Two Short Catechisms:

wherein the

Principles of the Doctrine of Christ


unfolded and explained.

Proper for all persons to learn
before they be admitted to the sacrament of the Lord’s supper; and
composed for the use of all congregations in general.


John Owen

“Come, ye children, hearken to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord,” Ps. xxxiv. 11

Prefatory Note.

The first edition of these Catechisms issued from the press in 1645. Dr Owen had at that time the charge of the parish of Fordham in Essex, and laboured diligently for the instruction and benefit of his flock, by catechising from house to house. The catechisms were prepared in order that he might accomplish these parochial duties with greater efficiency and success. “The Lesser Catechism” is designed for the instruction of children; — “The Greater,” for the examination of persons more advanced in years. They are chiefly doctrinal. It was the intention of Owen to have followed up this little work by another Catechism on the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and some articles of the Creed. This intention, however, was never fulfilled. These Catechisms on “the Principles of the Doctrine of Christ” are included in this volume, — which embodies all the treatises of Owen directly relating to the second Person of the Trinity, — inasmuch as, according to a statement of the author in the preface, they were intended to remind his people of what he had publicly taught them, “especially concerning the person and offices of Christ.” They were among the first, as the other treatises in this volume are among the last, of our author’s publications; and we are thus enabled to mark the undeviating consistency with which, during all the ministrations of his public course, Owen held fast by the great doctrines of the Gospel, — “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” — Ed.

The Epistle Dedicatory

To my Loving Neighbours and Christian Friends.


My heart’s desire and request unto God for you is, that you may be saved. I say the truth in Christ also, I lie not, my conscience bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness, and continual sorrow in my heart, for them amongst you who, as yet, walk disorderly, and not as beseemeth the Gospel, little labouring to acquaint themselves with the mystery of godliness; for many walk, of whom I have told you often weeping, and now tell you again with sorrow, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who mind earthly things.

You know, brethren, how I have been amongst you, and in what manner, for these few years past, and how I have kept back nothing (to the utmost of the dispensation to me committed) that was profitable unto you; but have showed you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, testifying to all repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, with what sincerity this hath been by me performed, with what issue and success by you received, God the righteous Judge will one day declare; for before him must both you and I appear, to give an account of the dispensation of the glorious Gospel amongst us; — in the meanwhile, the desire of my heart is, to be servant to the least of you in the work of the Lord; and that in any way which I can concede profitable unto you, — either in your persons or your families.

Now, amongst my endeavours in this kind, after the ordinance of public preaching the Word, there is not, I conceive, any more needful (as all will grant that know the estate of this place, how taught of late days, how full of grossly ignorant persons) than catechising; which hath caused me to set aside some hours for the compiling of these following, which also I have procured to be printed, merely because the least part of the parish are able to read it in writing; — my intention in them being, principally, to hold out those necessary truths wherein you have been in my preaching more fully instructed. As they are, the use of them I shall briefly present unto you:—

1. The Lesser Catechism may be so learned of the younger sort, that they may be ready to answer to every question thereof.

2. The Greater will call to mind much of what hath been taught you in public, especially concerning the Person and Offices of Jesus Christ.

3. Out of that you may have help to instruct your families in the Lesser, being so framed, for the most part, that a chapter of the one is spent in unfolding a question of the other.

4. The texts of Scripture quoted are diligently to be sought out and pondered, that you may know indeed whether these things are so.

5. In reading the Word, you may have light into the meaning of many places, by considering what they are produced to confirm.

6. I have been sparing in the doctrine of the Sacraments, because I have already been so frequent in examinations about them.

7. The handling of moral duties I have wholly omitted, because, by God’s assistance, I intend for you a brief explication of the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments, with some articles of the Creed, not unfolded in these, by themselves, by the way of question and answer.

Now, in all this, as the pains hath been mine, so I pray that the benefit may be yours, and the praise His, to whom alone any good that is in this or any thing else is to be ascribed. Now, the God of heaven continue that peace, love, and amity, amongst ourselves, which hitherto hath been unshaken, in these divided times, and grant that the sceptre and kingdom of his Son may be gloriously advanced in your hearts, that the things which concern your peace may not be hidden from your eyes in this your day; which is the daily prayer of

Your servant in the work of the Lord,

J. O.

From my Study,
September the last,

The Lesser Catechism.

Ques. Whence is all truth concerning God and ourselves to be learned?

Ans. From the holy Scripture, the Word of God. — Chapter i. of the Greater Catechism.

Q. What do the Scriptures teach that God is?

A. An eternal, infinite, most holy Spirit, giving being to all things, and doing with them whatsoever he pleaseth. — Chap. ii.

Q. Is there but one God?

A. One only, in respect of his essence and being, but one in three distinct persons, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. — Chap. iii.

Q. What else is held forth in the Word concerning God, that we ought to know?

A. His decrees, and his works. — Chap. iv.

Q. What are the decrees of God concerning us?

A. His eternal purposes, of saving some by Jesus Christ, for the praise of his glory, and of condemning others for their sins. — Chap. v.

Q. What are the works of God?

A. Acts or doings of his power, whereby he createth, sustaineth, and governeth all things. — Chap. vi.

Q. What is required from us towards Almighty God?

A. Holy and spiritual obedience, according to his law given unto us. — Chap. vii.

Q. Are we able to do this of ourselves?

A. No, in no wise, being by nature unto every good work reprobate. — Chap. vii.

Q. How came we into this estate, being at the first created in the image of God, in righteousness and innocency?

A. By the fall of our first parents, breaking the covenant of God, losing his grace, and deserving his curse. — Chap. viii.

Q. By what way may we be delivered from this miserable estate?

A. Only by Jesus Christ. — Chap. ix.

Q. What is Jesus Christ?

A. God and man united in one person, to be a Mediator between God and man. — Chap x.

Q. What is he unto us?

A. A King, a Priest, and a Prophet. — Chap. xi.

Q. Wherein doth he exercise his kingly power towards us?

A. In converting us unto God by his Spirit, subduing us unto his obedience, and ruling in us by his grace. — Chap. xii.

Q. In what doth the exercise of his priestly office for us chiefly consist?

A. In offering up himself an acceptable sacrifice on the cross, so satisfying the justice of God for our sins, removing his curse from our persons, and bringing us unto him. — Chap. xiii.

Q. Wherein doth Christ exercise his prophetical office towards us?

A. In revealing to our hearts, from the bosom of his Father, the way and truth whereby we must come unto him. — Chap. xiii.

Q. In what condition doth Jesus Christ exercise these offices?

A. He did in a low estate of humiliation on earth, but now in a glorious estate of exaltation in heaven. — Chap. xiv.

Q. For whose sake doth Christ perform all these?

A. Only for his elect. — Chap. xv.

Q. What is the church of Christ?

A. The universal company of God’s elect, called to the adoption of children. — Chap. xvi.

Q. How come we to be members of this church?

A. By a lively faith. — Chap. xvii.

Q. What is a lively faith?

A. An assured resting of the soul upon God’s promises of mercy in Jesus Christ, for pardon of sins here and glory hereafter. — Chap. xviii.

Q. How come we to have this faith?

A. By the effectual working of the Spirit of God in our hearts, freely calling us from the state of nature to the state of grace. — Chap. xviii.

Q. Are we accounted righteous for our faith?

A. No, but only for the righteousness of Christ, freely imputed unto us, and laid hold of by faith. — Chap. xix.

Q. 1. Is there no more required of us but faith only?

A. Yes; repentance also, and holiness. — Chap. xx.

Q. 2. What is repentance?

A. A forsaking of all sin, with godly sorrow for what we have committed. — Chap. xx.

Q. 3. What is that holiness which is required of us?

A. Universal obedience to the will of God revealed unto us. — Chap. xx.

Q. What are the privileges of believers?

A. First, union with Christ; secondly, adoption of children; thirdly, communion of saints; fourthly, right to the seals of the new covenant; fifthly, Christian liberty; sixthly, resurrection of the body to life eternal. — Chap. xxi.

Q. 1. What are the sacraments, or seals, of the new covenant?

A. Visible seals of God’s spiritual promises, made unto us in the blood of Jesus Christ. — Chap. xxii.

Q. 2. Which be they?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s supper.

Q. What is baptism?

A. A holy ordinance, whereby, being sprinkled with water according to Christ’s institution, we are by his grace made children of God, and have the promises of the covenant sealed unto us. — Chap. xxiii.

Q. What is the Lord’s supper?

A. A holy ordinance of Christ, appointed to communicate unto believers his body and blood spiritually, being represented by bread and wine, blessed, broken, poured out, and received of them. — Chap. xxiv.

Q. Who have a right unto this sacrament?

A. They only who have an interest in Jesus Christ by faith. — Chap. xxiv.

Q. What is the communion of saints?

A. A holy conjunction between all God’s people, partakers of the same Spirit, and members of the same mystical body. — Chap. xxv.

Q. What is the end of all this dispensation?

A. The glory of God in our salvation.

Glory be to God on high!

The Greater Catechism.

Chap. I. — Of the Scripture.

Ques. 1. What is Christian religion?

Ans. The aonly way of[1] [2] knowing God aright, and bliving unto him.
aJohn xiv. 5, 6, xvii. 3; Acts iv. 12. bCol. i. 10; 2 Cor. v. 15; Gal. ii. 19, 20.

