« PredošláPokračovať »
46 Of the Commandments in general.
Q. What are the effects of charity ?
A. It destroys sin. Charity covers a multitude of sins, James v. 20, and gives spiritual life to the soul. In this we know that we are translated from death to life, because we love the brethren. 1 St. John iji. 14.
CHAP. VIII. of the Commandments in general. : Q. WHAT is the principal aim or end of the cominandments?
A. To teach us the will and pleasure of the eternal God, or the love of God, and of our neighbour. He that loveth his neighbour hath fulfilled the law. Rom. xiii. 8.
Q. Why are the commandments (excepting the determination of the sabbath day) called the commandments of the law of nature ?
A. Because God wrote them in the heart of man at the creation, being the very dictates of natural reason.
Q. When did he renew them in the written law ?
A. When he gave them to Moses on mount Sinai, in thunder and lightning, written on two tables of stone. Exod. xx.
Q. Why in thunder and lightning?
A. They are; at least in substance, because they are the rule of our whole life and actions.
Q. How do you prove them to be only ten ?
A. Out of Deut. iv. 13. He showed his covenant which he commanded you to do, and the ten words that he wrote in two tables of stone.
Q. By what kind of sins are the commandments broken?
A. By mortal sins only; for venial sins are not strictly speaking contrary to the end of the commandments, which is charity
Q. How declare you that?
A. Because a venial sin, for example, a vain word, an officious or jesting lie, which hurts nobody, the theft of a pin or an apple, is not of weight enough to break charity betwixt man and man, much less betwixt Gold and man.
Q. Is it possible for us to keep all the commandments ?
of the Commandments in general. 47 A. Not only possible, but necessary and easy, by the assistance of God's grace.
Q. How do you declare that?
A. Because God is not a tyrant to command impossibilities under pain of eternal damnation, as he doth the keeping his commandments.
Q. How prove you that ?
A. First out of Exod. xx. and Deut. xxviii. 15, where he often commands them to be kept, threatening grievous punishments to such as break them..
Secondly, out of St. Matt. v. 19. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven, but he that shall do and teach, shall be called great in the kingdom of Heaven.
Thirilly, out of St. Matt. xi. 29, 30. Take up my yoke upon you (saith our Lord) for my yoke is sweet, and my bürtlen light. And again, St. John, v. 3, His commandments are not heavy.
Q. Hath God ever promised to enable man to keep them?
A. He hath, and also actually to make them keep and do them.
Q. How prove you that ?
A. Out of Ezek. xxxvi. 27. I will put my spirit in the midst of you (saith our Lord) and I will make ye walk in my precepts, and keep my judgments and do them.
And again, chap. xxxvii. 23, 24. They shall be my people, and I will be their God: there shall be one pastor of them all, they shall walk in my judgments and keep my commandments, and shall do them.
Q. How do you prove that any have kept them?
A. Out of St. Luke i. 6. Zachary and Elizabeth were both just before God: walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.
Q. flow prove you the keeping them to be necessary to salvation ?
A. First, out of St. Matt. xix. 17. If thou wilt enter into lile (saith our Lord) keep the commandments.
Secondly, out of St. Luke x 25, 28. Where the lawyer bad asked. what he should do to possess eternal life, and had repeated the sum of the commandments : Christ answered bin, saying, " This do thou, and thou shalt live."
Thirdly, ont of Rom. ii. 13. Not hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified..
of the Commandments in particular
The First Commandment Expounded. Q. WHAT is the first commandment?
A. I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, and out of the bouçe of bondage. Thou shalt not have strange Gods before me. Thou shall not make to thyself a graven thing, nor the likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or in the earth below, or of those things that are in the waters under the earth. Thou shalt not adore nor worship them ; I am the Lord thy God, mighty, jealous, visiting the sins of the fathers upon their children, to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy to thousands of those that love me, and keep my commandments. Exod. xx.
Q. What are we commanded by this precept?
A. To serve, love, adore, and worship oae only, true, living, and eternal God, and no more."
Q. What are we forbidden by this precept?
A. Not to worship any creature for a god, or give to it the honour which is due to God.
Q. What is the honour due to God ?
A. A supreme and sovereign honour, which is called by divines Latria ; by which we honour him as the great master of life and death, as our creator, redeemer, preserver, and last end.
