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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 2. What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?

A. The word of God (which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament) is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

1. Do we need a rule to direct us to our chief end? Yes: for we all like sheep have gone astray, Isa. 53:6. Could we not find it out of ourselves? No: for man is born like the wild ass's colt, Job 11:12.

2. Is divine revelation necessary to religion? Yes: for faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God, Rom. 10:17. Is not the light of nature suffcient without it? No: for the world by wisdom knew not God, 1 Cor. 1:21. Has God therefore given us a revelation? Yes: he hath showed thee, O man, what is good, Mic. 6:3. Was there revelation from the beginning? Yes: at sundry times, and in divers manners, God spake unto the fathers, Heb. 1:1.

3. Are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament the word of God, and a divine revelation? Yes: for all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, 2 Tim. 3:16. Were they indited by the blessed Spirit? Yes: for holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1:21. Were they confirmed by miracles? Yes; God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, Heb. 2:4. Do they recommend themselves ? Yes; for the word of God is quick and powerful, Heb. 4:12. Is not the Bible then a cheat put upon the world ? No: for these are not the words of him that hath a devil, John 10:21.

4. Was the book of the Scripture written for our use? Yes: whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, Rom. 15:4. And is it of great use? Yes: for it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Tim. 3:16.

5. Are the Scriptures the great support of our religion? Yes: for we are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Eph. 2:20. Are they the standing rule of our faith and practice? Yes: we first have recourse to the law and to the testimony. Isa. 8:20. Are they the only rule? Yes : for other foundation can no man lay, 1 Cor. 3:11. Are they our guide? Yes: for the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, Prov. 6:23. Do they show us the way to heaven and happiness? Yes: for in them we thing we have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Christ, John 5:39.

6. Are the Scriptures our oracle which we must consult? Yes: What is written in the law, how readest thou? Luke 10:26. Are they our touchstone which we must try by? Yes: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them, Isaiah 8:20. Are they the weapons of our spiritual warfare? Yes: Get thee hence, Satan, for it is written, Matthew 6:10; Ephesians 6:17.

7. Is the written word a sufficient rule ? Yes: for the law of the Lord is perfect, Psalm 19:7. Is it plain? Yes: for the word is nigh thee, Romans 10:8. Is the church's authority the rule of our faith? No: for our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, 1 Corinthians 2:5. May we depend upon unwritten traditions? No: for we must refuse profane and old wives' fables, 1 Timothy 4:7.

8. Will the written word be the rule of our judgment hereafter? Yes: for we must be judged by the law of liberty, James 2:12. Ought we therefore to be ruled by it now? Yes: as many as walk according to this rule, peace shall be on them, Galatians 6:16. And to be comforted by it? Yes: for through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we have hope, Romans 15:4.

9. Are the Scriptures to be translated into vulgar tongues? Yes: for we should hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God, Acts 2:11. And must we study them? Yes: Search the Scriptures, John 5:39. And labour to understand them? Yes: Understandest thou what thou readest? Acts 8:30. And must we rest satisfied with this revelation of God's will? Yes: for if we believe not Moses and the prophets, neither would we be persuaded though one rose from the dead, Luke 16:31. Is it a great affront to God to neglect his word? Yes: I have written unto them the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing, Hosea 8:12.

10. Must little children get the knowledge of the Scripture? Yes: Timothy is commended for this, that from a child he knew the Holy Scriptures, 2 Timothy 3:15. And must their parents instruct them therein? Yes: they must teach them diligently unto their children, and talk of them, Deuteronomy 6:7.

11. Must we all love the word of God? Yes: O how love I thy law! And must we meditate therein ? Yes: It is my meditation all the day, Psalm 119:97. And will this be to our own advantage? Yes: for it is able to make us wise to salvation, 2 Timothy 3:15.

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