There is one anecdote connected with the formation of the Shorter Catechism both full of interest and so beautiful, that it must not be omitted. In one of the earliest meetings of the Committee, the subject of deliberation was to frame an answer to the question "What is God?" Each man felt the unapproachable sublimity of the divine idea suggested by these words; but who could venture to give it expression in human language! All shrunk from the too sacred task in awe-struck reverential fear. At length it was resolved, as an expression of the Committee’s deep humility, that the youngest member should first make the attempt. He consented; but begged that the brethren would first unite with him in prayer for divine enlightenment. Then in slow and solemn accents he thus began his prayer:—"O God, Thou art a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in Thy being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth."—When he ceased, the first sentence of his prayer was immediately written down and adopted, as the most perfect answer that could be conceived; as, indeed, in a very sacred sense, God’s own answer, descriptive of himself.
Compare with Augustine in his Confessions, where he writes as he prays.