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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 56. What is the reason annexed to the third commandment?
A. The reason annexed to the third commandment is, that however the breakers of this commandment may escape punishment from men, yet the Lord our God will not suffer them to escape his righteous judgment.

1. Do the breakers of the third commandment commonly escape punishment from men? Yes: for men hear the voice of swearing, and utter it not, Lev. 5:1. And do they fancy they shall escape God's judgments? Yes: the wicked contemn God, and yet say in their heart, he will not require it, Ps. 10:13. But shall they escape God's judgments? No: Be not deceived, God is not mocked, Gal. 6:7.

2. Shall those who profane God's holy name escape his righteous judgments? No: The Lord will make their plagues wonderful, Deut. 28:59. Shall hypocrites escape them? No: Woe unto you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites, Matt. 23:13. Shall scoffers escape them? No: for they shall be broken, and snared, and taken, Isa. 28:13. Shall covenant breakers escape them? No: Seeing he despised the oath, by breaking the covenant, he shall not escape, Ezek. 17:18.

3. Shall swearers go unpunished? No: for he that sweareth shall be cut off: Zech. 5:3. Shall they who use God's name vainly go unpunished? No: for every idle word that men speak they must give account, Matt. 12:36. And shall their words be witnesses against them? Yes: God shall cause their own tongues to fall upon them, Ps. 44:8.

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