Q. 2. Whence is it to be learned?

A. From the holy[3] Scripture only.
Isa. viii. 20; John v. 39.

Q. 3. What is the Scripture?

A. The books of the aOld and bNew[4] [5] [6] Testament, cgiven by inspiration from God, containing all things necessary to be believed and done, that God may be worshipped and our souls saved.
aIsa. viii. 20; Rom. iii. 2. bRev. xxii. 19, 20. c2 Tim. iii. 16, 17; Ps. xix. 7, 8; Jer. vii. 13; John xx. 31.

Q. 4. How know you them to be the word of God?

A. By the atestimony[7] of God’s Spirit, working faith in my heart to close with that bheavenly majesty, and clear divine truth, that shineth in them.
aMatt. xvi. 17; John xvi. 13; 1 Thess. ii. 13; 1 John ii. 20, v. 6. bLuke xxiv. 32; 1 Cor. ii. 14; Heb. iv. 12; 2 Pet. i. 19.


Chap. II. — Of God.

Q. 1. What do the Scriptures teach concerning God?

A. First, what he is, or his nature; secondly, what he doth, or his works.
Exod. iii. 14; Isa. xlv. 6; Heb. i. 1–3, xi. 6.

Q. 2. What is God in himself?

A. An aeternal, binfinite,[8] [9] [10] cincomprehensible dSpirit, egiving being to all things, and doing with them whatsoever he pleaseth.
aDeut. xxxiii. 27; Isa. lvii. 15; Rev. i. 8. b1 Kings viii. 27; Ps. cxxxix. 2–5, &c. cExod. xxxiii. 20; 1 Tim. vi. 16. dJohn iv. 24. eGen. i. 1; Ps. cxv. 3, cxxxv. 6; Isa. xlvi. 10; John v. 17; Heb. i. 2.

Q. 3. Do we here know God as he is?

A. No, his glorious being is not of us, in this life, to be comprehended.
Exod. xxxiii. 23; 1 Cor. xiii. 12.

Q. 4. Whereby is God chiefly made known unto us in the Word?

A. First, by his anames; secondly, by his battributes or properties.
aExod. iii. 14, vi. 3; Ps. lxxxiii. 18. bExod. xxxiv. 6, 7; Matt. v. 48.

Q. 5. What are the names of God?

A. Glorious titles, which he[11] hath given himself, to hold forth his excellencies unto us, with some perfections whereby he will reveal himself.
Exod. iii. 14, 15, vi. 3, xxxiv. 6, 7; Gen. xvii. 1.

Q. 6. What are the attributes of God?

A. His infinite perfections in being and working.
Rev. iv. 8–11.

Q. 7. What are the chief attributes of his being?

A. aEternity, binfiniteness, csimplicity[12] [13] or purity, dall-sufficiency, eperfectness, fimmutability, glife, hwill, and iunderstanding.
aDeut. xxxiii. 27; Ps. xciii. 2; Isa. lvii. 15; Rev. i. 11. b1 Kings viii. 27; Ps. cxxxix. 1–4, 8–10. cExod. iii. 14. dGen. xvii. 1; Ps. cxxxv. 4–6. eJob xi. 7–9; Rom. xi. 33–36. fMal. iii. 6; James i. 17. gJudges viii. 19; 1 Sam. xxv. 34; 2 Kings iii. 14; Ezek. xiv. 16, xvi. 48; Matt. xvi. 16; Acts xiv. 15; 1 Thess. i. 9. hDan. iv. 35; Isa. xlvi. 10; Eph. i. 5, 11; James i. 18. iPs. vii. 8, cxxxix. 2, cxlvii. 4; Jer. xi. 20; Heb. iv. 13.

Q. 8. What are the attributes which usually are ascribed to him in his works, or the acts of his will?

A. aGoodness, bpower,[14] [15] cjustice, dmercy, eholiness, fwisdom, and the like; which he delighteth to exercise towards his creatures, for the praise of his glory.
aPs. cxix. 68; Matt. xix. 17. bExod. xv. 11; Ps. lxii. 11; Rev. xix. 1. cZeph. iii. 5; Ps. xi. 7; Jer. xii. 1; Rom. i. 32. dPs. cxxx. 7; Rom. ix. 15; Eph. ii. 4. eExod. xv. 11; Josh. xxiv. 19; Hab. i. 13; Rev. iv. 8. fRom. xi. 33, xvi. 27.

Chap. III. — Of the Holy Trinity.

Q. 1. Is there but one God to whom these properties do belong?

A. aOne only, in respect of his essence and being, but one bin three distinct persons, of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
aDeut. vi. 4; Matt. xix. 17; Eph. iv. 5, 6. bGen. i. 26; 1 John v. 7; Matt. xxviii. 19.

Q. 2. What mean you by person?

A. A distinct manner of[16] [17] [18] subsistence or being, distinguished from the other persons by its own properties.
John v. 17; Heb. i. 3.

Q. 3. What is the distinguishing property of the person of the Father?

A. To be of himself only the fountain of the Godhead.
John v. 26, 27; Eph. i. 3.

Q. 4. What is the property of the Son?

A. To be begotten of his Father from eternity.
Ps. ii. 7; John i. 14, iii. 16.

Q. 5. What of the Holy Ghost?

A. To proceed from the Father and the Son.
John xiv. 17, xvi. 14, xv. 26, xx. 22.

Q. 6. Are these three one?

A. One aevery way, in nature, will, and essential properties, bdistinguished only in their personal manner of subsistence.
aJohn x. 30; Rom. iii. 30. bJohn xv. 26; 1 John v. 7.

Q. 7. Can we conceive these things as they are in themselves?

A. Neither awe nor yet the bangels[19] of heaven are at all able to dive into these secrets, as they are internally in God; cbut in respect of the outward dispensation of themselves to us by creation, redemption, and sanctification, a knowledge may be attained of these things, saving and heavenly.
a1 Tim. vi. 16. bIsa. vi. 2, 3. cCol. i. 11–14.


Chap. IV. — Of the Works of God; and, First, of those that are Internal and Immanent.

Q. 1. What do the Scriptures teach concerning the works of God?

A. That they are of two sorts; first, internal,[20] in his counsel, decrees, and purposes, towards his creatures; secondly, external, in his works over and about them, to the praise of his own glory.
Acts xv. 18; Prov. xvi. 4.

Q. 2. What are the decrees of God?

A. aEternal, bunchangeable purposes[21] [22] [23] of his will, concerning the being and well-being of his creatures.
aMic. v. 2; Eph. iii. 9–11; Acts xv. 18. bIsa. xiv. 24, xlvi. 10; Rom. ix. 11; 2 Tim. ii. 19.

Q. 3. Concerning which of his creatures chiefly are his decrees to be considered?

A. Angels and men, for whom other things were ordained.
1 Tim. v. 21; Jude 6.

Q. 4. What are the decrees of God concerning men?

A. Election and reprobation.
Rom. ix. 11–13.

Q. 5. What is the decree of election?

A. The aeternal, bfree, cimmutable[24] [25] purpose of God, dwhereby in Jesus Christ he chooseth unto himself whom he pleaseth out of ewhole mankind, determining to bestow upon them, for his sake, fgrace here, and everlasting happiness hereafter, for the praise of his glory, by the way of mercy.[26]
aEph. i. 4; Acts xiii. 48; Rom. viii. 29, 30. bMatt. xi. 26. c2 Tim. ii. 19. dEph i. 4, 5; Matt. xxii. 14. eRom. ix. 18–21. fJohn vi. 37, xvii. 6, 9, 11, 24.

Q. 6. Doth any thing in us move the Lord thus to choose us from amongst others?

A. No, in no wise; we are in the same lump with others rejected, when separated by his undeserved grace.
Rom. ix. 11, 12; Matt. xi. 25; 1 Cor. iv. 7; 2 Tim. i. 9.

Q. 7. What is the decree of reprobation?

A. The eternal purpose of God to suffer many to sin, leave them in their sin, and not giving them to Christ, to punish them for their sin.
Rom. ix. 11, 12, 21, 22; Prov. xvi. 4; Matt. xi. 25, 26; 2 Pet. ii. 12; Jude 4.

Chap. V. — Of the Works of God that outwardly are of Him.

Q. 1. What are the works of God that outwardly respect his creatures?

A. First, of creation; secondly, of[27] actual providence.
Ps. xxxiii. 9; Heb. i. 2, 3.

Q. 2. What is the work of creation?

A. An act or work of God’s almighty power, whereby of nothing, in six days, he created heaven, earth, and the sea, with all things in them contained.
Gen. i. 1; Exod. xx. 11; Prov. xvi. 4.

Q. 3. Wherefore did God make man?

A. For his own glory in his service[28] [29] and obedience.
Gen. i. 26, 27, ii. 16, 17; Rom. ix. 23.

Q. 4. Was man able to yield the service and worship that God required of him?

A. Yea, to the uttermost, being created upright in the image of God, in purity, innocence, righteousness, and holiness.
Gen. i. 26; Eccles. vii. 29; Eph. iv. 24; Col. iii. 10.

Q. 5. What was the rule whereby man was at first to be directed in his obedience?

A. The moral[30] or eternal law of God, implanted in his nature and written in his heart by creation, being the tenor of the covenant between God and him, sacramentally typified by the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Gen. ii. 15–17; Rom. ii. 14, 15; Eph. iv. 24.

