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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
Illustrated

by
John Whitecross


Q. 5. Are there more Gods than one?

A. There is but One only, the living and true God.


1. A little boy being asked, 'How many Gods are there?' replied, 'One.' 'How do you know that?' 'Because,' said the boy, 'there is only room for one, for He fills heaven and earth.'

2. An Indian chief, having sent for Hiacoomes, a converted native, with the view of receiving religious instruction from him, asked him, 'How many Gods do the English worship?' Hiacoomes answered, 'One and no more.' On which the chief reckoned up about thirty-seven principal gods which he had. 'And shall I,' said he, 'throw away all these thirty-seven for the sake of one only?' 'What do you yourself think?' said Hiacoomes; 'for my part, I have thrown away all these, and many more, some years ago, and yet I am preserved, as you see to this day.' 'You speak true,' said the chief, 'and therefore I will throw away all my gods too, and serve that one God with you.' Hiacoomes proceeded more fully to instruct him, and the rest of the company with him; and the chief having promised to worship the true God, and serve Him only, was as good as his word, for he carried himself as a true servant of God, all the days of his life after.

3. 'I never had a sight of my soul,' says the Emperor Aurelius, 'and yet I have a great value for it, because it is discoverable by its operations; and by my constant experience of the power of God, I have a proof of His being, and a reason for my veneration.'

4. A child about eight years old who lived in that part of India known as the Northern Circars, and who had been educated in Christianity, was ridiculed on that account, by some heathens older than himself. In reply, he repeated what he had been taught respecting God. 'Show us your God!' said the heathens. 'I cannot do that,' answered the child; 'but I can soon show you yours.' Taking up a stone, and daubing it with some resemblance of a human face, he placed it very gravely upon the ground, and pushing it towards them with his foot, said, 'There is such a god as you worship.'

5. 'When I lately arrived,' says a missionary, 'at a large village north-west of Amboyna (East Indies), upwards of eight hundred persons, in order to convince me of the reality of their faith in the only true and living God, brought all their idols before me, and acknowledged their foolishness. I advised them to pack them up in a large box, to put a heavy load of stones upon them, and to drown them all in the depths of the sea in my presence. They all agreed to follow my advice: a boat was made ready for the purpose, and, with a great shout, they were carried out of the village, and launched into the bottom of the deep. After this business was over, we sang the first four verses of the 136th Psalm.'


This material is taken from THE SHORTER CATECHISM ILLUSTRATED by John Whitecross revised and republished by the Banner of Truth Trust edition 1968 and reproduced with their permission.

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