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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 74. What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requires all lawful procuring and furthering our own and our neighbour's wealth and outward estate.

1. Is religion a friend to outward prosperity? Yes: in wisdom's left hand are riches and honour, Prov. 3:16. Does it teach us to be diligent in our callings? Yes: Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, Prov. 27:23. And to keep close to them? Yes: Study to be quiet, and to do your own business, 1 Thess. 4:11. And is that the way to thrive? Yes: for the hand of the diligent maketh rich, Prov.10:4. Does religion teach us to be prudent in our affairs? Yes: the good man will guide his affairs with discretion, Ps. 112:5. And is that the way to thrive? Yes: for through wisdom is a house builded, Prov. 24:3.

2. Must we serve God with our worldly estate? Yes: Honour the Lord with thy substance, Prov. 3:9. And is that the way to thrive? Yes: So shall thy barn be filled with plenty, ver. 10. Must we cheerfully use our estates? Yes: For I know no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life, Eccl. 3:12. And must we cheerfully serve God with them? Yes: we must serve the Lord our God with joyfulness and gladness of heart in the abundance of all things, Deut. 28:47.

3. Must we be just to all we deal with? Yes: Render therefore to all their due, Rom. 13:7. And must we give everybody their own? Yes: Owe no man any thing but to love one another, Rom. 13:8. Must we be true to every trust reposed in us? Yes: as the workmen who dealt faithfully, 2 Kings 12:15. And is honesty the best policy? Yes: for a little that a righteous man hath, is better than the riches of many wicked, Ps. 37:16. And shall we have the comfort of it in this world? Yes: he that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, that despiseth the gain of oppression and shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, shall dwell on high, his place of defence shall be in the munitions of rocks, bread shall be given him, and his waters shall he sure, Isa. 33:15, 16. If therefore we have done any wrong, must we make restitution? Yes: Zaccheus stood and said, If I have wronged any man, I restore him fourfold, Luke 19:8.

4. Must we concern ourselves for the welfare of others? Yes: Look not every one on his own things, but everyone also on the things of others, Phil. 2:4. And must we do all we can to promote the welfare of others? Yes; If thy brother's ox or ass go astray, thou shalt bring them back, Deut. 22:1.

5. Must we relieve the poor according to our ability? Yes; If thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen into decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him, Lev. 25:35. Must we be forward to relieve the poor? Yes: We must be ready to distribute, willing to communicate, 1 Tim. 6:18. Is that the way to thrive in this world? Yes; for he that hath pity on the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and that which he hath given will he pay him again, Prov. 19:17. And shall it be repayed in the other world? Yes: Thou shalt be recompenses in the resurrection of the just, Luke 14:14. And must we make this use of what we have in the world? Yes: we must labour that we may have to give to him that needeth, Eph. 4:28.

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