights and joys (2 Tim 3:4); corrupt, blind, and indiscreet zeal (Gal 4:17; John 16:2; Rom 10:2; Luke 9:54-55); lukewarmness (Rev 3:16), and deadness in the things of God (Rev 2:1); estranging ourselves, and apostatizing from God (Ezek 14:5; Isa 1:4-5); praying, or giving any religious worship, to saints, angels, or any other creatures (Rom 10:13-14; Hos 4:12; Acts 10:25-26; Rev 19:10; Matt 4:10; Col 2:18; Rom 1:25); all compacts and consulting with the devil (Lev 20:6; 1 Sam 28:7, 11; 1 Chron 10:13-14), and hearkening to his suggestions (Acts 5:3); making men the lords of our faith and conscience (2 Cor 1:24; Matt 23:9); slighting and despising God and his commands (Deut 32:15; 2 Sam12:9; Prov 13:13); resisting and grieving of his Spirit (Acts 7:51; Eph 4:30), discontent and impatience at his dispensations, charging him foolishly for the evils he inflicts on us (Ps 73:2-3, 13-15, 22); and ascribing the praise of any good we either are, have or can do, to fortune (1 Sam 6:7-9), idols (Dan 5:23), ourselves (Deut 8:17; Dan 4:30), or any other creature (Hab 1:16).

Q. 106. What are we specially taught by these words before me in the first commandment?
A. These words before me or before my face, in the first commandment, teach us, that God, who seeth all things, taketh special notice of, and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God: that so it may be an argument to dissuade from it, and to aggravate it as a most impudent provocation (Ez 8:5-6; Ps 44:20-21): as also to persuade us to do as in his sight, whatever we do in his service (1 Chron 28:9).

Q. 107. Which is the second commandment?
A. The second commandment is, Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of 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 (Ex 20:4-6).

Q. 108. What are the duties required in the second commandment?
A. The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath instituted in his Word (Deut 32:46-47; Matt 28:20; Acts 2:42; 1 Tim 6:13-14); particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ (Philip 4:6; Eph 5:20); the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word (Deut 17:18-19; Acts 15:21; 2 Tim 4:2; James 1:21-22; Acts 10:33); the administration and receiving of the sacraments (Matt 28:19; 1 Cor 11:23-30); church government and discipline (Matt 18:15-17; 16:19; 1 Cor 5:1-13; 1 Cor 12:28); the ministry and maintainance thereof (Eph 4:11-12; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 1 Cor 9:7-15); religious fasting (Joel 2:12, 18; 1 Cor 7:5); swearing by the name of God (Deut 6:13); and vowing unto him (Ps 76:11); as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing all false worship (Acts 17:16-17; Ps 16:4); and, according to each one’s place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry (Deut 7:5; Isa 30:22).

Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising (Num 15:39), counselling (Deut 13:6-8), commanding (Hos 5:11; Mic 6:16), using (1 Kings 11:33; 12:33), and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself (Deut 12:30-32); 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 (Deut 4:15-19; Acts 17:29; Rom 1:21-23, 25); all worshipping of it (Dan 3:18; Gal 4:8), or God in it or by it (Ex 32:5); the making of any representation of feigned deities (Ex 32:8), and all worship of them, or service belonging to them (1 Kings 18:26, 28; Isa 65:11), all superstitious devices (Acts 17:22; Col 2:21-23), corrupting the worship of God (Mal 1:7-8, 14), adding to it, or taking from it (Deut 4:2), whether invented and taken up of ourselves (Ps 106:39), or received by tradition from others (Matt 15:9), though under the title of antiquity (1 Pet 1:18), custom (Jer 44:17), devotion (Isa 65:3-5; Gal 1:13-14), good intent, or any other pretence whatsoever (1 Sam 13:11-12; 15:21); simony (Acts 8:18); sacrilege (Rom 2:22; Mal 3:8); all neglect (Ex 4:24-26), contempt (Matt 22:5; Mal 1:7, 13), hindering (Matt 23:13), and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed (Acts 13:44-45; 1 Thess 2:15-16).

