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Van Horn Index

An Index to Dr. Leonard T. Van Horn’s Commentary
on the Westminster Shorter Catechism,
as presented on This Day in Presbyterian History.


Mr. Craig McCluskey wrote recently, suggesting an index or guide to our Sunday posts of Dr. Van Horn’s commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
That seemed like an excellent idea and so we have prepared the following Index. We trust it will be of real help to many.

Clicking the link embedded in a question below will take you to the respective post on This Day in Presbyterian History.
Clicking the “PDF” link after a question will take you to an image scan of the bulletin insert that was originally prepared for that question.

Obviously, we are still working on this Index. Please check back later as we are working to update it.

01/04/15 — Q. 1 — What is the chief end of man?  PDF
01/11/15 — Q. 2 — What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?  PDF
01/25/15 — Q. 3 — What do the Scriptures principally teach?  PDF
02/01/15 — Q. 4 — What is God?  PDF
02/08/15 — Q. 5 — Are there more Gods than one?  PDF
02/15/15 — Q. 6 — How many persons are there in the Godhead?  PDF
02/22/15 — Q. 7 — What are the decrees of God?  PDF
03/01/15 — Q. 8 — How doth God execute His decrees?  PDF
03/08/15 — Q. 9 — What is the work of creation?  PDF
03/15/15 — Q. 10 — How did God create man?  PDF
03/22/15 — Q. 11 — What are God’s works of providence?  PDF
03/29/15 — Q. 12. — What special act of providence did God exercise towards man, in the estate wherein he was created?  PDF
04/05/15 — Q. 13. — Did your first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?  PDF
04/12/15 — Q. 14 — What is sin?  PDF
04/19/15 — Q. 15 — What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?  PDF
04/26/15 — Q. 16 — Did all mankind fall in Adam’s first transgression?  PDF
05/03/15 — Q. 17 — Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?  PDF
05/10/15 — Q. 18 — Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?  PDF
05/17/15 — Q. 19 — What is the misery of the estate whereinto man fell?  PDF
05/24/15 — Q. 20 — Did god leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery?  PDF
05/31/15 — Q. 21 — Who is the Redeemer of God’s elect?  PDF
06/07/15 — Q. 22 — How did Christ, being the Son of God, become man?  PDF
06/14/15 — Q. 23 — What offices doth both Christ execute as our Redeemer?  PDF
06/21/15 — Q. 24 — How does Christ execute the office of a prophet?  PDF
06/28/15 — Q. 25 — How doth Christ execute the office of a priest?  PDF
07/05/15 — Q. 26 — How doth Christ execute the office of a king?  PDF
07/12/15 — Q. 27 — Wherein did Christ’s humiliation consist?  PDF
07/19/15 — Q. 28 — Wherein consisteth Christ’s exaltation?  PDF
07/26/15 — Q. 29 — How are we made partakers of the redemption purchased by Christ?  PDF
08/02/15 — Q. 30 — How doth the Spirit apply to us the redemption purchased by Christ?  PDF
08/09/15 — Q. 31 — What is effectual calling?  PDF
08/16/15 — Q. 32 — What benefits do they that are effectually called partake of this life?  PDF
08/23/15 — Q. 33 — What is justification?  PDF
08/30/15 — Q. 34 — What is adoption?  PDF
09/06/15 — Q. 35 — What is sanctification? — PDF

