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[Fac-simile of title-page of Westminster Larger Catechism.]
Now by Authority of Parliament fitting at WESTMINSTER; Concerning
A Larger Catechifm:
Presented by them lately to both Houses
Printed at LONDON;
Re-printed at EDINBURGH by Evan Tyler, Printer to the Kings moft Excellent Majeftie. 1647.
[Fac-simile of first page of Larger Catechism, ed. 1647.]
The Right honorable the Lords and
Commons Affembled in PARLIAMENT; The humble Advice of the Affembly of Divines fitting at WESTMINSTER.
Hat is the chief and highest end of man? A. Mans chief and highest end is, to glorifie God, and fully to enjoy him for ever. Q. How doth it appear that there is a God? A. 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 fufficiently and effectually reveale him unto men for their falvation.
Q. What is the Word of God?
A. The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Teftament are the Word of God, the only Rule of Faith and obedience.
THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM. A.D. 1647.
CATECHISMUS WESTMONASTERIENSIS MINOR.
[This Catechism was prepared by the Westminster Assembly in 1647, and adopted by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1648; by the Presbyterian Synod of New York and Philadelphia, May, 1788: and by nearly all the Calvinistic Presbyterian and Congregational Churches of the English tongue. It was translated into Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and many other languages, and appeared in innumerable editions. Although little known on the continent of Europe, it is more extensively used than any other Protestant catechism, except perhaps the Small Catechism of Luther and the Heidelberg Catechism. Want of space compels us to omit the Assembly's Larger Catechism, which is easy of access. For the same reason we have omitted the Scripture proofs.
The English original is conformed to the edition of the Presbyterian Board, compared with the London edition of 1658 and other older English and Scotch editions, which present no variations of any account. The Latin trauslation is from the Cambridge and Edinburgh editions, containing the Confession and both Catechisms, and reprinted in Niemeyer's Appendix.]
THE SHORTER CATECHISM. Question. 1. What is the chief end of man?
Answer. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Ques. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
Ans. 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.
Ques. 3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
Ans. The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man.
Ques. 4. What is GOD?
Ans. God is a Spirit, infinite,
Quæstio. Quis hominis finis est præcipuus?
Responsio. Præcipuus hominis finis est, Deum glorificare, eodemque frui in æternum.
Quæs. Quam nobis regulam dedit Deus, qua nos ad ejus glorificationem ac fruitionem dirigamur?
Resp. Verbum Dei (quod Scripturis Veteris ac Novi instrumenti comprehenditur) est unica regula, qua nos ad ejus glorificationem ac fruitionem dirigamur.
Quæs. Quid est quod Scripturæ præcipue docent?
Resp. Duo imprimis sunt quæ Scripturæ docent, quid homini de Deo sit credendum, quidque officii exigat ab homine Deus.
Quæs. Quid est Deus?
Resp. Deus est Spiritus essentia,
eternal, and unchangeable, in his sapientia, potentia, sanctitate, justi
'The London edition of 1658, Dunlop's Collection of 1719, and other editions read Testament.
being, wisdom, power, holiness, jus- tia, bonitate ac veritate infinitus,
tice, goodness, and truth.
Ques. 5. Are there more Gods than
Ans. There is but one only, the living and true God.
Ques. 6. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
Ans. 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. Ques. 7. What are the decrees of God?
Ans. The decrees of God are his eternal purpose according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath fore-ordained whatsoever comes to pass.
Ques. 8. How doth God execute his decrees.
Ans. God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.
Ques. 9. What is the work of creation?
Ans. 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. Ques. 10. How did God create man?
Ans. God created man, male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holi
æternus, ac immutabilis.
Quæs. Suntne plures uno Deo?
Resp. Unus est unicusque, vivens ille verusque Deus.
Quæes. Quot sunt persona in Deitate?
Resp. In Deitate personæ tres sunt, Pater, Filius, ac Spiritus Sanctus; suntque hæ tres personæ Deus unus, substantia eædem, potentia ac gloria coæquales.
Quæs. Quid sunt decreta Dei?
Resp. Decreta Dei sunt æternum ejus propositum secundum voluntatis suæ consilium, quo quicquid unquam evenit, propter suam ipsius gloriam præordinavit.
Quæs. Quomodo decreta sua exequitur Deus?
Resp. Deus exequitur decreta sua creationis operibus ac providentiæ.
Quæs. Quid est opus creatio
Resp. Opus creationis est quo Deus per verbum potentiæ suæ omnia sex dierum spatio ex nihilo condidit, atque omnia quidem valde bona.
Quæs. Qualem creavit Deus hominem?
Resp. Deus hominem creavit marem ac fœminam, juxta suam ipsius imaginem, in cognitione, justitia ac
ness, with dominion over the crea- | sanctitate, dominium habentem in
Ques. 12. What special act of Quæs. Quem peculiarem proviprovidence did God exercise towards dentiæ suæ actum exercebat Deus man, in the estate wherein he was circa hominem in statu creationis created? suæ existentem?
Ans. When God had created
Resp. Postquam Deus hominem he entered into a covenant of condidisset, inibat cum illo fœdus vilife with him, upon condition of tæ, sub conditione perfectæ obediperfect obedience; forbidding him entice; esu de arbore scientiæ boni to cat of the tree of knowledge malique sub pœna mortis eidem inof good and evil, upon pain of terdicens.
Ques. 13. Did our first parents Quæs. An vero Primi nostri Pacontinue in the estate wherein they rentes in quo creati fuerant statu were created? perstitere?
Ans. Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God.
Ques. 14. What is sin?
Ans. Sin is any want of conformity unto, or transgression of, the law of God.
Ques. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
Ans. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein
Resp. Primi Parentes voluntatis sua libertati permissi peccando in Deum statu in quo creati fuerant exciderunt.
Quæs. Quid est peccatum ?
Resp. Peccatum est defectus quilibet conformitatis cum lege Divina, seu quævis ejusdem transgressio.
Quæs. Quodnam erat peccatum istud quo primi parentes statu in quo creati fuerant exciderunt?
Resp. Peccatum istud quo primi parentes statu in quo creati fuerant