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A BRIEF ANALYSIS
ASSEMBLY'S SHORTER CATECHISM,
IN THE FORM OF
QUESTION AND ANSWER;
SCRIPTURE PROOFS AND SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES.
For the Use of Schools and Private Families.
BY N. LEITCH, F.E.I.S.
A Brief Analysis of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism,
WHITTAKER & CO., AND WILLIAM COLLINS, LONDON.
WE, whose names are subscribed, have examined Mr. Leitch's 'Brief Analysis of the Assembly's Shorter Catechism,' and we have great pleasure in recommending it to Parents, Teachers, Young People, and others, as a valuable Manual of Christian instruction, Its statements are clear, correct, and Scriptural,— Its proofs are judiciously chosen,-Its explanations are concise and comprehensive,-and its language is remarkably simple and perspicuous.
ROBERT BURNS,D.D. Minister of St. George's Church, Paisley.
THE SHORTER CATECHISM.
1. What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him
What is meant by the chief end of man?
1 Cor. x. 31, Whether, therefore, ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Psalm lxxiii, 25, 26, Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Can we make God more glorious than he is?-No.1 Job xxii. 2, Can a man be profitable unto God, as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself?
What, then, is it to glorify God? It is to honour God, by acknowledging, praising, and obeying him.
Rom. i. 21, Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Psalm 1. 23, Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation uright will I show the salvation of God.
1 Cor. vi. 20, For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
What is it to enjoy God?-It is to be delighted with his favour, and made happy in his service.
Psalm xvi. 5, 6, The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, yea, I have a goodly heritage.
Psalm xliii. 5, Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalm Ixiii. 3, Because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Where is God enjoyed? On earth now, but fully in heaven hereafter. Psalm xvi. 11, Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
1 The glory of God is two-fold-essential and declarative. By his essential glory, we understand what he is absolutely in himself, I AM THAT I AM. To this glory neither angels nor men can add. His declarative glory consists in his showing, or making known, what he is, by means of his creatures; and, to this glory, we are said to add, by acknowledging, praising, and obeying him.
Rev. xxii, 3, 4, And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads.
When should we begin to glorify God?-In the days of our youth.
Eccles. xii. 1, Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.
2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
What has God given us for a rule?-His Word.
Eph. ii. 20, And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.
What is the meaning of Scriptures?—Holy Writings.
Holy men of God, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Pet.'i. 21, For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
What are the Scriptures generally called?
Isaiah viii. 20, To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
2 Tim. iii. 16, 17, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Rev. xxii. 18, For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book.
For what purpose has God given us this rule?
1 The works of creation and providence are sufficient to convince men that there is a God, and do show forth his goodness, wisdom, and power: but the Scriptures alone reveal certainly what God is; how man became sinful and miserable; how he may be restored to God's favour and friendship; and thus give that knowledge of God, and of bis will, which is necessary to salvation,
Psalm cxix. 105, 130, Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.
Since God has given us his Word, what should we do with it? We should diligently read it, and meditate on it.
John v. 39, Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
Col. iii. 16, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
The Scriptures principally teach what man is to believe concerning God, and
what duty God requires of man. What is meant by the expression,—the Scriptures principally teach?- The chief things taught in the Bible.
What are the chief things taught in the Bible?What man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man."
Psalm xix. 7, 8, 9, 11, The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes: the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. Moreover, by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
What may we learn from this?- That, if we believe in the revelation of God, we will be sure to keep his commandments,
1 John ii. 3, 4, And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
4. What is God?
God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.2
1 Faith, or what man is to believe concerning God, is here placed first, because faith is the only true foundation of Christian duty or obedience. Obedience is, therefore, a fruit and evidence of faith; but we must not suppose that obedience can merit eternal life-it is only a preparation for it.
- 2 Wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth, are the perfections of God's being, and constitute his essential glory.' In these per: tections he is infinite, eternal, and unchaogeable, and we can neither add to, nor take from them,