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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 65. What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
A. The fifth commandment forbids the neglecting of, or doing any thing against, the honour and duty which belongs to every one in their several places and relations.

1. Is it a sin for children to despise their parents? Yes: Cursed be he that sets light by his father or mother, Deut. 27:16. Or to disobey them? Yes: the eye that mocks at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it, Prov. 30:17. Is it a sin for children prodigally to spend their parents' substance? Yes: He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, Prov. 29:16. Or to grieve their parents? Yes: A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother, Prov. 10:1.

2. Is it a sin for inferiors to be rude and undutiful to their superiors? Yes: for a child to behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable, Isa. 3:5. Is it a sin for superiors to be harsh and unkind to their inferiors? Yes: Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged, Col. 3:21.

3. Is it a sin to be vexatious to our relations? Yes: Her adversary provoked her to make her to fret, 1 Sam. 1:6. And to be quarrelsome with our relations? Yes: Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen, for we be brethren, Gen.13:8. And to be suspicious of our relations? Yes: for charity thinketh no evil, 1 Cor. 13:4, 5.

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