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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.16. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression?
A. The covenant being made with Adam, not only for himself, but for his posterity, all mankind descending from him by ordinary generation, sinned in him, and fell with him in his first transgression.

1. Are we concerned in our first parents' disobedience? Yes: for by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, Rom. 5:18. Were we in their loins when they ate the forbidden fruit? Yes : for Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living, Gen. 3:20. Was Adam a common father? Yes: for he was to be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, Gen. 1:28. Was he a public person? Yes: for he was the figure of him that was to come, Rom. 5:14. Was the covenant made with him, and his posterity? Yes: for God always established his covenant with men, and with their seed after them, Gen. 9:9.

2. Was Adam's sin our ruin then? Yes: for through the offence of one many are dead, Rom. 5:15. Was the honour of human nature thereby stained? Yes: for Adam begat a son in his own likeness, Gen. 5:8. Was the power of the human nature thereby weakened? Yes: for when we were without strength, Christ died for us, Rom. 5:6. Was the purity of it thereby corrupted? Yes: for in us, that is, in our flesh, there dwells no good thing, Rom. 6:18. Was Adam himself degenerated? Yes: for God said to him, Dust thou art, Gen. 3:19. And are we in like manner degenerated? Yes: for we have all borne the image of the earthy, 1 Cor. 15:49.

3. Is this degeneracy universal? Yes: for all flesh hath corrupted his way, Gen. 6:12. Did our Lord Jesus descend from Adam by ordinary generation? No: for he is the Lord from heaven 1 Cor. 15:47. Did he then sin in Adam? No: for he is undefiled, separate from sinners, Heb. 7:26. Did all the rest of mankind sin in Adam? Yes: for how can he be clean that is born of a woman? Job 25:4. Are the ways of the Lord herein equal? Yes: but our ways are unequal, Ezek. 18:29.

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