THE

SHORTER CATECHISM

EXPLAINED


QUESTION 101. What do we pray for in the first petition?

ANSWER: In the first petition, (which is, Hallowed be th y name ,) we pray, That God would enable us, and others, to glorify him in all that whereby he maketh himself known and that he would dispose all things to his own glory.


Q. 1. What is the meaning of the word petition?

A. It signifies asking or desiring any thing.

Q. 2. How many petitions are there in the Lord's prayer?

A. There are six.

Q. 3. In what order are these six petitions ranged?

A. The first three bear a more immediate respect to God; and the last three to ourselves.

Q. 4. What are we taught by this order of ranking the petitions?

A. We are thus taught, first to pray for what concerns the glory of God, as being the highest and most valuable end; and then for what respects our own advantage, as being only subordinate to it, Matt. 6:33.

Q. 5. Which is the first of these petitions?

A. It is in these words, Hallowed be thy name.

Q. 6. What is signified by the name of God in this petition?

A. It is explained in the answer to be all that whereby he maketh himself known.

Q. 7. What is our duty with reference to this name of God?

A. It is to pray that it may be hallowed.

Q. 8. What is the meaning of the word HALLOWED?

A. It is explained in the answer to be the same with glorified: when we pray Hallowed be thy name, we pray, that God himself may be glorified.

Q. 9. By whom should we pray that God's name may be hallowed or glorified?

A. We should pray, that his name may be glorified by himself; and likewise that he would enable us and others to glorify him.

Q. 10. What do we mean, when we pray that God's name may be glorified by himself?

A. We mean, that he would be pleased daily to demonstrate it more and more to the world, to be what it really is, most holy and most glorious, so as to excite that adoration and esteem which is due to him: for, says he, "I will be sanctified in them that come nigh to me, and before all the people will I be glorified," Lev. 10:3.

Q. 11. Where does he thus demonstrate the glory of his own name?

A. In his word; and by his works both of creation and providence, particularly by the glorious device of redemption.

Q. 12. What do we acknowledge, when we pray that God would enable us and others to glorify him?

A. We thus acknowledge "the utter inability and indisposition that is in ourselves and all men, to honour God aright, 2 Cor. 3:5."[182]

Q. 13. What is requisite in order to our honouring God aright?

A. In order to this, it is requisite that we diligently attend to the several ways, by which God maketh himself known, such as his attributes, ordinances, word, and works; and see if we are studying to glorify him in all these.

Q. 14. How do we glorify him in his attributes or perfections?

A. When we think or speak of them with becoming reverence, and endeavour to exercise suitable acts of faith upon them; such as, admiring his wisdom, depending on his power, and trusting to his faithfulness, that he will do as he has said.

Q. 15. How do we glorify him in his ordinances?

A. When we attend upon them, and improve them for our spiritual nourishment and growth in grace, Psalm 84:10.

Q. 16. How do we glorify him in his word?

A. When we believe it as the record of God, John 20:31.

Q. 17. How do we glorify him in his work of creation?

A. When we apprehend and admire his "eternal power and Godhead," as shining in it, Rom. 1:20.

Q. 18. How do we glorify him in his works of providence?

A. When we have a grateful sense of his mercies, Gen. 32:10; and tremble at his judgments, Psalm 119:120.

Q. 19. How do we honour him in his glorious device of redemption?

A. When we receive and rest upon Christ alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the gospel, Acts 15:11.

Q. 20. What do we mean, when we pray that God would enable others to glorify him, as well as ourselves?

A. We thus, in effect, pray, that the "earth may be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea," Isa. 11:9; that so "from the uttermost parts of the earth may be heard songs, even glory to the righteous," chap. 24:16.

Q. 21. What are those things we should pray God would prevent and remove, that his name may be glorified?

A. We should pray, "that he would prevent and remove atheism, ignorance, idolatry, and whatever is dishonourable to him."[183]

Q. 22. What should we pray God would do, in the course of his providence, for glorifying his own name?

A. That he would dispose all things to his own glory.

Q. 23. How does God dispose all things to his own glory?

A. By bringing a revenue of glory to himself, even out of those things that seem most opposite to it, Isa. 43:20.

Q. 24. What are these seemingly opposite things, out of which God brings a revenue of glory to himself?

A. Among others, there are persecutions and the falls of believers.

Q. 25. How does he bring a revenue of glory to himself out of persecutions?

A. By overruling them to the furtherance of the gospel, Acts 11:19-21.

Q. 26. How does he bring glory to himself out of the falls of believers?

A. By overruling their falls and miscarriages, in such a manner, as that they are thus made more humble, watchful, and circumspect, for the future, Psalm 51:3.


[182] Larger Catechism, Question 190.

[183] Larger Catechism, Question 190.


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