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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

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

by
Thomas Vincent


LXXII. Ques. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?
Ans.
The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Q. 1. What is the sin forbidden in the seventh commandment?
A. The sin forbidden in the seventh commandment is, all unchastity and uncleanness. "Fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named amongst you." Eph. 5:3.

Q. 2. Wherein is all unchastity and uncleanness forbidden?
A. All unchastity and uncleanness is forbidden 1. In the thoughts and desires of the heart, such as wanton thoughts and lustful desires. "Whosoever looketh upon a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matt. 5:28. "Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin." James 1:14, 15. 2. In words and speeches, such as all obscene words, lascivious songs, and enticing speeches unto any, to draw them to this sin. "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking." Eph. 5:4. "Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning, and solace ourselves with loves. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him." Prov. 7:18, 21. 3. In the actions, and that both the acts of unchastity and uncleanness itself, and whatever actions do tend thereunto.

Q. 3. What are the acts of unchastity and uncleanness which are forbidden?
A. The acts of unchastity and uncleanness which are forbidden, are either such as are without marriage, and in those that are married.

Q. 4. What are the acts of unchastity and uncleanness without marriage forbidden?
A. The acts of unchastity and uncleanness without marriage forbidden are 1. Self-pollution. 2. Fornication and adultery. "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness." Gal. 5:19. "Thou sb alt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her." Lev. 18:20. 3. Incest. "None of you shall approach unto any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord ." Lev. 18:6. 4. Rape, and all forcing of any into the sin of uncleanness. "If a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her, the man shall die." Deut. 22:25. 5. Sodomy.

Q. 5. What are the acts of unchastity and uncleanness forbidden between those that are married?
A. The acts of unchastity and uncleanness forbidden between those that are married, are, all unseasonable and immoderate use of the marriage-bed. "Thou shalt not approach unto a woman, to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness." Lev. 18:19. "Defraud ye not one another, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer." l Cor. 7:5.

Q. 6. What are those actions forbidden which do tend to chastity and uncleanness?
A. The actions forbidden which do tend to unchastity and uncleanness, are 1. Drunkenness. "And they made their father drunk with wine that night; and the first-born went in, and lay with her father." Gen. 19:33. 2. Gluttony and idleness. "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister, Sodom; pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her; and she committed abomination before me." Ezek. 16:49, 50. 3. Wanton gestures and attires. "The daughters of Zion walk with stretched forth necks, and wanton eyes, walking, and mincing as they go." Isa. 3:16. "There met him a woman, with the attire of an harlot; and she caught him, and kissed him." Prov. 7:10, 13. 4. Frequenting light and lewd company, reading lascivious books, beholding unchaste pictures, or doing anything which may provoke lust.

Q. 7. Wherefore ought all to forbear all unchastity and uncleanness, especially the grosser acts of fornication and adultery?
A. All ought to forbear unchastity and uncleanness, especially the grosser acts of fornication and adultery 1. Because fornication and adultery is a sin very offensive and dishonourable unto God. "And David sent messengers, and took her: and she came in unto him, and he lay with her. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." 2 Sam. 11: 4, 27. 2. Because fornication and adultery is very pernicious and hurtful unto themselves that are guilty of it. (1.) It is a sin against their body, which defileth it, and oftentimes wasteth and consumeth it. "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication, sinneth against his own body." 1 Cor. 6:18. "Remove thy way far from her, lest thou mourn at last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed." Prov. 5:8, 11. (2.) It is a sin against their soul, which doth blind the mind, waste the conscience, and, in the issue, doth bring destruction upon the soul. " Whoredom and wine take away the heart;" that is, the understanding. Hos. 4:11. "Whoso committeth adultery with a woman, lacketh understanding; he that doeth it, destroyeth his own soul." Prov. 6:32. (3.) It woundeth and blotteth the name. "Whoso committeth adultery, a wound and dishonour shall he get, and his reproach shall not be wiped away." Prov. 6:32, 33. (4.) It wasteth the estate and substance. "Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth, and thy labours be in the house of a stranger." Prov. 5:10. "For by means of a whorish woman, a man is brought to a piece of bread." Prov. 6:26. (5.) It bringeth many to an untimely end. "The adulteress will hunt for the precious life." Prov. 6:26. "She hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong men have been slain by her." Prov. 7:26. 3. Because fornication and adultery is injurious to others; the party with whom uncleanness is committed, is involved in the same guilt; and if the party be married, it is an injury to the other married relation.

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