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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.17. Into what state did the fall bring mankind.?
A. The fall brought mankind into a state of sin and misery.

1. Is mankind in a state of sin? Yes: for both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, Rom. 3: 9. Is a state of sin a sad state ? Yes : for they that are in the flesh cannot please God, Rom. 8:8. Did the fall bring us into a state of sin? Yes: for by it many were made sinners, Rom. 5:19. Does the world continue in that state ? Yes : for the whole world lies in wickedness, 1 John 5:19. And are you by nature in that state? Yes: if I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me, Job 9:20.

2. Is mankind in a state of misery? Yes: the misery of man is great upon him, Eccl. 8:6. Is sin the cause of all that misery? Yes: for death entered by sin, and so death passed upon all men, Rom. 5:12. Is misery the consequence of sin? Yes: for evil pursues sinners, Prov. 13:21. Do all the creatures share in the sad effects of sin? Yes: cursed is the ground for thy sake, Gen. 3:17. And could all this mischief come from that one sin? Yes: for how great a matter does a little fire kindle, James 3:5,6.

3. Did the fall bring mankind into a state of apostasy from God? Yes: for they are all gone aside, Ps. 14:3. Is that a sinful state? Yes: for it is great whoredom, to depart from the Lord, Hos. 1:2. And is it a miserable state? Yes: Woe unto them, for they have fled from me, Hos. 7:13.

4. Did the fall bring mankind into a state of slavery to Satan? Yes: for they are taken captive by him at his will, 2 Tim. 2:26.. Is that a sinful state? Yes: for the prince of the power of the air works in the children of disobedience, Eph. 2:2. Is it a miserable state? Yes: for the god of this world hath blinded their minds, 2 Cor. 4:4. Is it like the condition of the prodigal son? Yes: for he went into a far country, wasted his substance, began to be in want, and was sent into the fields to feed swine, Luke 15:13-15.

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