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well deserved for their Endeavours to inform and edify the People thereby.

But among them all, none excel this little Catechison of the Alsembly, for Orthodoxy, Fulness, and Method.

And because the Answers therein are some of them pretty large, and Treat of the most profound Mysteries of our Religion; therefore several Persons have bestowed their good and laudable Pains, fome in descanting more largely, and proving by Scriptural Reasons the Particulars: and one has thewn the Harmony thereof with the Articles and Homilies of the Church of England (designed, I fuppose, to remove the Prejudice which fome have taken against it). Others have parted the Questions and Answers into feveral little ones, under each, to make them more intelligible to younger Ones, and more easy to be remembred.

Among whom, Worthy, Orthodox, and Excellent Mr. John Flavel may be ranked, wko 2mong other of his many and most profitable Labours, applied himlelf to the chewing of this Bread of Life, or crumbling it into finaller Pieces, for the Conveniency of Children and (indeed) of all; wherein (as in all his other Works) he hath shewn himself a Workman that needs not to be ashamed.

There needs no other Recommendations to this Postbumous Piećë, but the worthy Author's Name; he was removed before he had compleat


ly finished it; he had prepared his Questions and Answers upon the second Petition of the Lord's Prayer; but lived not to propose them in the publick Congregation. God then tranllared him into his Kingdom of Glory above, while he was so induftrioully endeavouring to promote the Kingdom of Grace below.

The other five remaining Questions and Anfwers (to compleat the Work) were done by a ruder hand; as may easily be discerned by any obfervant Reader, who will find himself transfer'd from a plain, clear, and delightful Stile, Method, and Manner, into more rough, disorderly, and unpleasant ones; for who, indeed, could equal this Divine Labourer? Not the Compleater: who would account himself to have made very great Attainments in Divinity and Usefulness, if he were left but a few Furlongs behind him.

Let the Reader ufe and peruse this Piece, and he will see Cause to bless God for the Author.

V A L E.



R E A D E R.

HE Divine Providence having unexpeEledly cast

that blessed Man of God Mr. John Flaveldid for many Years honour Christ, and was honoured by bim; I have been favoured with a Sight of that most judicious Explication of the Assemblies Catechism, which is emitted berewith.

Being desired to testify my Respect to the worthy Author, by Prefacing this Excellent Labour of his with a few Lines; I can truly say (as sometimes Beza of Calvin) Now Mr. Flavel is dead, Life will be less sweet, and Death less bitter to me.

My heart bleeds to look on this desolate Place, and not to see him, that whilst living, was the Glo

ry of it.

But neither the Author, nor his Writings stand in Need of the Commendation of others, much less of mine.

His Works already published bave made bis Name precious in both Englands, and it will be fo as long as the Earth Mall endure.

There are some Considerations which may cause the Reader to expext (and be will not find himself disappointed therein) that which is extraordinary in this little Manuel: for the Author's Heart was very much engaged in doing this Service for Christ, in! ibus feeding bis Lambs. And he did bimself defign the Publication of what is bere committed to the Press; and was very defrous (with an holy Submission to the Will of God) to have 'perfeated this Work before bis Decease: but bad strange Intimations that he should finish bis Gourse, before that could be done.

When be did viva voce deliver bis Meditations, there were many Enlargements, and lively Pallages which are not here inserted: nevertheless bere is as much as he thought needful for publick View, not being willing that his Book joould be Volumi


In his last Catechetical Exercise concerning Hallowing the Name of God, be was exceedingly enlarged; but he must himself go into the Kingdom of Glory, when he intended to bave discoursed on that Petition, Thy Kingdom come.

He also began fome Meditations on Joys of Heaven: But before he had an Opportunity to express what bad been in bis Heart, the Lord Jesus said unto him, Enter thou into the Joy of thy Lord. And thus doth it happen many Times to the eminent and boly Servants of God.

Another Confideration, recommending what comes herewith, is, that it was amongst Mr. Flavell's last Works. Tbe (ikdia ghpata) Last Sayings of wife and great Men have been esteemed Oraculous ; and the Scripture puts an Emphasis on the last Words of David, the sweet Singer of Israel, 2


Sam. xxiii. 1. Not that those were the last Words ibat ever David Spake, only they were written not long before his Death, when he was came near Heaven.

So was what is now put into the Reader's Hand, written by Mr. Flavell not long befare bis Translation to the World of Souls, where the Spirits of Just Men are made perfekt.

There was a more than ordinary Presence of God with him to his laft; and in his loft Days, not the Last Sermon that he preached (which was June 21. 1691). He did more than once surprize bis Hearers with an Intimation that, that might be the last Time he should speak to them in the Name of the Lord. Aud was not then the Secret of the Lord with bim?

Dartmouth will know, and Devonshire will know, that there has been a Propbet among them.

And now my Soul bleeds to look on the dear Flock of God, which are as Sheep without a Shepberd. The Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the Sheep, have Compassion on them, and give them a Shepherd like to bis blessed Servant Flavell

, who did for many Years feed them with Knowledge, and with Understanding.

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Dartmouth, March

the 21st 1691.

Increase Mather.


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