Q. 6. Do we stand in the same covenant still, and have we the same power to yield obedience unto God?

A. No; the acovenant was[31] broken by the sin of Adam, with whom it was made, bour nature corrupted, cand all power to do good utterly lost.
aGen. iii. 16–18; Gal. iii. 10, 11, 21; Heb. vii. 19, viii. 13. bJob xiv. 4; Ps. li. 5. cGen. vi. 5; Jer. xiii. 23.


Chap. VI. — Of God’s actual Providence.

Q. 1. What is God’s actual providence?

A. The effectual working of his[32] [33] [34] power, and almighty act of his will, whereby he sustaineth, governeth, and disposeth of all things, men and their actions, to the ends which he hath ordained for them.
Exod. iv. 11; Job v. 10–12, ix. 5, 6; Ps. cxlvii. 4; Prov. xv. 3; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; John v. 17; Acts xvii. 28; Heb. i. 3.

Q. 2. How is this providence exercised towards mankind?

A. Two ways; first, apeculiarly towards his church, or elect, in their generations, for whom are all things; secondly, btowards all in a general manner, yet with various and divers dispensations.
aDeut. xxxii. 10; Ps. xvii. 8; Zech. ii. 8; Matt. xvi. 18, xix. 2, 29; 1 Pet. v. 7. bGen. ix. 5; Ps. lxxv. 6, 7; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; Matt. v. 45.

Q. 3. Wherein chiefly consists the outward providence of God towards his church?

A. In three things; — first, in acausing all[35] things to work together for their good; secondly, in bruling and disposing of kingdoms, nations, and persons, for their benefit; thirdly, cin avenging them of their adversaries.
aMatt. vi. 31–33; Rom. viii. 28; 1 Tim. vi. 17; 2 Pet. i. 3. bPs. cv. 14,15; Isa. xliv. 28; Dan. ii. 44; Rom. ix. 17. cIsa. lx. 12; Zech. xii. 2–5; Luke xviii. 7; Rev. xvii. 14.

Q. 4. Doth God rule also in and over the sinful actions of wicked men?

A. Yea, he willingly (according[36] to his determinate counsel) suffereth them to be, for the manifestation of his glory, and by them effecteth his own righteous ends.
2 Sam. xii. 11, xvi. 10; 1 Kings xi. 31, xxii. 22; Job i. 21; Prov. xxii. 14; Isa. x. 6, 7; Ezek. xxi. 19–21; Amos vii. 17; Acts iv. 27, 28; Rom. i. 24, ix. 22; 1 Pet. ii. 8; Rev. xvii. 17.

Q. 5. Doth the providence of God extend itself to every small thing?

A. The least grass of the field, hair of our heads, or worm of the earth, is not exempted from his knowledge and care.
Job xxxix.; Ps. civ. 21, cxlv. 15; Jonah iv. 7; Matt. vi. 26–29, x. 29, 30.


Chap. VII. — Of the Law of God.

Q. 1. Which is the law that God gave man at first to fulfil?

A. The same which was afterwards[37] written with the finger of God in two tables of stone on Mount Horeb, called the Ten Commandments.
Rom. ii. 14, 15.

Q. 2. Is the observation of this law still required of us?

A. Yes, to the uttermost tittle.
Matt. v. 17; 1 John iii. 4; Rom. iii. 31; James ii. 8–10; Gal. iii.

Q. 3. Are we able of ourselves to[38] [39] perform it?

A. No, in no wise; the law is spiritual, but we are carnal.
1 Kings viii. 46; Gen. vi. 5; John xv. 5; Rom. vii. 14, viii. 7; 1 John i. 8.

Q. 4. Did, then, God give a law which could not be kept?

A. No; when God gave it, we had power to keep it; which since we have lost in Adam.
Gen. i. 26; Eph. iv. 19; Rom. v. 12.

Q. 5. Whereto, then, doth the law now serve?

A. For two general ends; first, ato be a rule of our duty, or to discover to us the obedience of God required; secondly, bto drive us unto Christ.
aPs. xix. 7–11; 1 Tim. i. 8, 9. bGal. iii. 24.

Q. 6. How doth the law drive us unto Christ?

A. Divers ways; as, first, aby laying open unto us the utter disability of our nature to do any good; secondly, bby charging the wrath and curse of God, due to sin, upon the conscience; thirdly, cby bringing the whole soul under bondage to sin, death, Satan, and hell, so making us long and seek for a Saviour.
aRom. vii. 7–9; Gal. iii. 19. bRom. iii. 19, 20, iv. 15, v. 20; Gal. iii. 10. cGal. iii. 22; Heb. ii. 15.



Chap. VIII. — Of the State of Corrupted Nature.

Q. 1. How came this weakness and disability upon us?

A. By the sin and[40] shameful fall of our first parents.
Rom. v. 12, 14.

Q. 2. Wherein did that hurt us, their posterity?

A. Divers ways; first, ain that we were all guilty of the same breach of covenant with Adam, being all in him; secondly, bour souls with his were deprived of that holiness, innocence, and righteousness wherein they were at first created; thirdly, cpollution and defilement of nature came upon us; with, fourthly, dan extreme disability of doing any thing that is well-pleasing unto God; eby all which we are made obnoxious to the curse.
aJohn iii. 36; Rom. v. 12; Eph. ii. 3. bGen. iii. 10; Eph iv. 23, 24; Col. iii. 10. cJob xiv. 4; Ps. li. 7; John iii. 6; Rom. iii. 13. dGen. vi. 5; Eph. ii. 1; Jer. vi. 16, xiii. 23; Rom. viii. 7. eGen. iii. 17; Gal. iii. 10.

Q. 3. Wherein doth the curse of God consist?

A. In divers things; first, ain the[41] guilt of death, temporal and eternal; secondly, bthe loss of the grace and favour of God; thirdly, cguilt and horror of conscience, despair and anguish here; with, fourthly, deternal damnation hereafter.
aGen. ii. 17; Rom. i. 18, v. 12, 17; Eph. ii. 3. bGen. iii. 24; Ezek. xvi. 3–5; Eph ii. 13. cGen. iii. 10; Isa. xlviii. 22; Rom. iii. 9, 19, Gal. iii. 22. dGen. iii. 10, 13; John iii. 36.

Q. 4. Are all men born in this estate?

A. Every one without exception.
Ps. li. 5; Isa. liii. 6; Rom. iii. 9–12; Eph. ii. 3.

Q. 5. And do they continue therein?

A. Of themselves[42] they cannot otherwise do, being able neither to aknow, nor bwill, nor cdo any thing that is spiritually good and pleasing unto God.
aActs viii. 31, xvi. 14; 1 Cor. ii. 14; Eph. v. 8; John i. 5. bJer. vi. 16, xiii. 23; Luke iv. 18; Rom. vi. 16, viii. 7. cJohn vi. 44; 2 Cor. iii. 5.

Q. 6. Have they, then, no way of themselves to escape the curse and wrath of God?

A. None at all; they can neither satisfy his justice, nor fulfil his law.


Chap. IX. — Of the Incarnation of Christ.

Q. 1. Shall all mankind, then, everlastingly perish?

A. No; God, of his free grace, hath prepared a way to redeem and save his elect.
John iii. 16; Isa. liii. 6.

Q. 2. What way was this?

A. By sending his own Son[43] Jesus Christ in the likeness of sinful flesh, condemning sin in the flesh.
Rom. viii. 3.

Q. 3. Who is this you call his own Son?

A. The second person of the Trinity, co-eternal and of the same Deity with his Father.
John i. 14; Rom. i. 3; Gal. iv. 4; 1 John i. 1.

Q. 4. How did God send him?

A. By causing him to be made flesh of a pure virgin, and to dwell among us, that he might be obedient unto death, the death of the cross.
Isa. l. 6; John i. 14; Luke i. 35; Phil. ii. 8; 1 Tim. iii. 16.


Chap. X. — Of the Person of Jesus Christ.

Q. 1. What doth the Scripture teach us of Jesus Christ?

A. Chiefly two things first, his[44] person, or what he is in himself; secondly, his offices, or what he is unto us.

Q. 2. What doth it teach of his person?

A. That he is truly God, and perfect man, partaker of the natures of God and man in one person, between whom he is a Mediator.
John i. 14; Heb. ii. 14, 15; Eph. iv. 5; 1 Tim. ii. 5; 1 John i. 1.

Q. 3. How prove you Jesus Christ to be truly God?

A. Divers ways; first, by places of Scripture, speaking of the great God Jehovah in the Old Testament, applied to our Saviour in the New; as, Numb. xxi. 5, 6, in 1 Cor. x. 9; Ps. cii. 25–27, in Heb. i. 10; Isa. vi. 2–4, in John xii. 40,41; Isa. viii. 13, 14, in Luke ii. 34, Rom. ix. 33; Isa. xl. 3, 4, in John i. 23; Isa. xlv. 22, 23, in Rom. xiv. 11, Phil. ii. 10, 11; Mal. iii. 1, in Matt. xi. 10.
Secondly, By the works of the Deity ascribed unto him; as, first, of creation, John i. 3; 1 Cor. viii. 6; Heb. i. 2; secondly, of preservation in providence, Heb. i. 3; John v. 17; thirdly, miracles.
Thirdly, By the essential attributes of God being ascribed unto him; as, first, immensity, Matt. xxviii. 20; John xiv. 23; Eph. iii. 17; secondly, eternity, John i. 1; Rev. i. 11; Mic. v. 2; thirdly, immutability, Heb. i. 11, 12; fourthly, omniscience, John xxi. 17; Rev. ii. 23; fifthly, majesty and glory equal to his Father, John v. 23; Rev. v. 13; Phil. i. 2, ii. 6, 9, 10.
Fourthly, By the names given unto him; as, first, of God expressly, John i. 1, xx. 28; Acts xx. 28; Rom. ix. 5; Phil. ii. 6; Heb. i. 8; 1 Tim. iii. 16; secondly, of the Son of God, John i. 18; Rom. viii. 3, &c.

