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Catechism, by teaching and expounding it, so as to render them capable of profiting by Sermons, as well as to make them acquainted with the doctrines and duties of Christianity.

About the year 1562, the commissioners of Queen Elizabeth agreed that, besides the Catechism for children to be confirmed, another longer one should be devised for communicants, and a third in Latin for schools. This was the origin of Dean Nowel's Catechism, who was then the Prolocutor of the Convocation. By the Constitutions of 1571, every clergyman was obliged on Sunday to spend two hours in catechizing; and it was ordered that no one should come to the Holy Communion, or answer for a child in baptism, who had not first learned the Catechism, so as to be able readily to reply to all its parts.

The present short Church Catechism contains a judicious system of Christian faith and practice; but it must be evident to every one who impartially considers the subject, and from the fact that some parts of it are objected to by many persons who do not understand its principles, that it requires some

explanation, especially in its commencement, and in its doctrine of the sacraments.

From some conversation respecting these objections, this little work arose. As the Author had herself been well instructed in the Catechism, and had been in the habit of instructing others, she sat down to defend its principles by scriptural proofs. The work, however, was neither seen, nor known to be in hand, by the writer of this preface, till it was completely finished and ready for the press.

It will be seen that the author, as the foundation of her exposition, has uncompromisingly taken the ground on which the Catechism itself stands ; namely, that of considering the Catechumen as regenerate, elect, a child of God, a member of Christ, and an heir of heaven. The baptized, in all ages

of the Church of Christ, have in its charitable judgment been so considered. It is true, that the Church consists of tares as well as wheat. But its Catechisms, as well as all its other Services, were not composed, nor could they be with any propriety, for those represented by the tares. Nor are we to view the baptized as such, till, by their unbelief and unholy practice, we have reason to apprehend they are numbered among them: and even then we are not to form an absolute and decisive judgment; but to warn, reprove, rebuke, and exhort to self-examination and

prayer. The opinion of a father may, perhaps, be considered as influenced by partiality. He can, however aver, that if this explanation of the Catechism had been communicated to him by any other hand than that of a daughter, he should unhesitatingly have pronounced it one of the most simple, plain, and scriptural, of any of the expositions of that concise body of divinity, which he has had the opportunity of perusing.

H. G.

Olney Vicarage,

Feb. 4, 1834.

THE

CHURCH CATECHISM

EXPLAINED,

AND

PROVED FROM SCRIPTURE.

CHAP. I.

THE ENGAGEMENTS OF BAPTISM.

!

WHAT is your name?
M. or N.
Why is this called your Christian name?

Because it was given to me at my baptism ; and all baptized persons are called Christians.

Go ye therefore and teach (or disciple) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. xxviii. 19.

“ The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Acts ii. 26.

А

Who gave you this name?

My godfathers and godmothers in my baptism ; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

“ There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling ; one Lord, one faith, one baptism ; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Eph. iv. 4-6.

You say you were made, in your baptism, a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven; in what state were you then born ?

All mankind are born in sin, and subject to the anger of God on that account.

“ Behold I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Ps. li. 5.

“ The wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience." Eph. v. 6.

Can you go to heaven in the state in which you were born ?

Our Saviour said, “ Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John iii. 3.

What is this new birth, or regeneration ?

It is to have our sinful nature subdued and mortified, and holy desires and affections implanted.

“ That we, being dead to sin, should live unto righteousness." 1 Pet. ii. 24.

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