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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are his eternal purposes, according to the counsel of his own will : whereby for his own glory he hath foreordained whatever comes to pass.

1. Does God dispose of all things that come to pass? Yes : My times are in thy hand, Ps. 31:15. Does he do it according to his own will: Yes: for he hath done whatsoever he pleased, Ps. 115:3. Can any control his will? No: for he doth according to his will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, Dan. 4:35. Has he determined before what he will do? Yes: for known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world, Acts 15:18.

2. Is there a counsel then in all the will of God? Yes: for he worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, Eph. 1:11. Is it an eternal counsel? Yes: for it was ordained before the world, 1 Cor. 2:7. Is it free? Yes: Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight, Matt. 11: 26. Is it unchangeable? Yes: the counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, Ps. 33:11. Is it for his own glory? Yes: that we should be to the praise of his glory, Eph. 1:12.

Were all the events of time ordained from eternity? Yes: He performeth the thing that is appointed for me, Job 23:14. Does any thing come to pass by chance? No: for the lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord, Prov. 16:33. Does every thing come to pass as God has ordained it? Yes: for there are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand, Prov. 19:21.

4.Can we search out God's counsels? No: for his judgments are a great deep, Ps. 36: 6. Ought we not therefore to acquiesce in them? Yes: Here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him, 2 Sam. 15:26. May we question God's proceedings? No: for his thoughts are above our thoughts, Isa. 55: 9.

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