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This our excellent fhort Catechism hath been the fruitful Subject of many profitable Expositions; and for ought I see, it is still capable of more; there being Failings in good Books, as well as in good Men: And I must. profess, that of all our explicatory Catechisms, for the Use of Children and Families, I know not any that I have seen witbout some not able Defe&t. As to ina Stance in some Particulars, the nature of saving Baptism is either grossly mistaken, or not sufficienıly explained in them. The like may be said alsó concerning the Lord's Supper. The Doctrine of original Sin is almost wholly pretermitted: And the Attributes of God, whereby his Nature is described, are seldom or never mentioned in their right Order. And I hope that in these, and other material Pointsz this
following Exposition may be a Supplement to others. I have followed the Reapers, and gathered up fome things that others have let Nip
But that which is most peculiar to this following Elay, is the Method and Manner of it. For, first 1 bave here divided, and methodized this our Catechism by Chapters and Sections, under their several Heads and Titles. And then my Manner of explaining them, is both Positive and Catechetical : i. e. both in continued and interlocutory Discourses. In the former of which is shewed the Composure of its Materials, as when a Watch is put together, and we see t'he Systein of it: And in the latter, the Materials or subject Matters of iis Composure ; as when a Watch is took to pieces, and we see them severally by themselves.
In these Catechetical or Interlocutory Discourses, I have comprized my Instruction chiefly in the Interrogative Part or Questions : And the Answers to those Que ftions are made only by Yes or No; with apposite Proofs from Scripture, applied to thofe Answers. And the Cá
techist may repeat them properly, whenever the Learner
and go on with his Catechizing without a Baulk or Interruption. And the Dialogues are all concluded with some practical Application.
In this plain Method, and after this familiar Manner, this Excellent useful and difficult Work of Catechizing may be managed with great Facility both in Schools and in Families. And it highly concerns those that have the Government and Charge of either, to promote and praEtice it in their respective Province's. He that provides only things necessary for the Body, but negle&ts ebe ima mortal Souls of those of his House or Family, is certainly a most unfaithful, injurioiss and cruel Horjhelder. And he is not worthy of the Name of a Christian SchoolMaster, who maketh it not his chief Business, to teach his Scholars the Knowledge of Jesus Christ and Everlasting Life.
READER, Thou art bere desired to excuse and
rectify such Mispointings and other Errors as have escaped in the Margin, and in the Body of this Book.
In the Margin.
In the Body of the Book.
. P. 158. J. 5. for Nations read Mansions. P. 170. 1. 7. fupply (A. Yés). P. 175. 1. 5. for then read (thou). Lin. 8. for is, sead (seeth), P. 181. 1. 28. for his, read (chis). P. 184. ]. 17.
dele by. P.191.1. 22. for, it is, read (at). P.195. 1. 11. read (from the Morning of
O intimate the Design and Use of
this Treatise, it is entitled , An T INSTRUCTION, to be learned of
every one, before he be brought to be
confirmed by the Bishop, i. e. an Instruction in the Baptismal Covenant; that such as in their Infancy were engaged therein by others, might afterwards approve of, and confirm it in their own Persons, in a serious
and solemo Manner, before the Church or Congregation; and the Bishop being present to this End or Purpose, he lays his Hands upon them, prays over them, and blesseth them. This is Confirmation. And the Catechifm is an Instruction suited to this End. And that the Principles and Points of Doctrine contained in this Instruction, may be the better understood, and more easily recall?d to Mind, I shall endeavour to draw them forth into an orderly Scheme or Method; and then I shall add also an Explanation of them.