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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism

John Whitecross

Q. 23. What offices doth Ghrist execute as our Redeemer?

A. Christ, as our Redeemer, executeth the offices of a prophet, of a priest, and of a king, both in His estate of humiliation and exaltation.

1. A trader once endeavoured to persuade an Indian Christian named Abraham, that the Moravian brethren were not privileged teachers. Abraham replied, 'They may be what they will; but I know what they have told me, and what God has wrought within me. Look at my poor country-men there, lying drunk before your door. Why do you not send privileged teachers to convert them, if they can? Four years ago I also lived like a beast, and not one of you troubled himseff about me; but, when the brethren came, they preached the cross of Christ, and I have experienced the power of His blood, according to their doctrine, so that I am freed from the dominion of sin. Such teachers we want.'

2. Gideon, a converted Indian, was one day attacked by a savage, who, presenting his gun to his head, exclaimed, 'Now, I will shoot you, for you speak of nothing but Jesus.' Gideon answered, 'If Jesus does not permit you, you cannot shoot me.' The savage was so struck with this answer, that he dropped his gun, and went home in silence.

3. In 1596, when the design of recalling the popish lords was ascertained, Andrew Melville accompanied a deputation of the clergy to Falkland, Fife-shire, where James VI then resided. They were admitted to a private audience, when he thus addressed the king: 'Sir, we will always humbly reverence your majesty in public; but since we have this occasion to be with your majesty in private, and since you are brought into extreme danger, both of your life and crown, and along with you the country and the Church of God are like to go to wreck, for not telling you the truth and giving you faithful counsel, we must discharge our duty, or else be traitors both to Christ and you. Therefore, sir, as diverse times before I have told you, so now again I must tell you, there are two kings and two kingdoms in Scotland: there is King James, the head of the commonwealth, and there is Christ Jesus, the King of the Church, whose subject James the Sixth is, and of whose kingdom he is not a king, nor a lord, nor a head, but a member. We will yield to you your place, and give you all due obedience; but again, I say, you are not the head of the Church; you cannot give us that eternal life which we seek for even in this world, and you cannot deprive us of it. Permit us then fteely to meet in the name of Christ, and to attend to the interests of that Church of which you are a chief member.'

4. A laborious and successful gospel minister in Wiltshire used to say, he considered three things when he preached: '1st, I have immortal souls to deal with. 2nd, There is a free and full salvation for such. 3rd, All the blessings of the gospel are treasured up in the Lord Jesus.' Happy would it be, if every minister were constantly impressed with the same important truths.

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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