Catechism


Q. What kind of sins are the greatest?

A. Adultery, fornication, murder, theft, swearing,
lying, covetousness, witchcraft, sedition, heresies, or any the like (1 Cor 6:9,10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 3:5,6; Gal 5:19-21; Rev 21:8).

Q. What do you mean by circumstances that attend sin?

A. I mean light, knowledge, the preaching of the Word, godly acquaintance, timely caution, &c.

Q. Will these make an alteration in the sin?

A. These things attending sinners, will make little sins great, yea greater than greater sins that are committed in grossest ignorance.

Q. How do you prove that?

A. Sodom and Gomorrah wallowed in all or most of those gross transgressions above mentioned: yea, they were said to be sinners exceedingly, they lived in such sins as may not be spoken of without blushing, and yet God swears that Israel, his church, had done worse than they (Eze 16:48), and the Lord Jesus also seconds it in that threatening of his, ‘I say unto you, That it shall
be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the
day of judgment than for thee’ (Matt 11:24; Luke 10:12).

Q. And was this the reason, namely, because they had such circumstances attending them as Sodom had not?

A. Yes, as will plainly appear, if you read the three chapters above mentioned.

Q. When do I sin against light and knowledge?

A. When you sin against convictions of conscience, when you sin against a known law of God, when you sin against counsels, and dissuasion of friends, then you sin against light and knowledge (Rom 1:32).

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Catechism


Q. But why might not the ungodly be
punished with this punishment in this world,that we might have seen it and believe?
A. Ifthe ungodly should with punishment have been rewarded in this world, it would in all probability have overthrown the whole order
that God hath settled here among men. For who could have endured here to have seen the flames of fire, to have heard the groans, and to have seen the tears, perhaps, of damned
relations, as parents or children? Therefore as Tophet of old was without the city, and as the
gallows and gibbets are built without the towns; so Christ hath ordered that they who are to be punished with this kind of torment, shall be taken away: ‘Take him away,’ saith he (out of this world) ‘and cast him into outer
darkness,’ and let him have his punishment there ‘there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ (Matt 22:13). Besides, faith is not to be
wrought by looking into hell, and seeing thedamned tormented before our eyes, but by ‘hearing the word of God’ (Rom 10:17). For he that shall not believe Moses and the prophets, will not be persuaded should one come from the dead, yea should one come to them in flames to persuade them (Luke 16:27-31).

Q. Are there degrees of torments in hell?
A. Yes, for God will reward every one according to their works. ‘Wo unto the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall
be given him’ (Isa 3:11).

Q. Who are like to be most punished there, men or children?
A. The punishment in hell comes not upon sinners according to age, but sin; so that whether they be men or children, the greater sin, the greater punishment; ‘For there is no respect of persons with God’ (Rom2:11).

Q. How do you distinguish between great sins and little ones?

A. By their nature, and by the circumstances that attend them.

Q. What do you mean by their nature?

A. I mean when they are very gross in themselves (2 Chron 33:2; Eze 16:42).

Catechism


Q. How are men punished in this world for sin?

A. Many ways, as with sickness, losses, crosses, disappointments and the like: sometimes also God giveth them up to their
own heart’s lusts, to blindness of mind also, and hardness of heart; yea, and sometimes to strong delusions that they might believe lies, and be damned (Lev 26:15,26; Amos 4:7,10; Rom1:24,28; Exo 4:21, 9:12-14; Zeph 1:17; Rom 11:7,8; 2 Thess 2:11,12).

Q. How are sinners punished in the world to
come?

A. With a worm that never dies, and with a fire that never shall be quenched (Mark 9:44).

Q. Whither do sinners go to receive this punishment?

A. ‘The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God’
(Psa 9:17).

Q. What is hell?

A. It is a place and a state most fearful (Luke 13:28, 16:28; Acts 1:25).

Q. Why do you call it a place?

A. Because in hell shall all the damned be confined as in a
prison, in their chains of darkness forever (Luke 12:5,58, 16:26; Jude 6).

Q. What [kind of] place is hell?

A. It is a dark bottomless burning lake of fire, large enough to hold all that perish (Matt 22:13; Rev 20:1,15; Isa 30:35; Prov 27:20).

Q. What do you mean when you say it is a fearful state?

A. I mean, that it is the lot of those that are cast in thither to be tormented in most fearful manner, to wit, with wrath and fiery indignation (Rom 2:9; Heb 10:26,27).

Q. In what parts shall they be thus fearfully tormented?

A. In body and soul: for hell-fire shall kindle upon both beyond what now can be thought (Matt 10:28; Luke 16:24; James 5:3)

Q. How long shall they be in this condition?

A. ‘These shall go away into everlasting punishment’ (Matt 25:46).
‘And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever,
and they have no rest day nor night’ (Rev 14:11). For they ‘shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power’ (2 Thess1:9).