[Missing:] — Q. 36 —
09/13/15 — Q. 37 — What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?  PDF
09/20/15 — Q. 38 — What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?  PDF
09/27/15 — Q. 39 — What is the duty which God requireth of man?  PDF
10/04/15 — Q. 40 — What did God at first reveal to man for the rule of his obedience?  PDF
10/11/15 — Q. 41 — Wherein is the moral law summarily comprehended?  PDF
10/18/15 — Q. 42 — What is the sum of the ten commandments?  PDF
10/25/15 — Q. 43 — What is the preface to the ten commandments? & 44 — What doth the preface to the ten commandments teach us?  PDF
11/01/15 — Q. 45 — Which is the first commandment? & 46 — What is required in the first commandment?  PDF
11/08/15 — Q. 47 — What is forbidden in the first commandment?  PDF
11/15/15 — Q. 48 — What are we especially taught by these words, “before me,” in the first commandment?  PDF
11/22/15 — Q. 49. — Which is the second commandment? & Q.50 — What is required in the second commandment? PDF
11/29/15 — Q. 51 — What is forbidden in the second commandment? — PDF
12/06/15 — Q. 52 — What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?  PDF
12/13/15 — Q. 53 — Which is the third commandment? & 54 — What is required in the third commandment?  PDF
12/20/15 — Q. 55 — What is forbidden in the third commandment?  PDF
12/27/15 — Q. 56 — What is the reason annexed to the third commandment? — PDF
01/03/16 — Q. 57 — Which is the fourth commandment? & Q. 58 — What is required in the fourth commandment?  PDF
01/10/15 — Q. 59. — Which day of the seven hath God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath?  PDF
01/17/16 — Q. 60 — How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?  PDF
01/24/16 — Q. 61 — What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?  PDF
01/31/16 — Q. 62 — What are the reasons annexed to the fourth commandment?  PDF
02/07/16 — Q. 63 — Which is the fifth commandment? & Q. 64  What is required in the fifth commandment? PDF
02/14/16 — Q. 65 — What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?  PDF
02/21/16 — Q. 66 — What is the reason annexed to the fifth commandment?  PDF
02/28/16 — Q. 67 — Which is the sixth commandment? & Q. 68 — What is required in the sixth commandment?  PDF
03/06/16 — Q. 69 — What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?  PDF
03/13/16 — Q. 70 — Which is the seventh commandment? & Q. 71 — What is required in the seventh commandment?  PDF
03/20/16 — Q. 72 — What is forbidden in the seventh commandment?  PDF
03/27/16 — Q. 73 — Which is the eighth commandment? & Q. 74 — What is required in the eighth commandment?  PDF
04/03/16 — Q. 75 — What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?  PDF
04/10/16 — Q. 76 — Which is the ninth commandment? & Q. 77 — What is required in the ninth commandment?  PDF
04/17/16 — Q. 78 — What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?  PDF
04/24/16 — Q. 79 — Which is the tenth commandment? & Q. 80 — What is required in the tenth commandment?  PDF
05/01/16 — Q. 81 — What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?  PDF
05/08/16 — Q. 82 — Is any man able perfectly to keep the commandments of God?  PDF
05/15/16 — Q. 83 — Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous?  PDF
05/22/16 — Q. 84 — What doth every sin deserve?  PDF
05/29/16 — Q. 85 — What doth God require of us, that we may escape his wrath and curse due to us for sin?  PDF
06/05/16 — Q. 86 — What is faith in Jesus Christ?  PDF
06/12/16 — Q. 87 — What is repentance unto life?  PDF
06/19/16 — Q. 88 — What are the outward means whereby Christ communicateth to us the benefits of redemption?  PDF
06/26/16 — Q. 89 — How is the word made effectual to salvation?  PDF
07/03/16 — Q. 90 — How is the word to be read and heard, that it may become effectual to salvation?  PDF
07/10/16 — Q. 91 — How do the sacraments become effectual means of salvation? PDF
07/17/16 — Q. 92 — What is a sacrament? PDF
07/24/16 — Q. 93 — Which are the sacraments of the New Testament PDF
07/31/16 — Q. 94 — What is baptism? PDF
08/07/16 — Q. 95 — To whom is baptism to be administered? PDF
08/14/16 — Q. 96 — What is the Lord’s supper? PDF
08/21/16 — Q. 97 — What is required to the worthy receiving of the Lord’s supper? PDF
08/28/16 — Q. 98 — What is prayer? PDF
09/04/16 — Q. 99 — What rule hath God given for our direction in prayer? PDF
09/11/16 — Q. 100 — What doth the preface of the Lord’s prayer teach us? PDF
09/18/16 — Q. 101 — What do we pray for in the first petition? PDF
09/25/16 — Q. 102 — What do we pray for in the second petition? PDF
10/02/16 — Q. 103 — What do we pray for in the third petition? PDF
10/09/16 — Q. 104 — What do we pray for in the fourth petition? PDF
10/16/16 — Q. 105 — What do we pray for in the fifth petition? PDF
10/23/16 — Q. 106 — What do we pray for in the sixth petition? PDF
10/30/16 — Q. 107 — What doth the conclusion of the Lord’s prayer teach us? PDF

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This Day in Presbyterian History:

Celebrations at a Memorial Service

With few Presbyterian historical events to remember on this date, we turn our attention to Shorter Catechism question and answer number 96.  It asks, “What is the Lord’s Supper?” and answers “The Lord’s Supper is a Sacrament, wherein, by giving and receiving bread and wine, according to Christ’s appointment, his death is showed forth; and the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, made partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.”

Here is the other Sacrament after the initial one of baptism.  Its essence is by “giving and receiving bread and wine,” Christ’s death is “showed forth.”  In one phrase, the truth of the substitutionary atonement of Christ dying in place of sinners is represented.  Christ clearly appointed that meaning when he instituted it near the end of His earthly life.