Q. 110. What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; (Ex 20:5-6) are, besides God’s sovereignty over us, and propriety in us (Ps 45:11; Rev 15:3-4), his fervent zeal for his own worship (Ex 34:13-14), and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom (1 Cor 10:20-22; Deut 32:16-20); accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations (Hos 2:2-4); and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations (Deut 5:29).

Q. 111. Which is the third commandment?
A. The third commandment is, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Ex 20:7).

Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes (Matt 11:9; Deut 28:58; Ps 29:2; 68:4; Rev 15:3-4), ordinances (Mal 1:14; Ecc 5:1), the Word (Ps 138:2), sacraments (1 Cor 11:24-25, 28-29), prayer (1 Tim 2:8), oaths (Jer 4:2), vows (Ecc 5:2, 4-6), lots (Acts 1:24, 26), his works (Job 36:24), and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought (Mal 3:16), meditation (Ps 8:1, 3-4, 9), word (Col 3:17; Ps 105:2, 5), and writing (Ps 102:18); by an holy profession (1 Pet 3:15; Mic 4:5), and answerable conversation (Philip 1:27), to the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31), and the good of ourselves (Jer 32:39), and others (1 Pet 2:12).

Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are, the not using of God’s name as is required (Mal 2:2); and the abuse of it in an ignorant (Acts 17:23), vain (Prov 30:9), irreverent, profane (Mal 1:6-7, 12; 3:14), superstitious (1 Sam 4:3-5; Jer 7:4, 9-10, 14, 31; Col 2:20-22) or wicked mentioning or otherwise using his titles, attributes (2 Kings 18:30, 35; Ex 5:2; Ps 139:20), ordinances (Ps 50:16-17), or works (Isa 5:12), by blasphemy (2 Kings 19:22; Lev 24:11), perjury (Zech 5:4; 8:17); all sinful cursings (1 Sam 17:43; 16:5), oaths (Jer 5:7; 23:10), vows (Deut 23:18; Acts 23:12, 14), and lots (Esth 3:7; 9:24; Ps 22:18); violating of our oaths and vows, if lawful (Ps 24:4; Ezek 17:16, 18-19); and fulfilling them, if of things unlawful (Mark 6:26; 1 Sam 25:22, 32-34); murmuring and quarrelling at (Rom 9:14; 19-20), curious prying into (Deut 29:29), and misapplying of God’s decrees (Rom 3:5, 7; 6:1) and providences (Ecc 8:11; 9:3; Ps 39:1-13); misinterpreting (Matt 5:21-22), misapplying (Ezek 13:22), or any way perverting the Word, or any part of it (2 Pet 3:16; Matt 22:24-31; 25:28-30); to profane jests (Isa 22:13; Jer 23:34, 36, 38), curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines (1 Tim 1:4, 6-7; 6:4-5, 20; 2:14; Tit 3:9); abusing it, the creatures, or anything contained under the name of God, to charms (Deut 18:10-14; Acts 19:13), or sinful lusts and practices (2 Tim 4:3-4; Rom 13:13-14; 1 Kings 21:9-10; Jude 4); the maligning (Acts 13:45; 1 John 3:12), scorning (Ps 1:1; 1 Pet 3:3), reviling (1 Pet 4:4), or any wise opposing of God’s truth, grace, and ways (Acts 13:45-46, 50; 4:18; 19:9; 1 Thess 2:16; Heb 10:29); making profession of religion in hypocrisy, or for sinister ends (2 Tim 3:5; Matt 23:14; 6:1-2, 5, 16); being ashamed of it (Mark 8:38), or a shame to it, by unconformable (Ps 73:14-15), unwise (1 Cor 6:5-6; Eph 5:15-17), unfruitful (Isa 5:4; 2 Pet 1:8-9), and offensive walking (Rom 2:23-24), or backsliding from it (Gal 3:1, 3; Heb 6:6).

Q. 114. What reasons are annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reasons annexed to the third commandment, in these words, The Lord thy God, and, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain (Ex 20:7), are, because he is the Lord and our God, therefore his name is not to be profaned, or any way abused by us (Lev 19:12); especially because he will be so far from acquitting and sparing the transgressors of this commandment, as that he will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment (Ezek 36:21-23; Deut 28:58-59; Zech 5:2-4); albeit many such escape the censures and punishments of men (1 Sam 2:12, 17, 22, 24; 3:13).

