December 22: School & Family Catechist, WSC Q. 71 & 72

by Rev. William Smith (1834)

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 71 & 72.

Q. 71. What is required in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment requireth the preservation of our own and our neighbor’s chastity, in heart, speech, and behaviour.


Chastity. –An abhorrence of all uncleanness, whether in the body, or in the mind and affections.

Chastity in heart. –Purity of thought, or freedom from wanton desires.

Chastity in speech. –Modesty in our language and conversation.

Chastity in behavior. –Modesty in our outward conduct, and in all our actions.


The duties required in the seventh commandment, are five in number:

  1. We are required to preserve our own chastity. –1 Thess. iv. 4. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.
  2. To preserve the chastity of our neighbor. –Eph. v. 11, 12. Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them; for it is a shame even to speak of whose things which are done of them in secret.
  3. We are required to do this in our heart. –2 Tim ii. 22. Flee also youthful lusts; but follow righteousness, faith, charity.
  4. To preserve our own and our neighbor’s chastity also in our speech. –Col. iv. 6. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt. Eph. iv. 29. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth.
  5. To do the same in our behavior. –1 Pet. iii. 2. While they behold your chaste conversation, coupled with fear.

    The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.

Q. 72. What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A. The seventh commandment forbiddeth all unchaste thoughts, words, and actions.


Unchaste. –Immodest, wanton, unclean.


The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, are of three sorts:

  1. Unchaste thoughts. –Matt. v. 28. Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
  2. Unchaste words. –Eph. v. 4. Neither filthiness nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient.

3. Unchaste actions. –Eph. v. 3. Fornication, and all uncleanness, let it not be once named among you. Rom. xiii. 13. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness.


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