The purpose of the Lord’s Supper is put forth as a spiritual edification or building up of the Lord’s people. That this is so, is made clear by our Confessional fathers when they specifically state that “the worthy receivers are, not after a corporal and carnal manner, but by faith, make partakers of his body and blood, with all his benefits, to their spiritual nourishment and growth in grace.”

The churches of the Reformation divided over the manner of the presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper. Roman Catholics believe that the actual body and blood of Christ are present in the bread and wine. Lutherans believe that the actual body and blood of Christ are in, with, and under the elements. Presbyterians believe that Christ is spiritually present in the Lord’s Supper, while He in His physical body is in heaven as a glorified body, seated at the right hand of God. So, when we partake of the elements of bread and wine, we do  in a spiritual manner partake of His body and blood. Rightly partaking of them will strengthen, encourage, and spiritually build us up in the totality of the Christian faith and walk.

Words to live by: In succeeding days, when we have nothing to report of historical persons, places, and things of Presbyterianism, we will look at the Larger Catechism’s treatment as to what duties we are to perform before, during, and after our observance of the Lord’s Supper. For now, do not be carelessly absent when the Lord’s Supper is offered at your congregation. It is a means of grace to our souls, a channel of blessings of the covenant of grace.

Through the Scriptures:  Acts 10 – 12

Through the Standards:  The subjects of baptism according to the Shorter Catechism

WSC 95 — “To whom is baptism to be administered?
A.  Baptism is not to be administered to any that are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ, and obedience to him; but the infants of such as are members of the visible church are to be baptized.”

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This Day in Presbyterian History:

God is the Only Soul-satisfying Portion

We have often in this series of Presbyterian highlights through American history taken time to inquire in the Diary of David Brainerd.  In the life of this young missionary to the Indians of his day, he reveals much of himself, and us through him, as well as speaks to the things that are primary  in our lives.  This day is no exception to that rule.

In his travels, David Brainerd had experienced some success in reaching the hearts and souls of the various tribes of Indians.  Some had responded to the gospel.  Others were convicted by the Word of God.  There seems to be some “success” in his desires that Christ be found among them, and in them.

Yet immediately after this high point in his life, he goes through a real deep valley experience which bring him low.  He speaks of it as “sore inward trials,” and how he has lost any confidence that qualified himself to be a missionary to the Indians.  He is exceedingly depressed in spirit.  He sees that there is too much self-exaltation, spiritual pride, and warmth of temper in him.  He is ashamed and guilty before God.  He goes through what we might call a “dry period” of Christian experience.  But listen to what he writes on the Lord’s day, which is August 22, 1742.

“In the morning, continued still in perplexity.  In the evening, enjoyed that comfort that seemed to me sufficient to overbalance all my late distress.  I saw that God is the only soul-satisfying portion, and I really found satisfaction in Him.  My soul was much enlarged in sweet intercession for my fellowmen everywhere, and for many Christian friends in particular, in distant places.”

In short, he found that the source of joy is found in the Lord his God, and as he was able to rest in Him, all depression and perplexity vanished away as he glorified God and enjoyed Him forever.   

Words to live by: It was the Psalmist Asaph in Psalm 73 who asked and answered what David Brainerd (and ourselves) was experiencing here.  Verse 26 reads, “Whom have I in heaven but You?  And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.  My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (NASB) May this text benefit you, dear reader, this day and always.

Through the Scriptures: 1 Chronicles 1 – 3

Through the Standards:  The definition of prayer:

WLC 178  —  “What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of Christ, by the help of his Spirit, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.” 

WSC 98 — “What is prayer?
A. Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins, and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies.”

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This Day in Presbyterian History: 

A Deluge of Pentecostal Power

We have at  various times in this historical devotional turned to the Diary of David Brainerd.  Brainerd was a Presbyterian missionary to the Indians, or native Americans as we would call them today, in the mid seventeen hundreds.  In his short life and ministry among them, he recorded his thoughts and his actions to them and on their behalf, which diary has been used by the Holy Spirit of God to lead countless in both olden times and modern times to commit their lives to service to the Lord.

We look at one day in August 8, 1745 when in a return visit to the Indians of Crossweeksung, New Jersey, the Lord brought about an awakening of their hearts which surpassed anything David Brainerd had experienced up to this time.  Listen to his words from his diary:  “. . . the power of God seemed to descend upon the assembly ‘like a mighty raging wind’ and with an astonishing energy bore down all before it.  I stood amazed at the influence which seized the audience almost universally; and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible form of a mighty torrent, or swelling deluge, that with its insupportable weight and pressure bears down and sweeps before it whatever is in its way.  I must say . . . that the Lord did much to destroy the kingdom of darkness among his people.”

And then at the bottom of his diary, he writes “This was indeed a surprising day of God’s power, and seemed enough to convince an atheist of the truth, importance, and power of God’s Word.”

