by A. A. Hodge
THERE is an increasing desire to know what are the doctrines of Christianity as revealed in the word of God. Laymen, as well as ministers, are recognizing the necessity of having clear views of God's plan of salvation, and of being able to impart them to others.
To quicken and satisfy this desire seems to have been a cherished purpose of Rev. A. A. Hodge, D. D., both as pastor and professor. In the home, church, classroom, by the press and on the platform, he sought to popularize theology. His success was manifest in the numbers who sought to hear him, and in their increasing interest in his instructions. He therefore readily assented when asked to prepare a concise text-book for theological instruction. He naturally determined to make a brief exposition of the Shorter Catechism, for it was prepared by the learned divines of the Westminster Assembly, it is the most comprehensive and accurate statement of Christian doctrine, it is a part of the constitution of our Presbyterian Church, and it is adapted to popular instruction, having been prepared for the young that they might be early taught the truth at home and in the church. Dr. Hodge's sudden death left the work incomplete. He had, however, written Part I., the most important, which sets forth "what man is to believe concerning God." His cousin, J. Aspinwall Hodge, has endeavored to carry out his plan in preparing Part II., which teaches "what duty God requires of man." The whole is now published for general use in the Church, to enable parents to make home instruction intelligent and correct, to encourage the formation of adult classes in the Sabbath-schools for the study of the doctrines of the Church, to furnish our elders with a clear and brief exposition of the system of doctrine which they are required sincerely to receive and adopt, and to give our candidates for the ministry, at the very beginning of their course, a general view, with clear outlines, of God's nature and his gracious plan of salvation, and of man's condition and duty, which they are to devote their lives to study and to preach.
It is earnestly hoped that these ends may be accomplished, and that many will be led "to glorify God and to enjoy him for ever."
J. A. H.
Table of Contents
PART I —BELIEF CONCERNING GOD
I. THE INTRODUCTION. Questions 1–3
II. WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES REQUIRE US TO BELIEVE CONCERNING GOD, AND HIS RELATIONS TO US, AND HIS PURPOSES WITH REGARD TO US? Ques. 4–38
I. God's Existence. Ques. 4–6
2d. GOD IS ONE GOD, YET THREE PERSONS. Ques. 5 and 6
II. God's Will or Plan. Ques. 7
III. The Execution of God's Plan. Ques. 8–38
FIRST. GENERAL CREATION
SECOND. THE SPECIAL CREATION OF MAN. Ques. 10
B. GOD'S WORKS OF PROVIDENCE
C. GOD'S SPECIAL PROVIDENCE TOWARD MANKIND AT THEIR CREATION
D. THE FALL OF ADAM AND ITS CONSEQUENCES. Ques. 13–19
E. GOD'S GRACIOUS METHOD OF REDEEMING MEN FROM THAT ESTATE OF SIN AND MISERY INTO WHICH THEY WERE BROUGHT BY THE APOSTASY OF ADAM. Ques. 20–38
1st. GOD'S PLAN OF REDEMPTION. Ques. 20
2d. THE REDEEMER AND HIS PERSON. Ques. 21, 22
3d. HIS OFFICES AND WORK. Ques. 23–26
(1st.) HIS OFFICE AS PROPHET. Ques. 24
(2d.) HIS OFFICE AS A PRIEST. Ques. 25
(3d. HIS OFFICE AS KING. Ques. 26
4th. THE REDEEMER: HIS ESTATES. Ques. 27, 28
5th. THE APPLICATION OF REDEMPTION. Ques. 29–31
6th. THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THIS REDEMPTION IN THIS LIFE TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE EFFECTUALLY CALLED. Ques. 32–36
(1) JUSTIFICATION. Ques. 33
(2) ADOPTION. Ques. 34
(3) SANCTIFICATION. Ques. 35
(4) THE ACCOMPANYING BENEFITS. Ques. 36
7th. THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THE APPLIED REDEMPTION OF CHRIST AT DEATH. Ques. 37
8th. THE BENEFITS CONFERRED BY THE REDEMPTION OF CHRIST, THUS APPLIED, AT THE RESURRECTION. Ques. 38
PART II.—DUTY REQUIRED OF MAN
III. WHAT DUTY IS REQUIRED OF US. Questions 39–81
[I.] Our Duty as Revealed in the Ten Commandments. Ques. 39–42
2d. THE SUMMARY OF OUR DUTY
[II.] The Preface to the Ten Commandments. Ques. 43, 44
[III.] The First Table, as containing our Duty toward God. Ques. 45–62
I. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT: THE PERSON TO BE WORSHIPED. Ques. 45–48
II. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT: THE FORM OF WORSHIP. Ques. 49–52
III. THE THIRD COMMANDMENT: THE SPIRIT OF WORSHIP. Ques. 53–56
IV. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT: THE TIME FOR WORSHIP. Ques. 57–62
[IV.] The Second Table, as containing our Duty toward Men. Ques. 63–81
I. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT: OUR MUTUAL RELATIONS. Ques. 63–66
II. OUR MUTUAL RIGHTS, AS INVOLVED IN THESE RELATIONS. Ques. 67–81
1st. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT. OUR RIGHT TO LIFE. Ques. 67–69
2d. THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT. OUR RIGHT TO PURITY. Ques. 70–72
3d. THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT. OUR RIGHT TO PROPERTY. Ques. 73–75
4th. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. OUR RIGHT TO TRUTH. Ques. 76–78
5th. THE TENTH COMMANDMENT. OUR RIGHT TO CONTENTMENT. Ques. 79–81
IV. ALL MEN ARE GUILTY AND HELPLESS. Ques. 82–84
V. THE MEANS AND CONDITIONS OF SALVATION. Ques. 85–107
[I.] Internal Means, Faith and Repentance. Ques. 86, 87
[II.] External Means: His Ordinances. Ques. 88–107
1st. THE WORD. Ques. 89, 90.
2d. THE SACRAMENTS. Ques. 91–97.
A. BAPTISM. Ques. 94, 95
B. THE LORD'S SUPPER. Ques. 96, 97
3d. PRAYER. Ques. 98–107
THE LORD'S PRAYER. Ques. 100–107
2d. THE PETITIONS. Ques. 101–106
THE FIRST PETITION: THE HONORING OF THE NAME—OF THE FATHER.
THE SECOND PETITION: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KINGDOM—OF CHRIST.
THE THIRD PETITION: THE ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HIS WILL—BY THE SPIRIT.
THE FOURTH PETITION: TEMPORAL AND SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT.
THE FIFTH PETITION: FORGIVENESS FROM GOD AND TO OTHERS.
THE SIXTH PETITION: FREEDOM FROM TEMPTATION AND THE POWER OF THE DEVIL.
3d. THE CONCLUSION: ASCRIPTION OF ALL GLORY TO GOD
QUESTIONS ON PART I
QUESTIONS ON PART II