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Assembly at EDINBURGH, July 2, 1648. Sess. 10.
Act approving the LARGER CATECHISM.
IB General Assembly having exactly examined and seriously consiue :d ting at Westminster, with assistance of Commissioners from this Kirk, copies thereof being printed, and sent to Presbyteries, for the more exact trial thereof; and publick intimation being frequently made in this Assembly, that every one that had any doubts or objections upon might put them in; 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; a necessary part of the intended uniformity in religion, and a rich treasure for increasing knowledge among the people of God: and therefore the Assembly, as they bless the Lord that so excellent a Catechism is prepared, so they approve the same, as a part of uniformity; agreeing, for their part, that it be a common Catechism for the three kingdoms, and a Directory for catechising such as have made some proficiency in the knowledge of the grounds of religion.
Quest. 1. WHAT is the chief and highest end
of man? Ans. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God," and fully to enjoy him for ever.”
Q. 2. 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 reveal him unto men for their salvation.a
1. * Rom. xi. 36. For of him, and derstood by the things that are made, through him, and to him, are all even his eternal power and Godhead; things: to whom be glory for ever. so that they are without excuse. Ps. Amen. 1 Cor. 1. 31. Whether there- xix. 1. The heavens declare the glory fore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever of God; and the firmament sheweth ye do, do all to the glory of God. his handy-work. Ver. 2. Day unto
o Ps. lxxiii. 24. Thou shalt guide day uttereth speech, and night unto me with thy counsel, and afterwards night sheweth knowledge. Ver. 3. receive me to glory. Ver. 25. Whom There is no speech nor language where have I in heaven but thee and there their voice is not heard. Acts xvii. is none upon earth that I desire be- 28. For in him we live, and move, and sides thee. Ver. 26. My flesh and have our being. my heart faileth : but God is the di Cor. ii. 9. But, as it is written, strength of my heart, and my portion Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, for ever. Ver. 27. For, lo, they that neither have entered into the heart are far from thee shall perish : thou of man, the things which God hath hast destroyed all them that go a prepared for them that love him. whoring from thee. Ver. 28. But it Ver. 10. But God hath revealed them is good for me to draw pear to God: unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit I have put my trust in the Lord God, searcheth all things, yea, the deep that I may declare all thy works. things of God. 2 Tim. iii. 15. And John xvii. 21. That they all may be that from a child thou hast known one; as thou, Father, art in me, and the holy scriptures, which are able to I in thee, that they also may be one make thee wise unto salvation through in us : that the world may believe faith which is in Christ Jesus. Ver. that thou hast sent me. Ver. 22. And 16. All scripture is given by inspirathe glory which thou gavest me I tion of God, and is profitable for dochave given them; that they may be trine, for reproof, for correction, for one, even as we are one: Ver. 23. I instruction in righteousness; Ver. 17. in them, and thou in me, that they That the man of God may be perfect, may be made perfect in one; and throughly furnished unto all good that the world may know that thou works. Isa. lix. 21. As for me, this hast sent me, and hast loved them, as is my covenant with them, saith the thou hast loved me.
Lord; My Spirit that is upon thee, 2. Rom. i. 19. Because that which and my words which I have put in may be known of God is manifest in thy mouth, shall not depart out of them: for God hath shewed it unto thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of them. Ver. 20. For the invisible thy seed, nor out of the mouth of things of him from the creation of thy seed's seed, saith the Lord, from the world are clearly seen, being un- henceforth and for ever.
