BY JOHN BROWN,
Late Minister of the Gospel at Haddington.
Published by Armstrong & Plaskitt
No. 134 Market street
Wm. Wooddy, Printer
TrueCovenanter.com Editor’s Introduction.
A copy of the following Catechism was found by the editor’s son at Black-Rose Antiques in Hanover, PA, a few years ago. It is presented here, as typed by him, and prepared by the editor. Although we would encourage use of the Westminster Shorter Catechism for memorization, the following questions and answers are likely to be useful for engaging the minds of children in discussion, and helping them to understand by piecemeal what is presented more complexly in the the Reformed catechisms of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Quest. 1. WHO made you?
2. Q. Who redeemed you?
3. Q. Who sanctifies you?
A. The Holy Ghost.
4. Q. Of what were you made?
A. Of dust.
5. Q. What doth that teach you?
A. To be humble, and mindful of death.
6. Q. For what end were you made?
A. To serve God.
7. Q. Why ought you to serve God?
A. Because He made, preserves, and redeemed me.
8. Q. How should you serve God?
A. By believing on his Son, calling on his name, and obeying his commands.
9. Q. To whom are you to pray?
A. To God only.
10. Q. How often ought you to pray unto God?
A. At least every morning and every evening.
11. Q. For what things are you to pray daily to God?
A. That he would bring me to Christ, renew my heart, forgive my sins, and keep me from evil.
12. Q. what kind of heart do you have by nature?
A. A heart filled with unrighteousness.
13. Q. Does your wicked heart make all your thoughts, words, and actions sinful?
A. Yes; I can do nothing but sin.
14. Q. Can you of yourself reform and renew your wicked heart?
A. No; I am dead in trespasses and sins. [Eph. 2.1.]
15. Q. What then can change and melt your rebellious, hard, and stony heart?
A. Nothing but God’s almighty power and free grace.
16. Q. Hath God promised you a new heart, pardon of sin, with every blessing, and commanded you to ask them from him by prayer?
17. Q. For whose sake are you to seek these mercies from God in prayer?
A. Only for Christ’s sake.
18. Q. Why must you be so earnest in praying for an interest in Christ, newness of heart, and pardon of sins?
A. That I may live always in readiness for death.
19. Q. Is your life very short, frail, and uncertain?
A. Yes: perhaps I must die the next moment.
20. Q. What will become of you if you die in your sins?
A. I must go to hell with the wicked.
21. Q. What kind of a place is hell?
A. A place of endless torment, being a lake that burns with fire and brimstone.
22. Q. Who are the wicked that go to hell at death?
A. Such as refuse Christ, neglect to read God’s word and pray to him; or who lie, steal, profane the sabbath, and disobey their parents.
