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T O T H E
Sir Jonathan Trelawny, Bar*
Lord Bishop os Winchester, and Prelate os the most noble Order os the Garter.
My LORT),' iy , ,., , ,,
H E ensuing Exercises on the ChurchCatechism humbly crave your Lordship's Favour and Protection; not that they deserve, but because they need so great, a, patronage. For tho the Catechism of the Church of England be; justly reputed, the best Composure of that kind in the Christian World; yet the Ignorance of some, and the corrupt Designs of others, have unhappily occasiqn'd t,oo great a Neglect and Contempt of it: And nothing less than the Countenance and Authority of the Fathers* as well as the Diligence and Application of the Sons of the Church, are sufficient to recover its antient Honour and Use.
'Tis this has embolden'd me once more to prefix to the following Discourses so Great and Ho
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And this I have the rather done, to recommend them to the World with greater Advantage, and the better to promote the great End and Design of them; which your Lordship's known Zeal, and firm Adherence to the Church, may give abundant Encouragement to expect.
This known Zeal is too warm and wellgrounded to degenerate into Lukewarmness and Neutrality: And tho Envy" and Malice may raise a Mist before the clearest Integrity, yet like the Sun it will loon get out of the Cloud, and after shine the brighter.
My Lord! This Edition comes to congratulate your Lordlhip's happy Tranflation to a higher Dignity; which may serve to banish all Fears of the Church's Danger, and to give us wellgrounded Hopes of its safe and flourilhing Condition.
May your Lordship long continue to adorn your High and Honourable Station, and support the inferior Order committed to your Care and Charge; that your Miter here on Earth, may be at last exchang'd for a Crown of Glory in Heaven, is the hearty Wifli and Prayer of,
My Lord! ^fst"X Tour Lordjliifs most humble
f-ii '"h7.?n' and devoted Servants
^^ MA TTHEW HOLE.
110*1) art here presented with an A" bridgment of some Catechetical Exer" cises, deliver'd in a Country Congrega~ tion; and therefore fused to the Capacity of the meaneji Understanding. Some that have been either pieas'd with, or profited by them, would fain persuade themselves^ that others might receive the fame Benefit and Satisfaction, if they were made more publick. This bath difpos d the Author, who is unwilling to decline any thing for the Service of his Church and Country, to venture them abroad and try the Ex- \ periment: If they shall be found any wife useful, either to the informing the Judgment, or exciting the Affections, or helping any forward in their Christian Course, he has all that he aims at, and will rest abundantly satisfy'd in the Success of his Adventure. And accordingly the First 'part being found, in the Judgment of the World, useful and serviceable to those Ends, I have gone forward to all the other 'Parts of the Catechism an the same Method: And being now compleat, I humbly submit all to the Wisdom and Authority os my Superiors, and to the candid and favour
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able Construction of all judicious and impartial Readers.
IVhat doleful Evils have proceeded from the lack of Catechising, our present Age is" an unhappy Instance; in which -Many being bred tip in the Times of the Civil IVar, and more in the Confusions that have thereby happen'd since, have, thro* the fad neglect of this great 'Duty, been'depriv'd of the Benefit of early and well-grounded Instructions; and thereby lost those 'Principles of Religion and Virtue, ^hich, if imbib'd sooner, might have contmud longer with them, and mdde them more jieddy in their Duty both to God and Man.
'Its much to be fear'd, that the many dismal Evils that have ensued from this NeglecJ,are hardly. to be curd in the present Age; which, for want of being well-principled in the beginnings is too much over-run with Atheism, and all manner of Impiety.
All our Hopes must be in the next Generation, ^ by well-training up those that are to live to it: that is, by laying a good'Foundation in the Minds of Children and south, and seasoning their tender Tears with more lasting 'Principles of Religion and Virtue, j • """,''"'"'
Long accustom"''d and habituated Sinners, like overgrown Oaks, are sturdy and inflexible: Whereas Children and Youth, like tender Twigs, are more pliable, may be bent any way, and are capable of any Impressions. This should teach all-Parents, as they tender the Welfare of their Children, above all things to take care of their timely and pious Educations '"x"
Masters likewise, Tutors, Guardians, and all othsrs that have the oversight of'Tout"h,\ shouldbuild