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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
of the Westminster Assembly
Explained and Proved
from Scripture

by
Thomas Vincent


XLII. Ques. What is the sum of the ten commandments?
Ans.
The sum of the ten commandments is, To love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind, and our neighbour as ourselves.

Q. 1. In how many tables were the ten commandments at first written?
A. The ten commandments were at first written by God himself in the mount, and given unto Moses in two tables of stone. "At that time the Lord said unto me, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first, and come up unto me into the mount. And I will write on the tables the words which were in the first tables, which thou brakest. And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments." Deut. 10:1, 2, 4.

Q. 2. What is the comprehensive duty of the ten commandments written in these tables?
A. The comprehensive duty of the ten commandments, is love.

Q. 3. What is the sum of the first table of the law?
A. The sum of the first table of the law, which hath a more immediate reference unto God is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and with all our mind. "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first commandment." Mark 12:30.

Q. 4. What is it to love the Lord with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind, and with all the strength?
A. To love the Lord with all the heart, and with all the soul, and with all the mind1 and with all the strength, doth imply the supremacy, ardency, and activity of our love, whereby we choose the Lord, cleave to him, and delight in him as our chief good, and employ all the faculties and powers of soul and body in obedience, out of love.

Q. 5. What is the sum of the second table of the law?
A. The sum of the second table of the law, which hath a reference unto men, is to love our neighbour as ourselves. "The second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Mark 12:31.

Q. 6. Who is our neighbour?
A. Every man is our neighbour; and therefore we are bound to bear a general affection unto all.

Q. 7. What is it to love our neighbour as ourselves?
A. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is to love our neighbour with the same truth and constancy of love as we do ourselves.

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