23. Q. Who are the wicked men’s companions in hell?
A. Their father the devil, and all his angels.
24. Q. Where do the godly go at death?
A. To heaven.
25. Q. What kind of place is heaven?
A. A most glorious, holy, and happy place.
26. Q. Who are the godly that go to heaven?
A. Such as embrace Christ, love God, and hate evil.
27. Q. Who will be godly men’s companions in heaven?
A. God their Father, Christ their Saviour, and the holy angels.
28. Q. What is the only way of getting safe to heaven?
A. Receiving the Lord Jesus, and walking in him.
29. Q. What are you chiefly to remember in the days of your youth?
A. My Creator and Redeemer.
30. Q. What doth God chiefly require of you?
A. To believe and obey him.
31. Q. What is the only rule of your faith and obedience?
A. The Bible or Holy Scriptures.
32. Q Who are you to love above all things?
A. God in Christ, as my father and portion.
33. Q. Why must you love God above all things?
A. Because he is so glorious in himself, and so kind to me.
34. Q. Wherein is God so kind to you?
A. He gives me my life, health, food, raiment; and offers me his Christ, and all good things with him.
35. Q. Where lies your chief happiness?
A. In the enjoyment of God.
36. Q. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit.
37. Q. What manner of Spirit is God?
A. He is an infinite, eternal, and unchangeable Spirit.
38. Q. Doth God see and know all things?
A. Yes; he knows the very thoughts of our hearts.
39. Q. Cannot God do whatsoever he pleaseth?
A. Yes; for he is Almighty.
40. Q. Can he do or approve any thing sinful?
A. No; for he is infinitely holy.
41. Q. How many Gods are there?
A. One only.
42. Q. How many persons are there in the Godhead?
A. Three, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
43. Q. Is each of these three persons the most high and only true God?
44. Q. Do not then these three persons make three Gods?
A. No; they are but one and the same God.
45. Q. Wherein are they the same?
A. In substance.
46. Q. Wherein are they equal?
A. In power and glory.
47. Q. Is not then God far more great and glorious than we can conceive?
48. Q. Had ever God a beginning?
49. Q. Will God have an end?
A. No; he is from everlasting to everlasting.
50. Q. Had everything besides God a beginning?
51. Q. Will every thing besides God have an end?
A. No; angels and souls of men will live for ever.
52. Q. Who gave all things their beginning?
53. Q. Of what did God make all things?
A. Of nothing.
54. Q. By what did God make all things?
A. By the word of his power.
55. Q. In what time did God make all things?
A. In the space of six days.
56. Q. For what end did God make all things?
A. For his own glory.
57. Q. In what condition did God make all things?
A. God made all things very good.
58. Q. Do all things continue to be very good?
A. No; sin hath made devils and men very bad.
59. Q. Which is the worst thing in the world?
A. Sin; that abominable thing which God hates.
60. Q. What makes it so exceeding bad?
A. It offends God and breaks the law.
61. Q. How Many kinds of sin are there?
62. Q. What are these?
A. Original and actual.
63. Q. What is original sin?
A. It is the sin that I was conceived and born in.
64. Q. Doth original sin wholly defile you, and is it sufficient to carry you to hell, though you had no other sin?
65. Q. What other sin besides original sin have you?
A.I have actual sin also.
66. Q. What is actual sin?
A. It is the sin which I daily commit in thought, word, and deed.
67. Q. What are the wages of sin?
A. Death and hell.
68. Q. What are you then by nature?
A. I am an enemy to God, a child of Satan, and heir of hell.
69. Q. Was mankind originally created in such a sinful and miserable state?
A. No; our first parents, Adam and Eve, were created in a holy and happy state.
70. Q. Did they continue that holy and happy state in which they were created?
A. No: they fell from it.
71. Q. How fell they from it?
A. By sinning against God.
72. Q. What was Adam and Eve’s first sin?
A. Their eating the forbidden fruit.
73. Q. Who forbade them to eat this fruit?
74. Q. Who tempted them to eat it?
A. The Devil.
75. Q. What evil was there in their eating this fruit?
A. They thereby broke God’s covenant and so ruined themselves and their natural posterity.
76. Q. How many covenants are there?
77. Q. What are these?
A. The covenant of works and the covenant of grace.
78. Q. With whom did God make the covenant of works?
A. With Adam for himself and his posterity.
79. Q. With whom did God make the covenant of grace?
A. With Christ.
80. Q. What was the condition of the covenant of works?
A . Adam’s perfect obedience.
81. Q. What is the condition of the covenant of grace?
A. Christ’s fulfilling all righteousness.
82. Q. Which of these two covenants is the most excellent and glorious?
A. The covenant of grace.
83. Q. Wherein is the covenant of grace more excellent?
A. Its blessings are both large and free, and it cannot be broken.
84. Q. Why cannot the covenant of grace be broken?
A. Because Christ cannot fail as Adam did.
85. Q. Did you and all mankind break the covenant of works, in Adam’s eating the forbidden fruit?
86. Q. How can that be, since you were not born?
A. Adam represented me, and I sinned in him.
87. Q. What did you fall from by Adam’s eating the forbidden fruit?
A. A state of holiness and happiness.
88. Q. Into what did you fall by it?
A. Into an estate of sin and misery.
89. Q. Is there any recovery from that state of sin and misery, into which the breach of the covenant of work has now brought you?
