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This our excellent fort Catechism bath been the fruitful Subject of many profitable Expositions; and for onghi 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 without some not able Defect. As to inStance in some Particulars, the nature of saving Bapa tism is either grossly mistaken; or not sufficienıly explained in them.
The like may be said alsó concerning the Lord's Supper. The Do&trine of original Sin is almost ipholly pretermitted: And the Attr)butes of God, whereby his Nature is described, ate feldom or never mentioned in their right Order. And I hope that in these, and other material Points; this following Exposition may be a Supplement to others. I have followed the Reapers, and gathered mp. Some things that others have let Nip.
But that which is most peculiar to this following Ejay, is the Method and Manner of it. For, forft I bave here divided, and methodized this our Cate. chism by Chapters and Sections, under their several Heads and Titles. And then my Manner of explaining them, is both Positive and Catechetical : i. c. both in continned and interlocutory Discourses. In the former of which is fewed the Composure of its Materials, as when a Watch is put together, and we see t'he System of it: And in the latter, che Materials or subject Matters of iis Composure, as when a Watch is took to piéces and we see them severally by themselveso
In these Catechetical or Interlocutory Discourses, I have comprized my Instruction chiefly in the Interrogative Part or Questions : And the Answers to those Queftions are made only by Yes or No; with apposite Proofs from Scripture, applied to those Anjwers. And the Ca.
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.