Q. 115. Which is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested in the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day and hallowed it (Ex 20:8-11).

Q. 116. What is required in the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment requireth of all men the sanctifying or keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his Word, expressly one whole day in seven; which was the seventh from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, and the first day of the week ever since, and so to continue to the end of the world; which is the Christian sabbath (Deut 5:12-14; Gen 2:2-3; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Matt 5:17-18; Isa 56:2, 4, 6-7), and in the New Testament called The Lord’s day (Rev 1:10).

Q. 117. How is the sabbath or the Lord’s day to be sanctified?
A. The sabbath or Lord’s day is to be sanctified by an holy resting all the day (EX 20:8, 10), not only from such works as are at all times sinful, but even from such worldly employments and recreations as are on other days lawful (Ex 16:25-28; Neh 13:15-22; Jer 17:21-22); and making it our delight to spend the whole time (except so much of it as is to be taken up in works of necessity and mercy (Matt 12:1-13)) in the public and private exercises of God’s worship (Isa 58:13; Luke 4:16; Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Ps 92:1-15 ;Isa 66:23;Lev 23:3): and, to that end, we are to prepare our hearts, and with such foresight, diligence, and moderation, to dispose and seasonably dispatch our worldly business, that we may be the more free and fit for the duties of that day (Ex 20:8; Luke 23:54, 56; Ex 16:22, 25-26, 29; Neh 13:19).

Q. 118. Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A. The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own (Ex 20:10; Josh 24:15; Neh 13:15, 17; Jer 17:20-22; Ex 23:12).

Q. 119. What are the sins forbidden in the fourth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the fourth commandment are, all omissions of the duties required (Ezek 22:26), all careless, negligent, and unprofitable performing of them, and being weary of them (Acts 20:7, 9; Ezek 33:30-32; Amos 8:5; Mal 1:13); all profaning the day by idleness, and doing that which is in itself sinful (Ezek 23:38); and by all needless works, words, and thoughts, about our worldly employments and recreations (Jer 17:24, 27; Isa 58:13).

Q. 120. What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reasons annexed to the fourth commandment, the more to enforce it, are taken from the equity of it, God allowing us six days of seven for our own affairs, and reserving but one for himself in these words, Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work (Ex 20:9): from God’s challenging a special propriety in that day, The seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God (Ex 20:10): from the example of God, who in six days made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: and from that blessing which God put upon that day, not only in sanctifying it to be a day for his service, but in ordaining it to be a means of blessing to us in our sanctifying it; Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it (Ex 20:11).

Q. 121. Why is the word Remember set in the beginning of the fourth commandment?
A. The word Remember is set in the beginning of the fourth commandment (Ex 20:8), partly, because of the great benefit of remembering it, we being thereby helped in our preparation to keep it (Ex 16:23; Luke 23:54, 56; Mark 15:42; Neh 13:19), and, in keeping it, better to keep all the rest of the commandments (Ps 92:1-15; Ezek 20:12, 19-20), and to continue a thankful remembrance of the two great benefits of creation and redemption, which contain a short abridgment of religion (Gen 2:2-3; Ps 118:22, 24; Acts 4:10-11; Rev 1:10); and partly, because we are very ready to forget it (Ezek 22:26), for that there is less light of nature for it (Neh 9:14), and yet it restraineth our natural liberty in things at other times lawful (Ex 34:21); that it cometh but once in seven days, and many worldly businesses come between, and too often take off our minds from thinking of it, either to prepare for it, or to sanctify it (Deut 5:14-15; Amos 8:5); and that Satan with his instruments labours much to blot out the glory, and even the memory of it, to bring in all irreligion and impiety (Lam 1:7; Jer 17:21-23; Neh 13:15-22;).

Q. 122. What is the sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man?
A. The sum of the six commandments which contain our duty to man, is, to love our neighbour as ourselves (Matt 22:39), and to do to others what we would have them to do to us (Matt 7:12).

Q. 123. Which is the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment is, Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Ex 20:12).

