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(Fac-simile of title-page of Westminster Larger Catechism.]
Now by Authority of Parliament fitting at WESTMINSTER;
Printed at LONDON;
AND Re-printed at EDINBURGH by Evan Tyler, Printer to
the Kings moft Excellent Majestie. 1647.
[Fac-simile of first page of Larger Catechism, ed. 1647.]
The Right honorable the Lords and
Commons Assembled in PARLIAMENT ; The humble Advice of the Assembly of Divines
fitting at WESTMINSTE R.
Hat is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Mans chief and highestend 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 sufficiently and effectually reveale him unto men for their salvation.
Q. What is the Word of God ?
A. The holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament 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 translation 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 Quæstio. Quis hominis finis est of man?
præcipuus ? Answer. Man's chief end is to Responsio. Præcipuus hominis glorify God, and to enjoy him finis est, Deum glorificare, eodemque forever.
frui in æternum. Ques. 2. What rule hath God given Quæs. Quam nobis regulam dedit to direct us how we may glorify and Deus, qua nos ad ejus glorificationem enjoy him ?
ac fruitionem dirigamur ? Ans. The Word of God, which is Resp. Verbum Dei (quod Scriptucontained in the Scriptures of the ris Veteris ac Novi instrumenti comOld and New Testaments,' is the prehenditur) est unica regula, qua only rule to direct us how we may nos ad ejus glorificationem ac fruiglorify and enjoy him.
tionem dirigamur. Ques. 3. What do the Scriptures Quæs. Quid est quod Scripturæ principally teach ?
præcipue docent ? Ans. The Scriptures principally Resp. Duo imprimis sunt quæ teach what man is to believe con- Scripturæ docent, quid homini de cerning God, and what duty God Deo sit credendum, quidque officii requires of man.
exigat ab homine Deus. Ques. 4. What is GODI
Quæs. Quid est Deus ? Ans. God is a Spirit, infinite; Resp. Deus est Spiritus essentia, eternal, and unchangeable, in his sapientia, potentia, sanctitate, justiThe 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.
æternus, ac immutabilis. Ques. 5. Are there more Gods than Quæs. Suntne plures uno Deo ? one?
Ans. There is but one only, the Resp. Unus est unicusque, vivens living and true God.
ille verusque Deus. Ques. 6. How many persons are Quæs. Quot sunt persone in Deithere in the Godhead ?
tate ? Ans. There are three persons in Resp. In Deitate personce tres the Godhead: the Father, the Son, sunt, Pater, Filius, ac Spiritus Sancand the Holy Ghost; and these tus; suntque hæ tres personce Deus three are one God, the same in sub- unus, substantia eædem, potentia ac stance, equal in power and glory. gloria coæquales.
Ques. 7. What are the decrees of Quæs. Quid sunt decreta Dei ? God?
Ans. The decrees of God are his Resp. Decreta Dei sunt æternum eternal purpose according to the ejus propositum secundum voluntatis counsel of his will, whereby, for his suæ consilium, quo quicquid unquam own glory, he hath fore-ordained evenit, propter suam ipsius gloriam whatsoever comes to pass.
præordinavit. Ques. 8. How doth God execute Quæs. Quomodo decreta sua exehis decrees.
quitur Deus ? Ans. God executeth his decrees Resp. Deus exequitur decreta in the works of creation and provi- sua creationis operibus ac providence.
dentiæ. Ques. 9. What is the work of Quæs. Quid est opus creatiocreation ?
nis ? Ans. The work of creation is Resp. Opus creationis est quo God's making all things of nothing, Deus per verbum potentiæ suæ omby the word of his power, in the nia sex dierum spatio ex nihilo conspace of six days, and all very good. didit, atque omnia quidem valde bona.
Ques. 10. How did God create Quæs. Qualem creavit Deus homan ?
minem ? Ans. God created man, male and Resp. Deus hominem creavit mafemale, after his own image, in rem ac foeminam, juxta suam ipsius knowledge, righteousness, and holi-imaginem, in cognitione, justitia ac ness, with dominion over the crea- | sanctitate, dominium habentem in tures.
creaturas. Ques. 11. What are God's works Quæs. Quænam sunt opera Diof providence ?
vinæ providentiæ ? Ans. God's works of providence Resp. Providentiæ Divinæ opera are his most holy, wise, and pow- sunt sanctissima Dei, sapientissima erful preserving and governing potentissimaque creaturarum suaall his creatures, and all their ac- rum omnium, earumque actionum tions.
conservatio et gubernatio. Ques. 12. What special act of Quæs. Quem peculiarem proviprovidence did God exercise towards dentice suce actum exercebat Deus man, in the estate wherein he was circa hominem in statu crcationis created ?
suæ existentem? Ans. When God had created Resp. Postquam Deus hominem man, he entered into a covenant of condidisset, inibat cum illo fædus vilife with him, upon condition of tæ, sub conditione perfectæ obediperfect obedience; forbidding him entiæ ; esu de arbore scientiæ boni to eat of the tree of knowledge malique sub poena mortis eidem inof good and evil, upon pain of terdicens. death.
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 Resp. Primi Parentes voluntatis to the freedom of their own will, fell suce libertati permissi peccando in from the estate wherein they were Deum statu in quo creati fuerant created, by sinning against God. exciderunt. Ques. 14. What is sin ?
Quæs. Quid est peccatum ? Ans. Sin is any want of con- Resp. Peccatum est defectus quiliformity unto, or transgression of, bet conformitatis cum lege Divina, the law of God.
seu quævis ejusdem transgressio. Ques. 15. What was the sin where- Quæs. Quodnam erat peccatum by our first parents fell from the es- istud quo primi parentes statu in tate wherein they were created ? quo creati fuerant exciderunt ?
Ans. The sin whereby our first Resp. Peccatum istud quo primi parents fell from the estate wherein | parentes statu in quo creati fuerant