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Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
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.
Q. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
A. The Scriptures principally teach, what
* The Shorter Catechism is, simply, an abridgment of the Larger; so that the proof of both must be the
The reader, therefore, who desires to see the Scripture authorities for any doctrine taught in this catechism, will turn to that doctrine in the Larger Catechism, which may very easily be done, and there he will find the necessary texts fully referred to, or inserted. It was judged unnecessary to print the very same texts twice over.
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 ?
A. There is but one only, the living and true God.
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.
Q. 7. What are the decrees of God ?
A. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to the counsel of his will, where by, for his own glory, he hath fore-ordained 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.
Q. 11. What are God's works of providence ?
A. 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 knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.
Q. 13. Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created ?
A. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Q. 14. What is sin ?
A. 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 creuted ?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created, was their eating the forbidden fruit.
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 maukind descending from him by ordinary gen
eration, sinned in him, and fell with him, in his first transgression.
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?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam's first. sin, the want of original righteousness, and the corruption of his whole nature, which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it.
Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse, and 80 made liable to all the miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell for ever.
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery ?
A. God, having out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer.
Q. 21. Who is the Redeemer of God's elect?
A. The only Redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the eternal Son of God became man, and so was, and contin
ueth to be, God and man, in two distinct natures, and one person for ever.
Q. 22. How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?
A. Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body, and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin.
Q. 23. What offices doth Christ execute as our Redeemer ?
A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in his estate of humiliation and exaltation.
Q. 24. How doth Christ execute the office of a prophet?
A. Christ executeth the office of a prophet, in revealing to us by his word and Spirit, the will of God for our salvation.
Q. 25. How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?
A. Christ executeth the office of a priest, in his once offering up of himself a sacrifice to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God, and in making continual intercession for us.
Q. 26. How doth Christ execute the office of a king?
A. Christ executeth the office of a king, in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.