Wednesday, July 27

Historic Church Documents: Westminster Shorter Catechism

Wondering why all these historic church documents are posted here this month? That'd be because I've declared July to be Historic Church Document Month.

This one's just for DianeR, who tells us that one of her ancestors played a very important role in the wording of this catechism:
There were four Scottish pastors invited to the mostly Anglican Westminister Assembly to craft this confession together.

One of those Scottish pastors was a direct ancestor of mine. In fact, he was the one who answred the first question.

One day he was asked to open the convention with prayer. In his prayer were the words, "to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." When the delegates tackled the first question which was "What is the chief end of man?" they remembered my ancestor's prayer and decided that was the perfect answer.

My ancestor's name was George Gillespie and he was the youngest delegate there I believe.

Here's that famous first question and answer, with scriptural proofs:
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?

A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, [a] and to enjoy him for ever. [b]
[a]. Ps. 86:9; Isa. 60:21; Rom. 11:36; I Cor. 6:20; 10:31; Rev. 4:11
[b]. Ps. 16:5-11; 144:15; Isa. 12:2; Luke 2:10; Phil. 4:4; Rev. 21:3-4

You'll find the whole shorter catechism here.

What about the Larger Catechism? It's the shorter catechism, plus more, and you'll find it here: Questions 1-97, Questions 98-196.

Now wasn't that fun?

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