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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel


Of Man's Misery .

Q. 19. What is the Misery of that Estate whereinto Man fell?
A. All Mankind by their Fall lost communion with God, are under his wrath and curse: and so made liable to all miseries in this life, to death itself, and to the pains of Hell forever.


Q. 1. What Communion had God with Man before the Fall?
A. Man then enjoyed the gracious presence and favour of God with hiim, which was better than life.

Q. 2. How doth it appear this was lost by the Fall?
A. It appears by Scripture-Testimony, That Adam lost it as to himself. Genesis 3:8. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, among the trees of the garden. And we in him. Ephesians 2:12. At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.

Q. 3. Was this the only misery that came by the Fall?
A. No. Man did not only lose communion with God, but fell under his wrath and curse. Ephesians 2:3. And were by nature children of wrath, even as others.

Q. 4. Doth the wrath and curse of God then lie on all men?
A.. It lies on all the unregenerate in the world. Galatians 3:10. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which is written in the book of the law, to do them. But believers are delivered from it by Christ. 1 Thessalonians 1:10. Even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Q. 5. How are the MIseries of man by the Fall divided?
A. They are divided into the Miseries of this world, and of the world to come.

Q. 6. What are the miseries that come on them in this world?
A. The Miseries of this Life; as Sickness, Pain, Poverty on the Body; Fear, Trouble, Sorrow on the Mind, and at last Death itself. Romans 6. ult. The wages of sin is death.

Q. 7. What are the miseries after this life?
A. The pains and Torments of Hell for ever. Psalm 9:17. The wicked shall be turned into hell.

Q. 8. What are the Torments of Hell?
A. Pain of Loss, and Pain of Sense. Matthew 25:41. Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire.

Q. 9. What learn you from hence?
A. The woeful state of the unconverted. Miserable here, adn miserable to Eternity.

Q. 10. What else learn we hence?
A. The great Salvation Believers have by Christ from all this misery. Hebrews 2:3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.

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