Q. 4. Was it necessary that our Redeemer should be God?

A. Yes; that he might be able to save to the uttermost, and to satisfy the wrath of his Father, which no creature could perform.
Isa xliii. 25, liii. 6; Dan. ix. 17, 19.

Q. 5. How prove you that he was a perfect man?

A. First, By the prophecies that went before, that so he should be.
Gen. iii. 15, xviii. 18.
Secondly, By the relation of their accomplishment.
Matt. i. 1; Rom. i. 4; Gal. iv. 4.
Thirdly, By the Scriptures assigning to him those things which are required to a perfect man; as, first, a body, Luke xxiv. 39; Heb. ii. 17, x. 5; 1 John i. 1; secondly, a soul, Matt. xxvi. 38; Mark xiv. 34; and therein, first, a will, Matt. xxvi. 39; secondly, affections, Mark iii. 5; Luke x. 21; thirdly, endowments, Luke ii. 52.
Fourthly, General infirmities of nature.
Matt. iv. 2; John iv. 6; Heb. ii. 18.

Q. 6. Wherefore was our Redeemer to be man?

A. That the nature which had offended might suffer, and make satisfaction, and so he might be every way a fit and sufficient Saviour for men.
Heb. ii. 10–17.


Chap. XI. — Of the Offices of Christ; and, First, of His Kingly.

Q. 1. How many are the offices of Jesus Christ?

A. Three; first, of a aKing; secondly, of ba[45] [46] Priest; thirdly, of a cProphet.
aPs. ii. 6. bPs. cx. 4. cDeut. xviii. 15.

Q. 2. Hath he these offices peculiar by nature?

A. No; he only received them for the present dispensation, until the work of redemption be perfected.
Ps. cx. 1; Acts ii. 36, x. 42; 1 Cor. xi. 3, xv. 27, 28; Phil. ii. 9; Heb. iii. 2, 6, ii. 7–9.

Q. 3. Wherein doth the kingly office of Christ consist?

A. In a two-fold power; first, his power of ruling in and over his church; secondly, his power of subduing his enemies.
Ps. cx. 3–7.

Q. 4. What is his ruling power in and over his people?

A. That supreme authority which,[47] [48] for their everlasting good, he useth towards them, whereof in general there be two acts; first, ainternal and spiritual, in converting their souls unto him, making them unto himself a willing, obedient, persevering people; secondly, beternal and ecclesiastical, in giving perfect laws and rules for their government, as gathered into holy societies under him.
aIsa. liii. 12, lix. 20, 21, with Heb. viii. 10–12; Isa. lxi. 1, 2; John i. 16, xii. 32; Mark i. 15; Matt. xxviii. 20; 2 Cor. x. 4, 5. bMatt. xvi. 19; 1 Cor. xii. 28; Eph. iv. 8–14; 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17; Rev. xxii. 18, 19.

Q. 5. How many are the acts of his kingly power towards his enemies?

A. Two also first, ainternal, by the[49] mighty working of his Word, and the spirit of bondage upon their hearts, convincing, amazing, terrifying their consciences, hardening their spirits for ruin; secondly, bexternal, in judgements and vengeance, which ofttimes he beginneth in this life, and will continue unto eternity.
aPs. 110; John vi. 46, viii. 59, ix. 41, xii. 40; 2 Cor. x. 4–6; 1 Cor. v. 5; 1 Tim. i. 20. bMark xvi. 16; Luke xix. 27; Acts xiii. 11; Rev. xvii. 14.


Chap. XII. — Of Christ’s Priestly Office.

Q. 1. By what means did Jesus Christ undertake the office of an eternal priest?

A. By athe decree, ordination, and will of God his Father, bwhereunto he yielded voluntary obedience; so cthat concerning this there was a compact and covenant between them.
aPs. cx. 4; Heb. v. 5, 6, vii. 17, 18. bIsa. l. 4–6; Heb. x. 5–10. cPs. ii. 7, 8; Isa. liii. 8, 10–12; Phil. ii. 7, 9; Heb. xii. 2; John xvii. 2, 4.

Q. 2. Wherein doth his execution of this office consist?

A. In bringing his people unto God.
Heb. ii. 10, iv. 16, vii. 25.

Q. 3. What are the parts of it?

A. First, aoblation; secondly, bintercession.[50]
aHeb. ix. 14. bHeb. vii. 25.

Q. 4. What is the oblation of Christ?

A. The aoffering up of himself upon the altar of the cross, an holy propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of all the elect throughout the world; as balso, the presentation of himself for us in heaven, sprinkled with the blood of the covenant.
aIsa. liii. 10, 12; John iii. 16, xi. 51, xvii. 19; Heb. ix. 13,14. bHeb. ix. 24.

Q. 5. Whereby doth this oblation do good unto us?

A. Divers ways; first, in that it satisfied the justice of God; secondly, it redeemed us from the power of sin, death, and hell; thirdly, it ratified the new covenant of grace; fourthly, it procured for us grace here, and glory hereafter; by all which means the peace and reconciliation between God and us is wrought.
Eph ii. 14, 15.

Q. 6. How did the oblation of Christ satisfy God’s justice for our sin?

A. In that for us he underwent the[51] punishment due to our sin.
Isa. liii. 4–6; John x. 11; Rom. iii. 25, 26, iv. 25; 1 Cor. xv. 3; 2 Cor. v. 21; Eph. v. 2; 1 Pet. ii. 24.

Q. 7. What was that punishment?

A. The wrath of God, the curse[52] of the law, the pains of hell, due to sinners, in body and soul.
Gen. ii. 17; Deut. xxvii. 15–26; Isa. lix. 2; Rom. v. 12; Eph ii. 3; John iii. 36; Heb. ii. 14.

Q. 8. Did Christ undergo all these?

A. Yes; in respect of the greatness[53] and extremity, not the eternity and continuance of those pains; for it was impossible he should be holden of death.
Matt. xxvi. 28; Mark xiv. 33, 34; xv. 34; Gal. iii. 13; Eph ii. 16; Col. i. 20; Heb. v. 7; Ps. xviii. 5.

Q. 9. How could the punishment of one satisfy for the offence of all?

A. In that he was not a mere[54] man only, but God also, of infinitely more value than all those who had offended.
Rom. v. 9; Heb. ix. 26; 1 Pet. iii. 18.

Q. 10. How did the oblation of Christ redeem from death and hell?

A. First, aby paying a ransom[55] to God, the judge and lawgiver, who had condemned us; secondly, bby overcoming and spoiling Satan, death, and the powers of hell, that detained us captives.
aMatt. xx. 28; John vi. 51; Mark x. 45; Rom. iii. 25; 1 Cor. vi. 20; Gal. iii. 13; Eph i. 7; 1 Tim. ii. 6; Heb. x. 9. bJohn v. 24; Col. ii. 13–15; 1 Thess. i. 10; Heb. ii. 14; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19.

Q. 11. What was the ransom that Christ paid for us?

A. His own precious blood.
Acts xx. 28; 1 Pet. i. 19.

Q. 12. How was the new covenant ratified in his blood?

A. By being accompanied with[56] his death; for that, as all other testaments, was to be ratified by the death of the testator.
Gen. xxii. 18; Heb. ix. 16, viii. 10–12.

Q. 13. What is this new covenant?

A. The gracious, free, aimmutable promise of God, made unto all his elect fallen in Adam, to bgive them Jesus Christ, and cin him mercy, pardon, grace, and glory, dwith a re-stipulation of faith from them unto this faith from them unto this promise, and new obedience.
aGen. iii. 15; Jer. xxxi. 31–34, xxxii. 40; Heb. viii. 10–12. bGal. iii. 8, 16; Gen. xii. 3. cRom. viii. 32; Eph. i. 3, 4. dMark xvi. 16; John i. 12, x. 27, 28.

Q. 14. How did Christ procure for us grace, faith, and glory?

A. By the way of purchase[57] and merit; for the death of Christ deservedly procured of God that he should bless us with all[58] spiritual blessings needful for our coming unto him.
Isa. liii. 11, 12; John xvii. 2; Acts xx. 28; Rom. v. 17, 18; Eph. ii. 15, 16, i. 4; Phil. i. 29; Tit. ii. 14; Rev. i. 5, 6.

Q. 15. What is the intercession of Christ?

A. His continual soliciting[59] of God on our behalf, begun here in fervent prayers, continued in heaven by appearing as our advocate at the throne of grace.
Ps. ii. 8; Rom. viii. 34; Heb. vii. 25, ix. 24, x. 19–21; 1 John ii. 1, 2; John xvii.


Chap. XIII. — Of Christ’s Prophetical Office.