A. Yes, by the covenant of grace.
90. Q. Cannot your good thoughts, words, or actions, recover you by the covenant of works?
A. No; everything I do is sinful.
91. Q. Can God pardon your sin without full satisfaction of his justice?
A. No, he will by no means clear the guilty.
92. Q. Can you satisfy God’s justice for your own sin?
A. No; I cannot even cease from adding to my sin.
93. Q. Is God willing to receive satisfaction for your sin from another in your stead?
94. Q. But who is able and willing to give satisfaction for your sins?
A. Jesus Christ is both able and willing, and hath fully satisfied the law and justice of God for me.
95. Q. Why could none but Christ satisfy for your sin?
A. Because none but he could bare infinite wrath.
96. Q. But who is this Jesus Christ?
A. He is the eternal Son of God, in our nature.
97. Q. Who provided Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer?
A. God whom we have offended by our sin.
98. Q. What moved God to provide this glorious surety and Redeemer for us?
A. Nothing but his own free love.
99. Q. How many offices hath Christ?
100. Q. What are the three offices of our Redeemer?
A. The offices of a Prophet, Priest, and King.
101. Q. For what end do you need a Redeemer with this threefold office?
A. To cure my threefold misery.
102. Q. What is your threefold misery?
A. Ignorance, guilt, and bondage.
103. Q. How doth Christ as a prophet cure your ignorance?
A. By his word and spirit teaching me.
104. Q. How doth Christ as a priest remove your guilt?
A. By obeying God’s law and dying for me.
105. Q. How doth Christ as a King redeem you from your bondage?
A. By delivering me from the power of sin and satan.
106. Q. How many natures hath Christ?
107. Q. What are the two natures of our Redeemer?
A. The nature of God and the nature of man.
108. Q. Was Christ God from all eternity?
109. Q. Was Christ man from all eternity?
110. Q. When did our Redeemer become man?
A. In the fullness of time, near 2000 years ago.
111. Q. What doth Christ now continue to be?
A. Both God and man in one person.
112. Q. How long will Christ continue to be both God and man?
A. For ever.
113. Q. In what condition was Christ when he became man?
A. In a low condition.
114. Q. What was that low condition?
A. He was born of a mean [lowly] woman, in a stable, and laid in a manger.
115. Q. What kind of a life had Christ in this world?
A. A most afflicting and sorrowful life.
116. Q. What made Christ’s life so afflicting and sorrowful?
A. The wrath of God and the contradiction of sinners.
117. Q. What shameful and painful death did Christ die?
A. The cursed death of the cross.
118. Q. For what end did Christ endure all these sufferings?
A. To satisfy God’s justice, and atone for our sins.
119. Q. What became of Christ after his death?
A. His body was buried, and his soul went to heaven.
120. Q. How long did Christ’s body continue in the grave?
A. A part of three days.
121. Q. Did Christ’s body corrupt in the grave?
122. Q. How came that?
A. Because he was without sin.
123. Q. What became of Christ after his lying in the grave?
A. He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.
124. Q. Where sits he there?
A. At the right hand of God.
125. Q. How long will Christ continue sitting at the right hand of God?
A. For ever.
126. Q. Will Christ ever come again to this world?
127. Q. When will he come again to it?
A. At the last day.
128. Q. For what end will he come again at the last day?
A. To judge the world.
129. Q. Whom will Christ judge at the last day?
A. All, devils and men, both quick and dead.
130. Q. Of what must we then give an account to God?
A. Of all our thoughts, words, and actions.
131. Q. Whereby will the dead be raised up to the last judgment?
A. By the Almighty power of God.
132. Q. Who will bring us and all mankind to the judgment seat of Christ?
A. The holy angels.
133. Q. Whom will Christ set upon his right hand in the day of judgment?
A. The righteous.
134. Q. Whom will he place on his left hand?
A. The wicked.
135. Q. What will be the sentence of the righteous?
A. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
136. Q. What will be the sentence of the wicked?
A. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.