When so much of his missionary work has been dry of any results, at least from what he could see, it must have been refreshing to finally see God’s powerful work in breaking up  the hard hearts and the giving to them soft hearts for the gospel.

Words to live by:  There is a powerful text which all believers to remember.  It is a wonderful comfort for us.  It is found in the last phrase of Acts 13:48 where it says, “and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.”  Both parts of this text are correct.  Who will believe the gospel?  Answer: as many as were appointed to eternal life.  How do we know those appointed to eternal life?  Answer: They will believe.  Be encouraged to continue to share the good news of eternal life with all those who are interested in listening to you – unsaved loved one, neighbors, work associates, school mates, friends, and strangers you meet.

Through the Scriptures: Jeremiah  9 – 12

Through the Standards: The ninth commandment: Duties required

WLC 143 & WSC 76 — “What is the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” 

WLC 144   “What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?
A.  The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency, a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging tale-bearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.”

WSC 77 “What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. The ninth commandment requires the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.”

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This Day in Presbyterian History:

A Highly Religious Man with Strong Presbyterian Beliefs

We might more readily suggest any number of men and ministers of whom this title might describe.  But when it is known that this description was given to a man, indeed a minister, by the name of Richard Denton in the early sixteen  hundreds residing in Long Island, New York, most, if not all of our readers might reply with at statement like “I never  heard of  him.”  And yet, he established the first Presbyterian church in the colonies.

Richard Denton was born in 1603 in Yorkshire, England.  Educated at Cambridge in 1623, he ministered in Halifax, England for some years in the parish of Owran.  Emigrating to Connecticut, he worked first with the famous preacher Cotton Mather.  The latter said of him that “Rev. Denton was a highly religious man with strong Presbyterian views.  He was a small man with only one eye, but in the pulpit he could sway a congregation like he was nine feet tall.”

When religious controversies, like which church government the  congregations should follow, threatened to disrupt the Connecticut group, Denton and a group of families moved to what is now Hempstead, Long Island, New York.  He settled there in a large Dutch colony.  Because there were some English settlers also there, that was enough for a congregation to be organized.

Back in those early days, his salary came from every inhabitant of the area.  In fact, you could be fined for not attending worship, and that fine was aggravated each week to a higher level for succeeding absences.  The church he began, today called Christ Presbyterian Church, was so successful with Rev. Denton in its pulpit, that Dutch people began to attend it as well.

On August 5, 1657, a letter was written by two Dutch settlers to the Classis of Amsterdam, saying: “At Hempstead, about seven leagues from here, there lives some Independents.  There are also many of our church, and some Presbyterians.  They have a Presbyterian preacher, Richard Denton, a pious, godly and learned man, who is in agreement with our church in everything.  The Independents of this place listen attentively to  his sermons; but when he began to baptize the children of (Dutch) parents who were not members of the church, they rushed out of the church.”

As time went on, the salary of Rev. Denton began to be collected sporadically by the citizens.  As a result, he planned to go back to England.  After all, he did have a large family of seven children. And it was said that his wife was sickly in constitution.  Another letter was written two months later on October 22 in which the same two writers stated, “Mr. Richard Denton, who is sound in faith, of a friendly disposition, and beloved by all, cannot be induced to remain, although we have earnestly tried to do this in various ways.”  They were not successful, and he returned to England.  He died in 1662.

Words to live by: The date of the presence of Presbyterians boggles our minds and hearts.  Since that time, countless servants of the gospel have labored in difficult fields where money has been tight.  The New Testament more than once urges the members in the pews to share all good things, including remuneration, with those who teach them the Word.

Through the Scriptures:  Obadiah, Jeremiah 1, 2

Through the Standards: The eighth commandment: Duties required

WLC 140 & WSC 73 — “Which is the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment is, Thou shalt not steal.”

WLC 141 — What are the duties required in the eighth commandment?
A.  The duties required in the eighth commandment are, truth, faithfulness, and justice in contracts and commerce between man and man; restitution of goods unlawfully detained from the right owners thereof; giving and lending freely, according to our abilities, and the necessities of others; moderation of our judgments, wills, affections concerning worldly goods; and provident care and study to get, keep, use, and dispose these things which are necessary and convenient for the sustentation of our nature, and suitable to our condition; a lawful calling, and diligence in it; frugality; avoiding unnecessary law-suits, and suretyship, or other like engagements; and an endeavor, by all just and lawful means, to procure, preserve, and further the wealth and outward estate of others, as well as our own.”

WSC 74 — “What is required in the eighth commandment?
A. The eighth commandment requires the lawful procuring and furthering the wealth and outward estate of ourselves and others.”

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