Q. 1. Wherein doth the prophetical office of Christ consist?

A. In his embassage[60] from God to man, revealing from the bosom of his Father the whole mystery of godliness, the way and truth whereby we must come unto God.
Matt. v.; John i. 18, iii. 32, x. 9, 14, xiv. 5, 6, xvii. 8, xviii. 37.

Q. 2. How doth he exercise this office towards us?

A. By making known[61] the whole doctrine of truth unto us in a saving and spiritual manner.
Deut. xviii. 18; Isa. xlii. 6; Heb. iii. 1.

Q. 3. By what means doth he perform all this?

A. Divers; as, first, ainternally and effectually, by his Spirit writing his law in our hearts; secondly, boutwardly and instrumentally, by the Word preached.
aJer. xxxi. 31–34; 2 Cor. iii. 3; 1 Thess. iv. 9; Heb. viii. 10. bJohn xx. 31; 1 Cor. xii. 28; Eph. iv. 8–13; 2 Pet. i. 21.


Chap. XIV. — Of the Two-fold Estate of Christ.

Q. 1. In what estate or condition doth Christ exercise these offices?

A. In a two-fold estate; first, of humiliation[62] [63] [64] or abasement; secondly, of exaltation or glory.
Phil. ii. 8–10.

Q. 2. Wherein consisteth the state of Christ’s humiliation?

A. In three things; first, ain his incarnation, or being born of woman; secondly, bhis obedience, or fulfilling the whole law, moral and ceremonial; thirdly, in his cpassion, or enduring all sorts of miseries, even death itself.
aLuke i. 35; John i. 14; Rom. i. 3; Gal. iv. 4; Heb. ii. 9, 14. bMatt. iii. 15, v. 17; Luke ii. 21; John viii. 46; 2 Cor. v. 21; 1 Pet. i. 19; 1 John iii. 5. cIsa. liii. 4–6; Heb. ii. 9; 1 Pet. ii. 21.

Q. 3. Wherein consists his exaltation?

A. In, first, his resurrection; secondly, ascension; thirdly, sitting at the right hand of God; — by all which he was declared to be the Son of God with power.
Matt. xxviii. 18; Rom. i. 4, vi. 4; Eph. iv. 9; Phil. ii. 9, 10; 1 Tim. iii. 16.


Chap. XV. — Of the Persons to whom the Benefits of Christ’s Offices do belong.

Q. 1. Unto whom do the saving benefits of what Christ performeth, in the execution of his offices, belong?

A. Only to his elect.[65] [66] [67]
John xvii. 9; Isa. lxiii. 9; Heb. iii. 6, x. 21.

Q. 2. Died he for no other?

A. None, in respect of his Father’s eternal purpose, and his own intention of removing wrath from them, and procuring grace and glory for them.
Acts xx. 28; Matt. xx. 28, xxvi. 28; Heb. ix. 28; John xi. 51, 52; Isa. liii. 12; John iii. 16, x. 11–13, 15; Eph. v. 25; Rom. viii. 32, 34; Gal. iii. 13; John vi. 37, 39; Rom. iv. 25; 2 Cor. v. 19, 20.

Q. 3. What shall become of them for whom Christ died not?

A. Everlasting torments for their sins; their portion in their own place.
Mark xvi. 16; John iii. 36; Matt. xxv. 41; Acts i. 25.

Q. 4. For whom doth he make intercession?

A. Only for those who from eternity were given him by his Father.
John xvii.; Heb. vii. 24, 25.


Chap. XVI. — Of the Church.

Q. 1. How are the elect called, in respect of their obedience unto Christ, and union with him?

A. His church.
Acts xx. 28; Eph. v. 32.

Q. 2. What is the church of Christ?

A. The whole company of God’s[68] [69] [70] [71] [72] elect, acalled bof God, cby the Word and Spirit, dout of their natural condition, to the dignity of his children, and eunited unto Christ their head, by faith, in the bond of the Spirit.
aActs ii. 47; 1 Tim. v. 21; Heb. xii. 22–24. bRom. i. 5, 6, ix. 11, 24; 1 Cor. iv. 15; 2 Tim. i. 9. cActs xvi. 14; John iii. 8; 1 Cor. iv. 15; 1 Pet. i. 23; Heb. viii. 10. dEph. ii. 11–13; Col. i. 13; Heb. ii. 14, 15; 1 Pet. ii. 9. eJohn xvii. 21; Eph. ii. 18–22.

Q. 3. Is this whole church always in the same state?

A. No; one part of it is militant, the other triumphant.

Q. 4. What is the church militant?

A. That portion of God’s elect which, in their generation, cleaveth unto Christ by faith, and fighteth against the world, flesh, and devil.
Eph. vi. 11, 12; Heb. xi. 13, 14, xii. 1, 4.

Q. 5. What is the church triumphant?

A. That portion of God’s people who, having fought their fight and kept the faith, are now in heaven, resting from their labours.
Eph. v. 27; Rev. iii. 21, xiv. 13.

Q. 6. Are not the church of the Jews before the birth of Christ, and the church of the Christians since, two churches?

A. No; essentially they are but one,[73] differing only in some outward administrations.
Eph. ii. 11–16; 1 Cor. x. 3; Gal. iv. 26, 27; Heb. xi. 16, 26, 40.

Q. 7. Can this church be wholly overthrown on the earth?

A. No; unless the decree of God may be changed, and the promise of Christ fail.
Matt. xvi. 18, xxviii. 20; John xiv. 16; John xvii.; 1 Tim. iii. 15; 2 Tim. ii. 19.


Chap. XVII. — Of Faith.

Q. 1. By what means do we become actual members of this church of God?

A. By a lively justifying faith,[74] whereby we are united unto Christ, the head thereof.
Acts ii. 47, xiii. 48; Heb. xi. 6, xii. 22, 23, iv. 2; Rom. v. 1, 2; Eph. ii. 13, 14.

Q. 2. What is a justifying faith?

A. A agracious resting upon[75] the free promises of God in Jesus Christ for mercy, bwith a firm persuasion of heart that God is a reconciled Father unto us in the Son of his love.
a1 Tim. i. 16; Job xiii. 15, xix. 25; Rom. iv. 5. bHeb. iv. 16; Rom. viii. 38, 39; Gal. ii. 20; 2 Cor. v. 20, 21.

Q. 3. Have all this faith?

A. None but the elect of God.
Tit. i. 1; John x. 26; Matt. xiii. 11; Acts xiii. 48; Rom. viii. 30.

Q. 4. Do not, then, others believe that make profession?

A. Yes; with, first, historical faith, or a persuasion that the things written in the Word are true, James ii. 19; secondly, temporary faith, which hath some joy of the affections, upon unspiritual grounds, in the things believed.
Matt. xiii. 20; Mark vi. 20; John ii. 23, 24; Acts viii. 13.


Chap. XVIII. — Of our Vocation, or God’s Calling us.

Q. 1. How come we to have this saving faith?

A. It is freely bestowed upon us and wrought in us by the Spirit of God, in our vocation or calling.
John vi. 29, 44; Eph. ii. 8, 9; Phil. i. 29; 2 Thess. i. 11.

Q. 2. What is our vocation, or this calling of God?

A. The free, gracious[76] [77] act of Almighty God, whereby in Jesus Christ he calleth and translateth us from the state of nature, sin, wrath, and corruption, into the state of grace and union with Christ, by the mighty, effectual working of his Spirit in the preaching of the Word.
Col. i. 12, 13; 2 Tim. i. 9; Deut. xxx. 6; Ezek. xxxvi. 26; Matt. xi. 25, 26; John i. 13, iii. 3, 8; Eph. i. 19; Col. ii. 12; 1 Cor. iv. 7; James i. 18; 2 Pet. ii. 20; Acts xvi. 14.

Q. 3. What do we ourselves perform in this change, or work of our conversion?

A. Nothing at all, being merely[78] wrought upon by the free grace and Spirit of God, when in ourselves we have no ability to any thing that is spiritually good.
Matt. vii. 18, x. 20; John i. 13, xv. 5; 1 Cor. xii. 3, ii. 5; 2 Cor. iii. 5; Eph ii. 1, 8; Rom. viii. 26; Phil. i. 6.

Q. 4. Doth God thus call all and every one?

A. All within the pale of the church are outwardly called by the Word, none effectually but the elect.
Matt. xxii. 14; Rom. viii. 30.


Chap. XIX. — Of Justification.

Q. 1. Are we accounted righteous and saved for our faith, when we are thus freely called?

A. No, but merely by the imputation of the righteousness of Christ, apprehended and applied by faith; for which alone the Lord accepts us as holy and righteous.
Isa. xliii. 25; Rom. iii. 23–26, iv. 5.

Q. 2. What, then, is our justification or righteousness before God?

A. The gracious, free act[79] of God, imputing the righteousness of Christ to a believing sinner, and for that speaking peace unto his conscience, in the pardon of his sin, — pronouncing him to be just and accepted before him.
Gen. xv. 6; Acts xiii. 38, 39; Luke xviii. 14; Rom. iii. 24, 26, 28, iv. 4–8; Gal. ii. 16.

Q. 3. Are we not, then, righteous before God by our own works?

A. No; for of themselves they can neither satisfy his justice, fulfil his law, nor endure his trial.
Ps. cxxx. 3, 4, cxliii. 2; Isa. lxiv. 6; Luke xvii. 10.


