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because themselves spake so much their own praise; gold stands not in peed of varnish, nor diamonds of painting a give us leave only to tell you, that we cannot but account it an eminent mercy to enjoy such helps as these are. It is ordinary in these days for men to speak evil of things they know not; but if any are possessed with mean thoughts of these treatises,

we shall only give the same counsel to them that Philip gives Nathanael, Come and see, John i. 46. It is no small advantage the reader now hath, by the addition of scriptures at 'large, whereby with little pains he may more profit, because with every truth he may behold its scripture foundation. And, indeed, considering what a Babel of opinions, what a strange confusion of tongues, there is this day among them who profess they speak the language of Canaan, there is no intelligent person but will conclude that advice of the prophet especially suited to such an age as this, Isa. viji. 20. To the law, and to the testimony; if they speak not accord

ing to ihis word, it is because there is no light in them. If the reverend and learned composers of these ensuing treatises were willing to take the pains of annexing scripture proofs to every truth, that the faith of people might not be built upon the dictates of men, but the authority of God, so some considerable pains hath now been further taken in transcribing those scriptures; partly to prevent that grand inconvenience, (which all former impressions, except the Latin, have abounded with, to the great perplexing and disheartening of the reader,) the misquotation of scripture, the meanest reader being able, by having the words at large, to rectify whatever mistake máy be in the printer in citing the particular place ; partly, to prevent the trouble of turning to every proof, which could not but be very great; partly, to help the memories of such who are willing to take the pains of turning to every proof, but are unable to retain what they read ; and partly, that this may serve as á Bible common-place, the several passages of scripture, which are scattered up and down in the word, being in this book reduced to their proper head, and thereby giving light each to other. The advantages, you see, in this

design, are many and great; the way to spiritual knowledge is hereby - made more easy, and the ignorance of this age more inexcusable.it

If, therefore, there be any spark in you of love to God, be not content that any of yours should be ignorant of him whom you so much admire, or any haters of him whom you so much love. If there be any compassion to the souls of them who are under your care, if aðy regard of your being found faithful in the day of Christ, if any respect of future generations, labour to sow these seeds of knowledge,

which may grow up in after times. That you may be faithful hereblin, is the earnest prayer of,

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Edward Perkins. Is Richard Kentishra D.D.A. M. P. James Nalton, Ralph Venning. Alexander Pringle. Roger Drake, boiThomas Goodwin. , Jeremiah Burwell. William Wickins.

Joseph Church. Thomas Watson. Samuel Annesley. William Bates. Has. Bridges. John Jackson,1099 Thomas Gouge Vlist John Loder. Samuel Smith John Seabrookesog Charles Offspring. Francis Raworth. Samuel Rowles, Jobn Peachie. Isto b Arthur Jackson. Sie William Corner Liebe Golakcocka John Cross, Samuel Clerk. *

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Thomas Manton.

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MR. THOMAS MANTON'S EPISTLE TO THE READER.

CHRISTIAN READER, CANNOT suppose thee to be such a stranger in England as to be 1 ignorant of the general complaint concerning the decay of the power of godliness, and more especially of the great corruption of youth. Wherever thou goest, thou wilt hear men crying out of bad children and bad servants; whereas indeed the source of the mischief must be sought a little higher : it is bad parents and bad masters .,that make bad children and bad servants; and we cannot blame so much their untowardness, as our own negligence in their education.

The devil hath a great spite at the kingdom of Christ, and he knoweth no such compendious way to crush it in the egg, as by the + perversion of youth, and supplanting family duties. He striketh at

all those duties which are publick in the assemblies of the saints ; but these are too well guarded by the solemn injunctions and dying charge of Jesus Christ; as that he should ever hope totally to subvert and undermine them; but at family duties he striketh with the more success, because the institution is not so solemn, and the practice not so seriously and conscientiously regarded as it should be, and the omission is not so liable to notice and publick censure. Religion was first hatched in families, and there the devil seeketh to crush it: the families of the Patriarchs were all the Churches God had in the world for the time, and therefore, (I suppose,) when Cain went out from Adam's family, he is said to go out froin the face of the Lord, Gen. iv. 16. Now, the devil knoweth that this is a blow at the root, and a ready way to prevent the succession of Churches : if he can subvert families, other societies and communities will not long flourish and subsist with any power and vigour; for there is the stock from whence they are supplied both for the present and future.

For the present; A family is the seminary of Church and State ; and if childıen be not well principled there, all miscarrieth: a fault in the first concoction is not mended in the second ; if youth be bred ill in the family, they prove ill in Church and Commonwealth; there is the first making or marring, and the presage of their future lives to be thence taken, Prov. xx. 11. By family discipline, officers are trained up for the Church, 1 Tim. iii. 4. , Ore that ruleth well his own house, &c.; and there are men bred up in subjection and obedience. It is noted, Acts xxi. 5. that the disciples brought Paul on his way with their wives and children ; their children probably are mentioned, to intimate, that their parents would, by their own example and affectionate farewell to Paul, breed them up in a way of reverence and respects to the pastors of the Church,

For the future: It is comfortable, certainly, to see a thriving nursery y of young plants, and to have hopes that God shall have a - people to serve him when we are dead and gone: the people of God comforted themselves sin-that, Psal. cii. 28. The children of thy servants &

considerations, how careful should ministers and parents be to train up young ones whilst they are yet pliable, and, like wax, capable of any form and impression, in the knowledge and fear of God; and betimes 'to-instil the principles of our most holy faith, as they are drawn into a short sum in catechisms, and so al. together laid in the view of conscience ! Surely these seeds of truth

