November 3: School & Family Catechist WSC Q. 57-58

by Rev. William Smith

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 57-58

Q.57. Which is the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment is, “Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work : but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates ; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day : wherefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath-day, and hallowed it,” Exod. xx. 8-11.


Sabbath-day. –The day of holy rest.

Blessed the Sabbath-day. –Appointed it to be a day on which mankind would be blessed or made happy, in a particular manner, by God’s favor, if they continued to observe the Sabbath to keep it holy.

Hallowed it. –Distinguished it from all the other days of the week, by setting it apart for holy uses.

Q.58. What is required in the fourth commandment?

A. The fourth commandment requireth the keeping holy to God, such set times as he hath appointed in his word, expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself.


A holy Sabbath to himself. –A day in which mankind were to rest from worldly labors, and to direct all their attention to the holy duties of the immediate service of God.


The duties required in the fourth commandment are twofold :

  1. The keeping holy to God such set times as he hath appointed in his word. –Lev. xxiii. 37,38. These are the easts [sic: ed.; feasts] of the Lord which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, –beasts the Sabbaths of the Lord.

2.The keeping holy, expressly, of one whole day in seven. –Lev. xix. 30. Ye shall keep my Sabbath and reverence my sanctuary, I am the Lord. Deut. v. 14. The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.


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