137. Q. What will become of the wicked after the passing of this sentence?
A. They will be cast soul and body into hell fire.
138. Q. What will become of the righteous?
A. They will triumphantly pass into heaven with Christ.
139. Q. How long will the wicked continue in hell, and the righteous in heaven?
A. For ever and ever.
140. Q. What will the wicked forever do in hell?
A. They will roar, curse, and blaspheme God.
141. Q. What will the righteous for ever do in heaven?
A. They will behold the glory and sing the praises of God in Christ.
142. Q. How may we attain to that blessed state?
A. By getting an interest in Christ and his righteousness.
143. Q. What mean you by the righteousness of Christ?
A. His obedience and suffering: or, his doing and dying.
144. Q. Can you be saved by the righteousness of Christ, in a state of sin and course of disobedience to God’s commands?
A. No; without holiness no man shall see the Lord. [Heb. 12.14.]
145. Q. How many commandments of God are there?
146. Q. Upon what did God of old write the ten commandments?
A. Upon two tables of stone.
147. Q. How many commandments are in the first table?
148. Q. How many commandments are in the second table?
149. Q. What doth the first table contain?
A. Our duty to God.
150. Q. What doth the second contain?
A. Our duty to man.
151. Q. To whom did God deliver these two tables of his law?
A. To Moses and the Israelites at Mount Sinai.
152. Q. What is the fulfillment of the whole law of God?
A. Love to God and man.
153. Q. What doth the first command require of you?
A. To take the Lord alone to be my God in Christ.
154. Q. Why must you take God as in Christ for your God?
A. Because out of Christ God is a consuming fire. [Deut. 4.24; Heb. 12.29.]
155. Q. What doth the second command require of you?
A. To pray and to praise God, and read and hear his word.
156. Q. What doth the third command forbid you?
A. To curse, swear, or speak lightly of God.
157. Q. What doth the fourth command require of you?
A. To remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.
158. Q. What doth the fifth command enjoin you?
A. To honor and obey my father and mother.
159. Q. What doth the sixth command forbid you?
A. To fight, and hurt myself or my neighbor.
160. Q. What doth the seventh command forbid you?
A. All uncleanness and filthy language.
161. Q. What doth the eighth command forbid?
A. All cheating, stealing, and robbing.
162. Q. What doth the ninth command forbid?
A. Lying and speaking evil of my neighbour.
163. Q. What doth the tenth command forbid?
A. All envying and coveting what is my neighbor’s.
164. Q. In what manner ought you to keep all these ten commands?
A. Perfectly and constantly.
165. Q. Can you keep any of them in this manner?
A. No: I break them daily.
166. Q. In what do you daily break the commands of God?
A. In my thoughts, words, and deeds.
167. Q. What doth the least breach of these commands deserve?
A. God’s eternal wrath and curse.
168. Q. By whom think you to escape God’s wrath and curse?
A. By Jesus Christ, the surety of lost sinners.
169. Q. Will every man be saved by what Christ hath done and suffered?
A. No;—very many reject him.
170. Q. Who may warrantably expect salvation through Christ?
A. Such as truly believe in him and repent of their sins.
171. Q. Can you believe and repent of yourself?
A. No; faith and repentance are the gift of God.
172. Q. Are you not a stranger to God, and far off from him by nature?
A. Yes; but I am brought near to him by the blood and spirit of Christ. [Eph. 2.13.]
173. Q. What are the ordinary means of our acquaintance with Christ?
A. The word, sacraments, and prayer.
174. Q. How many sacraments are there?
175. Q. What are these?
A. Baptism, and the Lord’s supper.
176. Q. Who appointed these sacraments?
A. Jesus Christ, the only King and head of the Church.
177. Q. For what end hath Christ appointed these sacraments?
A. To seal and apply himself and his benefits to us.
178. Q. How long will baptism and the Lord’s supper continue in the Church?
A. Till Christ’s second coming.
179. Q. Wherewith were you baptized?
A. With water.
180. Q. What doth the water used in baptism signify?
A. The precious blood of Christ.
181. Q. From what doth the blood of Christ cleanse us?
A. From the filth and guilt of our sin.
182. Q. From what sin did you need to be washed in your infancy?
A. From my original sin.
183. Q. In whose name were you baptized?
A. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
184. Q. What did you renounce in your baptism?
A. The service of the devil, the world, and the flesh.
185. Q. What did you engage in your baptism?
A. To take the Lord alone to be my God in Christ, and serve him always.
186. Q. How can you perform your baptismal engagements?
A. I must pray daily for God’s grace to enable me.
187. Q. Can you pray aright of yourself?
A. No; But I must earnestly plead that Christ would teach and enable me to pray.
188. Q. By what means doth Christ teach and enable us to pray?
A. By his word and spirit.
189. Q. What special pattern of prayer hath Christ left us in his word?
A. The Lord’s prayer.
190. Q. Can you repeat the Lord’s prayer?
A. Yes; Our father which art in heaven, &c. [Matth. 6.9-13. KJV/TR.]
191. Q. How many petitions are in it?
192. Q. Which is the first petition in the Lord’s prayer?
A. Hallowed be thy name.
193. Q. What is the second petition?