Q. 124. Who are meant by father and mother in the fifth commandment?
A. By father and mother, in the fifth commandment, are meant, not only natural parents (Prov 23:22, 25; Eph 6:1-2), but all superiors in age (1 Tim 5:1-2) and gifts (Gen 4:20-22; 45:8); and especially such as, by God’s ordinance, are over us in place of authority, whether in family (2 Kings 5:13), church (2 Kings 2:12; 13:14; Gal 4:19), or commonwealth (Isa 49:23).

Q. 125. Why are superiors styled father and mother?
A. Superiors are styled father and mother, both to teach them in all duties toward their inferiors, like natural parents, to express love and tenderness to them, according to their several relations (Eph 6:4; 2 Cor 12:14; 1 Thess 2:7-8, 11; Num 11:11-12); and to work inferiors to a greater willingness and cheerfulness in performing their duties to their superiors, as to their parents (1 Cor 4:14-16; 2 Kings 5:13).

Q. 126. What is the general scope of the fifth commandment?
A. The general scope of the fifth commandment is, the performance of those duties which we mutually owe in our several relations, as inferiors, superiors, or equals (Eph 5:21; 1 Pet 2:17; Rom 12:10).

Q. 127. What is the honour that inferiors owe to their superiors?
A. The honour which inferiors owe to their superiors is, all due reverence in heart (Mal 1:6; Lev 19:3), word (Prov 31:28; 1 Pet 3:6), and behaviour (Lev 19:32; 1 Kings 2:19); prayer and thanksgiving for them (1 Tim 2:1-2); imitation of their virtues and graces (Heb 13:7; Philip 3:17); willing obedience to their lawful commands and counsels (Eph 6:1-2, 6-7; 1 Pet 2:13-14; Rom 13:1-5; Heb 13:17; Prov 4:3-4; 23:22; Ex 18:19, 24); due submission to their corrections (Heb 12:9; 1 Pet 2:18-20); fidelity to (Tit 2:9-10), defence (1 Sam 26:15-16; 18:3; Est 6:2), and maintenance of their persons and authority, according to their several ranks, and the nature of their places (Matt 22:21; Rom 13:6-7; 1 Tim 5:17-18; Gal 6:6; Gen 45:11: 47:12); bearing with their infirmities, and covering them in love (1 Pet 2:18; Prov 23:22; Gen 9:23), that so they may be an honour to them and to their government (Ps 127:3-5; Prov 31:23).

Q. 128. What are the sins of inferiors against their superiors?
A. The sins of inferiors against their superiors are, all neglect of the duties required toward them (Matt 15:4-6); envying at (Num 11:28-29), contempt of (1 Sam 8:7; Isa 3:5), and rebellion (2 Sam 15:1-12) against, their persons (Ex 24:25) and places (1 Sam 10:27), in their lawful counsels (1 Sam 2:25), commands, and corrections (Deut 21:18-21); cursing, mocking (Prov 30:11, 17) and all such refractory and scandalous carriage, as proves a shame and dishonour to them and their government (Prov 19:26).

Q. 129. What is required of superiors towards their inferiors?
A. It is required of superiors, according to that power they receive from God, and that relation wherein they stand, to love (Col 3:19; Tit 2:4), pray for (1 Sam 12:23; Job 1:5), and bless their inferiors (1 Kings 8:55-56; Heb 7:7; Gen 49:28); to instruct (Deut 6:6-7), counsel, and admonish them (Eph 6:4); countenancing (1 Pet 3:7), commending (1 Pet 2:14; Rom 13:3), and rewarding such as do well (Est 6:3); and discountenancing (Rom 13:3-4), reproving, and chastising such as do ill (Prov 29:15; 1 Pet 2:14); protecting (Job 29:13-16; Isa 1:10, 17), and providing for them all things necessary for soul (Eph 6:4) and body (1 Tim 5:8): and by grave, wise, holy, and exemplary carriage, to procure glory to God (1 Tim 4:12; Tit 2:3-5), honour to themselves (1 Kings 3:28), and so to preserve that authority which God hath put upon them (Tit 2:15).