Chap. XX. — Of Sanctification.

Q. 1. Is there nothing, then, required of us but faith only?

A. Yes; arepentance, and bholiness or new obedience.
aActs xx. 21; Matt. iii. 2; Luke xiii. 3. b2 Tim. ii. 19; 1 Thess. iv. 7; Heb. xii. 14.

Q. 2. What is repentance?

A. Godly asorrow for every known[80] [81] sin committed against God, bwith a firm purpose of heart to cleave unto him for the future, cin the killing of sin, the quickening of all graces, to walk before him in newness of life.
a2 Cor. vii. 9–11; Acts ii. 37; Ps. li. 17. bPs. xxxiv. 14; Isa. i. 16, 17; Ezek. xviii. 27, 28; Acts xiv. 15. cEph. iv. 21–24; Rom. vi. 12, 13, 18, 19, viii. 1; 2 Cor. v. 17; Gal. vi. 15.

Q. 3. Can we do this of ourselves?

A. No; it is a special gift and grace of God, which he bestoweth on whom he pleaseth.
Lev. xx. 8; Deut. xxx. 6; Ezek. xi. 19, 20; 2 Tim. ii. 25; Acts xi. 18.

Q. 4. Wherein doth the being of true repentance consist, without which it is not acceptable?

A. In its[82] performance according to the Gospel rule, with faith and assured hope of divine mercy.
Ps. li.; 1 John ii. 1, 2; 2 Cor. vii. 10, 11; Acts ii. 38; Matt. xxvi. 75.

Q. 5. What is that holiness which is required of us?

A. That auniversal,[83] [84] sincere obedience to the whole will of God, bin our hearts, minds, wills, and actions, cwhereby we are in some measure made conformable to Christ, our head.
aPs. cxix. 9; 1 Sam. xv. 22; John xiv. 15; Rom. vi. 19; Heb. xii. 14; Tit. ii. 12; 2 Pet. i. 5–7; Isa. i. 16, 17. b1 Chron. xxviii. 9; Deut. vi. 5; Matt. xxii. 37. cRom. viii. 29; 1 Cor. xi. 1; Eph. ii. 21; Col. iii. 1–3; 2 Tim. ii. 11, 12.

Q. 6. Is this holiness or obedience in us perfect?

A. Yes, ain respect[85] of all the parts of it, but bnot in respect of the degrees wherein God requires it.
a2 Kings xx. 3; Job i. 1; Matt. v. 48; Luke i. 6; 2 Cor. vii. 1; Eph. iv. 24; Tit. ii. 12. bIsa lxiv. 6; Ps. cxxx. 3; Exod. xxviii. 38; Phil. iii. 12.

Q. 7. Will God accept of that obedience which falls so short of what he requireth?

A. Yes, from them[86] whose persons he accepteth and justifieth freely in Jesus Christ.
Rom. xii. 1; Phil. iv. 18; Heb. xiii. 16; 1 John iii. 22; Eph. i. 6.

Q. 8. What are the parts of this holiness?

A. aInternal, in the quickening of all graces, purging all sins; band external, in fervent and frequent prayers, alms, and all manner of righteousness. Particular precepts are innumerable.
aHeb. ix. 14; Eph. iii. 16, 17; Rom. ii. 29, vi. 12. bMatt. v. 20; Rom. viii. 1, 2; Eph iv. 22, 23; Tit. ii. 12.

Q. 9. May not others perform these duties acceptably, as well as those that believe?

A. No;[87] all their performances in this kind are but abominable sins before the Lord.
Prov. xv. 8; John ix. 31; Tit. i. 15; Heb. xi. 6.


Chap. XXI. — Of the Privileges of Believers.

Q. 1. What are the privileges of those that thus believe and repent?

A. First, union with Christ; secondly, adoption of children; thirdly, Christian liberty; fourthly, a spiritual, holy right to the seals of the new covenant; fifthly, communion with all saints; sixthly, resurrection of the body unto life eternal.

Q. 2. What is our union with Christ?

A. An aholy, spiritual[88] [89] conjunction unto him, as our bhead, chusband, and dfoundation, ewhereby we are made partakers of the same Spirit with him, fand derive all good things from him.
a1 Cor. xii. 12; John xv. 1, 2, 5–7, xvii. 23. bEph. iv. 15, v. 23; Col. i. 18. c2 Cor. xi. 2; Eph. v. 25–27; Rev. xxi. 9. dMatt. xvi. 18; Eph. ii. 20–22; 1 Pet. ii. 4–7. eRom. viii. 9, 11; Gal. iv. 6; Phil. i. 19. fJohn i. 12, 16; Eph. i. 3.

Q. 3. What is our adoption?

A. Our gracious reception into the family of God, as his children, and co-heirs with Christ.
John i. 12; Rom. viii. 15, 17; Gal. iv. 5; Eph. i. 5.

Q. 4. How come we to know this?

A. By the especial working of the Holy[90] Spirit in our hearts, sealing unto us the promises of God, and raising up our souls to an assured expectation of the promised inheritance.
Rom. viii. 15, 17; Eph. iv. 30; 1 John iii. 1; Rom. viii. 19, 23; Tit. ii. 13.

Q. 5. What is our Christian liberty?

A. An[91] holy and spiritual afreedom from the bslavery of sin, the cbondage of death and hell, the dcurse of the law, eJewish ceremonies, and fthraldom of conscience, purchased for us by Jesus Christ, and grevealed to us by the Holy Spirit.
aGal. v. 1. bJohn viii. 32, 34, 36; Rom. vi. 17, 18; Isa. lxi. 1; 1 John i. 7; 2 Cor. v. 21. cRom. viii. 15; Heb. ii. 15; 1 Cor. xv. 55, 57. dGal. iii. 13; Eph. ii. 15, 16; Gal. iv. 5; Rom. viii. 1. eActs xv. 10, 11; Gal. 3, 4, 5. f2 Cor. i. 24; 1 Cor. vii. 23; 1 Pet. ii. 16. g1 Cor. ii. 12.

Q. 6. Are we, then, wholly freed from the moral law?

A. Yes, as aa covenant,[92] or as it hath any thing in it bringing into bondage, — as the curse, power, dominion, and rigid exaction of obedience; bbut not as it is a rule of life and holiness.
aJer. xxxi. 31–33; Rom. vii. 1–3, vi. 14; Gal. iii. 19, 24; Rom. viii. 2; Gal. v. 18. bMatt. v. 17; Rom. iii. 31, vii. 13, 22, 25.

Q. 7. Are we not freed by Christ from the magistrate’s power and human authority?

A. No; being ordained of[93] God, and commanding for him, we owe them all lawful obedience.
Rom. xiii. 1–4; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2; 1 Pet. ii. 13–15.


Chap. XXII. — Of the Sacraments of the New Covenant in particular, — a holy right whereunto is the Fourth Privilege of Believers.

Q. 1. What are the seals of the New Testament?

A. Sacraments instituted of Christ to be visible seals and pledges, whereby God in him confirmeth the promises of the covenant to all believers, re-stipulating of them growth in faith and obedience.
Mark xvi. 16; John iii. 5; Acts ii. 38, xxii. 16; Rom. iv. 11; 1 Cor. x. 2–4, xi. 26–29.

Q. 2. How doth God by these sacraments bestow grace upon us?

A. Not by any[94] real essential conveying of spiritual grace by corporeal means, but by the way of promise, obsignation, and covenant, confirming the grace wrought in us by the Word and Spirit.
Heb. iv. 2; 1 Cor. x.; Rom. iv. 11, i. 17; Mark xvi. 16; Eph. v. 26.

Q. 3. How do our sacraments differ from the sacraments of the Jews?

A. Accidentally only, in things concerning the outward matter and form, as their number, quality, clearness of signification, and the like, not essentially, in the things signified, or grace confirmed.
1 Cor. x. 1, 2, 3, &c.; John vi. 35; 1 Cor. v. 7; Phil. iii. 3; Col. ii. 11.


Chap. XXIII. — Of Baptism.

Q. 1. Which are these sacraments?

A. Baptism and the Lord’s supper.

Q. 2. What is baptism?

A. An aholy action, appointed[95] [96] of Christ, whereby being the sprinkled with water in name of the whole Trinity, by a lawful minister of the church, bwe are admitted into the family of God, cand have the benefits of the blood of Christ confirmed unto us.
aMatt. xxviii. 19; Mark xvi. 15, 16. bActs ii. 41, viii. 37. cActs ii. 38, 39; John iii. 5; Rom. vi. 3–5; 1 Cor. xii. 13.

Q. 3. To whom doth this sacrament belong?

A. Unto all to whom the promise of the covenant is made; that is, to believers, and to their seed.
Acts ii. 39; Gen. xvii. 11, 12; Acts xvi. 15; Rom. iv. 10, 11; 1 Cor. vii. 14.

Q. 4. How can baptism seal the pardon of all sins to us, all our personal sins following it?

A. Inasmuch as it is a seal of that promise which gives pardon of all to believers.
Acts ii. 39; Rom. iv. 11, 12.


Chap. XXIV. — Of the Lord’s Supper.

