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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 57. What is the fourth commandment?
A. The fourth commandment is, Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

1. Does the fourth commandment concern the time of worship? Yes: for there is a time to every purpose, Eccl. 3:1. Must our worship be confined to that time? No: for we must pray always, Eph. 6:18. But is that appointed for the certain time? Yes: Blow up the trumpet in the time appointed, Ps. 81:3. Is it the will of God we should take special notice of this command? Yes: for he has said, Remember it. Are we apt to forget it? Yes: they have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, Ezek. 22:26.

2. Must we keep holy the sabbath day? Yes: Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, Deut. 5:12. Is a sabbath a day of rest? Yes: It shall be a sabbath of rest unto you, Lev.16:31. Must we labour the six days, and do all our work? Yes: For in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat bread, Gen. 3:19. But is not work for God part of our work? Yes: for we must work the works of God, John 6:28. Must we not then do that on the six days? Yes: Every day will I bless thee, Ps. 145:2. But must we especially do it on sabbath days? Yes: for it is the Holy of the Lord, Isa. 58:13. Must we therefore rest from other work on that day? Yes: that we may attend upon the Lord without distraction, 1 Cor. 7:35.

3. Must children keep holy the sabbath day? Yes: Thou, and thy son, and thy daughter. And servants? Yes: That thy man-servant and maid-servant may rest as well as thou, Deut. 5:14. And is there good reason for the sanctification of the sabbath? Yes: Ye shall keep my sabbaths, I am the Lord your God, Lev. 19:3.

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