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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q. 81 What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?
A. The tenth commandment forbids all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbour, and all inordinate desires and affections to any thing that is his.

1. Is it a sin to fret at the disposals of God's providence? Yes: for shall we receive good of the hand of the Lord, and shall we not receive evil also? Job 2:10. Is it a sin to quarrel with them? Yes: for they that murmured were destroyed of the destroyer, 1 Cor. 10:10. Is it an evil thing to undervalue the mercies we have? Yes: as the Israelites that said, There is nothing besides this manna, Numb. 11:6. And to aggravate the afflictions we are under? Yes: as they that said, We die, we perish, we all perish, Numb. 17:12. May we in any thing be discontented? No: for we must in everything give thanks, 1 Thess. 5:18.

2. Is it a sin against this commandment to envy our neighbour's welfare? Yes: for charity envieth not, 1 Cor. 13:4. Is envy an offence to God? Yes: for is our eye evil because his is good? Matt. 20:15. Is it hurtful to ourselves? Yes: for envy is the rottenness of the bones, Prov. 14:30. Is it the cause of much mischief? Yes: for where envy is, there is confusion, and every evil work, James 3:16. Is it a sin to be pleased with our neighbour's hurt or loss? Yes: he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished, Prov. 17:5.

3. Is it a sin to desire to sin? Yes: Lust not after evil things, as they also lusted, 1 Cor. 10:6. Does all sin begin in the lustings of the heart? Yes: for lust, when it hath conceived, bringeth forth sin, James 1:15. Is it a sin to desire any temporal good inordinately? Yes: as Rachel, that said, Give me children, or else I die, Gen. 30:1. And is it a sin to lust after the delights of sense? Yes: as the Israelites who wept again, saying, Who will give us flesh to eat? Numb.11:4. Must we therefore suppress all sinful desires? Yes: and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, Rom. 13:l4.

4. Is it a sin to set our hearts upon worldly wealth? Yes: Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world, 1 John 2:15. Is covetousness an offence to God? Yes: for it is idolatry, Col. 3:5. Will it be a vexation to ourselves? Yes: for he that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver, Eccl. 5:10. Will it be a vexation to our families? Yes: for he that is greedy of gain troubles his own house, Prov. 15:27.

5. And injurious to our neighbour? Yes: for they that lay house to house, and field to field, would be placed alone in the midst of the earth, Isa. 5:8. Is covetousness the cause of much sin? Yes: for they that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, 1 Tim.6:9. Must we therefore watch against it? Yes: Take heed, and beware of covetousness, I.uke 12:15. And must we abstain from all the practices of it? Yes: Let your conversation be without covetousness, Heb. 13:5. And must we pray earnestly against it? Yes: Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness, Ps. 119:36.

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