Catechism


Q. When do we sin against the law as
written in the ten commandments?

A. When you do anything that they forbid, although you
be ignorant of it (Psa 19:12).

Q. How many ways are there to sin against
this law?

A. Three: by sinful thoughts, by sinful words, and also by sinful actions (Rom7:7, 2:6; Matt 5:28, 12:37).

Q. What if we sin but against one of the ten
commandments?

A. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all; ‘For he that said, Do not commit
adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law’ (James
2:10,11).

Q. Where will God punish sinners for their
sins?

A. Both in this word and in that which is to come (Gen 3:24, 4:10-12; Job 21:30).

Catechism


Q. Do we come into the world as upright as
did our first parent?

A. No: he came into the world sinless, being made so of God Almighty, but we came into the world sinners, being made
so by his pollution.

Q. How does it appear that we came into the
world polluted?

A. We are the fruit of an unclean thing, are defiled in our very
conception, and are by nature the children of
wrath (Job 14:4; Psa 51:5; Eph 2:3).

Q. Can you make further proof of this?

A. Yes, it is said, That by one man came sin,
death, judgment, and condemnation upon all
men (Rom 5:12-19).

Q. Do we then come sinners into the world?

A. Yes, we are transgressors from the womb,
and go astray as soon as we are born, speaking
lies (Isa 48:8; Psa 58:3).

Q. But as Adam fell with us in him, so did he
not by faith rise with us in him? for he had no
seed until he had the promise.

A. He fell as a public person (ie: Federal Head), but believed the promise as a single person. Adam’s faith saved not the world, though Adam’s sin overthrew it.

Q. But do not some hold that we are sinners
only by imitation?

A. Yes, being themselves deceived. But God’s word saith, we are children of wrath by nature, that is, by birth and
generation.

Q. Can you bring further proof of this?

A. Yes: in that day that we were born, we were
polluted in our own blood, and cast out to the
loathing of our persons. Again, the children of
old that were dedicated unto the Lord, a
sacrifice was offered for them at a month old,
which was before they were sinners by
imitation (Eze 16:4-9; Num 18:14-16).

Q. Can you make this appear by experience?

A. Yes: the first things that bloom andput forth themselves in children, show their ignorance of God, their disobedience to parents, and their innate enmity to holiness of life; their
inclinations naturally run to vanity. Besides little children die, but that they could not, were they not of God counted sinners; for death is the wages of sin (Rom 6:23).

Q. What is sin?

A. It is a transgression of
the law (1 John 3:4).

Q. A transgression of what law?

A. Of the law of our nature, and of the law of the ten
commandments as written in the holy scriptures (Rom 2:12-15; Exo 20).

Q. When doth one sin against the law of
nature?

A. When you do anything that your conscience tells you is a transgression against God or man (Rom 2:14,15).

Catechism


Q. Do men go body and soul to hell so soon as they die?

A. The body abides in the grave
till the sound of the last trump; but the soul, if the man dies wicked, goes presently from the face of God into hell, as into a prison, there to
be kept till the day of judgment

(1 Cor 15:52; Isa 24:22; Luke 12:20).

Catechism


Q. Where does this alienation from God
appear?

A. In the love they have to their sins, in their being loth to come to him, in their pleading idle excuses for their sins, and in their
ignorance of the excellent mysteries of his blessed gospel (Eph 2:2,3,11,12, 4:18,19; Rom1:28).

Q. What is temporal death?

A. To have body and soul separated asunder, the body
returning to the dust as it was, and the spirit to God that gave it (Gen 3:19; Eccl 12:7).

Q. What is everlasting death?

A. For body and soul to be separate for ever from God, and to be cast into hell fire (Luke 13:27; Mark 9:43).

Catechism


Q. What was the due desert of that transgression?

A. Spiritual death in the day he did it, temporal death afterwards, and everlasting death last of all (Gen 2:17, 3:19; Matt 25:46).

Q. What is it to be spiritually dead?

A. To be alienate from God, and to live without him in the world, through the ignorance that is in man, and through the power of their sins (Eph 4:18,19).

Catechism


Q. How did God make man in the day of his first creation?

A. God made man upright (Eccl7:29). ‘In the image of God created he him’ (Gen 1:27).

Q. Did God, when he made man, leave him without a rule to walk by?

A. No: he gave him a law in his nature, and imposed upon him a
positive precept, but he offered violence to them, and broke them both (Gen 3:3,6).

Catechism


Q. Is not the soul then of the nature of the Godhead?

A. No, for God cannot sin, but the soul does: God cannot be destroyed in hell, but the souls of the impenitent shall (Eze 18:4; Matt
10:28).