Q. 1. What is the Lord’s supper?

A. An aholy action instituted and[97] appointed by Christ, bto set forth his death, cand communicate unto us spiritually his body and blood by faith, being drepresented by bread and wine, eblessed by his word, and prayer, fbroken,[98] poured out, and received of believers.
aMatt. xxvi. 26–28; Luke xxii. 14–20; 1 Cor. xi. 23–25. bLuke xxii. 19; 1 Cor. xi. 25, 26. cMark xiv. 22–24; 1 Cor. xi. 24, 25; John vi. 63. d1 Cor. xi. 23, 25. e1 Cor. xi. 24; Matt. xxvi. 26. fMatt. xxvi. 26; Mark xiv. 22; Luke xxii. 19.

Q. 2. When did Christ appoint this sacraments?

A. On the night wherein he was betrayed to suffer.
1 Cor. xi. 23.

Q. 3. Whence is the right use of it to be learned?

A. From the word,[99] practice, and actions of our Saviour, at its institution.

Q. 4. What were the actions of our Saviour to be imitated by us?

A. First, blessing the elements by prayer; secondly, breaking the bread, and pouring out the wine; thirdly, distributing them to the receivers, sitting in a table-gesture.
Matt. xxvi. 26; Mark xiv. 22; Luke xxii. 19,20; 1 Cor. xi. 23, 24.

Q. 5. What were the words of Christ?

A. First, of command, — “Take, eat;” secondly, of promise, — “This is my body;” thirdly, of institution for perpetual use, — “This do,” &c.
1 Cor. xi. 24–26.

Q. 6. Who are to be[100] [101] receivers of this sacrament?

A. Those only have a true right to the signs who by faith have an holy interest in Christ, the thing signified.
1 Cor. xi. 27–29; John vi. 63.

Q. 7. Do the elements remain bread and wine still, after the blessing of them?

A. Yes; all the spiritual change is wrought by the faith of the receiver, not the words of the giver: to them that believe, they are the body and blood of Christ.
John vi. 63; 1 Cor. x. 4, xi. 29.


Chap. XXV. — Of the Communion of Saints, — the Fifth Privilege of Believers.

Q. 1. What is the communion of saints?

A. An holy conjunction[102] between all God’s people, wrought by their participation of the same Spirit, whereby we are all made members of that one body whereof Christ is the head.
Cant. vi. 9; Jer. xxxii. 39; John xvii. 22; 1 Cor. xii. 12; Eph iv. 3–6, 13; 1 John i. 3, 6, 7.

Q. 2. Of what sort is this union?

A. First, aspiritual and internal, in the enjoyment of the same spirit and graces, — which is the union of the church catholic; secondly, bexternal and ecclesiastical, in the same outward ordinances, — which is the union of particular congregations.
a1 Cor. xii. 12, 13; Eph ii. 16, 19–22; 1 Cor. x. 17; John xvii. 11, 21, 22; John x. 16; Heb. ii. 11. b1 Cor. i. 10, 11; Rom. xii. 5; 1 Cor. xii. 27, 28; Eph iv. 11–13; Phil. ii. 2; Col. iii. 15; 1 Pet. iii. 8.


Chap. XXVI. — Of Particular Churches.

Q. 1. What are particular churches?

A. Peculiar aassemblies[103] [104] of professors in one place, bunder officers of Christ’s institution, cenjoying the ordinances of God, dand leading lives beseeming their holy calling.
aActs xi. 26; 1 Cor. iv. 17, xi. 22; 2 Cor. i. 1. bActs xx. 17, 28, xiv. 23; 2 Cor. viii. 23; Heb. xiii. 17. c1 Cor. iii. 5; Rev. ii. 1–3. d2 Thess. iii. 5, 6, 11; Gal. vi. 16; Phil. iii. 17; 1 Thess. ii. 12.

Q. 2. What are the ordinary officers of such churches?

A. First, apastors or doctors,[105] to teach and exhort; secondly, belders, to assist in rule and government; thirdly, cdeacons, to provide for the poor.
aRom. xii. 7, 8; Eph. iv. 11; 1 Cor. xii. 28. bRom. xii. 8; 1 Tim. v. 17. cActs vi. 2, 3.

Q. 3. What is required of these officers, especially the chiefest, or ministers?

A. aThat they be faithful in the ministry committed unto them; bsedulous in dispensing the Word; cwatching for the good of the souls committed to them; dgoing before them in an example of all godliness and holiness of life.
a1 Cor. iv. 2; Acts xx. 18–20. b2 Tim. ii. 15, iv. 1–5. cTit. i. 13; 1 Tim. iv. 15, 16. dTit. ii. 7; 1 Tim. iv. 12; Matt. v. 16; Acts xxiv. 16.

Q. 4. What is required in the people unto them?

A. Obedience ato their message and ministry; bhonour and love to their persons; cmaintenance to them and their families.
a2 Cor. v. 20; Rom. vi. 17; Heb. xiii. 17; 2 Thess. iii. 14; Rom. xvi. 19; 2 Cor. x. 4–6. b1 Cor. iv. 1; Gal. iv. 14; 1 Tim. v. 17, 18. cLuke x. 7; James v. 4; 1 Tim. v. 17, 18; 1 Cor. ix. 9–13.


Chap. XXVII. — Of the Last Privilege of Believers, — being the Door of Entrance into Glory.

Q. 1. What is the resurrection of the flesh?

A. An act of the[106] mighty power of God’s Holy Spirit, applying unto us the virtue of Christ’s resurrection, &c; whereby, at the last day, he will raise our whole bodies from the dust, to be united again unto our souls in everlasting happiness.
Job xix. 25–27; Ps. xvi. 9–11; Isa. xxvi. 19; Ezek. xxxvii. 2, 3; Dan. xii. 2; 1 Cor. xv. 16, Rev. xx. 12, 13.

Q. 2. What is the end of this whole dispensation?

A. The glory of God in our eternal salvation.

To Him be all glory and honour for evermore! Amen.


[1]Every one out of this way everlastingly damned.

[2]The life of religion is in the Life.

[3]Popish traditions are false lights, leading from God.

[4]The authority of the Scripture dependeth not on the authority of the church, as the Papists blaspheme.

[5]All human inventions unnecessary helps in the worship of God.

[6]The word thereof is the sole directory for faith, worship, and life.

[7]This alone persuadeth and inwardly convinceth the heart of the divine verity of the Scripture; other motives, also, there are from without, and unanswerable arguments to prove the truth of them, as, — 1. Their antiquity; 2. Preservation from fury; 3. Prophecies in them; 4. The holiness and majesty of their doctrine agreeable to the nature of God; 5. Miracles; 6. The testimony of the church of all ages; 7. The blood of innumerable martyrs, &c.

[8]The perfection of God’s being is known of us chiefly by removing all imperfections.

[9]Hence the abominable vanity of idolaters, and of the blasphemous Papists, that picture God.

[10]Let us prostrate ourselves in holy adoration of that which we cannot comprehend.

[11]The divers names of God signify one and the same thing, but under diverse notions in respect of our conception.

[12]Some of these attributes belong so unto God, as that they are in no sort to be ascribed to any else, — as infiniteness, eternity, &c. Others are after a sort attributed to some of his creatures, in that he communicates unto them some of the effects of them in himself; — as life, goodness, &c.

[13]The first of these are motives to humble adoration, fear, self-abhorrency; the other, to faith, hope, love, and confidence, through Jesus Christ.

[14]Nothing is to be ascribed unto God, nor imagined of him, but what is exactly agreeable to those his glorious properties.

[15]These last are no less essential unto God than the former — only we thus distinguish them, because these are chiefly seen in his works.

[16]This is that mysterious ark that must not be pried into, nor the least tittle spoken about it, wherein plain Scripture goeth not before.

[17]To deny the Deity of any one person, is in effect to deny the whole Godhead for whosoever hath not the Son, hath not the Father.

[18]This only doctrine remained undefiled in the Papacy.

[19]We must labour to make out comfort from the proper work of every person towards us.

[20]The purposes and decrees of God, so far as by him revealed, are objects of our faith, and full of comfort.

[21]Farther reasons of God’s decrees than his own will, not to be inquired after.

[22]The changes in the scripture ascribed unto God are only in the outward dispensations and works, variously tending to one infallible event, by him proposed.

[23]The Arminians’ blasphemy, in saying God sometimes fails of his purposes.

[24]The decree of election is the fountain of all spiritual graces, for they are bestowed only on the elect.

[25]In nothing doth natural corruption more exalt itself against God, than in opposing the freedom of his grace in his eternal decrees.

[26]From the execution of these decrees flows that variety and difference we see in the dispensation of the means of grace, — God sending the Gospel where he hath a remnant according to election.

[27]The very outward works of God are sufficient to convince men of his eternal power and Godhead, and to leave them inexcusable, if they serve him not.

[28]The glory of God is to be preferred above our own either being or well-being, as the supreme end of them.

[29]The approaching unto God in his service is the chief exaltation of one nature above the beasts that perish.

[30]God never allowed, from the beginning, that the will of the creature should be the measure of his worship and honour.

[31]Though we have all lost our right unto the promise of the first covenant, yet all not restored by Christ are under the commination and curse thereof.

[32]To this providence is to be ascribed all the good we do enjoy, and all the afflictions we undergo.

[33]Fortune, chance, and the like, are names without things, scarce fit to be used among Christians, seeing Providence certainly ruleth all to appointed ends.

[34]No free-will in man exempted either from the eternal decree or the over-ruling providence of God.

