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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 64. What is required in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment requires the preserving the honour, and performing the duty, which belongs to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals.

1. Is it the duty of children to reverence their parents? Yes: Ye shall fear every man his mother, and his father, Lev. 19:3. And must they give honour to them? Yes: If I be a father, where is my honour? Mal. 1:6. And may they upon no account despise them? No: Despise not thy mother when she is old, Prov. 23: 22. Ought they to carry themselves respectfully towards them? Yes: King Solomon rose up to meet his mother, and bowed himself to her, 1 Kings 2:19. And to speak honourably of them? Yes: Her children rose up, and called her blessed, Prov. 31:28.

2. Is it the duty of children to obey their parents? Yes: Children, obey your parents in the Lord, Eph. 6:1. And to receive their instructions? Yes: Hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother, Prov. 1:8. And to submit to their correction? Yes: The fathers of our flesh corrected us, and we gave them reverence, Heb. 12:9. Should children labour to rejoice the hearts of their parents? Yes: My son, if thy heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, Prov. 23:15. And to requite them? Yes: let them show piety at home, and requite their parents, 1 Tim. 5:4. And to have their consent in disposing of themselves? Yes: Jacob obeyed his father, and his mother, and went to Padan-aram, for a wife, Gen 28:7. Is Christ an example of this subjection? Yes: for he went with his parents to Nazareth, and was subject to them, Luke 2:51.

3. Is it the duty of children to be respectful to the aged? Yes: Thou shall rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, Lev. 19:32. And must they be observant of their teachers? Yes: for they will mourn at the last, who obey not the voice of their teachers, and incline not their ear to them that instruct them, Prov. 5:11,13. And must they order themselves lowly and reverently to all their betters? Yes: ye younger, submit yourselves to the elder, 1 Pet. 5:5.

4. Is it the duty of parents to be tender of their children? Yes; for can a woman forget her sucking child? Isa. 49:15. And mild toward them? Yes; for a father pities his children, Ps. 103:13. And to bear with them? Yes: as a man spares his son that serves him, Mal. 3:17. And yet must they correct them when it is necessary? Yes; for he that spares his rod hates his son; but he that loves him, chastens him betimes, Prov. 13:24.

5. Is it the duty of parents to pray for their children? Yes: Job offered for his sons burnt-offerings, according to the number of them all, Job 1:5. And to bless God for them? Yes: They are the children which God hath graciously given thy servant, Gen. 33:5. Are they to bless them in the name of the lord? Yes: By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, Heb. 11:20. And are they to provide for them what is convenient? Yes: If any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel, 1 Tim. 5:8.

6. Is it the duty of parents to bring up their children in the fear of God? Yes: Bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, Eph. 6:4. And to teach them the things of God? Yes: Thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, Deut. 6:7. And to oblige them to their duty? Yes: I know Abraham, that he will command his children to keep the way of the Lord, Gen. 18:19. And ought they to set them a good example? Yes: I will walk within my house with a perfect heart, Ps. 101:2. And must they patiently part with their children when God calls for them? Yes: Thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, Gen. 22:16.

7. Is it the duty of servants to honour their masters and mistresses? Yes: Let as many servants as are under the yoke, count their own masters worthy of all honour, 1 Tim. 6:1. Is it their duty to obey them? Yes: Servants be obedient to them that are your masters, Eph. 6:5. And to be just and true to them? Yes: not purloining, but showing all good fidelity, Titus 2:10. Ought they to be diligent in the duty of their place? Yes: What, though they suffer unjustly? Yes: Servants be subject not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward, 1 Pet. 2:18. And must they have an eye to God in all: Yes: As to the Lord, and not to men, Col. 3:23.

8. Is it the duty of masters to be just to their servants? Yes: Masters give to your servants that which is just and equal, Col. 4:1. And to be gentle towards them? Yes: forbearing threatening, Eph. 6:9. Should all masters of families worship God with their families? Yes: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord, Josh. 24:15. And should they restrain sin in their families? Yes: Thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacle, Job 22:28.

9. Is it the duty of wives to be respectful to their husbands? Yes: Let the wife see that she reverence her husband, Eph. 5:33. And to love them? Yes: they must love their husbands, and love their children, Tit. 2:4. Must they be submissive to their husbands? Yes: Wives submit yourselves to your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord, Col. 3:18. Must they be faithful and obedient to them? Yes: they must be chaste keepers at home, obedient to their own husbands, Tit. 2:5. Must they receive instruction from them? Yes: If they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home, 1 Cor. 14:35. Must they be helpers to them in religion? Yes: that they may be won by the conversation of the wives, 1 Pet. 3:1.

10. Is it the duty of husbands to love their wives? Yes: Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them Col. 3:19. Must they love them dearly? Yes: Let every one love his wife even as himself, Eph. 5:33. And delight in them? Yes: rejoice with the wife of thy youth, Prov. 5:18, 19. And be tender of them? Yes: Giving honour to the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. 3:7.

11. Is it the duty of husbands and wives to be pleasing one to another? Yes: He that is married careth how to please his wife, and she that is married how to please her husband, 1 Cor. 7:33,34. Is it their duty to live in the fear of God, and to pray together? Yes: as heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered, 1 Pet. 3:7. Should they promote the eternal salvation one of another? Yes: What knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? Or how knowest thou O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? 1 Cor. 7:16.

12. Is it the duty of subjects to reverence their magistrates? Yes: Fear God, honour the king, 1 Pet. 2:17. And to obey them in the Lord? Yes: we must be subject to principalities and powers, and obey magistrates, Tit. 3:1. And to be loyal to them? Yes: for the powers that be are ordained of God, Rom. 13:1. Is it our duty to pray for magistrates? Yes: for kings, and for all that are in authority, 1 Tim. 2:2. And to pay them tribute? Yes: tribute to whom tribute is due, custom to whom custom, Rom. 13:7. Must we be peaceable under their government? Yes: that we under them may lead a quiet and peaceable life, 1 Tim. 2:2. And all this conscientiously? Yes: Ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake, Rom. 13:5. Ought magistrates to be as parents to their subjects? Yes: Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers, Isa. 49:23.

13. Is it the duty of people to love and respect their ministers? Yes: Know them which labour among you, and esteem them very highly in love, for their work's sake, 1 Thess. 5:12,13. Ought they to submit to their instructions? Yes: Obey your guides, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, Heb. 13:7. And to provide for their comfortable subsistence? Yes: Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth, Gal. 6:6. And ought ministers to be as spiritual fathers to their people? Yes: We exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, 1 Thess. 2:11.

14. Is it the duty of equals to be kind one to another? Yes: Be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, Rom. 12:10. And to be respectful one to another? Yes: in honour preferring one another, Rom. 12:10. And to be submissive one to another? Yes: Yea, all of ye, be subject one to another, 1 Pet. 5:5.

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