Q. 130. What are the sins of superiors?
A. The sins of superiors are, besides the neglect of the duties required of them (Ezek 34:2-4), and inordinate seeking of themselves (Philip 2:21), their own glory (John 5:44; 7:18), ease, profit, or pleasure (Isa 56:10-11; Deut 17:17); commanding things unlawful (Dan 3:4-6; Acts 4:17-18), or not in the power of inferiors to perform (Ex 5:10-18; Matt 23:2, 4); counseling (Matt 14:8; Mark 6:24), encouraging (2 Sam 13:28), or favouring them in that which is evil (1 Sam 3:13); dissuading, discouraging, or discountenancing them in that which is good (John 7:46-49; Col 3:21; Ex 5:17); correcting them unduly (1 Pet 2:18-20; Heb 12:10; Deut 25:3); careless exposing, or leaving them to wrong, temptation, and danger (Gen 38:11, 26; Acts 18:17); provoking them to wrath (Eph 6:4); or any way dishonouring themselves, or lessening their authority, by an unjust, indiscreet, rigorous, or remiss behaviour (Gen 9:21; 1 Kings 12:13-16; 1:6; 1 Sam 2:29-31).

Q. 131. What are the duties of equals?
A. The duties of equals are, to regard the dignity and worth of each other (1 Pet 2:17), in giving honour to go one before another (Rom 12:10); and to rejoice in each others’ gifts and advancement, as their own (Rom 12:15-16; Philip 2:3-4).

Q. 132. What are the sins of equals?
A. The sins of equals are, besides the neglect of the duties required (Rom 13:8), the undervaluing of the worth (2 Tim 3:3), envying the gifts (Acts 7:9; Gal 5:26), grieving at the advancement of prosperity one of another (Num 12:2; Est 6:12-13); and usurping pre-eminence one over another (1 John 9; Luke 22:24).

Q. 133. What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment, the more to enforce it?
A. The reason annexed to the fifth commandment, in these words, That thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee (Ex 20:12), is an express promise of long life and prosperity, as far as it shall serve for God’s glory and their own good, to all such as keep this commandment (Deut 5:16; 1 Kings 8:25; Eph 6:2-3).

Q. 134. Which is the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment is, Thou shalt not kill (Ex 20:13).

Q. 135. What are the duties required in the sixth commandment?
A. The duties required in the sixth commandment are all careful studies, and lawful endeavors, to preserve the life of ourselves (Eph 5:28-29) and others (1 Kings 18:4) by resisting all thoughts and purposes (Jer 26:15-16; Acts 23:12, 16-17, 21, 27), subduing all passions (Eph 4:26-27), and avoiding all occasions (2 Sam 2:22; Deut 22:8), temptations (Matt 4:6-7; Prov 1:10-11, 15-16), and practices, which tend to the unjust taking away the life of any (1 Sam 24:12; 26:9-11; Gen 37:21-22); by just defence thereof against violence (Ps 82:4; Prov 24:11-12; 1 Sam 14:45), patient bearing of the hand of God (James 5:7-11; Heb 12:9), quietness of mind (1 Thess 4:11; 1 Pet 3:3-4; Ps 37:8-11), cheerfulness of spirit (Prov 17:22); a sober use of meat (Prov 25:16, 27), drink (1 Tim 5:23), physic (Isa 38:21), sleep (Ps 127:2), labour (Ecc 5:12; 2 Thess 3:10, 12; Prov 6:20), and recreations (Ecc 3:4, 11); by charitable thoughts (1 Sam 19:4-5; 22:13-14), love (Rom 13:10), compassion (Luke 10:33-34), meekness, gentleness, kindness (Col 3:12-13); peaceable (James 3:17), mild and courteous speeches and behaviour (1 Pet 3:8-11; Prov 15:1; Judg 8:1-2); forbearance, readiness to be reconciled, patient bearing and forgiving of injuries, and requiting good for evil (Matt 5:24; Eph 5:2, 32; Rom 12:17); comforting and succouring the distressed and protecting and defending the innocent (1 Thess 5:14; Job 31:19-20; Matt 25:35-36; Prov 31:8-9).

