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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.

1. Is man a reasonable creature? Yes: for there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding, Job 32:8. Has he greater capacities than the brutes ? Yes: God teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven, Job 35:11.

2. Is man his own maker? No: it is God that hath made us, and not we ourselves, Psalm 100:3. Is he then his own master? No: there is a Lord over us, Psalm 12:4. Is he his own carver? No: should it be according to thy mind, Job 34:33. Is he his own end? No: for none of us lives to himself, or dies to himself, Romans 14:7.

3. Is it your business in the world to serve the flesh? No: for we are not debtors to the flesh, that we should live after the flesh, Rom. 8:12. Is it to pursue the world ? No: for we are not of the world, John 17:16.

4. Is your happiness bound up in the creature? No: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit, Eccl. 1:14. Will the riches of the world make you happy? No: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth, Luke 12:15. Will the praise and applause of men make you happy? No: for it is vain glory, Gal. 5:26. Will sport and pleasure make you happy? No: for the wise man said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What doth it? Eccl. 2:2. Can the gain of the world make you happy? No, for what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26.

5. Is God then your chief end? Yes, for of him, and through him, and to him are all things, Rom. 11:36. Were you made for him? Yes: this people have I formed for myself, Isa. 43:21. Were you redeemed for him? Yes: ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.

6. Is it your chief business to glorify God? Yes: we must glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God's, I Cor. 6:20. Must this be ultimately designed in all our actions? Yes: do all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10:31. Is God glorified by our praises? Yes: he that offers praise, glorifies me, Ps. 50:23. And is he glorified by our works? Yes: herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, John 15:8.

7. Is God your chief good? Yes: for happy is the people whose God is the Lord, Ps. 144:15. Does all good come from him? Yes: for with him is the fountain of life, Ps. 36:9. And is all good enjoyed in him? Yes: the Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup, Ps. 16:5.

8. Is it your chief happiness then to have God's favour? Yes: for in his favour is life, Ps. 30:5. Is that the most desirable good? Yes: for his loving kindness is better than life, Ps. 63:3. Do you desire it above any good? Yes: Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, Ps. 4:6, 7. And should you give all diligence to make it sure? Yes: herein we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of the Lord, 2 Cor. 5:9.

9. Is communion with God in grace here the best pleasure? Yes: it is good for me to draw near to God, Ps. 73:28. Is the vision and fruition of God in glory hereafter the best portion ? Yes: for in his presence there is fulness of joy, Ps. 16:11. Will you therefore set your heart upon this chief good? Yes: Lord, whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee; when my flesh and my heart fail, God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever, Ps. 73:25, 26. [ Go To Top Of This Page ]

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