Q. 3. 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.
Q. 4. How doth it appear that the scriptures are the word of God?
A. The scriptures manifest themselves to be the word of God, by their majesty and purity;h by the consent of all the parts, and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God; by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation:1 but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and
3. e2 Tim. iii. 16. All scripture is 1 Cor. ii. 6. Howbeit we speak wisdom given by inspiration of God. 2 Pet. among them that are perfect; yet not i. 19. We have also a more sure word the wisdom of this world, nor of the of prophecy; whereunto ye do well princes of this world, that come to that ye take heed, as unto a light nought: Ver. 7. But we speak the that shineth in a dark place, until wisdom of God in a mystery, even the day dawn, and the day-star arise the hidden wisdom, which God orin your hearts: Ver. 20. Knowing dained before the world unto our this first, that no prophecy of the glory. Ver 13. Which things also we scripture is of any private interpreta speak, not in the words which man's tion. Ver. 21. For the prophecy came wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy not in old time by the will of man; Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual but holy men of God spake as they things with spiritual. Ps. cxix. 18. were moved by the Holy Ghost. Open thoumine eyes, that Imay behold
'Eph. ii. 20. And are built upon wondrous things out of thy law. Ver. the foundation of the apostles and 129. Thy testimonies are wonderful: prophets, Jesus Christ himself being therefore doth my soul keep them. the chief corner-stone. Rev. xxii. h Ps. xii. 6. The words of the Lord 18. For I testify unto every man that are pure words: as silver tried in a heareth the words of the prophecy of furnace of earth, purified seven times. this book, If any man shall add unto Ps. cxix. 140. Thy word is very pure: these things, God shall add unto him therefore thy servant loveth it. the plagues that are written in this i Acts x. 43. To him give all the book: Ver. 19. And if any man shall prophets witness, that, thr take away from the words of the book name, whosoever believeth in him of this prophecy, God shall take away shall receive remission of sins. Acts his part out of the book of life, and xxvi. 22. Having therefore obtained out of the holy city, and from the help of God, I continue unto this day, things which are written in this book. witnessing both to small and great, Isa. viii. 20. To the law and to the saying none other things than those testimony: if they speak not accord. which the prophets and Moses did say ing to this word, it is because there should come. is no light in them. Luke xvi. 29. Rom. ii. 19. Now we know, that They have Moses and the prophets; what things soever the law saith, it let them hear them. Ver. 31. If they saith to them who are under the law: hear not Moses and the prophets, that every mouth may be stopped, neither will they be persuaded though and all the world may become guilty one rose from the dead. Gal. i. 8. before God. Ver. 27. Where is boastBut though we, or an a el from ing then? It is excluded. By what heaven, preach any other gospel unto law? of works! Nay; but by the you than that which we have preach. law of faith. ed unto you, let him be accursed. Acts xviii. 28. For he mightily Ver. 9. As we said before, so say I convinced the Jews, and that publicknow again, If any man preach any ly, shewing by the scriptures that other gospel unto you than that ye Jesus was Christ. Heb. iv. 12. For have received, let him be accursed. the word of God is quick, and power2 Tim. iii. 15, 16. [See in letter d.] ful, and sharper than any two-edged
4.6 Hos. viii. 12. I have written to sword, piercing even to the dividing him the great things of my law, but asunder of soul and spirit, and of they were counted as a strange thing. the joints and marrow, and is a dis
with the scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God.m
Q. 5. 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."
WHAT MAN OUGHT TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD. Q. 6. What do the scriptures make known of God?
A. The scriptures make known what God is,' the persons in the Godhead, his decrees, 9 and the execution of his decrees.
Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit,“ in and of himself infinite in being,' glory," cerner of the thoughts and intents of 5. 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the the heart. James i. 18. Of his own form of sound words, which thou hast will begat he us with the word of heard of me, in faith and love which truth, that we should be a kind of is in Christ Jesus. first-fruits of his creatures. Ps. xix. 6.° Heb. xi. 6. But without faith 7. The law of the Lord is perfect, it is impossible to please him: for he converting the soul: the testimony of that cometh to God must believe that the Lord is sure, making wise the he is, and that he is a rewarder of simple: Ver. 8. The statutes of the them that diligently seek him. Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: P 1 John v. 7. For there are three the commandment of the Lord is pure, that bear record in heaven, the Faenlightening the eyes: Ver. 9. The ther, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: fear of the Lord is clean, enduring and these three are one. for ever: the judgments of the Lord 4 Acts xv. 14. Simeon hath declared are true and righteous altogether. how God at the first did visit the Rom. xv. 4. For whatsoever things Gentiles, to take out of them a people were written aforetime were written for his name. Ver. 15. And to this for our learning: that we, through agree the words of the prophets; as it patience and comfort of thescriptures, is written. Ver. 18. Known unto might have hope. Acts xx. 32. And God are all his works from the begin, now, brethren, I commend you to God, ning of the world. and to the word of his grace, which r Acts iv. 27. For of a truth, against is able to build you up, and to give thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast you an inheritance among all them anointed, both Herod and Pontius which are sanctified.
Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the m John xvi. 13. Howbeit when he, people of Israel, were gathered togethe Spirit of truth, is come, he will ther, Ver. 28. For to do whatsoever guide you into all truth: for he shall thy hand and thy counsel determined not speak of himself; but whatsoever before to be done. he shall hear, that'shall he speak: 7. John iv. 24. God is a spirit: and he will shew you things to come. and they that worship him must worVer. 14. He shall glorify me; for he ship him in spirit and in truth. shall receive of mine, and shall shew Exod. iii. 14. And God said unto it unto you. 1 John ii. 20. But ye Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he have an unction from the Holy One, said, Thus shalt thou say unto the and ye know all things. Ver. 27. But children of Israel, I AM hath sent me the anointing which ye have received unto you. Job xi. 7. Canst thou by of him abideth in you; and ye need searching find out God I canst thou not that any man teach you: but as find out the Almighty unto perfecthe same anointing teacheth you of tion? Ver. 8. It is as high as heaven; all things, and is truth, and is no lie, what canst thou do ? deeper than and even as it hath taught you, ye hell; what canst thou know? Ver. 9. shall abide in him. John xx. 31. But The measure thereof is longer than these are written, that ye might be- the earth, and broader than the lieve that Jesus is the Christ, the Son sea. of God; and that believing ye might Acts vii. 2. The God of glory aphave life through his name.
peared unto our father Abraham, blessedness, and perfection ;* all-sufficient, eternal," unchangeable, incomprehensible, every where present, almighty,knowing all things, most wise,' most holy,s most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.i
Q. 8. Are there more Gods than one?
A. There be three persons in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory; although distinguished by their personal properties.! when he was in Mesopotamia, before creature that is not manifest in his he dwelt in Charran.
sight; but all things are naked and w 1 Tim. vi. 15. Which in his times opened unto the eyes of him with he shall shew, who is the blessed and whom we have to do. Ps. cxlvii. 5. only Potentate, the King of kings, and Great is our Lord, and of great power: Lord of lords.
his understanding is infinite. * Matt. v. 48. Be ye therefore per- Rom. xvi. 27. To God only wise, fect, even as your Father which is in be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. heaven is perfect.
Amen. y Gen. xvii. 1. And when Abram 8 Isa. vi. 3. And one cried unto an. was ninety years old and nine, the other, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord appeared to Abram, and said Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full unto him, I am the Almighty God : of his glory. Rev. XV. 4. Who shall walk before me, and be thou perfect. not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy
z Ps. xc. 2. Before the mountains name? for thou only art holy: for all were brought forth, or ever thou hadst nations shall come and worship beformed the earth and the world, even fore thee; for thy judgments are from everlasting to everlasting, thou made manifest. art God.
h Deut. xxxii. 4. He is the Rock, à Mal. iii. 6. For I am the Lord, I his work is perfect; for all his ways change not; therefore ye sons of Ja- are judgment: a God of truth, and cob are not consumed. James i. 17. without iniquity; just and right is he. Every good gift and every perfect gift i Exod. xxxiv. 6. And the Lord is from above, and cometh down from passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Father of lights, with whom is no The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and yariableness, neither shadow of turn- gracious, 'long-suffering, and abuning
dant in goodness and truth. bi Kings viii. 27. But will God in- 8. Deut. vi. 4. Hear, O Israel; deed dwell on the earth ? Behold, The Lord our God is one Lord. í the heaven, and heaven of heavens, Cor. viii. 4. As concerning therefore cannot contain thee; how much less the eating of those things that are this house that I have builded ! offered in sacrifice unto idols, we
• Ps. cxxxix. 1-13. O Lord, thou know that an idol is nothing in the hast searched me, and known me. world, and that there is none other Thou knowest my down-sitting and God but one. Ver. 6. But to us there mine up-rising: thou understandest is but one God, the Father, of whom my thought afar off, &c. Whither are all things, and we in him; and shall I go from thy spirit? or whither one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are shall I flee from thy presence ? &c. all things, and we by him. Jer. x. 10.
d Rev. iv. 8. And the four beasts But the Lord is the true God, he is had each of them six wings about the living. God, and an everlasting
and they were full of eyes with King: at his wrath the earth shali in: and they rest not day and night, tremble, and the nations shall not be saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God able to abide his indignation. Almighty, which was, and is, and is 9. 11 John v. 7. For there are three to come.
that bear record in heaven, the Father, e Heb. iv. 13. Neither is thore any the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and