Q. 136. What are the sins forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the sixth commandment are, all taking away the life of ourselves (Acts 16:28), or of others (Gen 9:6), except in case of public justice (Num 35:31, 33), lawful war (Jer 48:10; Deut 20:1), or necessary defence (Ex 22:2-3); the neglecting or withdrawing the lawful and necessary means of preservation of life (Matt 25:42-43; James 2:15-16; Ecc 6:1-2); sinful anger (Matt 5:22), hatred (1 John 3:15; Lev 19:17), envy (Prov 14:30), desire of revenge (Rom 12:19); all excessive passions (Eph 4:31), distracting cares (Matt 6:31, 34); immoderate use of meat, drink (Luke 21:34; Rom 13:13), labor (Ecc 12:12; 2:22-23), and recreations (Isa 5:12); provoking words (Prov 15:1; 12:18), oppression (Ezek 18:18; Ex 1:14), quarreling (Gal 5:15; Prov 23:29), striking, wounding (Num 35:16-18, 21), and whatsoever else tends to the destruction of the life of any (Ex 21:18-36).

Q. 137. Which is the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment is, Thou shalt not commit adultery (Ex 20:14).

Q. 138. What are the duties required in the seventh commandment?
A. The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections (1 Thess 4:4; Job 31:1; 1 Cor 7:34), words (Col 4:6), and behavior (1 Pet 2:3); and the preservation of it in ourselves and others (1 Cor 7:2, 35-36); watchfulness over the eyes and all the senses (Job 31:1); temperance (Acts 24:24-25), keeping of chaste company (Prov 2:16-20), modesty in apparel (1 Tim 2:9); marriage by those that have not the gift of continency (1 Cor 7:2, 9), conjugal love (Prov 5:19-20), and cohabitation (1 Pet 3:7); diligent labor in our callings (Prov 31:11, 27-28); shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto (Prov 5:8; Gen 39:8-10).

Q. 139. What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required (Prov 5:7), are, adultery, fornication (Heb 13:4; Gal 5:19), rape, incest (2 Sam 13:14; 1 Cor 5:1), sodomy, and all unnatural lusts (Rom 1:24, 26-27; Lev 20:15-16); all unclean imaginations, thoughts, purposes, and affections (Matt 5:28; 15:19; Col 3:5); all corrupt or filthy communications, or listening thereunto (Eph 5:3-4; Prov 7:5, 21-22); wanton looks (Isa 3:16; 2 Pet 2:14), impudent or light behaviour, immodest apparel (Prov 7:10, 13); prohibiting of lawful (1 Tim 4:3), and dispensing with unlawful marriages (Lev 18:1-21; Mark 6:18; Mal 2:11-12); allowing, tolerating, keeping of stews, and resorting to them (1 Kings 15:12; 2 Kings 23:7; Deut 23:17-18; Lev 19:29; Jer 5:7; Prov 7:24-27); entangling vows of single life (Matt 19:10-11), undue delay of marriage (1 Cor 7:7-9; Gen 38:26), having more wives or husbands than one at the same time (Mal 2:14-15; Matt 19:5); unjust divorce (Mal 2:16; Matt 5:32), or desertion (1 Cor 7:12-13); idleness, gluttony, drunkenness (Ezek 16:49; Prov 23:30-33), unchaste company (Gen 39:19; Prov 5:8); lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays (Eph 5:4; Ezek 23:14-16; Isa 23:15-17; Is 23:15-17; 3:16; Mark 6:22; Rom 13:13; 1 Pet 4:3); and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others (2 Kings 9:30; Jer 4:30; Ezek 23:40).

Q. 140. Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal (Ex 20:15).

Q. 141. What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
A. The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man (Ps 15:2, 4; Zech 7:4, 10; 8:16-17); rendering to everyone his due; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof (Lev 6:2-5; Luke 19:8); giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others (Luke 6:30, 38; 1 John 3:17; Eph 4:28; Gal 6:10); moderation of our judgments, wills, and affections concerning worldly goods (1 Tim 6:6-9; Gal 6:14); a provident care and study to get (1 Tim 5:8), keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition (Prov 27:23-27; Ecc 2:24; 3:12-13; 1 Tim 6:17-18; Isa 38:1; Matt 11:8); a lawful calling (1 Cor 7:20; Gen 2:15; 3:19), and diligence in it (Eph 4:28; Prov 10:4); frugality (John 6:12; Prov 21:20); avoiding unnecessary lawsuits (1 Cor 6:1-9), and suretiship, or other like engagements (Prov 6:1-6; 11:15); 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 (Lev 25:35; Deut 22:1-4; Ex 23:4-5; Gen 47:14, 20; Philip 2:4; Matt 22:39).

