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SMALL CATECHISM

OF

DR. MARTIN LUTHER.

Literally Translated.

TRANSLATION REVISED AND CORRECTED BY

REV. H. WETZEL,

WOODSTOCK, VA.

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, As they should be clearly and simply explained to every household

by the head of the family.

The First Commandment.
Thou shalt have no other Gods.

What does that mean? Answer.
We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The Second Commandment.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to curse, swear, con: jure, lie, or deceive, by His name; but call upon it in every time of need, pray to, praise, and give thanks to it.

The Third Commandment. Thou shalt keep holy the Festival day.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to despise preaching and His Word, but deem it holy, and willingly hear and learn it.

The Fourth Commandment. Thou shalt honour thy father and thy mother.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to despise or provoke our parents and rulers, but honour, serve, obey, love, and esteem them.

The Fifth Commandment. Thou shalt not kill.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to do our neighbour any injury or harm in his body, but help and befriend him in all bodily troubles.

The Sixth Commandment. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

What does that mean? Answer.

We should fear and love God, so as to live modestly and purely in words and deeds, and that husband and wife should love and honour each other.

The Seventh Commandment. Thou shalt not steal.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to take our neighbour's money or property, nor get it by spurious goods or unfair dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business.

The Eighth Commandment.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

What does that mean? Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to calumniate our neighbour, betray, or slander him, or injure his character, but defend him, speak well of him, and make the best of all he does.

The Ninth Commandment. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house. What does that mean?

Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to try to defraud our neighbour of his inheritance or house, or obtain it with a pretence of justice, but aid and assist him to keep it.

The Tenth Commandment. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is his. What does that mean?

Answer. We should fear and love God, so as not to detach, extort, or alienate from our neighbour his wife, servants, or cattle, but try to get them to stay and do their duty.

What does God say about all these Commandments ?

He says this: I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. What does that mean?

Answer. God threatens to punish all who disobey these Commandments: we should, therefore, fear His anger, and do nothing which such Commandments forbid. But He promises grace and every blessing to all who keep them; we should therefore love and trust in Him, and gladly obey His Commandments.

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