BLTC Press Titles

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The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

An Explicatory catechism; or, An explanation of the Assembly's Shorter catechism ...

by Thomas Vincent


^HAT Popish axiom is. long since explpdod, that ignorance is -e mether of devotion. The worth' doth now fie, that without nowledge the mind is not good. And look, as no knowledge is

necessary, as that of the grounds and principles of the Chrifian 'ligion ; fo no way is fo apt to convey it to the minds of men, as •at which is called catechiftical. More knowledge is ordiiialy dijsufed, efpecial'y among the ignorant and younger fort, by re hour's catechiftical exercife, than by many k-ours continued [courfes. This way helps the understanding, while it proves the attention; many elaborate fermons being loft, through e inadvertency ef the hearers. Thus not only ignorance is cur', but error alfo is prevented; too many bring mif>uided, be'.ufe they were not at firf well grounded in the principles of the •slrine of Chrift. For fuch reafons as these, we highly approve e labors of this reverend brother, in his Explanation of the Afwbly's Shorter Catechifm. And having, ta our great fatisclion, perufed it ourfelves, in whole or in part, do- readily remmend it unto others : for though he compofed it at firf for his an particular congregation, yet we judge it may be greatly ufeI to all Chrifians in general, especial/y to private families, he mariner of ufing it in families, muf be left to the difcretion

the mafers and governors refpectively: though yet we concur i h the author, and think it advifable (as he hints in one of r epiftles) that, aft er a quefion in the catechifm is propounded, d a?i answer without book returned by one of the family, the 'iie perfon, or fome other, be called upon to read (if not to reirfe) the explanation of it, the ref reading along with him in eral books; by which means, their thoughts (which are apt wander) will be the more intent upon, what they are about.

To conclude, though the Assembly's Shorter Catechifm Itfelf fe] above our recommendation, as having its• praifes already in tl» I churches of Christ; yet we think it good to give it under ce bands that this Explanation of it is wry worthy of acceptation.

J. Owen, D. D,
Jofeph Caryl

G. Griffith
Hen. Stubs
Edm. Calamy
Matt. Barker
John' Lsder
John Ruyther
Nic. Blaikie
James Janeway

H. Vaughan
Will. Haddocks
John Turner
Witt. Thompson

T. Manton, D. D
Will. Jenkyn
C. Fowler
T. Cawton
T. Brooks.
Be?i. Needier
Dan. Bull
Cha. Morton
Will. Carjlake
Robert Franklin-
Matt. Sylvefer
Nat h. Vincent

T. Jacoml, D. D.
T. Cafe
T. Watfon
T. Dcolittle
Jam. Imies
Jo. Wells
Rich. Mayo
John Hicks
Edw. Veal
Edw. West
Edw. Lawrence
Jo. Chester
Jam. Sharp

To the Masters and Governors of Families belonging my Congregation.

Some dedicate their books unto lords and ladies, or et id, great perfons ; fuch possibly I might find out, bad la mindt feek: but as my love is most endeared unto you, to whom Iflat fo marly related ; fe my greatest ambition is to be ferviceable ua your fouls. Tour -cordial and constant love to me and my labeti (in a whistling age) of which you have given many manifo proofs, deferveth a greater expression of my grateful fenfe, tkt the dedication of this book unto you. God, by bringing you tinii my ministry, hath given me the charge of your fouls; and GA by bringing perfons into your families, hath given you a charge their fouls. Our charge is great, and to be guilty of the ruin fouls, is dreadful. Happy shall we be if we be found faithji to our otun and ethers' fouls, in the great day of accounts. 7(| 'many, even in our nation and city, perist} and run blindfold id hell, for want of knowledge ,• and the most are without know \tdge, for want of inftruflion. And as no way of histruflion \ doth convey clearer light of diftincl knowledge in the principles of I religion, than the 'way of catechfng ; fo the ncglecl of this in rt/iinifteri and mafers of families, is fuch a fn of unfaithfulnefs Junto the fouls of them that are under their charge, that all of :-us should take heed we have it not to anfwer for at the ap: peardnce df our Lord. It is not fufficient for you to bring your 'children and fervants to receive public inflruclion; but it is your duty alfo to inftrucl them privately, and at home to examine them in their catechifms. I know no catechifm more full os light, and found doclrine, than the Shorter Catechifm of the late reverend Assembly; which, becaufe in many anfwers, there are things not eafy to be underfiood by beginners, therefore, in this my Explanation of it, I have taken pains to take abroad every anfwer, to open it in feveral under queslions and anfwers,, and to confirm the truths thereof by reafons and fcripture proofs; which I have endeavored to do as plainly and familiarly as I could, that every thing therein might be the more intelligible and ufeful unto fuch as either learn or read it. Some chief controversies in religion I have touched upon, briefly propounding arguments for the backing of the truth, and not left objeclions wholly unanfwered; which I have the rather done, that all of you, efpecially the more unexperienced young ones under you, might get fome armor against every where prevailing error. Tou know, that fome have committed the whole of the Explanation, fo far as we have gone, unto memory ; how beneficial they have fund this, others befde themfelves can fpeak: yet all have not that frength of memory, neither would I impofe this Explanation to be learned without book by all: yet this I advife, that you, who are mafers offamilies, would fet apart time, twice, or at.leajl once every week, to examine your children and fervants in He Assemblfi Catechifm; taking Mr Lye'i excellent method i/; the way of afking quefions, whom God hath made singularly ufeful in the diffusing much light among young ones. And after they have given you the anfwers without book, which are in the Catechifm, that then yourfelves would read, or caufe one of them to read, fome part of this explanation on thofe anfwers, fo far as you can well go at a time. And if each of them that can read, fhould, both in your families, and in our public assembly, have one of thefe Explanations in their hands, to read along with them that read, or publicly anfwer, they would the better attend A Z

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