Q. 142. What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required (James 2:15-16; 1 John 3:17), are, theft (Eph 4:28), robbery (Ps 62:10), man-stealing (1 Tim 1:10), and receiving any thing that is stolen (Prov 29:24; Ps 50:18); fraudulent dealing (1 Thess 4:6), false weights and measures (Prov 11:1; 20:10), removing landmarks (Deut 19:14; Prov 23:10), injustice and unfaithfulness in contracts between man and man (Amos 8:5; Ps 37:21), or in matters of trust (Luke 16:10-12); oppression (Ezek 22:29; Lev 25:17), extortion (Matt 23:25; Ezek 22:12), usury (Ps 15:5), bribery (Job 15:34), vexatious lawsuits (1 Cor 6:6-8; Prov 3:29-30), unjust inclosures and depopulations (Isa 5:8; Mic 2:2); ingrossing commodities to enhance the price (Prov 11:26); unlawful callings (Acts 19:19, 24-25), and all other unjust or sinful ways of taking or withholding from our neighbour what belongs to him, or of enriching ourselves (Job 20:19; James 5:4; Prov 21:6); covetousness (Luke 12:15); inordinate prizing and affecting worldly goods (1 Tim 6:5; Col 3:2; Prov 23:5; Ps 62:10); distrustful and distracting cares and studies in getting, keeping, and using them (Matt 6:25, 31, 34; Ecc 5:12); envying at the prosperity of others (Ps 73:3; 37:1, 7); as likewise idleness (2 Thess 3:11; Prov 18:9), prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate (Prov 21:17; 23:20-21; 28:19), and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God hath given us (Ecc 4:8; 6:2; 1 Tim 5:8).

Q. 143. Which is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor (Ex 20:16).

Q. 144. What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A. The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man (Zech 8:16), and the good name of our neighbour, as well as our own (3 John 12); appearing and standing for the truth (Prov 31:8-9); and from the heart (Ps 15:2), sincerely (2 Chron 19:9), freely (1 Sam 19:4-5), clearly (Josh 7:19), and fully (2 Sam 14:18-20), speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice (Lev 19:15), and in all other things whatsoever (2 Cor 1:17-18; Eph 4:25); a charitable esteem of our neighbours (Heb 6:9; 1 Cor 13:7); loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name (Rom 1:8; 2 John 4; 3 John 3-4); sorrowing for (2 Cor 2:4; 12:21), and covering of their infirmities (Prov 17:9; 1 Pet 4:8); freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces (1 Cor 1:4-5, 7; 2 Tim 1:4-5), defending their innocency (1 Sam 22:14); a ready receiving of a good report (1 Cor 13:6-7), and unwillingness to admit of an evil report (Ps 15:3), concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers (Prov 25:23), flatterers (Prov 26:24-25), and slanderers (Ps 101:5); love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth (Prov 22:1; John 8:49); keeping of lawful promises (Ps 15:4); studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report (Philip 4:8).

