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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 42. What is the sum of the ten commandments?
A. The sum of the ten commandments is, to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves.

1. Is all the law summed up in a word? Yes: all the law is fulfilled in one word, Gal. 5:14. Is that a short and sweet word? Yes: for it is love; love is the fulfilling of the law, Rom. 13:10.

2. Is it our duty to love God? Yes: Take good heed to yourselves that ye love the Lord your God, Josh. 23:11. Must we love him with a sincere love? Yes: Grace be with them that love him in sincerity, Eph. 6:24. And with a B love? Yes; my soul thirsteth for God, for the living God, Ps. 42:2. And with a superlative love? Yes: There is none upon earth that I desire besides thee, Ps. 73:25. And is all this included in the first and great commandment? Yes: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the first and great commandment, Matt. 22:37,38. And is this the sum of our duty to God? Yes; for if any man love God, the same is known of him, 1 Cor 8:3. Must those who love God be careful to please him? Yes: Ye that love the Lord, hate evil, Ps. 97:10.

3. Is there good reason why we should thus love God? Yes: Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, Deut. 11:1. For is he most lovely in himself? Yes: God is love, 1 John 4:8. And most loving to us? Yes: we love him because he first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Will he return our love? Yes: all things shall work together for good to them that love God, Rom. 8:28. And in the other world? Yes: for eye hath not seen what God hath prepared for them that love him, 1 Cor. 2:9. Will you then love God above all? Yes: I will love thee, O Lord, my strength, Ps. 18:1. And pray to God to give you grace to love him? Yes: the Lord direct our hearts into his love, 2 Thess. 3:5.

4. Is it our duty to love our neighbour too? Yes: He that loveth God, must love his brother also, 1 John 4:21. Can we pretend to love God, if we do not love our neighbour? No: he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20. Is this the fulfilling of the law? Yes: all is comprehended in this saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, Rom. 13:9. James 2:8. Gal. 5:14. Is it the second great commandment? Yes: the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, Matt. 22:39. Is it an old commandment? Yes: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, I am the Lord, Lev. 19:18. Is it a new commandment? Yes: A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, John 13:34.

5. Must we have a respect for all men? Yes: Honour all men, 1 Pet. 2:17. Especially for all good men? Yes: we must honour them that fear the Lord, Ps. 15:4. Must we esteem one another? Yes: Let each esteem other better than themselves, Phil. 2:3. Must we sympathize with one another? Yes: Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep, Rom. 12:15. Must we please one another? Yes: for even Christ pleased not himself, Rom. 15:2, 3. Must we help one another? Yes: Bear ye one another's burdens, Gal. 6:2. Must we do good to one another? Yes: as we have opportunity we must do good to all men, Gal. 6:10. Must we pray for one another? Yes: Pray one for another that ye may be healed James 5:16. Must we love even our enemies? Yes: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, Matt. 5:44.

6. Must you hurt nobody in word or deed? No: A citizen of Sion doeth not evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour, Ps. 15:3. Must you be true and just in all your dealings? Yes: that which is altogether just shall thou follow, Deut. 16: 20. Must you bear no malice or hatred in your heart? No: for whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer, 1 John 3:15.

7. Are we to love our neighbour as ourselves? Yes: for we are members one of another, Eph. 4:25. As truly as we love ourselves? Yes: Let love be without dissimulation, Rom. 12:9. And as fruitfully? Yes: Not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, 1 Cor. 10:33. And as constantly as we love ourselves? Yes: Let brotherly love continue, Heb. 13:1. Ought we therefore to do as we would be done by? Yes: Whatsoever ye would that men should do to yon, do you even so to them, Matt. 7:12. Should we in our places promote Christian love? Yes: for every one that loveth is born of God, 1 John 4:7. And will this be our comfort? Yes: Live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you, 2 Cor. 13:11.

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