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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

Thomas Vincent

X. Ques. How did God create man?
Ans. God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.

Q. 1. Why did God create man male and female?
A. God created man male and female, for their mutual help, and for the propagation of mankind. "And, God said, It is not good that the man should be alone: I will make an help meet for him."— Gen. 2:18. "God created man male and female; and God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it" &c.— Gen. 1:27-28.

Q. 2. What is meant by the image of God, after which man was at first created?
A. By the image of God we are to understand the similitude or likeness of God. "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."— Gen. 1:26.

Q. 3. Wherein doth consist the image of God, which was put upon man, in his first creation?
A. 1. Negatively, the image of God doth not consist in any outward visible resemblance of his body to God, as if God had any bodily shape. 2. Positively, the image of God doth consist in the inward resemblance of his soul to God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. "Renewed in knowledge, after the image of Him that created him."— Col. 3:10. "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."— Eph. 4:24.

Q. 4. What is included in this image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, as man had it at first?
A. The image of God in man at the first doth include the universal and perfect rectitude of the whole soul: knowledge in his understanding, righteousness in his will, holiness in his affections.

Q. What knowledge had he when he was created, in his understanding?
A. Man had, in his first creation, the knowledge of God, and his law, and his creatures, and all things which were necessary to make him happy.

Q. 6. What righteousness had man at first in his will?
A. Man had at first in his will a disposition, accompanied with an executive power, to every thing which was right, and to give that which was both due to God and also to man, had there been any man besides himself.

Q. What holiness had man at first in his affections?
A. Man's affections at first were holy and pure, free from all sin and defilement, free from all disorder and distemper; they were placed upon the most holy, high, and noble objects. Man at first had true and chief love to God; his desires were chiefly after him, and his delight was chiefly in him, and no creature in the world had too great a share. As for grief, and shame, and the like affections, though they were in man radically, yet they were not in man actively, so as to put forth any acts, until he had committed the first sin; then be began to mourn and be ashamed.

Q. 8. What dominion had man at his first creation?
A. Man had dominion, not only over himself aud his own affections, but he had also dominion over the inferior creatures, the fish, and the fowls, and the beasts; many of which, since man's disobedience to the command of God, are become disobedient to the command of man. "God said unto them, Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every creature that moveth upon the earth."— Gen. 1:28.

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