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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 40. What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?
A. The rule which God at first revealed to man for his obedience, was the moral law.

1. Was the moral law revealed to man in innocency? Yes: for God created man in his own image, Gen. 1:27. Is it written in the heart of man? Yes: They show the work of the law written in their heart, Rom. 2:15. Is there then a law of nature? Yes: Doth not even nature itself teach you? 1 Cor. 11:14. Is that a law of God? Yes: for he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, Job 33:16. Does natural conscience enforce that law? Yes: for the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, Rom. 2:14. Did the Gentiles sin by the breach of that law? Yes: what they know naturally, in these things they corrupt themselves, Jude 10. And will they be punished for the breach of it ? Yes: they that have sinned without law, shall perish without law, Rom. 2:12.

2. Has God given us the moral law more fully? Yes: I have written unto them the great things of my law, Hos. 8:12. Are we under that law as a covenant? No: for a man is not justified by the works of the law, Gal. 2:16. Are we under it as a rule? Yes: we are under the law to Christ, 1 Cor. 9:21.

3. Is the law of God very extensive? Yes: Thy commandment is exceeding broad, Ps. 119:96. And very excellent? Yes: the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and just, and good, Rom. 7:12. Is it admirable? Yes: Thy testimonies are wonderful, Ps. 119:129. Is any thing unjust in it? No: I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right, Ps. 119:128. Is it beyond any other law? Yes: what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous, Deut. 4:8.

4. Does the law of God bind the inward man? Yes: for the law is spiritual, Rom. 7:14. Does it forbid heart sins? Yes: Wash thy heart from wickedness, Jer. 4:14. Does it require heart service? Yes: My son, give me thy heart, Prov. 23:26. Does the law show us our way? Yes: it is a light to our feet, Ps. 119:105. Does it discover sin to us? Yes: by the law is the knowledge of sin, Rom. 3:20. Does it warn us concerning sin and duty? Yes: by them is thy servant warned, Ps. 19:11. Does it show us the need of Christ? Yes: the law was our schoolmaster, to bring us to Christ, Gal. 3:24. And does Christ do that for as which the law could not? Yes: Christ is the end of the law for righteousness, Rom. 10:4.

5. Ought we to love the law of God? Yes: I love thy commandments above gold, Ps. 119:127. And to consult it upon all occasions? Yes: Thy testimonies are my delight, and my counsellors, ver. 24. And to confirm it? Yes: We must walk in the law of the Lord, ver. 1.

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