Q. How do men sin against this commandment?
A. By worshipping idols and false gods, by erring or doubting in faith, by superstition and witchcraft.
Q. How else?
A. By communicating in religious worship with infidels or heretics, by believing dreams, &c.
Q. How do you prove it a great sin to go to church with heretics?
A. Because by so doing we outwardly deny our faith, and profess their false faith, at least in our country, where going to church is, by the laws of the land, made a distinctive sign betwixt them and us.
Q. What scripture have you against it?
A. Out of St. Luke xvii. 23, 24. Where Christ forbids it, saying, “ And they shall say to you, lo nere Christ, lo there Christ; go ye not, neither do you follow them," and " who
soever shall deny me before men I will deny him before the angels of God." Luke xii. 9.
Q. What other proof have you ?
A. Out of Tit. iii. 10, 11. A man that is an heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid, knowing that he that is such an one is subverted and sinneth,
Q. How do you prove it unlawful to go to witches and fortune-tellers ?
A. Out of Deut. xviii. 10, 11. There shall not be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter making them to pass through the fire, or that useth divitia: tion, or any observer of times, or enchanter, or witch, or a charnier, or a wizard, or necromancer, &c. For all these things our Lord abhorreth.
Q. What understand you by these words, Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven thing, &c. Thou shalt not adore them, &c. ?
A. I understand that we must not make idols or images; tior any graven thing whatsoever, to adore it as a god, or with God's honour.
Q. Why are not these words expressed at length in many of our short catechisms?
A. Because they are sufficiently included in the preceding words, Thou shalt not have strange (or other) guds before me.
Q. Ilow declare you that ?
A. Because if we must have no other but the only true God, who created heaven and earth, then it is clear to the reason of every child, that we must not have many gous, or any graven ihings for gods, or adore any other things for God.
Q. Why do Protestants or those of new religions instead of graven things, translate graven images?
A. Because they have a will to corrupt the text, in hope by so doing to persuade ignorant people, that Catholics are idolaters, and break the first commandment by making and worshipping images.
Q. How do you prove they corrupt the text ?
A. Because the Hebrew word is Pesel, which signifies a graven thing; the Greek is Idolon, an idol; and the Latin is Sculptile, a graven thing; therefore the word Image is a more corruption.
Q. Do not Catholics omit the second command, or join it to the first, and divide the tenth commandment into two, so as lo fill up the number ten ?
A. No. The Catholics, with St. Clement of Alexandria, and St. Augustin, and St. Jerom, divide the commandments into two parts as given by God to Moses on two tables of stone; on the first table were written the three first, which prescribe the worship of God and the sanctification of the Sabbath or day of rest. On the other table were written the remaining seven, which order the duty of men to each other. This division is to be preferred to that other made by Origen, which assigns four to the first table, and six to the secondi First, Because the forbidding men to make idols or to adore them is an explanation and consequence of “ adoring one only true God, and not having strange gods before him," and should therefore be joined with it.
Secondly, Because as the sixth command, which forbids the outward crime of adultery, is different from the seventh, which forbids to steal our neighbour's goods; so in like manner the ninth, which forbids the sin of desiring our neighbour's wife, is properly divided from the tenth, in which we are forbidden to 'covet his goods. Sće Deut. v. 21, also Septuagint version of Exodus.
Q. Why are some parts or words of the ten command. ments, as found in the Bible, left out in Catechisms?
A. Because many of those words had respect to the Jewish law, to the dispositions of the Jewish people, and to the temporal promises made to them, and do not regard the Christian people, who are made free by Christ, being enlightened by his spirit ; also, because catechisms should be clear and short, and fitted to weak memories, having nothing useless in them; but the division of the commandments or the leaving out of many unnecessary words does not change the law itself, or alter its meaning, as may be seen by the different manner in which it is set down by Moses himself in the several places wherein he wrote it.
Q. Is it lawful to give any honour to the images of Christ, and his saints ?
A. Yes; an inferior or relative honour, as much as they represent unto us heavenly things, but not God's honour, nor yet the honour due to saints.
Q. How prove you that?
A. Out of E.cod. xxv. 18, 19, 22. Where God himself commanded, Two cherubims to be made of heaten gold, and to be set on both sides of the ark (before which the people were to pray), and promised that he would speak unto them from the midst of the two cherubims. Therefore it is lawful to make images, and pray before them.