Q. 145. What are the sins forbidden in the ninth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the ninth commandment are, all prejudicing the truth, and the good name of our neighbours, as well as our own (1 Sam 17:28; 2 Sam 16:3; 1:9-10, 15-16), especially in public judicature (Lev 19:15; Hab 1:4); giving false evidence (Prov 19:5; 6:16, 19), suborning false witnesses (Acts 6:13), wittingly appearing and pleading for an evil cause, outfacing and overbearing the truth (Jer 9:3, 5; Acts 24:2, 5; Ps 12:3-4; 52:1-4); passing unjust sentence (Prov 17:15; 1 Kings 21:9-14), calling evil good, and good evil; rewarding the wicked according to the work of the righteous, and the righteous according to the work of the wicked (Isa 5:23); forgery (Ps 119:69; Luke 19:8; 16:5-7), concealing the truth, undue silence in a just cause (Lev 5:1; Deut 13:8; Acts 5:3, 8-9; 2 Tim 4:6), and holding our peace when iniquity calleth for either a reproof from ourselves (1 Kings 1:6; Lev 19:17), or complaint to others (Isa 59:4); speaking the truth unseasonably (Prov 29:11), or maliciously to a wrong end (1 Sam 22:9-10; Ps 52:1-5), or perverting it to a wrong meaning (Ps 56:5; John 2:19; Matt 26:60-61), or in doubtful and equivocal expressions, to the prejudice of truth or justice (Gen 3:5; 26:7, 9); speaking untruth (Isa 59:13), lying (Lev 19:11; Col 3:9), slandering (Ps 50:20), backbiting (James 4:11; Jer 38:4), detracting, tale bearing (Lev 19:19), whispering (Rom 1:29-30), scoffing (Gen 21:9; Gal 4:29), reviling (1 Cor 6:10), rash (Matt 7:1), harsh (Acts 28:4), and partial censuring (Gen 39:24; Rom 2:1); misconstructing intentions, words, and actions (Neh 6:6-8; Rom 3:8; Ps 69:10; 1 Sam 1:13-15; 2 Sam 10:3); flattering (Ps 12:2-3), vain-glorious boasting (2 Tim 3:2); thinking or speaking too highly or too meanly of ourselves or others (Luke 18:9, 11; Rom 12:16; 1 Cor 4:6; Acts 12:22; Ex 4:10-14); denying the gifts and graces of God (Job 27:5-6; 4:6); aggravating smaller faults (Matt 7:3-5); hiding, excusing, or extenuating of sins, when called to a free confession (Prov 28:13; 30:20; Jer 2:35; 2 Kings 5:25; Gen 4:9); unnecessary discovering of infirmities (Gen 9:22; Prov 25:9-10); raising false rumors (Ex 23:1), receiving and countenancing evil reports (Prov 29:12), and stopping our ears against just defense (Acts 7:56-57; Job 21:13-14); evil suspicion (1 Cor 13:5; 1 Tim 6:4); envying or grieving at the deserved credit of any (Num 11:29; Matt 21:15), endeavoring or desiring to impair it (Ezra 4:12-13), rejoicing in their disgrace and infamy (Jer 48:27); scornful contempt (Ps 35:15-16, 21; Matt 27:28-29), fond admiration (Jude 16; Acts 12:22); breach of lawful promises (Rom 1:31; 2 Tim 3:3); neglecting such things as are of good report (1 Sam 2:24), and practicing, or not avoiding ourselves, or not hindering what we can in others, such things as procure an ill name (2 Sam 13:12-13; Prov 5:8-9; 6:33).

Q. 146. Which is the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shall not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s (Ex 20:17).

Q. 147. What are the duties required in the tenth commandment?
A. The duties required in the tenth commandment are, such a full contentment with our own condition (Heb 13:5; 1 Tim 6:6), and such a charitable frame of the whole soul toward our neighbour, as that all our inward motions and affections touching him, tend unto, and further all that good which is his (Job 31:29; Rom 12:15; Ps 122:7-9; 1 Tim 1:5; Est 10:3; 1 Cor 13:4-7).

Q. 148. What are the sins forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the tenth commandment are, discontentment with our own estate (1 Kings 21:4; Est 5:13; 1 Cor 10:10); envying (Gal 5:26; James 3:14, 16) and grieving at the good of our neighbour (Ps 112:9-10; Neh 2:10), together with all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his (Rom 7:7-8; 13:9; Col 3:5; Deut 5:21).

Q. 149. Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?
A. No man is able, either of himself (James 3:2; John 15:5; Rom 8:3), or by any grace received in this life, perfectly to keep the commandments of God (Ecc 7:20; 1 John 1:8, 10; Gal 5:17; Rom 7:18-19); but doth daily break them in thought (Gen 6:5; 8:21), word, and deed (Rom 3:9-19; James 3:2-13).

Q. 150. Are all transgressions of the law of God equally heinous in themselves, and in the sight of God?
A. All transgressions of the law of God are not equally heinous; but some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others (John 19:11; Ezek 8:6, 13, 15; 1 John 5:16; Ps 78:17, 32, 56).



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

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Related subject:

Make a ready defense with gentleness and reverence… A look at Systematic Theology (Mar)

Topical Index: Confessions


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