A. Thy kingdom come.
194. Q. What is the third petition?
A. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
195. Q. What is the forth petition?
A. Give us this day our daily bread.
196. Q. What is the fifth petition?
A. Forgive our debts (or sins) as we for give our debtors.
197. Q. What is the sixth petition?
A. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
198. Q. How doth Christ’s spirit enable you to pray?
A. By giving me a praying heart, and showing me what I ought to plead for.
199. Q. Will not God accept the request of your lips?
A. No; unless it proceed from my heart. [Mark 7.6.]
200. Q. Can you pray with your heart before it be renewed by the Spirit of God?
201. Q. What is the prayer of the wicked in God’s account?
A. It is an abomination to the Lord. [Prov. 15.8.]
202. Q. Will you then receive Christ, pray earnestly, and live soberly, righteously, and godly?
A. Yes; through the grace of God enabling me, I will.
203. Q. What will your sincere prayers and holy life end in, at last?
A. In my full enjoyment of God in Christ, and triumphant praising him for evermore.
1. This answer is given in light of the previous questions and answers, in which the Covenant of Grace is defined in Contrast to the Covenant of Works by stating the parties in terms of Federal heads. But as the Covenant of Works may be described both in relation to Adam, and in relation to individuals among his posterity, so the Covenant of Grace is also expressed as a Covenant between God and believers. In this view the condition of the Covenant of Grace is said to be Faith, because although it is Christ’s fulfilling all righteousness which is the condition procuring the blessings of the Covenant, yet it is faith which interests the individual Christian in the Covenant, as an heir and beneficiary. John 3.18. See the Westminster Larger Catechism, questions 31 and 32. Those who desire a yet fuller explanation may consult the Sum of Saving Knowledge and other writings available at our Gospel page.—JTK.
2. Our author’s expression here sounds awkward, not being taken directly from the Holy Scriptures, nor the Church’s Creeds or Confessions of Faith. In Matthew 12.40, our Saviour says For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. At the same time, the Gospels tell us, and Paul also confirms, that Christ was “raised the third day.” These Scriptures agree perfectly in their meaning, if we understand those of each sort properly. The same apparent difference occurs in 1 Kings 12, verses 5 and 12, so that it is clear a mode of speaking is used in Scripture which is somewhat different from that of our familiar expressions for duration and delay. In our day the difference has sometimes been resolved by suggesting that our Lord’s death occurred on Thursday, and that the high-day “Sabbath” anticipated (John 19.31,) was not a weekly Sabbath, but one of the holy convocations associated with the annual passover, which varied in the day of the week they fell upon. Plausible as the theory is, it runs contrary to not merely tradition, but very ancient records and writings of the Christian Church’s most notable writers. (e.g. Justin, First Apology, ch. 67.) Still, a desire for a more thorough harmonizing of the Scripture language above did not begin with our later times. In his Dissertations on the Apostles’ Creed, Heman Witius refers to the suggestion of Johnann Cloppenburgh (1592-1652,) that the beginning of the three days might be counted from when Christ was lifted up on the cross, after which by the miraculous darkness of Matthew 27.45, “the sun thrice shone, and darkness thrice prevailed, before the hour of Christ’s resurrection.” Neither was this proposal new in the 1600s, being previously set forth by Ambrose (340-397,) in a “rhetorical flourish” holding forth the sun itself as contemplating the means by which it might hasten the redemption of mankind. De Interpellatione Iob et David, book 1, chapter 5.
Witsius also refers to how another theologian, judicial and grave, made the suggestion that Christ might be reckoned as being “in the heart of the earth” from the time when, “he fell down upon the ground” under the sense of the Divine anger. But the most usual explanation is that which reckons the Friday, Saturday, and Sonday, by parts, as composing the “three days and three nights” mentioned in Scripture. A succinct presentation of this, comparing scripture with scripture, is found in Johannes VanderKemp’s The Christian Entirely the Property of Christ, in Life and Death, in his sermon on Romans 10.9, found on pages 349-350.
When all is weighed, it may be difficult to fix with certainty upon any one explanation that all will agree to embrace. But it is for that very reason that the best answer to be given to the above question, is not a phrase that varies from the expressions of Scripture itself, but one which is taken directly from the Holy Scriptures. So, as Jesus assured his disciples that he would be “killed, and after three days rise again,” (Mar. 8.31,) then it may very well be said now, that Jesus was killed, and after three days rose again. As our Lord certified the scribes and Pharisees that he would be “three days and three nights in he heart of the earth,” (Matth. 12.40,) so it will be best to say that the length of time he was in the grave was “three days and three nights.”—JTK.