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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The seventh commandment forbids all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

1. Is adultery a very great sin? Yes: How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen. 29:9. Is it an iniquity to be punished by the judge? Yes: The adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death, Lev. 20:10. Is fornication a very great sin? Yes: Fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among you, Eph. 5:3. Will these sins certainly shut men out of heaven, if they be not repented of and forsaken? Yes: for fornicators and adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6:10.

2. Are unclean thoughts sins? Yes: for whosoever looketh on a woman, to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart, Matt. 5:28. Are unclean reflections sins? Yes: for some multiply their whoredoms by calling to remembrance the days of their youth, Ezek. 23:19. Are unclean desires sins? Yes: inordinate affection, and evil concupiscence, are to be mortified in us, Col. 3:5. And must all fleshly lusts be shunned? Yes: Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, 1 Pet. 2:11.

3. Are unclean words sin? Yes: for there must be neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, Eph. 5:4. Must we therefore take heed of speaking any filthy words? Yes: let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, Eph. 4:29. May we take delight in hearing filthy talk? No: for evil communications corrupt good manners, 1 Cor. 15:33.

4. Are all unchaste actions forbidden in this commandment? Yes: not only adultery and fornication, but uncleanness and lasciviousness (Gal. 5:19), chambering and wantonness, Rom. 13:13. Are the occasions of uncleanness here forbidden? Yes: Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, Eph. 5:11.

5. Is all uncleanness provoking to God? Yes: For I the Lord am holy, Lev. 20:26. Is it against our bodies? Yes: for the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord, 1 Cor. 6:13. Is it a wrong to our souls? Yes: for fleshly lusts war against the soul, 1 Pet. 2:11. Is it wounding to conscience? Yes: I find more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, Eccl. 7:26.

6. Are idleness and gluttony occasions of uncleanness, and forbidden in this commandment? Yes: for this was the iniquity of Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness, Ezek. 16: 49. And is drunkenness also a sin of dangerous consequence? Yes: for drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6:10.

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