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te that be not prepared by education to understand us nor should we u have need to shut out so many from holy communion upon the account of ignorance, that yet have not the grace to feel it and lament

it, nor the wit and patience to wait in a learning state, till they are Guready to be fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of

God,,, But now they come to us with aged self conceitedness, being past children, and yet worse-than-children-still, having the ignorcance of children, but being overgrown the teachableness of children; and think, themselves wise, yea, wise enongh to quartel with the wisest of their teachers, because they have lived long enough to have been wise, and the evidence of their knowledge is their aged ignorancé ; and they are readier to flee in our faces for Church-privileges, than to learn of us, and obey our instructions, till they are prepared for them, that they may do them good ; tike snappish cars, that will snap us by the fingers for their meat, and snatch it out of our hands; and not like children, that stay till we give it them. Parents have so used them to be unruly, that ministers have to deal but with too few but the unruly. And it is for want of this laying the foundation Well at first, that professors themselves are sol ignorant as most are, and that so many, especially of the younger sort, do swallow down almost any error that is offered them, and follow any sect of dividers that will entiee them, so it be but done with learnestness and plausibility. For, alas ! though by the grace of God their hearts may be changed in an hour, whenever they understand but the essentials of the faith, yet their understandings must have time and d ligente to furnish them with such knowledge as must stablish them, and forHify them against deceits. Upon these, and many the like considerations, we should entreat all Christian families to take more pains in this necessary work, and to get better acquainted with the substance of Christianity. And, to that end, (taking along some moving treatises to awake the heart.) I know not what work should be fitter for their use, than that compiled by the Assembly at Westininister; a Synod of as godly, judicions divines, (notwithstanding all the bitter words which they have received from discontented and self-conceited men,) I verily think, as ever England sans Though they had the unhappiness to be employed in calamitous times, when the noise of Wars did stop men's ears, and thélicentiousness of wars did set every

anton tongue and pen at biberty tô reproach them, and the prosecution and event of those wars did exasperate, partial discontented men to dishonour themselves by seeking to dishonour them I dare say, if in the days of old, when councils were in power and account, they had had but such a conncil of bishops, as this of presbyters was the fame of it for leaming and holiness, and all ministerial abilities, would, with very great honour, have been transmitted to posterity 29 Isan Harod i da sodi ter so v Braqe 191 soitoon be bal do therefore desire, that all másters of families would first stüdy well, this work themselves, and then teach it their children and ser yants, according to their several capacities. 5 And, if they once understand these grounds of religion, they will be able to read other books more understandingly, and hear sermons more profitably, and confer more judiciously, and hold fast the doctrine of Christ more biginly, than ever you are like to do by any other course. w First, let them, read and learn the Shorter Catechism, and next the Larger, and lastly, read the Confession of Faith:1?&1 to Ercitovog lynreero9 10

Thus far, he, whose name I shall conceal, (though the excellency of the matter, rud{present style, will easily discover him,) bécause I

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have published it without his privity and consent, though, I hoje,

not against his liking and approbation. I shall add no more, but vthat lam, in den Vert

Thy servant, "WANE:15,11

in the Lord's work,

THOMAS MANTON,

W

An ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, for

the calling of an Assembly of learned and godly Divines, and others, to be consulted with by the Parliament, for the settling of the govern"ment and liturgy of the Church of England; and for vindicating and

clearing of the doctrine of the said Church from false aspersions and interpretations. June 12. 1643. THEREAS, amongst the infinite blessings of Almighty God upon

this purity of our religion; and for that, as yet, many things remain in the liturgy, discipline, and government of the Church, which do ne

cessarily require a further and more perfect reformation than as yet hath been attained ; and whereas it hath been declared and resolved by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, that the present Church-government by archbishops, their chancellors, commissars, deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons, and other ecclesiastical officers depending upon the hierarchy, is evil, and justly offensive and burdensome to the kingdom, a great impediment to reformation and growth of religion, and very prejudicial to the state and govern. ment of this kingdom; and therefore they are resolved that the same shall be taken away, and that such a government shall be settled in the Church as may be most agreeable to God's holy word, and most apt to procure and preserve the peace of the Church at home, and nearer agreement with the Church of Scotland, and other Reformed Churches abroad ; and, for the better effecting hereof, and for the vindicating and clearing of the doctrine of the Church of England from all false calumnies and aspersions, it is thought fit and neces. sary to call an Assembly of learned, godly, and judicious Divines, who, together with some members of both the Houses of Parliament, are to consult and advise of such matters and things, touching the premises, as shall be proposed unto them by both or either of the Houses of Parliament, and to give their advice and counsel therein to both or either of the said Houses, when, and as often as they shall be thereunto required : Be it therefore ordained, by the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, That all and every the persons hereafter in this present ordinance named, that is to say,

And such other person or persons as shall be 'nominated and appointed by both Houses of Parliament, or so many of them as shall not be letted by siekness, or other necessary impediment, shall meet and assemble, and are hereby required and enjoined, upon summons signed by the clerks of both Houses of Parliament, left at their respective dwellings, to meet and assemble themselves at Westminster, in the Chapel called King Henry the Vil's Chapel, on the first day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and forty.

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