[35]Though the dispensations of God’s providence towards his people be various, yet every issue and act of it tends to one certain end, — their good in his glory.

[36]Almighty God knows how to bring light out of darkness, good out of evil, the salvation of his elect out of Judas’s treachery, the Jews’ cruelty, and Pilate’s injustice.

[37]This law of God bindeth us now, not because delivered to the Jews on Mount Horeb, but because written in the hearts of all by the finger of God at the first.

[38]After the fall, the law ceased to be a rule of justification, and became a rule for sanctification only.

[39]It is of free grace that God giveth power to yield any obedience, and accepteth of any obedience that is not perfect.

[40]This is that which commonly is called original sin, which in general denoteth the whole misery and corruption of our nature; as, — 1. The guilt of Adam’s actual sin to us imputed; 2. Loss of God’s glorious image, innocency and holiness; 3. Deriving by propagation a nature — (1.) Defiled with the pollution, (2.) Laden with the guilt, (3.) Subtitled to the power of sin; 4. A being exposed to all temporal miseries, leading to and procuring death; 5. An alienation from God, with voluntary obedience to Satan and lust; 6. An utter disability to good, or to labour for mercy; 7. Eternal damnation of body and soul in hell.

[41]All that a natural man hath on this side hell is free mercy.

[42]The end of this is Jesus Christ, to all that fly for refuge to the hope set before them.

[43]This is that great mystery of godliness that the angels themselves admire; — the most transcendent expression of God’s infinite love, — the laying forth of all the treasure of his wisdom and goodness.

[44]1. Though our Saviour Christ be one God with his Father, he is not one person with him. 2. Jesus Christ is God and man in one, — not a God and a man; God incarnate, — not a man deified. 3. The essential properties of either nature remain in his person theirs still, not communicated unto the other; as of the Deity to be eternal, everywhere; of the humanity to be born and die. 4. Whatever may be said of either nature may be said of the whole person; so God may be said to die, but not the Godhead; the man Christ to be everywhere, but not his humanity; for his one person is all this. 5. The monstrous figment of transubstantiation, or Christ’s corporeal presence in the sacrament, fully overthrows our Saviour’s human nature, and makes him a mere shadow. 6. All natural properties are double in Christ, — as will, &c., still distinct; all personal, as subsistence, single.

[45]In the exercise of these offices, Christ is also the sole head, husband, God first-born of the church.

[46]Papal usurpation upon these offices of Christ manifests the pope to be the Man of Sin.

[47]Christ’s subjects are all born rebels, and are stubborn, until he make them obedient by his Word and Spirit.

[48]Christ hath not delegated his kingly power of law-making for his church to any here below.

[49]The end of Christ in exercising his kingly power over his enemies, is the glory of the gospel and the good of his people.

[50]Against both these the Papists are exceedingly blasphemous; against the one, by making their mass a sacrifice for sins, — the other, by making saints mediators of intercession.

[51]Christ’s undergoing punishment for us was, first, typified by the old sacrifices; secondly, foretold in the first promise; thirdly, made lawful and valid in itself, — first, by God’s determination, the supreme lawgiver; secondly, his own voluntary undergoing it; thirdly, by a relaxation of the law in regard of the subject punished; — fourthly, beneficial to us, because united to us; as, first, our head; secondly, our elder brother; thirdly, our sponsor or surety; fourthly, our husband; fifthly, our God, or Redeemer, &c.

[52]No change in all these, but what necessarily follows the change of the persons sustaining.

[53]The death that Christ underwent was eternal in its own nature and tendence, — not so to him, because of his holiness, power, and the unity of his person.

[54]He suffered not as God, but he suffered who was God.

[55]We are freed from the anger of God, by a perfect rendering to the full value of what he required, — from the power of Satan, by absolute conquest on our behalf.

[56]The new covenant is Christ’s legacy, in his last will unto his people, — the eternal inheritance of glory being conveyed thereby.

[57]The death of Christ was satisfactory in respect of the strict justice of God, — meritorious in respect of the covenant between him and his Father.

[58]All these holy truths are directly denied by the blasphemous Socinians; and by the Papists, with their merits, masses, penance, and purgatory, by consequent, overthrown.

[59]To make saints our intercessors, is to renounce Jesus Christ from being a sufficient Saviour.

[60]Christ differed from all other prophets; first, in his sending, which was immediately from the bosom of his Father; secondly, his assistance, which was the fulness of the Spirit; thirdly, his manner of teaching, — with authority.

[61]To accuse his Word of imperfection, in doctrine or discipline, is to deny him a perfect prophet, or to have borne witness unto all truth.

[62]The humiliation of Christ shows us what we must here do and suffer, — his exaltation, what we may hope for.

[63]The first of these holds forth his mighty love to us; the other his mighty power in himself.

[64]The only way to heaven is by the cross.

[65]Christ giveth life to all that world for whom he gave his life.

[66]None that he died for shall ever die.

[67]To say that Christ died for every man universally, is to affirm that he did no more for the elect than the reprobates, — for them that are saved than for them that are damned; which is the Arminian blasphemy.

[68]The elect angels belong to this church.

[69]No distance of time or place breaks the unity of this church: heaven and earth, from the beginning of the world unto the end, are comprised in it.

[70]No mention in Scripture of any church in purgatory.

[71]This is the catholic church; — though that term be not to be found in the Word in this sense, the thing itself is obvious.

[72]The pope, challenging unto himself the title of the head of the catholic church, is blasphemously rebellious against Jesus Christ.

[73]This is that ark out of which whosoever is shall surely perish.

[74]Of this faith the Holy Spirit is the efficient cause, the Word, the instrumental; — the Law indirectly, by discovering our misery; the Gospel immediately, by holding forth a Saviour.

[75]Faith is in the understanding, in respect of its being and subsistence, — in the will and heart, in respect of its effectual working.

[76]Our effectual calling is the first effect of our everlasting election.

[77]We have no actual interest in nor right unto Christ, until we are thus called.

[78]They who so boast of the strength of free-will in the work of our conversion are themselves an example what it is being given up to so vile an error, — destitute of the grace of God.

[79]Legal and evangelical justification differ; first, on the part of the persons to be justified, — the one requiring a person legally and perfectly righteous, — the other a believing sinner; secondly, on the part of God, who in the one is a severe, righteous judge, — in the other, a merciful, reconciled Father; thirdly, in the sentence, which in the one acquitteth, as having done nothing amiss, — in the other, as having all amiss pardoned.

[80]Repentance includeth, first, alteration of the mind into a hatred of sin, before loved; secondly, sorrow of the affections for sin committed; thirdly, change of the actions arising from both.

[81]Repentance is either legal, servile, and terrifying, from the spirit of bondage; or evangelical, filial, and comforting, from the spirit of free grace and liberty, which only is available.

[82]Every part of Popish repentance — viz., contrition, confession, and satisfaction — was performed by Judas.

[83]All faith and profession, without this holiness, is vain and of no effect.

[84]True faith can no more be without true holiness than true fire without heat.

[85]Merit of works in unprofitable servants, no way able to do their duty, is a Popish miracle.

[86]In Christ are our persons accepted freely, and for him our obedience.

[87]The best duties of unbelievers are but white sins.

[88]By virtue of this union, Christ suffereth in our afflictions; and we fill up in our bodies what remaineth as his.

[89]From Christ, as head of the church, we have spiritual life, sense, and motion, or growth in grace; secondly, as the husband of the church, love and redemption; thirdly, as the foundation thereof, stability and perseverance.

[90]This is that great honour and dignity of believers, which exalts them to a despising all earthly thrones.

[91]Our liberty is our inheritance here below, which we ought to contend for, against all opposers.

[92]Nothing makes men condemn the law as a rule, but hatred of that universal holiness which it doth require.

[93]Rule and authority are as necessary for human society as fire and water for our lives.

[94]This is one of the greatest mysteries of the Roman magic and juggling that corporeal elements should have a power to forgive sins, and confer spiritual grace.

[95]Not the want, but the contempt of this sacrament, is damnable.

[96]It is hard to say whether the error of the Papists, requiring baptism of absolute, indispensable necessity to the salvation of every infant, or that of the Anabaptists, debarring them from it altogether, be the most uncharitable.

[97]Baptism is the sacrament of our new birth, this of our farther growth in Christ.

[98]No part of Christian religion was ever so vilely contaminated and abused by profane wretches, as this pure, holy, plain action and institution of our Saviour: witness the Popish horrid monster of transubstantiation, and their idolatrous mass.

[99]Whatever is more than these, is of our own.

[100]Faith in God’s promises, which it doth confirm, — union with Christ, whereof it is a seal, — and obedience to the right use of the ordinance itself, — are required of all receivers.

[101]There is not any one action pertaining to the spiritual nature of this sacrament, not any end put upon it by Christ, — as, first, the partaking of his body and blood; secondly, setting forth his death for us; thirdly, declaring of our union with him and his, — but requires faith, grace, and holiness, in the receivers.

[102]By virtue of this, we partake in all the good and evil of the people of God throughout the world.

[103]Every corruption doth not presently unchurch a people.

[104]Unholiness of fellow-worshippers defileth not God’s ordinances.

[105]Ministers are the bishops of the Lord; lord-bishops came from Rome.

[106]The resurrection of the flesh hereafter is a powerful motive to live after the Spirit here.



The original document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College, generated on demand from ThML source. [I have made minor formatting changes]


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