Westminster Larger Catechism
Q.151. What are those aggravations that make some sins more heinous than others?
A. Sins receive their aggravations,
|2. From the parties offended [x]: if immediately against God [y], his attributes [z], and worship [a]; against Christ, and his grace [b]; the Holy Spirit [c], his witness [d], and workings [e] against superiors, men of eminency [f], and such as we stand especially related and engaged unto [g]; against any of the saints [h], particularly weak brethren [i], the souls of them, or any other [k], and the common good of all or many [l].|
From the parties offended [x]:
[x] Matthew 21:38-39 But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance. Ver.39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.
if immediately against God [y],
[y] 1 Samuel 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?
Acts 5:4 Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Psalm 51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
his attributes [z],
[z] Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
and worship [a];
[a] Mal. 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. Ver.14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
against Christ, and his grace [b];
[b] Hebrews 2:2-3 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; Ver.3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ? —
Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
the Holy Spirit [c],
[c] Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God,
Matthew 12:31-32 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Ver.32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.
his witness [d],
[d] Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
and workings [e]
[e] Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, Ver.5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, Ver.6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; etc.
against superiors, men of eminency [f],
[f] Jude Ver. 8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
Numbers 12:8-9 Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? Ver.9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
Isaiah 3:5 The child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.
and such as we stand especially related and engaged unto [g];
[g] Proverbs 30:17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.
2 Corinthians 12:15 And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.
Psalm 55:12-15 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: Ver.13 But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. Ver.14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. Ver.15 Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: etc.
against any of the saints [h],
[h] Zephaniah 2:8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the revilings of the children of Ammon, whereby they have reproached my people.— Ver.10 This shall they have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of the LORD of hosts. Ver.11 The LORD will be terrible unto them.—
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
1 Corinthians 6:8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Revelation 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus, etc.
particularly weak brethren [i],
[i] 1 Corinthians 8:11-12 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? Ver.12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
Romans 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. Ver.15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Ver.21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
the souls of them, or any other [k],
[k] Ezekiel 13:19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?
1 Corinthians 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
Revelation 18:12-13 The merchandise of gold,— Ver.13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
Matthew 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him two-fold more the child of hell than yourselves.
and the common good of all or many [l].
[l] 1 Thessalonians 2:15-16 Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: Ver.16 Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved,—
Joshua 22:20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.